So you decided to part with a sizeable amount of your hard earned cash money to buy your dream trail bike. There is a plethora of choice and we all know that the abundance of choice can be crippling. Therefore we would like to show you two worthy candidates. While we all have our personal preferences and opinions, the Norco Sight and the Lapierre Zesty are the two most veritable candidates. We looked at the specs, what the press have said and even asked colleagues – all you have to do is to make up your mind.

Will Lockie, Head of E-Commerce is a proud owner of a Zesty:

After spending seemingly about 6 months trying to decide on a new mountain bike, this was my choice. I was looking for something that would be at home banging out 30 miles on the South downs bridleways, ragging around the Surrey Hills, or converting to 1 X10 and racing some more gravity enduro events this year. I wanted something fast, light and flexible. And this bike has all that for 2012. This year the OST+ suspension design is upgraded to be more responsive – by pushing the shock mounting forward you get more stroke out of the shock, at the right times. Obligatory head angle is slackened, BB is lowered, and chainstays shortened to make it a bit more whippy (very technical term that).

First impressions – this bike is tidy. All the cable routing is internal and it looks a million dollars. The tapered headset is beefed up considerably, and the lines look clean with lots of detail and protection in the right places. Even the rocker link is carbon. My only slight criticism is the routing of the front mech – there is a little ledge beind the seat tube, which is begging for mud collection. I now call it the mud ledge and it lives up to its name. Oh and another thing, it is super LIGHT!

Looks and detail aside – if I had to some up this bike in one word, it is FAST! Going down the first thing I noticed is how the suspension design pushes you forward – it is basically begging you to pump and go faster. In the corners it is much more responsive than my old Stumpy. The speed has already got me in trouble a few times, but never mind about that. On the ups – it is massively efficient – flick the pro pedal, extend your seatpost and it climbs super quick.  Job done and everything I need in a do it all bike.

And let’s see now what Guy Kesteven of What Mountain Bike said about the Norco Sight 2:

The balanced suspension lets you carry more speed through rocky sections while the easy agility lets you hop and float over sections, while smooth progression of the rear end means it’ll take what you can’t avoid in its stride. While the Sight rides higher than the most radical bikes, outstanding frame stiffness and the wide handlebar give precise, hard-edged cornering accuracy for ripping around turns.

Most of all you’ll realise that you’re having a blast, riding out of your skin and pushing well beyond your usual limits without it ever feeling like you’re taking massively increased risks. With an overall weight of 12.6kg (27.8lb) and a really keen pedalling feel the Norco is more than happy to push the pace on climbs or flat, fast singletrack and it’s perfectly happy running with the pack on a midwinter night time epic.

There are a lot of superficially similar bikes to the Norco and several that run it very close in some aspects. What’s remarkable about the Sight though is how strong it is in every area of trail riding that you throw it at. It descends with the arrogant composure, control and accuracy of a 30lb-plus downill-oriented rig. It climbs with the purpose and efficiency of a short-travel race bike and isn’t that much heavier than most of them either.

Most of all though, it takes whatever skill and fitness you have and immediately starts to multiply that ability into an upward spiral of insatiably playful, infectiously confident radical trail riot. It manages to balance efficiently low weight with a totally weak-link-free, enhanced toughness and control kit package that’s a superb match for the bike from the tips of the extra wide bar to the impressively capable, fat but fast Kenda tyres.

This is not making this any easier, does it? Let’s see some reviews, written by our customers. First the Zesty:

“The speed in which it goes across the uneven ground is mind blowing, and the rate that you can climb hills is even better!”

 “The OST works a dream, its almost like a hardtail on the uphills, and you have the propedal switch if you need it which you can apply on the move, on downhill sections I’m gone leaving my mates on hardtails for dust, the bike is so easy to ride I love it!”

 “The Fox float fork offers massive confidence on drops and front end grip is good and provides fast turn rates and composure, sorry to say it you could ride it like you stole it its that good”

 “As the last reviewer said you can ride it like you stole it and for me its Bike of the year for 2012”

What about the Norco?

“This is my first full suspension and quite frankly i have been blown away with the performance, from riding a bike which is fast at climbing and also on the road the norco has not let me down.”

“As a bike it has made me more confident and more skilled on the trails, it has given me the push to leave the SPD cleats behind and have some flat DMR pedals which i now honestly believe is more fun.”

View the Lapierre Zesty 314 >>>
View the Norco Sight 2 >>>

View all full suspension mountain bikes >>>