First round: Norco's new 2020 optic is short on travel, but big on fun


Take a part of new-school geometry, a short but capable part of suspension, then add a sprinkling of components that are more likely to be seen on an enduro bike before it is baked for about a year behind closed doors. This is not a new recipe, of course, but with every ingredient that gets better year after year, it's one that is tastier than ever.

With 125 mm of travel, a 140 mm fork and 29 "wheels, Norco's the brand new Optic 2020 is their interpretation of short trips and great fun.

Our $ 4,500 USD C2 test bike gets a SRAM GX / X1 transmission combo and a Pike Select Plus fork. All six models have carbon front triangles and aluminum rear ends.

First of all, what the hell is this thing? I mean, 125mm is light racing bike stuff, but all six Optic models come with four-piston brakes, a Magic Mary tire in the front and a specific RockShox DH shock-specific for tuning without a lever pedaling. So, not exactly your heated bottom gear that was forked to under-deliver. I used the new optics for everything from all-day missions to all day in the Whistler Bike Park and, spoiler warning, it was a blast.

Trail bike? Yes, of course, but this probably doesn't give him enough credit.

Sticky tires and four-piston brakes are standard on all versions of the optics.


Forget the amount of travel you have: let's talk about the geometry of optics. At 5'10 "Norco states that I should be on a wide with a range of 480 mm, so it is relatively spacious in advance. It is not too big when sitting, thanks to the SA at 76 degrees and the back length of 435 mm The angle of the head is relaxed by 65 degrees and there are no stupid geographical adjustments to be seen.

Norco is doing something called & # 39; Gravity Tune & # 39; with its geometry that sees the back lengthen as the bikes increase in size, but also say that they have not only used longer, lower and slower sprays to soften the handling optics. Instead, they examined a whole series of data already available that told them the size and weight of the average person, who then told them where the center of gravity would be when the bike was driven. This allowed them to find the geometry for each of the four dimensions that place the COG in the desired point between the front and rear axles.

The large optic has a range of 480 mm and a rear end of 435 mm, while all the dimensions get sitting angles of 76 degrees and head angles of 65 degrees.

There are small, medium, large and extra large sizes, each of which grows 5 mm in the back and 30 mm in the front. The forks all feature an offset of 42 mm and each model is equipped with a 40 mm connection that Norco claims not to need to replace. Instead, they want cyclists to use handlebars of different widths should they change the fit; the wider bars mean a longer reach and vice versa.


125 millimeters are not many millimeters, but Norco has squeezed many performances out of what it is working with. The previous optics used a suspension layout that looked a lot like this, a Horst Link, with a small rocker that compresses a vertically mounted air suspension shock. Nothing crazy, and here the same idea is used, but the positions of the pins have changed and will perform very differently than the older bike.

Great shock on a small bike, and there is no assisted pedaling to be seen on the Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock.

The leverage ratio at the beginning is higher, for one, which should make it relatively flexible for a short racing bike that is destined to crash into things. Norco says it's also a lot more progressive, and it's an aggressive melody of high-speed compression in shock, which should make it more capable than you might think.

Speaking of the shock, let's take a look because it's a little out of the ordinary. It's a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock that, as the name suggests, you would usually only see on longer travel bikes. Piggyback means that it contains more oil than a lighter on-line shock, so it should be more consistent on long and bumpy descents. There is no lock lever to improve the bike pedal, but any bike with this little trip should move well without a cheat switch.


Norco offers six different complete optics, starting from the SRAM AXS or Shimano versions equipped with XTR in the picture above which cost $ 7,500 USD and $ 6,600 USD.
The C2 and C2 W retail for $ 4,500 USD C2, with a specification that includes an SRAM X1 / GX transmission, four-piston Shimano BT520 brakes and a Pike Select Plus fork.
The entry price for a complete bike starts at $ 3,600 USD for the C3, and Norco offers both it and the C2 in women's models too. If you want a bare frame and the Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock, it will cost you $ 2,800

Soon you will be able to watch our video test on the field of the new optics, and while Kazimer told me that I shouldn't have spilled the beans until then, I'll leave you with this: it was the most popular – and we're talking about more: try everyone's bike.



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