Norco Range Killer B-2 Review

May 13, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
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TESTED
Norco
Range Killer B-2

WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Mike Kazimer
While there is still much debate among consumers as to just how far the 650B wheel craze is going to go, Norco left no one guessing about their thoughts on the 'tweener wheel by offering six different 650B models for 2013, with the 160mm travel Range Killer B platform consisting of three of those models. Intended as a machine that can not only get you way out there during an all day epic, but also throw down when the time comes, the Range lineup features plenty of standover height, a removable splined ISCG-05 chain guide adapter, and meaty tires that give you a hint as to what the bike is capable of. The $3838 USD B-2 model tested here is spec'd with FOX's air sprung Float CTD suspension, a 2x10 drivetrain, and Avid's Elixir 5 brakes, making for a total weight of 31.6lb.


Range Killer B-2 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 160mm/6.3''
• 650B wheels
• Aluminum frame
• Tapered head tube
• 'A.R.T' Horst Link suspension
• 12 x 142mm Syntace axle
• Weight: 31.6lb
• MSRP $3838 USD

Range Killer B Construction Details

The curvy looking Range, with its black and blue colour matched components, instantly won over anyone who laid eyes on it in person, but there are a lot of details that require a closer look in order to spot. The hydroformed tubes change shape depending on what is needed of them, with large flares at the end of the top and down tubes where they come together at the tapered head tube, and a drastically sloping top tube that should make room for even the shortest of riders. Cable routing isn't as sleek as we've seen on some other bikes, and there is no concession for internal routing, but Norco has built in guides for a dropper post along the seat tube and underside of the down tube. It seems many companies are moving to a removable (and replaceable) ISCG-05 adapter plate that fits onto splines around the bottom bracket shell, Norco included, and the bike's X7 front derailleur is mounted directly to a stub protruding from the bike's seat tube.
Like many other bikes, you'll find clevis-style captured pivots at the end of the chain stays, but Norco is going about it a bit differently by actually machining the female end of the clevis section directly into the end of the tube rather than welding it on. This not only removes two welds from the bike, one on each side, but also goes a long way to ensuring perfect alignment.

Gravity Tune

Norco has, not surprisingly, gone with a 12x142mm rear axle for the back of the Range, but they are also doing something different with the rear of their bikes that most other companies aren't: size specific rear-center lengths that get longer or shorter depending on the frame size. The very large majority of frames utilize the same rear-center length regardless of frame size, meaning that a size small, with its much shorter front-center length, might use the same back end as its size large counterpart. Norco says, and we would have to agree with them, that this can have a very unbalancing effect on how the bike handles. Taking a look at the Range's geometry numbers reveals that the bike's rear-center length grows from 419mm to 436mm as it goes from extra-small to extra-large sizing, with our medium test bike using a 427mm length. While the change in rear-center lengths in Norco's Gravity Tune has often mistakenly been identified as being due to different chain stay units, it can actually be traced down to the bike's bottom bracket forging. ''The bottom bracket forging within the front triangle differs in that we move the bottom bracket forward and back in relation to the lower main pivot. This makes for a variable chain stay length without manufacturing five different chain stays,'' Norco's Dustan Sept explained to us.

Norco Range Killer B2
  The Range's A.R.T. suspension is a modified Horst Link that has been tuned to give a slightly more rearward axle path than some other designs.


A.R.T Suspension Explained

The 160mm travel Range utilizes a Horst Link suspension layout that Norco has dubbed 'A.R.T.', which is short for Advanced Ride Technology. While the same acronym is used on both their longer travel Aurum downhill race bike and the shorter legged Sight, Norco says that their A.R.T. design is more than a single suspension platform, A.R.T. is a system that we optimize for each intended use.'' According to Norco, that means an enhanced rearward axle path for the DH bike, while the pedalling efficiency of their more cross-country focused A.R.T. bikes has been optimized. The mid-travel Range sits between those two, with Norco tuning it to have a slightly more rearward axle path than what is found on many other Horst Link designs in an effort to have the bike carry momentum well on rough terrain. The bike's rearward axle path can also be used to tune in a certain amount of anti-squat by way of chain tension, something that Norco says they have used to improve the Range's climbing abilities.

A sturdy looking, one-piece welded rocker link is used to activate the shock. Both the main and the rocker link pivots utilize an interesting hardware arrangement that has been designed to take point loading off of the sealed bearings to increase pivot life. A split,
expanding collet is used up against each bearing's inner race, with the pivot axle then pushed through the collets (usually it would simply be the axle up against the bearings). As the pivot is tightened, the collets expand and exert even pressure on the inner bearing race. Contrast this to a standard pivot axle that must fit loose enough to be pushed through the bearings, which then allows it to rock ever so slightly and apply a concentrated load to one specific spot on the bearing.


Specifications
Release Date 2013
Price $3838
Travel 160
Rear Shock FOX Float CTD BV SV
Fork FOX 34 TALAS 650B CTD
Headset FSA
Cassette PG 1030 11-36 T cassette 10 speed
Crankarms Race Face Evolve crank 2x10 24/36
Chainguide Sram MRP 2X X-Guide
Rear Derailleur Sram X9 Type 2 10 speed
Chain Sram PC-1030
Front Derailleur Sram X7 10 speed
Shifter Pods Sram X7
Handlebar Norco alloy 25 mm rise bar x 740 mm width
Stem Norco trail / AM stem
Grips Ergon GA1 EVO
Brakes Avid Elixer 5
Hubs Formula
Spokes DT Swiss Champion
Rim Sun Inferno 27 650B
Tires Schwalbe Hans Dampf 650B x 2.35 folding
Seat Norco design FR / AM saddle
Seatpost Norco Lite 2014 alloy double bolt seatpost 30.9
Norco Range Killer B2



Riding the
Range


bigquotesThe bike's willingness to be placed on the trail wherever the rider deems fit is a huge boon to its abilities, and it really does punch above its weight in this regard.
Climbing/acceleration: Weighing in at over 30 pounds and sporting 160mm of travel, the black and blue Norco is never going to scamper up climbs like a lighter bike with less travel or larger diameter wheels but, keeping all things relative, the bike does well when it comes time to gain some elevation. This is especially true on technical terrain, be it loose or wet dirt, or a climb covered in a spiderweb of roots, with the grabby Hans Dampf tires seeming to get a handhold on everything. As with the very large majority of bikes in this travel bracket, the Range benefits from flipping the pedal-assist lever on its FOX Float CTD shock when the time comes to really put any power down, and this was especially true on steep climbs that necessitated dropping down into the smaller 24 tooth chain ring - the suspension tended to want to activate otherwise. Conversely, pedalling performance in the big ring was impressive, with little to no movement in a larger gear, a fact that should be noted by riders who plan to fit their Range with a single chain ring. Interestingly, we didn't make use of the FOX 34's TALAS dial as much as we first thought we would, with the Range moving surprisingly well on tight terrain with it at full extension, although running the fork's CTD dial in the 'Trail' setting added a lot of "get up and go" to the ride when it came time to dig deep.

Given that many of our rides begin with a solid 3,000ft climb as a minimum, we weren't anticipating too much excitement on our end about the Range. We were happily surprised to discover that Norco has created a mid-travel bike that, although far from being light, can more than hold its own on big days in the saddle that include some monster sized climbs. If possible, keep the chain on the large chain ring and chug your way up - you'll likely be as surprised as we were by how well the Range performs.

Norco Range Killer B2
  With grippy rubber and forgiving suspension, the Range is happy to be thrown into corners that you might not expect to ride out of.


Technical riding: Ask the Range to do something and it very likely will oblige, with an easy going personality that doesn't seem to require a certain riding technique to bring out its best qualities. Want to take that inside line and pop over that rock? Sure, why not? Ultra tight, uphill switchbacks that might make other 160mm travel bikes pause? There is a very good chance that the Range will tractor its way through without much fuss or fumbling. The bike's willingness to be placed on the trail wherever the rider deems fit is a huge boon to its abilities, and it really does punch above its weight in this regard. One of our main test loops features multiple heinously steep uphill pitches that force our pace to hover close to stalling speeds, all on lines that require pinpoint precision to be successful on, and the Range, with its 66.5° head angle, proved that a bike is more than its numbers would have you believe by making short work of it each and every time we came through. Colour us impressed.


Norco Range Killer B2
  The black and blue bike is full of beans, encouraging you to pop over even the smallest of hits. We wish all 160mm had as much life to them as the Range B-2 does.

Downhill: With 160mm of travel and relatively relaxed handling, it comes as no surprise that the Range likes to get after it as the terrain begins to tilt downwards. This is one of those bikes that, as far as geometry is concerned, simply offers that sensation of feeling at home on, even during the first proper ride. The front of the bike can be brought up at will, a great quality when it comes to adding some fun to the ride, and the 427mm chain stays make for a snappy rear end that can be whipped around as needed. All told, the Range rides like a lighter weight, 140mm travel bike in a lot of situations, which is a personality that many bikes strive for but few attain. While the bike's handling shines in many places, its 'Evolution' level FOX 34 TALAS CTD fork can feel overwhelmed on fast, successive impacts. This means that choosing to plow through any chunder can result in the fork seeming to lose its place in its travel, with an undamped feel to the stroke that highlights the performance differences between it and their higher-end FIT cartridge equipped FOX forks - the disclaimer being you'll likely be happy with the Range's 34 TALAS CTD fork if you haven't spend a lot of time on anything that uses a more sophisticated damper, and that given the bike's $3838 USD price tag, performance is well within expectations.

Riding the Range at the edge of our comfort zone was a pleasure, with the traction available in spades thanks to the grippy Hans Dampf tires and supple rear suspension. The pint sized FOX Float CTD shock, when set to full open, allowed the bike to track incredibly well. This was especially noticeable on small trail chatter that might be just enough to cause a loss of traction, or when the trail is slick after a rain fall, and there felt to be enough ramp-up to prevent any major bottoming moments when running 30% sag. It might be down to the Range's built-in liveliness, but we didn't often feel the need to firm up the shock via its CTD switch - the bike has plenty of life to it on the downhills without needing to take away from its excellent suspension abilities. A downhill bike it is not, but the 160mm travel Range is a potent machine in the right hands.

Norco Range Killer B2
  Lose the funky Ergon grips, keep the Race Face Evolve cranks and the always impressive Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires.

Component Report:

Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires: Good - the 650B 'Dampfs on our Range mean that we've now ridden them in every diameter that Schwalbe offers, with the mid-size offering up the same predictable traction when it comes to cornering, braking, and climbing. They might not roll as fast as a tire with a less aggressive tread pattern, but they stick to most trail surfaces like Velcro. Bad - three flats, all pinches, in the first five days on the bike, had us riding on our tiptoes. The "tubeless ready" Schwalbe tires come from Norco with tubes installed (the sealant would likely dry out while the bike sits in your local shop) but you'll be doing yourself a favor by converting them over before hitting the dirt.

Truvativ X-Guide: Good - we didn't suffer from any dropped chains during the test. Bad - the plastic shroud for the X-Guide's lower roller cracked from its attachment bolt outward, likely from us snugging it up a bit too tight. This is admittedly our mistake, and also the first time we've seen one break in this way, but it happened a bit too easy for our liking.

That missing dropper post: Good - the bike is less expensive than if it came stock with one. Bad - most riders will want to add one to the bike before it leaves the shop or soon after. Deciding on a bike's spec can't be an easy job, with a product manager having to juggle performance and consumer expectations with one hand tied behind their back when it comes to cost. Should a 160mm travel, $3838 USD bike come stock with a dropper post? We think so, even if it means a downgrade somewhere else on the bike or an increase in price. There is a good chance the eventual owner will pony up for one anyways.

Ergon GA1 EVO grips: Good - ummmm? Bad - While their odd shape turned out to actually be fine, their large outer locking collars were very noticeable as they made contact with the outer edge of our hands. We'd swap these out before leaving the shop.

Hardware issues: The bike's derailleur hanger comes in contact with the back of the SRAM X9 derailleur's knuckle, preventing it from rotating far enough rearward for the wheel to drop out easily once the axle has been removed. This is a strange detail, and the wheel requires a good push to remove it from the dropouts. The bike's ironically named '360 Lock' suspension hardware also began to make some very interesting noises after less than ten solid rides, requiring a quick bolt check to re-torque each one in order to quiet the Range.

Race Face Evolve crank: Good - they might not be as sexy as some other options out there, but the reasonably priced Evolve arms work well, with the fast-shifting Turbine rings helping their cause.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Range is an easy bike to get along with, one that all sorts of different types of riders will be able to enjoy. That, in our mind, is what a proper 160mm travel bike is all about - an aggressive rider will feel confident enough to not be held back, while a more timid rider will feel comfortable enough to push themselves to new heights. Norco's Range Killer B-2 manages to do just that by offering a forgiving ride, but without taking away that dynamic temperament that so often gets muted on bikes in the same category.- Mike Levy

www.norco.com

213 Comments

  • + 74
 a low cost bike reviewed? IT'S THY APOCALYPSE!
  • + 141
 Funny how $3800 is a "low cost" bike
  • - 21
 For a brand new bike, that is low cost. When I saw that price tag I thought "now only 10% of these guys won't cry about the price" seriously, how cheap of a bike do you want them to review?!?!?? The Zink "special edition" Walmart bike!
  • + 16
 I do agree, 3800 is a fair chunk of change to call it a lost cost bike. Funny thing is, I've ridden this and the one down, the B-3, and it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two when riding. This is by far the most fun bike I have ever ridden. However that dropper post would have come in real handy at times...
  • + 20
 Speak for yourself, for me that's a lot of money. Certainly not a "low cost" bike. Nearly 4 grand is a high end bike price.
  • - 7
 eh didn't check the price tbh, just saw that it was a norco and that it didn't have kashima and assumed it was a $2500 bike
  • + 6
 2399eur is about 3144 cdn plus shipping n taxs= same price. Some choice with the money in our world
  • - 19
 @tabletop84... We don't care about YT's cookie cutter we took the frame designs from Taiwan catalog CAD files and direct-market them. Stop shilling for them already. If they were "so good", they'd submit one of their direct market bikes to pinkbike for testing. Same with Motobecane in the USA.
  • + 20
 If you would be as informed as you pretend you would know that the YT-frames are designed inhouse by Stefan Willared. They got hundreds of positive reviews on their ass by almost every european magazine and website. Namely dh-bike of the year in 2012 by DIRT. I'm sure Yt would submit one of their bikes to pinkbike for testing. Maybe pinkbike has other prorities... The other frame I posted was designed as a community bike from scratch. Every input came from the community aswell with a demand for decent pricing and thoughful spec. Would be more interesting than pulling out the same review of the usual stuff from the usual manufacturers.
  • - 6
 Tabletop, when you do a volume order with a catalog factory, you get to "design" some variables such as geometry and tube profiles. Most companies do this at some level especially in the lower price range. Having owned a KHS 604 in the past, you can get a lot of bang from your buck. The larger companies still have their frames made in these factories, but the company designs all of the variables, and the factory makes the tooling to make the frame to the manufacturers spec. There is nothing wrong with YT, but they are the equivalent of KHS, with fewer models.
  • + 13
 Oh Jesus on Ice Skates...
Not this griping again.
You fuss and whine when they review a 10k bike and say that's too much, then they review THIS one, and it's only $3800, and you all S-T-I-L-L get your friggin' knickers in a twist!
If you can't afford to "swing a big stick" in the wallet department, get an education, get a better job, make more money, and QQ.
Otherwise, the whining's getting OLD, folks!
  • + 4
 Yeah but DIRT's like playboy... its a magazine few really read outside the segment of the sport they cater to, which is mainly DH/Freeride. You buy it for the photo spreads, not the actual articles.

Designed "in house" by one guy on a computer... versus as with Norco or Rocky Mountain designed in house by a bunch of guys, on computers and with actual prototypes they make themselves in-house, and then production is finally handled by overseas frame builders. They also have dealer networks and wide distribution channels all over the world. Few outside of Europe have heard of YT Industries, and if you break something more complicated than a derailleur hanger, you can't just stroll into a local shop for quick and easy service or spare parts sourcing. If I need pivots for a Norco, even a ten year old VPS, I can go into any bike store than deals them, or has an account with their parts distribution side, and order the pieces in a matter of days. I doubt YT will be around in ten years time, and thus the deep discount price of a new bike is justified.

There are people on mtbr and rbr who have for years organised "group" frame buys and gone factory direct with multiple design changes and arrived at something from scratch that had "community" input. Its nothing particularly special that YT has done. Its only idiots who don't know the bike industry very well like yourself who think that somehow their shit smells like roses all the time. Some buddies of mine started their own bike brand a few years ago called Steelwool (and they HAVE been reviewed by Dirt Rag) and they ordered several prototypes from a Taiwan factory, did some testing, had changes made, and then ordered a production run of frames. The unit cost, when you order a hundred framesets, for a nice quality chromoly touring/cross bike frameset (or mountain hardtail) is about $80USD each. These are things at the consumer retail level in independent dealers that sell for $600-800 range.
  • + 16
 deeight why don´t you shut for once up if you don´t know better...YT and Carver bikes are not designed by one man ordering it from Taiwan! Everybody else bitching about those factories have to consider that the US is not longer the center of the MTB galaxy....in Europe is where the cookie crumbles, period!
  • - 4
 No one is saying the factories are bad. Almost all of the bikes we ride are manufactured in those factories. The level of customization and design is proportional to the size of the company, and therefore the size of the order, to make it cost effective. As per deeeight's comments on cost, I fillet braze cromoly steel frames. My cost on a frame tubeset and all the odds and ends comes in between $150.00 and $200.00. Welding supplies, abrasives, and paint are another $100+. A nice set of adjustable dropouts can add $150.00 to the price. Its the scale of the operation that determines the price. Buying in volume, set jigs, repeating the same process over and over rather than one offs is where the money is saved.
  • + 7
 in all seriousness who in their right mind would opt for this.
www.evanscycles.com/products/norco/range-killer-b-2-2013-650b-mountain-bike-ec041226

over this

www.canyon.com/_en/mountainbikes/bike.html?b=3049 especially when you consider that once you add the essential dropper post to the norco they cost near enough the same??
  • + 29
 Oh dear god, the sheer amount of bullshit I just had to read.....

Lets set a few things straight:

YT Industries design their own frames. I OWN the 2013 TUES 2.0 ltd. World Cup edition and know it by first hand experience. There is nothing on the market that resemble that frame - unless you count the compatibility with standard components (seatposts, cranks, headsets, ie.) that EVERY manufacturer uses for their complete bikes.

YT's bikes have been reviewed plenty of times in EUROPEAN magazines. They don't sell to Canada nor America, so name just one good reason to spend time and money on having their bikes reviewed by the magazines, who primarily cater to customers in these regions?

Retail price for the BOS RaRe fork and shock plus the SRAM X0 derailleur is what I paid for THE COMPLETE BIKE. You have to be more than just lightly retarded not to recognize that as a bargain. What I think you Canadians and Americans forget is, that usually we in Europe have to pay a lot more for the bikes supposedly made by brands in your part of the world.
Take the DEMO 8 FSR II for example. In Denmark it retails for $7166 vs. the $3748 I paid for the much, much, much better equipped YT. There is just no getting around that at this point, medium sized companies like YT are giving the giants a serious f*ucking beating!

/rant over.
  • + 3
 For me, it's not the cost of THIS bike that's mistery. That fork alone sells for about 1000 $. And then there are desing pattents...
I'm thinking really, how many people actually spend more than 2K $ on a bike nowadays. There are a lot of options in that price range, why not pick such a model once in a while ?
  • + 8
 @Deeight&Willie:

You guys have no clue what you are talking about. What YT does is not differnent than Norco or any other company producing frames in taiwan/china. Just a simple google search or looking it up on their site would have told you that. The tues had a predecessor also developed inhouse and they used it as a basis for the new model. WITH PROTOTYPES being tested at Whistler, Pietermaritzburg and other races. Yes maybe Specialized and a few other companies may have bigger r&d budgets but what they do is basically the same: design inhouse and source out production to china. They only have a bigger margin and add one through the lbs.

KHS used a re-branded Astro-frame emerging in various incarnations from other companies and sold by astro direct in south-america: www.astroeng.com.tw/products_info.php?kind=1&series=6&id=38

That means Astro designed this frame, not KHS. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily but this guy developed the Yt frames in germany:

fstatic1.mtb-news.de/f/ii/o8/iio8to4me36o/large_YT_17.jpg?0
  • - 12
 Well as to "design patents". The horst-link patent only ever applied in the USA and its now expired anyway. Avoiding selling in a market where there's a patent infringement cuts out needing to license/pay royalties to use the patented design. Norco is a global brand, not just a Europe only brand, and its not very cost effective to have separate USA only and then rest-of-the-world model lines (because when the largest bicycle company in the world tried it, it flopped on them, so there's no way Norco could do it) so they had to license the patent and that reflected in their pricing. And as I already tried explaining, having a dealer network with the associated support that brings to the buyers, adds to the costs also. YT has no dealer network (nor does Motobecane nor Titus now for that matter) and it shows when you have to get support for the bikes, as well as in the price. Cutting out middle-min lets you cut prices. But you also cut service quality.

As to whining about prices... if you're going to keep comparing apples and oranges, please do so in a fruit stand, not here. Because 2400 euro is a deal for Europeans where the entire continent is rather small (face facts... the USA alone is bigger than all of western Europe combined in terms of physical size) so shipping a bike from Germany to the UK isn't anymore expensive than shipping from NYC to LA. But if you tried shipping one of those YT's to the USA... where the $3800USD price tag for the Norco is what you're comparing to, that 2400 euro bike price (which is about $3200USD) quickly becomes even money when there's an ocean involved.
  • - 12
 Yeah because KHS couldn't possibly design in-house, have someone else do mass production, and then that factory turns around and sells the resulting design to other brands, even under their own brand name, in other markets. Its totally just KHS picked something already existing out of the Astro's catalog. Uh huh. You really don't have a clue do you. Just another troll. A picture of a guy at a computer holding half a frame proves that YT really does it all in house... uh huh. Gullible aren't you ?

Once R&D is done, and tooling is paid for, unless a brand has some sort of exclusivity agreement with a factory that the tooling won't be used to product copies for any other brands... there's nothing to stop the factories from re-selling it onwards themselves later, and many factories do just that. Hell even Fox suspension does that. They develop something "unique" for one brand, and there's a couple year exclusive deal with that company that guarantees the features won't show up on other brand bikes, but when the agreement ends, you see the stuff elsewhere.
  • + 6
 the needing dealers for parts thing is a bit of a red herring, apart from the mech hanger on my canyon all the other service items are standard bearings that can be bought anywhere.
unlike by blur ltc which cost me £120 for a "pro pack" because 1 pivot axle seized and stripped.
  • + 0
 But Santa Cruz have a lifetime warranty on their bearings for consumers in the US and Canada. All you have to do is send it in and they send it back. Unfortunately you're not in the States.....Still wouldn't hurt to contact them and ask if their UK dealers do the same.
  • + 6
 threads like these make me realize how rampant idiocy is on this forum
  • - 15
 Well "standard" bearings is something you can get away with when you copy others and don't really innovate anything new. Also again, apples and oranges on the comparisons.... a 26er canyon versus a 650B Norco.

As to why they picked a $3800USD bike... they didn't. Well other than which bike that was given to them for free to assign to testing by this guy next... that's the only "picking" that went on. Pinkbike doesn't own what they review. They're given it. When the test is over, they give it back.
  • + 6
 what exactly is "new" about that norco other than wheels with 11mm more radius to them?
@jhou, i did and they don't, the UK importers wouldn't even sell me the 1 pivot axle i needed they insisted i had to buy the full pack.
  • + 9
 @deeight

Well the KHS/Astro-frame got sold from various other companies for years now and the carbon sucessor which is available on the astro-site already while not one of the YT-frames got sold under another label. So much for your theories.

Why shouldn't Yt develop their frame inhouse but claim it on their site and various other ocassions and get a Reddot-design award for the Tues?

Because they sell affordable bikes?

You just seem to have no clue of the german direct-sales bike-market. Why would canyon buy a CT scanner if they just bought their frames in taiwan?
  • - 15
 I've got more clues, about the bike world, and how the manufacturers operate, than you'll ever have. But you keep on spewing about how great YT is...it just keeps proving you're a total troll.
  • + 15
 I've heard nothing but good things about YT. I love it when people claim to be undercover bike gurus, saying things like "I've got more clues, about the bike world, and how the manufacturers operate, than you'll ever have" like they actually know how much the other person knows. Justifying your argument with a statement like that is just a sign of insecurity. If your argument doesn't demonstrate that for you it's not a very good argument.
  • + 16
 deeeight stfu mate. You are the troll, the way you're going around on here "spewing" your opinions like a condescending a**hole.
  • + 7
 YT and Canyon are growing every year. other brands will need to start doing same eventually in 5-10 years time.
  • + 7
 I CAN'T HEAR YOUR WISDOM OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME YT IS
  • + 6
 "Well "standard" bearings is something you can get away with when you copy others and don't really innovate anything new. Also again, apples and oranges on the comparisons.... a 26er canyon versus a 650B Norco."

Lolwhut. Bearings are bearings. Who the hell designs a bike around proprietary bearings when you can buy a bunch of 8x20x10 off the shelf or whatever size you need.
  • + 3
 I have just brought a YT for a mate while he is away, I have GT fury, and i have to say for the money it's an outstanding bike and well worth the money best DH bike I have ridden for jumping on yes it won't beat my GT on a DH twisty track but give it a fast jumping track i'd put money on the YT. the build quality and parts you get is outstanding. so please deeeight shut up.
  • + 3
 Holy balls. Go ride a bike and stop bitching.
  • + 5
 Speaking as a reviewer for mostly Noram audiences but having had some travel time in Europe the YT, Canyon, Ghost, Litevilles look super nice. They'd be interesting to review. I like the global feedback of Pinkbike and hearing about products from other parts of the world. Going to try out the Ghost Cagua this year.
  • + 5
 YT's ARE AWESOME
  • + 0
 I'm F&^%ing tired of all this bitching about price. Price is only one factor when purchasing a bike. When your 15 years old and earning $5 an hour it's a bigger factor then when your 30 and have a stable career. Get over yourself, it's not all about you.

Racers are happy to pay big money for every tiny performance advantage, and because of them a fifteen year old student can buy almost the same frame with quality Deore or Zee components for a great price. We have NEVER had it better than this, yet everyone complains.

P.S. IF YOU WANT A YT GO BUY ONE! This is a review of a Norco. In Australia they won't even send me a YT, let alone a derailer hanger when mine breaks.
  • + 1
 I just got a like-new 2012 Norco Range 1... MINT condition and very high end build. Paid $2800 plus shipping.
LOW COST MY A$$ (not literally ha)!!
  • - 6
 Those YTs look like a trek session
  • + 1
 I mean, c'mon, its relatively low cost. I would buy it for sure, had I money.
  • + 2
 Tugboat...you look like deeight Smile
  • + 2
 These comments don't deserve a response. Ignorance is bliss.
  • + 1
 $3800 is the price of a car. So yes, it is low cost. But it is also about one third the price of the Bronson reviewed last week.
  • + 2
 3800 is the price of a foes frame, 3800 is also the price for an apartment a MONTH downtown Toronto.
[Reply]
  • + 24
 I am going to give props to Norco for giving Pinkbike a real bike to test. The price of this bike is right in the middle, right where it should be.

The weight with the dropper is going to be around 32lbs. And this is where the 650B is going to have its biggest challenge: extra weight.

I think that Norco chose wisely in designing this bike to be easy to ride, sturdy and priced very competitively( I believe there is a less expensive model than the one tested here.)

When can we see an all-mountain all-wheel size shoot out?
  • - 1
 33lbs actually with pedals.... . thats a lot for medium frame...
  • + 2
 I think its pretty silly now that 33lbs is considered a lot for a 160mm full sus. bike... I remember about 4 years ago when I thought my hardtail was okay at 32ish lbs! I do like the look of this though!
  • + 3
 True that, my first attempt at an all mountain build came in at... 42Lbs with a air fork and shock. single ply tires, too. We've come a long way since 2006-07, though.
  • + 1
 my hardtale with 80mm forks is 31 pounds. Its the 2010 Cannondale equivalent of a hardrock.
  • + 2
 Even in 26", sub 30lbs 160mm bikes are at the top end on the price range. Heavier wheels, heavier forks, and frames tend to be 1lbs heavier than 140 or 150mm bikes, which tend to use lighter components. There is a lot more variance in 150mm bikes, which try to split the difference between the 140mm (now considered trail) and 160mm (now considered AM.) My Mojo SL had a 3lbs pound difference between the AM and trail builds I tried. As groghunter said, I had a 6" bike in 2007, and it was 42lbs. My 9" travel DH from 2009/10 is 39.5lbs. We've come a long way. I have found 650b to add less than 1lbs to a build, using comparable components.
  • + 1
 had a b1 woodbumble plus at one point, I was too scared to put it on a scale
  • + 1
 I bet the scales were scared of the bike too!
[Reply]
  • + 12
 I really like seeing some of these middle-of-the-line components on a high-end bike. Derailleurs, chains and cassettes are being replaced so frequently due to wear that I find it quite smart to drop the msrp in this manner, it makes it easier for newcomers to invest in great bikes and replace wear-and-tear parts as they go. Nevertheless I too would've liked to see a dropper post for this one.
  • + 1
 The b3 is cheaper still, at almost the price of a frame alone. I'd love it. I am the kind of guy who isn't happy if there isn't a performance enhancing upgrade to do. Pretty much finishing my rig's reasonable upgrades this year with a new wheelset and already planning to get one of these in the spring.
  • + 2
 I bought the B3 for that reason. I figure I can rip an x5 derailleur off on a rock as easily as I can an X9. I had to do some upgrades out of the box (shimano brakes and a dropper post) and I took the granny ring off pdq. Awesome bike, at a very competitive price.
I don't know how PB gave those tires a good review though... like riding on ball bearings in my opinion.
  • + 1
 decent in tacky but I find the 26" ones have terrible traction in the dry, that was trailstar compound though
  • + 1
 The Pacestar Hans Dampfs have pretty soft sideknobs too and aren't terribly good in the dry sandy trails too fwiw
[Reply]
  • + 9
 about that x-guide. I have the same problem. It cracks so easy and in the same place. Sure the spare isn't that pricey, but....
  • + 2
 same problem here :/ Fixed it by replacing the plastic with a self-made sheet of metal of the same shape.
  • + 1
 same here on a giant reignX0, the spare part I got was a bit different, has another small bolt on the rod that prevents rotation of the lower chainguide, needed some grinding to fit properly and was about 40 €, by now seems to work well for more then 10 rides
  • - 9
 Another bike I will never purchase. Looks pretty good for a Norco but with 26" wheels this would be sold. 31+ lbs is too much, maybe too many gadgets, cables, shifters, you guys live to over do it. Put this platform on 26ers with 1x9 plus chainguide at 28lbs and I buying it, oh wait I already have that.
  • + 2
 It cracked b/c it's made by MRP...and MRP guides are shite.

I've had the same experience w/ every MRP guide I've ever tried and the article said it best, "This is admittedly our mistake...but it happened a bit too easy for our liking."
  • + 3
 Sorry, but MRP's are known for cracking. I had one and had the same issue as this. They're quickly becoming the CB of chain guides....

www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Chainguides,18/MRP/G3,12146#product-reviews/1193
  • + 3
 You need the real mrp with orange rollers and dual bash plates. No cracking that badboy.
  • + 1
 I just read the B3 article on mtbr as well and I have to say I would go for that better than this one. For the same reasons as mentioned above, it's such a bargain.
  • + 2
 +1 for cracking the plastic on my Truvativ branded MRP chain guide. Both top and bottom guides have cracked. Happily I've found an E13 top guide to retro fit and it's just a world tougher. Just hoping the lower pulley block holds out...
  • + 1
 e13 is best. very solid,
  • + 1
 Regarding MRP 2X guides, if you RTFM the torque setting for the lower case bolt is really low, between 1.2 and 1.35 Nm. Mine also cracked, but like the reviewer said, it was probably my fault, but you know what? MRP tech support was awesome, they sent out a replacement to Australia no questions asked, and I didn't over-tighten the next one and it's been rock solid ever since.

The Norco looks nice, but for value for money Giant Reign 1 wins hands down, I paid over a grand less for similar suspension, with SLX brakes, cranks and drivetrain, and it comes with a dropper, and although I had some initial problems with the dropper with cable rub on the upper link, a little re-routing and warrantied the cable, and it's sorted now.
  • + 1
 yes, I RTFM, but it's broken again. Anyway, I've contacted MRP with that, and as you said, they will send me new improved piece in the next week. I'm glad they are taking such care about customers.
  • + 1
 Ya I second that comment about the Giant Reign destroying this and most bikees out today. E13 on a Reign and fugettaboutit pedal to the moon Alice. On a side note I think its pretty funny the whole claim to these 27.5 wheels is they give you better ground clearance and roll faster. My fsr from 2009 has better ground clearance on 26s than this Norco. About which wheel rolls faster on a flat surface, let the scientists worry about that. I rolling pretty fuggin fast on my jacked up cclearance fsr with 26s so hold that Narco.
  • + 1
 fu**ed up the next mrp 2x lower chainguide, that plastic thing is cheap crap, built my own one from aluminum, will see how it works
[Reply]
  • + 5
 i feel like the "debate among riders about 650B" is not so much anymore. we know it is here, we know its going to stay, we know the benefits. all the "debate" is now just becoming a marketing gimmick to create more buzz about it
  • + 1
 I'm totally confused on all these p5 reviews... all the negatives and positives of 29 and 26 are getting jumbled together. I thought 26 climbed the best and 29 held momentum better? Now 29ers aren't fun but just XC machines and 26ers no longer go fast, fly through the air, rip up berms, etc. Now weight is no longer an issue? 33 lbs bikes are no longer made fun of? I agree, the debate is essentially over. Just buy what you wanna ride. The p5, to me, is somewhere in the middle of them both--which sounds silly.
  • + 8
 Actually, we don't all know what the "benefits" are. Up until very recently, every article (go through the archives) had the testers admitting that they couldn't feel much of a "benefit". Suddenly though, the benefits are undeniable. Having ridden 26 and 650b bikes from the same manufacturer back to back, it felt like I was riding the same exact bike each time. I understand that in the future I may not have a choice, but lets not pretend its because 650b is so superior.
  • - 1
 Its probably because most people , even magazine reviewers, go into tests with pre-conceived notions about how something is supposed to perform, and then that comes out in the reviews. But if you took novice riders who barely have any skillsets for off-road riding, and put them on as identically priced/equipped bikes as possible in different wheel sizes (as say, MBA has tried doing when testing Fisher 26er and 29ers together, or KHS 26er, 650B and 29er models together but again with the problem of using skilled/experienced riders) you'd probably get much more distinctive reviews.

This is purely anecdotal but... my previous girlfriend had NO off-road experience to speak of. I built her essentially a 28er using an early 90s specialized crossroads hybrid (back then, hybrids were actually flat bar 700C monster crossover bikes not the upright riding road-like commuter bikes they are today) with merely an update to the tires really, using Bontrager Jones XR 29 x 1.8 (that's the label size) which inflated were really about 28.3" diameter.

forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-classic/29er-1991-way-396091.html

That's the resulting bike, and she basically has convinced herself after spending a lot of time on that, versus a few rides on some suspension fork equipped 26ers, that suspension is useless and that she's faster on her bike than she would be on anything with smaller wheels, over roots and small rocks and bumps. My current girlfriend has a 26er and a 29er hardtail, and spends pretty much all her time on the 29er when offroad now. But has also said IF she gets another bike, she'd like to try a 650B as a full suspension, since she hasn't ridden a full suspension yet off-road on any actual trail rides.
  • + 2
 A real objective review would be blinded. De-badged bikes from the same manufacturer, not reviewed by magazine reviewers, but rather by actual customers, compiling the results. The magazine reviews coming out now don't match-up with earlier reviews, and don't match-up with feedback from people who've had experience with both 26 and 650b. Magazine reviews are entertaining, but are biased to ultimately not piss off your advertisers. Can't imagine it would go over well with Santa Cruz to say that the amazing new Bronson feels like a slightly slacker Blur LT.
  • - 2
 Well for me, the proof for bigger wheels (650B or 29er) was on my home loop of forest trails not 300 meters from my door. It goes thru land that several decades ago was a farm, and part of one trail cuts over an old stone fenceline. Its typical of centuries old homesteads where in some places, the "fences" were nothing more than piles of stones maybe six inches to a foot high above ground level marking off the back side limits of the property boundaries. Now there's a hiking trail crossing in between a hedgerow growing over this fenceline. The stone spacing is perfectly suited to stop a 26" wheel, regardless of suspension travel because your tire drops right into the space between the rounded rocks, plus there's a blind turn right at the same spot with a small ditch on one side. Going east to west, you go into the ditch and hit the stones while having to execute a 50 degree right turn RIGHT after you cross. Going the other way, its a 50 left turn onto the stones followed by a blind drop into the ditch.

I've been riding the trail for 17 years and I almost never get over that section without having to stop and dab my feet on 26ers, but on 29ers I sail over it with little effort involved other than making sure I execute the turn, otherwise its riding over thorn bushes as a risk, and tubeless sealant or not, I prefer NOT to put holes in my tire casings. With 650Bs I still clear it, though perhaps not as smoothly as on the 29er, but I don't have to concentrate as much on the turn part either.
  • + 1
 Your example is good only for unskilled riders, and is very 1-dimesional. I also find it pretty hard to believe that you went from no-dab to dab based on a 1/2 inch change in radius. Where I ride the rocks are big enough to stop any wheel, and its up to YOU to get over and through the rocks and spaces. On these type of bikes, its all about how you unitlize them as the means to conquer the technicalities. Someone also convince me that something like the Bronson isn't incrementally "better" than a Blur LT because of the extra travel and slackened angles.
  • + 3
 the bronson was probably simply the blur LT3 until they put some 27" wheels and forks on it, its common knowledge that blurs take 27" wheels without much fuss.
  • + 1
 Your example (both actually) was waaaaay to wordy. I got lost. Just like I do in all these silly reviews.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I gotta be honest, I´ve had comments of mine removed from the pinkbike posts for lesser comments than many of the ignorant and aggressive comments of a user such as - deeeight - and yet here he is attacking a german brand he doesnt even know. Well let me tell you something, YT Industries, Canyon and Cube are all high quality brands with high quality products and well lets face it... GERMAN engineering (nothing against north american engineering). The fact that you dont know sh*t about the german culture of work and craftmanship, doesnt qualify you precisely as an expert to keep attacking a brand. Ride a YT bike then we can discuss about it in precise terms.

I ´ve had the opportunity of riding bikes of all 3 brands, and even "low cost" Carver, and they are all superb quality bikes. These 3 bayerische brands, are doing things differently than the standard industry and I find it awesome, I like their bikes a lot. I like them so much I am getting my hardtail, and road & tri bike from Cube, while I have been toying with the idea of a Canyon Strive or YT Wicked to replace my trusty Giant Reign (which I still find an awesome bike), and the YT Tues is definitely in my list for new DH bikes, although there are so many DH bikes I like out there (including the Aurum), I am messed up, =P

As for the Norco, well it´s a Norco! Great bikes no doubt about it and they finally upped their games with good looking, fun bikes! Thumbs up Norco, the Sight is in my new bike radar!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I get home, turn on my computer, light a cigar (guess I say this is uncensored over here), enter my all time favorite website and............. JODER!!! another 27.5 bike review. For goodness sake!!!!! For several months, after bearing all that crap about the MASSIVE benefits that those big wheels (29) gave us, NOW we, the UNBELIEVERS, are again invited to follow the new messiah named 650B. Well, that's not gonna happen coz i'm happy with my family, my home, my job (sometimes) and WITH MY TWO 26 BIKES
  • + 0
 So don't buy one. I run a SRAM drivetrain, doesn't mean I bitch every time I see Shimano kit reviewed. Just like I don't bitch when I see a Fox fork reviewed, or a Specialized bike.
  • + 4
 im with my spanish friend - Im worried that 26 inch is hurtling towards obselescence. Not for a while admittedly. Im now deeply cynical of the MTB industry and am p*ssed that I may be shunted towards a 650bwhatever in the future just cos - im writing this with my cynical hat on - the industry has decided there's more money to be had out of gullible fools. Obviously £5000 complete builds aren't enough of a money spinner. It STINKS I TELL YA!!
  • + 3
 Yeah, the fist goal of these guys is to make money. the second and third goals are the same thing. and it seems logical to me but.... then they say "our customers are the most important". if so, why do you manufacture only four different frame sizes? just as though there were only four types of human beings living in the earth, namely: S, M, L and XL. And i'm not saying that frames were custom made for each person, but at least they should double the number of sizes offering to their dear customers. They will not this because margins would be squeezed. and of course, they will manufacture 27 and 29 bikes because income rises, not because riders desperately need these new wheels.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Personally, I am hoping that these wheel sizes will eventually be used to match the correct wheel size to the size of the frame: I think extra small, and small bikes should never have 29" wheels. Extra Large bikes can have 29" wheels (maybe medium's and large's also for pure XC). 650B seems suitable for Medium and Large frames in all disciples. Obviously there will always be exceptions depending on the intended purpose of the bike. I can only dream.
  • + 2
 Absolutely this. XL and XXL bikes with 26" wheels handle like dog crap. I know, I've had three.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I have 2 months on my Range 2. I swapped out the Elixer 5s for some 9s. I took off the ergon grips and put on ODIs. I put a Chromag FU 40 bar on, and the Reverb from my old bike. My Truvativ X guide cracked in a similiar way on the first day. My mechanic pieced it back together and its been working fine ever since. I guess I'm not as sensitive as many Range reviewers as I have no issues climbing in the small ring when it gets steep; I only notice bob if I'm looking at the shock. I really like how stiff the frame is and how the bike powers forward. Descending is a blast, maybe because of the axle path, or the wheel size or the Hans Dampfs or the combination of all three. I wouldn't give this bike high marks for value as I think you can get better spec at this price, but I do give it high marks for performance and for the smile it puts on my face every ride.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "The black and blue bike is full of beans, encouraging you to pop over even the smallest of hits. We wish all 160mm had as much life to them as the Range B-2 does."
As an owner of this bike (but with a custom build), I can confirm that this statement is very true! It is the liveliest bike I've ever ridden by a long shot. I go downhilling with it and it handles everything just fine. The next day, I'll go cross country riding while still having a blast. I'll be impressed when the day comes that I ride a funner and livelier bike that is just as versatile.
It is fairly expensive compared to some other offerings on the market, but the smile that it'll put on your face is priceless.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What is up with the paint/anodizing/powder coating on newer bikes? Giant is notorious for doing this, but it seems a lot of bike companies are starting to do the same thing. If you're paying thousands, you would think they add more layers of paint or a proper clear coat to help protect your investment.
  • + 1
 huh? anodized finishes are super durable... and lighter. And as far as the price debate goes, I call shenanigans on this being a "low cost" bike. Within the realm of decent bikes I consider the cut off for "low cost" to be either $2,500 or $2,000 depending on the type of bike.
  • + 1
 Look at the non-drive chainstays in the pictures. My SB-95 is pretty much the same. I put on a two layers of Krylon on my stays and it's more durable than the paint that came in from the factory.
  • + 1
 @Jhou: That's a really good idea using Krylon n the Stays... I can imagine that keeps them as durable as anything without the possibility of contaminents getting under the protector. Good call.

@IronCross: I agree with you 100% about calling this bike "budget"...Not only that, if I was paying retail I'd WAY rather not have to deal with the garbage that is the Fox 34. The Range 3 is the hidden Gem of the Range line IMO as it's less then most "premium" companies frame only options (and Norco's got a better frame/suspension then 99.9% of the companies out there) as a complete. I spent the weekend ripping a Range 3 up and down the Glade Trail on Mt. hood (several miles of NW DH/FR tral with some brutal climbs in the middle of it all) and after the dust had settled, I'd blown the doors off of guys on significantly more expensive "premium" frames. The only thing that could hold a candle to the Range was a Specialized Enduro. I can say with a LOT of confidence (I've been Demoing bikes for the last year looking for "the" frame for me) that the Norco and the Seciaized should be at the top of anyone's list who's looking for a bike that can be pedaled to the top in search of the perfect descent. Other bikes pedal UP slightly better, but nothing I've ridden (SB66, Trek Slash and Trans. Covert to name a few) does the down nearly as well. I loved the Transition Covert (makes sense as it's another "NW Style" bike), but the Range was hands down the better descender and easily it's equal on the ups.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Amazing bike... IMO Horst Links, for all the fancy suspension linkages out there, is still THE best suspension system for a pedal bike The Norco Killer B, in the right hands, is quite possibly one of THE fastest AM bikes on the market and it can handle burlier terrain then most as well. As a long time Norco supporter, I was SO glad to see them leap back to the top of the heap with their line re-design a few years ago. Between the Range KB and the Aurum, Norco has to of the best, most ripping (and flat out gorgeous) bikes in their respective categories. They may not have the "fan-boy" cachet' that some companies have but they make better bikes then 99% of those "premium" frame builders. Keep it up Norco, you guys are the benchmark for quality and performance right now.
  • + 1
 Only thing I wish they'd do is make an option to get a 36 or a TOTL Vengeance (or the like) on the Range as a complete. As it is, your best bet (for cost) is to buy the Range 3 (still less then most "top" companies frame only options) and replace what you think needs replacing. You'll still end up paying less then you would building one of the more "prestigious" companies bikes from the ground up and you'll end up with as good an AM bike as you can build today. Amazing value + tremendous performance and build quality are just SOME of the reasons that Norco is the hidden gem of the Mtn. bike world IMO... Norco needs to get one of the "big guns" on both their DH and Enduro teams cause if they did they'd be near impossible to beat the bikes are so well designed/built.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nice review. i love my killer b3. Fited a dropper straight off the bat, then binned the elixirs for some formmula rx's. it ain't quick to the top, but by god it rips the decents.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 27.5 are heavy bikes. this norco would weight 33 lbs with pedals and reverb seatpost and thats medium size!
my canyon strive size Large weight 31.2 with reverb and pedals + is a lot cheaper..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fantastic looking bike but if i was in the market for an alloy 160 Enduro bike at that price i'd forgo 650B wheels for a Canyon Strive with full XX1 and a dropper and still save £500. If its good enough for Barel...
  • + 1
 ....It's probably good enough for anybody... Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why does the Norco website give the same description of the fork on the B-2 as on the B-1? It's pretty annoying to find out that's it's not as good after having ordered the bike.
  • + 1
 Nevermind what I said, I didn't know O/C means evolution
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If they really wanted the frames to be size-specific how about a steeper seat angle and longer head tube for the XL size? Otherwise the bike looks pretty wicked, especially if you're a M or L.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Dear Fox/Norco.

Another bike where TALAS and CTD are not needed. A FIT 34 Float would do better on this bike...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Giant reign 2 , low cost, big funnnn
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It looks like a 2013 Reign 1 :-) Great sounding bike but not too common on these shores...
  • + 4
 Similarly swoopy perhaps, but completely different suspension design. You could almost say it looks like any modern bike frame if you are just going by how swoopy it is. A few less comments about how much bikes look like each other would be nice.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 3900 $ they are out of space, production managers looking for rich idiots not for real bikers
[Reply]
  • - 1
 The ART horst-link position brings back memories of Giant's NRS design and works almost the same way, except thankfully they didn't copy the "no sag" part of that design also. The "degree of anti-squat" stuff has to do with the chaint path lining up with an ICT point around the front wheel, which is further forwards than pretty much most all other bikes other than Ellsworth's (which have ICT points several feet ahead of the front wheel).
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I love this bike! Now that I'm done with school, I need to hurry up and get that jizzob so I can buy this thing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 is that frame paint or powder coated ?? not a fan of how low mileage the bike looks yet the finish on the chain stays is already thru the paint/powder-coat
[Reply]
  • + 2
 HAHA!!! Loving Mike's goober faces when he is in the air. Stick out that top lip for more gnar!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The price bothers me! something is not right...!

The new Santa Cruz Heckler 650B for 2600$ is keeping it closer to honestly!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Buying the cheapest model next year I hope. I'll be making a trip to the great white north to get it though. I'll have to use it while there to avoid a duty of course Big Grin
  • + 1
 I was talking with a bike rep this weekend (Trek) about cross border shopping (buying in the US as a Canadian). Seems warranties don't transfer - for Trek at least. May be worth asking before taking the plunge and not having a warranty!
  • + 1
 I can't get a Norco in NY otherwise. I'll ask all the same. Thanks for the heads up.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 -.- why must you be so sexy.... would even give up my trek for that!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It is going to be such a hard choice between this and the Sight Killer-B!
  • + 1
 Amen to that!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Not available in Oz? That sucks!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That's it... I'm buying the even more low cost Range B-3... Should make a rockin enduro race bike after a few upgrades...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like this bike seems very sturdy get one xD
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Hmmm seems like a well composed bike, nice component choice and geo looks good. Looks are not that bad for Norco standards either.

BTW: whatever happened to 29ers?
  • + 4
 taco'd the wheel
  • + 1
 actually, jesus is in marin on a klunker and happy. so he says..
  • + 0
 650B is eclipsing 29" now and it makes perfect sense to me. I think 650B trail bikes are the future, and all of the recent Pinkbike 650B reviews seem to confirm this.
  • - 2
 You can't just go on "recent reviews". I have to say this practically every week now but MAGAZINES TEST WHAT MANUFACTURERS PROVIDE THEM FOR FREE, TO TEST. They don't go out and buy stuff themselves out of pocket. They rely on brands to submit things. If 90% of the brands only choose to submit 650B related products, then that's what 90% of the reviews will end up being about. If you want to read other wheel size related reviews, convince the brands to submit that stuff for testing. If anything is going to displace to 650B first, its going to be 26er models in company lineups. Things that were going to go to 29ers and replace 26ers will instead go to 650B, but will still replace 29ers.

The Norco Sight and Range models replaced 26er options last year with 650B this year, and next year they're adding Fluid series models as well with less travel (and less price). Rocky Mountain scratched off the 26er and 29er versions of the Altitude to go JUST to 650B with the model, but at the same time they brought in the longer-travel Instinct series for 29ers (which is also a new for 2013 design). It will be interesting to see if next year they eliminate the 26er Elements, or change the model names around so that Elements are one wheel size only and they bring in another classic model name for the other wheel size.
  • + 1
 What I meant was not specifically the number of Pinkbike reviews, but more the fact that most 650B reviews have been positive. The 650B reviews I have read seem to all have the same theme. These bikes are a happy medium between the other 2 wheel sizes, offering the benefits of both without the drawbacks of 29" wheels.
  • + 3
 Had to remove some comments here guys. We don't delete comments often, but they were way off topic and likely offensive to some people. Let's talk bikes!
  • + 1
 That's fine, but I don't even know what I said. Seems like a decent sort of conversation above.
  • + 0
 sorryyyyy... I've been derailed
  • + 1
 My bike is bi. It takes 26" and 27.5". It's also black.

I don't want to hear no disrespect
  • + 1
 i want a tri-bike - blk mrkt roam takes 3 the easy way...murdered out. no one can argue the physics but you can argue that money decides when physics is correct! haha
  • + 1
 Why not just enjoy riding your bike and letting others enjoy riding there bikes?
Lets get along.
  • + 1
 oh right! I remember what this thread was about. Good work moderator!
  • + 1
 Would like to see a comparison between the Norco Sight 650b (trail), Rocky Mountain Altitude 650b (trail/AM) and the Norco Range 650b (AM) as they have all been built in the same town, how do they handle the same trails from Whistler to Chilliwack.
  • + 2
 Comparing the sight to the range would be unfair. One bike is meant to climb well and descend alright and the other is meant to climb alright and descend well. The altitude vs the sight would be cool since both are supposed to all-round it better. You still would have to compare them with similar spec since we aren't asking which has better shocks or shifters. Now that I said all that I would kind of like to see the range v sight test since I secretly wonder if, even though I am drawn to the range, I shouldn't just get a sight since most of my local stuff is climb and descend with some flat in the middle. Ah crap. I want it all!
  • + 1
 Your gut instinct is right. The Sight and Range are quite different. Altitude vs Sight is much better comparison
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks great! But needs a dropper post at the price it is IMO.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 how is it the Range frame with shock and dropper post, cost $180 less than the complete B3.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 nearly to 4000$ for an entry level bike? it's a good looking bike but for that money I'm sure you can find more interesting bike...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What's with all the high-end 650-b bike reviews recently?
  • + 3
 It's the first time most companies have made a 650b bike, so they're trying to get them reviewed as fast as possible so that they get the mindshare.
  • + 0
 Almost nobody is making 26" bikes in this category anymore. That's why.
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 You can get the Santa Cruz Bronson with basically the same build for $500 less. And it has a better suspension platform.
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 Norco's advertised pricing is really weird this year. It seems like the markups are not consistent between models. Check with a dealer to find out what price you would actually pay for this bike.
  • + 2
 I bought a Bronson last week. The size large felt a little cramped in the cockpit (I'm over 6 foot). Added a longer stem (90mm), bash guard, and dropper post. After 10 years of hardtail, it's a little weird. But a good weird! Loving the bike so far.
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 The asymmetric rear suspension setup seems interesting.
  • + 3
 Lots of bikes use such design. You need to drop the CS for the chain, and looking from the top, you need to make place for the chainring (Ibis Mojo is a huge weirdo in that department". But from non-drive side, you can just draw it straight, if you don't want to waste material and waste time shaping the tube. Unless you are after a certain look, it's a very convenient thing to do.
  • + 1
 Thanks, Waki. I learned something.
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 Yeah, a lot of bikes do that, devinci, trek etc etc. The new yeti SB66(i think? or one of their other models) has a similar rear triangle to the mojo as well where it's missing a strut (or whatever it's called) on the driveside, just to give room for the drivetrain.
  • + 0
 another future benefit of internal gear boxes, clean symmetrical rear ends with lower unsprung mass at the axle, why aren't they here damn it!?
  • + 2
 I will soon start working on a concept gearbox bike. People need to see it in a nice package, visualize how great mountain bikes can be in 5 or 10 years, something to look up to. I like derailleurs, but it's always great to have an alternative.
  • + 2
 Don't you guys read PB? The gearbox bike is dead (probably)!

Anyway that asymetry may well also go as bikes progressively get designed for a single chain ring up front and accomodation for the front derailleur is no longer a concern.
  • + 1
 Waki has got some serious design talent, I'll take a ti hardtail with a gearbox , i'd like 420 chainstays and 68 HA please when you get around to it..........
  • + 1
 Titanium is old news...
  • + 1
 Justinsync - why would you want a 420 chain stay? The only reason they are so long on most bikes is due to the fact that drawing the tubing all the way to the BB shell is cheap and easy to do. Then thay want to accomodate big rings for racing and touring. As far as fun bikes go, in my opinion, chainstays should be as short as possible, with 2.5" tyre and 36t chainring clearance. There are no trade offs unless you are a die-hard climbing fetishist. But that's also BS because these days many want a slack head angle, and that compromises climbing mich more than if you had a 375 chainstay. Short CS makes it easier to jump, pump, manual and take tight corners. My bike with 405 climbs steep technical stuff with no wheelie-ing, and is super stable on downhills thanks to long reach and slightly slackish HA. But I'd love to have even shorter CS. A stiff and robust titanium HT is a dream of mine. I'd love something of proportions of Commencal 4X Ti rather than skinny Cotic. Moots uses really nice tubing as well.

And the gearbox bike will be only a virtual one Wink
  • + 1
 Just my opinion Waki , i like to have balance between chainstay length and head angle, super short stays are great but only if the rest of the bike is well thought out.........
  • + 1
 I understand that it is your opinion. What I treid to say was, that most people don't get the chance to ride a bike with such short CS, and the reason for no such bikes is not because such geometry doesn't work on a trail bike, but because it is hard to do make such thing structuraly. In my opinion there are no draw backs due to that and no "geometry balance" issues. Thanks to Spec releasing Enduro 29 some companies will start doing it and people will get a chance to try it. To me the short chainstay is as overlooked as slack head angles were in the past. They were always there at hand to make, people just suddenly needed someone to introduce such bike. Sam Hill rode one and people suddenly woke up and realized: hey! those bikes are way more fun to ride! And there was huge scepticism whereas head tubes are going to snap. I was told that I will be wheeling on uphills, how about no. People overestimate angles and dimensions, I am either very lucky to get the frame dialed or the art of keeping the holy balance of the geometry is more marketing than truth. An angle or a degree plays a role, yup, but not less, unless you really try hard to feel it and feel bad about not having exactly, really exactly what you want.
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  • + 0
 Killer Range B-3 VS. Rockmountain Altitude 730 - which is the best buy? I know that they belong to different categories, but if you can help me...
  • + 3
 Altitude is more for pedalling and uphill trails. Range is more for downhill-orientation. Norco Sight is more comparable to the Altitude imo
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  • + 2
 Carbon version, Sold!
  • + 1
 The Sight, while still a great bike is not anywhere NEAR the same league of bike as the Range This thing would be perfectly at home in the park one day and then charging into a back-country epic the next. Specialized's Enduro is one of the only bikes that can hold a candle to the Range and if the Range had a Carbon option I dare say the Range could best it for the price of entry alone (although thankfully Spesh has made a perfectly good "entry level" Enduro as well).
  • + 0
 @The-Medic: The Sight and Rang are virtually the same bike. One has 140mm the other has 150mm of rear travel. Other then a few frame geo tweaks and components spec. There is no real difference between the two. Kitner had her (Sight Carbon) racing at sea otter. If it can handle her, it will be able to handle anything us normal peeps could throw at it.
www.sicklines.com/2013/04/19/jill-kintners-sea-otter-downhill-bike-norco-sight-27-5-carbon-prototype
  • + 1
 Having ridden both I respectfully disagree - the Range and Sight ride quite a bit differently
  • + 1
 Yup Leelau is spot on... ART us tuned differently naking it a better pedaler and even "poppier". Where the Range is a cadilac in the rough the Sight while still very good rewards a smoother line choice. They are very similar but they ride differently. Both amazing, class leading bikes in their own way.
  • + 1
 Not to nitpick but the Range has 160mm of travel
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  • + 1
 Norco frame+fork option is the way to go.
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  • + 1
 I think the carbon version is going to be awesome!
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  • + 1
 Really liking the way this bike looks.
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  • + 1
 Looks nice, but I would prefer something with my wheelsize Smile
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  • + 1
 That seriously DOES look like a trek session.
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  • + 2
 sweet looking bike
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  • + 1
 I wish mine would hurry up and come...
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  • + 1
 With the xsmall and small geometry, isn't it better on a 26?
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  • + 1
 I love all of these bikes, but the price?
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  • + 1
 how tall is the tester????
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  • + 0
 Cool bike but the Enduro 29" will eat it for breakfast.
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