2021 Optic Vs Sight - real actual info?

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2021 Optic Vs Sight - real actual info?
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Posted: Jan 13, 2021 at 11:02 Quote
hey all, I'm looking seriously at the new Optic, and I like pretty much everything about it (including the fact that I can actually buy one here) but the rear travel has me waivering.

I am definitely looking for a more sprightly ride, but I do still like to barrel down hills, so my one concern is that the limited rear travel may not compensate for some of my poorer decisions! Should I go for a Sight to get the comfort of increased travel?

I have a 160/160 bike (a 2017 reign) that I can still lug out for the shuttle days, but for all day rides that go up as well as down, the Optic looks to be a pretty awesome option.

And I do wonder if a bike set up for maximising 125mm of travel is still better than my reign's 160mm that shrinks into something less anyway.

I don't even know if the 2021 Sight will be available to purchase in NZ yet as well, but the current stock of the Optic won't last long enough to be able to compare them in the flesh sadly.

So anybody have any opinions, thoughts or (please!) actual info on the ride of the new Optic out there?

Posted: Jan 14, 2021 at 6:30 Quote
The optic is quite a capable bike for its small amount of rear travel.

I have had mine for just over a year and have no hesitation taking it anywhere to ride. i use it for local XC type spins to fairly gnarly off piste stuff. I spent a week on it in Finale Ligure, doing some EWS tracks and various other riding. Whilst it was more physical than a bike with more travel, it handled it fine and made it more exciting.

A few people commented how they couldnt believe the stuff i was riding on it with such little travel and only 180mm rotors.

I rode NZ a few years back, Rude rock, Cordrona bike park, Rotorua etc and i wouldnt hesitate to ride an Optic there.

As you can probably tell, i am a big fan of this bike! I started looking at other options out there, but i cant find anything i rather own than an optic (well, a Raaw Modonna would be sweet, but far too much bike for me tastes).

i dont think you will be disappointed.

Posted: Jan 14, 2021 at 10:46 Quote
As someone who came off an old 2015 Fluid (120mm F+R, and nowhere near as aggressive Geo as the 'new-gen' bikes)

The Sight is a VERY forgiving bike. Its allowed me to take my riding beyond the next level and let me take lines that would've thrown me on the old rig.

With the exception of 1 or two significant drops to flat (that i never tried on the old bike) my old Fluid could do everything i asked it to and am still doing on the Sight.. it just wasn't as comfortable or forgiving if i messed it up.
Provided your suspension is set up properly, you should still be able to hit most things on the shorter travel bike... you'll just have to be more precise with it.

All reports say the Optic is super capable and even comparable to the Sight, in a different way.
If you want to bomb through things and keep your wheels on the deck- go for the Sight.
If you like more pop and play and want to be a little more nimble, go for the Optic.

(Thats not to say the Sight wouldnt be a playful bike in the right hands - i find my riding style i enjoy it more on the ground)

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 at 12:38 Quote
I have the 2020 C2 Optic, and it's a very capable bike. But if you're used to 160/160 it might be limiting ... I did read some criticism about the 125mm being a bit choppy, but those were in the minority. Most reviews were positive.

I think the Sight might be the better option.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 at 17:49 Quote
thanks, really appreciate the context. I'm pretty much sold on the idea of the Optic now, just put a deposit down to hold it til i can see it in the flesh, at which point i'll probably fall in love!


v7fmp wrote:
The optic is quite a capable bike for its small amount of rear travel.

I have had mine for just over a year and have no hesitation taking it anywhere to ride. i use it for local XC type spins to fairly gnarly off piste stuff. I spent a week on it in Finale Ligure, doing some EWS tracks and various other riding. Whilst it was more physical than a bike with more travel, it handled it fine and made it more exciting.

A few people commented how they couldnt believe the stuff i was riding on it with such little travel and only 180mm rotors.

I rode NZ a few years back, Rude rock, Cordrona bike park, Rotorua etc and i wouldnt hesitate to ride an Optic there.

As you can probably tell, i am a big fan of this bike! I started looking at other options out there, but i cant find anything i rather own than an optic (well, a Raaw Modonna would be sweet, but far too much bike for me tastes).

i dont think you will be disappointed.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 at 17:53 Quote
Thanks man, thinking the optic is the way to go. just had a couple of days on trails that are really amazing, but the mix of climbing, fast downhills, berms and pops, I feel like the poppy/playful style is what i'm after. I feel like the reign I have is perfect for shuttle days, but the Optic will be excellent for everything else I ride, when I'm pretty much 100% climbing for the downs.

Dwarfmarine wrote:
As someone who came off an old 2015 Fluid (120mm F+R, and nowhere near as aggressive Geo as the 'new-gen' bikes)

The Sight is a VERY forgiving bike. Its allowed me to take my riding beyond the next level and let me take lines that would've thrown me on the old rig.

With the exception of 1 or two significant drops to flat (that i never tried on the old bike) my old Fluid could do everything i asked it to and am still doing on the Sight.. it just wasn't as comfortable or forgiving if i messed it up.
Provided your suspension is set up properly, you should still be able to hit most things on the shorter travel bike... you'll just have to be more precise with it.

All reports say the Optic is super capable and even comparable to the Sight, in a different way.
If you want to bomb through things and keep your wheels on the deck- go for the Sight.
If you like more pop and play and want to be a little more nimble, go for the Optic.

(Thats not to say the Sight wouldnt be a playful bike in the right hands - i find my riding style i enjoy it more on the ground)

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 at 17:55 Quote
Yeah, i'm seeing so much positive press for the Optic, and i definitely expect it to be a tighter/firmer ride than the Reign, so i'm comfortable with what i'm getting myself into! Keen to know what kind of riding you do on your Optic?

njcbps wrote:
I have the 2020 C2 Optic, and it's a very capable bike. But if you're used to 160/160 it might be limiting ... I did read some criticism about the 125mm being a bit choppy, but those were in the minority. Most reviews were positive.

I think the Sight might be the better option.

Posted: Jan 18, 2021 at 10:46 Quote
remote-local wrote:
Yeah, i'm seeing so much positive press for the Optic, and i definitely expect it to be a tighter/firmer ride than the Reign, so i'm comfortable with what i'm getting myself into! Keen to know what kind of riding you do on your Optic?

njcbps wrote:
I have the 2020 C2 Optic, and it's a very capable bike. But if you're used to 160/160 it might be limiting ... I did read some criticism about the 125mm being a bit choppy, but those were in the minority. Most reviews were positive.

I think the Sight might be the better option.

I ride mostly intermediate trails, and occasionally some black diamond on North shore of Vancouver. I've ridden my Optic about 150km so far. In terms of styles, I'm getting back into the sport after 20yrs and am on the safer side - IE I'm not doing jumps (only small drops).

Posted: Feb 1, 2021 at 20:18 Quote
I thought the supply chain was going to make the decision for me, but it appears there may be stock arriving of the 2021 sights now, so i'm totally panicking again!

these are my options:

C1 optic - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-optic-c1-green-copper-29

A1 sight - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-sight-a1-black-black-29?variant=37391850209435

C2 sight - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-sight-c2-shimano-purple-silver

The C1 optic is obviously super-well spec'd, pretty much perfect everything, the A1 sight is a grand (NZD) cheaper but full sram/rockshox build. I'm not super loyal either way, i run AXS on my road bike, but have always run shimano on my MTBs. The C2 sight lands pretty close in price, but is spec'd down from the optic.

I guess if I buy the sight, it's going to be a better "do-everything" bike than my giant reign, and will mean I can maybe sell the Reign as i'll be covered for all scenarios, but I'm really won over by the concept of the optic, and a more trail style bike in general. The optic is possibly more versatile? ARGH! this is tough!

Posted: Feb 2, 2021 at 18:24 Quote
remote-local wrote:
I thought the supply chain was going to make the decision for me, but it appears there may be stock arriving of the 2021 sights now, so i'm totally panicking again!

these are my options:

C1 optic - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-optic-c1-green-copper-29

A1 sight - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-sight-a1-black-black-29?variant=37391850209435

C2 sight - https://www.99bikes.co.nz/collections/2021-season-norco-bikes/products/2021-norco-sight-c2-shimano-purple-silver

The C1 optic is obviously super-well spec'd, pretty much perfect everything, the A1 sight is a grand (NZD) cheaper but full sram/rockshox build. I'm not super loyal either way, i run AXS on my road bike, but have always run shimano on my MTBs. The C2 sight lands pretty close in price, but is spec'd down from the optic.

I guess if I buy the sight, it's going to be a better "do-everything" bike than my giant reign, and will mean I can maybe sell the Reign as i'll be covered for all scenarios, but I'm really won over by the concept of the optic, and a more trail style bike in general. The optic is possibly more versatile? ARGH! this is tough!

It's almost impossible to give advice over the internet, so the following is opinion.

The Sight will give you more bike per dollar, since you're not spending the extra money on the Optic's carbon frame.

Christmas 2020 I visited a major bike store in Vancouver area, and he said they all ride Sights. He wasn't that impressed with the Optic. BUT. If the employees ride predominately the North shore mountains (steep and rough), then their choice might make sense.

I did notice the A2 and A3 Sights seem heavy FWIW.

Posted: Feb 3, 2021 at 16:26 Quote
thanks njcbps, appreciate the opinion! I need all the opinions I can get! I'm leaning towards the A1 Sight now, but still torn. If it's going to be the only bike I have, I don't want to limit myself to the shorter travel of the Optic, even though I'm in love with the idea of a lighter, poppier bike, I'm not sure it would be quite right as a 1 bike solution for me. But then when I seriously think about where I love riding, flow trails, jumps, berms, fast downhills etc, and then still riding in areas where I need to cough up and do some decent climbing, I feel like maybe I'm more suited to the Optic than I first thought.

The fact that the A1 is $1400 NZD cheaper is hard to ignore though! Even if it is a bit of a heavy bike.

njcbps wrote:
It's almost impossible to give advice over the internet, so the following is opinion.

The Sight will give you more bike per dollar, since you're not spending the extra money on the Optic's carbon frame.

Christmas 2020 I visited a major bike store in Vancouver area, and he said they all ride Sights. He wasn't that impressed with the Optic. BUT. If the employees ride predominately the North shore mountains (steep and rough), then their choice might make sense.

I did notice the A2 and A3 Sights seem heavy FWIW.

Posted: Feb 4, 2021 at 13:10 Quote
I typically ride shorter travel bikes than my friends. If they show up on 150/160 bikes I am on a 130/140 bike - I just like my bikes to be lighter and poppier - but I do push the shorter travel to the limit. On the Optic I found that you do feel the shorter travel on some occasion BUT the rest of the bike (29, fork, geo, handling etc) mean you can still push it hard. I like long climbs and I like rowdy techy flow trails and the Optic is awesome on those.

Posted: Feb 12, 2021 at 14:29 Quote
Alright, this will be my 2 cents.

I'm from southern Alberta, Canada. Here we have something we call the "coulees"(search it on google). We have amazing flow, XC type trails, short downs, and we have short and punchy climbs from hell. I owned a 150/140 mm all mountain 27.5" bike and when I test rode the 2020 Optic 2, I instantly fell in love. So I sold my all-mountain bike. I'm no spring chicken so I really value my knees and lower back. I can ride better and more comfortably on the Optic then I ever could on my other bike, not to mention more efficiently. I do prefer single-track and natural trails then bike parks. People I know also own the Optic and have ridden in Whistler, Fernie, Kimberley, Crownest Pass, and other mountainous areas. Optic is that capable. We don't, or at least not usually, do shuttles, so we have to pedal up ourselves. I don't do jumps, and do only small drops.
Unfortunately I ordered my 2021 Optic 2 back in September and it's not going to be here until April/May(we hope), so for the time being I am without a bike.
Huge deciding factor is where you ride, and where you want to ride, as opposed to how you ride. For me, the Optic makes my rides so much more enjoyable and fun.

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