Meet the Norco Sight C 7.1.
The Sight has been a key model in Norco's lineup ever since its inception, a versatile trail bike that leans more towards the all-mountain side of the spectrum. The bike recently underwent a host of updates to bring it fully up to speed for 2017, including longer, lower, and slacker geometry, new suspension kinematics, a trunnion-mounted metric rear shock, and the addition of a 29” wheeled version. It now sits comfortably between the Range, Norco's enduro / all-mountain bruiser, and the Optic, Norco's shorter travel XC / trail machine.
The 27.5” Sight has 140mm of rear travel paired with a 150mm fork up front, while the 29er has 130mm of travel and a 140mm fork up front. There will be three carbon-framed models for each wheelsize, with nearly identical parts kits for each.
Sight Carbon Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Wheel size: 27.5" or 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm (27.5"), 130mm (29")
• 66.5º (27.5") or 67º (29") head angle
• Frame material: carbon front triangle and seat stays, aluminum chainstays
• Metric shock sizing
• Boost hub spacing
• MSRP: $2,599 USD (frame w/ RockShox Deluxe RT), $3,899 - $6,499 USD (complete bikes)
Prices start at $3,899 USD for either the Sight C7.3 or 9.3, which is spec'd with a RockShox Yari fork, a SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain, and SRAM Level brakes. The top of the line models, the C7.1 or C9.1, will retail for $6,499, and come decked out with a RockShox Pike RCT3 fork, SRAM Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, and Guide RSC brakes. There's also a frame-only option for $2,599. It's nice to see proper tires, wide bars, and a chain guide in place on every model, a sign that this bike is meant to be ridden hard, not just babied down ultra-manicured trails.
As shown, the 27.5" Sight C7.2 retails for S4,999.
The base model 29" Sight C9.1 will go for $3,899.
The new Sight's frame design isn't wildly different than its predecessor, but there have been enough nips and tucks that it's easy to tell the new version from the old. The use of a trunnion-mounted metric shock creates the most readily visible change, which puts the rocker link in a more horizontal position compared to the prior version's upward angle. This also creates enough room for the use of a piggyback style shock should a rider decide to go that route.
According to Norco, the Sight's suspension design was altered to make it ever-so-slightly less progressive, and the amount of chain growth was also reduced, changes that are meant to improve the bike's pedaling performance and allow the shock to more easily absorb impacts.
Although none of the complete bikes come with a front derailleur, it is possible to run one for those who aren't quite ready to commit to the 1x route. Other details include the use of Norco's Gizmo internal routing system, which uses large ports that should provide plenty of room to run brake, derailleur, and dropper post lines, reducing the chances of finding yourself trying to coax a length of housing out of the frame with a bent spoke in one hand and a flashlight clamped between your teeth. The port covers are meant to hold the housing securely in place and prevent it from rattling around in the frame. Chainstay and downtube protection is also in place to help keep ward off chainslap and flying rocks.
The 27.5” version of the Sight checks in with a 66.5-degree head angle, a 74.1-degree seat angle, and a reach of 449mm for a size large. Previously, the Sight had a 67-degree head angle, a 73.3-degree seat angle, and a reach of 436mm. All in all, they're not drastic geometry changes, but they are ones that should help to make for a more comfortable and capable ride, although without any trail time yet that's purely speculation – we'll report back once we get our hands on one.
As far as the geometry differences between the 29" and 27.5" version go, Norco took care to make the numbers come out as similar as possible. The 130mm 29er does have a slightly longer reach than the 140mm 27.5" bike, but Norco accounts for that by giving it a 50mm stem, and the 27.5" bike a 60mm stem. I'm not entirely convinced by that line of reasoning - in my mind, I'd rather have all models, regardless of wheelsize, come with a 50mm or shorter stem, but that's just me, and Norco clearly spent some time figuring out how to make the bikes ride like they wanted.
It is impressive that Norco managed to maintain the same rear center measurements between for both wheelsizes, a very reasonable 430mm for the size medium. That number changes depending on the frame size, which is part of Norco's efforts to make sure a rider's weight balance remains the same across the entire range of frame sizes.
We haven't been able to swing a leg over the new Sight just yet, so there aren't any ride impressions to relay; in the meantime, these images of Jill Kintner aboard her custom Sight will have to suffice. We'll report back once we get plenty of miles in on the new ride.
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Action photos: Margus Riga.