Norco Aurum 2 Review

Jun 20, 2012
by Brad Walton  
TESTED
NORCO
AURUM
2
BY BRAD WALTON

Norco's new downhill bike, the Aurum, is a drastic departure from the company's traditional look. Gone are the days of upright, compact geometry and bulky appearances. Instead you'll find formed tubesets, flowing lines, and contemporary angles that better suit today's riding, along with a much evolved four-bar suspension system offering 200mm of rear wheel travel. The Aurum 2 is assembled around the very same frame as its more expensive brothers, and features a competitive build that sees the bike weigh in just short of 40lbs (without pedals ) - two points to keep in mind when considering its reasonable $3550 USD asking price.


Norco Aurum 2 Details

• Purpose: Downhill
• Hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame
• Rear-wheel travel: 200mm
• Tapered head tube
• Integrated fork bump stops
• Integrated replaceable derailleur hanger
• Gravity Tune geometry
• X-Fusion Vector RC shock
• Weight: 39.7 pounds (w/o pedals )
• Sizes: small, medium, large (tested )
• MSRP: $3550 USD

Speedy Looks

Aurum is the latin word for 'gold', which is fitting given that the bike is designed to take downhill racers to the number one spot. The bike appears long and sleek, low and fast, with race-style graphics that accentuate flowing curves. Although appearance doesn't always equate to performance, the shaped tubes do allow for huge opportunities to manipulate strength and stiffness in key areas while minimizing weight. Smooth double-pass welding around both the head tube area and pivots produces an improved weld bead that is said to better distributes loads. The pivot junctures are also machined into the frame tubes rather than welded on, greatly eliminating the chance of mis-alignment or failures at these locations. We don't like to refer to inanimate objects as 'sexy', but the Aurum's smooth lines and flowing curves are just that.

It's In The Details

In a day and age where minute details set bikes apart, Norco has a blue ribbon on their hands. Although the Aurum is a ground-up redesign, many facets of the downhill bike were improved upon rather than reinvented. It boasts attention to detail that is nearly invisible, yet impossible to ignore. Integrated bump stops for the dual crown fork stanchions prevent dings to frame and fork or crushed cables/hoses, and an internal seat binder eliminates the possibility of catching a rider's clothing. Clean pivot and shock hardware eliminates exposed bolt threads at the rear shock mount as well, but perhaps the most notable aspect of the Aurum's clean configuration is one that goes largely unnoticed: its cable routing. The cables are so tidy that they nearly disappear into the frame, tricking one into thinking that they are routed internally, and they move with the suspension just enough to keep them completely out of the way. It seems that Norco has attempted to create the neatest frame possible, and impressively have left little to improve upon for a first-year product.

Integration is a running theme with the Aurum.  Fork bump stops, clean hardware, and seat post binder show the forethought Norco has put into their new DH sled.
Integration is a running theme with the Aurum. Fork bump stops, incredibly clean hardware, and the bike's seat post binder all show the forethought that Norco put into the bike.

Norco has inverted the concept of the derailleur hanger on the Aurum by utilizing the Syntace X-12 rear axle system. Rather than the traditional steel bolt with replaceable alloy hanger, an aluminum pinch bolt is used for the rear axle that also serves to hold the stainless steel hanger in place. In the event of a significant impact, the alloy bolt will snap. This concept seems like an improvement over traditional designs where an alloy hanger could bend and put the derailleur right into the spokes. A spare hanger bolt is integrated into the frame just ahead of the crankset on the non-drive side, saving you a walk out of the bush. Internal threads inside the bolt make for easy removal of a sheared piece and re-use of the original steel derailleur hanger.

Norco ingeniously integrated a spare derailleur hanger bolt into the frame just in front of the crankset on the frame's non-drive side.
Norco ingeniously integrated a spare derailleur hanger bolt into the frame, just in front of the bottom bracket.


Aurum Suspension

Norco has been employing a four-bar suspension design for many years now and the Aurum continues on that same path, albeit with a greatly evolved version. The linkage is known for it's neutral platform that keeps pedalling and braking forces to a minimal affect on suspension actuation and Norco has termed their rendition of this suspension rendering as A.R.T. (Advanced Ride Technology ). A.R.T. claims to increase pedalling efficiency, increase square-edge bump compliance, improve braking performance, and improve leverage ratio curve. How? Well, for starters it provides increased chain growth, creating anti-squat forces which effectively counteract forces that produce suspension bob. This improves the wheel's ability to move rearward as the bike goes through its travel, allowing the wheel to move out of the way of obstacles while maintaining active suspension under braking. The Aurum's suspension is a highly developed version of what Norco has successfully utilized for years, but further refined and manipulated in a new chassis.

Although the Aurum is a ground up redesign, Norco sticks with the four-bar linkage for an active suspension platform. The rear end receives just as much hydroforming as the front, with S-curved stays for added rigidity.
Although the Aurum is a ground up redesign, Norco sticks with the four-bar linkage for an active suspension platform. The rear end receives just as much hydroforming as the front, with S-curved stays for added rigidity.

The Aurum's ''Holloform'' rocker is a one-piece linkage arm that provides lateral support to the seat stay area of the bike's rear end. Being one solid piece, it also prevents torsional forces from affecting the rear shock, reducing stiction and increasing shock life. Of note on the Aurum is the lack of welds at the clevis points in the rear suspension, with the clevis pivot points being machined into the frame tubes.

Norco Holloform rocker
  The bike's one-piece rocker arm makes for a stiff rear end that tracks straight and true. Machined clevis points also aid in the frame's rear-end stiffness.


Geometry

Norco's 'Gravity Tune' geometry puts a twist on typical bike metrics. With Gravity Tune, as frames go up in size, the front AND rear of the bike get longer. This is very different to the majority of frames that feature the same length center-to-rear measurement regardless of size. The idea behind Gravity Tune is to counteract a fluctuation in center of gravity that occurs as rider height varies between frame sizes. Although chain stay length increases by a very slight 5mm (less than 1/4 inch ) as sizes go up, Norco must really believe in the concept since it creates a whole new series of parts for the production lines to manufacture.


Norco Aurum Geometry


Aurum 2 Component Check

Bang for buck, the Aurum 2 is loaded with a parts spec of respectable weight and performance components Due to the trickle-down effect, bikes like the Aurum 2 get a rider into a race-ready package that was considered top of the line just a few years ago. Performance-wise, bumping up to the next tier, the Aurum 1, isn't going to net any huge gains for the intermediate rider, although it will drop some weight off the bike, as well as your wallet - the Aurum 1 retails for $5325 USD. Considering that the Aurum frame with rear shock costs two thirds of what the Aurum 2 complete bike sells for, it's easy to see the value Norco has created in the Aurum 2.

Avid Elixir 5 brakes mount up to a Norco house-brand 760mm handlebar, while a Blackspire DAS direct-mount stem make finishes off the cockpit.
Avid Elixir 5 brakes mount up to a Norco house-brand 760mm handlebar, while a Blackspire DAS direct-mount stem finishes up the cockpit.


A 36 tooth ring is bolted up to FSA's Gap Mega Exo DH cranks. Norco has spec'd an e*thirteen LG1 guide, a good choice that has proven to be reliable over time.
A 36 tooth ring is bolted up to FSA's Gap Mega Exo DH cranks. Norco has spec'd an e*thirteen LG1 guide, a good choice that has proven to be reliable over time.



Specifications
Release Date 2012
Price $3550
Travel 200mm
Rear Shock X Fusion Vector RC
Fork Rockshox Boxxer RC Race Coil
Headset FSA
Cassette SRAM PG-950 9 speed cassette 11-28T
Crankarms FSA Gap Mega Exo DH single 36T 83 mm shell
Chainguide E.13 chainguide
Pedals Alloy low profile flat MTB pedal
Chain KMC Z-99 9 speed chain
Rear Derailleur Sram X-7 short cage
Shifter Pods Sram X7 9 speed
Handlebar Norco 6061 alloy double butted 760 mm
Stem Black Spire zero degree direct mount
Grips Norco lock on grips
Brakes Avid Elixir 5 front disc brake, 200 mm rotor
Hubs Alloy sealed bearing 20 mm, Alloy sealed bearing 157 x 12 mm, Syntace axle
Spokes Black stainless spokes
Rim Sun Inferno 29 rim
Tires Kenda Nevagal 26 x 2.50 with Stick E rubber and CAP casing
Seat WTB Silverado Comp
Seatpost Norco two bolt seattpost



Riding the Aurum 2



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First impressions: The Aurum puts out a 'I'm fast as hell' sort of vibe that we picked up on long before throwing a leg over it. Once it came time to shuttle the DH trails, it certainly lived up to those early thoughts. Long and low, supple and smooth, stiff and responsive; the Aurum tracks straight, noticeably so in rough corners and off-camber bumpy trail. Our riding comrades were quick to comment that the bike straight-up made us faster.

Suspension: While the Aurum is an all-new sled for Norco, the four-bar linkage is not. And for good reason. It simply works well and is active on full-time duty, despite rider input via pedalling or braking. The initial travel, small bump compliance feel is excellent, offering a very forgiving sensation off the top and into the mid-travel realm. A.R.T. suspension tuning creates a natural progressiveness that allows the suspension to continue to be highly active over rooty or rutted hard compressions, lending to a very intuitive feel in high-speed rough terrain. We never really noticed the rear suspension working once we got the bike up to speed, and that's a very good thing. Ending stroke suspension action provides a mellow ramp towards the bottom out phase, which is largely controlled by rear shock compression settings, and the Aurum is surprisingly active even towards the end of it's travel.

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the Aurum 2's component spec is not where one might expect - X-fusion's Vector RC shock was simply an eye-opener. The affordable rear damper has us re-thinking our preferred setups, with a feel right on par with the big name manufacturer's top-tier offerings. It has the usual spring preload, rebound, and compression dials, but what's different is how these dials affect the rear suspension, or should we say how easily noticed a single click is to the suspension. Starting with the Vector RC's compression circuit wide open, the shock is incredibly supple throughout it's range. Fast, tight corners resulted in sunken travel that absorbed exit speed and we noticed an occasional audible bottom-out on harsh compressions, so we added two clicks of compression damping. The bike now rides higher in the travel in hard corners, resulting in accelerated exiting as well as bottom-out resistance. The added compression damping has minimal affect on the suppleness of the suspension range. There is no air adjustment to fiddle with, and no beginning or ending stroke dials, it's just a simple, easy, and straightforward approach to rear suspension.

The Rockshox Boxxer RC Race Coil fork uses the same stout, World Cup proven BoXXer chassis, minus a few internal bells and whistles that match up well to the simplicity of the X-fusion rear shock. Like out back, the fork's adjustments are limited to spring preload, rebound, and compression, which is still sufficient for most any rider. Boxxer RC Race's preload is internal, and after our initial runs revealed that the fork is substantially firmer than the rear shock, it was time for some adjustment. We opened up the Boxxer's spring side to find three preload spacers on the coil. After removing two of these to get the sag we needed to match the rear suspension, the bike feels much more balanced.


 The Aurum holds it's own on the steeps by offering geometry that keeps rider weight centered in the frame.
The Aurum holds it's own on the steeps by offering geometry that keeps rider weight centered in the frame.


Frame rigidity: The defining characteristic that separates the Aurum's frame from other bikes in it's class is it's lateral rigidity. It tracks straight regardless of terrain nuances, largely thanks to the added stiffness of S-bend hydroformed tubing and the one-piece Holloform rocker. The frame feels very tight and creates the responsive, snappy ride. Cornering is the most fun attribute of having such a stiff frame, with the bike's plush suspension dipping into corners with negligible torsional force on the rear shock, thereby maintaining uncompromised suspension even under side load on the frame. Brake bumps, roots, and rocks quickly become berms under Aurum's tires. This is one train that isn't easily swayed off the rails once up to speed, but it is also far from being a monster truck of a bike.


Fit: As large-sized bike riders, we were unsure about the measurements of our size large test Aurum. Usually a 25" top tube would fit into the "giant" size category, but the large felt just about right for a 6'2", 200-lb rider. The long top tube measurement gives the Aurum a Cadillac feel that, when combined with the sub-14" bottom bracket height, offers the rider an added element of stability at speed. Body weight is positioned in such a way as to offer the highly sought after 'in the bike feel' that gives superior control when cornering. The long and low geometry keeps the rider confidently positioned behind bars, never succumbing to the over-the-bars sensation. There were a few instances that we felt like we were hanging off the back of the bike, with the Gravity Tune geometry forcing rider weight down into the crouching monkey attack position. This requires aggressively bending the elbows and tucking into the frame, putting the rider in a position that allows for greater rider input to the suspension, rather than letting the bike do all the work.


Despite it's ground hugging capabilities, Aurum is lively, playful, and highly maneuverable.
Despite it's ground hugging capabilities, Aurum is lively, playful, and highly maneuverable.


Handling: Traction counts for a lot and the Aurum's stiff frame coupled with supple suspension offer plenty of it. The Aurum sticks to the ground better the harder it's pushed. The deeper into the travel the frame goes, the better the rider's body position becomes. Pushing into the bottom bracket through the feet exaggerates this effect, as well as accelerates the bike. While many DH bikes have a decidedly 'dead' feel to riders of other disciplines of mountain biking, the Aurum is responsive and quick, feeling light and nimble when pumping over flowy trail. With suspension supple enough to absorb crunchy fall foliage, the Aurum isn't going to offer the quickest acceleration through the pedals, but pedalling isn't bad, nor great, but pretty average in the world of big travel bikes. As plush as the Aurum is, it's ground hugging capabilities do not totally dismiss it's playful side. Riding the Aurum gives the rider a sense of power over the bike that isn't typical of downhill machines. It has plenty of pop for jumping, and certainly feels solid when touching back down, but it doesn't have that quick, flickable feel of a short travel bike. The base model Aurum 2 doesn't compete with top level pro race bikes for weight, but it rides lighter than many more expensive, lighter offerings. It's hard to call it a fun bike when we felt like serious bad asses while riding it.


Component Selection: We didn't suffer from any component failures throughout our time on the Aurum 2. Sun's Inferno 29 wheels are not 29" diameter for those who are wondering. The 29mm wide rim proved stout and sturdy even while running minimal tire pressure. A routine initial re-tension after the first couple rides kept the wheels taut enough to withstand the rest of the test without a need for truing. Kenda Nevegal tires are becoming a favorite in our stable, offering killer traction in nearly all conditions, and they also respond well to a variety of tire pressures without pinch flatting when run quite low. Sram's 9-speed X7 drivetrain kept us motoring along without a hitch thanks to the E.thirteen LG1 guide, but riders will want to check up on the Gap cranks occasionally, as we had ours come loose twice during the test and fortunately caught it just before loosing the crank axle bolt. Avid Elixir 5 brakes are a fine choice for a lot applications, although we would have preferred to see a quad-piston caliper like the Code R for added confidence on sustained steeps. That niggle will obviously be rider dependent, as those who weigh less than us may not find themselves wishing for any more power.


Racecar looks and performance.  The Aurum looks fast just sitting still, and this is one case where looks do not deceive.
Racecar looks and performance. The Aurum looks fast just sitting still, and this is one case where looks do not deceive.

Technical report
• Fork bump stops offer a limited turning radius, making the Aurum potentially difficult to negotiate slow technical lines. This is a DH bike built for speed, however, so this is not likely to bother most riders.
• Grips look great with Norco-branded design, but the rubber cut-outs that define the word 'NORCO' in the grip peel off rather quickly, leaving distracting divots for hand ergonomics.
• E.thirteen's LG1 keeps the drivetrain focused with never a mis-shift on our test bike.
• Kenda Nevegal 2.5 tires with Stick-E rubber perform flawlessly in nearly all conditions, even in the wettest of wet. Slightly slow on the dry stuff, but they maintain a solid hold in all types of corners. CAP casing reduces pinch flat incidents, and we are happy to have never flatted our test bike despite low pressure in very rough terrain.
• Norco's in-house handlebar could be a little wider. At 760mm, it's nearly an inch shorter than the industry standard for DH.



Pinkbike's take:
Norco's redesign of the DH bike has left us with one heck of a podium contender. The Aurum's svelte appearance and nimble, reactive handling are sure to change brand perception for the Canadian bike giant. The chassis is light and tight, with an appearance and geometry for downhill speed, while a number of integrated features show a lot of forethought into functional design. The four-bar A.R.T suspension proves to be responsive and fully active at all times, lending to an intuitive, predictable feel whether railing corners or plowing the rough stuff, while Norco's Gravity Tune geometry, although having a gimmicky sound to it, makes complete sense and feels very well balanced. Due to it's angles and stretch, the Aurum is not a bike built for slow speed maneuverability, so freeriders look elsewhere and beginners prepare to sack up. The antithesis of a versatile steed, the Aurum 2 is a DH race bike, with a long and low feel that will detract enjoyment from anything but shuttle assisted DH trails. Norco now has a turn-key special that is sure to ramp-up the learning curve for newer riders on the DH race circuit. -Brad Walton



www.norco.com


174 Comments

  • + 113
 Huge step up for Norco. Gotta be one of the highlights of 2012 releases, and good to see a reasonable price tag on it too - that's becoming a rarity...
  • + 4
 reminds me of the session geometry!
  • + 15
 ^ no way!?!.............
  • - 42
flag Its-That-Guy (Jun 20, 2012 at 6:04) (Below Threshold)
 Sick bike, but I'm not sure about the name...
  • - 48
flag jas231 (Jun 20, 2012 at 7:37) (Below Threshold)
 it is the session just with a different actuation ratio and more links... sorta cool right
  • + 40
 Just bought one of these yesterday, I took it up whistler bike park and it was absolutely amazing, best bike for the price!!! I found my new love Wink
  • + 7
 congrats, everyone loves a new bike
  • + 13
 I jumped when the song started playing! hahah the norcos are soo sick, im always playing with them at the local bike shops,
  • + 4
 i just bought a 2011 a-line and loving it! i was checking this bike out in the shop as well, but it was a solid $1000 more and the a-line had a much better build. but im thinking arum for my next bike.
  • - 62
flag insomnia4201 (Jun 20, 2012 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 Did anyone esle notice its spec'd with 29r rims
  • + 1
 Better brakes over a far superior frame? Every other spec difference is minor. It's a year old of course it's going to be discounted.
  • + 9
 This is a serious contender for my new bike. Huge step up for norco like ridenz said. Great looking frame and from what I read, great riding frame too. Gotta get me a test ride!
  • + 11
 @insomnia, inferno 29 describes the rims width, not wheel diameter, in millimeters not inches.
  • + 5
 @jonlake. it was not just better brakes. the code r's are much better than the elixer5's (i know because i have used both) and the wheels on the a-line are nicer as well, id also rather run saint shifter and derailer compared to X7 and i personally like the FUNN bars over the norco ones, and im not quite sure how the aurum is far more superior to the a-line other than its a newer model, and of course its going to be discontinued the same with every other bike. but for $1000 more for lower quality parts but a newer frame wasn't rely what i wanted.
  • + 4
 this would almost definately be my new bike...if i had the moneyFrown
  • + 7
 those are some f*ckin shiny rims
  • + 1
 @clackbot they're white I think..
  • - 5
flag JCSmith (Jun 20, 2012 at 13:34) (Below Threshold)
 It reminders me of a Trek Session with a little different geometry.
  • + 5
 @insomnia, its more likely they're referring to 29mm wide rims, not 29er.
  • + 3
 Why cut down a wider bar just to try it when you can just bring the grips in 10mm on each side to see what you think first? Looks gay for a bit, but at least you can move them if you don't like it!
Makes sense ay.
  • + 24
 "• Norco's in-house handlebar could be a little wider. At 760mm, it's nearly an inch shorter than the industry standard for DH." Since when was there an industry standard for DH bar width?
  • + 17
 New standards every day. ;-)
  • + 5
 Well there clearly is no standard but 780mm is quite a convenient choice on a DH bike so that anyone can either keep it or cut it down according to needs / intelect.
  • + 16
 ...and im only on 745mm, damn, I must be behind the times Wink
  • + 8
 "Trend" rather than "standard" would have been a better word to describe the subject of bar width. Important to note it may only be a trend. 3 years ago everyone was running toward flat bars and now... not really. Though I'd agree a wider bar feels better than a 660mm XC bar, I'm really not sure 760mm is "narrow."
  • + 7
 I do like a nice metric/imperial mixing in one sentence too!
  • + 2
 800mm grabbed by a 16yr old is something special but 560mm with bar ends on a bike of a middle aged man, who's actualy done with puberty, is fkn unbelievable
  • + 3
 and I thought my 760mm was wide! I guess when you 6"2 like the reviewer testing the Bike you probably would prefer 780mm but a 5"9 person like me finds their comfort zone with a 760mm.
  • + 1
 its alot to do with shoulder width, the broader your shoulders are the more bar will be comfortable for you, ive only got skinny shoulders and i run 750, ive also ridden 760 but had a go on my mates 780s and it was just too wide, its not the width between trees its just that for me my shoulders arnt wide enough so im having to reach more i could run them but i dont feel id be able to cope with the really rough stuff that we all ride dh for as well
  • + 1
 800mm bars on my new set of wheels... only half an inch (mixing metric and imperial again) narrower than the bars on my dual-sport... and the Suzuki has brush guards! Love the wider bars.

Love the write-up, pictures and video, Brad.
  • + 0
 alazamanza - yes it has something to do with shoulder width but that argument was used both for narrow XC bars and for DH bars when they were 660-680mm. It is a bike-fit infected mentality.

It is 99% down to trying what suits you best and that involves buying at least 2 bars and at least 1 year of tries - no way around it. Whatever you do on your bike, be it trail riding, enduro, DH - buy a cheapest 780mm wide bar and ride with it for some time. No not for two rides (or check your buddys bike) - take the time to ride on 780 and realize the pros and cons. Then after many rides cut it down 2cm even if original feels best of what you ever had and ride for a month or so again. Then 2-3cm once again and take the time to be able evaluate. On the really wide bar you might find the awesome front wheel feel in corners and confidence on steeps, while on shorter you might notice that it is easier to pump corners and move around the bike in tighter turns.

Nobody said it was easy. I guess that most people will land comfortably on 700 - 760 trail/AM and 740-780 DH, but no practice, no experiments = no big win
  • + 2
 I don't think it's as much about shoulder width as it is about arm length.

Short-armed people using 800mm+ wide bars are going to find they lose some of the use of their arms' flexion to actively suspend the bike. The shorter your arms, the more it draws the torso too close to the handlebar even on a zero-reach stem.

WAKI's correct, MTB geometry and eqpt spec still have remnants of the road bike fit influence/focus. That's where shoulder width determines bar width and to figure out why, get yourself into a road racing position on your road bike. Not really applicable to anything but an XC race bike suitable for non-technical courses. Really applies to those who ride elbows-in... cross racers, roadies, and some XC racers.
  • + 2
 WAKIdesigns- completely agree, i have skinnier bars on my xc/am bike than i do on my dh bike that's just common sense, not entirely sure you're going to need to spend a year testing the two though, i know when i jump on a new bike set up weather it suits me or not, it may not be as crystal clear for others but i don't tend to need to spend that long on a bike to know if its going to be a help or a hindrance, suppose there's no harm in trying different bar widths though, well, that is as long as you don't spend a fortune on new sets of bars in the process anyways Razz
  • + 2
 Waki, you can also just move the grips in and out, no cutting till you find what works for you, shoulder width was 90's xc, now for dh I think they say push up position,I still ride a titanium flat bar for dh. Works for me though
  • + 1
 great tip macmillen!
  • + 16
 That is a lovely looking bike. I've liked Norcos since I owned the first generation of the 4x4 (the second '4' was dropped the next year) - probably the best low-down flat-turn cornering bike I've ever owned. I bet this is the goods too. Horst link is another tick in my books. I like the cable routing if those cables running over the rocker link don't get as kinked as much as they look like they do.

For the cash, that is an absolute cracker of a bike, though being an owner of the new Avid 5s I'd go for better brakes. Perhaps bars too and you are literally off to the races. Nice one Norco.
  • + 3
 Hey I still have a 1st gen 4x4 in my shed... Heavy as, but turns like mad aye and for only 4" it'll rip places that people think you "need" a 7-8" bike. I think I'll always keep it as it was my first true great experience with a fully that just worked they way I wanted it too.

This bike looks to be a HUGE step back towards the top (or flat out ONTO the top) for Norco. It looks great and it sounds like it rides amazing as well. I'm now REALLY wanting to ride more of Norco's new line as the whole thing is just awesome. Well done guys, looks like they nailed it.
  • + 1
 The beautiful red one? So jealous. That BB was so low.

You know I wonder if the weight helped? It was very stable.
  • + 1
 Yep... it's in my pictures. For such a low BB I never bashed the pedals much, and yeah, I feel like the weight kept it nice and flat/stable in the air (considering how short the thing is). I swapped on a Romic and a 55 and it's STILL a really fun bike.
  • + 11
 My question for the test crew is this. How do i interpret statements like "Our riding comrades were quick to comment that the bike straight-up made us faster".

What exactly does that mean? It made you faster than what? Faster than you were riding your own rig? Some other rig? And if thats the case what were those bikes?

I would assume the guys testing bikes for pinkbike are generally always riding some high end gear correct? So am I to conclude that you are saying this Norco made you faster than when riding your own or other higher end bikes?
  • + 7
 Great write up and vid/pics. You really convey the proper points of deliberation when buying a new bike. Now if only shredders with well polished writing did all the reviews we'd be talking!!! Give this guy a raise!!!
  • + 5
 my buddy just got the Aurum LE a couple weeks ago. after having three V10's over the past 6 or so years, ending with the most recent aluminum version. He says the Aurum is much snappier in the corners. more planted and stable in a straight line through the rough, pedals 5 times better, and has more torsional stiffness. hearing it go down trail, its extremely quiet too. Which is an added plus, and also important for some. P.S.- I thought the song fit great.
  • + 6
 Awesome, now all I need to do is wait a few years untill these frames start showing up on the Pinkbike Buy n Sell for $500 and I can actually own / afford one.
  • + 8
 That music ruined the video for me, but otherwise a very useful interview!
  • + 3
 Yea. There's a time and place for Nine Inch Nail awesomeness but showing off a new bikes needs some swagger/strutting music more or less.
  • + 21
 In my opinion, this music is much better than those overused dubstep remixes! And it suits the riding as well. Big Grin
  • + 5
 Nine Inch Nails is ALWAYS a good tune Smile !
  • + 6
 but doesn't it make you feel better?
  • - 6
flag thrasher2 (Jun 20, 2012 at 8:09) (Below Threshold)
 I watched with the sound muted, assuming it would be dubstep. Had to re-watch with sound after reading these comments.
  • + 3
 loved the music!
  • + 2
 Dudes music kick so much ass!
  • + 2
 Kids have no taste these days. NIN for the WIN!
  • + 10
 didn't mind the music , just the glow'flare effect on the rims etc was so corny Razz
  • + 4
 I bought an LE frame with the cane creek DB on it this year. Running with fox 40. I have ridden MANY a DH frame and I have to say that the Aurum is quite simply the fastest and most capable bike I have ever been on. Such an awesome combo of low slung and very plush while still remaining flickable. It truly is an out of the world bike!!
  • + 6
 Love the sacrificial bolt on the hanger rather than snapping the hange. Don't know why more companies don't do it.
  • + 2
 I just bought this bike a couple of months ago. Other than the derailleur falling off as soon as I got it on the trails at Whistler (bike shop's fault) it's been super amazing! I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Except... I don't recall the rims glistening as I blast down the trails..
  • + 1
 I'm very impressed with the internal seatpost clamp and fork bumpers, it's refreshing to see that the designers added some practical features that matter when you're actually riding a bike. The spare hanger bolt is brilliant, it'll be there when you need it. Do forks have "bells and whistles"? No, they have certain adjustments and features and a technical review should reflect factual data not rhetoric. I am of course jealous.
  • + 1
 Hello, i bought a Norco Aurum 2 2013 frame, naked, no shock, and the linkage is moving left and right, not much but enought to make a metal sound, i would say like 2mm, is that normal or i need to get some plastic or metal spacers.
  • + 1
 That thing is simply awesome value for money! I'd love to get my hands on one of those, minus bars/cranks/chainguide/pedals/shifter/rear mech/brakes (I've got all that stuff dialed for myself already and would be swapping from another bike anyway, might as well save some money up front)
  • + 1
 I have had mine for 2 months now and I love it!! It corners well, its nimble to throw into turns but handles rock gardens and drops amazing. I’m the first one in Utah to own one and will probably be the only one since Norco sold all the 2012’s already. All my friends that ride the fury, demo, kona’s, commencal’s all love the way my bike handles. The one weakness are the pedals but those usually get replaced any way. I snapped my left one in half the 4th ride and got some deity pedals. This is an amazing sub 40 lb rig!
  • + 1
 l always/often thought Norco was over rated...AND --- in big bold letters, back in the day when l was looking at them... the traveling sales rep l was given was horrible (he never followed up with any of my questions... right from the get go so l never picked up the brand). That Aurum is looking bad ars. very nice --- they're still using a super common design concept (that works) but still... super sweet. l'd buy one.


one comment --- looks a lot like a Trek
  • + 2
 those flashes off the rim in the video are trippy! Not only does it look fast but in case that fails it blinds anyone that comes too close :p
  • + 12
 star filter on the camera, seems an odd choice and way over the top to me.
  • + 1
 The effect didn't seem to match the music choice very well. Just my view on it. Maybe a nice effect for another edit. New bikes are looking good though, only wish I had enough cash to spend on one!
  • + 4
 Personal i really didn't like the effect, it didn't look professorial. It was a cool idea though
  • + 2
 IMHO... Brad can do no wrong. After that dog jumping in slo-mo bit, he's earned the right to be as experimental as he wants.
  • + 5
 looking good
  • + 2
 The thing that stood out the most to me was how they machines the pivots into the tubes. Love that idea
  • + 0
 *machined
  • + 2
 In the title picture the boxxer logo lines up so well...somebody put that fork together perfectly!
  • + 1
 Im going to buy one tomorrow!! because it was on pink bike and everyone will know how cool it is and how cool I am now........
  • + 2
 thats looks like the nicest norco I have ever seen! norco has step their game up! tup
  • + 2
 too bad they decided to use the vivid on the more expensive model. vector hlr would've been both cheaper and better
  • + 1
 I completely agree. The Vivis is the only thing I do not like about my Aurum!
  • + 3
 B-Rad does it again~! REdiculous lines at Race Horse.... RIP
  • + 2
 that thing looks sick, and a nice trail to test it out on too... good article
  • + 4
 The hell was that music
  • + 1
 Nine inch Nails with March of the pigs
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mDQNRs5JCs
  • - 23
flag metalarc (Jun 20, 2012 at 5:50) (Below Threshold)
 I agree Tomer. now a days they are all becoming just lightweight "all mountain" bikes with long travel suspension is all. I dont want no mountain bike I want a downhill beast ! My ride is so big and mean and heavy , when it rolls it snarls like a beast. when i come around the guys that ride crap like this with my heavy 04 demo, all the guys get jeliouse. but hey You're the ones that complain about weight! and have the market curving to bull crapp that breaks easyor look like this . bunch of weight weenies. with my heavy bike if i change my mind durring mid descend and choose to carve a new line on the spot, I Can without a problem. these light wieght guys have to stick to the program or they crash and break their weakended watered down components lol or they follow me.
  • + 36
 Nobody is jealous of your 04 demo..
  • + 13
 Session, I would +1 your comment 20 times if I could. I have NEVER been riding my 34lb TR450 going "man, this bike would be so much better if it was 12lbs heavier"... please.
  • + 4
 I would love an 04 demo to hang on my wall though. it is a piece of MTB history after all.
  • + 1
 Don't worry lowside67, I propped him too haha
  • + 4
 metalarc, you can always put some lead on a new frame when you buy it.
  • + 3
 @metalarc, If your bike snarls you may want to check your brakes, might be rubbing.
  • + 1
 metalarc.... i ride a tank of a bike but ill be honest if i could afford a modern lightweight dh bike ...... id have one already!!!!! i never really belived in the lighter is better brigade, until recently... it may sound geeky and a bit dweeby but a lighter bike is certianly more fun to ride, faster and easier to push back to the top.....
  • - 2
 Just came from ridding with a bunch of blokes who thought they had dh Bikes until they rode with me. they soon realized all they really had was expensive all mountain/ enduro bikes sold to them under the name "DH". light wieght nice and quiet. I dont know how many flat tires of theirs I fixed this weekend but none where mine I just rode the outer perimeter on my snarling (loud ratchet) beast like a Shark keeping a school of fish in check. and yes I rode through bush with no probs no flats, nothing those all mountain/enduro wanna be Dh bikes had to stick to the trail. you boys will soon be back in tights again pumping uphill.
  • + 2
 Back in tights? i ALWAYS wear tights. That will never change regardless of the bike I own.
  • + 2
 Well for starters I've ridden these bikes that you claim are "DH" bikes, and I have an Enduro/All Mountain bike. There is a huge difference, you're just stupid.
  • + 1
 Also, implying having an All Mountain bike means you can't go through bush, that's down to the tyres you use not what bike you own. If anything an All Mountain bike has less chance of getting a flat on the same tyres as a DH rig as it weighs less and therefore there is less pressure pushing down onto the tyres. And I don't stick to the trail on my AM bike, I treat it like a DH bike, except it can go up hills too, its bombproof.
  • + 3
 for sure waiting for carbon version !
  • + 2
 The "I'm fast as hell vibe" that you mentioned is what every good bike needs.
  • + 3
 Wait what? 30" bars are now LESS than the industry standard!?!
  • + 1
 I think so man. Btw. Any tips on what size to get? Im 5'9" and 147 pounds. Which size would be best? Medium or Large. I dont want to spend the money and then grow out of the ride in a year or two.
  • + 1
 Medium. The Large is pretty long. I'm 6'2" and it felt perfect.
  • + 1
 thats the first time ive hear mr trent reznor in a bike video that i can remember, made a nice change
  • - 2
 test rode this and a kona operator at lbs, honestly love the look of this bike, buuut out of the box the rear shock bushings were totaly shot. ended up with the operator and love it to bits. but i did love the little things on the norco ie the spare hanger bolt and int bumpstops yaz!
  • + 1
 Fuck yeah operator!
  • + 3
 How were the shock bushings "totally shot" if it was out of the box. That in itself makes no sense. I don't think Norco would place worn bushings in a NEW frame...
  • + 1
 I cross shopped the same and also ended up on the operator...saved $500 over the aurum too.
  • + 1
 I'm not going to fault Norco for the Aurum, it's good to have competition in the 'cheap' end of the downhill bike market!
  • + 1
 the more competition the better bike manufacureres will make their " budget" bikes, simple as

be that as it may... a good paintjob can certainly sway me from one bike to another, not completely but it can be a final straw Razz
  • + 1
 well the bike shop i got it from built it, and told me the rear bushing was damaged, when you lifted the saddle up you could feel play in the shock mounting. a couple of mm worth. he said he had tried to tighten it but it didnt work.
  • - 2
 I just realized this isnt a forum, this is a ploy by sales folk to keep dumbing consumers down into buying the watered down crap thats being made nowadays .the market stopped producing DH bikes in 04. as they where indestructible and nonprofitable. whats being sold now is all mountain Bikes in Camouflage and you know, the way some of these folks are talking, I dont feel bad for them being bent over and waxed by the hustlers who turn over watered down bikes like computers now. your ride will be old in six months, and thats if it doesnt break before that. hmmm I think I should jump in somewhere and get fat off these " ".
  • - 2
 So I bought his bike acouple weeks ago and lets just say I've had the worst of luck with mine... Already cracked the rear wheel and blew the shock and also broke the deraiiler hanger I'm really disappointed in this bike and let's just say I am only 110 pounds
  • + 8
 How did you break it though. If you're only 110Lbs, I'm assuming you threw it from a helicopter. I've had bikes for years and I'm 220Lbs with gear and I have yet to smash a rim, or blow a rear shock. If you did this through a massive crash, then it's not the bike...
  • + 0
 raced mt hood and that happened
  • + 6
 breaking a derailer hanger means you cliped something. cracking a rim means you hit something or ran too low of tire pressure. Blowing the shock well that sucks, warranty it. everything you described had nothing to do with the frame, only components. Components do break. I broke a $250 chain guide on second run because i cased a jump. my fault not the maker.
  • + 3
 Agree, with above. It's not the frame, the frame didn't crack or snap did it?
  • + 1
 I popped my shock too, I warrantied it and there was a screw loose. it was a massive problem with all x fusion shocks, and for 2014 there was a reform.
  • + 1
 I love my frame. im slowly upgrading it, whilst paying to keep it serviced, but it is just getting better and better! id like to add that I am 125 pounds.
  • + 1
 I like clean and simple designs and this does to me, Thumbs Up for your Aurum2 Norco !
  • + 2
 £1999 at Evans cycles now i believe what a bargain
  • + 1
 I just priced out an Aurum yesterday at my lbs. This review came in perfect time for me! Thanks!
  • + 1
 looks awkward needs wider bars Smile seems nice though bringing back the old ironhorse style
  • + 1
 im thinking about getting either this or the demo 8 i. Can anyone offer some input?
  • + 1
 Great bike a must try,, just bought one seems nice ,, come spring I'll get it out on my local steep.
  • + 2
 Looks so much better than my Norco Team DH 2011... want!
  • + 1
 Saw some people on it - looked happy. A bit lightweight for the alps, time will tell.
  • + 1
 At 35.8lbs in a size large mine still monster trucks quite well. Cant wait fot the carbon frame.
  • + 2
 this bike is the butter to my bread!
  • + 1
 They could of done cable routing over the back swing arm better than that. Other than that i like it
  • + 1
 How do they make the bike stand up in the last photo? I've never been able to work it out.
  • + 2
 If you look closely at the bottom bracket, you can see the trace of the cloning out a stick which holds the bike. Smile
  • + 1
 see the stick...
  • + 1
 Hey everyone, would a size small Aurum fit someone who is 5'3''? Thanks
  • + 0
 how does this compare to the 2012 Kona Operator which is at same price point but slightly higher speccd
  • + 1
 id rather have a yt tues dh bike this is twice the price.....
  • + 1
 Those trails are way cooler than the bike.
  • + 1
 les effets de reflexion de lumieres sont juste mal foutu
  • + 1
 Looks a lot like a Session 88 frame...
  • + 0
 finally a video with no DUMBSTEP or slow motion gay stuff!!!! And it still has less favourites than SILVIA videos....
  • + 1
 such a sleek, sexy, looking bike.
  • + 1
 Man. That's a nice bicycle.
  • + 2
 thats a sick bike
  • + 1
 I think you guys should just have Matt Miles test all of these bikes.
  • + 1
 never really liked norco but ill admit this would be one to ride
  • + 1
 the welds looks strong.. nice
  • + 1
 What trail is that?
  • + 1
 很棒
  • + 1
 何。
  • + 1
 Fukengrüven
  • + 0
 nice bike but i will stick with my demo Big Grin
  • + 1
 simple a dream.
  • + 1
 Looks great!
  • + 1
 Nice work Norco!
  • + 1
 nine inch nails!!! \m/
  • + 0
 shut up
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