Bike Check: Comparing Norco Factory Racing's Sight Enduro Setups

Jul 29, 2020
by Aidan Oliver  


The first event of Crankworx's Summer Series kicked off today in SilverStar bike park with the Enduro. You can normally find Henry Fitzgerald, Lucas Cruz and Elliot Jamieson of Norco Factory Racing traveling the World Cup circuit, but with 2020 the way it is, we tracked them down to check out their Enduro race bikes. All 3 riders were on the Sight 29, with almost identical specs but with some crucial differences to set them apart.

Henry Fitzgerald
Home: North Vancouver, Canada
Age: 20
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 86kg
Frame Size: Large
Wheels: 29"
Bike Weight: 34lbs
Elliot Jamieson
Home: White Rock, Canada
Age: 19
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 75kg
Frame Size: Large
Wheels: 29"
Bike Weight: 34lbs
Lucas Cruz
Home: Pemberton, Canada
Age: 19
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 81kg
Frame Size: Large
Wheels: 29"
Bike Weight: 34lbs

Despite heights ranging from 180cm to 186cm, all 3 riders choose to ride size large frames. Elliott and Lucas would be on XLs if they were racing enduro regularly, but as these are their non-race bikes usually, they prefer to downsize for the playfulness. This is something that is becoming more common across EWS bikes and we've seen rider such as Richie Rude and Matt Walker wunning medium frames even though on paper they should suit a large.

bigquotesI rode the XL for a while and it was just too long for me in the rear, I like this one, it's more playful.Lucas Cruz

bigquotesI got sucked into the hype of the large and I've been liking it.Henry Fitzgerald


Suspension Set Up


All 3 riders were running the same fork and shock combo. A 170mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, 10mm more than the stock 160mm fork and 42mm offset. A Super Deluxe Coil with a slightly longer 55mm stroke over the stock 52.5mm to get the tiniest bit more travel and a custom linear tune. Despite running the same fork and shock, settings are drastically different, due to different weights and riding styles.



Fitzgerald:

Fork:
Pressure: 99 psi
Volume spacers: 0
Rebound: -5
Compression: HS - 3, LS - 17

Shock:
Spring: 600lb
Rebound: - 8
Compression: HS - 4, LS - 9
Jamieson:

Fork:
Pressure: 91
Volume spacers: half a volume spacer
Rebound: -5
Compression: LS - 16

Shock:
Spring: 500lb
Rebound: - 10
Compression: LS - 9
Cruz:

Fork:
Pressure: 101
Volume spacers: half a volume spacer
Rebound: - 5
Compression: HS - 4, LS - 15

Shock:
Spring: 550lb
Rebound: - 9
Compression: LS - 9


Wheels and Tires


Fitzgerald:

Wheels: DT Swiss EX511 rims laced to 240s hubs and Cush Core Pro installed front and rear.
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 2.5, 24psi, Double Down
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.4 WT, 28psi, Double Down
Jamieson:

Wheels: DT Swiss EX511 rims laced to 240s hubs and Cush Core Pro installed front and rear.
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 2.5, 22psi, Double Down
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.5 WT, 25psi, ZK rear.

Jamieson transferred his ZK reinfrorced tire from his DH bike to tackle the sharp rocks of SilverStar.
Cruz:

Wheels:DT Swiss EX511 rims laced to 240s hubs with 54-tooth ratchet with Cush Core Pro installed front and rear.
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 2.5, 24psi, Double Down
Rear Tire Maxxis Aggressor 2.5 WT, 27psi, Double Down

Cruz has been running a semi slick on the dusty trails of his hometown in Pemberton so wanted something high rolling to race on at SilverStar.


Drivetrain and Dropper

All three riders were running SRAM AXS 12 speed drivetrains. The only difference being Fitzgerald runs a 34 tooth chainring compared to Cruz and Jamieson's 32 tooth rings.


All 3 riders were also running 170mm AXS Reverb dropper posts.

Brakes


All 3 riders were running SRAM's Code RSC brakes with a few subtle differences. Cruz and Jamieson run their brakes with Metallic pads and the levers in a fairly neutral position, whereas Fitzgerald runs his levers close to flat and with one metallic and one resin pad in each caliper. All riders use 200mm rotors for max stopping power.

Cockpit


Fitzgerald:

Bar: Deity Skyline 787 31.8, 25mm rise, 787mm width
Stem: Deity Copperhead, 50mm, 10mm spacer
Grips: Deity Waypoint

Henry likes to run his bars rolled back to centre his body position as he naturally rides over the back of the bike. He also much prefers the feel of a worn in old set of grips than a fresh pair.
Jamieson:

Bar: Deity Skyline 787 31.8, 25mm rise, 770mm width
Stem: Deity Copperhead, 50mm, 10mm spacer
Grips: Deity Knuckle Supracrush

Elliot is a fan of Deity's larger diameter grips.
Cruz:

Bar: Deity Skyline 787 31.8, 25mm rise, 780mm width
Stem: Deity Copperhead, 50mm, 10mm spacer
Grips: Deity Lockjaw


Extras

Stolen from his mechanic, Henry was using this custom leather multi tool pouch, made using a hand cranked leather stitching machine Very hipster.

All the riders on the team use HT's X2 clipless pedals.

Elliot's replica Taiwanese beer water bottle.

Lucas runs an STFU chain silcencer, whereas Henry goes for a more homemade approach.

Custom stem top cap for Lucas.



96 Comments

  • 49 0
 that leather multi tool holder is the coolest i've ever seen. taken right from the horse world, awesome!
  • 13 28
flag nordland071285 (Jul 29, 2020 at 18:31) (Below Threshold)
 Cool design definitely ..Even cooler if it was made of an animal-friendly and eco-friendly material
  • 9 5
 surprised this got so downvoted - im not saying this isnt cool im just saying that it would be EVEN cooler if it were made of a different material.. after all we dont need to involve animals and the tanning process, when theres plenty of good natural materials out there
  • 16 0
 I love that these fast, bigger guys are all running next to no volume spacers in their forks and coils in the rear (which is basically equivalent to running an air shock with no volume spacers). This is exactly how I run my Sight and I love it. People need to get rid of the false association between volume spacers and how fast you are. If you understand how air springs work, it comes down to tuning a force curve to work well with a frame's leverage curve. Modern kinematics and dialed negative air springs are making volume spacers much less needed, especially for larger aggressive riders. Tokens are more useful tuning tools if you are a lighter rider, running short travel, or on an older linear bike.
  • 8 0
 I was pretty happy to see that too. If everyone did actual back to back testing with volume spacers I think most of us would agree that they are just "harshness increasers" .

That's the conclusion I came to at least. Only really makes sense if you want to prevent bottoming and your airspring is too soft, which is a horrible setup anyways. I guess also if you are riding rampage sized stuff, or just for DC forks with huge positive volume.
  • 4 0
 Agreed, recently removed all my volume spacers in my lyrik and then when the 2020 air spring came out I put just one back in. Increased my psi in both scenarios and fork now feels amazing.
  • 2 0
 I am running three spacers and 27% sag. With any less spacers and running up to 22% sag I was always bottoming out hard.

155lbs, ride a lot of DH, don’t send stupid stuff.
  • 4 0
 less spacers - more air pressure
  • 25 1
 @BrianColes: You fit into that light rider category. You have to run volume spacers to keep the bike feeling reasonably sensitive while still having enough ramp-up to prevent bottom out at speed. Speed has a MUCH greater impact on the total energy going into our bikes than weight. The velocity input is exponential, while mass input is constant. In other words, a fast, light rider needs to have virtually equivalent support at the end of the travel as a heavy rider going the same speed. Tuning the spring force in the initial phases of travel becomes the hard part. That is why it makes sense for lighter riders to run lower air pressures initially and have a good amount of ramp up (via volume spacers) at the end of travel to absorb the high-speed hits. A larger rider can utilize a more linear spring curve to achieve similar results while still having good small bump sensitivity in the initial phases of travel due to his/her greater mass. This is also why you occasionally see world cup teams experimenting with suspension setup while strapping weight to their bikes.
  • 3 0
 @grizzlyatom: this guy knows the physics.... speed is key.
  • 2 0
 @grizzlyatom: Can confirm, I am both fast (sorta) and heavy (kinda).
  • 2 0
 @grizzlyatom: that's a really smart way of looking at setup, and not something I had thought of. Thanks!
  • 3 0
 @grizzlyatom: Thanks for that info. That all makes a lot of sense.

And I am pretty fast so....
  • 1 0
 @BrianColes: You must be with that ballin' stack of tokens! Smile I wish I was both lighter and faster...
  • 1 0
 @grizzlyatom: I’m confused you’re saying a heavier rider needs a more linear spring rate?
  • 2 0
 @anothermtnbiker: Not Really. The air spring is inherently progressive rather than linear. But light riders and heavy riders need to make different adjustments to get similar curves. Heavy riders need high pressure and high volume while light riders need lower pressure and lower volume.
  • 3 1
 @anothermtnbiker: @GERZ Put it correctly. There are so many things at play, especially with rear suspension, that I can't go into it all here. Ultimately, the point I'm trying to make is that I think most riders (heavier ones in particular) reduce the volume in their air shocks too much. They do so because many smaller, lighter reviewers (or reviewers who just don't know better) have conditioned them to do just that - add tokens until you just can't stand it. We sacrifice a lot of performance if that is our default suspension set up guide. As long as your bike doesn't have a super linear leverage curve, I would suggest that any of you 180+lb riders try pulling some volume spacers front and rear. You may add a little pressure compared to what you ran before and you might be pleasantly surprised with how it rides. Also, don't get hung up on sag numbers, many pros have ridden sag numbers that don't make sense on paper. Ride your bike and figure out what ride height gives you the most confidence and stick with that.
  • 4 0
 Interesting thoughts. I know a lot of people on Sights and everyone thinks they are great bikes but everyone running the RS rear shock has added spacers (Fox riders have been fine - longer stroke(55mm Vs 52.5), different air chamber, bigger bottom out bumper IIRC).
I set mine up using the Ride Aligned system and bottomed the shock out super hard on a feature that I know well because I built it..... I'm around 175lb and would have had to have had 'beyond Pro' pressures in order to get the bottom out resistance needed. Then one loses initial sensitivity. I get the argument for running more air and less tokens, but not everyone wants to ride at 110% (which is when the Sight is at it's best) all the time. I'm not normally a serial token-adder but this combination of shock and frame rate required it.
  • 2 0
 @grizzlyatom: I'm 65kg (143lbs) and when I tried lower pressure-more spacers in my lyrik it felt bad, very unsupportive feel and there was huge ramp up deeper in travel and midstroke wasnt existing for me, very bad for steeper tracks, maybe I did something wrong with my setup but even 75psi for my weight should be plenty but it wasnt, it was just too soft for me.Now my base setup is around 83psi with 1 spacer, It feel great, supportive yet supple and rump up is very gentle but I have still enough ramp up for special hard hits or overshoot, but in general I cant believe I run 83psi in my fork with my weight, like rockshox recomending 65psi for my weight and thats pure dogshit I dont understat why would anyone ride undersprung fork like that. I will install MY21 airspring tomorrow so I think I will try less pressure since fork should ride littbe bit higher and have less positive volume so more ramp up.
  • 1 0
 @wallheater: I've read in a review that the fox shock has a travel reducer to get the 52.5 stroke.
  • 2 0
 @wallheater: I ride with 4 other guys that own Sights, so my experience isn't isolated. Between us all, there are two fox x2's, one fox coil, and two RS Superdeluxes. I run an aftermarket 55mm stroke super deluxe with no spacers. Of all of us, myself and the guy running the coil are the happiest with our setups. I truly think the increased initial spring force along with a linear spring rate is what makes the difference. I've added a bit of pressure, but I don't feel like I have sensitivity problems on the bike thanks to my weight and the 3.25:1 starting leverage ratio. Also, I would cut out the travel shim if I had the 52.5mm stroke super deluxe. 55mm is what this bike likes.
  • 1 0
 Yep my sight is no volume spacers in fork too. (78kg on 36 Performance Elite) Keen for a coil but X2 is running nice.

Assegai, Agressor 2.5 combo on mine. 23/26PSI
  • 1 0
 @jardo: The old Lyrik was a bit of an outlier. The compression ratio was too low to achieve any meaningful progression through the midstroke stroke. All of this spacer business is on a sliding scale that is ultimately dictated by the manufacturer - with the starting/ending volume of their air spring. Like you said, with Rockshox's new air spring they've reduced the positive air volume as well as adjusted the positive/negative spring balance, and it's done a good job of fixing the lack of support. Hope you enjoy it!
  • 1 0
 @grizzlyatom: what is also important to consider: these are PRO RACINg setups, which none of any of us „weekend warriors“ would want on his/her bike, barely rideable for many of us.
  • 2 0
 @grizzlyatom: these bike checks and your comments encouraged me to go from 2 to 1 volume spacer and add 5 psi in the Super Deluxe on my Devinci Troy 29. I did a lap on a fast, rough trail and the increased traction on consecutive medium-sized hits is noticeable, so much so that I stopped to check if I had a flat. It seems to have toned down a bit of harshness I was feeling.

Just to try, I have now gone from 1 to 0 tokens in my 170 Lyrik with Debonair C2 air spring, and added 5 psi. We’ll see if I like it.

Could it be that with progress made in reducing stiction, we no longer need to run super low pressures to get the sensitivity we’re after?
  • 6 0
 "Elliott and Lucas would be on XLs if they were racing enduro regularly, but as these are their non-race bikes usually, they prefer to downsize for the playfulness. This is something that is becoming more common across EWS bikes and we've seen rider such as Richie Rude and Matt Walker wunning medium frames even though on paper they should suit a large."

This paragraph is so confused. Elliott and Lucas would usually run an XL for a race bike... but it's becoming more common in the EWS to run a smaller size for a race bike... and today these guys are running smaller sizes, but _not_ on race bikes.
  • 1 0
 What is confusing is that Elliott is actually the shortest of the guys, maybe they meant Henry?
  • 8 0
 I’m still trying to see what the differences are beyond setting suspension correctly for each rider
  • 4 0
 Anybody know when the 2021 sights would USUALLY be available? I wanted a 2020 sight since April but covid has other plans and sold them all out, I think I speak for a lot of people, we need some restock !!
  • 1 0
 Pretty much the case with every brand, especially the newly redesigned models.
  • 6 0
 Are the suspension settings from full clock or counter-clock wise?
  • 4 0
 Closed vs open is better way to express that. Should be from closed otherwise the numbers are next to meaningless.
  • 1 7
flag ssteve (Jul 29, 2020 at 12:30) (Below Threshold)
 Fully open in to "minus"
  • 9 0
 @ssteve: wtf? No, clicks should be always counted from fully closed.
  • 2 0
 @Mondbiker: you're right.
In my defense though, I posted this while intoxicated.
  • 5 0
 The most troubling thing is that none of them are using their accessory mounts
  • 2 1
 Nice article, thanks. What do you mean by a "custom linear tune"? Is that in relation to the extra stroke of the shock, i.e. beyond 52.5mm the leverage ratio goes linear ( the statement is part of the sentence about extra stroke) or do they have a custom tune on the damper?
  • 8 0
 It's a custom aftermarket tune on the damper
  • 2 0
 @aidanoliver: To confirm, buying a 185 x 55mm coil shock would need a custom tune? Why is that?
Thanks
  • 3 3
 What do you mean with Fitzgerals running one metallic and one resin pad on his brakes? Does that mean, he has metallic up front and resin in the rear or is he mix-matching two pairs of brake pades so one metallic and one resin pad are rubbing against the exact same disc on both ends of the bike? If the latter is the case, is this in any way proven to be safe and maybe better?
  • 9 1
 In each caliper Henry runs one metalic and one resin pad for the best of both worlds
  • 5 0
 The latter. The idea is to get the modulation of resin and the fading resistance of metallic. I've tried it once but didn't like it because the pads would wear unevenly. For a pro with fresh pads every race that wouldn't be an issue though.
  • 2 0
 One of each pad in each brake (F/R). It's perfectly safe, and means you get a bit more initial bite but without much loss of power.
  • 4 0
 Thank you all! I was just confused, because I have never heard of this method before. Maybe I will try it one day.
  • 3 0
 @maybenotaprofile: Greg Minaar made it popular.
  • 1 0
 There are a lot of pro's who have been running one resin and one metallic pad and are really liking the outcome
  • 1 0
 I read were Loic Bruni runs metallic and resin as well but because of the way his brake are made they have 4 pads in each caliper so they each have a pair of metallic's & a pair of resin pads It seems to me that Magura is the brand you can do this with, right?
  • 4 0
 @Fastfish11: Yes, Maguras have 4 separate pads, one for each piston. However, I don't think that's what oyu want to do, you'd want resin on one side and metallic on the other. Otherwise the rotor would be contaminating each pad with residue from the other one.
  • 5 1
 Where can I find that Taiwan bottle?!
  • 1 0
 Hate to state the obvious, but Elliot's bike. . .
  • 5 1
 They wanted playfulness? Has anyone told them about a thing called 27.5?!
  • 2 1
 Mullet
  • 3 0
 "wunning medium fwames even though on papew they should suit a lawge." - Fixed it!
  • 3 3
 So all factory athletes downsized for Racing, in case you will opt for Norco recommendation for 186 height it will put you on XL;

Other than that nice looking bikes that are all equal in terms of all components
  • 8 0
 I read that as the opposite, they would normally run XLs for racing but these bikes are their 'play' bikes so they downsized for more playfulness.
  • 7 6
 Yeah clearly we've jumped the shark for bike length. When pros who want a fun bike downsize...and top pros racing in the EWS downsize...maybe we should just admit bikes are to long. Hell Richie Rude is on a freaking medium and as tall some of these guys (maybe taller). But yeah all of us regular joes all need a new extra long bike lol. Perhaps an appropriately sized bike is faster AND more fun?? The good news is that I think bike length is kind of stabilizing. We went from flawed non-sense like the previous gen Following and Ripleys (so short it was a joke) to bikes that are now oversized. I'm fine with downsizing but it'd be nice if they just made the bikes sized right. Ibis Ripmo, Pivot Switchblade, Rocky Mountain etc have all done a nice job of keeping it real
  • 6 0
 @Svinyard: You're really only speaking for yourself. Fit comes down to physiology (center of gravity, arm and leg length, etc.) and riding style. Modern progressive geometry has only opened up more options for the average rider. No one forces you to buy a particular size. Demo a few sizes of the bike you like and choose the one that's right for you. With seat tubes getting shorter, it makes it possible for virtually any person to choose from at least two different frame sizes. At 190cm with a forward riding style, I have only been impressed by the newer, longer geometry. I feel like I can finally find a bike that fits me.
  • 4 3
 @grizzlyatom: I'm just talking about the pros downsizing, not my own experience. Add Florian to that list as well. I'm taller than you fwiw...we represent about 2% of the MTB community if I recall. The longer bikes do serve as a crutch for less skilled riders in certain areas but have real drawbacks. I think people need coaching not super long bikes.
  • 1 2
 @Svinyard: Maybe if you were a little taller you wouldn;t think that, and at this point in the geometry chase we need to stop the every year longer and longer thing theres still plenty of room for improvement still in the way our bikes cover the ground
  • 2 0
 @Fastfish11: Lol I'm 6-4. That's within the 100th percentile iirc.
  • 1 0
 @Gregdogg: it´s pretty much what you said word for word, these are normally not their race bikesm they are fun bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: yeah real drawbacks like not fitting every car rack or into every gondola.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: yup love my switchblade
  • 1 2
 With Norco really hyping the Ride Align I would love to see this article updated with complete suspension set up. How many clicks of HC LC and rebound. I found the no token and half token part very interesting. Also can you please say what the extra 2.5mm of shock struck makes the rear travel. I would guess it bumps it up to about 160mm. Making it the new Range. @adianoliver
  • 2 0
 My only question: When will @ennefdesign-nf sell Tie dye jerseys to the public?
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice they’re all on 31.8 skyline bars? I always thought that those were a pretty lightweight bar for hard charging especially from these brutes.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking about a Manitou Mara. But the Mara is only available with 55mm stroke, so I was unsure. But these shows that it also works with more stroke.
  • 1 0
 They must be running about 10% sag on the forks with them pressures.I only run 72psi for 20% sag ,200lb rider.
  • 1 0
 I'm 200lb and run 90 to 100pso depending on fork. 72 on derado which also has a coil in it
  • 1 0
 Different geo, also shock pumps still suck. I have 2 modern pumps that read 10psi apart
  • 2 0
 nah these forks run way more air im a joey and i ride 99 psi for 165lbs
  • 1 0
 @cmitchell: Ive got the same forks,anything over 80psi and it's brutal on the arms,weird eh?
  • 2 0
 they look like SessioN... Razz
  • 1 0
 Thank you, awsome article and comments. It will help me set up my new Lyrik (and a few other things).
  • 2 0
 Great looking bikes!
  • 1 0
 Thank you now I can spend more $$$ on parts!
  • 1 0
 number board holder let's talk money
  • 2 0
 What is the rim width?
  • 1 3
 That´s what google is for.
  • 2 0
 30mm
  • 1 0
 Team Norco has that Bart Taylor and the Miranda brothers look
  • 1 0
 lol that Taiwanese Beer water bottle cracked me up....
  • 1 0
 So... Enduro bikes ARE to much bike?!
  • 1 0
 I absolutely love that paint-job. To sad that its not available in retail.
  • 1 0
 Boys
  • 1 0
 no 27.5? I'm out
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