Field Test: 2022 Norco Range VLT - The Carbon Monster Truck

Sep 15, 2021
by Matt Beer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Norco Range VLT C1



Words by Matt Beer, photography by Tom Richards


If you're going to buy a full size pick-up truck, then you may as well choose the burlier 1-ton version with all power and heavy duty suspension. Plow through obstacles, not around them. That's how I would peg the Norco Range VLT C1 against the other eMTBs in our Summer Field Test. This is the third generation of the Range VLT in just three years, proving how fast eMTBs are progressing and Norco’s commitment to keeping up with market trends and customer needs.

Norco reconfigured the frame so the battery could be removed from the down tube, which still uses a Horst Link suspension design, but the shock is now placed horizontally under the top tube rather than being vertically in line with the seat tube. This also opens up space inside the front triangle for not one, but two 620 mL water bottles on the size large and XL frames.

Norco Range VLT Details

• Travel: 180 mm front / 170 mm rear
• Wheel size: 29”
• Hub spacing: 148 mm
• Head angle: 63°
• Seat tube angle: 76.9°
• Reach: 475 mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 462 mm
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 25.76 kg / 56.8 lb (w/ control tires)
• Three battery options including 900 Wh
• Price: $9,648 USD (as tested)
norco.com
An updated silhouette carries over into the shorter travel Sight and Fluid VLT as well. In fact, the Range and Sight share the same frame members, but use different links, yokes, and shock lengths to alter the kinematics.

The Range VLT is the burliest eMTB in Norco’s garage, wielding a 180 mm travel fork and 170 mm of rear wheel action via a coil shock. Our C1 trim comes in at $8,399 USD, without a battery. Customers get a choice of 540, 720, or 900 Wh batteries for $850, $1,050, or $1,250, respectively. One could even purchase two batteries to suit their ride times or reduce the overall weight of the bike. Each battery differs by about 800 grams, and our size large bike, equipped with the 900 Wh battery, tipped the scales at almost 26 kg.

Shimano covers everything from the drivetrain to the brakes on this build with a mix of XTR, XT, and SLX shifting, paired with the EP8 motor. The cable management and display integration was quiet and tidy, but the rattle from the Shimano EP8 motor and Ice-tech brake pads did add up to a lot of noise while descending.

Norco Range VLT C1

Moving along, the Range VLT rolls on sturdy Maxxis Assegais, with a Double Down casing (swapped for control tires), and DT Swiss E1700 hybrid wheels featuring Centerlock style hubs. It would have been nice to see 220mm rotors front and rear on this bike, considering the extra mass that needs to be slowed down.

Like other bike families under the Norco brand, the Range VLT is said to use their Ride Align geometry to tweak more than just the stand over and length of the front triangle to meet rider height requirements. There are four frame sizes to choose from to fit riders 155 to 193 cm. Although the seat angle does get steeper as you move up from 76.2º on the size small to 77.2º on the XL, the head angle remains unchanged at a relaxed 63º, as do the lengthy 462 mm chainstays. Our size large frame had a reach of 475 mm and a tall stack of 641 mm.

All of the Range VLT’s progressive geometry numbers, weight, and longer travel did prove to be ground-hugging, but that wasn’t such a terrible thing. The Range felt the most stable and planted, which has a trade-off for quick handling. However, I didn’t find at any point that amount of travel held it back, even in tighter terrain.



Norco Range VLT C1
Norco Range VLT C1

Climbing

The upright seated position and long travel chassis wanted to go through things instead of over them. It made for a stable and comfortable ride, translating to a safe feeling with lots of traction. With that said, sometimes I found the coil to be so sensitive that even with the climb switch closed there was a fair bit of suspension movement. Luckily, the steeper angle kept the climbing position forward and upright. The amount of cushion that the Ergon SM-10 E-Mountain Sport provided added to this experience, making it easier to deliver consistent power without oscillating the system across undulating terrain.

If there was one downside to this bulldozer style approach of climbing, it would be the overall length of the bike. That long rear center and slack head angle require a heads-up approach, looking further ahead than usual to navigate a clean line up a climb. It has the gumption, but requires a bit of planning.

Norco Range VLT C1

Descending

Pointed downhill, this big rig eats anything in its path. Sorry, little Sun Peaks gopher!

The same reassuring feeling that the non-motorized Range's low center of gravity and short dropped saddle height creates also applies to the VLT version. Whether you are a beginning or expert level rider, the Range VLT's travel and high stack put you in a more upright rather than hunched over position. One of the biggest benefits of this is the relief it provides tired arms on long descents, since it's easy to relax and let the bike do the work.

What those long chainstays do for straight-line speed compromised the time it took to lean the bike from side to side in chicane-style turns.

Timed Testing

Previously featured in a Canadian National Enduro round, our timed section of trail was primarily made up of tight, fast corners with square edges rocks and roots. This offered the longer and heavier bikes a chance to show how their brute stacked up against the more spritely ones in the bunch.

Going fast isn't everyone's number one goal when choosing a bike, but it is one more metric we can use to differentiate the bikes in test.


Matt Beer: "Straight line speed is where the Range VLT really shines. The long rear center and supple suspension track extremely well. Once you add a battery and motor into the equation though, changing direction quickly can become a task, which could have contributed to the fact that the Norco came in 4th place (out of 4) during timed testing."
Moving around the bike was never an issue, but it did require some more muscle to work the bike in turns or tech sections. They required patience in slow 180-degree switchbacks found on more green and blue trails, otherwise, leaning the bike over more would cause the front tire to push the traction limit. A jab of rear brake to encourage the the bike to square up the corner a little earlier, mind you, with less exit speed.

Those long seatstays are not connected by a bridge near the rocker link pivot, which were a bit concerning at first glance, but I never found the rear end to flex, even with the extra heft of the motor and battery through off camber roots or choppy corners. That Horst Link driven coil shock delivers impeccable sensitivity in those situations. It was close, but it couldn't top the Yeti 160E for the full meal deal of sensitivity, support, and that feeling of being propelled forward with the Sixfinity suspension design. The Range's progression was a little low towards the end of the stroke, leading to more frequent bottom outs on the 450 lb spring, but it took quite a big hit to get through all 170 mm of travel. Pushing into berms or lunging up steps was predictable because the rear shock didn't blow through the travel.

If you have the courage to attack unimaginable climbs and equally disconcerting chutes, the Range VLT will have your back. Yes, it will take more commitment to lean it into corners strongly and some negotiation on narrow uphill tracks, but it has the wheelbase and grip to keep you rubber side down. No matter your skill level or local terrain, I think extra suspension and aggressive angles offer the best package to attack and feel confident on a variety of terrain.

Norco Range VLT C1
Norco Range VLT C1

Pros

+ Geometry and longer travel gives confidence and rewards higher speeds
+ Saddle and seated riding position allow smoother power input over undulating terrain
+ Suspension is very active under braking and over small bumps

Cons

- Overall weight and long chainstays (on all sizes) reduce agility at slow speeds
- Shimano EP8 motor and finned XT pads is a noisy combo
- A 220mm rotor would have been a better match for the bike's weight and potential speed







The 2021 Summer Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel and protection, and Sun Peaks Resort. Shout out also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.






183 Comments

  • 122 23
 Ok... not trying to be an e-bike hater here, but watching that thing spin up trail at 2:35, flinging rocks and rooster tailing dirt as it powers 56lbs its way up ... it does have me worried about trail life.
  • 30 7
 Agreed - I find myself wondering if the future of e-MTB would include lower power motors for an overall lighter and less trail-damaging experience. Why do we need 500w motors? Surely motors with much less power would be sufficient to easily double your climbing pace.
  • 15 11
 I would be interested to see this studied. I have been noticing more wear and tear on the trails in the last 12 months than what seems like the previous four years combined (there is one trail in particular that I'm thinking of that is about 5 years old). Trails change, but I've never seen them change this quickly.
  • 19 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: My local trails are a mess because our organized trail maintenance groups are not allowed due to COVID
  • 48 1
 @toooldtodieyoung: Keep in mind the amount of people that got into the hobby during covid when they had nothing else to do. More people on the trails = more wear
  • 14 4
 @KJP1230: honestly, that depends on your fitness. however loudly it's said, part of the ebike draw is getting those with lower fitness into the sport. Or a sport anyway, since this seems a departure from mountain biking as we know it.
  • 15 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: Covid traffic has to be considered as well. There are trails locally where I didn't see another user for 5+ years. Now it is an every day occurrence.
  • 31 6
 @shredddr: I agree - part of the ebike draw is certainly to see that trails are more accessible. That said, why does someone with less fitness need the equivalent of 120% of a Tour De France champion's 20-minute FTP?

I do think that there will come a question of whether these bikes belong on most trails. If a motor is giving you a 100 watt boost + whatever you can come up with (even someone relatively unfit should be able to pedal away at 75-100+ watts without too much issue) then I think it is reasonable that you should share in the trail goodness. If you can use this thing to fling dirt and rocks as you scream up hill faster than the fittest XC racer during an all out sprint, I'm not sure I agree that you belong.
  • 7 6
 @salespunk @vanillarice19 @stumphumper92:

I'm sure you are all correct about COVID having some impact. However, the population of our town is ~20K people, and it is typically a tourist destination in the summer. I suspect that the number of riders (and rides) probably averaged out when you consider that tourists were not supposed to be here over that period, but for sure more locals got into the sport too. With the small population, though, I'm not sure there are enough locals to have a significant impact, even with more people riding.

I'm wondering about e-bikes being the difference maker, because I am thinking in particular of the more advanced of our two riding areas. You don't do the somewhat punishing climbs if you do not want the bigger, more technical descents. There are no beginner-friendly trails in this area. However, e-bikes make the climbs less punishing for those who have the skills but not necessarily the fitness/motivation to grind their way up. Narrowing it down to the one trail that made me really start wondering, it's a climb trail. It didn't see this much wear when Singletrack 6 used it as part of their route a few years ago.
  • 11 9
 You hear that large MTBers? You are ruining trail life! Lay off the hoagies!
  • 7 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: My trails are also a mess due to drought and most don't allow ebikes. More people, 6 months with minimal rain, due to being short handed it seems they are just dumping sand where it's washed out.
  • 17 5
 Mother nature got bigger problems than pebbles and dirt getting moved around on an uphill climb.
  • 7 10
 @KJP1230: why not traction control and ABS, since it's already got an engine?
  • 6 16
flag fracasnoxteam (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 I'm saying for a year now my local trails are ruined by ebike. But it's not ebike that will be illegal one day, it's mtb.
  • 11 12
 it's time to make ePinkbike site I think.
  • 15 2
 I agree that e-bikes will cause more damage in a single climb, and will allow more climbs per hour and more people to access trails. However, in my personal experience a big storm (we get 1-2 per year) will do the equivalent of multiple years worth of damage that would be caused by even rather heavy bike usage.

E-bikes also make trail maintenance a lot easier, so you have to factor that into the equation.
  • 5 0
 @salespunk: The last year has seen some insane wear on certain trails in my town as well. More use by all user groups, basically.
  • 9 2
 @KJP1230: E-Bikes are the crack of the bike world, once you've tried one you always want more. Norco is just responding to consumer feedback through demand. More Watts = More Bikes Sold.
  • 9 0
 @razzlebazzil: This. I was wanting an e bike for so long but did not want to cough up the money so stuck to my trail bike. On a whim I decided to go at least check them out. I was initially considering something conservative like the Levo SL but after riding a powerful ebike for 20 minutes I was absolutely sold. Shopped around and ended up on the Range which is supposed to arrive this month but I will believe it when i see it.
  • 1 2
 @salespunk: Agreed, but I have noticed the trails around me have less Covid traffic the last 6 months...
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: Don't worry, with new developments in battery tech I'm guessing by 2025 we'll see 32lbs e-mtbs with decent torque(80nm) and +150km range. Plus most of the people I see trashing berms and and cuttying every corner are not from the 'ride, don't slide generation'
  • 5 1
 @KJP1230: Agreed , looks like e-bike industry follows car industry, more power.
  • 2 1
 @toooldtodieyoung: Trail use is up 300%?
  • 8 0
 And yet virtually every video made of riders riding down trails showing similar destructive riding styles has no-one complaining???

NB. This is not a dig at you, it is a general observation :-)
  • 10 2
 @Dogl0rd: YES!!!
This!...And newbies, skidders, drifters, crashers, etc..you're ruining OUR trails.
Long Live Ebikes!.. Luv'em
  • 1 0
 @MOLDTRUTH: I don't know if there's a way to get anything exact; however, Google does produce reports on community mobility changes (aka changes in where people are spending time in public) as a result of Covid that might be a decent proxy for trail/park usage: www.google.com/covid19/mobility
  • 7 0
 @bctrailblazer68:
This.
It’s ironic that people who would consider brakelessly blowing up a berm to be the height of skill would also chirp about emtb trail damage.
Glorified on one hand, and vilified on the other.
  • 3 2
 Well if thats the case, i'm sure your really worried about effects of strava, inexperienced riders, and races which all have a much greater negative on trail life right?
  • 3 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: It is far more easy to attribute increased trail wear and tear to the sheer volume of people who have taken up the sport of mountain biking in general than specifically ebike users. There are some trail networks here in BC that have seen trail use quadruple in the last 18 months...
  • 7 1
 @lokirides If you ride one you will see that it is pretty near impossible to "roost" up a trail...I would suggest it speaks more to a very dry and steep trail section rather than the normal uphill experience of an ebike.
  • 3 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: Maybe the driest summer ever is the single biggest factor. The reality is weathering is the cause of 90% of all trail wear.
  • 1 1
 You need a 26 foot box truck to transport that thing.
  • 4 1
 Last 2 rides we were on we watched a set of bermed corners and every second analog biker slid through them trying to drift like Ken Block, dirt and rocks everywhere. So yeah, all trail damage is e-bike related. Wink I've spun out tires on roots or loose rocks on analog and e-bikes, so trail condition can also make traction difficult. Note that portion of the video was slow motion too and I would be you would see that tires kicking up a bit of material on an analog bike as well.

The last 2 years have seen unheard of amounts of traffic from all users groups. COVID slowed trail work, and the insanity of trail systems around here drove people to more distant trails they normally wouldn't have driven to for a day ride.
  • 3 1
 I’m not trying to be a regular bike hater here but watching :07 Has me REALLY F*CKING WORRIED about trail life.
  • 3 1
 Listen y'all, I never said ebikes are the ONLY cause of damage, or even the WORST cause of damage. A lot of y'all are putting words in my mouth and giving a bunch of "whatabout" responses. My concern is that powerful, heavy ebikes will introduce a new kind of damage to trails, and when combined with existing modalities, we will see trails deteriorate even faster. I didn't say this is a reason to ban ebikes, or even to not ride them - I just think riders will need to acknowledge and address the additional impact with increased maintenance, ebike specific climb trails, etc. Instead of hating, how about come up with some more solutions?
  • 43 2
 So it was the Kenevo that broke!
  • 6 0
 Spoilers! ;-)
  • 17 4
 Not exactly surprising tho is it? tbh seeing what/which broke is the only reason I've opened these ebike reviews.
  • 2 0
 That's going to be interesting. It's a burly bike. And the linkage areas that the Enduro had issues are all aluminum and redesigned for the KSL. Guess we will see tomorrow!
  • 4 0
 @Jcmonty: They said it wasn't the frame. My wild guess is the mount for the extender battery, or maybe the bb...?
  • 4 0
 Didn't they already tell us that it wasn't a bike that broke, but the test rider for the huck-to-flat?
  • 1 0
 Probably just a cracked rim….
  • 7 1
 Just scrolled down here to post the same thing... something on the $15k Specialized broke!

PB Comments section rejoice. Tomorrow will be interesting.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: I'm guessing the Praxis Carbon cranks, or the carbon handlebar... but we'll know soon enough.
  • 8 0
 It was Jason the broke.
  • 2 0
 They learned from last time and put the broken one last so it will be all over before the manufacture can start making excuses like Pole did last year.
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: +1 for the crank, seen quite a few of those praxis carbon ones snap
  • 19 0
 The Kenevo broke the household economy.
  • 52 29
 I think I ll keep my new KTM 350 for $ 10 K out the door thanks.
  • 6 11
flag Douger-1 (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 No kidding.
  • 80 21
 similar price but different sports. I hate it when people talk about that argument.
  • 36 2
 It must be nice to have good moto trails so close to home. For me to ride my KTM I usually have to truck it 60 miles to go riding. I have good MTB trails that I can ride my analog/e-bike on about 5 miles away.
My Orbea Rise is so much fun and rides so similar to an analog bike that the KTM is getting pushed deeper and deeper into the garage.
  • 13 2
 Different hobby but ok.
  • 43 13
 I loved riding moto as a kid but now I shed a tear every time I see one in the forest blowing all that exhaust, making all that noise, destroying that trail. I think moto has a place it’s just on the track and not in the woods. Just my two cents
  • 4 15
flag pugafi (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @theedon: shiaaaim on youuu.. read it with that disgusting norweigian teenager accent..
  • 25 4
 @Coolwinner05: It's brought up all of the time to justify high MTB prices:

"'I could buy a motorcycle for that!' Which, he [Pivot's CEO Chris Cocalis] agrees, is true. 'But does any motorcycle with a carbon frame, carbon wheels and suspension components on par with what comes on a high-end mountain bike even exist? Yes, it does. It’s called the Ducati Superleggera V4. It matches up quite well — and it costs about $100,000.'"
  • 3 1
 @pugafi:
* How dare you
* Inspirational and brave
* Swedish

(Assuming you were referring to Greta Thunberg. If not I'm going to look a bit daft)
  • 8 0
 @bunghi: Funny you say that, when I lived in Michigan we had to drive FOUR HOURS to get to a decent moto woods trails, reason why I got out of it.
  • 6 2
 @njcbps: right? If you're gonna compare apples to oranges, compare the same level of each, not an award winning one verses a mouldy old one.
  • 4 1
 The 350 is sweet! Congrats.
  • 6 1
 @borlowski90: One hour was enough for me to sell the moto
  • 12 4
 @bunghi: i just want to point out, that since we live in the same area... you are incorrect about your statement. You technically, need to also drive 60 miles to ride your ebike, because there is no ebike legal singletrack, within 60 miles of your house. You're just not doing that, and poaching instead.

Not trying to throw rocks at glass houses here... I own both a 500 EXC and an E-bike... but let's not shape our argument incorrectly to fit our believies.
  • 7 3
 I didn't realize the new KTM 350 was an eMTB
  • 4 10
flag whippsb (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 @Coolwinner05: Agreed, eBiking is also a different sport than mountain biking
  • 3 0
 @theedon: I too have had this internal conflict. Moto is so fun but the noise and destruction are just too much for me in "nature".

However, Motos tearing up steep grades makes for some of the BEST short 'n' steep DH tracks!
  • 7 0
 @whippsb: in the same way dh is a different sport to xc.
  • 1 0
 Nope....just paid $11,500 for mine.
  • 4 3
 @theedon: my fuel injected two stroke will emit less carbon in a year than a day running a diesel pickup as a shuttle rig
  • 3 1
 I’ll keep trail running shoes for £65 out the door. Now I can hit the trails for less than £100. Although it’s also a completely different sport to MTB (the same as Moto) so no actual comparison in the real world
  • 4 0
 @njcbps:
The Superleggera V4 is a roadgoing hyperbike - he’s disingenuously plucked the most expensive, road-going production motorcycle as comparison lol. Try seeing what a top-of-the-line dirt bike from the likes of KTM would cost you out the door. The KTM won’t have carbon parts (which BTW isn’t THAT many times more expensive than metal, despite what manufacturers would have us believe), but it will be made up of like a gajillion more parts.
  • 2 0
 @VindscreenViper: Quite right, a motorcycle has a huge BOM compared with bikes. And all of the individual parts add up, despite motorcycles realizing greater economies of scale.

It was this part of the article (that I quoted above) that got my attention, and I realized he really doesn't have an argument to justify high prices. An iPhone is a piece of technical wizardy–far beyond the mechanical simplicity of modern MTB's:

"Cocalis says that it’s not fair to compare cars and bicycles — or even motorcycles and bicycles — because the bike world innovates on a pace that’s a lot closer to that of iPhones than that of motorized transportation. New bike designs and bike components debut annually. Meanwhile, you can look at the suspension parts on a car, and they’ve gone virtually unchanged for years. Car body styles iterate about every three years, but engines might remain the same for a decade or more."
  • 3 0
 @njcbps: he’s grasping at straws to justify the price of bicycles. I’ll just say this - our high-end bicycles are overpriced for WHAT THEY ARE, but they aren’t overpriced FOR THE MARKET.

p.s. you should link to that article you’re quoting from (with Cocalis), pretty sure not everyone will have read it, and most folks will be too lazy to do a copy n paste search heh
  • 1 0
 @VindscreenViper:

www.gearpatrol.com/outdoors/a691720/bike-price

Chris probably shouldn't have agreed to talk either. lol:

"Also, I wasn’t shocked to find that, despite having reported on the bike industry for over a decade, most spokespeople at bike brands, parts makers and tire manufacturers wouldn’t talk at all. Not on, or even off the record.

Think about why. The very premise of this question is that bikes are expensive. The moment you open your big fat gob, you’re agreeing that yes, paying the amount that a decent used car costs — $5,000 to $10,000 and beyond — qualifies as 'expensive.'"
  • 12 2
 Man, I love the Range. It's always been a great chassis. But the minute I add my OneUp tool kit and Michelin tires, it's a 60 lb bike. That is getting to be too much. Sure, it has a 900wh battery, but if I'm shitkicked from wrestling it down DH trails, I may only have 600wh of life in me anyway. The climb on an ebike is great. But riding aggressively downhill is a workout, for sure.
  • 1 0
 Curious because I don't know enough about riding eMTBs but what would you say is a reasonable weight? Would 50lbs be a more reasonable DH experience? I recall taking a 42-ish lb Freeride bike everywhere but I was much younger back then...
  • 7 1
 My XL Range VLT A1, with 900wh battery, Smashpot and cushcore is 65lbs. Honestly, i don't mind the weight. Yess it's a little heavier to bunny hop, but let's be real, most of it is in the center of the bike and the rotational weight is the same than a regular bike... if anything, it makes it track better ! And for those who say that it is harder to slow down, you have to consider the total weight (including you) so at 210 lbs ride ready, my total weight is 275, instead of 255... not such a big of a deal exept for racing, which i dont.

900 wh make complete sens for bigger rider, as need more juice to get to the top. But a 150 lbs fit rider won't need it and is probably better with a KSL or Orbea.
  • 1 0
 @Asamson25: I bet it tracks awesome for sure. Is it at all flickable in the corners? Can you get bent over doubles? Cheers
  • 2 2
 You will fight with the weight initially. Take your 40lb dh bike , that youve road the piss out of, for comparison and if you hunched over a 40lb bike and muscling it around it will ne draining but youre used to it and its not so much muscle as it is being in the sweet spot and just moving with the bike and weight that youve grown accustomed too.
Matt is obviously a well versed ripper , with a resume to back that up, but dollars to donuts if he was primarily an emtber that was testing mtbs his emtb times would be closer to the mtb. How much is hard to say. Im quicker most places on my mtb but only by a small margin. With the blown out beach sand this summer, loose baby heads or high speeds the emtb can be faster.
My medium decoy is atleast 55lbs with 180 fox 38, cc db coil, dh tires w liners because i with E i can and its still the best xc, trail , alpine, tech climbing bike ever and eats up dh trails very close to the somipar travel enduro bike.
I blew the e8000 motor last year after 1700km(warrantee one now has over 3k kms and going strong) just as the lifts started spinning. 50ish days on the 55+ lb eeb spinning lift laps and the weight is more comfortable than not. At this point my enduro bike laps and emtb laps are close to even in the last 2 years and its more adjustment getting back on the emduro bike after the emtb than going from the mtb to the emtb, but the adjustment is quicker now. Emtb is so stable and relaxing when youre adapted to the weight and used to your bike. Decoy flys off jumps a little further and doesnt get taken by the wind. Slower speeds on new trails i can tug on the mtb easier and make some things that its hard to tug on the emtb. Trail knowledge or a little speed and the emtb clears things quite ez.
Bigger guys are ok with this range vlt 9er with the 462mm cs. Norco should have a flip chip and chainstay chip to alter for mullet and shorter cs both , especially for small and medium.
900w is a cool feature that id use but half the time my 540w would be preferable. 630 with an extender battery in a bottle cage would be best maybe.
Another thing testers might have missed is i run my bars higher and a touch wider for slow tech up and down because you have assist on the climb i dont want to have to reach and i want more leverage/balance in dlow speeds. Also if youre reviewing the climbing with the seat up youre doing it wrong. Emtb climbing will add a focus on climbing with the seat slammed and your body weight super low so you dont loop out in boost. Elbows super bent to keep the front down and ass out over the rear wheel to keep traction with little for aft movements keeping both those things in check.
Which brings me to the linger headtubes and higher bars. Emtb's will have slightly shorter reach to accomodate for the added cs and keep the wheelbase similar to the non e version. Longer cs, shorter reach adds weight to the front so the higher bar takes wieght off the front to compensate, in effect keeping the movements similar. Mullet does help the movement too. The long cs also helps climbing steep tech. Norco has a nice bike. Well balanced. For a medium, my size, id want a mullet and around 445 cs though. Prob next year theyll have another swingarm for small medium
  • 1 0
 @j-p-i: honestly, somethjng in the 45 lb range would be nice, as my devinci is pushing 55lbs. It's light for what it is, but still tough on the shoulders when you're pushing hard.
  • 12 0
 Haha shock tune is FGLY. I don't think the bike looks that bad though...
  • 1 0
 I came here just to point that out. Amazing. Someone at Fox definitely did that on purpose.
  • 10 3
 phuck YETI..... in 2019 the owner of yeti was on film and in type that " he would never ride an ebike and never build an ebike and never alow ebikes on his trails" sooooooo why the hype, ditch the yeti and bring in a rocky or a trek or another cool bike that deserves pinkbike test status.... just my two thoughts..keyboard warrior out....
  • 9 1
 Really cannot see the point of having a carbon frame on these machines. Why, to make it 25kg/56lbs instead of 26/58..? Still heavy AF. Why not choose lower cost and environmental inpact of Alu?
  • 1 0
 Because carbon is more “exotic” therefore the manufacturer can charge you more.
  • 9 3
 These bikes all come with a motor capable of 500w of output (peak). I do wonder if the future of these bikes could be something more reasonable, in a lighter weight pacakge.

If you give me a fairly steady stream of +50-100w, I can easily generate the extra 75-200w, and reduce my overall exertion tremendously. In fact, that level of output would allow me to easily double up my daily ride miles in a similar amount of time, and would presumably result in an all around lighter bike that both acts more like a normal mountain bike and does less damage to trails.
  • 4 0
 true right? If you never redlined, it feels like you could go on a hell of a lot longer. But that bike already exists - the Orbea Rise is more or less what you describe.
  • 8 0
 You mean like the Kenevo SL?
  • 3 0
 @salespunk: I do, indeed. Smile As the owner of the current Enduro, I'm very interested to see the review for the Kenevo SL.
  • 3 2
 I'd actually be on board with a "class 0" ebike, at least conceptually.

I'm not sure what the actual power levels would be. But an average guy with +50-150w, is really just as fast as a fit racer, or maybe just what they were "back when they were in shape".

500w peak + even an out of shape person is a fair bit of power. Same with the 250w average.

And, I ride a very heavy bike on the regular (~36-37lbs). But the thought of riding a 55-60lb ebike doesn't sound super appealing on the downhills at the moment. But a class "0" ebike that was in the 35-40lb range (like the Rise, and Levo SL), sounds more approachable to me at the moment.
  • 2 0
 @shredddr: or Focus Jam C2
  • 5 0
 I wonder what the weight would be had it been made out of aluminum. What's 2 lbs when it's 3% of the weight? I know modern carbon does an incredible job of being impact resistant but imagine losing your bike on a steep, it cartwheels down 15 feet and lands frame first on a rock or stump with the force of 57lbs behind it.
  • 4 0
 Just couple things of note: At 9:14 the decal on the shock reservoir says "FuGLY" (the letter u added for comedic effect). Yes, I still possess the humor of a twelve year old. Also after seeing new eBike reviews every week nothing seems to touch the latest Turbo Levo. The only thing keeping it off the throne is the cost which even with Expert level is still $11K. When Speshy finally gets their act together and offers a lower cost alloy version of that bike they can basically print money. Lastly, maybe it's just a matter of taste or esthetic preference, but again Specialized system integration surpasses every other option out. The controls and screen are minimal and out of harm's way and the cables are not a rats nest.
  • 4 0
 Spec also needs to get the motor blow up issue under control as well. They are not exactly super reliable, but they do have the best system integration as you mention.
  • 6 0
 I'm "patiently" awaiting for mine to arrive. So pumped! things gonna be a beast!
  • 6 0
 Did anyone else think that was some weird in-line DHX2 without a piggy back reservoir in the first photo? Haha
  • 1 0
 yes - like an Escher
  • 4 1
 Why is that bike so expensive ? Cheapest aluminum Sight VLT or Range VLT is almost 9000$ with crap specs with the 720w battery.

I don't get how Norco can be so greedy here with their Sight VLT & Range VLT ? Here is a comparison between the entry level Norco Sight VLT and some of the competition bikes which are far from their entry level version at this price level :

Sight VLT A2 (720W) 8698$ CAD : Alu frame, Rockshox 35 Gold, Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+, Shimano MT420 brakes & Shimano Deore derailleur

Giant Reign E+ 1 (750W) 9299$ CAD : Alu Frame, Fox 38 Factory, Fox Float X2 factory, Sram Code R, Sram X01 derailleur & carbon wheels....whole package being only 600$ more expensive

Trek Rail 9.8XT (625W) 8999$ CAD: Carbon frame, Zeb Select+, Super Deluxe Ultimate, Shimano SLX brakes, XT derailleur....package being 300$ more expensive

Norco really stepped up their game selling you a 9000$ bike with an RS 35 Gold, MT420 brakes & Deore derailleur...Trek & Giant will be happy to sell you bikes with such specs, but only 3000$ CAD less expensive
  • 2 0
 Wait til you see the 2022 price for the rail 9.8....
  • 1 4
 The market should determine the price, at least in E bikes. There isn't (or at least hasn't) been the same demand vs non-electrics. When Giant, Trek et al are selling more e-bikes, Norco will find a way to reduce the price.
  • 2 0
 my big hit was about as heavy with 3,0 inch gazalodis and 5mm tubes,i used to put the seat up high pump the tyres and shocks up hard and do 25 miles around cannock stoned ...ahhh the good old days.now if your not on a plastic pig your a nobody.....lol..
  • 2 0
 As a slightly below average height male (172cm / 5’8”) this bike is a great disappointment. Maybe it’s payback time for all the years tall people had to endure bikes that really were way too short for them. I just wanted a version 2 Range VLT with the nice new EP8 motor, instead they come out with something I just know I will not enjoy riding. It makes the Marin Alpine Trail E2 look like the bike for this 64yr old who is well over pedalling up hills.
  • 2 0
 2h26 of climbing, Mike needs an award for that!

But a 900Wh battery with a motor that has a 250W continuous power output. (500W peak).
I wonder what the efficiency is of that motor and drive
I would have thought a target of 75% minimum, with an ideal of 86% depending on what power control method they are using.
  • 4 2
 On the note of trucks, how much power (in terms of horsepower) are these electric motors putting out? Is there a e-bike dyno? Also is putting a gas motor more economical and more better?
  • 7 1
 I think peak power on the EP8 motor is 500 watts, which is .7 horsepower.
  • 2 5
 Pretty sure they are all 250W? So about 0.3hp.
  • 13 0
 Listen to Kaz haha. Not sure how to edit/delete comments.
  • 9 6
 For the sake of comparison, my motorcycle is 4.4 times heavier (240lbs) and 80 times more powerful (56hp). Just to put things into perspective.
  • 13 6
 @kcy4130: And it does not require pedaling to propel forward, etc. These hrrr drrrr "isN't It JuSt a mOTo"/"my CR is cheaper!"/"tHat'S a MOpeD!" comments are so, so, sooooooo tired. Use the filter buttons and do some meditative breathing.
  • 2 0
 It depends on where you're located as well. Here in Oz (and in the EU as well, I think) ebikes are sold to be road legal so they're electronically limited to 250 Watts.
  • 9 0
 @sngltrkmnd: Yeah, my point is that comparing an ebike and a dirt bike is ludicrous. I mean sure they both have a motor and two wheels, but they're obviously different sports.
  • 7 5
 @kcy4130: Indeed. At this point, I've landed on "ebiking is a different sport from mtb". Though we use the similar-looking machines, and the same funny costumes, it's just a different sport. Not that that will calm the nerves of the pitchfork-wielding neckbeards, but it's what works for me.
  • 2 0
 Another point of reference.

The FTP of your average cyclist (how much power in watts they can sustain over an hour long period), is somewhere in the 200-300w range for most people. Most people can peak in the 500w-1500w range as well.

So a class 1 ebike is essentially like giving you the power of an average cyclist, in addition to your own strength/fitness, whatever that is.

Now that I think about it, a class 1 ebike is kind of like a single seat tandem bike, where the additional power comes from ~20lbs of motor and batteries, instead of ~130-200lbs of backseat driver Razz .
  • 2 6
flag manitunc Outside+ (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 So they turned the motor off going downhill. So is it a moped going up and a MTB going down?@sngltrkmnd:
  • 3 0
 @sngltrkmnd: it's less of a different sport and more of a different discipline. An e bike is closer to your average trail bike than a downhill bike is, for example.
  • 1 0
 These are all very cool. I would love to have one, but can't ever see myself buying one. It's just too much money for what you get. I'd rather have a nicer mountain bike (still not in the $8k range, my god) and a cheaper motorcycle.
  • 2 0
 We put a Large C2 with a 720W battery on a bike scale at the shop. The scale was good up to 60lbs. It read ERROR. I'm surprised to hear this C1 with the 900W battery was only 56lbs. Something doesn't add up.
  • 4 0
 1 ton trucks have awful off-road suspension. Just FYI
  • 2 0
 I still don't get why any manufacturer of ebikes goes with the Shimano engine. I tested both and the Bosch is far more advanced.
  • 3 0
 142mm hub spacing? Is that correct? I would expect boost or superboost...
  • 5 0
 I'm guessing it's a typo bc mine is boost spacing
  • 5 0
 spec page on their website says 148 for rear wheel, and somebody else just confirmed theirs is boost
  • 3 4
 "Once you add a battery and motor into the equation though, changing direction quickly can become a task, which could have contributed to the fact that the Norco came in 4th place (out of 4) during timed testing."

This point was my experience test-riding an e-bike as well. The bike felt sluggish and heavy, and was much harder to turn, much less carve on than a normal bike. People used to say this about 29ers as well, until bike manufacturers figured out the ideal frame geometry for the larger wheel size. I'm unconvinced this will happen with e-bikes though, since they weigh so much more than a non-powered bike. I've had a number of experiences where I've passed e-bikers going downhill because I think the bikes are fairly ungainly on tight and rough singletrack.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy what's going on with the shifter on the left side of your bar at 3:35??
  • 6 0
 The brake lines were swapped for Henry to ride the bike a bunch in the bike park, but I needed to do the battery longevity test... which is just riding up and down a steep fire road climb for hours on end. It has Shimano brakes/shifter and uses the i-spec mount that isn't ambidextrous, so I just flipped the brakes over since I was just on a gravel road. Henry needed to ride the bike later that day, so I didn't feel like swapping lines.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Wait, you descended the fir road too? Was there not a trail to go down (or a different fire road with a trail), that's just sado-masochism.
  • 5 0
 @Mugen: There were a few trails but it wasn't that kind of day - I had to get through three e-bikes over seven hours of riding and just needed to get the batteries fully empty.
  • 4 2
 If the guy upstairs didn't want us to play the VLTs, he wouldn't have created them in the first place.
  • 2 0
 The man in the chair...
  • 1 0
 Cool to see an XL eMTB with an XL-like reach (505 here). Is anyone doing a 520ish reach though? Feel like that's what I need.
  • 2 0
 what in the Scott is that shifter on the left side?
  • 1 0
 Hopefully with E-bikes on the rise, the cost of traditional mountain bikes will come down.
  • 6 0
 That’s doubtful given demand is up and supply is down.
  • 7 0
 "Trickle-down bike-onomics"....lol
  • 1 0
 @sngltrkmnd: LMAO!!!
  • 1 3
 Wow, they stole the linkage design right out of the Specialized books! Guess people who gamble with VLT's in their local pubs should put all their money into this thing to beat their gambling habits. Get more fun out of it than sit, drink, and spend all the hard earned money away in hopes of getting some of it back.
  • 3 0
 Didn't the FSR patent expire in 2011?
  • 1 0
 Interesting looking at the Cons that they only spec'd a 203mm rotor on the top model range when the Sight VLT C1 has 220.
  • 2 0
 Who was bitching about yeti ? Comparing to norco yeti - awesome deal
  • 2 1
 What's the point of using carbon when it already weighs almost 60lbs? Just make it from aluminum
  • 2 0
 It's just a matter of choice. Norco also makes aluminum options in the Range VLT.
  • 1 0
 thats a long ole chainstay, would be interesting to try the smaller sizes see how they feel
  • 1 0
 needs a Monster T to balance up
  • 1 0
 how bomb proof are those m1700s?
  • 2 0
 Is the gopher ok??
  • 1 2
 PinkEbike is just not the same... I didnt even watch the E-field test videos (except for the yeti because of the new linkage design).
no hate, just not interested...
  • 1 0
 wrong thumbnail picture
  • 1 0
 Fear the brow...
  • 1 1
 mennyire utálják az amerikaiak az e bike-osokat Big Grin Big Grin
  • 1 1
 FGLY shock ID? Appropriate.
  • 6 6
 56 pounds?? Good grief.
  • 5 1
 20 years ago. I need my bmx to be 38 lbs or its not strong. lol
  • 3 0
 @BoneDog: I still remember drilling my Super 7X rims to fit the 12 ga primo spokes laced to a Bomb freecoaster hub. Was so glad to see BMX get out of that mentality. I think my Tao weighed ~44 lbs at one point. Blank Stare
  • 10 12
 Like just buy a moto instead for this much money. All the moto guys I know are fast on mtbs
  • 9 14
flag BoneDog (1 days ago) (Below Threshold)
 100% agree, this is not biking anymore.
  • 3 1
 Shhhhh. No dont buy moto guys. In fact sell ur bikes 4 cheap & just buy an ebike. Moto is not fun - if u havent tried it dont worry; u probs wont like it. . . XD.
  • 5 6
 I read these e-bike articles but still don’t want one.
  • 3 6
 e-PIG
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