Norco's 1993-Inspired World Champs Aurum HSP for Sam Blenkinsop

Aug 29, 2019
by Norco Bicycles  
Photo Keith Valentine


Words: Norco Bicycles

Heading into the 2019 UCI World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, this weekend, the Norco Factory Downhill Team got to unwrap fresh Aurum HSP's with a custom colourway for the occasion.


The inspiration for the new look came from a 1993 Norco Vipor ZTS, which was a very early attempt at what you might call “high single pivot” mountain bikes. The Vipor ZTS never made it into production, but a built-up model has been on display in the Norco office for quite some time. When the new Aurum HSP was introduced, it was inevitable that at some point we would pay homage to the throwback ride that never quite made it out the door.



Photo Keith Valentine

Photo Keith Valentine

Photo Keith Valentine

Photo Keith Valentine


BIKE SPEC

Suspension: RockShox Boxxer Ultimate and RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 DH
Wheels: DT Swiss FR 1950
Tires: Maxxis Assegai and DHR II
Handlebar: Deity Black Label
Grips: Deity Knuckelduster
Pedals: HT X2


Photo Keith Valentine


Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park


41 Comments

  • 52 0
 Something about these retro paint jobs... back when colours didn't have to look good together to look good together... I really do like them. Black bikes will always be quieter and red bikes will always be faster, but a good retro paint job will always be more fun
  • 34 3
 I’m not sure what you just said but I like it
  • 5 0
 @enduroNZ: sorry, had too much of whatever was going around in 1993
  • 14 1
 I was fortunate enough to be allowed to restore and rebuilt the only Vipor ever built - and I rode it a little.

Modern bikes are really far better!

ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb17673698/p5pb17673698.jpg

ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb17673700/p5pb17673700.jpg
  • 3 0
 Woah. That's a real beauty. I look fondly upon those crazy experimental years for full-suspension mountain bikes. Most were really bad designs (maybe all of them actually, thinking back) but I still love the pure creativity and originality expressed.
  • 3 0
 And aside from the paint, how did that 56mm of rear travel that pivots at the head tube ride?
  • 2 0
 great bike!
is this a wooded plate that supposedly prevents the "chainstays" to rub on the the seattube?
  • 1 0
 Did you have to put a lot of money in it?
  • 3 0
 Holy shit. Is the Zipor ZTS the flexiest bike ever? It does look interesting in a purely aesthetical sense, but doesn't look like it survives being ridden.
  • 2 0
 The Trek 9000 was flexier and broke a lot more often. The Vipor seems to have been built after learning from the mistakes if those early Treks.
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: The trek looks equally fragile (or heavy) but I don't know what rigidity can be had on the Zipor with the rear axle being that far from the pivot.
  • 3 0
 Original design was intended to give the ' least possible stay flex'.... Hehehe, I really don't miss the good old days
  • 2 0
 The stay might not flex much itself, but with the pivot being as far away from the wheel as possible... well, good luck with tracking straight. That "zero tolerance fit" would certainly be required (although impossible to manufacture).
  • 2 0
 @mammal: It has a block of wood with a roller on it. Literally a block of wood. You want a tighter fit? new wood block. Looser fit? some sand paper. I like this design
  • 2 0
 @theredbike: Wow, it appears you are correct. I didn't notice that. I "wood" think that the consistency of the material be an issue (wood compresses, wears, and swells in the wet), but certainly an interesting design choice. Almost as if the bike wasn't really meant for production.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: I think it was more testing the idea of FS more than anything because its one of the first. I actually saw this bike and it was more of a masonite than a block of wood but still wood. It also has a shock mount at the bottom because they thought they might end up using a pull shock. I imagine there were so many unknown variables at the time.
  • 1 0
 @theredbike: No doubt, no doubt. I can definitely see why most buyers were happy to stick with hard tails in the early trials and tribulations of rear suspension.

Unrelated: I can't help but wonder if that's Andrew Shandro with the #19 plate in the picture. Looks a lot like him, and he raced everything in those days.
  • 3 0
 The graphics on those Deity bars are baaaad, as in bad. The frame looks great though.
  • 3 1
 Bars are a tough canvas to work with.After decades of experience even Renthal has questionable graphics. What is an example of bar graphics that you like? Not tying to troll you - just interested.
  • 3 0
 I'm running Chromag Fubars OSX at the moment. Black and dark grey. I really like them, but even on those the grey is slightly too dark. I agree about Renthals.. They could improve the 'Fatbar' part in white. It doesn't work that well. The black Sunline V1 745 bars looked great, and also the Answer Pro Tapers years ago, but that was then haha
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: either go simple or humourous. Solid colour, or a pinstripe, for simple. Flames for funny.
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: Black Renthal carbons...
  • 1 0
 @Abacall: I have black Alu 35 do you mean the LTD edition
Stealth black carbon? Those look pretty dope.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Yep, that’s the one. Such a good looking bar.
  • 4 1
 Pink, gold, blue, and oil slick shot = oh oh oh
  • 2 0
 Whooop whoop another amazing kiwi
  • 1 0
 chur
  • 2 0
 Nice detail that #1 behind the bike
  • 2 0
 I want it to be there after the race too
  • 2 0
 Any chance rider #19 in the 1993 Vipor ZTS ad is Andrew Shandro?
  • 1 0
 Yup.
  • 1 0
 looks like him... he used to race XC back in the day.
  • 1 0
 I doubt that “93 would ever be as fast or stylish as this 2019 even if Blenki was onboard.
  • 1 0
 Haven't noticed griptape on the cranks before on a DH rig before...
  • 1 0
 My bad, looks to be standard on the X01 DH crankset.
  • 1 0
 @norcobicycles , please reveal the new Sight already.
  • 1 0
 Enve
  • 1 0
 Beautiful tup
  • 2 5
 Its pretty but blah
  • 2 1
 what does that mean exactly?
  • 1 1
 @danielfeary: Its pretty but blah or ordinary.

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