Development Story - Norco's New DH Bike

Feb 28, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Norco


Professional racers hanging out at lift-accessed bike parks to train and test isn't out of the norm, so when we spotted Norco's Sam Blenkinsop doing exactly that at the Whistler Bike Park last October it wasn't exactly newsworthy. The bike he was testing, however, most certainly was. Instead of his usual 200mm-travel Aurum and its Horst Link suspension that Sam has been aboard for a few seasons now, the New Zealander was on a radically different, high-single pivot carbon machine that employed a pull-linkage and idler pulley. Talk about going in a different direction...

In other words, the prototype Sam was riding last October (shown below as captured by a clandestine cell phone) is a drastic departure from everything Norco has done in the past when it comes to full-suspension, which is four-bar Horst Link bikes since 1995 when the FTS-1 was released. And, because Sam's rig featured a carbon fiber front and rear-end, I assumed the bike was only a hop, skip, and jump away from production, or at least from Norco finalizing the design.

Have you ever heard that expression about making an ass out of you and me when you assume something? Yeah, pretty much that.


Sam Blenkinsop on a prototype Norco DH bike


It turns out that Norco, and Senior Designer Engineer Owen Pemberton in particular, weren't anywhere close to locking down the specifics of the prototype when I wrote that article. And even though Blenkinsop is now aboard a more refined example of what we saw in Whistler, Norco says that they're still not entirely sure of its final form. That makes it a bit hard to jump right into the yet to be named bike's details - we'll do exactly that down the road, though - but there's another story: Pemberton says that he and his development team have taken a somewhat unconventional route in bringing Sam's new bike to life, one that they've never taken before.

I visited Norco's headquarters in Vancouver, B.C., to find out exactly what he meant when he said that, and to learn more about the bike that Blenkinsop, Joe Smith, and Henry Fitzgerald, as well as Bryn Atkinson, will be on come 2017.




From Conception to Carbon

When a new carbon fiber bike is being conceived and then produced, most of us probably assume that it goes through the following basic (and vastly oversimplified) steps: conception and design; manufacturing of prototypes out of aluminum (sometimes using tubing and materials from already existing bikes) in order to nail down geometry, details, and kinematics; and only then moving on to carbon for further testing. That's an immensely oversimplified layman's take on the process that likely has engineers cringing, but it you get the gist of it.

However, with their new downhill bike, Norco decided to skip over metal mules, going straight from sketches and then CAD designs to pulling freshly baked carbon fiber frames out of molds in Asia. And they took this route despite the fact that this is an all-new design front to back, one that includes some tricky to manufacture features. But, contrary to what the average person might expect, it was these exact features that forced Norco to go straight from conception to carbon. ''It was when we were going through the whole process, it was like, 'I think we're going to be handcuffed to just go straight to carbon,''' Senior Designer Engineer Owen Pemberton said of the risky sounding decision. ''It was agreed within the company that it's okay we take it to carbon, and if it doesn't work it's an R&D cost. We'll learn from it; we'll write it off. And we're still, to be honest, at that point. We haven't made that decision that we're not writing this off,'' he went on to say about the project.
bigquotesAs the designs get more complex, things start to become more of a compromise to do them. And then you've got to test one, and you're like, "Well, just remember it won't quite be like this for production." That's not testing, so you're not actually testing the product. You get the conflicts happening there. - Norco Senior Designer Engineer, Owen Pemberton


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So, without an aluminum mule, or even a rapid prototyped but unrideable frame, the development team's hand was forced by the very design that they penned. One area of the frame in particular, the 'wings' that extend down from the swingarm that the pull-links are attached to, proved to be virtually impossible to prototype out of metal, says Pemberton: ''If the shape of these weren't pretty similar, you wouldn't be able to get the geometry, and the geometry is pretty unique on this bike. If you didn't have that you wouldn't be testing what we want to test. If we tried to weld some wings hanging down this far, with the amount of force that the suspension design generates, it's just going to rip itself to pieces.'' That's a pretty clear hint that you probably won't be seeing a less expensive aluminum version of the new bike.

Frames tearing themselves apart is best avoided, of course, and while Norco's new downhill bike sports a similar silhouette to what Commencal are producing, Pemberton was quick to point out that the leverage ratio they've put to use is unlike anything else out there right now. ''The kinematics are so different in a way,'' he said of the team's work, ''and the forces that they generate are really high.'' High enough, it seems, that an aluminum version of the frame would require so much material that the geometry and layout Norco wants simply wouldn't be possible due to clearance issues, which partly explains their trip straight to the carbon ovens of Asia.


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Testing The Real Thing

Manufacturing challenges aside, another concern of the engineer team's was more obvious: if you're not testing the real thing, why bother testing at all? During the early days of a bike's development, it's not uncommon for aluminum prototypes to be made using donor tubing borrowed from existing models; a toptube diced up here, or the downtube or forged elements there. The goal is to save time and money while creating a usable proof of concept, but what if your concept can't be proved by doing this? ''When you're trying to prototype a bike, and you're trying to prototype with aluminum, you're doing it cheap and using straight tubes and things like that,'' explained Pemberton of the challenges of trying to validate a carbon bike out of aluminum. ''Can you achieve the suspension kinematics with the layout that you want? Are you getting a true representation of the bike?''

That means that for Norco to build their new downhill machine out of aluminum, they'd have to open tubing molds. This is less expensive than going down the carbon route, but it's certainly not a small investment.


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Let's not forget that one can't exactly just whip out some quick forgings when it comes to the linkage elements, meaning that they'd need to CNC machine parts that are actually designed to be made by a forging process that can't be used for only a few pieces made strictly for testing purposes. This prototyping stuff is tricky business, it seems.
bigquotesThere are tools and there's experience. Like I said, it's just rationalizing the risk of how much is this going to cost, and if we're willing to write this off if it doesn't work. We found it was worth the gamble just to do something truly different. - Norco Senior Designer Engineer, Owen Pemberton


It turns out that the new bike's relatively compact suspension linkage, at least compared to what the Aurum uses, is actually one of the reasons that Norco was confident enough to go straight to carbon. On the Aurum, the suspension elements consist of the rocker link and both the seatstays and chainstays, and you don't need to be an engineer to know that the latter two obviously do more than just control suspension kinematics. But on the new bike, the main job of its two smaller linkage sections is exactly that, which freed Norco up to commit to a full carbon fiber swingarm.

''This design allows us to be so creative with the actual feel of the suspension, just by changing the linkages,'' Pemberton said of the compact pull-link and rocker arm setup. ''We've been through, on the computer, probably close to a hundred different iterations now. What we've actually prototyped is a first suite of four with very differently shaped curves,'' which is essentially doing bracket testing of sorts but with the bike's linkage rather than just shock setup. This would have been much, much more difficult had they stuck to a four-bar, Horst Link design as used on Aurum, simply because its suspension elements do far more than only suspension-type stuff.


Norco
Margus Riga photo


Many companies, including Norco, would turn to rapid prototyping when an all-new design is in the works; not for a rideable mule - that wouldn't end well - but to check things like cable routing and clearance between moving parts. Pemberton says that they've done this with all of their carbon full-suspension bikes, including the Sight (rapid prototyped Sight frame shown to the right) but not this time around. ''A full frame in an RP [rapid prototype] is expensive. And we were trying to get these under riders fast, and there's a whole process there,'' he replied when I asked why Norco skipped this step for the first time. ''I can't remember who made the decision, but somebody made the call that we weren't going to RP it, and it was just like, 'all right.'" Whoever that someone was, he or she isn't short of faith in Pemberton's skills.
Norco


An Expensive Risk

The declining costs of carbon molds also played a factor in the decision to go straight to carbon, although Norco has cut only two molds at this point - a small for Pemberton, and a large-sized mold for their other team riders. While the costs are lower than they used to be, it's still an expensive investment; the small and large-sized molds is, according to Norco, just enough investment to sort out testing and work through kinematic iterations and suspension tuning on the trail. When everything is added up, from the large, steel external molds, all of the internal mandrel molds, bonding jigs, machining fixtures, etc, the investment in a full size run of a new carbon chassis can easily get into the six figure range.


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That number puts Norco's venture, or any company who invests in carbon frame production for that matter, in a new light. It likely also had Pemberton sweating bullets while he waited for the first carbon frames to come out of the mold and be built up, and he made sure that he was the first one to swing a leg over his creation. ''There was a lot of nervousness in how it was going to ride,'' he described of that first day on the bike.

''I wanted to be the first person to ride it, especially because it is so different. I wanted to be first, but especially before we put pro racer on it,'' which is an understandable concern when you're hoping that a few top World Cup racers are going to be more than just okay with what you've put together.


Norco
Margus Riga photo

And how did it perform? After some early fiddling with linkage and shock combinations, Pemberton came away extremely happy, he said. Only then was Blenkinsop given the go-ahead, which is when we spotted him pushing the new machine onto the chairlift at the Whistler Bike Park. The word from Pemberton is that, after a brief getting to know each other period, Sam was impressed. But, regardless of the new bike's performance, Norco stressed that they'll be keeping the Aurum in their catalog for the foreseeable future. That's not a shock given their investment in the Aurum, and especially because of the race-focused goals of Blenkinsop's new machine.

We'll have more on Norco's new downhill bike in the near future, including all the details of its suspension, geometry, and construction.



198 Comments

  • + 362
 Innovative and cool to see the R&D go into a new design.

But let's go ahead and shoot the elephant in the room, "The declining costs of carbon molds also played a factor in the decision to go straight to carbon...". Glad Mike (media) had the balls to say it and Norco actually confirmed (or not).

I've been saying this for a couple of years now (I consulted with a company that develops and builds carbon parts for auto racing) that anyone in carbon manufacturing outside of the bike industry will tell you we're being fleeced. Molds have dropped considerably, material costs have come down considerably and labor is readily available.

When's the last time you saw a bike manufacturer drop the price of carbon? We haven't; prices keep going up. It's the only way that the bike industry can keep carbon as the 'holy grail' and 'end all' since they don't have anywhere to go after carbon. Want to see what happens when there's nowhere to go? Wheel sizes. You see where that's gotten us...

We're only to blame because we keep buying $3400 frames, $8K+ completes - in carbon. We're being fleeced but as long as we continue to buy at these prices, the fleecing will continue.
  • + 37
 Right on
  • + 147
 Composites engineer here. I usually prefer to "lurk" rather than participate in Pinkbike's comments section, but I feel I need to point out that the initial investment in tooling is only a small part in the costing process of a manufacturing run. The fact of the matter is that hand layup is an unbelievably time consuming (and therefore expensive) process requiring skill, patience and top-notch facilities to do properly. Therefore, as a proportion of the cost of manufacturing an individual unit, the raw materials and the layup/curing/finishing processes far exceed any tooling costs.

In a lot of ways, we're not being fleeced. I'm actually surprised at how cheaply one can buy a carbon fibre frame/component, although it becomes less surprising when you realise how many corners are being cut to hit that price point.

Making composites still is and will continue to be expensive for quite some time too come. I have huge respect for the management at Norco who have taken the decision to let R&D remain "free range". This is the mark of a business that is run by people who care about making cool stuff, rather than accountants who only look at the bottom line each quarter.
  • + 26
 @hairybarnyard: Great points you make as you provide a more comprehensive view of the entire cycle than I did. I clearly summarized my thoughts in this regard.

Is 'fleeced' too strong a word and/or overly dramatic? Possibly. Or not.

Yes, the tooling is only one part of the equation but I will stand behind my comments with regard to material costs and labor available (and costs) are coming down. While other industries are recognizing those economies, there is no indication that the bike industry is as well. I already pointed the reasons why above...

I am 100% behind your comment regarding Norco and 'free range' R&D. Not only it is refreshing, but also being transparent about it is cool. Thanks to Norco and PB for bring this perspective. Hopefully we'll more of this soon!
  • + 15
 @TheFunkyMonkey: No one (Except Gwin) is getting rich in the bike industry. Even the Big S had some layoffs recently.
  • + 10
 @hairybarnyard: yes lad, point well made. Please participate more often! And well done Norco. It looks spiffing!
  • + 17
 @hamncheez: You think Gwinn is earning more from the industry than the guys who run a lot of these companies? - Sure the bike business wont make a lower end staff rich but I wouldnt say a few small bike business owners I know of are doing too badly at all (read millionaires)
  • + 16
 Its all economies of scale though isnt it?

If you deleted all bike companies except Specialized and Giant and they provided all of the bikes in every class the opportunities to reduce the cost of bikes would be huge.

As it is though, even the big companies only sell small amounts of the top bikes - I cant remember the exact figure but I was told Giant expected to sell well south of 800 of the Glory in one year (It was around 2013) - not a big amount.

The bike industry is awash with small frame and componentry companies, we think that brings prices down because of competition but in reality all it does is prevent real mass production taking place - One of the reasons your motocross bikes are cheap.
  • + 18
 @Racer951: Don't forget the threat of monopolies. Just because it costs a company less to make something doesn't mean they care to pass the savings on to you.
  • + 1
 multimatic?
  • + 9
 @hamncheez: you're off on this point. There are some very wealthy individuals.
  • + 3
 @TheFunkyMonkey We still have 3D printed metal to come.

A 3D printed Ti bike is going to cost a small fortune.
  • + 6
 I've had this argument about 1x drivetrains before... Another example where we're being asked to pay more for simplicity and less moving parts... The prices aren't dropping to the point where entry level bikes can have them too.. and surely it will bring down costs for frame manufacturer's to only build 1x compatible frames only throughout their ranges?

Surely if carbon frames were produced more prolifically that would make it more accessible to everyone? I know molds have a lifespan but doesn't economics of scale come into play here? No more need for tooling and equipment for both materials would also save costs surely? I see the day coming when aluminium is going to be a boutique material like steel or titanium... But that day seems very very far away at this point.
  • + 8
 @hamncheez: Gotta pay for Sagan somehow...
  • + 9
 Actually, if you look around, the price of carbon has been coming down... Carbon bikes are coming in at lower price points... Sub 2k road bikes are out there... 4k and lower carbon mountain bikes... Even some top tier bikes are slowly creeping downward... But, if you expect to start getting $600 carbon bikes, don't hold your breath... It's still a major investment for a company to develop a carbon bike that they will only get 3 years to recoup the money... Also, development time is another factor in that price.. You have a couple of years into design and development of a new bike with zero return until the bike starts selling... All those paychecks are a part of that final price tag... There's not one single thing that will cause a significant price drop..
  • + 4
 @TheFunkyMonkey: If the goal is to increase profits, which is one of the main goals of bike companies, then they would absolutely drop carbon frame prices to gain market share. They don't because they can't without significant financial risk. Your comment assumes collusion between all/most bike makers and that would be far too difficult to orchestrate given the number and locations of them.
  • + 4
 @hairybarnyard: is moving beyond hand layup perhaps the next frontier? I know some of the aerospace companies are using automated methods, for at least some applications. Is this possible in the bike world?
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: I have heard of one company in the bike biz doing that... From what I understand, it will take a lot of frames to offset the cost of the machines to do that...
  • + 3
 Pretty sure Santa Cruz dropped the price of their entry level carbon models a few years back.
  • + 2
 @bonesmtb2: Santa Cruz and Intense both offering a pretty solid spec for $4600... Top of the line? No, but still good and worthy platforms for upgrading...
  • + 5
 @Spark24: what about SRAM's GX and now NX groups? And Shimano's SLX and new Deore groups? I'd argue that if you're looking at trail-worthy entry level bikes, many of them are indeed coming with 1x drivetrains now.
  • + 8
 @dthomp325: Yes and no. AFP (Automated Fibre Placement) has been the "next frontier" for about 20 years now but still hasn't delivered the promises of large-scale mass manufacture that were made when the machines first started being sold. There are literally entire books dedicated to explaining why this is still the case, but in short the robotic heads just can't handle complicated geometry, i.e. anything other than a simple tubular structure like an aircraft fuselage, or flat panels. Anything with sharp corners or double curvature is either tough or just impossible.

In contrast, human hands are very good at negotiating this kind of geometry and human brains are very good at coordinating it. The problem is, humans are kind of expensive as they require a salary rather than just a power supply and some software. For me, the best advances are being made in making the hand layup process more efficient. A really cool area of research involves "projecting" instructions onto a 3D mould, but this is still very experimental.

Is AFP possible in the bike world? Not really at this point in time. But considering the cost of AFP machines (>$1,000,000), I don't think many bike companies would see a return on investment any time soon.
  • + 12
 @TheFunkyMonkey

Are we being fleeced? 26, 26+ 27.5, 27.5+, 29, 29+, Fat, carbon, alu, steel, Boosted forks & rear ends, non-Boosted forks and rear ends, metric shocks and conventional, new progressive geometry... It used to be 26" XC & DH way back, and now there's a crap load of travel variations: 100, 120, 140 160 mm, DH. and mix 27.5 and 29 in there too. The R&D for all those frames, materials and sizes have to be paid for somehow.

Don't get me wrong, I HATE the new high prices, cripes I'm riding a 2012 bike (thanks to 'effing arm and a leg daycare costs), but where is the crime in building a brand and making profit on one's hard work?
  • + 11
 @hairybarnyard: We also have to remember , they are not paying these guys as skilled tradesman making $50 to $80K a year to build these carbon frame and machine the molds and fixtures , these are low payed workers and companies are continuing to pay as little as possible and make as much as they can from a consumer .

and I have to agree with the 1st comment in this thread , WE ARE TO BLAME for the costs , if we continue to pay whatever a company charges , some idiot out there will gladly buy it .

Devinci has the ability to sell a carbon frame for under $3K CDN and they also have the ability to sell a hand built Aluminum from for the $2K CDN mark .
  • + 3
 @hairybarnyard: Sounds like you work in aerospace or some other reputable industry that doesn't work in China. Your comment is far from the truth, but it gave me a good chuckle. You would most likely be terrified if you saw the way carbon stuff is made in the bicycle industry; you don't want to know why they are so cheap. Safe for the most part as no one in the bike industry is pushing the level of safety factor to what you are likely accustomed to souly because manufacturing is so variable... of course the consequence of product failure is relatively low (compared to say the international space station breaking in half) so risks are inherently more acceptable.
  • + 2
 The cost of labor to build the frame is still only one part of the equation... There are a bunch of other paychecks that get paid too...
  • + 4
 @CaptainSnappy: As I suggested in my follow-up, 'fleeced' may be too strong and/or over dramatic. I get it but it started a healthy debate (hopefully it stays that way).

But the situation you outline, does not benefit us. Any of us. And frankly is part of the problem - or is to core to the problem? My initial comment wasn't to just s**t on the prices of bikes today but rather debate increasing prices with dropping costs.

And finally, I should have also noted that I'm guilty of buying in. I'm on the latest and greatest...
  • + 1
 Nashbar needs to come out with a DH frame.
  • + 1
 @dirtspanker: but, would you want to ride it?
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: This is totally true, however for even the "cheapest" of these layup robots, they can only do circular, or closed cross-sections in linear tube-like shapes (either straight tub or slightly curving tube). The cost of a 5-axis robot arm to literally robotize the human hand layout effort would be so expensive!
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: did you not see the Atherton hq tour on GMBN?
  • + 1
 The truth has been spoken
  • + 3
 @hairybarnyard: Accountant here, looking at the bottom line each quarter.
  • + 3
 You nailed it! Even at 50%off MSRP, there's another 50% before the actual manufacturer cost, and that's being moderate. I'm in the manufacturing industry and will absolutely not pay the sticker price for these bikes! 3D Printing also have helped even further lower the cost of molds for carbon layups and speed manufacturing time.
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: Penny on the dollar! Manufacturers send low inventory to distributors in purpose to perk up prices!
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: yes. BMC tried with a machine process but the resulting bike was garbage...this was 8-10 years ago... but it can be done- just needs development... someone will pick it up again... especially since europe is really favoring european prodcution lately... i would expect to see *somebody* try it again there...
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: Here is a link to the bad BMC Impec video- www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaTp00peq_M

Here is a link to better describe the actual process called RTM molding used by TIME (its the same as the BMC method): www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZZkpWc0MJY

you can see all the hand process in the TIME video... the BMC system automated much of this but it not really shown in the video
  • - 2
 @Spark24: Have you seen the complexity involved in making 1x chainrings and mechanisms as robust as they are? A 1x system is not simply a 2x system with one chain ring.
  • + 1
 @drivereight: the big manufacturers are keeping a tighter reign on forecasting and ordering to avoid losing money on old stock... Look at Trek.. We saw 2017 models all coming out all summer...
  • + 2
 @hairybarnyard: Perhaps it is it worth discussing the ethical considerations behind the labour involved in the production of these frames (not specific to Norco, but in carbon fiber bikes in general), and the push to make pricing ever-more competitive? From your experience, is there any insight you could share?

Maybe someone can shed some light on what the factories are like where carbon bikes are built, and what are the corners being cut to make any carbon bike frame cost less than the competition?

I know this is not always a popular topic; I'm not suggesting that we all buy bamboo bikes and hypocritically load them in the back of gas-guzzling trucks for shuttle runs far from home. Carbon isn't the only story; Norco welds some of their aluminum frames in Cambodia - I wonder what the work life of those welders/assemblers is like, and for carbon assemblers in China/Taiwan as well.

If you care about this stuff, everything we buy has ethical considerations...
  • + 2
 @Racer951: I think he was referring to the athletes, in which case it is probably not so far from being true, but I agree with you, I'm also a bit skeptical about every one saying "there is no money in the mountain bike industry"...

Sure, it's not soccer or basketball, but A LOT of people, and a number of companies, are doing pretty well for themselves... I'm not so sure Commencal or YT are close to bankruptcy right now (an example, but a good one I think, as they only do mountain bikes).

Don't worry guys, I'm pretty sure the mtb world won't collapse tomorrow. :-)
  • + 1
 YOU are a man with your eyes wide open and paying attention to life, not facebook or instagram!
  • + 0
 Im not a fabricator, bike builder or development guy by any means, however I would assume since you are molding a frame vs welding it would be inherently cheaper to manufacture carbon frames over aluminum strictly by reducing the skilled labor cost of the welder vs molds. I understand the upfront cost of purchasing the molds but after you refine the process it would cost that much to pay an individual to lay down the material in the mold, push a button to inject it then move on. Seriously the cost of bike is ridiculous ! Can someone enlighten me?
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: start with the consumers and brands... they will put pressure on suppliers to change things... we see this already all over the world since the industrial revolution... the low-paid workers gain wealth through their work, wages go up, and over time start to demand change in their workplaces by changing themselves and political means... discussion of that here is an academic circle jerk... when i worked at big-box retailer you think we followed safety guidelines in the warehouse? that was a hassle... just jump on the forklift and go 20ft up and get the f*cking back-stock down!... same shit, different industry... that said its not as bad as you think for the fancy carbon bike brands... those factories wont impress any typical american bike dude, but they are not sweatshops doing shitty work with no QC... its no-frills, but they do give a f*ck about their work... and then they say Yeti, or Specialized, or Ibis, or Norco on it and we know its hot shit.... there is not yet a Patagonia mountain bike though, so we dont yet have our carbon wrapped with an outerlayer of fairtrade, and inner core of love for the planet...
  • + 1
 The suspension design looks awesome and seems like it will have some great small bump sensitivity but also ramp up good at the end of the stroke. But when it says the design generates a lot of force he is right. Those "wings" are going to go through some torture. It will be interesting to see how the bike turns out. Can't wait to ride one.
  • + 0
 @eriksaun: yeah, it looks like that's just making simple, round tubes that are then bonded to lugs.
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: When bikes regularly exceed the cost of top end moto bikes then the industry has jumped the shark.
I love riding my MTB but in no way does it match the shear adrenaline and endorphin rush of a moto at the same cost.
I used to get a new MTB yearly when the top end was $3-5K but now I choose to use the limited funds for Moto as my 2 yo dw link Enduro bike is going to be fine for several more years.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: yes- its not what the market wants these days, but as far as road bikes go, the best bikes i have ever ridden as far as joy of throwing your leg over it have been built like this...
  • + 0
 @Spark24: Yeah, why does a single derailleur, single chainring drivetrain cost more? The cranks are simpler as well. Only 1 shifter + cable + housing as well. For less gearing range on top of it all. Seems like BS to me. I'm still rocking 3x9 on all of my bikes; adventure/commuter/rigid 29er, touring tandem and full suspension XC.. I don't see what the "problem" is. If I only rode specific trails, and mostly downhill, maybe a 1x would make more sense to me. But, I'm not going to pay more for less functionality.
  • + 0
 @freerabbit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8fsKeQwplg&index=1&list=PLZHh782nueRyz-bw1UBP-WKDngGBKgmWP

Makes you wonder where the money is going, right? Especially if the bike shops themselves are all saying they're dying on the vine.

Also check some of the other vids there paying close attention to what is shown on carbon vs AL corrosion issues and notice the new frames having AL BB shells, water bottle cage nuts, and bearing races. Perhaps the reason the manufacturers are charging ridiculous prices is because they know the frames will be toast in a matter of a few years and they'll have to replace them. I just had this happen to a Cervelo road frame where the AL BB shell was delaminating from the carbon, no doubt from corrosion. Either way, I agree the pricing is ridiculous.
  • + 0
 YT is doing a pretty good job selling a quality carbon product for way less than everyone else. If they continue to do this there is bound to be a shift in competitor pricing to compete. Now if only they offered an affordable frameset.
  • + 3
 @monstertiki: from my conversation with a YT rep , NO on framesets by themselves , if they did a frameset the cost would be similar .
  • + 3
 @TheFunkyMonkey: And people get into it more down below, but we're not paying just for manufacturing and developing. We're paying for the marketing teams, race programs, a financial department, sales staff and support, customer service, warranty and all the costs of running a company. Ordering parts from OEMs and warehousing them carries a huge cost, shipping frames all over the world, you see where I am going.

Bottom line is you're right, it doesn't cost much to make a few frames, but it costs a pretty penny to sell hundreds or thousands of bikes.

Great post though, and also @hairybarnyard.
  • + 5
 Yes and No. Everyone have seen the prices proposed by Asian factories for pretty nice open mold frames models.

Those are the places where the most famous brands are made. The material, labor and molds are the same. So, why are we still buying the most recognized brands for 5 times the price?

Because manufacturing cost is a very small part of the equation. Add to that marketing, artwork, design cost, Carbon layout experts cost, After sale cost, Qualification tests costs, Audit cost, import fees, dealer profit and you understand why a frame that is produced EXW for 700$ is sold 3000$.

Indeed, prices should have dropped a bit. Let's say you have a 20% decrease on the manufacturing cost. It represents only a small share of the final price. When meanwhile you reduce quantities/model due to all the standards and keep adding complicated details on the frames like internal routing, aero shapes and so on, the price you pay your bike is not cheaper. you just get more details (probably unnecessary) for your money.

If you really want to purchase cheaper, options are now available which was not the case before.
  • - 1
 @ryboy713: lay up of carbon sheets is the labor.
Any twit can put a piece of cloth in the correct position.
Welders are skilled. You can see a quality weld.
Aluminum bikes cost less because they are manafactured in much larger numbers than carbon bike frames.
Carbon frames are costly because of limited production.
One day based on labor cost carbon fiber frames will be cheaper than aluminum frames.
  • + 2
 @Sshredder: Don't expect that day to happen. Aluminium bikes cost less because it's so much more efficient to make. Material is cheaper and welding tubes together is easier and quicker than cutting laying 500 pieces of prepreg in a mold and cleaning, polishing, fixing all the small flash and imperfection by hand. With labour cost going up, the price gap will increase, not decrease
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: Giant has been pretty consistent over many years however, but you have a Great point!
  • + 0
 @FlorentVN: Aluminum bikes are efficient to make?
Absolutely not!
Count how many welds on your bike .
Now prep those tubes that have been manipulted my a mandrel or hyro forming.
Alumimnum bikes take more labor to build and more tooling.
And welding is a skill that is accredited with a ticket.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: they don't have CWB in Taiwan Wink But that said, the initial investment for welding tooling is also pretty high. Jigs and fixtures aren't nearly as expensive as *good* molds (I've made both), but thats not to say it doesn't add up, involve TIG equipment and evac systems, heat treat ovens, etc. It could be a wash in the end, ultimately, but you'd have to see how each company is doing their process, some probably better than others.

Laying up also requires less skill than welding. You can teach most people how to layup a frame in a week. You can't teach welding in a week, and some people you simply can't teach at all. Welding is a significantly more involved skill than laying up some precut prepreg pcs in a frame mold. Period. That's just the welding though, there's more to it than layup or welds.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: They already have a 3D printed Ti (and carbon) mountain bike:
robotbike.co
You can have almost any angle you want.
  • + 2
 @amrskipro: Robotbike is 3D printed lugs only, not a full 3D printed frame Ti frame. Imagine a Ti frame made like the structure of bones?
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: even better, using the isotruss pattern:

gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kovit-R6-isotruss-carbon-structure-road-bike06.jpg

I worked with the guys who made that bike; its just too hard and too labor intensive since everything has to be done by hand; its also to hard to do small tubes and curves. If you could 3d print and have it be the internal structure it would be a game changer
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: I saw that one. A 3D printed hollow tube version would be a game changer.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: Well, for making 600 000 a year here, i think i know what's needed to make alloy bikes.
  • + 1
 I saw a football in the shop the other day for £0.99.

As a side note, which I think is interesting, is the Taiwanese scooter market. Scooters there are cheap. Like, literally half the UK price for a given scooter. The reasons for the low prices are fourfold, from what I can make out.

One, they are manufactured there. No shipping, warehousing, import fees.

Two, people there are stingy on scooters. If people are going to spunk a load of cash, they want at least a VW or preferably a Beem.

Three, they use a lot of parts which have literally not changed for several product cycles. Often, every model in the range will use the exact same brake levers, calipers, switchgear.

Four, there are no advanced manufacturing techniques used, and no fancy materials.

So in bicycle terms we get a higher quality product, but we are paying more because we are so gullible on buying the latest and greatest. They are toys for rich blokes, not basic commuter tools. People will pay for their hobbies, and pay handsomely.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Bingo, stop the constant 'development' of bicycle components and frames,adopt standard fitments and reduce the number of competing companies and everything would be cheaper.

Not sure if bikes would be entirely as good, but probably 95% as good as they are now.

But the reality is a lot of us like the tech, we like to change things on our bikes, try new setups etc, its of riding for many, the trade off will therefore always be the price - We are essentially a mass market asking for competition level product. Motorsport parts are sold to teams that race, high end bikes sold to consumers are almost identical to those ridden at the highest WC level.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: in terms of standardized fitment of parts, we are way ahead of a lot of other markets.. Things like axle standards mean one Wheel is compatible with more than one frame.. A standard design for things like steer tubes means a Boxxer or a 40 fit almost every DH bike currently in production. Try taking a fork from a Honda 450 and try to bolt it on to a KTM...

One more factor in the low price of scooters in TW... Volume. They are selling a ton of them.
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: not sure if we should be taking the proprietary model that suits the automotive/motorcycle world at all. It would not serve this industry well, see cannondale, specialized, scott, etc. their proprietary offerings don't do as well and most want to be able to swap parts around. If we had that busniess model, we would be riding pretty crappy bikes due to lack of competition between competing component/suspension brands, or costs for high end product would be very high if mfgs needed multiple sizes/fitments for each frame mfg on a product that's a minuscule volume compared to moto, and a incredibly tiny fraction of automotive, so the model simply would never work or suit us. Also, we certainly want less PPM models of quality in this industry (one suspension company does this) esp considering the volume and demands we put on the product (safety). This is why this industry has tried to adopt standards. It's unlike automotive, unless you are building a race car from scratch, then it's kind of similar (standalone engine management from Link, Megasquirt, etc, pistons from various mfgs, etc etc).
  • + 1
 maybe garbage like this is why the only millionaires in the bike industry are lawyers:

www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2017/03/01/fox-and-sram-suits-continue-two-states-costs-mount
  • + 1
 @atrokz: there's not enough volume to carry massive amounts of proprietary parts in the bicycle industry... But we have seen it a little bit.. But it seems to be that we are moving away from that... But on the other hand, it why some new ideas spread quickly, like boost spacing... Even though it was developed for 29er, it moved beyond that because it more cost effective to have that same hub on more models...

The life span of a model in the bike biz is roughly half of what it is in the car world... That plays a big part in the pricing of bikes... How many bikes go for 6 years without major changes?
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: Hmm, you cant fit a fork from a Giant overdrive 2 to any other bike....

Lets get into the parts that are not standard on an MTB - Drive-train from SRAM to Shimano, Brake pads, Bar diameter, chainring fitment, bottom bracket fitment, seatpost diameter, rim size and width, hub width and axle diameter, chainguide mounting, headset sizes.

There are probably some I have missed.....
  • + 1
 @Racer951: one of a few proprietary things still out there... But, with an upper headset assembly and stem, you can put any tapered steer fork on that bike.

You can run a Shimano 11 speed rear wheel and cassette on a SRAM 11 speed drivetrain. Just like you can run a SRAM XD driver equipped Wheel and cassette with 11 speed Shimano shifters and derailleurs..

Chain guide... How many options are still being used out side of ISCG 05 and direct mount?

Seat posts are getting better... Seems like 30.9 and 31.6 mostly winning the battle... But there are decades of other sizes still out there.

Headsets... Was getting better but now we are starting to see proprietary angle adjust designs...

Bottom bracket.. Maybe getting better?

Brakes... pretty much every one on the same page with post mount. Brake pads with not have much compatibility between brands.. ever...

Axle diameter has settled down a bit...

There's always going to be changes and they might not be backwards compatible..The brakes on my 2003 Jeep won't fit a Model T...
  • + 2
 @TheFunkyMonkey:

"Yes, the tooling is only one part of the equation but I will stand behind my comments with regard to material costs and labor available (and costs) are coming down"

labour rates overseas are going up not down, hydro rates are going up, increased employee safety / factory standards being moved up increased overhead costs - none of those things are making products cheaper
  • + 27
 Looking at photo of the front triangle on the table it looks like the head tube has some sort of flip chip system to allow for all sorts of changes to reach and head angle. Classy move!
  • + 7
 That is very cool: ovalized head tube, no lining up with cotton thread and careful pressing required, looks like ±5mm or ±10mm. I guess Norco could still make the front end out of Aluminium for a slightly less expensive option. Rad bike.
  • + 7
 I could just be like GT in the old days where the headtube would get ovalized pretty easily. Big Grin
  • + 4
 Just noticed this, now THAT is innovation.. thinking about it, there is no way that this can surely come with any downsides? Beautiful bit of innovation. This perhaps would encourage people to alter their geometry a little more often? Because who can really be arsed with going through all the fuss of lining up the cups every time for a marginal gain?..

Brilliant idea.. well done Norco!
  • + 16
 @JemMcP

Forget about this child's play. Self adjusting head angle system is the way to go.

www.instagram.com/p/BQVhq1BAs6j/?taken-by=wakidesigns
  • + 5
 Also noticed the head tube shape. It looks pretty similar to what Propain have done yet on their Carbon Rage. Maybe also a trick to test different sizes with a lower number of proto molds.
  • + 1
 @steviestokes: does anyone remember commencals 666 that had an intergrated adjustable headtube? I had one & it worked fine!
  • + 13
 @cunning-linguist: My wife has Meta 4X VIP with one. It goes from 1996 head angle to 2005. This one on Norco seems like it can sustain at least two waves of bike geometry coolness.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: haha!!! So well put. That meta 4x will be worth a fortune soon, the past is the future!!
  • + 1
 clean and elegant solution, provided it's interface isn't into the carbon itself but rather another precision machined insert, and this should work great. Otherwise it could creak like the older gimbal CC anglesets. Great to see more companies understanding the nuances with head angles, and allowing riders to fine tune to suit their skills/environment. awesome.
  • + 0
 It's just a lengthened headtube with headset cups, have a look at the propain Rage carbon, they sell two "sizes" that cover 6 different overall sizes, through reach and chainstay adjust.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: It's funny because I always tought bikes should have that kind of adjustable headtube and BB as well. I mean, like norco, not like the one of your fertile imagination :-D
  • + 3
 I was expecting they were like flew to Taiwan, flip some Astro catalogue, then found a sick design.
  • + 1
 whilst it's a reasonably inivotive idea it's not new by any means, propain introduced the idea with their carbon rage a good while ago!
  • + 1
 @steviestokes: I think Propane's carbon Rage has this adjustable headset
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: yeah mate! I had an ~2004/5 Supreme DH that had that adjustable headtube insert. Never touched it though ????
  • + 1
 @ajayflex:

Have one - a bit later model Supreme. Not the best idea ever - its noisy. Still love to ride that bike. Rear is sublime.
  • + 2
 @wakaba: sublime indeed. That thing had traction like nothing I'd ever ridden.
  • + 1
 @ajayflex: 1st cracked sattletube, replacement still going and the roller chain keeper was just good
  • + 24
 Thanks Pinkbike for this kind of article. Looking forward next one A happy engineer
  • + 10
 1 nothing is new in the mountain bike industry, most of its stolen from motocross.

2 carbon is cheaper than aluminum(don't argue trying to convince your self you didn't get ripped off for a 10,000$ bike)

3 they will continue to charge 10,000$ for a premium spec'd rig because they can.
  • + 4
 Amen
  • + 2
 1 maybe 2 no 3 yes
  • + 0
 @likehell: for companies to make yes it is it can all be done by machines and carbon fiber is very cheap compared to alluminum the only expensive part is molds but they pay for them selves very quick
  • + 1
 @larr: 3-4 5 figure moulds for each size does not pay for itself very quickly for a small brand, not at aluminum bike prices.
  • + 9
 my local bike shop can't wait for the bearing replacement on that. he will retire after the profits on that job!
  • + 5
 The design seems quite similar to the DELTA system that Evil uses -- that the reviewers always jizz over -- except with a high pivot. Seems promising for outright speed, though maybe not for playfulness. Not that similar to the Commencal linkage, since the link that's driving the shock is rotating in the opposite direction, like the difference between Maestro and VPP. The only real similarity to the Commencal linkage is the high pivot point.
  • + 9
 If the mould was made of steel, would it make carbon more real?
  • + 2
 I keep looking up "mold", and "mould", thinking one is the bacterial growth, and one is the form for making material parts, but apparently they're spelt the same, and "mould" is just the British spelling. That's stupid.
  • + 7
 @Kramz: yes a lot like wind and wind. Spelled in the same manner, different meanings. Spelt on the other hand, that's a type of grain!
  • + 1
 @Kramz: you do us no favoUrs by harboUring such doubts. MoUlds are machynned from Aluminnium.
  • + 3
 @twozerosix: Magnesum damn it!!!
  • + 4
 @cunning-linguist: username checks out
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: baaaahahahahahaha!!!!!! such a good sense of humor....
  • + 6
 @cunning-linguist: Oh very kind of you, althogh I learned that on a symposum about animals like possiums that were loosing fur due to low levels of potasum. That particular lecture took for hors. Now sorry mate ba' since nun of 'a ma'a to anyone, I show meself ou' fo' bein' a men'al tossa', or how the French say: Tosseur
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: they didn't get the satire! You crack me up dude!!! :-)
  • + 4
 I would say this reminds me of the Nicolai M-Pire, shock system wise. That was a beast in weight but it did handle very good because of its mid low center of gravity. Also, this is and high pivot, rearward travel bike, which is a very, very good thing and they have even managed to pull the upper side of the chain to the pivot, which will take away the chain feedback when using the rear travel. The lower side seems to be also brought a little closer to the pivot to reduce chain slap, nice touch. All in all, seems to be promising.
  • + 1
 it's pretty much the same idea, but changed a bit. I had two of those bikes, raced em. Easily the quickest charging bike I rode at the time. Adjustable shock shuttle allowed me to run a 63deg head angle back in 2008. Awesome bike.
  • + 1
 @atrokz: I know... good stuff, for sure. I've never had one but I rode one and loved it. I had the smaller brother but also very good Ufo_DS (dual slalom full suspension) and it was a blast. I was actually considering buying again one of those second hand to have as city bike as it was really fun. Not that into their newer bikes though. Not so sure on the aggressive head-angles they are using these days. I'm not a racer. :/
  • + 2
 @gnrendeiro: I imported a few of those back in the day, buddy had the UFO-ST with a avy on the front! was an awesome bike. There's a bunch of cool used ones in Europe, if shipping wasn't an arm and a leg I'd get one!
  • + 3
 From some folks I have talked to this bike is as close to being a reality as it is to never actually happening. I just hope we get to see it a few times on the track at crankworx and maybe a few World Cups. The Vital Raw videos during the WC always do a good job of showing all the different bikes smash different types of trail which means we can see how its new suspension design performs.
  • + 1
 I don't understand this design yet. In the picture it looks like a single pivot. Since the shock has its own link, the leverage rate should be a constant throughout travel. (The distance from rear axle to swingarm pivot is fixed and the distance from shock mount to link pivot is fixed).

Maybe I am misusing the words "leverage rate" but the mechanical advantage is definitely a fixed constant if my read of the picture is accurate.
  • + 1
 I guess they're going for a rearward axle path on the rear wheel with essentially no torque from the chain (aka suspension feedback or kickback). Also a fixed leverage rate. Maybe that rate is good for use with coil shocks?
  • + 1
 "The distance from rear axle to swingarm pivot is fixed" - True

"and the distance from shock mount to link pivot is fixed" - Not exactly. The link length obvoiusly doesn't change.

Between the swingarm pull pivot and the top shock eyelet is a set of links. The geometry of those links (as well as the relative locations of the lower shock eyelet, the main swingarm pivot and the swingarm pull link pivot) all determine the effective leverage ratio at any given position in the suspension travel.
  • + 2
 @mrleach: That's not the link I was referring to. I believe the input torque to the shock is determined by the distance from the pivot for the shock link on the frame to the shock eyelet.

The leverage ratio is an application of conservation of torque. The input torque to the bike as a physical system is the force on the rear wheel cross-product the 'lever arm', which is the line connecting the rear axle to the swing arm pivot, in this case. The torque input to the shock is the 'lever arm' determined by the line connecting the link pivot at the frame to the shock eyelet. Conservation of torque says these two torques should be equal. (Note that the cross product is not a multiplication. Cross products are defined for vectors, which require a notion of direction, as opposed to multiplication of numbers).

No matter how complicated the intervening mechanical system is between the shock link and the swingarm, the leverage ratio is determined by just those two.
  • + 1
 @mrleach and @WaterBear : It's actually a bit more complicated than that.
  • + 2
 @blacksim549:

Yes, you are right.

My linkage diagram is correct, but the leverage ratio calculation is wildly incorrect. Had to actually see it in motion to understand it. The further into the travel it goes, the more the shock link begins to multiply the effective swingarm to shock eyelet pivot length. The leverage ratio is digressive, which would create a progressive suspension feel at the end of the travel. My inaccurate calculation would actually say the opposite.
  • + 2
 @blacksim549: By all means, please explain.

@mrleach If you really want, you can calculate the torques around each pivot and apply conservation of torque, one pivot at a time. I can tell you what will happen. At each step you will cancel factors and arrive at output torque (at each pivot in sequence) equals input torque at the swingarm. Doing this all the way to the shock link, you will get shock link output torque is equal to input torque at the swing arm, as I have claimed.

I am not really guessing about this; These are physics 1 level calculations.
  • + 2
 @blacksim549:

You really think they went through all this trouble to get a constant leverage rate? That is not even desirable if you are putting a coil shock on the bike, it would bottom out constantly.
  • + 4
 @blacksim549:
easier than trying to explain it. Draw your own conclusions...

www.pinkbike.com/video/466535
  • + 1
 @mrleach: I think you are commenting at the wrong person.

Anyway, I am pretty sure. My daily job is teaching math to engineering students.

I think I realized what your mistake is. In the image you linked, you think the leverage ratio is L_1 divided by L_2. That is incorrect. In the video that Vorsprung released about leverage ratios, the relevant distance is from the shock link pivot to the shock eyelet, but in that video that happens to also be the distance from the swingarm pivot to the shock eyelet since they are the same part. It only looks like the distance you want is the L_2 you have drawn; In reality the distance that is physically relevant is the one from the shock link pivot to the shock eyelet. Your L_2 should actually be the base of the orange triangle you have drawn.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear:

Yeah, sorry about that @blacksim549 . wrong person.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: please, do calculate the torque at each link at 2 different position in travel, and you will see your mistake. The leverage ratio does change. The suspension linkage seems to be pretty progressive to me.
  • + 2
 @blacksim549: I actually did sketch it out before I made my previous 2 comments, just to make sure I wasn't crazy.

I believe you might be making the same mistake the previous commenter was. In his drawing he is using L_2 as the input lever arm to the shock, which is incorrect. There is no mechanical connection in the space between the swingarm pivot and the shock eyelet, so there is no way torque can be transmitted directly through that space (which is empty space).
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: If I can make some people learn something, my job is done. Torque = Force x Distance. Distance is perpendicular from Force to pivot. I'm only gonna do the shock linkage here, but same steps apply to the swingarm. Let's say we analyze it around the front triangle pivot of the shock linkage. So Fshock x d1 = Fpull link x d2 (with d1 perpendicular to Fshock and d2 perpendicular to Fpull link). You can see than as soon as you move the suspension, d1 and d2 will change, thus changing the leverage ratio.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14460400
  • + 1
 @WaterBear:
@blacksim549
More data based on my rough kinematic model. I had to scale lengths between pivots based on an assumed 170mm crank arm in the spy photo... clearly I have too much time on my hands.

www.pinkbike.com/u/mrleach/album/LINKAGE
  • + 1
 @blacksim549: For starters, you are using the wrong lever arm to input to the shock. The appropriate lever arm is the base of the orange triangle in mrleach's first picture. Honestly I'm not even sure what's going on in your picture.

Can we agree that the torque that goes into the swingarm pivot is what comes out at the shock link? If so the result that the leverage ratio is a constant is immediate.
  • + 3
 @blacksim549: Well, I've made a fool of myself. I sat down to calculate the leverage rate curve for an Evil bike, and realized that torque is not conserved at that little linkage connecting the swingarm to the shock rocker. That just translates the component of force parallel to itself, I believe.

The leverage curve will indeed not be constant, in general, if one of those little links is present.
  • + 1
 I just think they are making a 8-12k dh bike that I will attempt to justify buying. A bike companies job is to produce relevant bikes, these days. Whether through marketing or actual, new products. It is a tough market when you consider what is already out there. I do like Norco, though.
  • + 1
 Still trying to figure Norco out and their marketing ways , lets design a new trail and enduro bike , we,ll tease everyone for months with a couple videos and a complete media embargo till the date . Now they are dissecting their prototype DH design and letting all the world see it in pieces .
  • + 4
 I think it's smart. A lot of people have seen this prototype kicking around and Norco knows it's gonna be seen even more come race season. If Norco hadn't let pinkbike do an article on the future of this new DH bike they could have lost out in Aurum sales due to people holding off buying an aurum knowing they could miss out on the latest DH offering from Norco.
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels: the Sight and the Range where spotted at races and events all over the place as well , yet they still choose a shroud of secrecy , Like I said one model it,s all black op,s stuff , the next it,s show a tell for another .
  • - 1
 The Sight and Range are pretty meh for all the hyped up secrecy to be honest.
  • + 2
 Are they leaning towards producing it for the masses? looks like it rides amazing. all the weight towards the center of the bike must handle really well. This seems like the future of carbon dh bikes.
  • + 1
 Probably not. Talking with norco reps they are going to keep thr aurum as the park bike
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: that's what I've heard aswell
  • + 1
 "No side shots!"

Pinkbike trading an exclusive for conditions which included not posting photos of a product that's been in public for months.

Enthusiast press, indeed. Totally objective, though, I'm sure.
  • + 5
 lots of moving parts....
  • + 2
 I still don't understand why companies aren't jumping on the gearbox train for downhill bikes. They seem to be an absolutely perfect match.
  • + 1
 No no. Consumers need at least three more generations of pissing around with different suspension designs before getting serious.
  • + 0
 Is anyone else sick of hearing people whine about the cost of top tier bikes?

Every time something new comes out there's always a group of people bitching about the cost, yes top tier bikes are expensive, yes bike manufacturers make money selling them, no you don't have to buy one!

These same people always neglect the fact that there are now full suspension bikes starting new at $1000, 1x drivetrains for less than $200, great brakes for less than $60 per wheel, trail worthy hardtails for $500. None of that existed 10 years ago!

*end rant*
  • + 4
 @allenfstar Shhhhh, you will upset the keyboard warriors and crybabies. Everyone should have a Ferrari and they all should cost $1500. AND you should be able to sell it 3 years used down the road on Pinkbike for $1400. Ha!
  • + 1
 Good luck selling any Aurums now. Seems kinda strange to publicly give up on that bike when it's replacement is still in the proto stage.
  • + 1
 Quit trying to make biking look too complicated, go back to your 2005 Team DH specs in carbon and make Marzocchi remake the Super Monster and bam, world cup.
  • + 3
 They should put that adjustable headset setup on their production bikes.
  • + 0
 Then the new Sight and Range could be relevant
  • + 2
 WOW! That bike looks frickin good. At least 100 times better than Deity's new logo.
  • + 0
 No more Motörhead graphics. They betrayed Lemmy
  • + 0
 When I first saw the proto a few months back I thought Evil was working on a new DH bike. Nonetheless she's very sexy and hope to see it out on the race circuit this season tup
  • - 1
 If carbon fiber was cheap to manufacture with. Production motorcycles and automobiles would be made from carbon fiber. Instead only MotoGP bikes, F1 cars, and super cars are made from real carbon fiber. I feel lucky to be able to ride a carbon fiber bicycle.
  • + 1
 Carbon frames seem to target new victim's with the, my frame won't crack attitude, 3 warranty frames later They are buying steel or aluminum now haha.
  • + 3
 I love this bike, really hope it works out!
  • + 2
 It's a single pivot! Let's call it a day and drink beer!
  • + 1
 Give us more numbers/ angles!
We don't just want to know that it was directly made from carbon, but what was actually made!
  • + 0
 It's a prototype. Why would they publish those details? So it can be copied by another company outside the patent jurisdiction? #brilliant
  • + 2
 Proto no photo!!! ...no, wait...this article has photos...
  • + 0
 Is it just me, or does this frame look similar to Xprezo's Furax prototype?

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb11149179/p4pb11149179.jpg
  • + 1
 So who's the Luca Shaw stunt double in the 100% hoody?
  • + 0
 haha, saw this when I was up in whistler, guy said it was a prototype gary fisher
  • + 0
 Retail on this frame would be close to the Morpheus complete just reviewed.
  • + 1
 and I thought my Podium had a lot of moving parts!
  • + 3
 Same number of bearings as the Aurum.
  • + 2
 Norco Gambler?
  • - 1
 or even Norco Supreme Gambler...
  • + 1
 This new design looks great。very beautiful and cool new bike!
  • - 1
 This actually looks really sick, am gonna buy one. But it almost looks like a canyon sender.
  • + 1
 YES PLZ 3
  • + 0
 Orgy. I need to type the word ORGY!
  • + 0
 Look like a mix of commencal v4 and evil
  • + 1
 Still no good pictures?
  • + 0
 There must be a Conspiracy going on here.
  • + 0
 Looks nice,but it's so close to Commencal..It's good?
  • + 0
 Organicsystemsllc@yahoo.com. DAMMITTTTTT auto correct
  • + 0
 Carbon Commencal v4... Looks super sick though
  • + 0
 Looks like a s- works demo and a commencal v4's baby.
  • + 1
 ASTROeng!
  • - 1
 Looks like a Gambler and a newer Demo did the wild thang and…..
  • - 1
 next suppose to be article that Norco acquiring Commencal
  • - 1
 Another proof that humans makes the simplest of things difficult!
  • - 1
 Two words: Pull Shocks.
  • + 1
 Don't work.
  • + 3
 Luckily it is not a pull shock, just a pull-link.
  • - 1
 Unno dh
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