Norco, e*thirteen, Fouriers - Interbike 2014

Sep 10, 2014
by Mike Levy  
Norco

It looks more expensive than it actually is, doesn't it? The $3,095 USD Range 7.1 is a stunner.


Norco Range 7.1

How's this sound: a 160mm travel platform that's one of the best handling out there, with a RockShox Pike up front and a KS dropper post from the factory, all for $3,095 USD. Oh, and it's black on black, with some more black added on for good measure. Norco's Range 7.1 is likely going to be getting a lot of attention in 2015, despite its subdued colours, due to an excellent shred-to-dollar ratio and an all new aluminum frame that makes that possible. How so? The frame's deeply shaped tubes are now the result of a mechanical process rather than more expensive hydroforming, a change that has allowed Norco to add said dropper post and switch from a FOX 34 to the Pike fork without increasing the bike's asking price. I remember when three grand got you a hardtail with a terrible fork and questionable brakes, and now look where we're at.

Norco

A Pike and dropper post from the factory make the 7.1 a killer deal at $3,095 USD. The all-new aluminum frame now sports welded-on ISCG tabs rather than the splined adapter on the old version.



Norco's entire aluminum Range lineup is built around the new frame, and while it looks a lot like the old frame from a few feet back, there are actually some changes worth mentioning. The first is the bike's geometry, with Norco backing off the head angle by half a degree to 66 even (which now matches the carbon Range), as well as dropping the bottom bracket height by just a touch. Slacker and lower all around, which usually isn't a bad thing. The back of the bike still sport's Norco's Gravity Tune that sees different sizes use different length rear ends, which makes a lot of sense.




e13

Lighter, easier to put on, and more reliable. The LG1+ gets a re-design for 2015.


e*thirteen Goodies

Chain guides have come a long way. I remember grinding the mounts off of my Giant ATX-1 DH bike that held its AC guide on so I could rig something up that kept my chain on for my than thirty feet of trail, but that seems like so long ago now, especially after checking out e*thirteen's latest offerings for 2015. The new LG1+ guide is all about easier fitting, a sleeker appearance, and improved reliability. Longer ISCG mounting slots add a few more degrees of adjustability, which e*thirteen told me is nice given that so many frames out there sport tabs that are clocked too far in one direction, and the upper slider now clips apart (just the forward part, the rear pivots) so you can fit the chain through without needing a tool - golf claps from bike mechanics world wide can be heard if you listen carefully. The guide's lower assembly, including a roller that's smaller and softer than the 2014 version, can also be completely removed if you don't think you need maximum chain security thanks to your narrow / wide chain ring and clutch derailleur, and the bolt-on taco guard is now available in three sizes (30, 34, 38 tooth protection) so you can get maximum ground clearance for whatever size ring you're running.

Noise and reliability have also been addressed, with a new co-moulded Shore A rubber on the upper slider that should help keep things quiet so you can really be at one with your thoughts while on your downhill bike. Remember how some World Cup riders' guides were sporting Velcro glued onto the same spots? Yeah, this is way nicer and less hairy looking. All of the guide's composite bits are also now made from a material that is more resistant to all lubes on the market, which means they piece won't get brittle after a few years of having a trouble causing lube dripped all over them. Weight runs between 136 and 167 grams depending on the size of the taco fitted

e13

It's all in the details: a small change to the crank spindle taper is said to up strength, while new tubeless valve stems and sealant should have you ditching the tubes out of your e*thirteen wheels.



e*thirteen had a some other things on display as well, including an updated P3 Connect crank spindle that sees the taper go from three degrees to one degree. Why does this matter? The change sounds pretty slight, but e*thirteen says that it results in a stronger connection due to the longer contact face that it now provides. This is further enhanced by them dropping the integrated crank arm remover that used to come in the non-drive side arm, thereby allowing for a bit more material in a high-stress zone.

Tubeless valve stems generally suck pretty bad, don't they? They're usually just a steel valve with a glob of rubber on one end that gets pulled down tight onto the rim bed by you over-tightening the locknut on the opposite side, followed by much finger crossing that you've created an airtight seal. e*thirteen thought that sucks, and rightly so, and have come up with their tubeless aluminum valves that use pre-shaped rubber sections that mate to their rim, as well as a thread-together design via a 3mm hex key used on the inner end. The tubeless equation is completed with e*thirteen's new sealant that they told me features an exclusive chemical makeup that seals punctures quickly. It's also non-toxic, which is good because it comes in a white bottle that could be mistaken for one of those tasty yogurt drinks.




Fouriers

Big cogs and clever chain rings in the Fouriers booth.


Fouriers Drivetrain Components

Not having to skip breakfast for two years in order to save up for a new wide-range drivetrain is really nice, and Fouriers is yet another company to offer a solution for that exact challenge. Their Mage SK cog is available in 40 and 42 tooth sizes, and the $86 USD kit also includes a new 16 tooth cog that keeps the jumps in the right range after you've dropped the 13 and 17 tooth stock cogs, as well as a longer B-tension screw to push the derailleur's upper pulley out far enough to clear your new dinner plate cog. Ten speed Shimano cassettes only, though. They had a nifty little display that let me shift through the gears, and although it doesn't really replicate the loaded use that a drivetrain would see in the real world, the whole thing did shift rather smoothly. Their $74 USD narrow / wide chain ring is the other key to the system, and features some really nifty machining that sees the chain nest right into a shoulder below the teeth that has been shaped to match the profile of the chain. It's available in 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38 tooth sizes, as well as BCDs to fit both Shimano and SRAM cranks.

Fouriers

Look familiar? It's not the same thing, though, as the Spaco lets riders convert their ten speed road cassettes to seven speed setups.



The Spaco might be a pretty clever little piece of kit for downhillers, but we're not sure about the name. Maybe something was lost in translation? Anyways, it's a machined aluminum spacer that replaces the largest three cogs of a ten speed road bike cassette to provide some spoke protection. The 25 gram spacers is available in red, green, gold, blue and grey, and retails for $41.99 USD.


View entire Interbike 2014 Product Gallery Here


108 Comments

  • 275 1
 Norco gets it
  • 51 2
 That bike looks so badass!
  • 115 0
 Just think - its cheaper than the Formula AM Hyperlight 27.5" Carbon Wheelset
  • 106 2
 Hey all you people trying to sell your used bikes for $3000 with similar, worse, or even better specs in some cases.... Norco just kicked you in the crotch
  • 31 2
 hey a good looking bike on here ppl can afford
  • 13 0
 Sign me up. That's just what I am looking for right there. Murdered out is a plus
  • 7 1
 those lucky bastards at nsmb have already got there hands on 1
nsmb.com/2015-norco-range-nsmb-intern-bike
  • 3 9
flag SHARK555 (Sep 11, 2014 at 0:24) (Below Threshold)
 A big step in the right direction, but those welds, some are pretty (headtube), others were done by a hand-cuffed toddler (top of seatpost)
  • 3 1
 The range is a sick bike. I hope this years carbon batch is better then last though. Ordered the carbon 7.2 last spring and was told in May they had to remake the frames because of issues and would have to wait until at least mid-July. Mega bummer.
  • 4 0
 Did they get the price right?
on the norco site it say $3580
  • 9 0
 @hellhound089 The site gives prices in CAD, here it's USD.

That Range looks mint, the price is right and I don't think I would ever need a better bike at my skill level. And there's even a cheaper model coming with a Marz 350 and Deore drivetrain and brakes, which is also plenty enough. The 7.2 only lacks a dropper but that can be added later while the happy owner already shreds on their brand new 160mm bike from a major manufacturer. Nice.
  • 2 1
 Very good looking bike. The KS dropper that I owned was TROUBLE from day one. Back to the trusty Gravity Dropper by day six.
  • 4 17
flag spunkmtb (Sep 11, 2014 at 4:50) (Below Threshold)
 I just find it funny. All the PB'ers that incessantly bitch bout wheel size are all of a sudden jumping on the 27.5 bandwagon. Yes the above bike is a 27.5. Unless the above posters are of the more enlightened cast of characters here on PB.
  • 8 1
 Spunkmtb has confirmed it is a 27.5 bike we are talking about. Everything is okay now.
  • 2 0
 As much as this sucks if you're trying to sell your bike, this is awesome if you're buying a used bike. It's going to force the second hand prices down as well!
  • 3 0
 @SHARK555 I talked to one of the guys at the Norco booth at Crankworx about this frame. He did mention that the one in the pictures is pre-production and that the welds at the seat tube gusset would be totally smoothed out in production to give it a nicer look.
  • 5 0
 I spent a couple of days at Silver Star on last years Range and loved it. For the Blues and easier blacks it was plenty of bike for me. This is the first bike that has inspired me to go back to rear suspension. It's rad, and not retardedly expensive. FU Carbon!
  • 2 0
 Haha FU Carbon indeed JessE.
Another bike in the line is only $2200, which is downright insane!
Range Alu: www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/enduro/range-alu/range-a-72
  • 2 2
 It still needs a one-by drive train.
  • 1 0
 That's probably canadian pricing
  • 1 1
 Finally a bike I can look at without any danger of cross eye or potential risk of epileptic seizure.
  • 1 1
 The welds around the head tube are most likely done as the bike is slowly spinning so the welder's hands stay perfectly still, not actually too hard to make look perfect. When your welding a flat surface like that the welders hands are likely moving so it is more difficult to make the weld look perfect. Also look at all the welds on your bike if its from asia. They dont look perfect but it doesn't really affect the strength at all. Thats what we get for sending stuff to asia which is fine by me, just saying. Look at the aluminium Cove frames. Still welded in the lower mainland. Welds are absolutely perfect!
  • 1 0
 Norco's look nice, but they are pretty hard to find here in the States. I live in Boulder, where there's a bike shop on every other corner, and I still can't find a dealer that actually has a decent stock.
  • 2 4
 All of Norco's prices look great because the bikes are spec'd in a lower range than other bikes. Most of the cheapest builds other companies offer have better components. This isn't necessarily a bad thing– Norco provides a good option for people who would prefer to upgrade gradually when they have the money. It also creates a great entry level price that will hopefully get more people on mountain bikes. I don't think this will have any effect on the market for used bikes though, as a lot of people would still prefer buying an older model with better specs.
  • 33 1
 Norco has made such a great come back props to them
  • 16 8
 A come back from when? 2014? When they had a near 100% failure rate on their Range Carbon frames..??.. Only time will tell...

Shame their stuff rides so well...
  • 11 8
 NORCO,NORCO,NORCO, Are the answer to my 3000 dollar bike dilemma? Or do I have to buy two, so when the first one breaks I have a back-up? I'm speaking from my current Trek experiences, fyi. Downtime suck's, life is too short ,my days are numbered and I need a ride.
  • 15 4
 Buy a 2015 Giant Reign. Similar price, better spec.
  • 2 1
 I have a 2013 Alu Range and will safely say that thing will let me break every time. My collar bone will attest to that.
  • 2 5
 Ya but its orange or green or sum other weird color for a bike. Btw gt sensor x is good deal too.
  • 3 1
 @thewho07 aside from seat post and fork, the spec was not mentioned.
  • 2 1
 Actually the one that's the cheapest in the Reign line is black and blue. But just a little light then the team version
  • 1 0
 I think last years Norco looked better
  • 2 1
 @kryzmnd, ur right! Low spec al reign is black/blu..btr colors than 2nd tier carbon. Dang
  • 1 0
 @bigmike I would love to see where you got your numbers from on that one. Pretty sure if the failure rate on the range was almost at 100% then the sight would be too? And the other carbon frames?..
  • 2 0
 @paulclarke The issue doesn't seem to be with the carbon itself, rather the design. The Sights and other Norco carbon models seem to be OK. It appears to only be the range carbon that's affected, and was localized to the BB area. Pretty much all frames are cracking around the BB (which doesn't present a structural issue in and of itself, according to Norco), but with many, the crack has spread up the seattube, which then becomes a problem (again, as per Norco).

Like the 2009 Team DH (which also saw nearly 100% failure rates), Norco is quietly replacing the cracked 2014 frames with 2015 frames, which have been redesigned in the BB area, and are about 150gr heavier (likely because of increased material and construction in the BB area). I am sure there will be many riders who will ride out their 2014 Range Carbon's never knowing the frame was cracked (because it doesn't sound like Norco is going to do an official recall)... which is unfortunate.
  • 1 0
 Once again... I would like to see where you got the almost 100% number. Im sure you just randomly thought of it though.
  • 2 0
 well of the 8 people I know on Range Carbons, all are cracked. And from those 8, a few are very closely affiliated with Norco who are confirming the issue.

Don't be sad if you bought a Range and have a cracked frame... you'll just get a warranty replacement. No big deal. But, if you bought one used... and it's cracked. Then I feel bad for you. That's the risk of buying a first generation bike... especially from a company's first foray into carbon mtn bikes.

As I said, the Ranges and Sights ride amazingly well. I've got no beef with Norco. I loved my Sight Killer B when I had one (except for the 4 times I had to have the frame replaced because of manufacturer defects in the rear triangle), I'd just wish their QC was a bit better. There aren't many companies that can have the QC issues Norco has had over the last few years and still have a strong client base. Needless to say, I am sure they saved themselves by riding the 650B bandwagon from the start... had it not been for that, I am sure we would have seen Norco drop off significantly.
  • 1 0
 4 times to get a replacement part is 3x too many in my mind. I've just begun waiting for #2 from Trek and I want out of this dance. So I ask which 160mm travel bikes don't break every season. I'm around 210 lbs of cutty, and never huck to flat.
  • 2 0
 The aluminium Range's have a great track record so far. Realistically, you'd want to get into a bike that's a built overbuilt for it's intended travel category. The Banshee Rune is the first one that comes to mind (ride awesome and are built/designed quite strong), as well as one of the Knolly's. Those would be the two places I would look first. Dollar wise, the Rune is going to come in significantly cheaper than a Knolly. Banshee is pseudo-Canadian, and the Knolly is fully Canadian (if that matters to you).
  • 20 3
 That Norco is a steal! My wife might actually let me buy that!
  • 9 2
 It's their 160 travel enduro, all mountain, aggressive trail. Or an "every mans" do everything bike. Maybe even "mountain" bike if you want to get technical. Oh I could go on, but that is the best bike deal I've ever seen though
  • 1 0
 haha oops wrong comment. stupid small phone
  • 3 1
 very well specd bike. I would buy this www.canyon.com/mountainbikes/bike.html?b=3610
  • 4 0
 @fracasnoxteam - We cant buy them in North America though
  • 2 0
 @paulskibum Sorry didn't see this. "Unavailable for Canada, Australia and USA".
  • 1 1
 Can anyone clarify why Canyon cannot deliver to North America and (AUS)?
  • 1 3
 Is the Range 7.1 really a steal, or does the company actually recognize that not all consumers need to be ripped off by selling their bike for $2000 more?
  • 1 0
 Probably due to the nightmare that is overseas warranty processing and fulfillment. They'd basically have to start a whole new operation in the US in order to respond to customers' needs in an amt of time that wouldn't leave customers pissed off.
  • 2 1
 @bkm303 "Probably due to the nightmare that is overseas warranty processing and fulfillment." They sell their bike worldwide except these 3. I wouldn't be surprise to see a (nother) patent problem...
  • 2 1
 Either way, it's a steal.
  • 1 0
 @mevadus it really is a steal. I have pretty much set mine up like this(minus a Pike but with a Monarch+) and it's a great bike. Heavy? Yes. But it's a very capable and sturdy bike. VERY.
  • 13 0
 The shred-to-price ratio is off the charts. Makes sense Norco, thanks
  • 5 0
 Throw 1x on that badboy and brappppp!
  • 9 0
 How would the Norco hold up to the Kona Process 153?
  • 3 0
 I've demo'd both, more than once, and IMO the range is faster, funner, and smoother. Fave demo so far!
  • 1 0
 Isn't a Pike cheaper than a Fox fork any way, not only does the bike get less expensive, but performs better too, bit of a no brainer. Wonder if they put shimano brakes on too, another component that should be standard, fuck shitty chocolate avid brakes.
  • 2 0
 It has Shimano Deore M615 hydraulic brakes according to the Norco site www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/enduro/range-alu
but the site also says the new frame is hydroformed, where as this article says it is not.... so maybe something is off...
  • 1 0
 7 speed, thats perfect, if a SS DH bike existed I would be the first to buy.... I'm not a fan of gears, they suck, too much that can go wrong and mess up your ride, that lil gear adapter might just be something I would buy, thats rad as hell!
  • 4 0
 Norco, when are the carbon ranges available?
  • 3 0
 they are here!! i work in a bike shop that carries Norco bikes and we received the first few last week
  • 2 0
 I'm very happy to be working with Fouriers, as for Spaco... I never even thought of that definition but I should talk to them about it Smile
  • 2 0
 I just love it when i buy a brand new E*13 chain guide and then they come out with their brand new better one a day later.....
  • 2 0
 Going on Friday cant fukkin wait! I only live down the street from Mandalay Bay.
  • 2 0
 That norco is stunning, its alot like the 2014 giant trance 27.5 2 but better fork and a dropper.
  • 2 0
 I found the range to be more nimble and easier to manual and flick I was on the 2014 tho
  • 1 2
 I shudder at the thought that Norco made any changes to the frame that could have made it even weaker... Good luck if you break one, apparently they are "all out of frames" so your lifetime warranty might have you waiting 2+ months and counting to get your bike back. Sooo glad Transition is making a Horst link bike, they seriously would never let anyone go without a bike this long.
  • 1 1
 I hope Fouriers has done a better job with their 16T replacement cog than OneUp. I have trouble with that sucker skipping all over the place. Should've just left the bigger jump.
  • 1 0
 Thanks norco. The resale value on my 2011 range just plummeted. I was going to sell it too! Sick bike. Can't believe I paid almost the same amount for my 2011 range 3.
  • 3 0
 Way to go Norco!
  • 1 0
 Awesome stuff! The new Norco frames look amazing, not to mention quality. And Fouriers..... I am in love
  • 1 0
 Great article! One of the few that contains new stuff that catches my eye and possibly (in the future) my savings account!
  • 1 0
 great to have a link to the full picture gallery! Is there also a link for the full eurobike gallery?
  • 1 0
 The flexibility of the new LG-1 is great but Blackspire's TrailX is 123g -131g and has been out for a while.
  • 1 0
 Just ordered my fouriers space, had to order two though as I don't know what size I need :-(
  • 1 0
 We've updated our engineer with an urban dictionary, he couldn't stop laughing... great stuff.
  • 5 4
 Mike what is the iintend use of the norco freeride,xc, all mountain .?
  • 3 0
 All-Mountain/Enduro
  • 2 0
 Thank you bigmike
  • 4 0
 And they ride amazing... as do the Sights (which are trail/AM).
  • 5 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 10, 2014 at 23:51) (Below Threshold)
 Yes it is AM/Enduro bike. If you ride xc with it, the bike will explode. I hope some company will start making mountain bikes again
  • 3 4
 @WAKIdesigns Nobody said you can't ride XC with it. But a pure XC bike will be faster for for example climbing. Its just a bike classification, please get over it.
  • 5 0
 I've been on road rides on that exact same Range... Hasn't exploded yet.
  • 3 0
 I had my Norco spontaneously combust on the lift a MSA, self access gravity, should have paid better attention.
  • 2 2
 No, WAKI is right... they will explode... literally, by the way of cracking the frame... at least the 2014s did. The 2015s are more enduro proof I am sure... which will gain you enduro points at races, because riding with a cracked frame at an enduro race? That's like negative 1 million enduro points.
  • 4 0
 Now, we must very careful about what we say in this forum in order to avoid confusing people. It's proven that riding XC with an AM bike is extremely dangerous. As has rightly been said, the bike will explode. Moreover, I just learned that riders could lose their hair and other critical parts of their bodies. Let us be more serious, please!
  • 5 3
 No sorry, I exaggerated things by saying that the bike will explode. If you ride a trail on XC bike then you are riding XC, if you take AM bike then you are riding AM. If you Strava your run or race with your friends, you may dare to call it Enduro. If you shuttle up and ride a DH bike on the very exact same trail then you are riding DH. You may also ride a fat bike and then you are riding unnacceptab-uro... That is a serious business as everybody knows, you will apply different technique and riding style, depending on which bike you ride. For instance my riding style on AM bike is a mix of chic and vintage, while on XC bike I go a bit art decor. So to not exaggerate, if you would join a XC race on AM bike, you are risking dying from cardiac arrest, dehydration and fatal exhaustion
  • 2 0
 Actually lolin at these armchair engineers. This is why I read the comments!
  • 6 0
 @paulclarke - armchair engineer is no big deal. Since wheelsize debate took off and gained some serious momentum you get armchair physicists and I prefer the first ones anytime. We also get some armchair economists if you know what I mean..
  • 3 0
 I prefer armchair world cup DH racers, who not only are armchair experts on bicycle tech, and what will and will not make you faster, but are also experts on line choice, criticising actual WC DH racers on their line choice...
  • 4 0
 The problem I have with armchair physicists is that they bully you with pseudo-science in the same way preacher bullies you with vision of going to hell. Whatever you say in lines of: This feels better for me, they will screw you with something like: everything is measurable and in racing, on the edge there are no maybies bla bla bla. Too bad a bloke just got 4th on World Champs without a chain... First of all since when being a fkless geek is noble?!
  • 2 4
 the previous range looked better imo. The 2015 one isn't as burly looking as The previous one which for me was one of the attractions to it. The pricing though is fantastic so can't really complain i guess.
  • 1 0
 great price for the norco
  • 1 0
 Fingers X'ed the new E13 plastics are compatible with the old LG+ ?
  • 2 1
 Thank you norco. Set the path for the new standard!
  • 3 1
 Hehe, spaco.
  • 1 0
 When will we be able to buy the new Range?
  • 1 0
 I think it'll be next month
  • 1 0
 Fouriers!!! Gimme tha guts!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Anyone has idea how much this Norco weights? Looks great though...
  • 1 0
 shredjekyll, your right, but add 5 pounds
  • 1 0
 Cheers, NORCO! You're in line for my next bike.
  • 1 0
 Norco is awesome with prices, no one can deny it.
  • 1 0
 If there was a Bat(mountain)bike this would be it!
  • 1 1
 Sexy stealth black Range... what suspension tech are they using?
  • 1 0
 Horst link (FSR)
  • 1 0
 no word os a 27.5 aurum?

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