Norco Expands Women's Options and Adds Aluminum Range and Sight Models - Crankworx Whistler 2017

Aug 18, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
Norco 2018
The women's $5,699 Sight C2 shares the same carbon chassis and "long, low, and slack" geometry of Norco's unisex models by the same name.


We met up with Norco's Sarah Moore to see their expanded female lineup. Moore was candid about the bikes, saying that Norco has already done the heavy lifting with their standard frame designs. Tubes get thinner as the frame sizes grow smaller and geometry is adjusted between sizes to provide similar handling. So, the story here is that Norco's women's range is a compilation of their most popular trail bikes, like the Optic and Sight, that have been customized at the "touch points" and treated with coordinated graphics in an effort to create a more comfortable space inside Norco dealerships for female bike buyers.
Norco 2018
"I like Norco's tag line," says Moore. "Limits be damned. Tap into your courage."


Norco 2018
Sturdy chain guide plate.

Norco 2018
SRAM Eagle and a sensible, 32-tooth sprocket.
Norco 2018
Twelve speed for everyone.

Norco 2018
RockShox metric shocks and an aluminum rocker.

Moore, who competes on the EWS circuit, understands the meaning of those words, and she also understands that women don't always want equipment that is tailored to their gender. Norco offers both high-end carbon and more affordable aluminum models in each female category, but they draw the line at race bikes. Moore says that, regardless of gender, their research indicates that riders who have come through the ranks and are ready for a race bike buy based upon pure performance and the bike's reputation in competition. The Range enduro/all-mountain models are only sold in one unisex version.

Norco 2018
The 29-inch-wheel Optic C2 is lighter and steeper than the more gravity oriented Sight. Colorways are intentionally strong but tailored to the female palette.

Norco 2018
Norco 2018
"Touch points" include Ergon grips, an SDG Allure saddle, lower gearing, and extra small size options.

Speaking about the Range, Norco recently launched aluminum-framed models with the same geometry as their top-drawer unisex carbon race-bikes. The more affordable versions are also duplicated in 27.5 and 29-inch wheels, which should be good news for cash-strapped customers who were salivating over the release of the big-wheel Range C1 that PB recently wrote good things about.

Norco 2018
The $3,899 aluminum Sight A1 is outfitted with an impressive component selection.
Norco 2018
Beautiful construction showcased by the top tube/head tube area of the $3,299 aluminum Optic A1.

Norco 2018
If you are drooling over the 2018 carbon framed Range C1 29er, but can't pop for its $8099 USD sticker price...
Norco 2018
Norco released aluminum A1 versions that start at $4099 USD.

Norco Sight Alloy
Norco's Sight Alloy in 29 and 27.5-inch wheels are new additions for 2018 ($3899 to $2700 USD).



44 Comments

  • + 34
 Always appreciate more aluminum options.
  • + 11
 Definitely, I'm on a budget this year and those aluminum frames look great. Norco is in the running for my dollars.
  • + 13
 Yep, my previous bikes have been carbon. My new ride is aluminum and it rides just as good as the carbons. I just don't worry when a rock hits the metal vs cringing when it happens to carbon. I know carbon is strong in certain aspects, however, I ride where there's lots of jagged rocks. Riding worry free makes me ride faster because I don't have that fear in the back of my mind telling me to avoid those nasty rocks, therefore, making also a funner ride.
  • + 6
 I don't know what happened to me in regards to my brain & carbon vs aluminum vs steel bikes. My Steel & aluminum bikes I never really seemed to care that they got scratched. Now that I have carbon bikes every single scratch is painful to me. So bad I obsessively cover the frames in Helicopter tape.
  • + 1
 I wonder how carbon bikes will withstand the pass of the years. You can buy a used aluminum one, between 5-8 years old, and be pretty confident it won't fail if nothing's obviously damaged.
  • - 17
flag mollow (Aug 18, 2017 at 17:07) (Below Threshold)
 @ride4austin: lmao stfu pls
  • + 1
 @ride4austin: i ride worry free and my wheels hate me haha
  • + 7
 Aww man... I literallly just bought a sight C3 29'er for my wife and are kiiting it out with lady colour components. Could have saved myself the hassle and bought a womens version.. She loves the bike regardless of colour scheme though.. Always a fan if Norco's value and performance..
  • - 14
flag mollow (Aug 18, 2017 at 17:08) (Below Threshold)
 There's no value at all it's the same overpriced bullshit than any other company
  • + 18
 @mollow: Aren't you just a ray of sunshine
  • + 3
 I still don't understand the point of these "female specific" bikes. For anyone just find your size, slap on a gender specific saddle, call it good?
  • + 1
 Not always the case... women *usually have shorter torsos / arms therefore reach geometry will differ from their male counterparts. Also, I've heard that some manufacturers manipulate the thickness and shape of the frame tubes (whether it be carbon or aluminum) to allow less use of material in certain areas as women are *usually lighter in body weight than men. This ultimately yields a lighter weight frame. But again, it really depends on the manufacturer and their approach to female specific sizing, but there's usually more at work than just a gender specific saddle.
  • + 18
 "I still don't understand the point of these "female specific" bikes" - sit down, be humble
  • + 7
 @Chadimac22: Except all the bike companies with women specific bikes don't do that. Santa Cruz, Giant, and (says right here in the article) Norco use the same frame as their "normal" bikes. IMO it's a cheap way to sell a few more bikes. That being said I'd look at the women's bikes because sometimes I like their colours more. Then I can just swap the saddle back to a narrower mens. The marketing gobbledigook from the companies can take a break.
  • + 2
 I believe I've read an article with input from leaders in the outdoor industry (written by REI maybe?) that basically said that women feel like they are supposed to buy women's specific models, even if they are the same product. And since they are a decent chunk of the market, you get manufacturers making products that are marketed to them.

And I think it was Trek? Or maybe Specialized that did a study on a large group of males and females to figure out sizing/geometry and decided that women don't need special frames, just a different saddle.

Opinions from women that I've talked to are a bit divided on the subject. Some want a product that's "made for them" others just want something that works well, and are sick of bright pink/teal everything.
  • + 1
 @Powderface: divide and conquer
  • + 5
 "Shrink it and pink" has been changed to "Shrink it and pastel paint it"
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 18, 2017 at 12:03) (Below Threshold)
 Saying that women specific bikes don't work is like saying flowers for saying I'm sorry don't work. Well yea, they don't work if you tell her your strategy. Just like giving a dude two choices, one fkng stupid one and another that actually works which is exactly how you want it to be done. You purposefully opt or the stupid one, talk about it, argue for it and bloke goes for the second option which is what you actually want. He also feels good for making a good choice. Works wonders on bossy old dogs like my Dad. it is called Voluntary deception and you fkng love it.
  • + 3
 @Chadimac22: Leg/torso/arm length ratios vary drastically among humans but very little between the genders. I used to think women's specific geometry was a real thing. It isn't. The same is true for weight. Your gender is entirely irrelevant. Instead, it's all about weight, height and limb length. Buy the size of bike that fits. Ironically, some studies show that women have a lower arm to leg length ratio than men, the opposite of what Liv says their bikes are designed for.
  • + 6
 @Powderface: Compare a Liv Hail to a Giant Reign and tell me they're the same frame...
  • + 1
 @Chadimac22: Offering a lighter shock tune would probably be more useful for many women (and lightweight dudes of course). At 50kg my wife's probably right at the edge of the usable range of most forces and shocks.
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: real women hate pastel
  • + 4
 "Colorways are intentionally strong but tailored to the female palette"

What the what now?
  • + 0
 The women's bikes come in bright colours. The unisex bikes are more muted and simple colours, the women's ones give the option of having bright flashy colours like pink and purple.
  • + 7
 @dkidd: ah yes women are born to like pink and purple of course
  • + 1
 @howsyourdad: oh well then I must have indoctrinated my 5 year old daughter without knowing about it. She loves pink, purple and violet things. She also likes short skirts. I guess you can leave misogyny but misogyny won't leave you. I am a monster
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: does she also love black , blue , silver , green , yellow and red things like my 2 year old daughter ? There is no inate preference for pink in girls
  • + 1
 @howsyourdad: you are just being silly, yes she does recognize other colours but she prefers pink, purple and violet for clothing, bikes, cups and nobody taught her to do it under a threat of shaming. She has stuff in all colors. You can make an argument that it is just as random as my son liking red and orange. But I doubt it... commerce has much better idea about inate human tendencies than equalitarian ideologists because they often use scientific data to get clues what to do to maximize their profits. Data from reality with a dosage of imagination vs ideological bullsht with a dosage of will for power
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: nope. You are incorrect and not producing a coherent argument. I do however agree that our individual sample sizes of one are not applicable here. Science has shown that both boys and girls have a preference for pink and redder tones.

However, the increasing separation of activities and toys and clothes for boys and girls, strongly coded by colour and reinforced by highly gendered marketing ( of which you mention) is depriving girls and boys in equal measure, particularly In a society that is fighting hard for equal rights for both sexes. It seems a retrograde step to be increasingly forcing our kids into these pink and blue stereotypes and continuing this through adulthood by only offering products in 'girly' ( often perceived by many as weaker, less able) colours. These things (in my view at least) matter.

To quote your earlier comment to another user Waki, "sit down, be humble" .

I'm off out to do skids and wheelies with both my little boy and girl.
  • - 1
 @howsyourdad: promotion of a particular color is indeed a case however relating it to ethics is quite ridiculous. I personally find current trends of "promoting" equity as aggressive as promotion of division. It boils down to ironic situations like my friends who are strongly against genderization of society and as a protest against brainwashing they gave their kids gender neutral names like Blixa and Nico. And if you get on a logical plane and don't find it as a form of brain washing you must be truly delusional. The outcome of this duality is forming a team of "to equalize", please be my guest. But the hard part is creating a singularity, that is to respond accordingly to situation. Yes pink is pushed more, and so fkng what, should I teach my kids to repress both evolutional and environmental impulses? In the name of f*cking what? Living a happy life or Supporting currently growing new form of equalitarian establishment?.I am an ex couch activist ex catholic coming from an ex communist country, I smell bollocks from a mile. And I live in times where I have the comfort to stay away from this, so I chose to stay away.

Sorry, I've just been in a skatepark with kids, took time to answer. But I bet your kids are better at biking and more ethically raised than mine.
  • + 2
 Hopefully the make produce enough frames to sell to everyone who pre-orders one 6 months in advance. Still waiting on my 2017 xl range. Probably just buying one on buy/sell.
  • + 1
 I waited a little over 6 months for my 2016 XL Range. It arrived 3 days before Christmas.
  • + 3
 Can't afford an 8 grand bike? Well here is a 4 grand bike instead.
  • + 6
 the cheaper one does come with a bit of shame though...
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: haha! Classic
  • + 2
 The new Sram cranks looks like Race Face circa 2011.
  • + 0
 Third picture down, the lower shock bolt is either not tight or the mounting hole hasn't been drilled straight. Not good either way Wink
  • + 1
 Crankworx has obviously become the new show for debuts. Id like to see a count..new products there vs eurobike vs sea otter.
  • + 0
 The xs in women's should be smaller, have a lower stand over and 26 inch wheels. That would make it a great kids bike or light duty slope bike.
  • + 1
 I imagine standover ends up being limited by shock placement, but I do agree 100% that it makes more sense for the XS to use 26" wheels. Sadly, because of the hype around wheel size, brands are probably reluctant to produce a bike with 26" wheels. Not to mention the extra work to design an XS frame around a different wheelsize. That said, Norco does offer a Fluid in XS with 26" wheels and a Fluid Plus in XS and S with 26+ wheels.
  • + 1
 @richardcunningham

Could we have a full pic of the Optic A9.1?
Thanks!
  • + 0
 Click on the pic. Native size is big

www.pinkbike.com/photo/15064499/?s6
  • + 1
 Would like to see the revolvers!

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