The most notable feature of the Sight's design is the chainstay length. At 462mm, it's a bit longer than most ebikes these days. That means it's really balanced and composed in fast, flat or off-camber corners because it's easy to keep plenty of weight on the front contact patch. The fork is always loaded up and pushing the tire into the ground, generating consistent grip with a neutral or even slightly rearward riding position. The long back end results in more load on the fork, which partly explains why I needed to set it up pretty firm to hold it up and stop it bottoming out.
The downside of all this room in the rear is that the bike is a lump to manual and bunnyhop, even by ebike standards. I like a longer chainstay on a pedal bike, but combined with the heavy battery stretching in front of the bottom bracket, it makes lofting the front wheel really hard work. Sure, I can bunny-hop this bike and I can get it up to the balance point in a manual, but it's a lot more effort, takes more planning and I can't clear some obstacles which I could with a shorter rear-center. I consider myself pretty good at bunnyhops, and standing 190cm tall is a clear advantage here too, so for shorter or less experienced riders the long rear-center could be even more limiting when it comes to riding the bike dynamically.
Also, on steep terrain with rocky steps or little drop-offs into corners, I don't always feel completely centered on the bike, as if my weight is too
far over the front at times. This could be improved with a higher rise bar, but I think the chainstay is a little longer than ideal for steep terrain. There's always a flip-side, and in this case it's superb high-speed stability and cornering composure on flatter or less technical terrain.The Sight likes to go fast and does really well on bermed trails, jumps and flat turns, but is harder work on awkward rock sections where you want to get the front wheel up and over technical trail features.
The shock comes with no volume spacers installed, which I found resulted in the bike bottoming out a bit too easily and, at the same time, the suppleness over small bumps wasn't overly impressive by ebike standards. I tried easing off the low-speed compression to improve small-bump sensitivity and increasing high-speed compression to take the energy out of bigger hits, but what worked best was adding a volume spacer and reducing the pressure slightly. It's not the most plough-like, but it offers good suppleness without bottoming out too often when set up like this.
Overall the front and rear suspension work well together, providing a good balance of sensitivity and support. The Fox 36 e-MTB fork has a beefier crown and thicker stanchion walls than the regular 36 (this results in a smaller piston area which means higher spring pressures); it never feels flexy or overwhelmed in big holes or square-edged impacts. However, I can't help feeling the bike would only perform better with a bit more travel, especially considering the real-world travel is a bit less than 150mm by my measurements.
The rigid mass of the ebike frame makes it far easier to use all the travel on big hits when compared to a pedal bike; as a result you have to run the suspension a bit stiffer, so brake dive and wallow are less of an issue and pedal bob doesn't really matter at all. Norco's Range VLT, which has 20mm more travel at either end, would be a better bet in my eyes because the extra travel has very little downside on an ebike. If anything, more rear travel makes it easier to manual too because the rear suspension squats into its travel as you manual which helps the bike to rock back. Try to manual with your shock locked out if you're not convinced. But it's the Sight's long chainstay length that's the main issue for me. Combined with the weight, it dulls the responsiveness in some situations, and in my opinion, dulls the fun a little too.