Video: Norco Bicycles Announces New Torrent Steel Hardtail

Sep 19, 2019
by Norco Bicycles  

PRESS RELEASE: Norco Bicycles

We are excited to introduce the 2020 Torrent Steel – a burly, progressive steel hardtail built to handle the toughest trails and test a rider’s mettle.


Modern mountain bike trails have evolved, and bikes have adapted with them. Lines are getting scarier, gaps bigger, and technical sections are being built to push both rider and equipment to the edge.

Most riders have embraced the advantages of modern full suspension and today’s progressive geometry, which make riding these fast, scary trails seem downright reasonable.

We created the 2020 Torrent to rage on modern trails without the need for rear suspension or advanced carbon layups – it’s just the rider, some hand-welded Chromoly, and whatever skills they’ve picked up along the way – so every bit of mud-splattered sense of satisfaction felt at the end of a tough trail comes from the rider’s skills – not just technology and suspension design.


The Torrent’s modern features and new progressive All-Mountain geometry provide stable, agile descending, paired with climbing capability that would elicit envy from a mountain goat – perfect for any rider looking to bring their trail riding to the next level without the extra expense and complexity of rear suspension, and a new challenge for advanced riders trying to keep themselves honest.



With massive standover clearance, long reach combined with a short stem, and decidedly slack head angle, every Torrent also features our latest version of Gravity Tune which provides the same ride experience to every rider, no matter their stature.

The Torrent has been an integral part of our lineup since 1995 when it was first introduced as a steel XC Race hardtail – because that’s how we rolled in ’95. Everybody else was going full-on aluminum, but we still loved steel, so we went with what we loved.


Find out more about the 2020 Norco Torrent Steel at: www.norco.com/torrent-steel


GEOMETRY & MODELS




Torrent HT S1, $3,999 CAD


Torrent HT S2, $2,799 CAD


Torrent HT S Frame, $899 CAD

Find out more about the 2020 Norco Torrent Steel at: www.norco.com/torrent-steel


195 Comments

  • 100 3
 The perfect bike doesn't exi.....
  • 53 1
 Yeah, that is sick. Nice work Norco!
  • 12 0
 I basically want this but in a form that's flexible enough for me to set it up full 27.5, mullet, or full 29.

Does that exist?
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy: Kingdom does
  • 13 2
 @onemanarmy: Chromag Rootdown

Aside, this bike looks sick.
  • 4 3
 It does, its called Pole Stamina
  • 4 1
 Pole Taival
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: Kingdom made mine Smile
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: Canfield EPO
  • 7 0
 @onemanarmy:
RSD Middlechild
  • 5 0
 @Dustfarter: good luck finding a new EPO. They have been out of stock for close to a year and a half, and Canfield seems to be dead in the water - which is unfortunate because I own a Riot!
  • 5 0
 @privateer-wheels: I will say, (fellow Riot owner) I had to get in touch with CB last month to get a replacement part and they got back to me super quick and had the piece to me within a week. I dunno if they'll ever make another bike, but they're still doing what they can to take care of their customers.

I hope they can get back to form, great bike and (in my experience, I know others have had some frustrating times) solid folks.
  • 2 0
 @bmck: I certainly hope to see them back on their feet also! Good to hear they are still providing service.

Meanwhile, the new Banshee bikes look like they might be my chosen alternative if they don't make a come back. The new Titan and Rune look sweet!
  • 2 0
 @DMal: looks straight up like my Rootdown I just built!
  • 7 0
 way to go Norco, hella nice bike
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy: Pipedream Moxie. Just bought one myself last week and it's amazing. Running mine 27.5 with 2.4 tyre rear, 2.6 front but will try both mullet and full 29 at some point.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: Yep, you can do that with marino bikes! those are steel bikes hand-made in peru
  • 1 0
 @jorge269: Was thinking about that. Already reached out to them. Kingdom is above my pay grade and I don't really want a Ti bike. Marino seems like they can pull off what I want.

Was also looking at the NS Eccentric Evo, Specialized Fuse. Santa Cruz Chameleon.

But the SC seems a bit too upright for what I want. Fuse seems like it might work.

Essentially... I'll build the bike as a 27.5 bike and then next summer swap the front end over to a 29er. I want the ability to go back and forth easily and still have a rideable bike in both set ups.

Pipedream Moxie looks interesting but I don't know how I'd get one in the states.
  • 8 0
 @privateer-wheels: canfield is in design stages for new stuff.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: I'm currently riding an NS Evo. Fantastic fun. And check out their frame prices online...
  • 2 0
 @alexisfire: interesting. I hear differently things from all over. I certainly hope they get back in the game.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: I don’t see why you couldn’t do it to this. The bottom bracket isn’t very low on the torrent at 333, so it may even be an improvement! 2.6 or 2.5 may be your max tyre width though.
I’ve got a 29” specialized fuse frame running my old 650b wheels and 2.6 tyres, because I blew my money on a sexy fork during the build.
It sits low at 310 off the deck but the little wheels are fine until I’ve got some more cash to get something nice. Really fun in fact!
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: chromag wideangle
  • 4 0
 You had me at purple paint... take my money!
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: get a commencal meta ht cromo, brilliant, very well made bike with internal routing and nice geo. They dont make it anymore but you can get the 2018 model for 550€ in the commencal shop. I am not the biggest fan of riding hardtails outside the dirtpark but this bike always puts a big grin on my face not matter what i ride.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: NS frames for thir price, and pinkbike buy/sell for the rest of the parts makes for a great budget firendly project. I put together an NS Eccentric Djambo thinking it would a 'fun sometimes' bike. Its been my go to ride for two seasons now. Killer price for the spec. 160mm on the front, haven't found a trail it won't get down with a smile. Haven't put the 27.5+ wheels on yet, hopefully this fall. My FS is getting jealous...
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: you should be good with this torrent, stick a 27.5x2.8 out back and lower your forks 10mm.
It's got a high enough bb @ 333, you lose 8-10ish mm off that
  • 1 0
 @alexisfire @privateer-wheels:

Sometimes I consider getting a non-Canfield full-squish to complement my Nimble 9, but then I remember these:

www.instagram.com/p/BgHlTU6jd--/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

www.instagram.com/p/BeLTcZvhIHl/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  • 1 0
 For a "do-it-all" bike, I'd personally prefer something steel with room for 29x3" tires, 130-140mm travel, and 20+ cage, rack, and bag mounts.

I'm waiting on the new Krampus announcement(s) this month before breaking out my own wallet... fingers crossed.
  • 3 0
 @MTBrent: I recommend just getting them all
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: I think the new Chromag Arcturian can fit 29 x 3. Not sure about racks though.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Banshee Paradox
  • 1 0
 @MTBrent: I don't even want to know what that will cost lol. I bought my Riot on the clear out. $999. Perfect.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Yep! marino bikes are very versatile, my neighbor sells both Production Privee and Marino, you cant go wrong with steel! i personally ride a full sus steel bike (the Shan N5), but the hard tails ride very nice!

i´ve seen the same marino bike rolling 160mm 36 fork with 27.5 wheels, or with a rear 27.5x2.8" and front 29x2.5" and 140mm 34 fork, or full 29er with the same 140mm 34 fork, anyway you want it it will go! and with any combination it will go between 64 and 65 degree HA, there´s just no going wrong.

he´s got a few pics of the bikes in his facebook page from the bike store, or instagram too. You can find him as UniqueVeloMX or unique velo méxico.
  • 51 16
 Welcome to the party Canada. This is Mr Cotic and Mr Stanton and over there by the punch is Mr Ragley. Mr Privee is outside doing yoga with some girls.
  • 87 1
 I assume Mr Chromag was kicked out a while ago for being too rowdy?
  • 90 4
 Lol. Read up on aggressive hardtail mountain biking in the '90s. And if you don't want to go back that far in history, just be aware that Mr Chromag is at this party, hanging out in the other room with your girlfriend.
  • 1 0
 : love my big wig but THIS!
  • 24 0
 Sounds like a sausage fest
  • 2 0
 I was gonna say, the new Norco BFe! Not that that's a bad thing.
  • 2 0
 **slow 80's clap ensues...
  • 4 0
 On-One was having its own party with Voodoo?
  • 1 0
 @tkrug: he is.still.partying with mr començal
  • 9 1
 @skylerd: this party is hosted at Mr Chromag's house and he has everyone's girlfriends in the hot tub with him
  • 4 1
 Lol Mr Chromag laughs at this comment as he leaves @fielnator moms house.



Got him!
  • 12 0
 what is Mr. SickBicycleCo up to at this party?
  • 6 0
 @BPcyclecalgary: he drank too much and got into fights so they kicked him out
  • 2 0
 @BPcyclecalgary: isn't he currently in prison? Haven't seen him in a while!
  • 2 0
 Wha?! No way. You’re kidding right?

Chromag have more than just the Doctahawk (if that was too aggressive for your style of riding). They have an Acturian, Primer, and Surface.
  • 1 0
 I ride Mr Stanton like a pony.
  • 4 0
 @BPcyclecalgary: doing lines in the bathroom
  • 15 0
 @hamncheez: or he's standing at the door charging people cover for a free event
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: and took everyone else's booze on the way out.
  • 1 0
 @playdead: they actually keep bugging me to let them get a bump
  • 27 3
 On one hand, I love the build on the top-end model. Put the money into suspension and kept the drivetrain in the best-bang-for-the-buck range. Still, $4k CAD for a 4130 steel (aka good-but-not-boutique steel) hardtail with a solid but unspectacular build is a bit hard to swallow. When I look at the new Range, it's $3600 for the frame and $5600 for the C1 build. The builds are similar quality (one has a better fork but the other has better hubs, bar, and cranks) so I know Norco can do a comparable build for about $2000. Add that to the $900 frame price on the Torrent and You're coming in comfortably under $3k CAD.

Am I missing something?
  • 6 9
 I just picked up a YT Capra 29 LT for 1K above this hard tail.
  • 10 2
 $4K for an NX build. I currently ride a 2017 Sight and love it...and the full xt. Too bad Norco has switched over to SRAM. How about 4K for a full SLX build?
Nice frame Norco but a miss on the spec and price, IMHO
  • 8 0
 @CircusMaximus: its actually GX Eagle, only the cranks are NX.
  • 6 0
 @ccdb93: fair enough. Still doesn’t cut it for that $ on a steel bike. GX SLX again just my opinion.
  • 8 2
 I feel like I've been spoiled by the release of the RIpmo AF this week, where you're getting full DVO suspension with your NX drivetrain for $3000.

At the same price, I don't think the S1 build is a terrible deal as it's mostly GX, but it isn't really a good one either. I'm not a huge fan of the lower spec bikes comparative price to spec, but I do love purple...
  • 7 2
 Its a market segment thing. There are whole bunch of mtb riders that still firmly believe that full suspensions pedal like shit, that higher end drivetrains are better at changing gears, and that higher end suspension is absolutely critical to getting the bike to turn or track. For those riders, bikes like this exist. If you actually took every single mtb rider before they spent money on a bike, and let them ride a variety of different bikes and configurations over the same course repeatedly, then the Aluminum Frame 29ers with 150mm rear and 150-170mm front suspensions, aluminum wheels, GX drivetrains, and entry level brakes with 200mm rotors would probably eclipse every other bike in sales. But this doesn't happen, so people buy bikes based on very limited experience.
  • 6 0
 Yeah, I can't believe the expensive build has Novatec hubs. Ride like the guy in the video and they won't last for long. I'm in the PNW, people seem to destroy the novatecs. Just met a guy that destroyed a DT 370 too. The frame price is kind of steep assuming they are going to sell for MSRP initially. I can get a Rootdown frame cheaper and there are more colour choices. Actually now that I'm on the Chromag site the GX build is looking kind of tempting, weird they don't include a dropper in their builds though.
  • 4 0
 @eh-steve: its not just the PNW. Novatecs get destroyed everywhere by all types of riders.
  • 5 1
 @CircusMaximus: It is a GX Eagle drivetrain and NX cranks.
  • 4 1
 Yes, math. $3600 + $5600 = $9200 for the C1.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Maybe they fare ok on gravel paths and the road?

Guy I was chatting with on the trails said he had around half a dozen warranty replacements before they stopped responding (so better customer support than most experiences I've heard about novatec). He fully broke the axle one time (not just the usual freehub issues). He used it as an excuse to buy better wheels with real hubs.

I don't understand why anyone specs them on bikes that are intended for serious riding. Yes, you want to hit a price point, but surely there are similarly priced hubs that could be substituted. Do they need to put trail ratings on hubs? These are rated up to blue trails, assuming you roll all features. Warranty doesn't cover black or above trails and does not cover both wheels leaving the ground on any trail.
  • 2 1
 @paulrburnett: such an ugly stem though.
  • 3 1
 @eh-steve: rootdown reverb option is additional $350
Chromag branded hubs are probably formula hubs anyway.. not really any better.
  • 4 0
 @CircusMaximus: compared to 4k for an SX build on a giant, Norco is actually better priced than most of the industry right now.
  • 1 0
 @alexisfire: What Giant goes for 4K with an SX build? I can only find NX (and one SLX 1x11) at that price point for them. And that's on full suspension bikes, carbon framed bikes.
  • 1 0
 @chris: "Chromag branded hubs are probably formula hubs anyway.."

That's my initial assumption of any self branded hub. It's formula with a different logo. But the pawls are different as are the bearings. I mean, could be made by formula, but it's not the usual formula hub rebranded.

Even if it were the normal formula hub, I'd take one from Chromag over Formula in a heartbeat. I've heard nothing but horror stories of Formula customer support. My experience with Chromag is, they respond quick and will do the right thing. (Of course responde quick means in their normal working hours, they ride on Fridays and take Sat/Sun off). I also don't think Chromag would put their name on something likely to blow up. They know how their bikes get ridden and they are a small team and don't want to be spending all their time supporting crap hubs.
  • 2 0
 @phops: Can't prop this ten times! I have always bought bikes with this philosophy and I'm trying to teach my kids that well sorted base level bikes can be hidden gems, never mind what their friends tell them they "have to" have.
  • 3 0
 Have a look at the Santa Cruz Cameleon then... THAT'S expensive!
  • 2 0
 @dastone: " Yes, math. $3600 + $5600 = $9200 for the C1."

I think you misunderstand. The C1 is $5600 total including frame and build. While the frame-only price is $3600. It's not a $5600 parts build on top of the $3600 frame price. For reference: www.norco.com/bikes/2020/mountain/enduro/range-carbon/range-c1
  • 2 0
 @big-red: Fair enough! I thought you were maxing out the custom builder and calling that a C1 (like in previous years, which would be ~$10k), didn't realize that the 2020 site had gone live already with complete builds.
  • 3 0
 @eh-steve: you get a regular Lyrik instead of Ultimate and Guide brakes instead of Codes and a dropper for a Rootdown. Or you could pay $4700 for rootdown with Xo1 build with no dropper still..................
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Except me.... I have a knack for not destroying things. 6 years on one set of SHIT wheels.The secret is to weigh near nothing haha
  • 2 0
 @fasian: It's about trade-offs. I'm fine with Guide RS brakes, they aren't a clear step down from the Code R (otherwise SRAM wouldn't retail them at the same price). I would prefer a 200mm front rotor.

Chromag doesn't say which Lyrik, just Lyric which isn't very meaningful (by the top cap it looks like an RC2). A quick email would tell you what exactly is in their current GX build. If the ultimate is a must have I'm sure they could make that happen (for a fee ). Would I notice the difference in a charger 2 vs 2.1 damper? Dunno, my pike rc2 seems fine. I'm also sure for a small fee Chromag would swap stems and bars so you can have a 35mm clamp and 800mm bars. Which brings up the fact you'll have your choice of colour for the stem, bars, grips, seat etc. So choose your frame colour AND accessory colors. Norco isn't going to customize anything for you. Buy a straight frame and build it custom or buy a kit as is.

I think the no dropper thing is because people are pretty opinionated on droppers and it's best to get the right size. Look at the number of take-off droppers listed in the buysell. That being said I'm fine with the x-Fusion on the Norco (assuming it fits me). Heck I'd be fine with a transX.

So $3,999CAD for the Torrent (and deal with the NX cranks later)

or $3,590 CAD plus dropper (I can deal with a $150-200 dropper, others can't so that brings it up to a very comparable price)

Also that's assuming paying retail on either. Anyhow, neither is a clear winner for me. I own a Norco but I'm not married to them as a brand. The LBS has great support for Norco, but I'm quite convinced Chromag would take care of me as well. I do like the look of the Norco frame better, but if I bought a prebuilt Torrent I'd probably be putting Chromag stuff on it (minimally grips and seat). Definitely worth cross shopping.
  • 1 0
 @jordanaustino: Definitely helps. Also staying away from huge rock rolls and hucks to flat.

I've seen some guys that are bigger that just mash the pedals on climbs putting their whole weight into it. The torque from a 50T granny and 200+lbs of angry gorrilla is unsurprisingly enough to destroy cheap freehubs.
  • 21 5
 @Transition Bikes please bring back the Trans Am!!!! This Norco looks sick, but an updated Trans Am?! That'd be the one!
  • 12 1
 If Transition brings back the Trans Am, I feel like it needs to be mullet compatible.
  • 3 1
 @ ChachiArcola : thanks for your comment. Transition really disappointed me when they suddenly stopped the steel made TransAm switching to a carbon crap that was... not a TransAm! I owned the 29er version few years ago, I kept it 2 years, then I went to a Stanton Switchback that I still ride and love so much, but yeah: the TranAm was so rad and funny. Make the TransAm great again please!!!
  • 4 0
 It's coming
  • 2 0
 @garrisond5: Tell us more! Still running my XL 2016 29 with -2 angleset.. It's almost modern geo. Just tyre clearance and STA holding it back. Would LOVE a new Transam!
  • 8 0
 @wildebeest5: I have it on very good authority we will be seeing a new steel bike from transition. Stay tuned folks!
  • 12 1
 Had me excited till i saw the price. You can get a Meta HT with a lyric for $700 less, yeah its aluminum, but with the price savings you can buy the steel Norco frame as well and still have a Lyric. Pass
  • 3 0
 Valid point.
  • 6 2
 Except its aluminum, geo is dated, lyrik is not an ultimate, brakes are guides vs codes, and tyres are shittier. Other than that it’s apples to apples
  • 2 1
 Direct will always kill a bike shop bike for value. But That’s another argument.
  • 12 1
 "Sorry, Torrent HT Steel series is not available in United States"

cool bike though I guess Frown
  • 3 0
 Must have been a mistake. its working for me.
  • 9 0
 You'll just have to come up and grab one
  • 6 0
 Oh yeah it's working now. Good excuse to come up though @j-t-g !
  • 1 0
 It's up there. $2999 for S1, $2199 for S2, and $699 for frame-only.
  • 16 5
 $900? Why would I buy this over a @Chromagbikes Rootdown? They're the guys living the hardtail steel frame life.
  • 8 0
 Isn't the Rootdown a similar price? #competionisgood
  • 22 0
 Because not everyone wants a Banana shaped top tube? Or maybe they are looking for slightly longer reach, Far better standover height, and a Threaded bottom bracket.

Both made over seas and both use 4130 but one is offering a few things many riders are looking for for a grand total of 30 dollars more.

Just because one company only makes Steel bikes doesn't mean anything. Ask anyone who's owned a Steel Kona bike of any kind if they feel Kona just doesn't know Steel as well as Chromag.
  • 10 0
 Norco changes the chainstay length for different size bikes. Chromag doesnt. Best norco feature that not many others do. 420 on small and medium 425 large and XL. 415 on the small to XL on the chromag.
  • 4 0
 "Steel frame purists"
  • 12 0
 Norco also offers a 5 year warranty, which looks to go to lifetime warranty if the bike is registered. In contrast, Chromag has a 1 year warranty, which is a bit disappointing for an overbuilt steel frame.
  • 1 2
 @DMal: corporate mula to back it up.
  • 10 1
 @DMal: while Chromag is a rider owned company with ~10 employees, and their warranty on paper is 1 year (pretty standard for small independent companies), they won't leave you hanging out to dry if something obviously fails that shouldn't have failed. Their Customer Service is great. And honestly... I don't know of any failed Chromag frames that needed to be warrantied.
  • 6 0
 @garbagecan4130: XL and large Chromag probably rides poorly in comparison
  • 4 1
 Starling Cycles has 2 or 3 employees and all the bikes come with a 2 year warranty and the company has only been around sine 2015. Cotic bikes has 8 employees and their bikes have a 5 year warranty and has been around since 2002. Chromag has 16 employees and offers 1 year warranties and has been around since 2002. I feel they could do better than 1 year.
  • 4 0
 Well probably because this frame will be on sale for nearly half off in a few months, whereas the price of the chromag will go up 20% before it goes on sale for 15% off.
  • 4 0
 @pnwpedal: agreed that Chromag's customer service is excellent.
  • 4 0
 @nouseforaname : because it is twice cheaper than a Chromag and twice sexier...
  • 3 0
 @TheBearDen: what I.find strange is that back in the 90's steel tubing was tange ultimate, columbus whatever and reynolds whatever too. Now its plain 4130 steel which seems like a downgrade. I had a kona explosif tange ultimate. What a ride!!
  • 4 0
 As a steel frame purist I would comment that there is a huge choice in this segment of the market these days. After much shopping around I recently bought a Pipedream Moxie but close contenders were the Curtis AM and Trillion Prime. I like Chromag's style and ethos a lot but they are pricey (if you live in the UK anyway). This Norco looks lovely and the seatstays are pencil thin which combined with 4130 cromo should provide a comfy springy ride
  • 2 0
 Actually, 2 years is the legal minimum for anyone selling anything to an end user in Europe.
So, if you buy Cromag in EU, you get the same warranty as Starling, who essentially offer what they would be legally required to, even if they did not mention it anyway. (all very nice bikes btw, steel hardtails are da bomb)
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: I cracked the top tube of a Wideangle after less than 2 years of use. Chromag offered me 50% off a new frame for replacement but it was still disappointing that it cracked in the first place.
  • 1 0
 @pnwpedal: Yep. I've had nothing but good experiences with Chromag. Had a couple issues and they were amazing in handling them. I have yet to deal with Norco support with an issue and my LBS would probably deal with it for me anyhow.
  • 6 1
 not everyone is blinded by the crotch grabbing bears......
  • 9 0
 Very impressive riding in the promo video. Those trails are pretty rowdy in real life, but the rider makes things look smooth.
  • 3 0
 I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
  • 11 7
 I built up an Eccentric EVO with XT stuff for about $1400. The fork and wheels were used but still, NX on a $4k hardtail? I want to meet whoever buys this, I have an investment opportunity they need to hear about!
  • 2 0
 @carletonman: It seems like you`re waking up finally. Steel aggressive HT were already here before you noticed that one ;-)
  • 1 0
 @Franzzz: Well my current bike is a Chromag Aperture; I'm simultaneously ahead of and utterly behind the curve at the same time...
  • 8 1
 $4000 for a 4130 frame with NX bits?

I mean it looks awesome, but that seems really quite over the top.
  • 4 0
 750ml water bottle compatible? That's an interestingly specific spec to throw in. What else is going on in there? Loads of room- should be like 6 l and a flask. Norco Torrent brings me back to one of my first hard tails I ever owned and one of my favorite bikes- the 2002 Norco Torrent. That thing was a twitchy tank- lots of lessons learned on that thing.
  • 4 0
 Sorry all, I have a soft spot for Norco and would probably consider a frame only option if it's £550 or under in the UK.
Yeah I know... blah blah Brexit... boring.
  • 2 0
 I don't find Brexit boring, Its fucking great watching the shit show go down
  • 5 0
 Doesn't it break some kind of rule for a company to make e-bikes and an Hardcore Hardtail? They are polar opposites.
  • 1 0
 Ha ha!!! who needs metric shocks and complicated rear suspension systems when you see that???
Norco finally caught the tendency by proposing something simple, radical and real as steel... not to mention Chromag who already had some good yet expensive bikes like that. The Brits already proposed several excellent aggressive HT for quite a long time and they are often sexier/cheaper. Brexit or not, I`ll stick to the british approach. God save the steel hardtail!!!
  • 2 0
 All these plus bikes transitioning back to 29".

I had a 2018 torrent that was well loved, though it could have faired from a steepened seat tube angle. Ultimately sold it as the plus tires are just to burly in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 Having been around long enough to remember and ride the first RockShox, the first Manitou, and all the subsequent suspension ideas that came and went, it should be no surprise that myself and a handful of other folks eventually gave up on suspension entirely. It was heavy, unreliable, and expensive to boot.

When I lived in Bellingham WA circa 2006-2013 I was the guy out at Galbraith on a Bianchi GUSS 26” rigid single speed, no dropper, and at least a 140mm stem. Full Lycra. I didn’t understand why all these people were pushing their big bikes uphill. Different strokes for different folks, I guessed.

Two or three years ago now, I was riding with two buddies in WA. One had a Banshee 150mm trail bike, the other a Chromag 29” hardtail. I was on my trusty old 1998 Specialized Stumpjumper with a Zion CroMo fork. I started sensing that maybe I was at risk of becoming that old guy in Lycra who hasn’t kept up with the times.

In 2017 I worked at Stevens Pass as a bike park patroller. I realized that things had come a long way in the 15 years or so that I hadn’t been paying attention.

So I decided to embrace modern mountain biking. I bought lots of armor, new baggy kit, and a Trek DH rental. I used my job as a patroller to learn a new style of riding.

The next spring I bought a Kona Process 153 and took it to Moab. The last time I had ridden there was in maybe 1998, during the 24-hour XC race. I’ve ridden all the classics there and was impressed with the new trails as well as the new bike.

It blows my mind every time I get on that Kona and pedal. I had no idea that a 150mm Enduro bike could actually be fun to pedal uphill, on the flat, downhill, in smooth or harsh terrain, pretty much everywhere except pavement. Honestly the only time I want a hard tail now is for XC racing.

Maybe I’d still ride a rigid bike if I still lived in muddy WV, but so far the Kona hasn’t needed one bit of suspension maintenance beside an easy-to-do seal service on the Pike. I did replace the air shock with a CCDB coil, and the rear hub with a DT 350.

I’ve always maintained that I prefer either full suspension or none. Back then it made sense to me to avoid suspension entirely. Now, with improved design and manufacturing, and perhaps a different location, it seems to make sense to me to embrace it fully. I can’t say that one is better than the other. All I know is that the bike is doing its job if I get on it and end up feeling like a little kid again. Today’s bikes, all of them, seem to do that very, very well.

Go out and ride your bike.
  • 4 0
 Sweet. That’s really tidy.
  • 2 0
 Up close, that black is actually a gorgeous glitter-finish black which works perfectly with the chrome decals. A Beauty and a Beast.
  • 2 0
 now that i've heard that i'll be buying one
  • 1 0
 I bought a torrent this spring and have to say a good seat is key. You get use to the extra bumpiness coming off a dual suspension bike over a few rides, but your seat plays a larger roll in comfort than before.
  • 3 0
 my first 'real' mountain bike was a 2000 Norco Torrent... this makes me happy
  • 1 0
 Here too; first HT was an Torrent; 150mm back end and 'zocchi 66s on the front. It would quite literally (with me on it) plough its way down the hill.
  • 1 0
 @orientdave: HT is hardtail = no rear boingo boingo.
  • 1 0
 @chris: That's the rear axle Chris... 150mm old skool DH rear axle.

My 50 year old knees are fully aware that the Norco Torrent is, and always has been without "boingo boingo". Even more so since the Torrent used to be aluminium back in the day.

www.mtbr.com/product/bikes/freeride-hardtail/norco/torrent.html
  • 2 0
 I've been loving the Steel Shonky, and if I do get another trail hardtail, it will almost certainly be a steel one. Stoked to see the options expand.
  • 2 0
 76 degree seat angle on a bike that doesn’t sink into its rear travel on the climb up. IMO Seems too extreme for a hard tail.
  • 2 0
 It will climb like a goat tho
  • 1 0
 I was wondering if that would be a bit Much, but I have not even ridden a modern bike with 74 yet. Need to demo!
  • 3 0
 @Telebikes: my hardtail is great with 76°
  • 3 0
 Rad vid and hard charging riding, an off the floor steel hardtail worth riding ? Thanks Norco.
  • 1 0
 Well, It looks all good except cables on the bottom of the down tube. Why do bike companies like Chromag and now Norco keep getting this wrong. Put them on top of the down tube, never anywhere under the bike.
  • 4 0
 Purple!
  • 3 0
 Move over Honzo, there's a new kid in town. Tidy
  • 3 1
 Looks nice but hard tails are a young riders game. Not for these 50 year old knees.
  • 6 0
 Speak for yourself. I'm 48 & still ripping on a HT (a Canfield Nimble9)!
  • 4 0
 @derekisrad: I ride one too and I'm 45. There's definitely moments where I wish I had rear suspension like sudden square edged hits or extended brake chop sections. That's when hardtails and old injuries don't mix well.
  • 2 1
 Meanwhile the equivalent of $2350 CAD gets you the Ribble 725. Made with Reynolds 725 steel and NX bits. That Norco is not worth a $1700 premium.
  • 3 0
 Can't wait. Although I do wish HT's had room for 2 bottles.
  • 2 0
 Water bottle compatibility in the geo chart.... Norco knows what's up.... also sick colourways
  • 2 1
 Norco is deluded if they think people will pay this for a hard tail especially when you can get cromag for this price. Probably heavy too.
  • 2 4
 We have perfectly dialed full sus bikes that are awesome for taming trails.
Hard tails are something different. Hard tails are about re introducing the rider to the terrain. It's about using body English . More about your skill than the bikes abuility to tame the trail.
I would expect in the least 27.5 wheels.
Want a playful flickable ultra responsive hard tail ? Then you can't beat 26 inch wheels.
  • 3 0
 Take my money pls
  • 2 0
 Looks like tariffs hiking the price of steel up?
  • 1 1
 Plagiarism is the nicest form of flattery, especially in the etched Torrent lettering.

rsdbikes.com/portfolio/middlechild-titanium
  • 5 0
 They both have silver decals on a black frame... it's clearly a rip off!
  • 1 0
 Happy to see Norco stick with almost all of their model names for over 20 years now.
  • 1 0
 Nobody is talking about the 333mm (13.1”) b.b. height? Seems a bit tall but could be perfect with 27.5 wheels.
  • 1 0
 I just ordered the S2 purple one. I plan to upgrade it slowly, most likely starting with the hubs
  • 1 0
 Love my EPO, but my aging body yearns for something just a little softer. Maybe Ti would fit the bill.
  • 2 0
 Sweet bike
  • 2 0
 Good numbers
  • 1 0
 "Chromoly" huh...wonder where it's made.
  • 1 0
 Woh yeah they not looking pregnant.
  • 1 0
 I hope it is not heavy as Honzo
  • 2 1
 NX cranks on a $4K hardtail?
  • 1 0
 That looks sick. I want one
  • 1 0
 The secret of steel ,Conan’s bike Kram
  • 1 1
 Looks good but shame about the tiny chainstays so close yet so far...
  • 1 0
 Why? Stability at speed or climbing when seated? Curious to hear your reasoning.
  • 1 0
 Steel frame. Tiny chainstays will be fine.
  • 1 1
 @jollyXroger: Balance and traction. A long front end with short chainstays is going to feel unbalanced.
  • 1 0
 @JDFF: I was talking length not width.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: In principal I'm with you, but in this case the purpose of this bike is not the outright speed, but fun, playfulness. Short CS ad to this, but the bike is stabilized by its long front center. Steep seat angle aids in climbing. Infact I ran some numbers. At 800mm seat height Torrent with its 425mm CS and 76deg STA puts you further away from the rear axle than a 432mm CS and 73deg STA one.
I quite like this frame for what it is intended at.
  • 1 0
 Why nx?
  • 2 0
 Only the crankset is NX, rest is GX
  • 6 3
 @chris: There should be NO cheaping out on a $4k steel HT.
  • 6 0
 @m1dg3t: Agreed! I want a carbon frame on my steel HT.
  • 1 0
 No 27.5+ option? Boooo!
  • 2 3
 Ass is too short for climbing...
  • 7 0
 I think you should rather look at the geometry as a whole package and not only at one number.
  • 1 0
 @mrti: i did - and i bought a pole taival
  • 2 5
 What's the point of a steel hardtail if you can put it through a set of DJs? Should be 26" wheeled.
  • 1 3
 Norco. Once again jumping on the band wagon.
  • 2 0
 good bandwagon to jump on though
  • 2 0
 They built the bandwagon back in the day with their shore hard tails - torrent, rampage, sasquatch...they just got off for a little while to build other bandwagons but they're back baby!
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