Norco has redesigned their 650b all-mountain bike into a lighter, stiffer and more trail friendly bike – the newest Sight Carbon, which Jill Kinter (above) has been riding to race wins in various iterations since around 2013. Starting with contemporary trail geometry updates to the 140mm travel frame, the new carbon bike also adds a completely new sibling by way of a 29er version.
The overhaul started out simple, but Norco’s engineers turned it into an opportunity to completely overhaul the Sight and its suspension to build two different wheelsize and travel bikes that both kept the same handling & ride feel character that made the Sight such a versatile trail bike. The result is the new Sight Carbon, available with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, but the same trail shredding good times no matter what wheel size you prefer…
The Sight Carbon carries over some tech from the past couple of generations of its carbon and alloy predecessors, but the key update is the new long, low & slack aggressive trail-riding geometry tailored for improved stability and more all-mountain fun. While the bike adds the new bigger wheelsize option to the trail bike platform, Norco says they went to great lengths to get the same ride feel, weight distribution, and handling characteristics out of both bikes.
Looking at the two wheel sizes next to each other, it is clear that is wasn’t as simple as stretching out the rear end to make room for bigger wheels. Now you can just pick the 27.5 bike if snappy acceleration is your deal or the 29er if you prefer the improved rollover.
To match the feel and performance of both bikes, the 29er was developed around the same rear center lengths as the smaller wheeled bike, with a longer front center, steeper headtube angles, a size stem, and 10mm less travel to offset the bigger wheels. In the end the stack and reach numbers of the bikes differ slightly, but come back to identical fits once you add their stems back in (to bar stack/reach vs. frame stack/reach).
Both bikes get a progressive suspension update that Norco calls a Gravity Tune to their ART (Advanced Ride Tech) Horst link setup in order to improve small bump compliance in a bike that otherwise really wants to descend. That also brings with it size-specific rear ends, so the larger frames get longer out back for better weight distribution.
The 27.5″ bikes pair 140mm of rear wheel travel to 150mm forks, while the larger 29ers drop travel back to 130/140mm for a balanced plush feel for both versions. With the new suspension, Norco also goes with the newer trunnion-mount metric shocks for smoother action.
The Sight Carbon frames get modular internal routing that lets you run whatever drivetrain you want (including a front derailleur it seems) or dropper posts and shock lockouts. The carbon Norco frames also use a ArmorLite special resin that promises improved impact resistance, but to be safe the bikes still get an integrated rock guard in front of the bottom bracket and a built-in chainstay protector, plus a direct-mount One Up S3 mini chain guide for drivetrain security.
The bikes use Boost rear spacing, get Enduro sealed pivot bearings, and ISCG 05 mount, and go with a 31.6mm seatpost & PressFit BB92 bottom bracket.
The 27.5″ wheeled Sight Carbon will come in five sizes XS-XL, while the 29″ version will have three sizes only M-XL. The new Sight Carbon is available in three complete build options for each wheel size with the same setup for both wheels, or individually as a frameset.
The top-end blue Sight C7.1 & C9.1 builds will sell for $6500 with a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, alloy Race Face ARC 30 wheels, Reverb dropper, Pike RCT3 fork, and Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shock (All prices in USD). The yellow C7.2 & C9.2 retail for $5000 and get a Shimano XT 1×11, keeping the wheels, dropper & shock but paring back to the Pike RC. The most affordable completes – the black C7.3 & C9.3 – go for $3900 with a SRAM NX1 drivetrain, Yari RC forks, Deluxe RT shocks, and WTB STP I29 wheels. Either 27.5 or 29er frame will be available on its one for $2600 in the top-level blue paint job with the Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shock.