How do you create a contradiction on wheels? Take a lightweight, race-oriented carbon fiber frame and pack it with 5″ wide fat bike tires, that’s how. And that’s just what Norco’s done with the all-new 2017 Ithaqua.
The frame gets the same Power Chassis as their Revolver XC race bikes, but opens up the rear end to accommodate the largest of rubber thanks to 12×197 rear axle spacing and asymmetric stays. What really differentiates it from their Bigfoot and Sasquatch fat bikes is the geometry…
The Ithaqua gets a slightly steeper head angle for quicker handling, and a lower sloping top tube to keep the center of gravity lower for whipping it through the corners. That extra standover clearance also helps out when you’ve gotta step off the pedals and sink your foot into deep snow…something that might actually happen if you’re floating on 5″ tires.
The rest of the geometry gets their Gravity Tune philosophy, which grows the chainstay length along with stack and reach to provide predictable, stable handling as frame sizes change. The small frames get 440mm chainstays, and the XL bumps it up to 447.5mm.
Frame weight is claimed at 1,350g with ports for internal routing of a rear derailleur, rear brake and stealth dropper post. A mid-modulus carbon layup uses their ArmorLite resin to improve impact resistance. Also new is the fork, which comes in at 690g (claimed), uses a 15×150 axle and has suspension corrected geometry (which also means this bike is ready for a Bluto) with clearance for 26×5.0 or 27.5×4.0 tires.
Three complete bikes and a frameset will be offered:
Ithaqua 6.1 – $4,299 USD / $6099 CAD – Race Face carbon cockpit, Sun-Ringle Mule rims on DT 350 hubs, SRAM X1/X01 mix, Race Face Next carbon cranks.
Ithaqua 6.2 – $3,199 USD / $4499 CAD – Race Face Turbine bar and stem, Norco alloy post, Sun Mulefut rims on Kenda Juggernaut tires with mixed hubs, SRAM GX1 and Race Face Turbine cranks.
Ithaqua 6.3 – $2,699 USD / $3599 CAD – Same wheels and tires as the 6.2, SRAM NX1, generic alloy 1x cranks, Norco alloy cockpit and SRAM Level brakes.
Frame kit (including carbon fork) – $1,999 USD / $2799 CAD – includes headset and seatpost clamp.