The long-awaited 2020 Norco Sight all-mountain bike has finally crested the horizon, emerging into view with Norco’s all-new Ride Aligned centre of gravity optimized geometry. Further evolving their Gravity Tune concept, Norco have taken bike design a step further, utilizing anthropometric measurements to, presumably, make rider and bike become one, with geometry tailored to maximise front and rear wheel traction with centre of gravity as the basis for everything. In other great news, both adults and youngsters can rejoice; the Norco Sight Youth is also ready to help your little ripper’s realize their send potential too.
Norco Sight 2020 sends into the light of day
Across a full size range of small to extra large, the 2020 Norco Sight is available in both 27.5″ and 29″ wheel sizes, both of which utilize 160mm of fork travel and 150mm of rear wheel travel. To maintain the same ride feel and suspension kinematic across the frame size range and wheel size range, Norco have tailored the seat tube and head tube angles specifically to each frame-wheel combination. For example, the 27.5″ and 29″ Norco Sight in size small has an effective seat tube angle of 77°, steepening in 0.3°-0.4° increments up to 78° in XL. Despite sharing effective seat tube angles, the 27.5″ and 29″ Sight differ in head tube angle, with the latter 0.5° steeper than the former at 64°.
In tuning the suspension kinematic, Norco have taken their Ride Aligned approach which integrates rider centre of gravity data with anthropometric measurements to create a bike with consistent weight distribution across the contact patches at the front and rear wheel – and this is true for both the seated climbing position and the standing descending position.
In Norco’s shreddit (above) riders look stretched out over the bike (in a good way) indicative of the relatively long reach figures boasted by the Sight. Indeed, as compared to the 2018 Norco Sight 29er, the reach figures have been seriously revised. The medium frame reach has increased by 13mm to 455mm, while the XL has increased by 35mm to 515 mm. This should force riders to change their position on the bike, weighting that front wheel to maintain traction – it’s an adaptation that feels risky initially but makes perfect sense when put into practice.
Norco Ride Aligned Suspension Kinematic
To help us understand their new Ride Aligned bike design philosophy, and for the geeks out there (you know who you are) Norco have provided some graphs. Who doesn’t love a graph? Sadly, the labelling requires something of a magnifying glass or some kind of pixel enhancement, so we’ve helped you out in the caption.
Norco have taken wheel force and energy absorbed by the spring data to tailor the suspension kinematic to provide a consistent base of support in both seated and standing positions, and deliver optimized depth of travel and bottom-out management for stability and control in rough terrain. Norco explain that a linear design with too little progression would provide either a very firm feel early in the travel or insufficient bottom out protection. At the other end of the spectrum, very progressive designs will absorb too much energy too late in the travel and too little early in the travel, causing the rider to be rocked back and forth. Norco say that by carefully balancing the overall progression of the system they have optimized the wheel force curve to maximize spring support in the mid-stroke portion of the travel while still absorbing the same overall energy as a more progressive suspension design would on larger impacts.
So what does that actually mean for ride quality? Well, based on my personal riding experience, it should mean you’ll have decent small bump sensitivity over the rough stuff, enough mid-stroke support to feel ‘held up’ when railing berms or carving ruts, and you won’t have to live in fear of bottoming out the rear wheel travel when sending it large or hucking to flat.
To create the Ride Aligned experience for everyone, Norco have tied every aspect of the
system together with the Ride Aligned Bike setup app which gives you advice not only on fork and shock pressure and compression adjustments, but also tyre pressures, taking into account your weight and trail conditions.
Pricing & Availability
The 2020 Norco Sight 27.5″ and 29″ versions are available in both carbon front triangle, carbon seatstay and alloy chainstay combo versions, and full alloy versions. Using the ‘Build Your Ride, Ride Your Build customiser, you can choose your frame material, wheel size, color, frame size, and then hand pick your suspension kit, and then component kit for a semi custom build.
Or, you can pick out a stock build with no fewer than 6 price points for the carbon builds, ranging from the low-end Norco Sight C3 at $4,299 right up to the all-guns-blazing C1 model finished in sparkle black and Lyrik red for the sum of $8,697. For that large to extra large figure you get Fox Factory suspension, the full SRAM AXS rainbow kit, We Are One Union carbon rims, and my favorite brakes of all time, 4-pot SRAM Code RSC.
The Norco Sight is also offered in a complete aluminium frame at 6 price points. You can pick up the lower end A3 spec for $2,799, getting you a RS Yari fork, a RS Deluxe Select shock, SRAM’s SX Eagle drivetrain, Shimano BR-MT420 4 piston brakes and a TransX dropper. In contrast, the $4,499 top-end A1 will get you a Lyrik Ultimate Charger 2 fork, Super Deluxe Select + DebonAir shock, SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain, and Code RSC brakes. You can also pick up the carbon or aluminium frames alone for $2,899 and $1,649, respectively.