Just as the analog Norco Sight all-mountain bike was geometrically refreshed for the 2020 season, it’s only fair its electrified counterpart should get the same treatment. The 2020 Norco Sight VLT is now a monster truckin’ 29er with proper modern trail geometry, with room in the front triangle to fit a range extender battery to boost your adventures further than ever. It’s also the first of Norco’s full suspension e-MTBs to be available in aluminium, as well as carbo, making it more affordable than ever. We have the tech.
2020 Norco Sight VLT 29 eMTB
Last year’s iteration of the Norco Sight VLT rolled on a 27.5″ wheelset. Norco have taken the decision to upgrade the Sight VLT to big wheels because, well, everyone wants a 29er. Alright, not every single one of you wants a 29er. You can get a 27.5″ Sight, but it isn’t an e-bike.
So, is it simply a 2020 Sight 29er, with a motor whacked on it? In geometry terms, its darn close. Reach figures are identical, at 455mm in medium, as is the head tube angle, slackened off to 64°. The trail figure is also identical, at 138mm, as the 160mm fork offset remains short-ish at 42mm. Seat tube lengths are equivalent, at 395mm in medium, but on the Sight VLT, the angle is steeper, ranging from 78° in Small, steepening up to 79° in XL. The bottom bracket height is slightly higher at 354mm, with shortened 165mm cranks to reduce pedal strikes.
Norco say, “Its refined design and geometry hold the perfect line through high-speed corners, send gaps with ease and provide all the pedal assistance you need to open the door to bigger adventures, bolder routes, and increased accessibility to rides that used to seem out of reach”. Sounds like the business.
Not only does it sound like the business, but it probably goes like the business too. The 2020 Norco Sight VLT is fitted with a Shimano STEPS E8000 Motor, with a gargantuan in-tube 630Wh battery, or Shimano’s budget option E7000 motor, with smaller in-tube 500Wh battery, dependent on which of the five models you go for. Sold separately is a 360Wh range extender battery that bolts onto the downtube. Fitting this will extend your range massively (by 50-70%) but at the cost of no longer being able to carry a 750ml water bottle.
Two-piece bridgeless seatstays with the boost rear end allow for up to 2.5″ wide tyres, and facilitate a steeper seat tube design, permitting longer-travel, size-specific dropper posts. The Small frame is spec’d with a 150mm drop post, the medium and large with a 170mm, while the XL takes a 200mm.
All 2020 Norco Sight VLT models come with e-MTB grade components, including e-spec suspension forks, e-rated freehub mechanisms, robust DT Swiss Competition rear spokes and Single-click shifters on SRAM-equipped models. For all models, the 29″ wheels roll on reinforced double down-casing Maxxis Minion tyres.
As is true for the complete Norco range of full suspension mountain bikes, the Sight VLT benefits from Norco’s new Ride Aligned system which matches each individual bike to the human who rides it, creating a customized platform. Norco use individual rider metrics, precise suspension kinematics, and proprietary app technology to align you with your ride experience.
Three Carbon and Two Aluminium Models
No fewer than 5 models of the 2020 Norco Sight VLT are offered, three with carbon front triangle and aluminium chainstays, and two in aluminium. The top-end Sight VLT 29 C1 features a Lyrik Ultimate e-rated fork, a Super Deluxe Select shock, SRAM’s Eagle GX 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC 4-piston brakes with 200mm rotors, front and rear, a DT Swiss E1700 Hybrid E-Bike rated wheelset, and Shimano STEPS E8000 motor.
The Norco Sight VLT 29 C2 also gets Shimano’s top end STEPS E8000 motor, as does the top end aluminium, reflected in their respective price tags of $6,499 and $5,499. The C3 and A2 models get Shimano’s more budget friendly STEPS E7000 motor, priced at $5,499 and $4,699, respectively.
Worth noting here that, with the small weight penalty of aluminium as compared to carbon, the top end aluminium bike is the same price as the C3, but with it you’ll get the E8000 motor and larger battery, and E13 LG1 DH rims.