2012 Norco Aurum- DH Race
A purpose-built World Cup downhill bike, the AURUM is designed for riders that want to go downhill fast. If you’re obsessed with chair lift and shuttle access, the first thing you will notice when you ride the AURUM is the speed at which it covers ground, the ease with which it flows through corners and the confidence with which it eats up rough terrain. From World Cup races to parks and shuttle runs, the AURUM is mindblowingly quick, stunningly nimble and astonishingly precise. Designed to capture the gold it was named after, this is the bike you want if you describe your riding style as ‘fast.’
The Aurum Story
The world of downhill racing is what you would call ‘unique,’ both in its participants and its demands. Riders barrel down steep, uneven
mountainsides at tremendous speeds, and winners are often separated by only hundredths of a second. Downhill bikes need to be light, strong and responsive, and because each racecourse is so different, they also need to be adaptable. One minute you might find yourself flying through the air at 60 km/hr and the next pedaling along a fire road with your lungs about to burst. These conditions present challenges when designing a DH bike, but these conditions are exactly what the AURUM has been built to excel in.
When the engineers set out to design the AURUM, their goal was audaciously simple: to create the world’s fastest downhill bike. Starting out as a few revisions to the current platform, the new DH bike evolved into a complete redesign from the ground up. Featuring new technologies and innovations as well as a clear focus on the aesthetic nature and clean lines of the frame tubing, it is the fastest, best-looking downhill bike to ever wear the Norco shield. Its name means gold in Latin and that is exactly what it has been designed to capture.
Aurum Tech and Design
Engineered and spec’d to win DH races, the AURUM has been meticulously designed to be faster, smoother and more agile than the competition. Taking advantage of Norco’s new A.R.T. suspension, the FSR linkage has been optimized to provide the perfect suspension characteristics for downhill racing. With more active braking, better square-edge bump compliance and more efficient pedaling, the AURUM has the temperament needed to dominate any downhill circuit, resort or shuttle run. Steep, technical and fast terrain is met with smooth, confident and precise ride qualities. Add the new Gravity TUNE geometry, designed to provide equal ride characteristics for all three sizes, and the AURUM is impossible to beat. Here are some of the points that make this bike such a clear podium contender.
- Engineering: Our engineering team has put in some serious time to develop this new frame while integrating innovative technologies already found in bikes like the Range, Shinobi and Truax.
- Gravity TUNE: optimizes suspension kinematics and frame sizing for average rider height and weight in each frame size. By varying
chainstay length, keeping it proportional to the front center length, we are able to ensure consistent rider weight distribution over the
wheels in each frame size. Chain growth and anti-squat levels are tuned to ensure suspension performance is also optimal for riders
of different weights. With Gravity TUNE, no matter what size bike you ride, you will get the best performance possible.
- A.R.T. suspension: makes the bike fast, smooth and precise. The suspension kinematics are customized to provide the perfect balance of square-edge bump compliance, pedaling efficiency, active braking and tuneability with bottomless suspension feel.
- Rider-developed: With the feedback and insight of Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge from the Dirt Norco Race Team, as well as our Norco Factory Team, staff riders and the Norco R&D test team, we developed this bike to be one of the fastest in the world.
- Travel: The AURUM delivers 200mm of plush, predictable and progressive A.R.T suspension. We believe that suspension performance should be judged on quality, not quantity. One ride on an AURUM and you will see just how good our suspension is!
- Tapered head tube: This is a huge step forward in bicycle design that allows for two major benefits, making the bike more exciting
to ride. Larger tubing at the front end, making it stiffer and more resistant to side loading, ensuring precise steering and bicycle control. The bearings in the lower headset cup are oversized, allowing them to be stronger and last longer.
- Custom hydroformed tubeset: Each tube has been meticulously engineered to be strong, stiff and light, providing a responsive and
lively ride that goes exactly where it is pointed. Hydroforming also allowed us to shape the tubes to create an aesthetically stunning frame.
- Handling: We set our focus on creating a frame with a low centre of gravity and reduced unsprung mass; the result is a very agile bike with incredibly active suspension.
- Holloform link arm: This hyper-rigid, one-piece link arm provides two significant benefits. Providing lateral support to the seatstays,
it stiffens the rear triangle, keeping the bike tracking straight and true through any terrain. It also prevents bending forces from affecting the rear shock, reducing stiction and increasing shock life.
- Integrated rear dropout: Combining post-mounted brakes, built-in gussets, the Syntace X12 x 157mm axle system and clevis-less pivot points, we’ve made a lightweight, stiff rear triangle for the AURUM.
- 83 mm BB shell with integrated ISCG 05 chainguide mount: allows the design of a stronger, stiffer BB and main pivot structure
and provides the required single ring chainline for the 157mm rear wheel spacing.
- Syntace integrated derailleur hanger: proven to be substantially stiffer and less prone to breakage than conventional derailleur hangers, the X-12 system ensures incredibly crisp and precise shifting.
- Integrated seatpost clamp: not only looks great but also allows the seat tube to be fully supported.
- Integrated fork bumpers: Built right into the frame, these bumpers are always in the right place while allowing for a tighter turning radius than traditional fork mounted bumpers
Increased Square-Edge Bump Compliance
Square-edge bumps will slow most suspension designs down in a hurry. A.R.T., however, improves the wheel’s ability to travel rearward as it travels up, allowing the wheel to move out of the way of obstacles, a trait that is particularly important for a World Cup downhill bike. For 2012, the axle path of the AURUM provides 250% more rearward travel that extends 14% deeper into the travel range than the 2011 platform. Our engineers also decreased the forward axle path motion (at full travel) by a huge 330%. When put in practice, this provides a smoother, faster ride over rough and varied terrain, perfect for a bike that is designed to be as fast as possible.
Improved Leverage Ratio Curve
A.R.T. suspension uses a progressive leverage ratio curve that is designed to yield a predictable suspension action with the perfect combination of traction and big hit capability. The leverage at the beginning of the shock stroke is relatively high, resulting in excellent small bump compliance (traction). As the bike moves through its travel, the leverage ratio falls at a consistent rate which gives a very progressive feel with no mid stroke ‘wallowing’ or dead spots. The leverage is progressive right until the end of the stroke, giving the AURUM that bottomless feel we all desire for hard landings and big hits.
Improved Braking Performance
A.R.T. employs a combination of the rearward axle path and careful control of the rear brake caliper attitude to allow the suspension to remain unaffected by braking forces throughout its travel. The result is smooth, powerful braking with fully active suspension and a whole lot of traction.
Increased Pedaling Efficiency
To combat the mortal enemy of suspension known as bob (the bouncing that occurs when pedaling), A.R.T. was designed to provide
increased chain growth. This creates anti-squat forces, effectively counteracting the forces that produce suspension bob. The result is incredibly efficient power transfer, which allows the AURUM to accelerate like a much shorter travel bike.
A bicycle is really the sum of its parts; the frame, the fork, the wheels and the brakes are useless by themselves. But when you put it all together, that is when the magic happens. We have taken our time and carefully selected the ideal combination of parts to complement the frame and ultimately the rider’s needs. It is our philosophy that bicycles need to be versatile, enabling riders to explore their idea of adventure wherever the trail or road may take them. Our component specs reflect this ideology and provide the perfect blend of true performance and versatility. The AURUM spec was selected to realize the intent of the AURUM: to win World Cup races. The parts are lightweight, strong and precise; here are some of the highlights:
- Wide 760 mm low rise bars with direct-mount, low-rise stem for all models
- 2 x 10mm, 1 x 5mm and 2 x 3 mm headset spacers and a low stack headset top cone offer multiple bar height options
- Coil spring Boxxer forks with light spring on small, mid spring on medium, and firm spring on large frames to match rider weights
- 157 x 12 rear hub improves wheel strength and stiffness
- DH crank with 83 mm BB shell
- Colour ties on components, including saddle graphics, rim graphics, bar, stem and seatpost
- Short cage rear derailleur and compact 11-28T cassette sprocket
- 26 x 2.50 DH tires with soft compound or dual tread compound and DH sidewall casing