2012 Norco Phaser, Shinobi, Range and Truax

26er 29er Pro Reviews

29” All Mountain
2012 Norco Shinobi

Introduced in 2011 and reviewed by MTBR.com earlier this year, the Norco Shinobi is an all-rounder that can handle technical singletrack and more all mountain goodness than you’d expect from a frame with a relatively small amount of travel. Featuring 120mm of suspension at the rear of the bike and 140mm up front, the 29” wheeled Shinobi can easily slice and dice its way through terrain that would be a challenge for longer travel 26” bikes.

The Shinobi frame features much of the technology seen in the frames that are new for 2012, including Norco’s ART suspension, a short, tapered head tube, the Syntace X12 axle system (though not offered on the Shinobi 3), a wraparound seatstay yoke to improve tire clearance and keep the chainstays short, a super-stiff Holloform ® link arm, and cable guides for adjustable seatposts. Finishing on the frame is top notch, with double pass welds creating smooth junctions where the hydroformed tubes meet and slick-looking matte finishes on the top two trim levels.

Key features on the Shinobi:

  • Three trim levels (1, 2, 3) priced between $5450 USD and $2550 USD
  • Claimed bike weights between 28lbs-32lbs, depending on trim level
  • 120mm of A.R.T rear suspension travel
  • Hollowform ® link arm
  • Integrated dropout design: forged dropouts with axle and pivot points, integrated post mount and seatstay support gussets
  • Tapered head tube
  • Wraparound seatstay yoke
  • ICSG 05 mounts
  • All mountain gearing optimized for 29” wheels: 2×10 with a low 22T/32T (or 22T/33T) front ring set combined with an 11-36T cassette
  • Thru-axle forks on all models
  • Larger rotors on larger models
  • High volume rear shocks for a plush and linear feel
  • Short stems and wide low rise bars
  • 29×2.2” tires for all models
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  • Craw says:

    Dear Norco, if 29ers are really good for taller riders why don’t you use a longer head tube on the bigger sizes? Pretty sure that taller riders need a taller bar height so at least leave a whole bunch of steerer tube so we have some options!

  • Oscar says:

    Dear Norco,

    Just wondering where in the heck can I buy the 2011 Phaser that is black and blue in Southern California near Downtown Los Angeles. Because your Store locator guide is not up to date and some shops don’t carry your line anymore. I like the bike for its components and the weight of course, but I would like to see if a test ride is possible for altitude climbs.

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