First Ride Impressions : The 2012 Norco Sight
Following the lap of Kill Me, Thrill Me, most of the assembled media members chose to head back into town to lick their wounds but a few of us decided to climb part of the infamous Comfortably Numb trail to Young Lust, a technical fall-line descent that led back to the parking area at Wedgemount.
Having swapped the Revolver for the Sight near the end of Kill Me, Thrill Me, I decided to carry on with the 140mm travel rig for the rest of the afternoon. At this point in the day, I was the only rider still on a bike with 26” wheels – the others in our group were either on a Revolver or a Shinobi – and the climb up Comfortably Numb proved to be a little bit of a challenge on the smaller-wheeled bike. The ascent from the parking area to the trailhead of Young Lust was very similar to the climb on KMTM and I found myself having to work the Sight a whole lot more than I did the big-wheeled bike. The bike got hung up in a number of technical spots where my colleagues just rolled over the biggest of the roots and chunky rocks that infested the trail.
Despite the relatively difficult time I had with climbing the Sight on this section of trail, it still handled well enough and I’d likely do better on a second lap after I was more familiar with the route. Regardless, even with the ProPedal setting on the rear shock disengaged and me using lots of body english to get up and over the chunder, there wasn’t any noticeable pedal kickback and the shock action took the edge off the roughest parts of the climb. Eventually, we made it to the high point of our climb and, after a break to fix a flat and enjoy the view of Wedge Creek from the Al Grey Memorial Bridge, we turned our attention to the descent of Young Lust.
Young Lust is a steep, fall-line trail that is cluttered with sharp rocks and tight corners and the Sight really stood out during the descent. While the Revolvers that dusted me on the climbs had a little difficulty negotiating the steepness of the terrain the Sight just railed through turns, thanks to the bike’s low center of gravity and its relatively short chainstays. The 140mm Fox fork was well-mannered and soaked up the bumps while retaining a good deal of straight line control, and the ART-equipped suspension was plenty plush without any annoying pedal kickback at the end of the shock stroke when I went through all of the rear wheel travel. When we finally rolled out of the trail, I was ready for more descending but the ten-minute ride up the highway to the vehicle sucked any motivation that I had left from of my legs and lungs.
In short, then, the Norco Sight seems to be a capable bike for a wide variety of trails. While the Revolvers that were on the demo ride seemed to handle the technical ascents a little better than the Sight, I have no doubt that with a little a more saddle time on familiar trails, I’d be extremely comfortable on the bike for long rides or short rips after work. The Sight descended really well, and while it wasn’t as much of a point-and-shoot bike as its longer-legged siblings, there was still plenty of travel to keep things under control.
The 2012 Shimano XT group that was kitted on the Sight performed really well too, with no problems to report; the latest iteration of the XT brakes are fantastic stoppers and I had no issues with fade or brake pump. As with my experience on the Revolver, I wasn’t crazy about the Kenda Slant Six tires because they didn’t seem to offer the type of grip and braking traction that I’d like on a bike that would see its share of technical descents. Obviously more time on the bike on a wider array of trails would give me the chance to offer a better evaluation of the tires, so keep your eyes peeled on this site for a detailed review in the near future.