Update: Here’s an excellent video overview provided to us by Dušan Mihalečko of http://cameride.cz/
Norco Bikes is going ‘all in’ on the 650b movement. On Jan, 2012, upon hearing news that Fox and Rockshox were producing forks for the new platform, Norco gathered up the key decision makers in the company and decided to fully commit and build bikes for this new wheel platform this year. This meant that other key projects in the company would have to be de-prioritized if Norco was to meet their goal of having bikes ready in about 8 months for Eurobike and Interbike. Turning on a dime is not difficult for a small bike company that manufactures most of the frame themselves. But for a company like Norco which has 176 bike models, this was a big decision.
So it’s no surprise that the Norco crew beamed with pride as they unveiled their creations. They showed us a bunch of other bikes at the media launch but it was obvious that the everybody’s attention was on the 650b bikes. The two bikes are the Norco Range Killer B and the Norco Sight Killer B.
The Norco Range 650b is a 160mm travel bike with a Fox 160mm Talas CTD fork. It sports a 66.5 degree head angle, a 13.54 inch BB height and 16.8 inch chainstay length in medium.
The Norco Sight 650b is a 140mm travel bike with a Rockshox Revelation 140 mm fork. It has a 67.5 degree head angle, a 13.3 inch BB height and 16.8 inch stays as well in medium.
Each bike will be available in three spec models, the 1, 2 and 3 with 1 as the highest level spec. The Range will cost between $5,850 and $2,900. The two higher-end models come with Fox 34 Talas 160 mm forks and Fox CTD rear shocks. The lower cost Range 3 will have has X-Fusion suspension. All three come with a 2×10 drivetrain and 180mm rotors. The Range 1 will come equipped with a RockShox Reverb dropper post.
The 140mm travel Sight comes in three models, ranging between $5,400 and $2,700 . The Sight 1 and Sight 2 models feature RockShox’s Revelation fork and anti-chainslap derailleurs from Shimano. The Bionicon chain retention device is also included to to keep the chain in place without the use of a full chain guide system.
Norco will also continue selling a 26-inch version of the Sight to appease the fans of this model who are not ready to commit to the new wheel size.
So let us learn about the new 650b wheel size. Mtbr did a detailed article on it a few months ago and we firmly believe that it will be a huge growth market. PJ Hunton of Norco will go through a detailed comparison of the wheel sizes in the video below.
How does it ride?
Flip to the next page and find out.