Empire 5 SE and Empire 5
MSRP: $3,399 and $2,295
Size: S M
Weight: ~ 40lbs
Norco continues to show dedication to the slopestyle community with an ungrade and expansion of the Empire 5 line. This bike made a bike splash last year. So big infact it out shined the XXXX in the same market and the XXXX hsa been dropped from the catelog this year. Too bad. That is a great frame.
Ben Boyko worked with Norco engineers to develop a a 5″ travel bike that can take a hell of a beating but move like a BMX, and for ’09 the Empire 5 SE has moved up the spec ladder to fill the needs of riders.
The Empire frame remains essentually the same from the ’09 model but components on the SE are of higher grade. Avid Elixir 5 brakes and SRAM x9 rear deraileur, upgraded wheelset and crankset are on the SE version. Along with Marzocchi 55 TST 2 Coil fork and TST Air with piggyback rear shock.
The Empire 5 version has a few down grades from last year to meet a lower price point but is essentually the same as last years model.
I rode an Empire 5 for about 10 minutes last year before returning it to another reviewer. Sorry to say the bike seems awesome but just too small for a 6’4″ guy. Ben says that at Whistler though he is surprised to hear about the verity of trails the Empire 5 gets used on, not just slope style and DJ style trails.