|Reviewer: Adam LaBargeAge: 32 Height: 6’4”
Weight: 230 lbs
Bike Size: L
After the ’10 Norco product launch, I asked Norco if I could spend more time on the Judan Belt Drive 29er. When in Vancouver for the ’10 product launch I was able to spend an amazing day mashing around on the bike at the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. You can find my initial ride report here. Funny enough, even after having the bike for several months, my initial characterization still stand. I’d tell you now, but, that would ruin the fun of reading the review. And just so you are a little the wiser, Judan is the 10th degree of black belt ranking in the Japanese Dan martial arts ranking system. And this is a belt drive bike that looks like a ninja. But you get it, right, belt and belt?
A little about me. I typically ride downhill, but after jumping on the Judan in Vancouver and having such a blast I’ve been slowly crossing over to riding aggressive XC and doing it on simple and lightweight single speed 29ers. What I look for in a bike is something that has stability at high speeds, agility in turns, the geometry and fork performance to make technical downs exhilarating instead of scary, and the ability to get me up the hill without too much unnecessary effort. There is a comment section below, so if you like, use it.
First glance –
At first glance the Judan is one sexy looking bike. At least to me. I know bikes aren’t all about looks, but this one still shines above many others in terms of color choice, sticker design, component coloring, and frame angles. I don’t know about you, but I see a bike this nice and I just want to keep in on my wall as a piece of art. But to delve deeper into the design and components, one can tell Norco designed and made this bike to appeal to the aggressive 29er rider. The higher positioning of the handlebars thanks to the frame angle and 100mm fork, the steep cut angle of the top tube and shorter seat tube, Avid Elixir 5 brakes, and flexible but solid chromoly tubing, are all confidence inspiring for aggressive riding. The Judan is made solid, stable, and tough.