Norco Shinobi 2011 Review
Review, photos and videos by Lee Lau
Overview and summary
Norco is one of Canada’s biggest bicycling brands and, as such, has a large lineup of bikes. Till this season Norco lacked a full-suspension 29er. With the introduction of the Shinobi, Norco addressed this omission and did so with style. The Shinobi’s design goes against some conventional thinking. Namely geometry tweaks to “standard” 29er geometries, using a new standard for rear ends and changes to the tried and true FSR suspension; all of which I will canvass more in this review.
In producing the Shinobi, Norco has managed to combine value and performance (uphill and downhill) yet managed to distinguish itself from the pack. Until recent times, 29ers were the domain of the buff less-technical trail fans. If you wanted to try a 29er that could handle even moderately aggressive technical terrain your choices were limited. The Shinobi is a strong candidate for any rider who wants a full-suspension 29er which can climb decently well yet can also handle aggressive lines.
Shinobi in the alpine (pictured with the pre-production 120mm front fork)