Lee Lau’s biases
I am 160 lbs and 5′ 11″ and have had over 15 years experience riding bikes in North Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, the Chilcotins and many other areas in B.C. and Alberta. I’ve also made many bike trips to Utah, Washington, Oregon, California and Ontario (for example) so I’ve had some experience biking in a variety of terrain. My bias is towards pedalling up and unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, I actually enjoy riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.
This is a test bike that will be given back to Norco at the end of the test period. I am not sponsored by Norco and have no commercial association with Norco.
Pemberton rock faces
MTBR has already canvassed the Shinobi in a previous article and video. In the size Medium (18) tested the Shinobi is a decidedly un-weight weenie 31.2 lbs. This one pound difference from the listed 30.2 weight can be attributed to the addition of a water bottle cage, pedals and replacement of the abysmal (but light) Continental Mountain King 2.2s with Kenda Nevegal 2.2′s. Stock components are not sexy as befits the Shinobi’s relatively modest price (US$2,850 / CAD$3,175 ). Highlights, and some comments, are as follows:
- RockShox Reba 140mm, 20mm axle front fork
- RockShox Monarch 2.2 rear shock
- Largely Shimano SLX components, Shimano XT Shadow rear derailleur
- Avid Elixir 5 brakes, 185mm rotors
- Norco branded stem and flat bar
- Shimano M552 (basically Deore) BB, cranks and cassette 3×10 with 11-36t cogs; lots of torque necessary for those wagon wheels
- Formula hubs with WTB LaserDisc trail 29er wheelset; basic value build.
I slapped a 70mm stem on the bike and a wider bar. A word on the bar. I like wide bars on 29ers. In general I feel that wider bars improve steering; even moreso for 29ers since their larger wheels have more momentum and accordingly require a touch more steering input. I also did the standard North Shore thing and replaced the large ring with a bashguard thus going 2×10. In general, I tried to keep the changes to the bare minimum and only made changes that I felt any rider would make to personalize a ride.
Shinobi highlights (from Norco)
•29er full-suspension bike intended to be “light and efficent to climb … yet tough enough to attack the descents”
• RockShox suspension; 140mm of front travel, 120mm of rear travel
•New A.R.T. suspension design and 142mm rear axle