Norco LT6.1 – 2010 – first look

26er Pro Reviews

Norco LT 6.1 – 2010 – First look

Review by Lee Lau


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Norco is a Canadian company that’s established its bona fides in designing bikes that deliver value for money. Norco provided me with the LT 6.1 bike to ride and long-term test. This “First Looks” article serves as an introduction to the LT 6.1; a future article and further follow-ups will canvass the bike’s performance and long-term durability.


LT 6.1 on the lower Fromme trails

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About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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  • Liam says:

    ride one last weekend at the Norco demo day in kielder, have to say wasn’t anything special, they need a xl frame size , they only make on in the 6.2 and 6.3 supposedly hammerschmit is handy wasn’t a fan of the shock either…

  • leel says:

    I agree it’s not terribly exciting if you’re coming from another Fluid LT. I would say that you have to give a bike a chance by bolting downhill as fast as you can; that’s where this bike is stupidly exciting – and in a good way. Make sure they set the bike up in 6″ mode. The bike comes factory assembled in 5″ mode which, IMO, is a terrible idea

  • loll says:

    It always surprise me how much a Norco cost. They are fine bikes by all means. Just that for close to 4.5 grand US dollars, I am thinking why I am not getting a Santa Cruz or an Ibis, or many other boutique bike brand for that matters.

    I am sure the ride on the Fluid LT is amazing. But perhaps just a bit shock about the price tag. Really need to get a demo event of Norco bikes here in California.

  • John says:

    You are wearing a factory jersey, do you ride for Norco? Are you reviewing a bike for a company that supports you? Interesting……

  • LeeL says:

    Yes John, fascinating. They gave me a jacket three years ago. Do you think that will affect my impartiality or my review? Please feel free to conjecture and discuss

  • John says:

    Well Lee, I’m not sure if it will or will not affect the impartiality of your review, I am in no way capable of commenting on your state of mind as you write. That said, I would always question the source of a review if the rider is in full sponsored dress of the company that is being reviewed. Its only prudent.

    Is your name on the back of that jersey?

  • LeeL says:

    John,

    Thanks for asking. No it isn’t and no I’m not sponsored by Norco. But do feel free to speculate about review integrity and my state of mind even before I have completed the review.

  • John says:

    You seem a little defensive Lee, are my questions that offensive?

  • LeeL says:

    John,

    The question, in itself isn’t offensive. The way in which you pose them is presumptiously rude and offensive. Having said that, this is a public article and therefore a public discussion. Do feel free to continue to pose questions in whatever manner you choose.

    I will change one thing when I write reviews. I have lots of random bike clothing that I wear with commercial logos (eg Norco, Arc’teryx, Sombrio, MEC,). I’ll add an explicit statement to all my reviews to the effect that I am not paid by or sponsored by any of the entities whose clothing I wear or products I use. I had thought that this was so obvious that it not need be said; clearly it isn’t so obvious.

  • John says:

    Yes, that would make a difference to those of us who don’t just blindly accept what the web has to offer as the gospel.

    I apologize if my questions seemed rude and offensive, but if I could offer some unsolicited advice, rather than retort with snide or rude comments to those of us who are asking you questions, perhaps a more diplomatic approach will give you a better reputation than your current approach.

    Good luck with the review :)

  • leel says:

    John,

    Thanks. Your question did make me take a step back and attempt to view the issue from a third person perspective – therefore my decision to add the above boilerplate.

    And if I might offer you also some unsolicited advice, questioning the reviewer’s integrity before the reviewer has even penned the full review is almost certainly going to be taken as rude and/or offensive

  • John says:

    Whether the article is yet to be penned or not, the question would still stand.

  • leel says:

    John,

    You have made your point. I have made mine. Do you require further confirmation of my non-sponsorship by Norco or is my written word sufficient? If you require further proof what proof do you require?

  • John says:

    Lee,

    I do believe you that you are not sponsored by Norco, you have made that clear, but your last comment shows that you did not completely understand the reason behind the question – which is the actual issue.

    To summarize:

    When a person wears the garb of the company that they are reviewing, it will make people wonder if the reviewer is paid, supported by, or works for said company. With that in mind, one can’t help but wonder how that may affect the review. It may, it may not, but the question will be asked – or at least should be asked.

    In reference to my last comment, regardless of whether you have already written your article or not, if that photo was included in the review I would have the same question. Its that simple. I don’t honestly care if you and Norco are best friends, but it is the appearance or perception of close ties to Norco that brings this all into question.

    Do you see what I am saying?

    With that, I believe my point is made (ad nauseum) and I will bid this argument farewell. Enjoy the LT6.1, it is a fantastic bike.

  • leel says:

    John,

    With all due respect (and no sarcasm is intended here); I did understand what you said.

    When you said, and I quote – “When a person wears the garb of the company that they are reviewing, it will make people wonder if the reviewer is paid, supported by, or works for said company”; I submit that is YOUR opinion (emphasis on Your). Frankly I don’t think many people will share that opinion.

    I don’t particularly want to add the kind of boilerplate that I will now add to reviews and think it clutters the substance. However, if it adds clarity to reviews even for what I think is a small minority of people who attach significance to logo-wear then it will serve its purpose.

    Note I have no empirical basis for this observation. Again, thanks for the discussion.

    EDIT – if anyone is reading this other then John and I and disagrees with me or has anything to add re the usefulness of disclosure I’d be happy to hear it. So far, the sample of differing viewpoints is 1 for and 1 against

  • Lukas says:

    Guys, “Ride more post less” ;-). Right now in my country is 6 below zero and 30 cm of fresh snow and you are talking about jersey :-) Nice bike, just waiting for final conclusion.
    Happy trials!

  • Andreas says:

    Lee and John,

    You both make good points but I have to agree with John. If you wear the clothes, you look like you ride for them. I mean that’s what the pro’s do all the time isn’t it?

  • steve says:

    Nice review Lee. I would comment on the jacket, but I honestly didn’t pay it much attention.I was more interested in the review, not your riding attire.

  • Dan says:

    Lee, I didn’t even notice the jersey either. I understand John’s skepticism, but I think the rest of us trust you to make a fair evaluation/comparison based on both your subjective experience with their line-up and your experience as a rider. Thanks for writing in general and please keep up the fine work. I personally appreciate yet another qualified voice in the realm of mountain bike reviews.

  • Roy says:

    I’m with Lee on this one (although after the 3rd back and forth I skimmed the rest – got boring really quick (sorry guys)) – there are so many biking clothes with manufacturers logos out there chances of a coincidence are higher than not IMO. Never even noticed the jersey and when I read the first comment about it I thought it was a fairly weak accusation.

  • Roy says:

    All-mountain bike with a downhill bias sounds similar to the Slayer SXC. Although the two test rides have different specs I’d be interested to read your thoughts on comparing the two if you can somehow adjust for the spec level?

  • Bill H says:

    Are you both LAST WORD FREAKS or what the hell is the problem here? The reviewer should have just quit after clarifying the concerns addressed by the poster, as rude as they may have seemed, but instead you’ve both ruined this review completely. Nice work.

  • leel says:

    Sorry Bill,

    I did let this get out of hand. I definitely took John’s comments the wrong way. I’ve concluded that it isn’t a bad idea to put in some clarification that I’m not paid by or sponsored by the company who’s product I am reviewing. If it clears up doubt for even one person then it’s probably worth it. I’d have loved to put up some video but lately its been pretty dark rides so videos & pictures have been substandard. Hope to get some updates to the review by the end of next week

  • dodong diamond says:

    sorry lee, but it totally agree with john.

  • jeff says:

    is the front tire on backwards?

  • jeff says:

    skip that, scwalbe does that on purpose

  • leel says:

    Finally some new content!

    Corkscrew, North Vancouver on the Norco LT 6.1

    March 22, 2010 ride & the lower trails are snow free. Climbed on the trails to the Corkscrew trailhead & dropped in. After a rough ride on Corkscrew I opted for an even rougher ride on Pingu.

    Filmed with a GoPro HD worn with the chest mount & a Panasonic Lumix FX35

    http://www.vimeo.com/10380542

    http://www.vimeo.com/10384031

  • Randy says:

    leel

    I actually ride a Fluid LT myself and love the bike so its nice to see reviews on the newest Norco rides. I did have a question though as to where you were riding when you first tested out the Norco Lt? Thanks

  • leel says:

    Randy,

    I’ve been riding it locally in North Vancouver. Trails close to home in Seymour and Fromme

  • LeeL says:

    Some rides from the past week on misc Shore trails

    http://www.vimeo.com/10501007

  • Thor says:

    I’m thinking of buying a Norco because the only mtb I have is a Seven hardtail … and I’d like a FS bike. I have to admit that I wasn’t that impressed when I saw that the reviewer was wearing a jacket made by the company who makes the bike under review. There’s quite a potential for conflict of interest there, and I’m surprised at the snide tone of Lau in addressing a valid concern raised by another poster. On the other hand, it would be so dumb of the reviewer to get caught in a conflict of interest of this kind that it was probably just an oversight to wear that particular jacket, which in turn suggests that there was no malice aforethought (in the form of a greased palm or what have you).

  • leel says:

    Thor.

    Thanks for the input. The Seven’s a nice bike. I have an old ti hardtail and it’s so utterly different (butted ti, beautifully light, steep head and seat tube angles) that the LT 6.1 would probably complement it well.

  • Man says:

    Got my 6.1 last week …. awesome bike, can’t wait for the snow to get off the ground and go take a ride with that beast in the woods!!

  • leel says:

    Remember that the LT 6.1 comes shipped in 5″ travel mode. Don’t forget to play with that simple to adjust from 5 to 6″ travel mode swap. It’s a fun bike and you’ll enjoy it

  • Steviebump says:

    I’ve just become an owner of my for Long Travel bike – last year’s Norco Fluid LT – an I gotta say, up to now it feels beautifully balanced. UK riding isn’t as burly as I’d imagaine it is in Canada or the Alps and initially I had reservations about it being ‘too much bike/travel’. I demo’d this years (the one your reviewing) up at Kielder early April after I was unable to book a slot on a Lapierre Spicy. I tried a couple of Kona’s too but these didn’t compare to the Norco Fluid. To be honest, the ride on the Stinky made me feel a little sea sick!
    The sram x.0 gear shifter changes gear so quick, same as the Hammerschmidt.
    It’s already give me more confidence on things like downhill drops – things I would never have tried on my old Spesh FSR XC – seem like dropping of a kerb in comparison. I’m looking forward to taking it up Scotland soon and seeing what she’s really capable of!

  • Man says:

    i’ll try both…. 5 inches seems to be nice, i was riding a 5” bike last year and it was enough… maybe it is more easy to climb up hill like this … but i have all summer to test this out. anyway i’m sure i’m gonna like it

  • Jason says:

    Lee and John, I agree with John, don’t wear the name of the product you’re reviewing.

    I will add, for waht it’s worth, that the way John pointed this out, I thought, was way off base. The approach could have far more diplomatic.

  • LeeL says:

    68 berms and 102 tabletops in Squamish’s newest gem – Half Nelson. http://www.vimeo.com/11613654

  • LeeL says:

    We rode this loop which includes 870m of climbing if you throw in a bit extra to get to the paraglider launch. Over 130 switchbacks and a technical very interesting climb – a darn sight more interesting than the old fire road cook-your-brains out grind.

    The downhill is “Stimulus” a new Pemberton trail. This trail drops 870m or about 2700ft to the valley floor for full value for your climbing money. It’s got steeps, rock faces, and is 90% singletrackhttp://www.vimeo.com/11597911

  • LeeL says:

    Hoods was built last year and flows about 300m down the mountain from a cut block back to the road accessing the Diamond Head/Garibaldi Park area. Climb up than point it down.

    http://www.vimeo.com/11191877

  • Liam says:

    I was the 1st person to post, it turns out that there is only 1 Large frame size in the UK, which i know the owner of, that is a much better feel very nice bike.

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