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2012 Norco Product Launch

2012 Norco Product Launch

Dan Stanbridge

So we are just in the the middle of the whirlwind that is Crankworx in Whistler at the moment with races each day and parties each night but aside from the usual whistler goings on, some big news from this side of the pond came yesterday with the official launch of the new 2012 Norco bike range. This product line is headlined by the Aurum DH bike which is Norco’s new downhill bike for 2012 and of particular interest to us because this is the finalised version of the prototypes we have been testing and developing with Norco throughout the past year so we are very excited to see everything come together.

One of the big features which we have not been able to talk about until now is the ‘Gravity Tune’ system on the Aurum which we have been itching to talk about it because I think it is a pretty big deal for a production downhill bike. On other currently available production DH bikes, the bike is often designed around one size (say a medium or often whatever other size bike the main team test rider races on), then to get the other sizes in the range the front end is scaled up or down to give more reach. Uniquely on the Aurum however every size in the range has an individually sized rear-to-centre and front-to-centre balance as well as slightly tailored suspension kinematics to match. This means each size (small medium and Large) have exactly the same performance characteristics so the ride is not compromised to scale the design up or down. This is a really big deal for us as a team for example because myself and Ben are both very different sizes and have very different riding styles, however actually the testing we have been doing over the past year has shown that what we are after from a bike’s handling is the same. So for the first time now we are both able to get this as standard on the same production frame in different sizes without custom alterations necessary to correct either the small or the large accordingly.

This concept sounds common sense really, if years of testing and development have been put into getting the best geometry, weight balance and proportions for a downhill bike then this should be scaled up and down for every size in the range, not just optimised for one size and then the front end stretched, however I guess tooling costs and time as well as production factors all play a part. Anyway as a rider I am just pleased to see the ride quality getting top priority on this bike and with some clever engineering apparently this has been done without crazy prices too which is cool. (News recently has been released that Fisher will no longer be distributing Norco in the UK however I am told 2012 bikes will be available in the UK including the Aurum so I believe there will be a press release on this shortly.)

The gravity tune system is really the standout feature that has been kept secret until now however all the best features from the prototype bikes we have posted in the past have made it to production as well including the integrated bump stops, captive shock mounting hardware, ART suspension system and Syntace axle and hanger combo.

As well as the Aurum there was also a full line up of new bikes launched across the board but one other that stood out to me was the Sight. This is a 140mm travel bike designed to be light weight and pedal well but also to be good fun on the downhills. I can see this being a great trail centre and do-it-all bike for the UK and after having a lot of fun on this bike recently I think this one will be a big hit.


Ben Reid talked us through some of the details a few weeks back, did some riding, and narrowly avoided a pigeon related injury. Here it is for those who missed it.

MPORA Action Sports >>

You can see the progress and development of the bike in previous videos here,

More Mountain Biking Videos >>


Bike Check – Norco Prototype >>

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  1. Billy Bob

    Finally Norco designs something that doesn’t look like complete junk (and a lot like a Trek!)

  2. craig

    that bike looks the dogs. how much is it gonna b? any estimates will do

  3. Sam

    these bikes look dope

  4. VonDH

    Thats a Norco i would replace my 06 model with

  5. cooke

    the dh tem is actualy one of the nicest lookin bikes iv seen only beaton by intense m9

  6. olliebongo

    Looks like a NORCO 😉 Great paint job, Aurum is even a catchy wee name. Wonder if big Ali Beckett would pre order me one of those bad boys?

  7. morris Dancer aka Jonny Trance Fingers

    I was gonna give it “looks like a trek”.. But that looks like a “belta”.. Good work Norco..

  8. Leon

    @ craig : Some other website with a pink side states 9000 dollars for the top build, so probably around 7000 quid by the time we get raped by the tax man

  9. dylan

    @Craig The estimated price range for it is £4500 or Frame ONLY 2300 Roughly thats what it says on the PinkBike REport

  10. treehuggergraeme

    @Billy – How tall are both Dan and Ben? And what size frames do they ride? What are the angles too?

  11. Downhilldan

    I was finally getting my next frame choice down to 2 and then this comes along god damn it!!

  12. Steve

    be interesting to see frame weight against a session.

  13. Steve

    bb does look quite high compared to some new bikes

  14. Tim

    Good looking beast. Colour scheme surprising close to Classic Yeti, nice though. Will it be coming with a Fox rear shock in any guise?

  15. Ben Rix

    The frame is 7.5 lbs without shock. The complete highend built bike is 34 Lbs and retails for 7200.00 CAD that yellow one os 5000.00 cad and there will be an entry level bike 3300.00

  16. John

    did they steal that bike from Trek the other week

  17. Jay

    Norco has been making affordable, high-functioning full suspension bikes
    for well over 17 years now. The Horst link is often imitated (DW linkages, etc. – glorified horst links) but rarely bettered. Trek should be so lucky
    to have the kind of heritage Norco has here on the North Shore.

  18. pirata

    sexy machine…wish my 09 session in these colours…

  19. Bangtidy

    It’s a hell of a lot of money for essentially a specialized pitch!

  20. andy g

    Hahaha I wondered what it was at first I thought trek but now yes it’s a pitch lulz!!

  21. forum

    its not a trek, its not a split pivot its a FSR link! so you may as well say its a demo8 which has a fsr link, which yet again it obviously isn’t a demo. Its a Norco Aurum. A Trek session 88 has a crazy moving forward rear wheel so the bike gets shorter as it goes through its travel and makes it really bad on square edge hits, this bike grows with a rearward path as it goes through its travel which makes it amazing for square edge impact and also makes it more stable so this bike is a much better design.

  22. andy g

    Yeah forum like the guy said before it’s a overpriced specialized pitch. It even looks alot like one, typical norco-zero for origanality!

  23. Dave

    Trek blablablabla

    NICE looking bike Norco, good stuff.

  24. J

    Zero originality? I hadn’t realised full scale sizing was common place these days…

  25. Messy

    Who cares about originality? There are so many frame manufacturers out there, If it hasn’t been done yet It probably doesn’t work. This bike looks proper sorted, I’ve found it really interesting to see the whole process from start to finish… And that weight is a challenge for the Mondraker Summum!

  26. Eric

    The bikes are looking amazing! and I see baltic bens going for the dave grohl look!!ahaa

  27. JustTheFacts

    @forum: verify facts before giving expert opinions.

    Wheelbase for Session 88 vs. travel (no front compression): 1166mm / 0mm, 1168.7mm / 20mm, 1170.9mm / 40mm, 1173.8mm / 100mm, 1166.2mm / 203mm.

    So much for the ‘crazy moving forward rear wheel’. And it rides pretty well, even with square hits. As do many other well-designed bikes, like 2011 Demo 8 (FSR): 1195mm / 0mm …. 1187.5 / 203mm. And it rides well too. There’s more to a good bike than rear wheel axle path.

  28. Daniel

    This is a big leap in frame development using different rear end geometry for different sized bikes. A huge step in the right direction. Now we just need size specific shock tuning and we will really have bikes that work great right out of the box for those of us that ride something other than a size medium.

  29. John

    I’ve heard it all now..”it’s the bikes fault because it’s not a size medium, that’s why I’m a shit rider.” what a load of shit! you just need to practice more, and if you’ve bought a bike that doesn’t fit you it’s certainly not the manufacturers fault as there’s plenty of good bikes out there in lots of different sizes nowadays.

  30. Sykes

    Am I the only one who would rather see r&d cut down a bit so prices come back at the very least to under 2000 quid for what is at the end of the day at bike frame made out of less than £50 worth of aluminium and a shock bolted on?

  31. John

    Definiteley not the only one the prices are well to high considering that alot of the stuff is pretty old technology or attempts at improvements on bad designs.

  32. AgentR

    Aurum Frame – £1799.99
    Aurum 2 – £2599.99
    Aurum 1 – £3899.99
    Aurum LE – 5399.99

    Informed and accurate pricing. More to follow

  33. John

    Aurum1 – £too much for a norco!
    Aurum LE – £way too much for a norco!!


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