YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS BUT…
JJ, Norco Product Manager
Owen Pemberton (Aurum designer) used to work in Whistler at the Fanatyk Co shop and was a tech person working on the old Norco rental fleet of downhill bikes in the bike park. This was 6 or 7 years ago when we had the old VPS Models (he always had comments and issues trying to get our bikes back into the fleet). This is where we got to know him and now he is on the other side of the table designing the DH bikes that we still rent in Whistler to Fanatyk Co.
The cool thing is that one of the goals on the new DH bike was to make it easier to service for rental or privateer racers. The Fanatyk Co shop staff have commented back to us recently that the Aurum is really easy to work on (better than other DH bikes they work on). And they have had no issues with our rental fleet after a season of punishment by rental customers. I think this was maybe one of Owen’s goals to get these bikes dialled in for one of the harshest riding environments in the world and the amount of punishment a rental bike can take. This is a good testimonial to the new Aurum.
Originally the Gravity Tune we use on Aurum was designed by Owen having beers with Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge (old Dirt/Norco team guys) and chatting about why Ben (who is short) and Dan (who is tall) were asking for the same thing when they wanted different chainstay lengths (this brought them to Gravity Tune) which offers different chainstay lengths for each size of our bike.
We have some names for the small plastic parts on the bike. The bump stop / shuttle guard / cable guide plastic part is called the necktie, the removable fender is called the cobra, and the small part that hangs off the lower shock mount to hold the cable guide is the coat hanger. These were just names based on the look of the parts.
“this brought them to ‘Gravity Tune’ which offers different chainstay lengths for each size of our bike”
Regarding the move to carbon – we really wanted a carbon first generation Aurum 26 frame earlier along and just behind the launch of the aluminum but this was delayed and then stopped as we were worried that the team riders really like the 650B wheels on the original test frames. At that time if we had have moved to carbon 650b we would have been too far ahead of the availability of forks, rims and tires for 650B DH bikes.