20 Questions – Norco
What achievement of the company are you most proud of?
“It has been exciting to see Norco Bicycles grow on the global stage and become a company known for listening to professional and recreational riders to help develop best in class products across all disciplines.” – Jonathan Duncan
What has been you biggest product development?
“Personally I would say the development of our Gravity Tune geometry concept on the original Aurum. Ben and Dan of Dirt/Norco were instrumental in this.” – Owen Pemberton
What was the brand working on 20 years ago?
“Bullet proof North Shore bikes… and we became a world leader in just that.” Pete Stace-Smith
What influence has Dirt had on your company?
“Being associated through the Dirt/Norco team for period of years really gave the Aurum and the Norco brand world recognition through it’s development and bringing it to the World Cup stage.” – Pete Stace-Smith
Dirt Norco Race Team – Living the #BusLife a Mountain Biking video by dirt
What has been the biggest lesson the company has learnt in the industry?
“Continuous improvement. Always pushing to develop better products is key to success. Enjoying what we do, having fun and riding bikes is critical too.” – David Cox
What do you dislike about working in the bike industry?
“I go for a ride and I’m still working. At first it doesn’t bother you, I mean it’s riding, right? But it sneaks up on you. It’s taken me a while to learn to separate my work brain and my ride brain, I’m still not very good at it.” – Owen Pemberton, Bicycle Design Engineer
Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
“I had the honour one day to lead Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge (Dirt/Norco) down some of the trails on Vancouver’s North Shore, but I was on my 4X racer. A short travel, small sized 4X weapon that wasn’t set up or intended for the steep rough terrain that we were in.
I recall us all being wheel to wheel, flying down the Shore as race pase. I remember the stress I felt having two WC racers on my wheel and wishing I was on a larger bike! I held it together until the very end when a brake line snagged on something and I was spectacularly ejected into a rock garden with Ben and Dan piling up behind. Good news was the pub wasn’t far off for a few post ride pints! “ – Jonathan Duncan
Your favourite or most memorable Dirt Cover?
“The Rule Britannia, Steve Peat cover. That’s just the image in my head when I think of Dirt.” – Owen Pemberton
What would you like to see from Dirt over the next 20 years?
“Print mag! Awesome photos can be appreciated much more on paper rather than on a screen.” – David Cox
Do you have a favourite or memorable feature from Dirt’s history?
“I’m biased but: Issue 108 Obsessive Testing Disorder.” Owen Pemberton
“As a reader that grew up flipping through cycling magazines, I really enjoyed the retrospective article on the bikes that shaped the furture of DH, including Norco’s VPS Shore.” – Jonathan Duncan
How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“Living in Vancouver Canada, I found a magazine shop that brought in UK publications. This was the only place I could get a hold of a copy, but they were always in short supply so you had to learn the timing the new issue would arrive.” – Jonathan Duncan
“I think I just happened across the first issue in the WHSmiths in Cov town centre. I still remember picking up that first issue and just being blown away. Compared to every other mag at the time it was just so different, so raw and edgy. It’s weird how I remember that.” – Owen Pemberton
What has Dirt taught you over the years?
“Riding in jeans looks cool…” – Owen Pemberton