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First Ride: New 2020 optics for Norko are short for travel, but great for fun

Take one piece of new school geometry, one part short but still capable suspension, and then add a sprinkle of components you will most likely see on an enduro bike before baking for a year or so behind closed doors. It's not a new recipe, of course, but with each ingredient improving year after year, it's one that is more delicious than ever.

With 125mm travel, 140mm fork and 29 wheels, the all-new Norko Optics for 2020 is their take on a short ride and great fun.

Our test bike, US $ 4500, gets SRAM GX / X1 combo and Pike Select Plus fork. All six models get triangles of front triangles and aluminum rear edges.

First, what is the miracle of this work? I mean, 125mm are lightweight cycling tracks, but all six optical models come with four-piston brakes, Maria's magic front tire, and their own RockShox DH-specific shock-free pedal shock. So, not exactly your heated cross-country upgrade, which is too much to avoid. I've been using the new Optics for everything from all-day missions all day at Westler Bike Park and, spoiler alert, it's a blast.

Bike trail? Yes, sure, but you probably won't give him enough credit.

Sticky tires and four-piston brakes appear on the entire version of Optics.


Forget about how much travel there is – let's talk about the geometry of Optics. At 5-10 "Norco says I need to be big at 480mm, so it's a relatively wide advantage. You don't feel too big when you're seated, thanks to a 76-degree SA and 435mm rear length. The head angle is relaxed 65 degrees and there are no silly geo-adjustments to be seen.

Norco does something called & # 39; Gravity Tune & # 39; with their geometry looking at the back end longer, as the bikes increase in size, but also say they didn't just use longer, lower, brighter sprinklers to sweeten the Optics handling Instead, they looked at a bunch of data already available that told them the dimensions and weight of the average person, who then told them where the center of gravity was when riding the bike. This allowed them to find geometry for each of the four dimensions that put the COG where they wanted between the front and rear axles.

Great optics get 480mm and 435mm rear range, while all dimensions get 76 degree seat angles and 65 degree head angles.

There are small, medium, large and extra-large dimensions, each growing 5mm at the rear and 30mm at the front. The forks all come with 42mm compensation, and each model comes with a 40mm stem, which Norko says shouldn't be changed. Instead, they want riders to use width lanes of varying widths if they have to mix the fit; wider bars mean longer range and vice versa.


125mm is not a lot of millimeters, but Norco squeezed a lot of performance from what they work with. Previous Optics used a suspension layout that looked much like "Forrest Link", with a small rocker arm that compresses the vertically positioned air shock. Nothing crazy, and the same idea is used here, but the pivotal locations have changed and will perform much differently than that older bike.

Big shock on a little bike and there's no pedal lever that can be seen on Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock.

The power ratio is initially higher, for one, which should make it relatively resilient for a short-ride bike that aims to disappoint. Norco says he is also much more progressive and in shock has an aggressive high-speed compressive tune, all of which he has to do more than one might think.

Speaking of shock, let's take a look because it's a bit unusual. That's the shock of the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH which, as the name suggests, you usually only see on long-distance bicycles. The returning meaning means that it has more oils than a lighter blow, so it should be more consistent for long, rough descents. There is no locking lever to improve the bike's pedal, but every bike with this slight ride needs to move well without a fraudulent switch.


Norco offers six different complete Optics, starting with the versions fitted with the SRAM AXS or Shimano XTR, shown above, for $ 7,500 and $ 6,600.
Retailing C2 and C2 W for $ 4500 C2, with specifications including SRAM X1 / GX drive, Shimano BT520 four-piston brakes and Pike Select Plus fork.
The full bike entry price starts at $ 3,600 for the C3, and Norco offers both the C2 and the female models. If you want a bare frame and shock from Super Deluxe Ultimate DH, it will cost you $ 2800

Soon you can watch our test video preview of Test Test, the new Optics, and while Casimer told me I shouldn't spill the beans until then, I'll leave you with this: It was the most popular – and most talked about – test bike of them all.

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