Meet the 2015 Norco Aurum Carbon

Norco announces the latest iteration of their downhill dominator

Idyllwild, California recently played host to the Launch of Norco’s completely redesigned line of downhill bikes – the Aurum Carbon Killer B. If this new Aurum looks strangely familiar that’s probably because you’ve already seen it. In development since 2012, the bike was raced throughout the 2013 and 2014 World Cup season by the likes of Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson. This, however, is the first time that Norco is making the details of the new bike public.
 

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The model we rode during testing in Idyllwild was the Aurum C7.1, priced at $7000. Photo: Michael Darter

 
Norco’s goal with the new Aurum Carbon was simple – give the riders a bike that exhibited the same handling characteristics as their 26-inch bikes with the added speed, stability and traction of 27.5-inch wheels.
 

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The simplicity of the front triangle lends itself to carbon construction. Smooth lines and integrated frame protection while saving nearly a pound in weight from original in Killer B MK I. Photo: Anthony Smith
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
On the trail the bike had a balanced and playful feel. It didn’t take long to feel comfortable smashing through the rocks and blasting through berms. Photo: Michael Darter
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The integrated bumpers also function as cable routing at the head tube. Neatly hidden routing at the bottom bracket keeps cables tucked away and secure. Photo: Anthony Smith

 
As with the first generation of the Aurum the new Carbon Killer B MK II employs Norco’s advanced ride technology rear linkage – A.R.T. This provides a rearward axle path, and progressive leverage rate along with active braking characteristics.
 

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The 6061 T6 rear triangle sports an improved derailleur hanger system along with external cable routing, as per the athlete’s request. Photo: Anthony Smith
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The 3 piece forged-link arm has increased stiffness over previous generations and offers improved serviceability. Photo: Anthony Smith

 
With Norco’s gravity tune, both front center and rear center grow based on size. This offers better weight balance and maneuverability across all three sizes – small through large.
 

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
Size-scaled tubing between the different sizes means that smaller riders won’t be getting rattled apart on the descents, while heavyweights will still have all the strength and stiffness that they need. Photo: Anthony Smith
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
A press fit bottom bracket – BB 107 – Allows for a longer downtube structure at the bottom bracket junction. Photo: Anthony Smith

 
Notable changes in the geometry include a bottom bracket that, at 343 millimeters (a BB drop of -12) is 5 millimeters lower than the original. A half-degree slacker head angle at 63 degrees, and a slightly longer reach – 432 millimeters on the size large we rode. Despite all these changes, the new Aurum shares nearly the same axle path as its predecessor, with only a slight tweak to leverage curve making it a touch less progressive.
 

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
The devil is in the details: the lower shock mount has both tool contacts on the non-drive side, making it possible to remove the shock without having to remove the cranks. Photo: Anthony Smith
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
With 142 rear wheel spacing, Norco is able to optimize the chain line for 7-speed drivetrains. The narrow back end also allows more heel clearance. Photo: Michael Darter

 
The new Arum is available in three models. The flagship C 7.1 can be had with Enve wheels ($9700) or without ($7000). Beyond the optional wheel upgrade, both will come with the same spec, featuring a RockShox Boxxer World Cup, Cane Creek Double Barrel coil shock, and an XO1 DH drivetrain. At $5800, the Aurum C7.2 ($5800) will feature a RockShox Boxxer Team and Vivid RCS Coil while still sporting the Sram X01 cassette and derailleur. The lowest-priced Arum is the C 7.3 at $4230, which will ship with a Boxxer RC up front, the RockShox Kage coil rear shock and a Shimano Zee 7-speed rear cassette complete with an inner spacer that will allow you to take advantage of the DH-specific gearing and chain line that the bike was designed around. It’s same carbon frame among all models, and if it’s just the frame you’re after, it can be yours for just a hair over $2500. Norco expects all models to be available in shops this April.

2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
This will be Jack Iles’ first season on Norco’s World Cup downhill team. Photo: Michael Darter
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
Another newcomer to the roster is the always-colorful Sam Blenkinsop. Photo: Michael Darter
2015 Norco Aurum Carbon
Bryn Atkinson exploding some dry California soil as the sun begins to set on Idyllwild. Photo: Anthony Smith