Norco has made some big changes for 2011 with a refined suspension linkage, the addition of a few new bikes and some smart looks at component specs.
For 2011 Norco has tweaked its FSR linkage system to yield a bike that is both more efficient and better through rough terrain. Norco calls this suspension design A.R.T., for Advanced Ride Technology. The A.R.T. design is set up so that the rear wheel arcs backwards and upwards during the initial portion of the bike’s travel. This helps to prevent the rear wheel from getting hung up in chunky rockgardens, while at the same time allows Norco to build in some anti-squat.
The all-mountain category of Norco’s line received the most love with the addition of the 160-millimeter Range line and the 140-millimeter (front)/120-millimeter (rear) Shinobi 29er. Both of these frames share many of the same features, including a tapered headtube, Syntace’s X-12 (142-millimeter spaced 12-millimeter through-axle) system, ISCG05 tabs, one-piece link arm and the new A.R.T. suspension.
Aside Range and Shinobi, Norco added the Phaser as a full-bore cross-country bike. The Phaser sports 100-millimeters of travel using A.R.T. suspension design. Instead of the standard cartridge bearings or bushings, the Phaser uses Norglide composite bearings, which like bushings are a sliding design, but unlike bushings then can be clamped tighter without gaining loads of friction. These little bits are crazy lightweight too. All the bearings on the Phaser together weigh less than one cartridge bearing.
Shorter stem and wider handlebars seemed to be a concept used across the board for Norco’s 2011 bikes.
Sneak peak: Norco’s new Shore bike: