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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.