I got to check out the Norco Optic and Norco Range at the Norco Demo day compliments of Eastside Cycle and World Cycle. Had a blast doing it and I’d absolutely like to thank both shops for giving their time and effort in putting this together.
It was very cool and very fun.I rode the Optic (pictured above) first and it was good. Being a 29er, I came into it expecting it to climb like a scared billy goat running up a rock wall for it’s life and probably be a little sketchy on the downhills.
I was really surprised in riding it. It did climb well, and while I could feet the height the bigger wheels give, it did not feel all sketchy at all. Actually it felt really stable. The 66 degree head clearly had a lot to do with that. In comparing to the 150mm travel Intense ASV that I’d just ridden the previous week, I was really surprised. The Optic at only 110mm travel actually decended better than the ASV, but the ASV did climb just a little better. Exactly the opposite results I came into it thinking I’d see.
A great bike for certain, one that a good rider can absolutely win on.
Now to the Norco Range.
The 150mm travel big brother to the Optic. Being 150mm, it still climbed almost as well as the Optic, but then when pointed down it really shined. The longer travel along with the slightly more slack 65 degree head really worked well. Even with the taller 29 inch wheels it felt extremelt stable and had really great manners in the air. This will be a hard bike to beat.
Between the 2, I really couldn’t pick a winner. I think it really will depend on the individual rider and his or her strengths. I think for the pure climber who lives and dies by the climb, the Optic would be the better choice.
Then for the rider who still climbs, but lives for the downhill and air time on the way to the bottom, the Range will be the obvious choice from Norco.
Both are absolutely great bikes that are really fun to ride and a person really can’t go wrong with either one.