Sea Otter 2011: Norco's new full-suspension Sight

Threshold carbon 'cross bike also debuts

Norco's diverse range of full-suspension machines will be joined by the new 140mm-travel Sight aluminum trail bike for 2012.

Hydroforming is used heavily throughout, particular in the elaborated shaped seat tube with its round-to-rectangular profile and integrated upper link pivot. The asymmetrical chain stays and S-bend seat stays have svelte built-in pivot ends free of separated welded-on clevises to save weight and since there's no round section on the lower part of the seat tube, Norco attaches the front derailleur directly to the swingarm.

Helping to keep the ends of the bike in check are a tapered head tube and Syntace's X-12 142x12mm thru-axle rear end, complete with its stout derailleur hanger design and well thought-out breakaway alloy bolt. Norco even sees fit to include a threaded storage spot for a spare bolt in the down tube in case of emergency and the rear brake mounts directly to post mount tabs.

Suspension duties are handled by a true four-bar rear end with cartridge bearing pivots and a Fox Racing Shox RP23 rear shock with a high-volume air can for a more linear stroke. The upper link is particularly noteworthy, too, for its clean one-pieced forged design.

Sight will be available starting in January.


Norco's new Threshold 'cross frame.

Norco's new Threshold 'cross frame. Photo: James Huang

Norco also showed off its first carbon fiber 'cross racer called Threshold. Once again, stiffness is a key priority here with monstrously oversized tube proportions - especially in the roughly 50mm-tall chain stays - a tapered head tube, and a matching tapered all-carbon fork with a giant crown for sharp handling and shudder-free braking.

Additional features include a proper BB30 bottom bracket, internal rear brake routing, and a big stainless steel plate on the driveside chain stay to protect against chain suck.

Norco has also cleverly set up the Threshold for either geared or singlespeed drivetrains. In addition to fully swappable vertical or horizontal rear dropouts, designers have also made the down tube housing stops and front derailleur braze-on tab removable for a cleaner appearance.

Lest you think the Threshold is for racers only, there are even subtly hidden fender mounts front and rear with tiny eyelets incorporated into the fork tips, a drilled-through crown (which can also be used for a front brake hanger if desired), and rivnuts pressed into the back of the chain stay yoke and backside of the seat stay wishbone.

If you're so inclined, you can even run a belt drive, too.

Threshold will be available starting in August - just in time to get dirty for this year's cyclo-cross season.

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.

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