Eurobike 2014: Norco

For anyone interested in dirty, drop bar goodness, there was plenty to get us excited over at Canadian brand Norco’s Eurobike booth. Better known for its mountain bikes, Norco has spread the love to the drop bar brigade with the Search gravel range and the Threshold cross race machine.

Norco Search Ultegra

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As you might expect for a brand based in the dirt, its not a surprise that they’ve got behind the latest drop bar trend – Gravel bikes. Whatever we think of the term, this new breed of capable, drop bar machines with wider tyres and usually sporting disc brakes are hear to stay and this top spec Norco Search had plenty of details worthy of note.

The frame itself is full carbon, which Norco describes as mid-modulous. Less brittle than the stiffest of  high-mod fibres this lower modulous frame is likely well suited to adventures away from the black stuff. Less likely to be damaged by small impacts and transferring less road buzz to the rider.

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Tubing is shapes to try to isolate the rider from as much of the trail as possible, with barely a straight tube in sight. This Arc Endurance system certainly gives the frame a more organic form than many more angular offerings we saw elsewhere. One particular visually appealing area  is the rear dropout. Aside from the 142 x 12mm through axle fittings, the whole assembly was super neat

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Tubing dimensions vary with model size, so the ride should be similar for high towers and umpah lumpahs alike, and with clearance for 40c tyres, a longish wheelbase (up to 1045mm) and good bb drop (between 67.5 and 72,5mm) this baby should rail the turns with aplomb.

A 105 equipped version will be €2000 and this Ultegra version €2800.

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Norco Threshold A1

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Aimed at the racer as well as those who want to play the Threshold range is deisgned for performance. The Oversize aluminium on this A1 model is likely to offer handsome resistance to flex when you go for the holeshot. That said, it does share some of the curved shaping of the Search rear end, so hopefully it wont hammer home the messages from the race course too hard.

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Alongside the tapered steerer, through axle (15mm) fork, there are many other touches that should make the  bike quite versatile away from the race tapes. Removable fender mounts are neat and both the fork and rear end are fitted with  fixtures for weather protection.

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We’re looking forward to seeing how these turn out price wise in the UK and hope to get at least one of these interesting rides in to test in the near future. We’ll keep you posted.

 

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