The Norco Range C1 looks pretty much like a mini-DH bike. No wonder that Norco’s Factory Team has already deployed the Range in several DH World Cups, albeit with slight modifications. But how does it stack up against the competition in our 2023 enduro group test and how does it fare as an all-rounder?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2023 – 14 models in review

Norco Range C1 | 170/170 mm (f/r) | 29″
17.2 kg in size L | € 9,999 | Manufacturer’s website

The Norco Range C1 is one of three high-pivot bikes in our 2023 enduro group test. With high-pivot suspension designs, the main pivot is positioned well above the top of the chainring, allowing the rear wheel to swing up and backwards during an impact. However, unlike the other two high-pivot bikes in this test, the Hope and Deviate, the Norco employs a high virtual pivot design and not a fixed pivot point on the frame. The Norco Range generates 170 mm of travel front and rear and is the heaviest analogue bike in this group test, tipping the scales at an impressive 17.2 kg. The € 9,999 Canadian bruiser is only available with 29″ wheels and is already a heavyweight on paper. The comprehensive Ride Aligned Bike Setup Guide on Norco’s website makes it easier to choose the right frame size and helps you with the initial suspension setup.

The Norco Range C1 2022 in detail

With its austere black finish and grey decals, the Range C1 enters the race with an understated look. Upon closer inspection, however, you’ll notice the fine, glittering texture of the paint, which makes for a classy and unique look. The frame has a tool mount on the top tube, a bash guard at the chainring and a chain guide on the idler pulley. A wide TPU plate shields the downtube from stray rocks while a skid plate protects the lower rocker link. This is indispensable, because the lower rocker link sits deep under the bottom bracket and tends to smash into rocks and ledges when the suspension compresses. Most cables of the Norco are securely clamped at the ports – all but the dropper post cable, which makes an annoying rattling noise on the trail.

Big boy
In slow trail sections and tight switchbacks, the Norco feels a little sluggish and requires major physical effort.

The spec of the Norco Range C1 2022

The Range C1 comes equipped with high-end FOX Factory suspension, consisting of a 38 mm GRIP2 fork and DHX2 coil shock, which makes the Norco one of three coil bikes in test. Both the fork and shock feature external low- and high-speed compression and rebound adjustments and the shock comes with a climb switch. The rear suspension kinematics were designed specifically around the DHX2 Factory shock, which is why it’s specced across the entire model range. The OneUp V2 dropper post offers an impressive 210 mm of travel and is paired with an ergonomic remote. SRAM CODE RSC four piston brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties. The top-end RSC lever features tool free bite point and reach adjustments and SRAM’s proprietary SwingLink technology, which is meant to improve modulation and braking performance. Shifting is taken care of by a cable-operated, 12-speed SRAM X01 drivetrain. However, Norco resort to a cheaper GX Eagle cassette, which is 90 g heavier than its X01 counterpart, but doesn’t bring any disadvantages to the trail. DEITY supply the 800 mm Skywire carbon handlebars. The dropper remote and shifter are connected to the brake levers via Matchmakers, ensuring a tidy cockpit. For the wheels, Norco rely on fellow Canadians We Are One Composites, combining their heavy-duty Union rim with Onyx Vesper hubs. The rims are wrapped up in robust MAXXIS tires with the tough Doubledown casing, with a 29×2.5″ ASSEGAI at the front and 29×2.5″ DISSECTOR at the rear. Both tires come in the soft MaxxGrip rubber compound, which generates excellent traction but also translates into a shorter service life at the rear.

Low rider
The lower rocker link sits deep under the bottom bracket and tends to smash into rocks and ledges when the suspension extends – thank goodness for the skid plate!
Upside down
Given the unusual position of the chain, the chainstay protector is replaced by a seat stay protector.
The rear end employs interchangeable (and separately available) dropout adapters, allowing you to adapt chainstay length to your needs and preferences.
The We Are One Composites Union wheels are a rare sight. On the Norco, they perfectly match the black frame.
Tailor made
All Range models share the same FOX DHX2 Factory shock, which served as a reference for designing the Norco’s rear suspension kinematics.

Norco Range C1

€ 9,999


Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory 170 mm
Seatpost OneUp Dropper Post V2 210 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX Eagle 1x12
Stem Norco Alu 45 mm
Handlebar DEITY Skywire Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset We are one Composites Union Carbon 29"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI, Doubledown, 3C MaxxGrip/MAXXIS DISSECTOR, Doubledown, 3C MaxxGrip 2.5/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 17.2 kg

Specific Features

Tool mount

The geometry of the Norco Range C1 2022

The Norco Range C1 combines a very short 410 mm seat tube and 480 mm reach. Together with the long-travel dropper post, which can be fully inserted into the frame, this ensures plenty of freedom of movement on the bike and allows you to choose the frame size based on the desired reach. Like with other bikes in this test, the chainstays of the Range grow with the frame size, providing consistent handling across all sizes. Since the variable chainstay length is achieved by using interchangeable (and separately available) dropout adapters, this can be freely configured to suit your needs and preferences. However, Norco go one step further, adapting the seat and head angle to the respective frame size. In other words, as the frame size grows, the seat angle steepens up while the head angle slackens.

The Ride Aligned Bike Setup Guide on Norco’s website makes it easy to choose the right frame size and helps you with the initial suspension setup.

Größe S M L XL
Saet tube 370 mm 395 mm 410 mm 455 mm
Top tube 568 mm 598 mm 628 mm 658 mm
Head tube 100 mm 115 mm 130 mm 145 mm
Head angle 63.8° 63.5° 63.3° 63.0°
Seat angle 76.5° 76.8° 77.0° 77.3°
Chainstay 440 mm 440 mm 443 mm 448 mm
BB Drop 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm
Wheelbase 1,203 mm 1,243 mm 1,285 mm 1,329 mm
Reach 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm 510 mm
Stack 618 mm 630 mm 641 mm 653 mm
Helmet Fox Speedframe | Glasses Alpina RAM HR Q-Lite | Jersey Fox Calibrated Long Sleeve | Pants Fox Flexair | Shoes Specialized 2FO ClipLite

The Norco Range C1 2022 on the trail

The Norco Range C1 puts you in a comfortable pedalling position and is perfectly suitable for long rides but positions you far back above the rear wheel on climbs. Although the front wheel always remains planted on the ground, we recommend pushing the saddle far forward, as this will prevent you from having to actively weight the front for more traction, especially if you spend lots of time on steep climbs. That being said, the heavy Range is more of a leisurely climber anyway. On top of that, the shock bobs noticeably when pedalling, so we recommend reaching for the climb switch on long, monotonous climbs. The other two high pivot bikes in this test, the Deviate and Hope, have a more efficient rear suspension and are easier to pedal uphill.

The Norco Range is a rowdy trail machine. Even in the roughest rock gardens, it feels composed and generates plenty of traction while inspiring tons of confidence in the process.

Flying carpet
The Range comes to life in rough trail sections, where it feels extremely composed and inspires huge amounts of confidence.

When shredding your way back into the valley, the Range integrates you deep into the frame and convinces with easy and intuitive handling, inspiring huge amounts of confidence. The weight is evenly distributed between the front and rear but on flat trails, you’ll have to actively weight the front wheel to keep it tracking. In a nutshell, the Norco is the most composed bike in the entire test field and not even the other two high-pivot bikes can keep up with it – only the heavy Yeti 160E gets close. With its sensitive suspension, the Range is the ideal companion for rowdy shredding sessions. It doesn’t get overwhelmed too easily and sticks to the ground even in the nastiest rock gardens, generating tons of traction in the process. Even with big jumps and in fast, open corners, it remains composed and inspires huge amounts of confidence, mainly because with high pivot suspension designs, the wheelbase increases as the suspension compresses. At the same time, the suspension doesn’t blow through its travel on hard landings. However, the extraordinary composure comes at the expense of nimble handling, and as a result the Norco is less agile than the Deviate or Hope, forcing you to to work relatively hard to balance the bike back and forth in slow and narrow trail sections.

Tuning tip: Push the saddle forward for easier climbing

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The Norco Range C1 is a massive yet understated and elegant high pivot bruiser. The solid spec can be dialled in easily using the Ride Aligned Bike Setup Guide. The sensitive suspension and integrated riding position convey huge amounts of confidence while the stoic composure makes it the perfect bike for rowdy high-speed sessions and rough terrain. In slow sections and tight corners, however, the Range requires more physical effort.


  • Stoic composure
  • Inspires huge amounts of confidence
  • Ride Aligned system offers practical advice
  • Robust spec


  • Cables rattle against the frame
  • Requires plenty of physical effort in technical terrain

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2023 – 14 models in review

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 8 (Click for review) | Deviate Claymore (Click for review) | Hope HB916 (Click for review) | Intense Tracer 279 S (Click for review) | MERIDA ONE-SIXTY 8000 (Click for review) | Mondraker Carbon Foxy RR (Click for review) | Norco Range C1 | Santa Cruz Megatower X01 AXS RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Nomad X01 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ 170/165 (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review) | Yeti SB160 T3 (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.