The Norco Sight C1 isn’t a full-on enduro bike according to the Canadian brand. Instead, it’s positioned between their trail bike, the Optic and the now somewhat outdated Range enduro bike. After a promising first ride review, we were excited to see how it would fare against the competition.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020

Norco Sight C1 29 | 160/150 mm | 14.62 kg | € 6,999

Almost every enduro bike on the market today is “long and slack”. However, few are as packed full of smart details as the Norco Sight C1, which combined 160 mm travel up front with 150 mm at the rear. The stock bike comes equipped with a 170 mm dropper post, made possible by the very short seat tube and the equally low top tube to offer the most possible freedom of movement. Apart from that, Norco have opted to vary the length of the rear end to suit the length of the front triangle across the range of available sizes to achieve optimal weight distribution for each frame size. Besides offering enough space for a water bottle, there are additional mounting points in the front triangle for a spare tube and tools. The components on the € 6,999 Sight C1 are equally trimmed for real-world performance. The RockShox suspension consisting of a Lyrik Ultimate fork and a Super Deluxe Ultimate shock perform just as well as the CODE RSC brakes and the DT Swiss M1700 wheelset. Although the aluminium cockpit won’t wow you quite as much, there is nothing to fault with the Deity handlebar and Norco stem. A setup guide on the Norco website gives you all the information you need to dial in the setup to suit your weight and riding style – nice!

Unnecessary
The rear end of the Sight C1 was quickly blemished with unsightly paint chips – in this day and age, this shouldn’t happen anymore.
Convenient
The mounting points on the top tube allow you to attach a spare tube or tools with the help of a base plate and strap similar to what Wolf Tooth offer.
Unfortunately, they rattle
Although the cables are attached to the bottom of the down tube, they kept on rattling on our test bike – we recommend sorting this out the minute you buy the bike.

Norco Sight C1 29

€ 6,999

Specifications

Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 160 mm
Rear Shock RockShox SuperDeluxe Select+ 150 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 175 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle 32 - 10/50
Stem Norco Alu 40 mm
Handlebar Deity Ridgeline 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss M1700 Spline 29

Technical Data

Size S, M, L, XL
Weight 14.62 kg


Firm and direct
Compared to the FOX X2 shock on the Sight C2, the suspension of the Sight C1 feels much firmer and more direct with the RockShox Super Deluxe fitted.
Lots of freedom of movement
A highlight of the new Sight is the short and straight seat tube, which allows Norco to spec a long dropper post. This gives you maximum freedom of movement and instils you with confidence on steep terrain.
Good value for money
If you’re looking for something to upgrade to save some weight and add a little bling-bling, the cockpit would be the place to do it. That said, from a functional standpoint, there’s nothing to fault here.

Geometry and size of the Norco

Norco know that it takes more than long reach or a slack head angle to make a great bike. The Canadian brand are one of the few that haven’t spared the effort of adapting the length of the chain stays to suit the length of the front triangle on every frame size for a more balanced bike. On top of that, they’ve also kept the top tube low and the seat tube short and straight throughout. In combination with a long dropper post, this gives you as much freedom of movement as possible on the Sight and more fun and confidence on the trail.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 370 mm 395 mm 435 mm 465 mm
Top tube 564 mm 593 mm 621 mm 649 mm
Head tube 90 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 64.0° 64.0° 64.0° 64.0°
Seat angle 77.0° 77.3° 77.7° 78.0°
Chainstays 430 mm 435 mm 440 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm
Wheelbase 1,183 mm 1,222 mm 1,262 mm 1,301 mm
Reach 425 mm 455 mm 485 mm 515 mm
Stack 603 mm 612 mm 621 mm 630 mm
Helmet 100% Trajecta | Goggles 100% Armega | Shirt SCOTT Trail Progressive L/SL Shirt | Shorts Fox Ranger | Knee pads Fox Launch Pro

The Norco Sight C1 29 on the trail

The moment you swing a leg over the Norco Sight, you’ll hear a voice in your head whispering “Ride it like you stole it”. The long front triangle combined with the low slung top tube gives you plenty of freedom to move around. This motivates you to stay loose on the bike and get it sideways as you hit turns, flicking it playfully through corners. Despite its length, the bike is well balanced and you’ll always have enough weight on the front wheel. On the descents, you feel well integrated between the wheels. With the Super Deluxe shock installed, the rear linkage is rather firm and direct, resulting in a poppy feel that gives you plenty of feedback from the trail. While this makes for very agile handling, a little more sensitivity would improve the traction on offer.

The Norco Sight C1 29 rewards an active riding style with tons of speed!

On fast, big hits the rear end also hardens noticeably, transmitting the impacts on to the rider. If you want to go fast and rough on the Sight C1, it’ll do so without flinching but you’ll simply have to hold on to the handlebar that much tighter. However, what is annoying is the loud rattling from the chain hitting the metal chainstay where the protector is way too short. Thanks to its steep seat tube angle and efficient suspension, the Norco will get you up the climbs without issue. The rider is positioned very centrally and upright on the bike, making easy work of climbs.

Steep seat tube angle meets efficient suspension – climbing couldn’t be more relaxed on the Sight.

How does the Norco Sight C1 compare?

Norco might not be labelling the Sight C1 an enduro bike, but it doesn’t have any problems keeping up with most of the bikes in the test field. The suspension feels very similar to that of the Trek Slash, but the longer geometry is more composed and makes it more capable on the climbs. In rougher terrain, it’s the lack of traction on the rear that has it falling behind bikes like the RAAW Madonna or the Specialized Enduro.

Tuning tip: properly fasten the cables | extend the chainstay protector

Riding Characteristics

12

Uphill

1
  1. sluggish
  2. efficient

Agility

2
  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

3
  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

4
  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Suspension

5
  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

6
  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

7
  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use

XC

8

Trail

9

Enduro

10

Downhill

11

Conclusion

The Norco Sight C1 29 is one of the best bikes on the market for those who are out to have fun. It’ll win you over with its lively, agile handling, excellent climbing characteristics and huge freedom of movement. It is only when the trail becomes very rough that the firm tune of the rear suspension can’t keep up with the better bikes in the test field. There is also room for improvement in terms of the quality of the workmanship.

Tops

  • very lively and fun handling
  • excellent climbing characteristics
  • a lot of freedom of movement on the descents

Flops

  • rear-end struggles absorbing hard impacts
  • rattling cables
  • paint damage to the chainstay

You can find out more about the Norco Sight C1 29 at norco.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 LTD | CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 | Giant Reign Advanced 29 0 | Ibis Mojo HD5 | Norco Sight C1 29 | Nukeproof Mega 275C RS | Nukeproof Mega 290C Pro | Orbea Rallon M-LTD | Pole Stamina 180 LE | RAAW Madonna V2 FOX Factory Built | Rocky Mountain Slayer Carbon 90 29 | Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Reserve | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 2020 | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Trek Slash 9.9 X01 AXS | Yeti SB150 T2 | YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer / Finlay Anderson / Markus Frühmann

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for ENDURO. He’s known as the guy in charge of the bi-monthly magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.