With its bright, flashy finish, the Norco Sight C2 SRAM is a real head turner and immediately stands out from the crowd of our North America’s Finest test field. Generating 160/150 of mm travel, it falls into the trail bike category and should therefore deliver a respectable performance both up and downhill. We tested the Sight to find out what it’s capable of!
For an overview of the test head to: North America’s Finest – 7 models in review
All big companies start out small, and even the first personal computer was born in a small suburban garage. Canadian bicycle manufacturer Norco was founded in 1964 as Northern Cycle Industries, with their first bikes being built not in a garage, but in a converted chicken coop right in the heart of British Columbia. What started off as a small brand created by passionate riders has developed into an international company with an extensive portfolio. The Canadians have always focused on the off-road segment and their model range includes everything from gravel bikes to rowdy enduro bruisers and big downhill machines. The Norco Sight C2 SRAM in this test combines 160/150 mm of travel at the front and rear, and rolls on 29″, tipping the scales at a very attractive 15.3 kg in size XL. Moreover, the Sight is also available as a 27.5″ version in all sizes. In Norco’s portfolio, the Sight sits right below their enduro bike, the Range, which featured in last year’s big enduro comparison test. The C2 SRAM spec variant we tested retails at $ 7,699 but isn’t available on the European market for the time being. That said, Norco have a bigger European distribution network than many of the other North American bike manufacturers. On Norco’s website you can find your nearest official dealer, but ordering directly from the website isn’t an option. The Ride Aligned Setup guide on Norco’s website makes it easier to choose the right frame size and also helps you with the initial setup, whether it’s the suspension, tires or saddle height.
The Ride Aligned Bike Setup Guide on Norco’s website makes it easy to choose your size and provides detailed setup recommendations for the suspension, tires and saddle height..
The Norco Sight C2 in detail
The Norco Sight C2 combines a carbon main frame and an alloy swingarm, and relies on a minimalist design language, all topped off with a bright blue finish and orange branding. A tool mount on the bottom of the top tube allows you to carry all your trail essentials, like a multitool, CO2 canister or a spare inner tube. All cables are routed internally and disappear into the frame just behind the head tube, only to reappear shortly before reaching the components where they’re needed. Unfortunately, the cables aren’t clamped securely at the ports, which causes them to rattle slightly on rough descents. A shuttle guard protects the frame when you throw the Sight on the back of a truck for an epic North Shore uplift day. The chainstay protector, on the other hand, is far too short, failing to prevent chain slap and paint chips on rough terrain.
The spec of our Norco Sight C2 SRAM test bike
For our North America’s Finest showdown we tested the Norco Sight C2 SRAM spec variant, which comes equipped with RockShox suspension. Norco combine a Lyrik Ultimate Charger 3 fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock, which both offer countless adjustment options and deliver impressive performance on the trail. As the name suggests, SRAM supply the groupset, consisting of a 12-speed SRAM GX drivetrain and SRAM CODE RSC four-piston brakes. These are paired with a 200 mm rotor at the front and smaller 180 mm disc at the rear. However, the latter is far too small for such a capable bike and tends to heat up far too easily, especially on long descents, resulting in poor braking performance and a vague bite point. We recommend running big 200 mm rotors front and rear. The TranzX +RAD dropper offers a massive 200 mm of travel, which can be reduced by up to 30 mm in 10 mm increments without the need for tools. For the cockpit, Norco combine their in-house 800 mm alloy handlebars with a Deity Ridgeline stem. The Norco Sight C2 rolls on a Stan’s Flow S2 alloy wheelset and MAXXIS tires, with an ASSEGAI at the front and Minion DHR II at the rear. Both tires come in the harder MaxxTerra rubber compound and puncture-prone EXO+ casing. We strongly recommend upgrading the front tire to a model with a softer rubber compound and, if you ride the Sight on rough terrain, using the more robust Doubledown casing front and rear.
Norco Sight C2
Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 160 mm
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH 150 mm
Seatpost: TranzX Dropper +RAD 200 mm
Brakes: SRAM CODE RSC 200/180mm
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem: Norco Alloy 40 mm
Bar: DEITY Ridgeline 800 mm
Wheels: Stans Flow S2 29/27,5"
Tires: MAXXIS ASSEGAI MaxxTerra EXO+/Minion DHR ll MaxxTerra EXO+ 2,5"/2,4"
Size: S M L XL
Weight: 15,3 kg
The geometry of the Norco Sight C2
The Norco Sight C2 SRAM is available in four sizes, S to XL, and rolls on 29” wheels. However, unlike most modern trail bikes, the Sight is also available in a 27.5″ version. Our 29″ test bike in size XL is rather long and aggressive for a trail bike, combining a slack 64° head tube angle and massive 515 mm reach. The 465 mm seat tube, on the other hand, is quite short, giving you plenty of space to move around. Chainstay length is 445 mm in size XL and grows with the frame size in 5 mm increments.
The Norco Sight C2 SRAM on the trail
The Norco Sight C2 SRAM places you in an upright pedalling position right above the bottom bracket, which is mainly due to the relatively steep seat tube angle. As a result, the sight is also suitable for long days in the saddle. On Whistler’s steep, technical climbs, the front wheel remains planted on the ground, while the rear Wheel always generates good traction. That said, the rear suspension bobs slightly when pedalling, so we recommend reaching for the climb switch on long, monotonous uphills.
Tuning Tip: Tire with more robust Doubledown casing for better puncture protection
When gravity takes over, the Norco integrates you nicely between its wheels, with the weight evenly distributed between the front and rear. This means that you don’t have to shift your weight around to keep the front wheel in check, even when negotiating wide, open corners. Furthermore, the balanced handling allows you to hold your line precisely without too much input. The combination of long reach, short seat tube and long-travel dropper post ensures plenty of freedom of movement on the bike. The suspension of the Norco Sight C2 provides tons of support and pop, making you feel as if you had more travel on tap and inspiring huge amounts of confidence in the process. The supportive suspension allows you to pump through rollers and berms but also provides direct feedback, clearly letting you know when you botch a landing, and reminding you how much travel you actually have at your disposal.
With the weight evenly distributed between the front and rear, the Norco Sight C2 feels nicely balanced.
Our conclusions about the Norco Sight C2 SRAM
The Norco Sight C2 SRAM is a potent trail bike that impresses above all with its balanced handling and poppy suspension, all topped off by plenty of freedom of movement on the bike. The rear suspension delivers a tremendous performance and only reaches its limits on very rough trails. Uphill, the front wheel always remains planted on the ground, while the pedalling position is comfortable enough even to embark on epic backcountry expeditions. The spec is pretty solid and only has a few minor flaws, but these are easy and cheap to upgrade. Finally, Norco’s Ride Aligned Bike Setup Guide makes it easy to dial in your ride.
- Plenty of freedom of movement
- Rear suspension provides plenty of pop and support
- Practical Ride Aligned System
- Cables rattle loudly against the frame
- Tires don’t do justice to the character and potential of the bike
You can find out more about at norco.com
The test field
For an overview of the test head to: North America’s Finest – 7 models in review
All bikes in test: Alchemy Arktos 150 (Click for review) | Chromag Lowdown 158 G2-Build (Click for review) | Devinci Chainsaw GX Enduro (Click for review) | Kona Process X CR (Click for review) | Norco Sight C2 | Transition Carbon Patrol X0 AXS (Click for review) | We are One Arrival 170 GX AXS (Click for review)
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Words: Mike Hunger Photos: Peter Walker