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Introducing The 2015

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AT THE HEART OF NORCO RACE INNOVATION IS THE NORCO RACE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

THIS IS THE STORY OF THE AURUM CARBON KILLER B

Early Testing

Relentless Refinement

A little over three years ago, we introduced the Aurum DH Race platform. The inaugural Aurum was the first Norco to feature Gravity Tune geometry – a pioneering approach to frame design that has since become a standard feature across all of our premium mountain bikes. Gravity Tune, along with our Advanced Ride Technology suspension platform and the Aurum’s meticulously crafted race geometry combined to produce an exceptionally efficient DH Race machine.

Happy as we were with the original Aurum’s design and ride quality, our commitment to efficiency and constant refinement drives us ever forward. Surprising as it may be, we began work on the second generation Aurum before the original bike was even available in stores.

Jim Jamieson

Senior Product Manager

Owen Pemberton

Senior Design Engineer

“The goal wasn’t to change the Aurum, but to build on what was already a great bike.”
- Jim Jamieson

Leading up to the launch of the Sight and Range Killer B, our engineers and athletes conducted in-depth research and testing around the emerging 650B wheel size. The advantages for trail and all-mountain riding were clear and compelling, and we were keen to understand how they applied to World Cup DH racing.

Working with the athletes from the Dirt Norco Team and Team Norco International, we began testing modified Aurum frames with 650B wheels. Throughout this period, Norco engineers worked closely with our athletes to explore how modifications to the Aurum system could enable us to harness the capabilities of the larger wheels. Early results were promising.

Carbon Prototypes

The Complete Package

With the preliminary testing complete, design of the new frame began in earnest. At the outset of the project, we challenged ourselves to produce the lightest, fastest, most efficient and capable DH race bike possible. This conversation led us inevitably to carbon.

When most people think of carbon as a bicycle frame material, weight savings is likely the first benefit that comes to mind. The truth is, weight savings is only one of several carbon advantages. Working with carbon as a frame material affords designers and engineers the freedom to create tube shapes and frame structures to exacting specifications – ensuring maximum frame strength, efficiency and a defined ride feel. Carbon, as senior design engineer Owen Pemberton puts it, “is the complete package.”

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- Photos by Dan Barham

The next stage of the process involved countless hours of design work, spirited collaboration between Norco design staff and athletes on and off the trail and an exhaustive feedback process – work that forms the core of the Norco Race Development Program (NRD).

Years of research, development and testing culminated in a thrilling weekend in Port Angeles, Washington. Over the course of several rainy Pacific Northwest days in early 2014, Team Norco International, including Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson, were among the first of our World Cup athletes to put the new carbon frames to the test. Their reaction and performance confirmed that we were on the right track. Next, the real testing would begin. Only this time, it would take place on a much larger stage – with the world watching.

World cup 2014

Proving Grounds

Although the new frame had outperformed its predecessor in controlled testing, one critical trial remained: the 2014 World Cup season. The new frame’s performance throughout the punishing race season would have massive implications for our Race Development Program. Following the team camp in Port Angeles, Jill and Bryn used their time to get acquainted with their new bikes before the season opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

“The bikes are performing better than we could have ever hoped . . . from the very first run.” - Jill Kintner
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- Photos by Keith Valentine

As Bryn notes, “Any pro rider heading into a World Cup is going to want something reliable, and when riding a prototype that can sometimes be a bit questionable. But that’s one of the highlights of this bike: how reliable it is – and was last year . . . It was great to be able to debut that in South Africa.”

The day’s results were convincing: Bryn finished a solid top 25, and Jill earned a spot on the podium, her first of 2014.

Throughout the 2014 season – through the constant barrage of practice laps and race runs – the frame met and exceeded expectations. We were ready to shift our focus to production.

The Norco Factory Racing Team

The Next Generation

Though they played an instrumental role in its development, Jill and Bryn won’t be the only top athletes on the new bike this race season. Our all-new squad, the Norco Factory Racing Team, will be piloting the Aurum Killer B around the world at the 2015 UCI World Cup.

Norco Factory Racing consists of top World Cup finishers Sam Blenkinsop and Harry Heath, along with elite newcomer Jack Iles (5th overall as a Junior last year) and Junior Magnus Manson. They will be working under the sound guidance of team manager Todd Schumlick of PerformX Racing.

In the weeks leading up to the team announcement in November, we welcomed the new squad to our Vancouver offices to meet the design and engineering team and get a first ride on the Aurum Carbon – now in its final, production-ready form. It was amazing to witness this elite group of riders getting in first laps on some of our original local test tracks. Blessed with perfect temperatures and world-class late fall dirt, the first Norco Factory Racing camp was a huge success as it connected the athletes with the bikes and the people who designed them.

And though they hail from different backgrounds and each have their own, distinct style, the team riders were all equally impressed with the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that went into the new Aurum’s design. As Harry Heath said about the design team’s approach during our initial time together “It is exactly the way I approach my racing: always wanting to make that little thing better and better.”

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- Photos by Margus Riga

Key Technologies

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BETTER FRAME FIT FOR RIDERS OF ALL SIZES

With traditional frame designs, engineers adjust front-centre lengths for each frame size but use a single, fixed rear-centre length. This traditional design approach leaves riders of certain body types in a poor position when standing, and this uneven weight distribution negatively affects traction, control and overall performance and ride characteristics. Gravity Tune adjusts the rear center proportionally with the front center, which means that the rider’s weight is always optimally distributed – regardless of their height and the frame size they choose.

SUSPENSION KINEMATICS OPTIMIZED FOR DH RACE

Advanced Ride Technology is the direct link between engineering and experience. More than a single suspension platform, A.R.T. is a system that we optimize for each intended use. Norco’s engineering team strategically manipulates pivot locations to precision-tune suspension kinematics, ensuring that every full suspension bike will excel in the environment it was designed for. A.R.T. delivers four major benefits to riders: increased square-edge bump compliance, progressive suspension characteristics, improved braking performance and enhanced pedaling efficiency.

RACE DEVELOPED 650B GEOMETRY

WORLD CUP RACE DEVELOPED GEOMETRY

Years in the making, the Aurum’s geometry is a product of collaboration with our World Cup race teams, past and present. Designed from the dirt up around the 650B wheel and our Gravity Tune philosophy, the frame was tested and proven on the 2014 World Cup circuit. A 63-degree head angle and long wheelbase deliver stability at speed through rough terrain, while the low BB and unrivalled Gravity Tune weight distribution ensure maximum grip through corners. Thanks to input from team riders via our Norco Race Development Program, the new geo will enable riders to excel on the racecourse or in the park.

INTEGRATED PROTECTION

CUSTOM, ADAPTABLE FRAME PROTECTION

DH bikes are some of the most routinely abused in the bike world. However, we believe they should be built to take the punishment, shrug it off and ask for more. Whether it’s a rock striking the down tube at Mach 10, a dirt and grit covered machine being thrown into the bed of the pickup for one more lap, or the relentless biting of chain on chain stay, our integrated frame protectors offer the Aurum the protection it deserves. These custom frame guards are designed to offer maximum protection while integrating seamlessly into the frame’s aesthetic.

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PROGRESSIVE CARBON DESIGN

A STRONGER, LIGHTER FRAME

We adhered to a strict design philosophy to realize our goal of producing a highly efficient carbon structure. Simplified tube cross sections meet and blend seamlessly with one another at all junctions. SmoothCore mandrels enable us to maintain precise control over the inner surfaces of the frame, particularly critical at complicated, high stress areas like the head tube and bottom bracket junctions. Our superior ArmorLite resin further enhances frame strength and impact resistance. As a result, the new frame is the toughest, most resilient DH frame we’ve ever made, inside and out.

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142X12 OPTIMIZED FOR 7SPD

OPTIMAL GEARING & CHAINLINE, ENHANCED CLEARANCE

The first groupsets truly optimized for DH racing, 7-speed drivetrains deliver the full gear range needed by racers and offer more useful jumps between gears. We are such strong believers in the 7-speed DH system that we designed the full Aurum lineup around it, using 142 x 12 mm rear spacing. Though it is narrower than usual for a DH bike, we chose to employ a 142 x 12 throughout the line because it offers a number of significant advantages to the rider, including an optimized chainline for the 7-speed system, improved heel and trail hazard clearance and a lighter rear wheel.

Available Models

Aurum C7.1 ENVE

Aurum C7.1

Aurum C7.2

Aurum C7.3

Frame

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Carbon 650B 200mm travel

Carbon 650B 200mm travel

Carbon 650B 200mm travel

Carbon 650B 200mm travel

Shifter Derailleur

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Sram XO 1 DH 7 speed

Sram XO 1 DH 7 speed

Sram XO 1 DH 7 speed

Shimano Zee 10 speed/Shadow(7spd)

Crankset

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SRAM X01 DH carbon 34T

SRAM X01 DH carbon 34T

Race Face Respond DH 165mm 36T

Race Face Respond DH 165mm 36T

Rims Hubs

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ENVE M90/DT 240

DT EX 471/DT 350

DT EX 471/ DT 350

Sun Inferno 29 Formula DHT/Alloy

Suspension / Fork

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Cane Creek double barrel coil/ Rockshox Boxxer World Cup 650B, 200mm

Cane Creek double barrel coil/ Rockshox Boxxer World Cup 650B, 200mm

Rockshox Vivid RC2C Coil/ Rockshox Boxxer Team

Rock shox Kage RC Coil/ Rockshox Boxxer RC

Brakes

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Sram Guide RSC 4 piston

Sram Guide RSC 4 piston

Sram Guide RS 4 piston

Shimano Zee

Bar Stem

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Race Face Six C carbon / Race Face ATLAS Direct Mount

Race Face Six C carbon / Race Face ATLAS Direct Mount

Race Face Respond / Norco Direct Mount

Spank Spoon / Spank Director Direct Mount

Seatpost

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Norco T6 Aluminum

Norco T6 Aluminum

Norco T6 Aluminum

SDG I-Beam

Tires

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Schwalbe Magic Mary 650Bx2.35

Schwalbe Magic Mary 650Bx2.35

Schwalbe Magic Mary 650Bx2.35

Maxxis Minion 650Bx2.35

Saddle

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WTB High Tail DH Chromoly

WTB High Tail DH Chromoly

WTB High Tail DH Chromoly

SDG I-Fly, I-Beam

NORCO RACE DEVELOPMENT:
WE MAKE YOU FASTER