One of pinkbike’s differentiating features is their Tech Tuesday article that teaches followers how to build, fix and maintain different aspects of their bikes. From headsets to chains, forks to tires there are a ton of great articles archived in the Tech Tuesday File. This week’s article is about Mavic Wheels and adapting them to 142mm spacing. While we don’t all ride Mavic wheels the concept is the same for many wheel manufacturers. If you are not convinced that 142mm rear axle spacing is the best standard have a look at this article and see just how easy it is to convert your current wheel setup. (P.S. This also works for 157mm)
The Range is Norco’s new all-mountain model. Bucking the carbon-fiber trend (for now, at least), Norco crafts the Range’s carcass out of 6061-aluminum. The main frame is a sexy mix of hydroformed tubes replete with nice touches, including integrated dropper-post cable guides and a set of finger holds, molded into the rocker link, which allow for easier portaging during hike-a-bikes.
The rear end is a true Horst Link, four-bar affair. Norco has long licensed Specialized’s FSR suspension design, though they’ve tweaked it a bit in 2011 with an eye toward improving pedaling efficiency. The axle path now takes a more rearward trajectory, which, according to Norco, accomplishes two things: First, as the suspension compresses, it creates a bit of chain growth, which, while pedaling, extends the rear shock and reduces its tendency to bob; and second, it reduces the rear wheel’s tendency to hang up when tracking over roots and rocks.
When I was asked to test and review a 29er I was not sure how objective I could be for the type of bike. The majority of my riding has been on 26″ wheel bikes of various types. Hard tails, Dual Suspension XC, Freeride, and of course always a road bike in the quiver for some fast training rides.
The day the bike arrived I was eager to build it and see what it really felt like pedaling something with 29″ wheels. Bike build went smooth although I wasn’t comfortable with the brake housing. With a little trim and bleed all was good.
Norco Factory Team Rider Ludovic May out of Switzerland was out competing at the 2011 Megavalanche on his Norco Range. This is the largest Enduro/DH race in the world. Ludovic came into the finish in an impressive 9th place out of a massive 328 starters. Congratulations Ludo on a fantastic Result.
Here are the Top 10 Finishers from the 2011 Megavalanche
1 ABSALON Remy COMMENCAL (COMMENCAL France) 0:42:32,460 0:00:00
2 CLEMENTZ Jerome CANNONDALE (CANNONDALE France) 0:43:19,890 0:00:47
3 WILDHABER Rene TREK RED BULL (TREK Suisse) 0:43:30,000 0:00:57
4 VOUILLOZ Nicolas LAPIERRE (LAPIERRE France) 0:43:31,550 0:00:59
5 AMOUR Karim KONA (KONA France) 0:44:40,800 0:02:08
6 GIORDANENGO Olivier TRIBE SPORT GROUP YETI (YETI France) 0:44:46,720 0:02:14
7 BAILLY MAITRE Francois SCOTT LES SAISIES (SCOTT France) 0:45:05,030 0:02:32
8 GALY Theo TEAM PROBIKESHOP (ORANGE France) 0:45:08,220 0:02:35
9 MAY Ludovic NORCO FACTORY TEAM (NORCO Suisse) 0:45:35,860 0:03:03
10 BARNES Joe MTBCUT/ORANGE (ORANGE Scotland) 0:45:51,700 0:03:19
The Norco Shinobi is in a classification of its own when it comes to 29ers. There are a few similar bikes out there but not many. At 120/140mm of travel this bike is slacker, burlier and has more travel than your typical big-wheeler. That said, there are some that need convincing that this bike is really worthy. Well, pinkbike has been testing a Shinobi for the past few months and they are sold. Check out their review for the full story.
Norco’s 29″ wheeled Shinobi is the Canadian company’s stab at constructing a trail/all-mountain big wheeler that capitalizes on the advantages of 29″ wheels, but doesn’t forgo the sturdy B.C.-friendly pedigree that their bikes’ have become known for. This is no anorexic, skinny tired race steed, but rather a 120mm travel bike that will be happy to be ridden day in and day out on challenging terrain – no matter if that is climbing or coming back down. pb
The testing crew at Road Bike Action has been putting some miles on the 2011 Norco CRR2 and have some pretty good things to say. Road Riding or getting into racing on a budget and this is a great option. Read the full review here, or download the pdf.
NSMB.com has come out with a review of the 2011 Norco Range 2. As a 6″ travel all Mountain bike the Range 2 comes in at around $3700 CAN and offers the same advantages in pedaling and suspension as it’s higher end brothers the Range 1 and Range SE. Thinking about a new Do-All Mountain Bike then check out this review.
During the ride, Stuart and I were chatting about how bikes don’t seem to have big ‘wow’ type changes anymore. Not long after that, I thought to myself, “Wow, this bike really climbs well.” That’s when I realized that refinements to things like suspension designs can still have a wow factor, it’s just a little more subtle than the huge sweeping changes like when hydroformed tubing first came out, or the first 7” single crown fork was introduced.
The Range persisted on more gentle but cobbly climbs without losing traction or giving me any feeling of being held back. As long as my legs could keep going, the bike complied like a loyal dog. Getting up and out of the saddle on more technical climbs didn’t change how the Range acted at all; it just stuck to the ground and pressed on. I never felt that annoying tug of a bump trying to hold back the bike as the suspension compressed on the way up and over.
Team H&R Block may be a primarily Canadian road racing team but they are catching attention across the border in the USA. Team rider Sebastian Salas has a 20 questions interview in the latest issue of Road Magazine. Sebastian is racing this weekend in the Victoria Cycling Festival so watch for updates on the entire team in the days to come. In the meantime, read a little about Sebastian to hold you over.