Review by Canadian Cyclist
In 2012 Norco introduced a new line of road bikes, called the Valence. Consisting of 14 separate models – carbon and alloy, men’s and women’s – the Valence is Norco’s response to the growing demand for what is referred to as the ‘Endurance’ segment of the road market. Specialized was one of the earliest brands to recognize it with their Roubaix line, but by now pretty much every manufacturer has at least a few models.
The Valence and others of its ilk are designed for the serious non-racer. Whether they ride in organized events like GranFondos and long distance charity rides, or ride on their own, there has been an increasing recognition that bikes designed for racing are not necessarily the best for most types of riding.
The 2013 Valence C2, 60 cm as tested
If you are not racing, you are likely willing to sacrifice some performance efficiency for comfort, especially on long rides. A race bike may be the most efficient at transmitting power, but it is also more likely to beat you up on less than pristine surfaces and demand less comfortable aerodynamic positioning. That doesn’t mean that you need to accept a bike that is a wet noodle, and won’t perform; just that there is a rational trade-off between performance and comfort.
We tested one of the carbon versions of the Valence, the C2 model, which sits squarely in the middle of the carbon range. All five of the carbon models share the same geometry, plus there is one carbon Forma model, Forma being Norco’s women’s specific designation. The top two models, the Di2 and C1, feature a higher quality (and slightly lighter) carbon matrix than the C2, C3 and C4 models.
If we compare the Valence to Norco’s race model, the Tactic, we can see visibly noticeable differences in the frame geometry. The head tube on the Valence is half a degree slacker (for my 60 cm test bike), the seat tube a full degree less, the wheelbase is 13 mm longer and the head tube length is a significant 45 mm more.
Read the full review at canadiancyclist.com