There is a ton of hype floating around these days on the 2012 Norco lineup. Much of this chatter is centered around the flagship DH rig called the Aurum. The budget-friendly Aurum 2 model was highlighted recently in MBUK magazine. Check out these remarks on the bike that everyone is talking about.
Still got that showroom shine after 4 months of Pacific Northwest winter riding. This winter I conducted some long-term testing aboard Norco’s latest DH offering – the Aurum. In December I shared my initial thoughts on the overall bike and build, all of which were impressive. The bright yellow Aurum gets attention wherever it goes; it’s fresh, light and fast like a McDonald’s salad or something.
Traction was never a problem onboard the Aurum, thanks to a refined FSR suspension and 3C Minions. It’s evident that Norco designed this bike in conjunction with World Cup racers because they nailed all the essentials and then some. Furthermore, it’s proven in its first year of production, which is rarely accomplished. I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw the newly designed bike last year, even more impressed after my first ride and sold after 3 months. If you have read other reviews of mine your aware I actually ride the bikes, like to the max. This usually fast tracks a bikes weakness and or strengths. The Aurum showed no weakness; however, I did find room for improvement with the build.
Despite the Aurum’s race geo it still pedals better than I expected even with the lackluster Vivid. The Aurum fits and feels natural with no quirky features or marketing ploys. Everything serves a purpose and is seamlessly integrated into the frame. From the integrated fork bumpers and seat collar to the clever breakaway hanger system. Cable routing is clean and simple running straight back externally under the top tube and down the seat stay. Smart routing means your cables work and last longer and when the time comes time to replacement it’s only a five-minute job. Read the full review at nsmb.com
Flowinger is a German rider that has been with Norco for several years now. He recently up-sized from a Truax to the Aurum and was blown away by the speed, control and acceleration of the DH platform. Here is a video from a trip to Italy that shows just how much fun Flow has been having on the new bike
Ever since watching the Follow Me premier and seeing Steve Smith and Gee Atherton ride the trails in Queenstown, New Zealand I have had a fixation on going there. So when my family started planning a month long trip to New Zealand I was ecstatic to finally get a chance to ride there. After months of planning and preparation we had dates set. I was first going to do some backpacking in Australia then meet up with my parents in Queenstown on February 28th .
Being my first time out of the country since I was diagnosed with Leukemia in April, 2011 I was a bit nervous to board my flight. Usually, flights are just another part of the journey for me but this flight was special. My journey started in Vancouver with the long direct flight to Auckland from there it was on to Brisbane. My two weeks in Australia was spent doing what any budget traveler does: staying in suspect hostels and eating the cheapest food you can find. Regardless, I had an amazing time and only wish I got to spend a little longer in Australia.
After leaving the backpacking life behind in Australia I was introduce to the complete opposite way of travel life: delicious food and awesome accommodation courtesy of my parents. The next portion of my trip was what I had really been waiting for, riding my bike in Queenstown, New Zealand. For most our stay in Queenstown friend and fellow racer, Remi Gauvin, stayed with us. Remi had been in New Zealand for almost a month already racing the New Zealand National Rounds. We had not even been in Queenstown for an hour and had already built up our bikes and headed to the Skyline Gondola for the first run. The bike park in Queenstown is located right downtown so riding is central and easy to access. The first laps were some of the best and riding on dusty trails was an awesome change to BC winter slop. Trails in the bike park are similar to what you except from any well-established bike park. Hammy’s Track, a green trail with an awesome flow and perfect for beginners; Vertigo, a mix of high-speed berms and jumps; and World Cup, a steep track with lots of lines and no shortage of technical sections much as you’d expect any World Cup track to be like. These trails along with a host of other awesome trails made the bike park in Queenstown a perfect place for off-seas on training.
Along with my downhill bike, I also brought my cross-country bike o New Zealand. There are arguably just as many or more XC/all-mountain trails in Queenstown as there are downhill trails. The guys working at Outside Sports in Queenstown were awesome and helped us find out about the XC trails as well as gave us any assistance we needed maintaining our bikes after such intense riding. Of the great XC trails I rode my personal favorites were the Seven Mile Track and Moonlight Track. Each was totally different. Seven Mile is a collection of trails located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and Moonlight is a backcountry mountain trail that weaves its way behind the Skyline Gondola. My only disappointment was that I wish I got to ride more XC trails while I was there.
Much like Whistler, a lot of the best trails weren’t located in the bike park but rather accessible by shuttle in the mountains surrounding Queenstown. The Queenstown Bike Taxi is a locally owned and operated downhill bike shuttle service that charges a small per-lap fee and will shuttle you for as many laps as you can ride. We did shuttles to Wynyards, home of the Dream Track, Dirt Park, Zoot’s Track and the Remarkables track.
The riding available in Queenstown is immense from a lift-access bike park to amazing shuttle service to unreal bike shops and best of all world-class trails. With all the options available I thought the downhill riding in the Queenstown area was some of the best I’ve rode and I really hope I get to come back again.
The team at VitalMTB has put together a bike check with Dirt Norco Team rider Duncan Riffle. See what his race setup looks like for the upcoming race in South Africa a mere few days away.
The development of the 2012 Norco Aurum is pretty closely tied to Dirt Magazine through riders Ben Reid, Dan Stanbridge and the newest team addition Duncan Riffle. With the input of Ben and Dan and an arduous development process the result of this partnership is an all new breed of Norco downhill bikes – The Norco Aurum. Given the tie between Norco, the team and Dirt Magazine it is only fitting that the gear team at Dirt review the Aurum to give their 2 cents in the matter.
After a rigorous testing process, this is what they had to say. Want do download the article? Here is the PDF
Adelaide, South Australia, Feb 26,2012 – Leaving the nice mild temperatures and comfort of home in the Blue Mountains, Bryn and I set off on a little road trip for the Aussie National Mountain Bike Championships in Adelaide… South Australia is know to be ridiculously hot, so we rented a big 6 passenger motor-home to battle the heat. Temperatures were between 37-40 degrees Celsius (about 100F), so our air conditioned rig was much needed relief throughout the week.
With the World Cup Downhill season only a few weeks away, this race was perfect to get a feel for competition against one the most talented country in our sport. With Names Like Sam Hill, Troy Brosnan, Chris Kovarik, Bryn Atkinson, Jared Graves, Rhys Willemse, Mitch Delfs, Tracey Hannah, etc, there was some serious depth to the elite fields. Juniors in OZ are on the radar as well, with times that place on elite podiums by the winner of under 19 male- Connor Fearon.
With four days of practice on a fairly basic course, race day was all about squeezing every bit of speed out of the track, staying hydrated, and keeping good traction on the loose skatey soil.
This course flowed along the ridge line up top exposing riders to wind, then dropped into a couple steep rocky shoots, followed by a little wooded section in the middle, a rock garden, then into some man made switchbacks and jumps. I thought it was fun to ride.
Spectators were pretty set up as well with a live camera feed of nearly the entire run of each rider. 3 minute intervals, 2 minute course. Big-screens always makes a great viewing event for the fans!! Another highlight was the wildlife in the trees, not every day you can stop on the side of a track, look up and see Koalas 2 feet from you munching on gum leaves:)
Seeding was on the Saturday afternoon, 39 degrees out, filthy hot, I laid down a pretty strong run and came second by only .8 off Tracy Hannah who is a former World Cup winner. Primed for the final, I was making up time in a really solid race run when I got a rear flat towards the bottom of the run. Tracey took the win, and I still managed 2nd sliding all around, 8 seconds off.
Bryn’s final run was solid, it looked smooth and fast watching from the jumbo-tron. Clocking in more confidence and experienced race runs vs. World’s best downhillers, Bryn adds another podium to his collection for 5th place here. Just a small mistake in the rock garden cost him those fractions of time. I have video footage of the top 6, coming soon…
Troy Brosnan won the Elite Men’s title of Aussie Champ with what looked like a flawless run. Sam Hill finished 2nd to his teammate, while Rhys Willemse took 3rd, Chris Kovarik 4th, Bryn, Jared Graves 6th, Delfs 7th, Bryn’s little bro- Rhys Atkinson for 8th.
Leaving this race with 2 podiums and some good test time on our Aurum’s, we’re both looking forward to getting the World Cup season started off strong in South Africa.
Thanks again to all our sponsors!!!! We got a lot of people coming by to check out our bikes. big thanks to Norco Australia (Advanced Traders) for helping us out with the motor home! Best pit zone ever. On the way home, We drove along The great Ocean Road which is a sight not to be missed. Australian Coast line is beautiful. Glad we could combine a little life experience with business.
WORDS BY: Jill Kintner
FULL RESULTS HERE: http://www.castech.com.au
We’d like to thank the following companies for their support:
Red Bull, NORCO Bicycles, Crank Brothers, Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Renthal, Maxxis, 5.10, e*13, Dakine, Oakley, Fi:z’ik, Cane Creek, Motorex, Stan’s Tubeless, Alpinestars, Tld, Park Tool, Cti, and eSoles.
Team Norco International is a Satellite Downhill mountain bike race team consisting of 2 elite riders- Bryn Atkinson and Jill kintner. Founded in 2012, the aim of the program is to Dominate races Worldwide.
Original posting from dirt.mpora.com
It was an exciting day at Dirt Norco HQ today as this years Dirt Norco team Aurum downhill bikes arrived ready for the first race in South Africa now only a few weeks away.
A big thanks to Dirt, Norco, Sram, Thomson, Schwalbe, Gamut, Kore handlebars and SunRingle for an awesome bike which we are really looking forward to racing this year. Here are some first shots as Ben’s bike gets built up.
The 1992 Norco Rampage was the first Mountain bike to be engineered specifically for use with a suspension fork. Before this time, if a bike utilized front suspension there was a geometry tradeoff based on the elevated front end and slacked, tall geometry. This change was a big deal!
Looking at where bikes are today and this small modification some 20 years back seems almost inconsequential; but, looking at the bike as a whole, it is a series of these small changes that have made a world of difference. One change drives another, one advantage spurs more progress. Before you know it, we are looking at a whole different era of bicycles, technology and performance.
The Rampage in it’s original form may not seem relevant today but it now represents the theory of Norco development. This bike came out of a need and desire for a performance suspension mountain bike. Through the development of one technology, others needed to change in order to get the most benefit out of the whole ensemble.
What started with a frame re-design ballooned into nearly every other aspect of the bike being replaced with something stronger, lighter, faster and in every way better. The Brakes went from Canti to V, then to disk. Shifting went from 7 through the range up to 10 speeds, steel became alloy or carbon. Each aspect of the bike is a symbol of the evolution the bicycle has taken. Each aspect of this bike represents an important step in the creation of your bike today.
Today, we look at a bike like the 2012 Norco Aurum and again we see the same principles driving development. Features such as hydroforming, tapered head-tubes and A.R.T suspension are all the result of a need or desire materialized on a bike. Thinking back to the original geometry change of the Rampage. This subtle yet racical change is again realized with the launch of Gravity Tune. Offering bikes with geometry tuned for the specific size of a rider seems like a no-brainer. Riders of different heights have different needs when it comes to geometry. Designing the Aurum with specific height and weight distribution characteristics for the rider seemed like a natural and necessary step.
It has only been about a month since I made the announcement of my change over to Norco Bicycles for the 2012 season. I have had my new Aurum downhill bike for about three weeks now. I have tried to get out on it as much as possible since it arrived and found that I got used to it very quickly. So much so, that I felt good enough to head down to the Forest of Dean for one of their winter races.
The Forest of Dean is a great little venue, the tracks are relatively short only being about a minute long and are all great fun to ride. I went down on the Saturday to do a few runs on the track as I knew that the race was fully booked and there would be a good three hundred riders trying to get down come Sunday morning so Saturday was the best time to get used to the track. I did about five or six runs and felt comfortable on the bike and track.
Sunday morning was a cold one with temperatures only just making it in to the plus figures. Practice was very busy in the morning with a lot of riders out. I managed to get a good couple of runs in and got everything on the track dialed down ready for race runs.
There had been a lot of talk of rain over the weekend so wanted to put in a fast first run just in case the heavens opened between first and second runs. I got a low 57 in my first run giving me a 1.5 second lead over second place which I was pretty happy with. Second runs came around and still no rain so I decided I needed to put in another fast one as I thought that the track might be running faster. I came down 0.3 slower than my first run but I think this was because I was a little hesitant in the lower part of the track because it was getting dark.
Despite being slower on the second run I still took the win in Pro-Am and the race overall winner as well. I was really happy to get a win this early in the season on my new Norco and this has set me up for a great season to come.
Thanks to my sponsors Norco Bicycles, One Industries, 661, Adidas, Kore, Sun Ringle, Maxxis, SRAM and Action Cameras