We all check out the major websites and magazines for the latest product reviews. They after-all are a great resource to find information on new products. There is something more authentic though about a small-time up-and-comers opinion. That in mind, it was great to come across this independent blogger’s review of the Norco Shinobi 1. Have a read and visit the full blog at muddustanddirt.wordpress.com for more great articles.
Reviewing Norco’s Shinobi 1 29er
For this weekend we managed to get our hands on something a little bit special, special in the fact that this is the first bike we have been lent to review and not only that, this shinny pony is currently one of not very many currently in the UK. So after Doddy from MBUK had his share and done a real review for this bike we wanted to see what it was like for ourselves.
So we all know that the wagon wheel has been around for a while, but like most things it’s taken a while to get right. After a few of years of being nothing more than a novelty, I am confident that manufacturers have started to really refine the geometry and frame design to optimise and fully exploit the larger wheels. With this in mind I had high hopes for the bikes capabilities and performance and in my opinion, now is a good time to start considering these growth disorder laden steeds as a liable option if you are of gangly stature. Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that these bikes should be reserved for taller gentlemen, but I certainly know that they don’t compliment my riding style.
Lets move on to talking about the ride of this bike as this is a review. I must point out that I am a religiously sold and devoted 26″ man. Many people call me short but I come in at a handsome 5’10″ and before moving on I need to state the following fact; we know that stature correlates directly to the suitability of wheel size (small men small wheels, big men big wheels) makes sense right? Anyway, the bike we have here is a large which felt about right for me and my long legs but I may have been better off on a medium. The first time I mounted the bike I was impressed with its ability to consume and annihilate anything in its path, although this bike only had a conservative 120mm of travel it just bumped over everything (I understood the argument).
After deciding that the bike was a great machine and a massive advance forward in 29er technology I handed it to my test subject a much more appreciating and needing tall man of 6’4″
As you can see the tall gentleman was perplexed by the normal sized wheels, he soon came around to the idea as he started riding.
Richard, my test subject solely for the reason that he is very tall quite frankly needed to come around to the idea of 29″ wheels due to his mammoth size. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly the bikes frame wasn’t quite big enough for him. My prediction was right in that tall people should really opt for a bigger wheels. See illusion below, A normal sized man on a small frame with 26″ wheels, or Richard’s ability to swamp any bike with his long limbs.
The Bike is adorned with Sram components a Sun Ringle wheelset tubeless as standard and finished off with Easton’s Haven bars and stem.
Effectively what we have here is a Mountain bike for tall people who sometimes like to jump if they’re feeling brave. I fully understand and appreciate the bike as a great full sus 29er but I don’t understand why you would choose it over the 26″ competition. Prejudice and bias aside it’s really great and very rideable. The componentry selection and set up is spot on with a 2 x 10 set up and Sram components throughout making for a tidy cockpit setup and a fully integrated Sram experience. Moving on to the most important component of any bike the wheels, this bike comes with a nice set of Sun Ringle straight pull wheels and what I especially like about the wheels on this bike is that they come standard as tubeless. Not mentioning suspension in this review would be stupid so, the bike comes with Fox up front and rear the front bouncers utilise Fox’s FIT cartridge giving you more control over damping than you could ever want or care about. Best of all on the rear of this full bouncer we see what could only be described as a horst link which provides a familiar progressive stroke controlled by a RP23 with three variable compression settings. All in all a great bike with a playable head-angle great componentry and very capable suspension.
A big thumbs up from me and Richard.