The Germans are a tough bunch. Even in frigid conditions they are out ripping up the trails. This video of the Norco Range makes the Canadian Winter seem just a little more rideable than before!
Olie Burton is a solo competitor on the World Cup circuit. As a privateer he has been making his own way to the races and fighting his way up through the ranks. This coming year he will be riding a Norco Aurum in all his racing endeavors. Olie is still on his own program riding for sponsors such as Kore, One Industries, 661, Adidas and Action Cameras but this year he has the power of the Aurum on his side.
In 2011 Olie injured his finger and was forced off the bike for three months. Disappointed, he struggled coming back and missed qualifying at a few of the World Cup rounds. As 2011 progressed he recovered and came back to finish in an impressive 68th and 66th at Mont Saint Anne and Windham and 62nd at the world cup finals in Val Di Sole. These results were a great step forward and he is looking to improve upon them in 2012.
Some other highlights from this past year have been 4th place at the Nissan European Cup in La Bresse, France and winning the overall Elite title for the Pearce Cycles race series. The Pearce Cycles series was a specific goal Olie had set for 2011 and hopes to continue through 2012.
Everyone at Norco would like to wish Olie a warm welcome to the team and offer the best support we can over the coming year. Here is to a great 2012! If you would like to send a message, you can connect with Olie on his facebook page.
Here is a video from the past year of Olie, looking forward to seeing an Aurum going even faster.
Your mountain bike has only two points where it touches the ground. That in itself makes your tire choice extremely important in how your bike pedals, corners and gets you over the slippery bits. Without the proper tire choice an excellent rider can be left in the dust (or mud) of a less-skilled, well tractioned rider. The basics of tire choice come to a few simple concepts: tread, width, pressure and diameter.
Tread pattern makes a huge difference in how a bike will handle on the trail. While an ultra-knobby tire may be good on the roots, without an open pattern it could very easily clog in the mud.
The three tread patterns shown above for instance will have very different handling features while riding. The far left is a Kenda Karma. This is an open disign that will shed mud easily but will not necessarely bite in as well as some tire as the knobs are short and evenly distributed. The middle tire on the other hand is a Kenda BBG. The open design will again allow for mud clearing while the perpendicular nature of the tread will bite in well under pedaling and braking situations. The disadvantage to a tire like this is that sliding on rocks and roots could be enfasized by the uniform nature of the centre tread. The tire on the far right is a Kenda Nevegal. This tire takes a different approach than the other two. Using well-spaced large knobs in a V-shape, this tire clears mud well while still offering good traction inder pedaling and braking. The agressivness of the tread will run a little slower than a lower profile tire but this is a great choice for wet and varied terrain.
When looking at a tire for winter use look for large knobs with lots of open space. The size of the knobs will improve traction while the open space will allow for mud to clear from the tire an not pack up. A V-Shaped tread pattern also helps with mud clearing and traction.
Another aspect of tire choice to take into consideration is width. The different between a thin and broad tire makes a huge difference in wet weather. The general rule of thumb is a wider tire will work better in wet conditions. This catch-all statement breeds out of a few factors. A wider tire has a higher volume so can be run at lower pressure than a narrow tire. This lower pressure leads to a greater surface area of the tire on the ground. The contact surface area of the tire is also larger due to the wider profile of the tire. By having a larger contact patch with the ground, one’s weight is better distributed over a larger area and thus receives better traction. The downside of course is that a wide tire has more rolling resistance and is inherently heavier than a narrow tire.
The last aspect of tire choice to consider is the actual diameter of your wheel. While this may not be as easy of a decision as simple width or tread when you are purchasing your next bike this is something to consider. The 26″ vs. 29″ debate has been running rampant for a few years and 650B (27.5″) even comes into the discussion from time to time. The size of your wheel directly effects how the bike rolls over obstacles, handles in corners and affects the overall ride characteristics of a bike.
For a full breakdown of the 29″ wheel philosophy check out this recent article on the benefits of the 29er. For the sake of this discussion though, the size of your wheel affects contact patch, momentum and acceleration. A 29″ wheel has a larger circumference than a 26″ and that translates much like riding a wider tire in that the surface area of the tire that touches the grand is larger. This improved contact patch allows for greater traction when riding in slippery conditions. This improved traction combined with the larger wheel’s rolling characteristics can make for an even better muddy-condition ride.
Our friends in Germany have put together a video that features the 2012 Norco Aurum. Putting the bike through the Paces, videographer Jan Zander captures the capability, strength and versatility of the Aurum. Great Video Jan, thanks for your support!
The World Championships come around once a year and offer each country’s best riders a chance to earn their stripes. A one run chance to be crowned the world’s fastest in any chosen discipline. At this year’s championships Norco was represented in both the XC and DH. Catherine Vipond and Andrew Watson were on the XC course while Ben Reid and Ludovic May were racing the DH.
The XC course was one of the toughest, most technical XC races on the circuit. With some monster climbs, wet conditions and the infamous drop, it would be an all round rider that could pull this one off. Unfortunatly Andrew had a crash that made him DNF but Catherine managed to finish in 31st place for the Pro Women. A big congratulations goes out to fellow Canadian Catherine Pendrel who won the 2011 World XC Championships.
On the DH course, the track was steep, wet and incredibly technical. Staying on the bike was the first step towards a fast time. Line choice was a ticket to the podium. Dirt Norco’s Ben Reid managed a 46th place with a few scares coming down. Norco Factory Team rider Ludovic May had the run of his season though representing Norco and Switzerland in 18th place. Congratulations Ludo on an AMAZING run!
Factory Team rider Ryan Leech’s event season is well under way. Performing at schools, halls and festivals around North America Ryan is an inspiration to people of all ages and walks of life. One of Ryan’s latest stops was at the town of Hinton Alberta. Here is the cover of the local paper, I think they will remember Ryan!
The All New Norco Range was recently highlighted in Mountain Bike Magazine. Although the photo is actually incorrect, the gist about the bike is pretty spot on. Check out the blurb and if you want to see the correct photo and more details you can do so here.
Today was day two for the 2011 Norco Product Launch. Starting off this morning, the crew assembled for an early start and an overview of the 2011 line. With more than 150 bikes, this takes a little while but with highlights such as the Range, Shinobi, Vixa and Phaser, it is worth the wait. Check out pinkbike.com for studio photos of the lineup.
The real story for the day is the launch of Norco’s Advanced Ride Technology (A.R.T.) suspension system。 Through the modification and optimization of proven FSR suspension Norco bikes will climb smoother and descend faster than ever before. A.R.T. delivers a ride which is more efficient while pedaling while offering improved square edge bump compliance to smooth and quicken rough riding conditions. Both of these features have been achieved by changing the location of the pivot points to achieve additional chain growth and a more rearward axle path. The increased chain growth results in higher anti-squat characteristics which reduces suspension bob and makes the bike pedal more efficiently. The improved rearward axle path lets the rear wheel move back at the same time as it moves up to get out of the way of large, square edge bumps more effectively, allowing the bike to roll smoother and faster over rough terrain.
That is a mouthfull… the real lowdown is that the new Norco Range, Shinobi, Vixa and Phaser will climb better and descend faster than ever before. Whether you are racing XC, looking for an All-Mountain machine or hitting up a Super-D, these bikes fit the part!
Once all the bikes had been discussed, the photos had been taken and everyone had heared enough, it was time to ride. Heading over to ride the shore was only a short drive away so we headed over and had a blast. Following that up with a Trials demo from Ryan Leech… Sounds like a pretty good day to me! For more photos check out flickr.com/norcobikes
This Past weekend the Norco Crew made the epic journey From Vancouver BC to Edmonton AB for Canada Cup XC #4 in Kinsman Park. The course was fast with quick ups and downs and some very technical sections. Two Norco Factory Team Riders came out from Ontario along with one Grassroots Rider, all in the elite categories.
Catherine Vipond made the trip to Edmonton for the race and battled through some stiff competition finishing 4th in the Elite Women. In the Men’s category Andrew Watson flew in with grassroots rider Zachary Hughes. Zachary finished a respectable 22nd in the large field of 39. Andrew Watson rode most of the race in an impressive 6th place a little more than 1 min off the lead. From the sidelines we were hoping for a podium finish as he gave it all on the last lap. We were astounded as he ramped it up and passed rider after rider. Over the course of the final 1 ½ laps Andrew made up the minute lead and climbed the ladder into first place. Andrew ended up winning the Race with a lead of 1:04. WAY TO GO ANDREW!
This past weekend was a great success for the Norco Factory Team. What is really impressive though are the overall standings in the Canada Cup Series. Catherine is currently sitting in 2nd place for the Elite Women while Andrew is wearing the leaders’ jersey for the men. In DH world, Norco Factory Team Rider Hans Lambert is leading the Elite Men heading into Bromont on July 5th.
Have a look at some photos from this past weekend: