The Norco Sight Killer B Carbon 7.1
has been awarded the prestigious award of Outside Magazine
's Gear of the Year. Taking top spot for all mountain bikes in the 2014 Outside Buyers Guide, the Sight nudged out the competition with its powerful climbing attributes and fearless descending capability.
In their 2013 Buyer's Guide, Outside loved what the Range 2 had to offer as a 160mm travel all-mountain bike, but this year the Sight upped the ante with 140mm of travel and a new, ultra-light carbon fibre frame. The Outside Magazine write-up is included below but for all the best gear available be sure to pick up a copy of the 2014 Outside Buyer's Guide from your local newsstand or subscribe to never miss an issue.
OUTSIDE BUYER’S GUIDE 2014
The revolution is over, and the 26-inch wheel has all but disappeared. Meanwhile, bike geometries have gotten so good and the differences between 27.5-inch wheels and 29ers so small that testers often wondered which hoops they were riding. Advances in carbon layup have resulted in frames that are lighter and stronger. Aluminum is still pervasive, however, and it remains the best option for anyone on a budget. Design features like through-axles and tapered headtubes, which add rigidity and steering precision, are making all bikes easier to ride. The bad news is that prices keep going up: $10,500 for the costliest bike on our list. But technology trickle means that even budget bikes are faster and more durable than comparable models from a few years ago.
Gear of the Year
Norco Sight Carbon 7.1 $5,252 (USD)
At first we thought the 27.5-inch wheel was just another fad, but Norco won us over. Last year’s 6.3-inch Range was the deftest enduro machine we tested. And the new 5.5-inch Sight is so balanced that it softened the staunchest 29er devotees. It’s quick and snappy, as expected with midsize wheels, but feels even more playful than most. The compact frame begs to clamber over rocks and launch off kickers. It ascends like a cable car—in spite of the 1x11 XO1 drivetrain, it never felt undergeared—and pounced down technical descents like a panther. At a svelte 26 pounds, it’s the complete package, right down to the stock dropper seatpost and the durable Maxxis Ardent tires. Every single tester review sheet concluded the same way: “I’d buy this bike.” 26.8 lbs; norco.com
Climbing: 4.5 / Descending: 4.5 [Out of 5]
Bigger wheels and smarter frames mean much better bikes
By Aaron gulley