Norco Search Long-Term Review by Outside Magazine
October 27, 2015
From Outside Magazine:
Well-known and loved in Canada, Norco has been quietly racking up an American audience with its refined but not-too-expensive line of bikes, including the Range and our 2014 Gear of the Year winner Sight Carbon. Now, with the excellent gravel- and adventure-oriented Search, the company continues to burnish its reputation.
Aluminum is durable and less expensive, but carbon is the material of choice for mixed-use bikes like the Search because of the comfort that can be built into the frame. This bike is particularly cushy, with a sloping top tube, shaped tubes, and arced seat- and chainstay junctions that take the bite out of rough roads, even with those aluminum wheels.
The geometry is less aggressive than some of the competition’s. There’s a shorter cockpit, longer chainstays, and that deep slope to the tube for huge stand-over—though the steep headtube means the steering is still plenty quick. The one downfall of that sloping top tube design is less usable space in the main triangle for bags, water, and cargo—difficult if you’re bike packing. Still, it’s all middle-of-the-road angles and configurations, which is a smart choice, as the bike manages to do everything well without leaning too far to either the racy or laid-back sides of the equation. The only other niggle: While you can fit up to a 40c tire, which is pretty good, we’d like to see clearance for even more rubber.
Detailing is top-notch, with polished internal cable routings that are angled wide at the headtube to prevent rubbing on the frame and rubber gaskets that secure the lines and keep them from rattling. Direct-mount front derailleur and post-mount front and rear brakes are also a nice touch. With so much care taken, we were surprised Norco didn’t add a third bottle mount under the down tube. That capacity is de rigueur for events like the Dirty Kanza, and too many manufacturers neglect this easy detail.
Read the full review here.