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  1. #1
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    Norco Range 650B 2 vs Shinobi 1

    It's that time again. I'm looking for a new "All Mountain" bike. I live in SE Idaho and Race a HT 29er. So I enjoy the climb up to the top to enjoy the gravity down. I have a 150mm Scott Genius 10 that I am replacing. I have ridden 29 and 26 wheels and have felt the + & - of each, but have become a bigger fan of the 29. They roll awesome and smooth out the trail. Since I have a light racing bike I am now looking for the "do it all" bike. I do very little chair lift stuff, but I want to be comfortable doing it if I do. I have not ridden a 650 bike, but all I have read about it indicates that there is very little difference in the feel vs a 26. Hence another reason I'm leaning towards the 29er. I have ridden a Diamondback Sortie 29er and really liked the way it felt, but my LBS/sponsor wants me on a Norco.
    So back the title of this. I have looked at the Range 650B and Shinobi. I know the Range has 40mm more travel then the Shinobi, so can the Shinobi truly handle being ridden as hard as the Range? Does anyone with time on the 650 or the Shinobi have any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Are you also considering the Sight-B?

  3. #3
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    The Range isn't out yet is it? It has the exact - and I mean EXACT geometries and lengths and HTA that I'm looking for so I can't wait to try one - probably be my next trail bike but I may wait a year until they get all the first year bugs worked out. If I were taller I'd go for the Shinobi as a trail bike but yeah, the Range is more aggro and made to be ridden hard and fast for all types of riding.

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  4. #4
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    fsrxc: Yes I had considered the Sight, but trying to go more towards the "All Mountain" type. The only difference I see between the Sight B and Range B is travel. I would opt for the travel at this point.

  5. #5
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    what type of riding. Sun Valley smooth buff trails or more like closer to the Montana border rockier trails? Chairlift- ie Warm Springs? The Range is good but imo its overkill unless you're planning on being really aggro. Otoh the Sight really isn't that much lighter then the Range

    I'm lukewarm on the Shinobi if only because i thought the tires are ass but you can likely change them out (Contis X-king). The Shinobi is much more straight ahead go zoom zoom due to its geo than the Range or 650b. I might one of the few people on the planet who's had significant time on all three bikes so take my opinion with a grain of salt since my perspective is highly biased towards doing more with less bike
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  6. #6
    dwt
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    Tell your sponsor you are leaning Shinobi but want to demo the Range before committing. You can't decide whether you like a bike or not without a lengthy demo in your usual terrain.

    There is a definite noticeable difference between 26" and 650b even if on paper they are close. 650b rolls better, but is not as nimble. As a 29'er rider, you know that difference on a larger scale. So for you the question is whether a step down in roll is worth a step up in handling. Demo, demo, demo!


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    what type of riding. Sun Valley smooth buff trails or more like closer to the Montana border rockier trails? Chairlift- ie Warm Springs? The Range is good but imo its overkill unless you're planning on being really aggro. Otoh the Sight really isn't that much lighter then the Range

    I'm lukewarm on the Shinobi if only because i thought the tires are ass but you can likely change them out (Contis X-king). The Shinobi is much more straight ahead go zoom zoom due to its geo than the Range or 650b. I might one of the few people on the planet who's had significant time on all three bikes so take my opinion with a grain of salt since my perspective is highly biased towards doing more with less bike
    Lee,
    I'd have to say more Sun Valley type trials with the venture into the Warm Springs stuff, plus the plow through a few rocky sections depending on the flavor of the day. Fisher Creek is a good example. I mainly stay farther east: Idaho Falls to Driggs. While I have yet to ride the stock tires, they probly won't make it out of the shop.

    Tell your sponsor you are leaning Shinobi but want to demo the Range before committing. You can't decide whether you like a bike or not without a lengthy demo in your usual terrain.

    There is a definite noticeable difference between 26" and 650b even if on paper they are close. 650b rolls better, but is not as nimble. As a 29'er rider, you know that difference on a larger scale. So for you the question is whether a step down in roll is worth a step up in handling. Demo, demo, demo!
    dwt,
    I am hoping the new units will show up soon, should have one of each to ride and make the final decision then. After spending some time on both the 26 and 29 in bike I'm favoring the 29 still. I am more of a straight though kind of rider and prefer a bike that feels less "twitchy" under foot. But riding both is the only way to know which one is better.

    Thanks for all of the input

  8. #8
    North Van/Whistler
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    Clark

    The pro price on the Range and Sight 650b is bound to be fairly high. The Sight 26 gives up very little to the 650b (try as I might I honestly can't tell the difference - YET - and this is speaking as someone who gets free bikes and has no vested interest). So all things being equal that Sight 26 is pretty amazing.

    But to put on another hat if you want to try something different and really cool and you want it to be very different from the other ride you have then get that Range. Cynic as I am I gotta say Norco's done something really special with that bike. I can't figure out how to put it into words yet. I'd still think it'd be overkill for most SV trails unless say you did laps down N Hyndman off Pioneer but it'd be a lot of fun.

    I'd say you'd be a bit disappointed by the Shinobi. I thought SV trails begged for a cheap air bike and the Shinobi is more of a stay=planted bike.
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  9. #9
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Clark

    The pro price on the Range and Sight 650b is bound to be fairly high. The Sight 26 gives up very little to the 650b (try as I might I honestly can't tell the difference - YET - and this is speaking as someone who gets free bikes and has no vested interest). So all things being equal that Sight 26 is pretty amazing.
    That is interesting to say the least. As a 650b rider most of the time, I know I'm not on a bike as maneuverable as my 26'er. And I know the wheels roll over stuff the 26'er gets hung up on. Everybody feels things differently.

    But to put on another hat if you want to try something different and really cool and you want it to be very different from the other ride you have then get that Range. Cynic as I am I gotta say Norco's done something really special with that bike. I can't figure out how to put it into words yet. I'd still think it'd be overkill for most SV trails unless say you did laps down N Hyndman off Pioneer but it'd be a lot of fun.

    I'd say you'd be a bit disappointed by the Shinobi. I thought SV trails begged for a cheap air bike and the Shinobi is more of a stay=planted bike.
    My experience at SV is limited, but from what I've ridden I would agree that a Range would be overkill going down and a liability going up. I thought HT's were the way to go there. If your goal is cheap air, then I would think 26'er is the right size. Maybe 650b.

    But all these different opinions underscores that OP should demo and then post up what he decided was right for his needs.

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    Last edited by dwt; 10-17-2012 at 05:46 AM.
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  10. #10
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    dwt fundamentally that is the best advice - demo demo demo.

    As to 650b what I intend to do is to take a 650b bike and a 26 bike (probably the Sight), and ride them on the same trail then switch around then switch around again. That's what I haven't done yet. But then the same criticism will be true - ie that the subjective impressions are only valid for me
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  11. #11
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    dwt fundamentally that is the best advice - demo demo demo.

    As to 650b what I intend to do is to take a 650b bike and a 26 bike (probably the Sight), and ride them on the same trail then switch around then switch around again. That's what I haven't done yet. But then the same criticism will be true - ie that the subjective impressions are only valid for me
    I envy you for the opportunity. You're a North Shore guy if I'm not mistaken, so you can test those Norcos for their full travel. Do you have access to RM bikes.

    Subjective or not, ride reports are always good, especially from a good experienced rider, which I get the impression you are.


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  12. #12
    ptd
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    I'd like to hear how the Range 650b 2 performs, as I’m choosing between this bike and a 26.
    I'm fairly sold on the 650b concept, swaying towards the Range even though has lower spec than the 26 for the money.

    Any ride reports would be great, as I won't be able to demo!

  13. #13
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    thx Lee as always for your input. now that more 650b tires are available, it would help a lot if 650b vs 26er comparison reviews made sure to include the tires used. the low sidewall and low casing volume of most 2011 650b tires created an unfair comparison to 26ers running big volume tires i.e. kept the actual OD difference to a minimum, leading to people concluding that 650b doesn't have much difference in rolling-over-obtacles behavior.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    dwt fundamentally that is the best advice - demo demo demo.

    As to 650b what I intend to do is to take a 650b bike and a 26 bike (probably the Sight), and ride them on the same trail then switch around then switch around again. That's what I haven't done yet. But then the same criticism will be true - ie that the subjective impressions are only valid for me
    Yeah, do this and soon if you can. Get Norco on the horn and get these 2 bikes to compare.

    I wonder if they possibly fear the loss of sales of the 26" Sight's if a test is done back to back and the B bike show to be superior? Maybe they are just covering the bases for this year to see how it pans out? The 26" Sight was already an existing platform so no sweat to keep it around. The "B" Sight is quite different.

    Oh, sneak a new Altitude in there while you're at it
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  15. #15
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    dwt - I'm Vancouver/Whistler

    All these bikes are in very short supply. I can get a Altitude 650b but my time isn't inflinite so can't do it all.

    Frorider. I'd probably try them all with the stock Hans Dampf tires but also with Maxxis HR2s.

    "I wonder if they possibly fear the loss of sales of the 26" Sight's if a test is done back to back and the B bike show to be superior?"

    I'm telling you that the 26 Sight is an incredible bike. The 650b would basically have to do your dishes to be that much better but perhaps that's the cynic in me talking and showing an unwarranted pessimism. The Sight 1 this year was hurt a bit by the noodle front fork but I think the 34mm Fox on the Sight 1 this year (even the 26 gets that) will help a ton. Look somewhere in the 650b forum where i stuck up pics of the Fork crowns.

    Guys have some patience here - its just October 2012. These bikes are basically fresh off the boat. I know its new and exciting but even when i say I have experience its basically 5 rides on the 650b platform (Range Sight Altitude) but a lot more riding on the 26 sight and Altitude and even the 29er Altitude so always keep in context that 5 rides does not a solid impression make
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  16. #16
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    I'm hoping to demo a 650b Range by the end of the year. After riding my 26 inch Norco Range for a year and a half, I feel like I know the bike pretty well. It'd be a fun step.

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    LeeL, you just have easier access to these new bikes than most of us so we live vicariously through you for the time being...and we're a freaking impatient society you know?

    Ok, shoot for before the snow flies and you're buried in.

    End of Oct. here in MA Rocky will have the new Altitude and Instinct 29'er to demo at a NEMBA event. I'm counting the days.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    I'd say you'd be a bit disappointed by the Shinobi. I thought SV trails begged for a cheap air bike and the Shinobi is more of a stay=planted bike.
    Lee,
    Could expand on this for me.
    I like the stay=planted thought that's more of the way I like to feel on the bike, I'm not a real graceful flier. Also what do you mean by "cheap air".
    Thanks again

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    Any ideas if the Range is going to be available as "frame only"..?

  20. #20
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkfam3 View Post
    : Also what do you mean by "cheap air".
    Thanks again
    Can't answer for a rider over my head, but my guess is popping off natural bumps, kickers and drops on the trail that a light hardtail can take easily, as opposed to big air off artificially built dirt jumps where you might need a plush bike, more balls and more skill to handle
    or even think about.



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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkfam3 View Post
    Lee,
    Could expand on this for me.
    I like the stay=planted thought that's more of the way I like to feel on the bike, I'm not a real graceful flier. Also what do you mean by "cheap air".
    Thanks again
    basically an active bike that's easy to jump. i like getting air off little rootballs and using them as doubles. Shinobi doesn't like that. Definitely personal preference
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  22. #22
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    basically an active bike that's easy to jump. i like getting air off little rootballs and using them as doubles. Shinobi doesn't like that. Definitely personal preference
    Lee, is that a Shinobi thing or a 29'er thing?


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  23. #23
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    I think its Shinobi that makes it a plow bike. Bandit 29er liked air. Even Tallboy likes to jump. The Shinobi blows through stuff like a tank
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    Well the Shinobi came in and I took it for a ride last night. Local trial called Sidewinder. It climbed way better than I was expected. The Fox CTD fork and shock are AWESOME! There was a very noticeable difference in the settings when climbing. As for descending HOLY WOW it was smooth and begged to go faster. At the top of the downhill section there are some good rock gardens and I was looking for the "harder" lines i.e. bigger rocks and drops, and it just glided down them like they were hardly there. In the lower section it was all twisty single track with good berms and flat corners. I could defiantly feel the difference between my Genius and this when it came to the "flickablity" but over all I MUCH more enjoyed riding the Shinobi. As far as the fun factor, I would say it was definitely fun and playful. I was able to get some “cheap” air off rocks and a few trial lips, I also could feel the overall weight (32lbs Large) when trying to play with it, but the stability was really nice as well.
    So at this point a definite +1 for the Shinobi, on the fun factor and overall fun ride scale.
    Since the 650's are not available yet I'll have to wait to ride either one of those.

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