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  1. #1
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    2014 Norco Sight Carbon 7.1 ride report

    This Sight Carbon 7.1 is currently the only one in Australia. I was lucky enough to have it loaned to me by the distributor as the one I have ordered did not arrive in time for a race this weekend I have entered.
    I am reluctant to much statements as to the awesomeness of any new bike I get as I think that if you have just dropped multiple thousands of dollars on a new bike you can convince yourself that it is awesome or you would feel like a dick for spending so much on a bike you don't think is as good as you thought, or hoped it would be.
    Not yet owning this bike or having finalised the sale means I can be objective, I hope
    I have only ever owned 26inch duallies, I have ridden many 29ers, including a good ride recently on a carbon Enduro expert as well as Camber 29er, Anthem 29er, but I have never felt comfortable on 29 inches. It may be that I am 171cms short but to me and the sort of riding I enjoy which is generally "All mountain" they have always felt slow to steer and somewhat ponderous particularly in the tight stuff. Where I ride the trails are made up of steep single track climbs with killer switch backs needing sharp steering and quick acceleration something 29ers cant seem to deliver. I have no doubt that for certain applications they are definitely the go [XC for example] but for me, no thanks.
    So it was with some trepidation that I dropped a deposit on a 650b Sight based purely on superb reviews of the alloy versions.
    I am pleased to say that so far I am pretty damn happy with it. Can I tell it has 27.5 inch wheels while riding it when compared to my previous 26 inch duallies [2010 Trance X1 and 2011 Reign X0], yes I think so, I seems to carry speed better through the rock gardens and seems to be more stable at speed. A nice compromise between the big and the small wheel sizes
    Riding position is excellent, really encouraging me to stand and attack. I love the X01 shifting, smooth and slick with the lowest ratio is sufficient to climb the steepest of the trails in my home town, and that's pretty bloody steep!

    I weighed it when I picked it up on shop scales - 12.8kg [28.16lbs] less pedals, how ever I think this is a pre production model as it is fitted with Onza Ibex 2.40 tyres which according to the website for Onza weigh 890 gr [1.95lbs]. The Norco web site now says the bike should come with Maxxis Ardent 2.25 EXO's at 715 gr [1.57lbs]. If correct this would make the bike around 12.45 kg [27.39lbs], run it tubeless to drop another 200 gr [0.44lbs] and it should come in around 12.25kg [26.95lbs] less pedals. Pretty bloody good for a 650b 140mm travel trail bike!
    I really like the Ergo grips, X01 shifting is awesome but the alloy X01 cranks [only aftermarket XO1 are carbon] are looking shabby already.
    After owning both Crank Brothers Joplin and the much much better KS LEV dropper posts I really like the reverb but would prefer to run the button under the bars but this does not seem to be possible
    Saddles are very much personal preference but the WTB Volt seems to suit my butt but the lime green nose to match the bike is already nearly worn off.
    The bars are currently 760mm which is too wide for my taste, I would prefer 730 but wont take a hacksaw to the demo bike : )
    The overall finish of matt black looks like it will be hard to keep looking good as the demo is showing some hard use but if it is the bike that Mick Ross from Flow mag took to Rotorua recently as I suspect then it is no surprise it has some wear and tear on it. I am super fussy with my bikes so I cant see this being a problem and it is a mountain bike after all not a show pony.
    The main linkage bolt on the seat tube was loose when I got the bike resulting in a bit of play in the rear end but was easily fixed with my torque wrench, note that torque values are etched in to the bolts which is nice.
    Love the internal cable routing making the bike look really clean but I can see a bit of time being spent when swapping cables and hoses but I think it is worth it for the look - again personal preference.

    Bottom line is I am really looking forward to getting my own and I consider it a privilege to have this for a week or two to get to know the bike so I can get stuck straight in to mine to make it suit me.




  2. #2
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    Nice!!!! Btw, what size frame? Medium? Anyway, demo or not, I am completely jealous...!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review. This is the first I've read from someone who has actually ridden the carbon version.
    Any comments on the handling?

  4. #4
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    Give a more in depth ride review aside from components when you have more seat time. Damn I wish the Range release was sooner!

  5. #5
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    Ok, having lived with the bike for about a week now in which I have ridden it many times , including a 12 hour night race last weekend, I am in a position to make a more detailed ride report.
    I love this thing!
    The geometry encourages you to stand and attack downhill sections with confidence, I don't know if it is the bigger wheels but it just blasts through sections of trail I know very well. I know I am going faster than previously as I arrive at the next berm having to scrub off more speed than I am used to.
    A question that has been asked is if I notice the bigger wheels when compared to 26 inch bike, yes is the answer, the 650b wheels seem to carry momentum better than my previous 26 inch duallies and the advantage [however small] of the increased diameter makes it climb like a goat.
    The rear FSR suspension seems to float over all trail obstacles and pedals very efficiently - feels different from the Maestro systems of the Giants I have owned though. A couple of Km in to my first rides I had to stop and check the rear tire, linkages etc as I thought that the amount od feed back [positive] about the track surface was actually a loose linkage or flat tire. Once I knew the feeling for what it was I quickly began to appreciate just how compliant the rear was.
    The excellent performance of the RS Revelation was no surprise as I have had one on a previous bike and loved it.
    One thing I really like is how silent the bike is. Having ridden only alloy bikes with 2 or 3 chain rings this thing makes practically no noise at all out on the trail.
    No ping as rocks hit the down tube, no metallic rattle as the chain clatters around in the front derailleur, the free hub is also very quite - awesome
    After riding with SRAM's 1 x 11 I will never go back to 2 x 10 or even 1 x 10. The ratios are perfect for all my local trails.
    Don't delay, if you are in the market for one of these - DO IT

  6. #6
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    Awesome report. I just posted my Sight build.

    2014 Norco Sight Build

    I went with the aluminum. I was just thinking today during my ride about how silent the ride is. The only noises it makes with the 1X11 are the leaves under tire. Its a beautiful ride!

    I agree completely with your report

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