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  1. #1
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    New Shinobi Owner

    I got a 2011 Shinobi last week and am very stoked about it! It was exactly what I was looking for in my next bike (29er, all mountain, horst-link 4 bar). So far, I have two rides on it and it has more than lived up to my expectations.



    The first ride was a 7 mile road climb followed by a rocky descent back into town. On the climb, I locked the fork out right away, and it scooted right up the hill. I'm used to climbing ona a 40+ pound Knolly so it was really a treat to be on a 31ish pound all mountain bike. It's the first time in a long time that I've kept up with my riding buddies on this climb. I didn't feel any bob, and the acceleration was very decent considering the large wheels.

    On the descent, it tracked very well through all of the rock gardens--the stiffness of the front and rear through axle really pays off. It was a cold night ride so I didn't spend any time playing with the suspension, but there weren't any glaring needs to stop and tweak it. I did notice that line choice was much more important than on my Delirium--it wasn't as flickable in the tight sections and I did get hung up a few times when trying to correct my course.

    The next ride was in our local technical playground which is filled with short techy climbs and short techy downhills. In one ride, I totally killed the big ring--I'm glad they speced a bash ring instead on the 2012 Shinobi. This ride contained terrain about as aggressive as I would ever consider taking the Shinobi on and it definitely delivered!

    I did feel that the longer wheelbase (or the larger wheels) required more thought when climbing than the Knolly, but I was able to clean several of the climbs that I don't usually make so I'm stoked about the technical climbing ability. I found that straight lines are key--when I committed to a frontal assault and put the power down, I could roll over anything in my path! However, if I doddled around, making my line up as I was going (something my Delirium T rewards with 4x4 rock crawling ability), I got hung up. Part of this could be due to the low bottom bracket too. I had more pedal strikes and foot catches than usual. All in all though, the Shinobi really shined on some really crazy climbs.

    On the descents, this trail system is famous for big roller moves where you really need to be over the back of the bike. This was the one area where I was a little nervous about a 29er vs. a 26er--especially after reading the Shinobi review by Leel. OK, there is no beating around the bush here--I rubbed my shorts several times on the tire. That being said, I also cleaned some really steep lines where it's not unheard of for me to check my shorts on a 26er, it just happend more frequently on the 29er. I didn't ever make uncomfortable contact with the tire, nor did I ever scare myself so I'd call steep lines a win for the Shinobi.

    Here is a YouTube link link to a short roller that one of my buddies shot.
    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself

    On the stair steppy descents, the bike handled very similarly to the climbs. When I attacked them straight on, I was rewarded with the wheels and suspension rolling right over whatever was in the path. If I took them cautiously and tried to thread through the rocks, I was more likely to get caught up. I knew that having a 29er FS would require a few changes to my riding style. It's a little more business/a little less play, but it certainly got the job done well. I look forward to building more familiarity with how this bike handles on the techy stuff and I think it's going to bring my riding to a new level.

    I'll continue to post pics and ride recaps on this forum--hopefully others will do the same. So far, I'm totaly impressed by my first Norco and I would love to see some stoke from other owners on this site!

  2. #2
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    Sick bike. Threw a leg over one of the 2012s at my local shop. One of the most complete bike line ups for next year Norco has going for itself

  3. #3
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
    Reputation: kristian's Avatar
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    Ride #3 last night and it was on the trail system that I bought this bike for. It's the definition of all mountain: fun twisty climbs through the scrub oak, followed by a section of road climb, and then rewarded by a ripping fast and rocky descent. Leading the way on the ride was a fast local who set a blistering pace on his 650b wheeled Yeti yet I was able to hang on the climb without problem.

    The descent is party of embeded rocks and loose babyheads that twists through the pine trees at first and then it opens up to some high speed corners through the scrub oak. It was nice following someone who really knew the trail and was railling it down because I was definitely riding faster than I should have been (gotta love night riding without hikers). Again, I was really impressed with the stiffness of the Shinobi. I could throw it into rock gardens and it tracked exactly where I wanted it to be through everything. I'm getting a little more used to whipping the bike around and it did feel a little more playful on this downhill.

    The low bottom bracket is a mixed bag for me. There is no denying it: the Shinobi attacks the corners! I tried to maintain a little more forward position on the bike last night ("in" the bike instead of behind it) and I was rewarded with serious stick in the corners. This was the first ride where I've really had a chance to lay things out in the twisties and I couldn't be happier. However, the low bottom bracket that enables cornering like that meant I had multiple pedal strikes--more than I'm used to for sure (BTW, I run flats on all my bikes). I'm sure I'll get more used to this with time though and it's probably worth it for those grin inducing corners.

    I already knew I loved this bike, but last night confirmed it beyond any shadow of a doubt!

  4. #4
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    It's been a while since I've revisited this thread. I'm still really enjoying the Shinobi. I've got almost 5 months of abuse now and it was my main night riding bike over the winter.

    So far, I've replaced the bars/stem and added a much needed bash ring. I've done routine maintenance on the fork and it feels better than ever--I'm really impressed with it. The brakes are probably due for a bleed at this point but otherwise it has been bombproof. This picture reminds me that I really need to change the saddle though...


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