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  1. #1
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    Norco Ithaqua 2 Suspension

    I was looking for some input and reviews on this bike and was hoping there might be some members here that could chime in. I don't have a lot of familiarity with Norco Bikes, but their fat bike reputation seems good.

    This model comes factory spec'd with the new Manitou Mastadon front shock and a carbon frame which has me really interested in purchasing it. I'm curious as to any ride reviews or put from others on here. Also interested in how this stacks up against other bikes in its same category (carbon frame, front supension etc). Was thinking of the Pivot Les Fat as another option as well.

    Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Longish 440mm chainstays, steepish 69deg HTA, slackish 73deg STA, shotish 100mm Mastodon (max length).

    Not a progressive design, more geared toward travel on snow and mild non snow terrain.

    The fork is an overkill for this bike, esp at 100mm travel and XC geo.

    If you really want this bike, then I'd get it built rigid or with a Lauf. A Bluto might work if you're lightweight and you don't demand much of your fork.

    If you're just looking, I'd suggest you figure out the range of uses you expect to use the fat bike, then see what fits best.

    For example:
    Snow 70%/Dirt 30% is more suitable to a dedicated snow bike with space for 5" tires, rigid or a Lauf, possibly a backup suspension fork for summer.

    Dirt 70%/Snow 30% is more suitable to a mixed use fat bike that has a longer travel suspension fork and progressive geo.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the great info Ben!

    I should've added that i have a full suspension 27.5x3.0 plus bike as my spring/summer/fall ride. Im looking for this fatbike to be my main winter ride up here in the snow, ice, and frozen ground of the North East. I was planning on putting 45nrth Dillinger 5s studded tires on it and using it to allow me to continue riding all winter long.

    I was under the impression that the Bluto was not well liked at all by most as a fat bike fork, and that the Mastodon was viewed as a big upgrade. I basically figured that id use the fork open in the "shoulder" seasons and then lock it out when the groomed snow trails become available. It wouldn't be my main bike in the good weather of the other 3 season, more of a backup bike or change of pace bike for those times. Winter would definitely be its main usage.

    I looked at the Kona Wozo review as well and that seems to be a pretty cool option as well....

  4. #4
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    I have the exact bike you are looking at, IMO the Mastadon works great on it.

    My only gripe is the wide bottom bracket for the 197 rear.

    Would buy again in a second.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info LargeMan!... Has the overall quality of the bike been good? Seems like spec'd components are decent for the price. Are you still running the stock tires on it? or something larger?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GONAVY View Post
    Thanks for the info LargeMan!... Has the overall quality of the bike been good? Seems like spec'd components are decent for the price. Are you still running the stock tires on it? or something larger?
    Set it up 29er+ for now. The quality has exceeded my expectations, we are also a Salsa dealer. and just became a Norco dealer a few months ago. I cannot think of a bike with higher quality, you will love it.

  7. #7
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    It just depends on what you want in a bike.

    I've got a Fatillac, it's a three season bike, fine on snow that is packed. beyond that I ride a hardtail (Wozo); it was the same with the Mutz. Fortunately I don't need studs in the West

    The Northeast is not like AK, so the value of a wide tire for float is probably not necessary, though studs would pay dividends.

    What's your FS Plus bike? If you like what you ride in the non snow season, I'd look to fat bikes with a similar geo.

    Quote Originally Posted by GONAVY View Post
    Thanks for the great info Ben!

    I should've added that i have a full suspension 27.5x3.0 plus bike as my spring/summer/fall ride. Im looking for this fatbike to be my main winter ride up here in the snow, ice, and frozen ground of the North East. I was planning on putting 45nrth Dillinger 5s studded tires on it and using it to allow me to continue riding all winter long.

    I was under the impression that the Bluto was not well liked at all by most as a fat bike fork, and that the Mastodon was viewed as a big upgrade. I basically figured that id use the fork open in the "shoulder" seasons and then lock it out when the groomed snow trails become available. It wouldn't be my main bike in the good weather of the other 3 season, more of a backup bike or change of pace bike for those times. Winter would definitely be its main usage.

    I looked at the Kona Wozo review as well and that seems to be a pretty cool option as well....

  8. #8
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    Norco Ithaqua 2 Suspension-22688672_10155857846934275_5221930753625209779_n.jpg

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    Great picture!

    It's a really cool looking bike. Thanks for the info about the quality and with how happy you've been with it so far. It's seems like a really good deal for all you get for that price point.

  10. #10
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    Ben you have had some bikes!!

    I am clearly new here and am soaking up all the new info like a sponge. I really appreciate you guys helping out with your experiences.

    I currently have a specialized stumpjumper 6fattie carbon that I really like. As ,y riding has progressed and gotten netter I have started to notice some of its limitations or deficiencies I guess you could call them. But overall the bike has been solid, and has been a fast comfortable full suspension ride for the conditions up here in the northeast (Massachusetts). I know it's more of a jack of all trades master of none type bike but it's been bullet proof and served me well so far.

    The Foes Mutz looks like what I probably would've bought first if I had known about it before hand!! Probably could've swapped wheel sets and used it in the winter and summers and switched between 27.5+ and a fat bike.

    Based on this info of my current bike and your obvious knowledge of geometry (modern vs traditional etc) any input or info on how this norco looks or any other bike options would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again...




    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    It just depends on what you want in a bike.

    I've got a Fatillac, it's a three season bike, fine on snow that is packed. beyond that I ride a hardtail (Wozo); it was the same with the Mutz. Fortunately I don't need studs in the West

    The Northeast is not like AK, so the value of a wide tire for float is probably not necessary, though studs would pay dividends.

    What's your FS Plus bike? If you like what you ride in the non snow season, I'd look to fat bikes with a similar geo.

  11. #11
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    How much you want to spend?

    Test ride a few fat bikes, dont be swayed by pretty colors. Keep in mind that tire size will change the feel, parking lots are no good for test rides.

    Im partial to the 27.5 format and the longer travel Mastodon.

    Trek Farley is not bad.

    Wozo is a good frame but the complete bike is a price point build.

    The Otso Voytek is a sweet ride but pricey.

    If weight is not an issue, the Wednesday is a nice bike, just add a fork.

    Nothing really new out there, build your own is what I do, the Wozo with a 140mm Mastodon and two wheel sets is hard to beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by GONAVY View Post
    Ben you have had some bikes!!

    I am clearly new here and am soaking up all the new info like a sponge. I really appreciate you guys helping out with your experiences.

    I currently have a specialized stumpjumper 6fattie carbon that I really like. As ,y riding has progressed and gotten netter I have started to notice some of its limitations or deficiencies I guess you could call them. But overall the bike has been solid, and has been a fast comfortable full suspension ride for the conditions up here in the northeast (Massachusetts). I know it's more of a jack of all trades master of none type bike but it's been bullet proof and served me well so far.

    The Foes Mutz looks like what I probably would've bought first if I had known about it before hand!! Probably could've swapped wheel sets and used it in the winter and summers and switched between 27.5+ and a fat bike.

    Based on this info of my current bike and your obvious knowledge of geometry (modern vs traditional etc) any input or info on how this norco looks or any other bike options would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
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    Isnt that fork backwards?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh View Post
    Isnt that fork backwards?
    No, FTW!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh View Post
    Isnt that fork backwards?
    They have designed the fork with the lowers arch on the backside rather than the front. Looks odd to some but is correctly installed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Longish 440mm chainstays, steepish 69deg HTA, slackish 73deg STA, shotish 100mm Mastodon (max length).

    Not a progressive design, more geared toward travel on snow and mild non snow terrain.

    The fork is an overkill for this bike, esp at 100mm travel and XC geo.

    If you really want this bike, then I'd get it built rigid or with a Lauf. A Bluto might work if you're lightweight and you don't demand much of your fork.

    If you're just looking, I'd suggest you figure out the range of uses you expect to use the fat bike, then see what fits best.

    For example:
    Snow 70%/Dirt 30% is more suitable to a dedicated snow bike with space for 5" tires, rigid or a Lauf, possibly a backup suspension fork for summer.

    Dirt 70%/Snow 30% is more suitable to a mixed use fat bike that has a longer travel suspension fork and progressive geo.
    Those chainstays appear to be plenty short- I wouldn't call that non-progressive.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    I custom built an Ithaqua and love it.

    It really has geometry akin to a 120mm trail bike, rather than an XC bike. It's pretty dang light. It is built well. It is extremely fun to ride and has very stable handling. I highly recommend the Ithaqua.

    I have a Race Face Turbine crank and was able to go with the bottom bracket designed for 170mm rear ends, but flip the chainring so it is offset outward. This gave me the Q-Factor that 170mm hub width bikes have.

    Something to consider: When running 4.8 tires, I've never felt the need for suspension. YMMV.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I custom built an Ithaqua and love it.

    It really has geometry akin to a 120mm trail bike, rather than an XC bike. It's pretty dang light. It is built well. It is extremely fun to ride and has very stable handling. I highly recommend the Ithaqua.

    I have a Race Face Turbine crank and was able to go with the bottom bracket designed for 170mm rear ends, but flip the chainring so it is offset outward. This gave me the Q-Factor that 170mm hub width bikes have.

    Something to consider: When running 4.8 tires, I've never felt the need for suspension. YMMV.


    Thats great info Brentos, thank you! Pretty clever to flip the chain ring and change the Q factor...


    I am looking at this bike as a winter/snow/frozen ground bike for the North East. Im sure in the snow the suspension for is not needed, but i figured that having that Mastodon fork would also make it a more well rounded bike for the shoulder season in the rocky/rooty technical stuff we usually have here.


    Seems like most people who own or have seen the Ithaqua really like it......thanks again for the input!

  18. #18
    Ipe
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    I picked up one of these puppies yesterday and got to ride it today on the trails for the first time. I had been at my LBS getting a crown race for a new fork when my wife says to me that the fat bikes are 25% off (Black Friday sale) and you should take a look.

    Immediate reaction: Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!
    Follow up reaction: Woo Hoo! Not looking this gift horse in the mouth!

    I rode several of the fat bikes that the shop had and the Ithaqua 2s just felt "right". It felt like a real trail bike: lively, fun, and exciting. All the other fatties felt ponderous and boring.

    Getting it out on the trail today did nothing to to change that impression. I enjoyed the ride immensely. Its a great bike, especially at the sale price. All that said it does have some aspects that I'll be changing someday: The dropper remote is a bit pathetic. Yes, it works, but compared to a Wolf Tooth its a toy. I've always had Shimano brakes so the Sram Level's are a bit of a step backwards, or at least I prefer the feeling of a set of XT's. The Levels seem to have some power, they're just not what I'm used to.

    All in all I am very happy and am looking forward to getting to know this bike better. I have a feeling its going to be a lot of fun.
    IBIS Mojo 3
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ipe View Post
    I picked up one of these puppies yesterday and got to ride it today on the trails for the first time. I had been at my LBS getting a crown race for a new fork when my wife says to me that the fat bikes are 25% off (Black Friday sale) and you should take a look.

    Immediate reaction: Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!
    Follow up reaction: Woo Hoo! Not looking this gift horse in the mouth!

    I rode several of the fat bikes that the shop had and the Ithaqua 2s just felt "right". It felt like a real trail bike: lively, fun, and exciting. All the other fatties felt ponderous and boring.

    Getting it out on the trail today did nothing to to change that impression. I enjoyed the ride immensely. Its a great bike, especially at the sale price. All that said it does have some aspects that I'll be changing someday: The dropper remote is a bit pathetic. Yes, it works, but compared to a Wolf Tooth its a toy. I've always had Shimano brakes so the Sram Level's are a bit of a step backwards, or at least I prefer the feeling of a set of XT's. The Levels seem to have some power, they're just not what I'm used to.

    All in all I am very happy and am looking forward to getting to know this bike better. I have a feeling its going to be a lot of fun.

    Great review Ipe!

    thats exactly what I was hoping to hear as far as how lively and nimble
    it felt (for a fat bike).

    Im in Massachusetts, I was curious which dealership you ended up going with? With the sale did it end up sub 3k? If so, that really great for you.

  20. #20
    Ipe
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    I got the bike from JRA Cycles in Medford. They are my LBS of choice. Great bikes, great people, knowledgeable, and friendly.

    I lucked out. It was $3350 (list) less 25%. It was too good a deal not to act.

    Good luck in your hunt.
    IBIS Mojo 3
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  21. #21
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    A friend in Newfoundland blogs about Norco and just posted a ride review: https://fatbikerepublic.blogspot.ca/...ke-review.html

    As well, I'm the moderator for the Bigfoot/Sasquatch (Fatbike) Facebook group; we welcome Ithaqua owners, too (we can't change the name of the group again to include the Ithaqua due to FB rules). You will be PM'd to provide a pic to confirm ownership to ensure you aren't a troll or live in Manilla and want me to buy you a bike (you'll of course Western Union the money to me AFTER the bike arrives). Ask to join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/bigfootsightings/

  22. #22
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    The only issue with shimano brakes is the mineral oil. The dot fluid in the level brakes works better when things start to get really cold. But for my xc build, my xtr race brakes are awesome. But i am in canada, and we have had -15oC temps the last week or so... so the sram stayed. Norco speced this bike with a lot of thought. I have been quite happy.

    The only changes i have made are xtr shifter/derailer and a nukeproof saddle for mild weight savings, and a proper color match. I also plan to narrow the bars with something carbon as i frequent woods trails with plenty of narrow parts.

    Norco Ithaqua 2 Suspension-32fe6afd-9edc-4b71-a067-1710e3904d13.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Ipe View Post
    I picked up one of these puppies yesterday and got to ride it today on the trails for the first time. I had been at my LBS getting a crown race for a new fork when my wife says to me that the fat bikes are 25% off (Black Friday sale) and you should take a look.

    Immediate reaction: Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!
    Follow up reaction: Woo Hoo! Not looking this gift horse in the mouth!

    I rode several of the fat bikes that the shop had and the Ithaqua 2s just felt "right". It felt like a real trail bike: lively, fun, and exciting. All the other fatties felt ponderous and boring.

    Getting it out on the trail today did nothing to to change that impression. I enjoyed the ride immensely. Its a great bike, especially at the sale price. All that said it does have some aspects that I'll be changing someday: The dropper remote is a bit pathetic. Yes, it works, but compared to a Wolf Tooth its a toy. I've always had Shimano brakes so the Sram Level's are a bit of a step backwards, or at least I prefer the feeling of a set of XT's. The Levels seem to have some power, they're just not what I'm used to.

    All in all I am very happy and am looking forward to getting to know this bike better. I have a feeling its going to be a lot of fun.
    not sure how my race car got on here... but i am unsure how to remove the attachment...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Ithaqua 2 Suspension-7720bdaf-e331-4b80-90e8-7eb2eadc19fc.jpeg  


  23. #23
    Ipe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gliding_serpent View Post
    The only issue with shimano brakes is the mineral oil. The dot fluid in the level brakes works better when things start to get really cold. But for my xc build, my xtr race brakes are awesome. But i am in canada, and we have had -15oC temps the last week or so... so the sram stayed. Norco speced this bike with a lot of thought. I have been quite happy.

    The only changes i have made are xtr shifter/derailer and a nukeproof saddle for mild weight savings, and a proper color match. I also plan to narrow the bars with something carbon as i frequent woods trails with plenty of narrow parts.
    I've got to say, I agree with you. Norco did do a nice job thinking this bike out and I'm finding a lot of attention to detail. For example:
    When I bought the bike I was happy that it came with Ergon grips (my grip of choice), but was puzzled as to why there was an end cap on the bar instead of the solid end of the grip.

    Fast forward to today when I install some 45NRTH Cobrafist's. Now that easily removable end cap plug makes a lot of sense. Nicely done Norco!

    I have found one thing I'm not to happy about. I'd really like to be able mount a bash guard, but no can do. Norco decided to not add ISCG tabs to the frame.
    Maybe some people wouldn't have used them especially if all they're riding is snow, but where I am there's a lot of rock and plenty of time over the winter there's snow, then rock, then snow, then rock, etc... A bash guard would have been a welcome addition.

    P.S. - Nice car. Looks like a fun ride.
    IBIS Mojo 3
    Norco Ithaqua 2s

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  24. #24
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    I thought the two bolts on the underside were for a bash guard, but i have never used one, so did not think if they were in an appropriate spot or not. A bash guard would be nice to have.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gliding_serpent View Post
    The only issue with shimano brakes is the mineral oil. The dot fluid in the level brakes works better when things start to get really cold. But for my xc build, my xtr race brakes are awesome. But i am in canada, and we have had -15oC temps the last week or so... so the sram stayed. Norco speced this bike with a lot of thought. I have been quite happy.
    Just for the record, my DOT brakes would get stiff too, about the same, because it's the piston seal getting hard that is responsible for much of this action. Unless you are going more than -29C or so, it really doesn't matter and if you do, chances are you don't need much brakes and that's the point where you might start considering mechanical anyway. I do -15C all the time on shimano brakes, no problems.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  26. #26
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    Good to hear on the schimano. I have some xtr race brakes looking for a home.

  27. #27
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    Very nice bike thinking that will be my next.
    Last edited by gunner.989; 01-04-2018 at 11:27 AM.

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    Not sure if you will get this, but did run into any clearance issues with the 29+ rear wheel? I hadn't even considered the conversion but it would be a sweet 2nd non-snow setup or harpack snow race setup if I run over the min. tire width (3.8") for fat races.... looks fast!!
    What is the lowest total weight you think you could hit on a 1X11 build? Probably XO not XX level stuff.
    Sweet bike!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
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    Anyone out there running 29+ on their Ithaqua for a summer wheelset, this is the only one I've seen set up, just wondering what peoples thoughts are on it?
    I've got a set of hubs on the way for a summer wheelset and just trying to decide between 26x70mm with JJ's or whether to take the plunge and try 29+
    '18 Norco Ithaqua SL
    '16 Salsa Bucksaw GX1
    '14 Salsa Mukluk 2

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    A local rider ran 29+ no issues

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