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    Norco Optic

    Hello!

    I am starting a new thread on the optic because I can't find one anywhere and I am going to be building one up here in the next week or so. I will try to keep everyone updated with weights and thoughts and concerns. If anyone has questions I will try to answer those as well.
    Last edited by smjergie; 05-25-2016 at 11:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    Hello!

    I am starting a new thread on the optic because I can't find one anywhere and I am going to be building one up here in the next week or so. I will try to keep everyone updated with weights and thoughts and concerns. If anyone has questions I will try to answer those as well.
    I'm glad to hear this! I think this has the potential to be one of the greatest values in aggressive short travel 29ers. Can you comment specifically on the following areas?

    Price
    Vendor
    Frame weight
    Pedalling efficiency / responsiveness
    Completed build weight
    How planted the bike feels
    And versatility between pulling dual duties as an XC bike as well as a trail slayer

    Look forward to the build!!

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    Look forward to photos of your build. Need to find Norco Demo days to check an Optic to ride.

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    Okay, so the bike just showed up and it came out to 5lb 5oz (2410 grams) size large frame and shock hardware only. That doesn't include the mastic guard for the chain stay or BB or Headset or anything like that. Pictures and build should be up tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    Okay, so the bike just showed up and it came out to 5lb 5oz (2410 grams) size large frame and shock hardware only. That doesn't include the mastic guard for the chain stay or BB or Headset or anything like that. Pictures and build should be up tomorrow.
    My friends large silver optic came in at 5 lb 15 oz, with seat clamp though.

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    Okay so I got the bike built up.
    Final weight came to 28 lbs 12ozs, I am going to play with some different tire combinations that are a little lighter and roll faster.

    here is my build kit:

    Fork: Rock Shox Pike Boost 130mm
    Headset: Cane Creek 40
    Handlebar: Truvativ Stevie Smith (RIP)
    Stem: Truvativ Holzfeller 40mm
    Grips: Sensus Swayze Locking
    Brakes: SRAM Gruide RSC
    Brake Levers: SRAM Gruide RSC
    Shifters: SRAM XX1 Black Trigger
    Rear Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Black
    Cranks: SRAM X01
    Chainring: SRAM Direct Mount 32T
    Bottom Bracket: SRAM PressFit92 Ceramic
    Chain: SRAM XX1
    Cassette: SRAM XX1
    Pedals: Deity Bladerunners
    Front Rim: Easton ARC 27
    Rear Rim: Easton ARC 27
    Hubs: SRAM X0
    Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
    Front Tire: Maxxis DHR2
    Rear Tire: Maxxis DHR2
    Saddle: Tioga Spyder Outlander
    Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb 150mm
    Seatpost Clamp: Norco

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    First Ride Report:

    This bike is super fun! I was able to set up the suspension how I like it, which is really progressive. It pedals a lot lighter then the weight might suggest, my legs were pretty cooked yesterday already but it felt fast and light. As for descending, I need to get used to the bike a little more to make a final decision here, I am coming from my Norco Range with a 170 fork on it so the bikes ride completely differently. I can say that the 29 inch wheels definitely roll faster with less effort. The Optic didn't corner as well as my Range but I need to get the tire pressure dialed in to make a better comparison.

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    Nice. Where did you buy yours? I have to buy mine online but can't find anyone with then in Stock. Fanatik says Norco isn't even providing an eta.

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    smjergie

    Keep us updated.

    There is not much I can find out about the availibility and price of the 29er optic so your thread is timely.

    I was going to build a new 29er hardtail, but looking at transition smuggler, yt jeffsy, norco optic, etc instead.......max budget is about low to mid $2k or less.

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    I got mine through a Norco Dealer, I cannot comment on availability or ETA or anything like that.

    I am still loving this bike. The bike is very well balanced climbing and descending, it is not going to blow your mind at either one but it is very good at both. I am running DHR2s front and rear right now but I have a DHF and aggressor combo I want to try and see if it feels any faster. I use full travel a lot and have found the bike's limits a few times off of some pretty good sized drops but that's not really what this bike is meant for.

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    Well, I assumed you would buy it at a Norco dealer, but which one?

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    I went through Colorado Cycling Connection.

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    Any pics to share and updated ride impressions? I suspect as you went thru C3 you are riding the front range... they are my shop (Norco Sight) and ride all of the front range... thanks in advance!

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    Kinda bummed that despite getting Boost rear axle and BB, the Optic 29 doesn't appear to have clearance for 275x3.0. Which is strange, because Norco was one of the first to adopt the 27.5+ format with the Torrent.
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    My thoughts exactly when the Optic launched... maybe in Ibis fashion they will offer a boost and b+ compatible swingarm upgrade for these when they go boost and dual wheel compatibility in the next production run (guessing or shall i say offering guidance? HA)... or maybe they will just launch a new bike with a bit more travel - like a b+ Sight...

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    A B+/29er Optic with clearance for 3.25 or 29x2.5 tires would be a great competitor for the Tallboy and Hightower.
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    I'm thinking the updated sight is going to get the 2.8" plus size. Ibis style.

    Erik

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    rode an optic at a demo and was the best fitting bike ive ever sat on, the ride was super stiff and unpleasant, but i think both shocks as well as tires were way overinflated...would love to try again with less air all around


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    schrader valves are pretty sweet. You can unscrew the cap and stick something small in them to let air out. amazing technology.
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    Those of you riding the 29 Optic alloy, do you notice much flex?

    Any big guys riding this bike (210 lbs / 96 kg)? Flex?



    This is one of my considerations for a new bike: Optic, process 111, transition smuggler.

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    So, no ride reviews yet?

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    I'm interested in hearing how it rides too. Hardly any more info to be found out there than the first impressions the media got on launch day in April.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    Okay, so the bike just showed up and it came out to 5lb 5oz (2410 grams) size large frame and shock hardware only. That doesn't include the mastic guard for the chain stay or BB or Headset or anything like that. Pictures and build should be up tomorrow.
    Do the 2400g include the shock?

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    Quote Originally Posted by badIuck View Post
    Do the 2400g include the shock?
    That weight did not include the shock

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    That weight did not include the shock
    What about the thru axle and seat collar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    What about the thru axle and seat collar?
    yes it did include thru axle and seat collar

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    I probably ordered one of the first Optic 9 carbon framekits. I built it up and have been enjoying the heck out of the bike for the past week. Geo is spot-on, the suspension is supple but supportive deep in stroke, and the bike generally has a feeling of solidity despite its light weight so it pedals and corners really well. I've already set several PRs on my local trails in Santa Cruz in just the first couple of rides.

    Unfortunately, on my third ride out on the bike, I had a freak issue with the rocker link/seatstay pivot bolt backing out almost completely. That in itself maybe wouldn't have been a big problem, but the way the bolt backs out, it goes into the direction of the seat tube. Before I was aware what was wrong, the bolt had made contact with the seat tube and gouged out giant chunks of carbon. Also looks like the aluminum threads in the upper seatstay pivot are trashed. As you can imagine, this is a huge bummer on an almost brand-new frame. I had just spent a lot of effort applying helicopter tape all over the frame to make sure it remained pristine!

    I took the bike straight to the lbs and dropped it off to get Norco to assess the damage. It seems like this might be considered a design/warranty issue as the owner really has no way to know if the bolt is backing out during a ride. From the way the threads look, there is also no evidence that Loctite was applied at the factory (this simple step probably would have prevented the problem from occuring in the first place). I even visually checked the pivots before each ride to make sure everything was good, since I've seen a bolt or two backing out slightly on a new bike before. This bolt apparently backed out during the climb, and when I dropped into the downhill and hit a succession of larger bumps, I heard the unholy noise of bolt hitting carbon! What a nightmare... hoping Norco has mercy and replaces my frame as I really love riding this bike!

    Pic of my bike below before the damage.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Optic-optic-cropped.jpg  


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    Crazy, sorry to hear that please let us know how the warranty stuff works out.

    Anyone know what the Alum 9.2 full bike would weigh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    I went through Colorado Cycling Connection.
    So you're in the front range. Were you able to demo one anywhere? I asked them if they were ever going to get one, and they said it has too little travel for their usual flavor.

    I really like the open frame space for a frame bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfisher11 View Post
    Crazy, sorry to hear that please let us know how the warranty stuff works out.
    Well, unfortunately the LBS I bought the frame from completely washed their hands of the situation, saying that anything not built by them is not protected by the warranty. I'm really disappointed in the way I was treated as the customer and don't really care to stress myself out further over this, but I'm posting this as useful warning for anyone looking to buy a frame-only option from an LBS.

    The owner stated some interesting things, such as, "The pivots don't come torqued correctly from the factory for any bike they carry", and "We do QC checks on all the frames we build (for pivot bolt torque and a few other less consequential things like derailleur alignment). If we didn't do our in-house QC checks, easily 40% of bikes we sell could become warranties". Yet they didn't do any QC checks on the frame they sold me.

    Admittedly, I did not check the pivot bolt torques with a torque wrench, although I did check before every ride to make sure they weren't loose. I made the *wrong* assumption that the pivot bolts would be assembled to Norco's factory torque specs at the factory (with loctite if the design calls for it). Because this was not done by the factory, I think this damage falls under Norco's "defects in workmanship" clause in their warranty policy.

    The LBS owner instead stated that it's common knowledge that factories don't assemble bikes correctly and laid the entirety of the blame on me for assuming that the frame was good to ride as received. Now, I don't understand how a customer is supposed to have that "common knowledge". Essentially, the LBS from their experience knew the frames had a high probability of having pivot issues if they weren't torqued to specific values (the requirement to torque the pivot bolts on a new frame and their torque specs are not mentioned in any documentation provided by Norco or the LBS btw), and they didn't say a peep about it when I picked up the frame. IMO, they, as the middleman between myself and Norco, made a good margin on the sale with essentially no work on their part. They failed to provide any value in the transaction by either warning me of problems they knew had a high probability of happening, or helping out after the fact when problems did occur. In their defense, I guess not many customers assemble their own frames and the problem that occurred is pretty unusual, so that's the reason why they didn't bother telling me of any potential issues earlier. But it irks me that they won't support the customer in such a case.

    In the end, the lesson is, don't count on your LBS having your back once they have your cash in hand. If you're buying a frame only, I would advise you to ask the LBS to provide written and signed documentation of every spec and procedure that must be completed by you so that the factory warranty would still be honored if something goes wrong. And then once built, I would get that list verified and signed by the LBS. Hope this rant helps someone in the future!

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    Jaks, sorry to hear about your experience. I work at a norco dealer and while it is true some bolts arent super tight from the factory in some cases, the behavior of that LBS is unacceptable. I would recommend writing a letter to norco detailing your experience in a fashion that would not burn bridges with your LBS, as future warranty work will still go through them. If you need help finding a mailing address or something, shoot me a PM and I will find something for you.

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    I also just bought a new Optic C9.3 and this bike is amazing. Its so light and efficient and looks badass. I only have 50km on it so far here on the African Safari trails but I am not disappointed with the ride. front time feels much larger compared the my 27.5 and cornering isnt as tight, but rolling efficiency is awesome especially for climbs.

    Norco Optic-20160901_061227.jpg

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    Norco optic C9.1 frameset actual weights

    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    My friends large silver optic came in at 5 lb 15 oz, with seat clamp though.
    Size medium, with shock, seat clamp and rear axle is 2690g. Optional chain protections are 31g and optional front derailleur mount with screws is 57g.

    Not the lightest frame for today's other offerings but not heavy either for what it is. Fairly massive around bottom bracket and headset, seat clamp is quite large and there are are tabs for front derailleur. That all certainly adds some extra grams.

    Norco customer service does not exists. There is no technical info about frame on USA site. I had to figure out by myself what bottom bracket is needed and I had to measure headset diameter with caliper to know what is needed ( I would say Cane Creek 40 or 110, IS42/IS 52 but have to confirm). It is beyond ridiculous. Or you have to contact the dealer and wait until he/she gets answer from Norco. Otherwise I I like the bike. Already tested as a demo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    Size medium, with shock, seat clamp and rear axle is 2690g. Optional chain protections are 31g and optional front derailleur mount with screws is 57g.

    Not the lightest frame for today's other offerings but not heavy either for what it is. Fairly massive around bottom bracket and headset, seat clamp is quite large and there are are tabs for front derailleur. That all certainly adds some extra grams.

    Norco customer service does not exists. There is no technical info about frame on USA site. I had to figure out by myself what bottom bracket is needed and I had to measure headset diameter with caliper to know what is needed ( I would say Cane Creek 40 or 110, IS42/IS 52 but have to confirm). It is beyond ridiculous. Or you have to contact the dealer and wait until he/she gets answer from Norco. Otherwise I I like the bike. Already tested as a demo.
    I mean obviously head tube diameter not headset

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    I'm interested in hearing how it rides too. Hardly any more info to be found out there than the first impressions the media got on launch day in April.
    Got my hands on a demo C9.3 Optic the other day, this bike needs far better tires than the Nobby Nics it comes with, those tires are terrible and held back the bike a lot. It also reminded me of how much a RS Revelation sucks when I'm used to my custom tuned Manitous and RS Pike. IMO those two things held back the bike a lot.

    Within those limits it was one of the very few 29ers that I wouldn't mind riding. It's only when I stuff it into fast slalom like turns that the bigger wheels & different weight balance start slowing down the rapid side to side transitions compared to my 26" hardtails or my 650B Norco Range. On single turns, even tight ones the Optic doesn't require me to do anything different to get around them and it feels like the rest of my bikes. It's only when there's several linked turns that the bike is slower to flip from side to side, this makes it harder to pump out of one turn then drop the wheels into position to rail & pump out of the next one, it loses more speed compared to my other bikes.

    Compared to my Range, the Optic seems a bit smoother under power and has less pedal kickback when whacking things on climbs. On steep technical uphills, the Range has to be ridden pedal to the metal and rammed over obstacles as required for best results, otherwise it can get hung up on ledges & step-ups. The Optic doesn't require as aggressive of a style, the suspension tracks better under power and has less of a tendency to get hung up. However, having more suspension travel (and better tires) on the Range allows it to get up & over larger ledges as long as I still have enough power in my legs. I'd say that for long rides where I'm saving energy and trying to not get bonked the Optic would be the better choice since I won't have to go full power as often to make it up climbs, for shorter rides where I can go full gas the whole way I'd prefer my Range.

    Other notes. The other similar bike I've ridden is the Ibis Ripley (original, not the LS), and I'd take the Optic over the Ripley any day of the week. The Ripley is just too short and has that over the bars tipsy feeling on any downhill that's more than moderately steep. Trying to ride it fast downhill was scary, it felt more like an XC bike than a trail bike. The Optic is far more stable on downhills, and just more planted everywhere. It drifts more controllably, corners better, and does everything better except climbing. On climbs, the Ripley has a more immediate response when stomping the pedals and climbs faster & more efficiently as long as it's reasonably smooth, but once the roots & rocks get large enough it doesn't track as well and gets kicked around/hung up more than the Optic.

    I definitely want to test out the 27.5 version and put some proper tires on it. It's a bike that I'll need sooner or later since my back isn't going to hold up forever and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep riding hardtails. When that day comes, the Optic is on my short list of bikes.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Got my hands on a demo C9.3 Optic the other day, this bike needs far better tires than the Nobby Nics it comes with, those tires are terrible and held back the bike a lot. It also reminded me of how much a RS Revelation sucks when I'm used to my custom tuned Manitous and RS Pike. IMO those two things held back the bike a lot.

    Within those limits it was one of the very few 29ers that I wouldn't mind riding. It's only when I stuff it into fast slalom like turns that the bigger wheels & different weight balance start slowing down the rapid side to side transitions compared to my 26" hardtails or my 650B Norco Range. On single turns, even tight ones the Optic doesn't require me to do anything different to get around them and it feels like the rest of my bikes. It's only when there's several linked turns that the bike is slower to flip from side to side, this makes it harder to pump out of one turn then drop the wheels into position to rail & pump out of the next one, it loses more speed compared to my other bikes.

    Compared to my Range, the Optic seems a bit smoother under power and has less pedal kickback when whacking things on climbs. On steep technical uphills, the Range has to be ridden pedal to the metal and rammed over obstacles as required for best results, otherwise it can get hung up on ledges & step-ups. The Optic doesn't require as aggressive of a style, the suspension tracks better under power and has less of a tendency to get hung up. However, having more suspension travel (and better tires) on the Range allows it to get up & over larger ledges as long as I still have enough power in my legs. I'd say that for long rides where I'm saving energy and trying to not get bonked the Optic would be the better choice since I won't have to go full power as often to make it up climbs, for shorter rides where I can go full gas the whole way I'd prefer my Range.

    Other notes. The other similar bike I've ridden is the Ibis Ripley (original, not the LS), and I'd take the Optic over the Ripley any day of the week. The Ripley is just too short and has that over the bars tipsy feeling on any downhill that's more than moderately steep. Trying to ride it fast downhill was scary, it felt more like an XC bike than a trail bike. The Optic is far more stable on downhills, and just more planted everywhere. It drifts more controllably, corners better, and does everything better except climbing. On climbs, the Ripley has a more immediate response when stomping the pedals and climbs faster & more efficiently as long as it's reasonably smooth, but once the roots & rocks get large enough it doesn't track as well and gets kicked around/hung up more than the Optic.

    I definitely want to test out the 27.5 version and put some proper tires on it. It's a bike that I'll need sooner or later since my back isn't going to hold up forever and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep riding hardtails. When that day comes, the Optic is on my short list of bikes.
    Thanks tons for taking the time to draft all of that. It's a great read and extremly helpful (especially since I too have a 2015 Range, as you know, which you used as a point of reference in places in your write up).

    ***OFF TOPIC TEMPORARY THREAD JACK WARNING***

    After 2 full seasons I am STILL trying to dial the suspension on my Range. Not sure I will go back to Norco for my next bike. Way too finicky for me.

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    My Norco Optic C9.1, 22 lb with pedals, confirmed

    My Norco Optic C9.1 built:

    2016 Fox Fork 120 mm 34mm Performance
    Wheels Nox Composite Skyline 29 23 mm internal 32 spokes F & R, Hope hubs, 15X110 F, 12X148 R.
    XX1 shifter, XX1 derailleur, XX1 chain, Next SL cranks, 28 T Black Oval Chain ring.
    Shimano XTR Race brakes M9000, Magura SL Rotors 160mm F & R
    Azonic Predator 50mm stem with 31.8 mm clamp , 780 mm flat Niner RDO handlebar, ERS foam grips.
    Thomson Masterpiece seat post with premium Specialized Carbon saddle.
    Specialized S-Works 2.0 FastTack tires F & R. tubeless setup

    Already tried bike a few times. Lighter built does not feel really like a lot of compromise . Definitely will change tires ,maybe add dropper post. Otherwise it is fine. Brakes are OK for my 175 LB. No need to overbuilt cockpit. Extruded, not forged, Azonic 31.8 mm clamp steam is plenty stiff and strong. same Niner handlebar. Thomson Masterpiece seat post is as light as advertised, Specialized premium saddle is very comfy and weights almost nothing but it is very expensive. Carbon rims 23mm internal with 32 spokes are strong and wide enough for trail riding.

    Like a lot Norco A.R.T version of Horst Link suspension. It feels very natural, like it was integral part of bike not the addition to the frame. Feels much less on and off comparing to the suspension with solid triangles like Giant Maestro, Niner CVA or DW link. I think that well designed Horst Link is perfect solution for a trail bike. Double fold, one pivot at shock and another next to rear axle give bike excellent traction. It keeps bike virtually welded to the ground . It may feel less responsive and feel slower on smoother climbs than DW link types but it is more perception than reality.

    I tested Norco Optic and Niner RKT (my race bike) on 1.5 hr loop, not so much challenge,mostly clay hard-pack with occasional roots and rocks ans sections of loose soil , 65% climbs and 35% downhills . Both bikes around 22lb similarly equipped. On climbs Niner felt much faster and responsive than Optic. However when I check times it turned out that Optic was 55s faster. This difference is obviously not significant and I do not try to say that Optic will climb faster than dedicated race bike. But I try to say that Optic is much better climber than it feels. You can say, possibly, better rider would squeezed out more from RKT than me. Who knows.

    Surprisingly, Optic also felt a little easier on my legs and i was less tired after finishing the loop.

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    Some good ride reports. Anyone ride the 27.5? I'm on a Giant Anthem currently and love the 27.5 wheel size. Thinking about this being my next bike but not many demos in my area.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    My Norco Optic C9.1 built:

    2016 Fox Fork 120 mm 34mm Performance
    Wheels Nox Composite Skyline 29 23 mm internal 32 spokes F & R, Hope hubs, 15X110 F, 12X148 R.
    XX1 shifter, XX1 derailleur, XX1 chain, Next SL cranks, 28 T Black Oval Chain ring.
    Shimano XTR Race brakes M9000, Magura SL Rotors 160mm F & R
    Azonic Predator 50mm stem with 31.8 mm clamp , 780 mm flat Niner RDO handlebar, ERS foam grips.
    Thomson Masterpiece seat post with premium Specialized Carbon saddle.
    Specialized S-Works 2.0 FastTack tires F & R. tubeless setup

    Already tried bike a few times. Lighter built does not feel really like a lot of compromise . Definitely will change tires ,maybe add dropper post. Otherwise it is fine. Brakes are OK for my 175 LB. No need to overbuilt cockpit. Extruded, not forged, Azonic 31.8 mm clamp steam is plenty stiff and strong. same Niner handlebar. Thomson Masterpiece seat post is as light as advertised, Specialized premium saddle is very comfy and weights almost nothing but it is very expensive. Carbon rims 23mm internal with 32 spokes are strong and wide enough for trail riding.

    Like a lot Norco A.R.T version of Horst Link suspension. It feels very natural, like it was integral part of bike not the addition to the frame. Feels much less on and off comparing to the suspension with solid triangles like Giant Maestro, Niner CVA or DW link. I think that well designed Horst Link is perfect solution for a trail bike. Double fold, one pivot at shock and another next to rear axle give bike excellent traction. It keeps bike virtually welded to the ground . It may feel less responsive and feel slower on smoother climbs than DW link types but it is more perception than reality.

    I tested Norco Optic and Niner RKT (my race bike) on 1.5 hr loop, not so much challenge,mostly clay hard-pack with occasional roots and rocks ans sections of loose soil , 65% climbs and 35% downhills . Both bikes around 22lb similarly equipped. On climbs Niner felt much faster and responsive than Optic. However when I check times it turned out that Optic was 55s faster. This difference is obviously not significant and I do not try to say that Optic will climb faster than dedicated race bike. But I try to say that Optic is much better climber than it feels. You can say, possibly, better rider would squeezed out more from RKT than me. Who knows.

    Surprisingly, Optic also felt a little easier on my legs and i was less tired after finishing the loop.
    Beautiful build. Nicely done. Congrats on the absolutely awesome bike. Enjoy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Beautiful build. Nicely done. Congrats on the absolutely awesome bike. Enjoy!!!
    Thank you


    Sorry , I was not able to upload pictures. Very frustrating experience.
    MTBR needs to move to 21 century ,it looks like they still live in Middle Ages as far their editor. Do not have time to struggle or figure out why my uploads are failing.

    Cheers

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    Interesting topic. Has anyone compared the Optic with the new Kona Hei Hei DL 29?

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    Hi michel3vb

    Kona Hei Hei DL is xc race frame with approved 120mm fork. And it approved for the reason, because with 120mm fork still have trendy geometry with steeper seat angle and slacker head tube angle. However, effective tube tube length is more in line with traditional cross country bike.

    Norco Optic is dedicated trail bike with the right geometry out of the box.

    On the paper Optic would be the winner but it means nothing without actual test ride because papers comparisons are not always correct.

    In terms of value for frame only options, not long time ago I would call 2200$ Optic C an excellent deal. However with latest pricing of full carbon frames, named Kona 2500$, Pivot 429 SL discounted to 2400$, Pivot Trail 2500$ and list goes on, pricing for Optic with alloy rear triangle is fair, but definitely I would not call it a smoking deal.

  43. #43
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    Hi,
    I'm looking at a 29er trail bike to add to my bikes

    I currently have a Norco Revolver that is absolutely the fastest bike I have ever had. With pedals I'm at 22.2 lbs for a size large. It's so fast, that I crash much more on that bike than I do on my other bike, a Knolly Endorphin. Not the greatest rider.

    I'm looking for a bike to split the difference and am curious about the Optic C9.1 fram set.

    What can I expect for a lightweight build for the Optic. Do you think it can it be built at around 24-25 lbs? Meaning, a few more pounds than the Revolver with similar parts, wheels and tires?

    Also, how is the bike in chattery, successive hits on the downhill? This is where my Revolver suffers as it is very harsh.

    Anyone have issues with pedal strikes?

    Also, I like longer reach bikes. I don't think a Pivot, or Ripley LS would suite me. The reach on my Revolver - 461 mm fits me perfectly.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    ...What can I expect for a lightweight build for the Optic. Do you think it can it be built at around 24-25 lbs?...
    As a benchmark, I quite easily got my 2015 Range C2 down to 27.5 pounds with pedals, and that's with with 2.35 DHF/DHR II tires and nothing stupid light. So I would think 25 pounds is readily attainable for the carbon Optic.

    I am responding because this forum can be awfully quiet. I am sure an Optic owner will chime in at some point but in the meantime, I can at least offer you this.

  45. #45
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    Yes, I wish more people bought these bikes or provided feedback.

    Thanks for your input. Good to hear.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Yes, I wish more people bought these bikes or provided feedback.

    Thanks for your input. Good to hear.
    In my neck of the woods, every 4th bike is a Norco. I see Ranges every ride. I see the Live to Play/Norco rep's van and his crew once a week. I suspect their sales are highly regional - mostly Cdn and lots in western Canada. Either that or all the Norco owners are out riding all the time.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I suspect their sales are highly regional - mostly Cdn and lots in western Canada. Either that or all the Norco owners are out riding all the time.
    Seems like it. The only one I've seen in my life is hanging in my garage or under my ass.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Seems like it. The only one I've seen in my life is hanging in my garage or under my ass.
    The last few times I saw them, the Norco/Live to Play guys were riding the silver and orange Optics. I talked to them and they were completely stoked. The trail network area where they were is generally pretty swoopy, bermy and buff so I would think the 29er Optic would be right at home there. They told me I would much prefer the Optic on those trails than my Range. Maybe so.

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    I have both an optic and a range and I have a hard time seeing an Optic built to 24lbs unless you are running some super lightweight parts. Mine came in at a touch under 29 and I have a pretty standard "trail" build kit with a DHR2 front and aggressor rear tire. I know I could save some weight in the tires but unless I wanted to blow a large chunk of money on carbon wheels the only thing I could do to drop weight is get a carbon seat post and lose the dropper and get a revelation instead of a pike but then things start to flex a little.

  50. #50
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    At 29 lbs, is that a large?

    According to my rough calculation, the frame should be around 5.7 lbs with shock for a size L which seems like a pretty decent starting point.

    Do you run a 1x? Carbon cranks? What cassette are you running?

    I wouldn't run a dropper so that's a pound, and with my trails, I could save about a pound in the tire selection. That get's me down to around 27 lbs.

    I have a 130 mm travel Factory Fox 34, but I don't think it's much of a savings over the Pike

    So 27 - 27.5 lbs seems high to me for a light duty trail bike. For me. Not saying it's a heavy bike, just saying that I need as much help going up hills as possible. And from my reading some reviews, this bike climbs "ok".

    Currently my medium Endorphin with plus tires is in 27.5 lb. range, so I see no reason to switch unless I could save at least 2 to 3 more pounds.

    My wheelset is I9 trail and I'm not going to run an expensive carbon set as I wouldn't save that much anyway going that route.

    Hopefully we can get some more builds in this thread.
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    You can see my full build in post #6. I would still argue that there are plenty of benefits to riding the optic and the same weight as your knolly. With less travel and 29 inch wheels the bike will behave completely differently. It will pedal more efficiently and be more snappy all around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smjergie View Post
    You can see my full build in post #6. I would still argue that there are plenty of benefits to riding the optic and the same weight as your knolly. With less travel and 29 inch wheels the bike will behave completely differently. It will pedal more efficiently and be more snappy all around.
    Fair point!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    What can I expect for a lightweight build for the Optic. Do you think it can it be built at around 24-25 lbs? Meaning, a few more pounds than the Revolver with similar parts, wheels and tires?

    Also, how is the bike in chattery, successive hits on the downhill? This is where my Revolver suffers as it is very harsh.
    According to my local rep, the Optic frame is about 1-1.5 lbs heavier than the Revolver depending on the size. All else being about the same, you should be able to hit your weight target.

    As for how it does on chattery repeated hits, I'd say pretty well within the limits of the tires & fork. I couldn't wring out the bike the way I wanted to with the tires & fork it had so I don't know how the rear suspension would perform when I'm riding full out, but it was still pretty smooth at the speed I was riding at. I'd say it's likely above average compared to the other bikes in its class which I've ridden.

    Regarding pedal strikes, I'm the wrong person to ask. It's very rare for me to have pedal strikes even on a bike with sub 12" BB height and 175mm cranks. About the only times when I whack a pedal are when I've been drinking or thinking about boobies instead of paying attention to the trail.

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    If you need to know the lightweight potential of a bike, you just really need to know the frame weight. My Med 29 Optic frame was 6lbs exactly btw (including shock, thru-axle, chainstay protection, and seat collar, minus the f derailleur mount). A bit on the heavier side, but pretty good for a trail bike that can take some hits. Pretty much the lightest FS frame you can buy will come in at no less than 5lbs unless you start compromising severely on frame stiffness, pivots, etc. So the Optic can be built as light as the lightest FS trail bike you can imagine, +1lb.

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    Jaks, I take it you like this bike?

    What are some of its downfalls if any?

    All this info has me leaning towards the optic frame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    At 29 lbs, is that a large?

    According to my rough calculation, the frame should be around 5.7 lbs with shock for a size L which seems like a pretty decent starting point.

    Do you run a 1x? Carbon cranks? What cassette are you running?

    I wouldn't run a dropper so that's a pound, and with my trails, I could save about a pound in the tire selection. That get's me down to around 27 lbs.

    I have a 130 mm travel Factory Fox 34, but I don't think it's much of a savings over the Pike

    So 27 - 27.5 lbs seems high to me for a light duty trail bike. For me. Not saying it's a heavy bike, just saying that I need as much help going up hills as possible. And from my reading some reviews, this bike climbs "ok".

    Currently my medium Endorphin with plus tires is in 27.5 lb. range, so I see no reason to switch unless I could save at least 2 to 3 more pounds.

    My wheelset is I9 trail and I'm not going to run an expensive carbon set as I wouldn't save that much anyway going that route.

    Hopefully we can get some more builds in this thread.
    Zerot

    It is very simple math. If you built a Optic with similar parts as Revolver is going to weight around 23.2 lb. Optic frame will weight more than 5.7 lb, large. At 22lb my Optic is not OK climber, it climbs like traditional cross country bike.

    What constitutes trail bike is frame, front and rear shock and wheels. The rest has very little effect on the ride. You can put very light parts on but with right fork and wheels Optic will still have very confident handling on the trail. Substantial difference in weight of lightly built bike can come from tires. Difference in tires weight can be 1.5 lb and even more.

    Many times differences in bikes built are more of marketing than real purpose. Revolver needs to be different than Optic, Optic needs to be different than Range.

    In reality, with current technology and parts, you can built trail bike as light as XC race bike without any significant compromise in performance. The only matter is how much you willing to spend .

  57. #57
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    Yes, I know all the above. Thanks for the obvious. In fact I think I stated as much in my posts.

    What I didn't know, but was already pointed out by others was the frameset weight. Which if you would have read above was stated as 6 pounds for a medium.

    But yet you quote 5.7 pounds. Is that a small?
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  58. #58
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    BTW, my large Revolver weighs 22.2 lbs.

    So only 1 pound difference?? I find that hard to believe especially since the revolver is full carbon and probably not built for trail duty.

    I'd say if I swapped my components I'd be at 25 lbs. 26.5 to 27 with a dropper and 2.35 tires instead of my 2.25.
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    I quoted 5.93 lb for medium which is 2690g, without front derailleur mounting plate and chain stays protection, with shock, rear axle and sea post clamp.

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    I have the factory spec Optic C9.3. Its also 29 lbs.

    I have now put about 350km single track trail riding in the past month on the bike. The stock nobby nic are a pain in the ass. I have blown 3 tubes and getting the tires back on is a b*tch because they are super tight. The only other thing i notice are creaks in the bike. This is my first carbon bike so Im not sure if its normal.

    I do really enjoy the SRAM drive train. its smooth and solid especially on climbs or under load. Also my 1st 1x11, and wouldnt go back now.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn13 View Post
    I have the factory spec Optic C9.3. Its also 29 lbs.

    I have now put about 350km single track trail riding in the past month on the bike. The stock nobby nic are a pain in the ass. I have blown 3 tubes and getting the tires back on is a b*tch because they are super tight. The only other thing i notice are creaks in the bike. This is my first carbon bike so Im not sure if its normal.

    I do really enjoy the SRAM drive train. its smooth and solid especially on climbs or under load. Also my 1st 1x11, and wouldnt go back now.
    Hi Thanks for the input. 29 pounds, what size?

    Interesting about the creaks. Most likely something is loose or dirty and probably not due to the carbon front triangle.

    Love my Revolver but still on the fence with this model.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    Hi michel3vb

    Kona Hei Hei DL is xc race frame with approved 120mm fork. And it approved for the reason, because with 120mm fork still have trendy geometry with steeper seat angle and slacker head tube angle. However, effective tube tube length is more in line with traditional cross country bike.

    Norco Optic is dedicated trail bike with the right geometry out of the box.

    On the paper Optic would be the winner but it means nothing without actual test ride because papers comparisons are not always correct.

    In terms of value for frame only options, not long time ago I would call 2200$ Optic C an excellent deal. However with latest pricing of full carbon frames, named Kona 2500$, Pivot 429 SL discounted to 2400$, Pivot Trail 2500$ and list goes on, pricing for Optic with alloy rear triangle is fair, but definitely I would not call it a smoking deal.
    I mean this bike: KONA BIKES | MTB | HEI HEI | Hei Hei DL
    I have compared the geometry for both bikes in size XL but there isn't a lot of difference. The top tube of the Hei Hei is only 8mm shorter then the Optic. Is that the difference between more cross country and trail?

    Of course I will try to test both bikes but it is always usefull in my opion to get some experience from other users.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by michel3vb View Post
    I mean this bike: KONA BIKES | MTB | HEI HEI | Hei Hei DL
    I have compared the geometry for both bikes in size XL but there isn't a lot of difference. The top tube of the Hei Hei is only 8mm shorter then the Optic. Is that the difference between more cross country and trail?

    Of course I will try to test both bikes but it is always usefull in my opion to get some experience from other users.
    I have come to despise the rear suspension on my 2015 Range C2. I am now in the process of deciding whether to shell out $1500 for an ElevenSix or have Avy custom tune my Monarch Plus. I have owned close to 10 Konas over the years. I currently own 3 and my daughter has a Process. Every single one of my Konas was dialled geo-wise, and was an absolute blast to ride, straight out of the box. Not sure about how the ART suspension is set up on the Optic but make sure it is plush enough for you. My Range feels worse than a hard tail in even the mildest of gnar/chunk. Simple as that. Who would have thought I'd be complaining about the downs with the Range? Also make sure you are fine with high anti-squat, assuming the Optic is set up similarly to the Range. Not trying to cause $hit. Just trying to give you a heads up.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I have come to despise the rear suspension on my 2015 Range C2. I am now in the process of deciding whether to shell out $1500 for an ElevenSix or have Avy custom tune my Monarch Plus. I have owned close to 10 Konas over the years. I currently own 3 and my daughter has a Process. Every single one of my Konas was dialled geo-wise, and was an absolute blast to ride, straight out of the box. Not sure about how the ART suspension is set up on the Optic but make sure it is plush enough for you. My Range feels worse than a hard tail in even the mildest of gnar/chunk. Simple as that. Who would have thought I'd be complaining about the downs with the Range? Also make sure you are fine with high anti-squat, assuming the Optic is set up similarly to the Range. Not trying to cause $hit. Just trying to give you a heads up.
    Much appreciated.

    And seeing as my Revolver is harsh in chatter, maybe it's a Norco thing as both of those bikes represent a wide spectrum of use.
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    I like the geo on that Kona however I'd prefer more travel as the front will be set up with 130mm fork.
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    If you need to know the lightweight potential of a bike, you just really need to know the frame weight. My Med 29 Optic frame was 6lbs exactly btw (including shock, thru-axle, chainstay protection, and seat collar, minus the f derailleur mount). A bit on the heavier side, but pretty good for a trail bike that can take some hits. Pretty much the lightest FS frame you can buy will come in at no less than 5lbs unless you start compromising severely on frame stiffness, pivots, etc. So the Optic can be built as light as the lightest FS trail bike you can imagine, +1lb.
    That said, does anyone have an actual frame weight for a Revolver? I'm debating between the two right now.

    Another thing to consider is the fork weight, light weight options at 110mm+ are going away quickly. They are being replaced by stiffer forks (not saying there's anything wrong with this, but it's worth considering). You wouldn't want to put a new SID or Fox Step-Cast on an Optic, but it would be right at home on an Revolver.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Also make sure you are fine with high anti-squat, assuming the Optic is set up similarly to the Range. Not trying to cause $hit. Just trying to give you a heads up.
    The Revolver and Optic differ from the rest of the Norco line as they have relatively low anti-squat numbers. I have not heard of any reports of the Optic being chattery in the rough. In fact, I've heard the opposite.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    That said, does anyone have an actual frame weight for a Revolver? I'm debating between the two right now.

    Another thing to consider is the fork weight, light weight options at 110mm+ are going away quickly. They are being replaced by stiffer forks (not saying there's anything wrong with this, but it's worth considering). You wouldn't want to put a new SID or Fox Step-Cast on an Optic, but it would be right at home on an Revolver.
    I have used both a Sid 120, and now use the Fox Step Cast. With pedals, my Revolver is 22.2 lbs. Size Large. Sorry I never weighed the frame.

    For the Optic, or suitable trail bike I have a new 130 Fox Factory 34.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    The Revolver and Optic differ from the rest of the Norco line as they have relatively low anti-squat numbers. I have not heard of any reports of the Optic being chattery in the rough. In fact, I've heard the opposite.
    Please point me in the direction. I'd love to read or hear about that. If it it can handle successive hits, I'd probably be in. Otherwise I'm looking at an Orbea Occam TR with 120mm or BMC Speedfox which I think is 130mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Please point me in the direction. I'd love to read or hear about that. If it it can handle successive hits, I'd probably be in. Otherwise I'm looking at an Orbea Occam TR with 120mm or BMC Speedfox which I think is 130mm.
    Linkage design has the graphs.
    Norco Revolver 27.5'' 2016 - Linkage Design
    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design
    Norco Range 27.5'' 2013 - Linkage Design

    Norco has 2 main families in their suspension design; the lower anti-squat one used in the Revolver and Optic and the high anti-squat one found in the Fluid, Sight, Range, and Aurum. I

    MO the Optic handles successive hits just fine, though as I noted earlier I'd want to throw a set of DHFs and stronger wheels on the bike so that I can fully thrash the crap out of it. I tore the cornering knobs on the stock Nobby Nic tires and put a few minor wobbles into casing, the suspension was still handling fine at that point so I wasn't exactly babying the bike, I just think it's capable of a lot more with proper wheels & tires on it.

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    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design

    Looking at the comment section, it seems like there are some different views regarding the quality of the suspension design.
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    Again, Kona Hei Hei carbon is 100% genuine xc race frame with 100mm rear travel .
    It is exactly the same frame used for both race and trail version. I do know any any trail bike by design which use 100mm rear travel and 120mm front fork. it is 110/120 or 120/120. I does not take away anything from Kona and HEI HEI DL gets good reviews. Geometry of Kona is quite different from Optic, even a few mm here and there , when adds up it makes quite different geometry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design

    Looking at the comment section, it seems like there are some different views regarding the quality of the suspension design.
    Deciphering the Google translated gibberish in places gives me a headache.

    A greeting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    I have used both a Sid 120, and now use the Fox Step Cast. With pedals, my Revolver is 22.2 lbs. Size Large. Sorry I never weighed the frame.

    For the Optic, or suitable trail bike I have a new 130 Fox Factory 34.
    130 fox 34 is not approved for OPTIC , It will void frame warranty, Optic frame comes with this warning.

    Fox performance 34 120mm it is quite light. Apparently have simpler internals than Factory and I am quite sure it is a bit lighter . When it was cut to length it felt as light as my Fox 32 100 Factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    130 fox 34 is not approved for OPTIC , It will void frame warranty, Optic frame comes with this warning.

    Fox performance 34 120mm it is quite light. Apparently have simpler internals than Factory and I am quite sure it is a bit lighter . When it was cut to length it felt as light as my Fox 32 100 Factory.
    I usually buy 2 to 3 bikes a year. I could care less about the warranty.

    I already have the Fox factory. I'm sure the Performance would only be a few grams lighter. Nothing to really make a difference.

    BTW, I used a 120mm on the Revolver. Nothing bad happened and I'm sure that's not approved either.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    I usually buy 2 to 3 bikes a year. I could care less about the warranty.

    I already have the Fox factory. I'm sure the Performance would only be a few grams lighter. Nothing to really make a difference.

    BTW, I used a 120mm on the Revolver. Nothing bad happened and I'm sure that's not approved either.
    None of my business I know but years ago, contrary to the express terms of the warranty, my buddy threw a Monster Triple on a Foes frame and snapped the downtube landing an 8 footer. I still remember him carrying the bike down the hill...a wheel in each hand. He's very lucky it was only his frame that broke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    None of my business I know but years ago, contrary to the express terms of the warranty, my buddy threw a Monster Triple on a Foes frame and snapped the downtube landing an 8 footer. I still remember him carrying the bike down the hill...a wheel in each hand. He's very lucky it was only his frame that broke.
    Very lucky.

    Nowhere that I ride has 8 footers, let alone 2 footers. Hence the search for a short travel 29er.

    Plus I'm too old to be dropping off jumps.
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    Make sure you check your pivot torques periodically. My Optic came without any loctite on the pivot threads

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Jaks, I take it you like this bike?

    What are some of its downfalls if any?

    All this info has me leaning towards the optic frame.
    The bike is absolutely fantastic for my needs. Mine built up to 26lbs with a relatively heavy Stage fork and I use it for everything from XC to rowdy trail riding. The only downfall I could think of is if you want to run a large chainring where the terrain is flatter. Or if you're a pro-XC type and can power large chainring on any terrain, this would not be the top choice. The reason is because the bike has medium anti-squat values, and as you get larger on the chainring, the AS gets lower and lower, giving you more and more pedal bob. You can always run the shock in trail mode to compensate, but there are other bikes better suited for that kind of situation.

    That being said, I ride where there are big climbs and big descents and I run a 28t chainring (debating going to a 26t, and I'm easily in the top quintile of the locals both up and down). With a 28t (or 26t) chainring, the Optic pedals very well in general while not being as perturbed by chain tension on technical climbs as higher AS value bikes. From a power and endurance standpoint, the vast majority of people run bigger chainrings than they can handle on 29ers and are better off with a smaller than the typical 32T chainring. But if you have a bike that already has high AS for a 32T, and then you go to a 28t or 26t, the AS will go off the charts and you'll get huge pedal kickback in certain situations. With the Optic, it plays well with 28T +/-2T, which is my preferred gearing.

    Other than that, I just switched the rear shock to a DBinline that I had from my previous frame. The stock shock is very good, but the DBinline makes it even better, especially when it gets fast and rowdy.

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    Highly considering Revolver + 120mm fork vs an optic for aggressive XC riding on primitive, rooty upstate NY trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Highly considering Revolver + 120mm fork vs an optic for aggressive XC riding on primitive, rooty upstate NY trails.
    In this case Kona Hei Hei would be much better choice. Why not Orbea Occam TR 29, probably the best cross countrish light trail bike?

    Revolver suspension is quite stiff to prevent Horst Link from excessive sagging / folding at the rear axle pivot. Naturally, Horst Link appears to be better fit for light trail bike like Optic. Norco did very good job with Revolver A.R.T suspension for race bike but l would not recommend it as a trail bike substitute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    In this case Kona Hei Hei would be much better choice. Why not Orbea Occam TR 29, probably the best cross countrish light trail bike?


    This is why I wouldn't want an Occam. It's 2016, there's no reason to use regressive leverage curves to deal with the wonky air springs which were common in air shocks 15 years ago. With modern air shocks, that suspension is going to bottom out excessively unless the shock is stuffed full of volume spacers.

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    Just my experience, but I demoed a carbon Orbea Occam TR 29er this year at DirtFest and thought it rode like $hit. I had the tech adjust the air pressure in the shocks and tires before I rode it, but it was very harsh on even the non-technical trails, so much so that I cut my test ride short because I could tell I wasn't going to get along with it. It's the first time I was immediately disappointed with a demo ride. Perhaps the tech used too much air, but we did check the sag and it seemed close to where it should have been. Normally I would have released some air and gone out again, but it was getting late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    In this case Kona Hei Hei would be much better choice. Why not Orbea Occam TR 29, probably the best cross countrish light trail bike?

    Revolver suspension is quite stiff to prevent Horst Link from excessive sagging / folding at the rear axle pivot. Naturally, Horst Link appears to be better fit for light trail bike like Optic. Norco did very good job with Revolver A.R.T suspension for race bike but l would not recommend it as a trail bike substitute.


    I should clarify that I am 5'4" and focused on 27.5 frames. I haven't been considering 29ers like the Hei Hei.

    Lately, I have been looking at two types of bikes: 1)XC frames that can go towards the aggressive side of things such as ASRc (size small 27.5), Trek Top Fuel (with a 120mm fork) and Revolver 27.5 with a 120mm fork.

    2) short travel 27.5 Trail bikes that straddle the XC side of things: Optic 27.5, Thunderbolt, Focus Spine, Santa Cruz 5010, Anthem SX, 2017 Spark
    Last edited by ashwinearl; 10-18-2016 at 06:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    I should clarify that I am 5'4" and focused on 27.5 frames. I haven't been considering 29ers like the Hei Hei.

    Lately, I have been looking at two types of bikes: 1)XC frames that can go towards the aggressive side of things such as ASRc (size small 27.5), Trek Top Fuel (with a 120mm fork) and Revolver 27.5 with a 120mm fork.

    2) short travel 27.5 Trail bikes that straddle the XC side of things: Optic 27.5, Thunderbolt, Focus Sping, Santa Cruz 5010, Anthem SX, 2017 Spark

    If you're riding rooty trails on a 27.5, you definitely want to lean more towards the 2nd group of bikes for more travel. You will get bounced off line a lot more on the shorter travel frames. I had a Thunderbolt before my Optic (29) and I loved that bike. The main reason I switched was because the Optic happens to fit my body proportions better for my lower back issues. Judging by my local trails, I'm about the same speed on both bikes. The Optic is a little bit more stable due to the longer wheelbase and bigger wheels, which I wanted since I do more endurance type events. The Thunderbolt is a tiny bit easier to whip around corners.

    A comparison of the 27.5 Optic and Thunderbolt would be interesting because they have very similar travel. The Thunderbolt is a bit slacker in the front and slightly shorter in the back, but the Optic has a longer reach (for a comparable size) which might make up for not being so slack in the head angle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    The Revolver and Optic differ from the rest of the Norco line as they have relatively low anti-squat numbers. I have not heard of any reports of the Optic being chattery in the rough. In fact, I've heard the opposite.
    There was a line out the Australian Mountain Biking review on the Revolver that might explain that some people say the Revolver is harsh. I have read that elsewhere.

    "The Revolver needs to be ridden hard, and if you donít the ride can actually feel lumpier than on a bike that has more linear suspension."
    Norco Revolver 9.2 FS - Mountain Biking Australia magazine - bike reviews, tips, news, training

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    Thanks for the insight. I'm sure I can't go wrong with any of the choices these days. Optic 27.5, Thunderbolt 27.5, Revolver (120mm).

    Reach and geometry is my main concern given my odd proportions of long legs and short torso and overall short height of 5'5"

    It is interesting to look at the linkage design blog to see the anti-squat curves. I don't understand it very well but see that the Thunderbolt has the least followed by the Revolver then the Optic
    Norco Revolver 27.5'' 2016 - Linkage Design
    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design
    R.M. Thunderbolt 2014 - Linkage Design


    I am drawn to the review of the Revolver written by the Australian Mountain Biking Magazine where the put a 120mm on the Revolver.
    Norco Revolver 9.2 FS - Mountain Biking Australia magazine - bike reviews, tips, news, training

    "And yes, it was a hoot to ride the slacked out Revolver! It gives up little or nothing on the ups or the flats, but with 20mm more front travel and about a degree lopped off the head angle the descents were much more of a point and shoot affair. Of course the spindly fork and narrow rims mean that you canít just charge your way through a field of boulders, but itíll also dance its way back up the trail like no plough bike ever could. The 100mm of rear travel is so progressive that even though I settled on 30-35% sag, it still handled most of the trails Iíd normally ride on my 160mm Range, albeit with a little more care and caution. Itíll even happily get airborne or manual; things 29ers race bikes arenít renowned for. In this guise the Revolver strikes a more or less perfect balance between flick-ability, climb-ability and bomb-ability that forms the hallmark of a great trail bike"

    BUT this was written about the 29er version. This describes the kind of riding I'd like.
    Last edited by ashwinearl; 10-11-2016 at 07:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Thanks for the insight. I'm sure I can't go wrong with any of the choices these days. Optic 27.5, Thunderbolt 27.5, Revolver (120mm).

    Reach and geometry is my main concern given my odd proportions of long legs and short torso and overall short height of 5'5"

    It is interesting to look at the linkage design blog to see the anti-squat curves. I don't understand it very well but see that the Thunderbolt has the least followed by the Revolver then the Optic
    Norco Revolver 27.5'' 2016 - Linkage Design
    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design
    R.M. Thunderbolt 2014 - Linkage Design


    I am drawn to the review of the Revolver written by the Australian Mountain Biking Magazine where the put a 120mm on the Revolver.
    Norco Revolver 9.2 FS - Mountain Biking Australia magazine - bike reviews, tips, news, training

    "And yes, it was a hoot to ride the slacked out Revolver! It gives up little or nothing on the ups or the flats, but with 20mm more front travel and about a degree lopped off the head angle the descents were much more of a point and shoot affair. Of course the spindly fork and narrow rims mean that you canít just charge your way through a field of boulders, but itíll also dance its way back up the trail like no plough bike ever could. The 100mm of rear travel is so progressive that even though I settled on 30-35% sag, it still handled most of the trails Iíd normally ride on my 160mm Range, albeit with a little more care and caution. Itíll even happily get airborne or manual; things 29ers race bikes arenít renowned for. In this guise the Revolver strikes a more or less perfect balance between flick-ability, climb-ability and bomb-ability that forms the hallmark of a great trail bike"

    BUT this was written about the 29er version. This describes the kind of riding I'd like.
    If you have a relatively long inseam for your height, a small Thunderbolt would actually work really well for you. That linkage design analysis of the Thunderbolt is actually of the half-model older aluminum frame - the carbon frame version was adjusted to have some more anti-squat. Mine was quick going up with very little pedal bob with a 30t chainring - I would say comparable to my current Optic 29 with a 26t chainring. And that description of the Revolver perfectly describes the carbon Thunderbolt as well.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    There was a line out the Australian Mountain Biking review on the Revolver that might explain that some people say the Revolver is harsh. I have read that elsewhere.

    "The Revolver needs to be ridden hard, and if you donít the ride can actually feel lumpier than on a bike that has more linear suspension."
    Norco Revolver 9.2 FS - Mountain Biking Australia magazine - bike reviews, tips, news, training
    Wow, that is a fantastic review. It even includes and actual frame weight. I have been riding a demo Revolver this week and agree with everything this reviewer has said. I really enjoy the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    Wow, that is a fantastic review. It even includes and actual frame weight. I have been riding a demo Revolver this week and agree with everything this reviewer has said. I really enjoy the bike.
    There was also this quote that really piqued my interest:
    " tís impossible to take human variability out of the equation, but if pressed, Iíd say that the Revolver is probably one of, if not the, best climbing bikes Iíve riddenóat least when it comes to technical trails.
    Read more at http://www.mtbiking.com.au/bike/norco-revolver-9-2-fs#0bYKzBrTxkDkdwxQ.99"

    Technical climbing is something I love and want to improve.

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    Optic Build

    Thought I'd toss my Optic 29 into the mix.
    Built it up from the frame with a SRAM Eagle drivetrain and Guide RCS brakes. Factory Fox 34 up front set to 130mm travel. Bars are Easton Haven Carbon with a 50mm RaceFace Turbine stem.
    Wheels pictured were just loaners. Final build will run Nextie wide carbon rims built on Tune hubs with 2.35 Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres.
    Currently sits at 12.6kg (27.7lbs) with pedals but this will drop to 12kg (26.4lbs) with the carbon wheels and NN tyres.
    Frame alone was 2,540g (5.6lbs) with the shock but no thru-axle.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Optic-14291851_1304628866234705_2699965443265751988_n.jpg  

    Norco Optic-img_1725.jpg  

    Norco Optic-capture.jpg  


  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick View Post
    Thought I'd toss my Optic 29 into the mix.
    Built it up from the frame with a SRAM Eagle drivetrain and Guide RCS brakes. Factory Fox 34 up front set to 130mm travel. Bars are Easton Haven Carbon with a 50mm RaceFace Turbine stem.
    Wheels pictured were just loaners. Final build will run Nextie wide carbon rims built on Tune hubs with 2.35 Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres.
    Currently sits at 12.6kg (27.7lbs) with pedals but this will drop to 12kg (26.4lbs) with the carbon wheels and NN tyres.
    Frame alone was 2,540g (5.6lbs) with the shock but no thru-axle.
    Ride report?

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Ride report?
    Sure...

    Well the rear suspension is nice and progressive, it feels even more progressive than the graph below depicts. As a result it's very supple early in the travel and hugs the trail nicely. It then ramps up and resists harsh bottoming. Needs to be ridden hard to use all of the travel, and that's with 30% sag.

    The ART suspension has less anti-squat than their other bikes (same applies to the Revolver FS), so it favours suspension activity and minimal pedal kickback under power rather than firming up under hard pedalling like the the Range or Sight. Not sure that I'm a fan of this thinking but it's not a big issue with the Optic, as there's not a lot of travel to begin with.

    With a rear end that can really cope with some big hits, I feel that a 130mm travel fork is a better match and I'm 100% happy with my choice on that front.

    Geometry is spot on and really completes the package. Steep seat angle puts you in a good climbing position and it rides like a Norco should on the descents - playful and way more capable than you'd expect for a bike with 110mm of travel. For me this is the first 29er that I've felt totally comfortable on - it just feels balanced and natural on the trail. Doesn't feel like a bike with clown wheels, just feels like a great bike, full stop...

    Check this review on the Optic A7.1 if you want more detail, as it pretty much mirrors my feelings...
    Norco Optic A9.1 - Mountain Biking Australia magazine - bike reviews, tips, news, training
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Optic-norco-optic-carbon_levratio.jpg  

    Norco Optic-norco-optic-carbon_anti-squat.jpg  


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    why not 2017 rocky mountain element ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Highly considering Revolver + 120mm fork vs an optic for aggressive XC riding on primitive, rooty upstate NY trails.
    2017 Rocky Mountain Element, this is you should look at , first XC frame designed specifically around 120mm fork. Not approved for 120mm , meant for 120mm fork

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    2017 Rocky Mountain Element, this is you should look at , first XC frame designed specifically around 120mm fork. Not approved for 120mm , meant for 120mm fork
    Reach is better on Norcos. Rocky Mountain are short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Reach is better on Norcos. Rocky Mountain are short.
    Can you guys comment on frame sizing for the optic? How tall are you and what size frame and stem length are you riding?

    I am considering an optic 9.x but there are no dealers any where close to me, and my web searches came up empty.

    I am 5'9", 32 inseam and am thinking a Medium will be correct, but would like some insight from optic owners.

    cheers
    ricki

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    Quote Originally Posted by displaced kiwi View Post
    Can you guys comment on frame sizing for the optic? How tall are you and what size frame and stem length are you riding?

    I am considering an optic 9.x but there are no dealers any where close to me, and my web searches came up empty.

    I am 5'9", 32 inseam and am thinking a Medium will be correct, but would like some insight from optic owners.

    cheers
    ricki
    I'm the exact same size as you. I have a large Revolver FS that has a reach of 461mm.

    The large Optic is only 3mm longer at 464mm.

    Go for the large, you won't regret it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    I'm the exact same size as you. I have a large Revolver FS that has a reach of 461mm.

    The large Optic is only 3mm longer at 464mm.

    Go for the large, you won't regret it.
    Thank you for the reply.

    I am partial to Norco and still have my y2k black/red VPS2. It was a trusty steed but I have not ridden it in over 10 years and a lot has changed since then

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by displaced kiwi View Post
    Thank you for the reply.

    I am partial to Norco and still have my y2k black/red VPS2. It was a trusty steed but I have not ridden it in over 10 years and a lot has changed since then

    cheers
    Haha, I''m about the same size 5'10, 31" inseam and very happy with the medium. If you like more of a stretched out xc riding position, do a large.

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    Does anyone know if you can fit a 29 x 2.6 Nobby Nic in the back of an Optic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Does anyone know if you can fit a 29 x 2.6 Nobby Nic in the back of an Optic?
    I dunno but there seems to be a ton of space around my 2.3 butcher on a 28mm iw rim. What would be the benefit of the 2.6? More cushion? I'm definitely not more wanting for traction with my regular 2.3.

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    Benefit? Not sure there is one really. I just have a set on my hardtail and it would be nice to just switch them over if I bought the optic frame.

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    I'm looking forward to throwing on some 2.35 Ikon or 2.35 RaRA next season. The recommended max tire width according to manufacture is 2.4


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    If 2.4 is the max, that means there is decent mud clearance at that width.

    I think 2.6's would fit based on that. Just don't ride in the mud with them.

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    Just ordered a large. Time to sell the Knolly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design

    Looking at the comment section, it seems like there are some different views regarding the quality of the suspension design.
    Well, anti-squat % is only one component of bike design and accounts only for energy loss due suspension movement. It does not accounts for energy waste due to forces opposite to squat such as wheel bouncing and poor traction because of stiff suspension, pedals kickback and similar. Norco believes that keeping rear wheel on the ground and providing good traction is as much important as preventing suspension bob during climbing.Anti-squad pedaling efficiency is only technical term to compare relative suspension movement between bikes. If you want to know real pedaling efficiency you need to ride the bike.

    As far as Antonio O Suna estimate of Norco Optic 29 anti-squad%,
    these numbers are way too low. I downloaded demo version Linkage 3 . It includes library of some bike suspension designs. John Hardwick Norco Optic 29 model calculates around 71% to 90.1 % anti-squad for 30T chain ring , for 10-42 cassette, 25% sag. Riding currently Niner 9 RKT and Tallboy 3 I can say that these numbers make much more sense to me. It still looks like relatively soft bike, but reasonably and pleasantly soft and this the way bike feels.

    And there is always a flip side. What I really like about Optic is Firm mode of shock. Most bikes either lock shock or making it very stiff in 3d position of shock damper lever. Optic Firm mode is a bit different. It is relatively active and provide excellent combination of suspension firmness and traction on climbs if you really care about efficiency. However for me Medium mode feels the best including climbing.

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    Well, anti-squat % is only one component of bike design and accounts only for energy loss due suspension movement. It does not accounts for energy waste due to forces opposite to squat such as wheel bouncing and poor traction because of stiff suspension, pedals kickback and similar. Norco believes that keeping rear wheel on the ground and providing good traction is as much important as preventing suspension bob during climbing.Anti-squad pedaling efficiency is only technical term to compare relative suspension movement between bikes. If you want to know real pedaling efficiency you need to ride the bike.

    As far as Antonio O Suna estimate of Norco Optic 29 anti-squad%,
    these numbers are way too low. I downloaded demo version Linkage 3 . It includes library of some bike suspension designs. John Hardwick Norco Optic 29 model calculates around 71% to 90.1 % anti-squad for 30T chain ring , for 10-42 cassette, 25% sag. Riding currently Niner 9 RKT and Tallboy 3 I can say that these numbers make much more sense to me. It still looks like relatively soft bike, but reasonably and pleasantly soft and this the way bike feels.

    And there is always a flip side. What I really like about Optic is Firm mode of shock. Most bikes either lock shock or making it very stiff in 3d position of shock damper lever. Optic Firm mode is a bit different. It is relatively active and provide excellent combination of suspension firmness and traction on climbs if you really care about efficiency. However for me Medium mode feels the best including climbing.
    Wow, thanks for yet another explanation of the suspension characteristics.

    Unfortunately all this is a mute point if one doesn't enjoy riding the bike.

    But as my post directly above yours states, I already bought one.

    So, as soon as the temps rise above the single digits, I'll know if this bike is enjoyable or not and all that gibberish above won't mean "SQUAT".

  110. #110
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    Size Large frame weighs in at - 2.74 Kg or 6 lb 1 oz. with shock and rear thru axle.

    Pictures show clearance with Schwalbe 29x2.6 Nobby Nic.

    Plenty of clearance.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Optic-20170113_195233.jpg  

    Norco Optic-20170113_195250.jpg  

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    Here it is on the scale
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Norco Optic-20170113_193513.jpg  

    by Silentfoe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Size Large frame weighs in at - 2.74 Kg or 6 lb 1 oz. with shock and rear thru axle.

    Pictures show clearance with Schwalbe 29x2.6 Nobby Nic.

    Plenty of clearance.
    That's interesting.
    How wide is the casing on that tyre and what width rim are you running?

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    Norco Optic

    If anyone is interested, here's what the Optic looks like with 27.5 plus tyres and a 130mm fork. The 2.8 Maxxis only measure 67mm across the casing, which isn't that much more than a big 2.4 from another brand. Heaps of clearance still but it drops the BB by 10mm.


  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick View Post
    That's interesting.
    How wide is the casing on that tyre and what width rim are you running?
    Haven't measure them yet.

    Industry Nine trail wheels.
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    Will hit the under 25lb. mark. I still need to install seat, rear brake hose, brake lever, and right hand grip. This weight is with 29 x 2.6" tires so quite possibly the bike will weigh 24.5 lbs when equipped with lighter tires.

    Hopefully will get to ride it this weekend.Norco Optic-20170118_094917b.jpg
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    Can people who have riding experience on the Optic 29 chime in on its ability when tackling steep ups? Does the long reach/ short stem geometry inhibit climbing prowess? I know it's a quite capable descender but just curious about its climbing ability especially on tough inclines


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    Quote Originally Posted by funnyjr View Post
    Can people who have riding experience on the Optic 29 chime in on its ability when tackling steep ups? Does the long reach/ short stem geometry inhibit climbing prowess? I know it's a quite capable descender but just curious about its climbing ability especially on tough inclines


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    Norco Optic is much faster climber than it feels. I was able on my super light Optic goes faster uphill than on Niner RKT ( supposedly the Rocket) and mid built Tallboy 3 . Horst Link always is going to feel more active than short link suspensions types with solid triangle even for identical anti-squad numbers. So it may create impression that is slower and less efficient climber. But the test time numbers tell otherwise. On technical climbs is one of the best bike I ever rode.
    Geometry is designed more for climbing than downhill.

    Everything depends how you want to build the bike, bigger chain ring can be be a problem if you want your bike be more XC oriented . For this type of setup you have to use 26T-28T chain ring . With bigger chain ring, suspension will become more active.

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    I think seat tube angle is more important than the bike's reach when you're talking about ability to climb steeps. I use a 26t and the bike climbs very well on all kinds of terrain with great traction. I would say it feels smooth, not fast (but it does go fast).

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    Anyone running a 28T front chain ring on this frame?

    If so, is that what you run on your other bikes?
    Last edited by Zerort; 01-29-2017 at 06:34 PM.
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    Hi
    I'm after an xc style trail bike.
    Question is, which is better Norco Optic or SC Tallboy ?

    I've got a Norco Range for the bike park.

    Had a early 130/140 travel 29er, didn't need that much travel for the local trails.

    Any opinions would be much appreciated

  121. #121
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    Norco Optic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bay1 View Post
    Hi
    I'm after an xc style trail bike.
    Question is, which is better Norco Optic or SC Tallboy ?

    I've got a Norco Range for the bike park.

    Had a early 130/140 travel 29er, didn't need that much travel for the local trails.

    Any opinions would be much appreciated
    I've spent time on both so here's my take on the Tallboy vs Optic...
    First up the Tallboy pedals more efficiently than the Optic on smooth trails and on the road. It employs more anti-squat which helps it feel firmer under hard pedalling.
    For rough climbs, the more active nature of the Optic helps a little more with seeking out traction but there's not a lot in it IMO.
    Suspension wise the Norco has a progressive leverage rate while the Santa Cruz feels more linear. As a result the Optic is really supple in the early travel and hugs the ground like longer travel bike. Its active nature gives it awesome traction when climbing tech terrain and anywhere else really.
    The progressive rate also offers more support and helps it handle big hits with travel in reserve.
    The Tallboys linear rate makes it feel an little firmer early in the travel, which adds further to the pedalling efficiency. It uses all the travel all the time which makes it comfy but sometimes runs out of travel if you push it *really* hard.
    The Optic frame is 100g lighter and both platforms are plenty stiff. Geometry is very similar, although a large Tallboy is more like a medium Optic. The ability to take 27.5 plus tyres adds something to the Santa Cruz package that the Norco just doesn't have.
    Both rad bikes in any case!

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    That's great tks
    Under breaking I'm guessing the norco has a better ground hugging feel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bay1 View Post
    That's great tks
    Under breaking I'm guessing the norco has a better ground hugging feel
    Yes, in theory the Optic should be more active under braking. The brake squat runs at 37% on the Optic (very low) while the Tallboy is 71% (good but not exceptional).
    See the following links:

    Norco Optic 29" 2017 - Linkage Design

    Santa Cruz Tallboy 2017 - Linkage Design

    In riding I didn't find the Tallboys suspension changed dramatically under braking but some people seem more sensitive to this than me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post


    This is why I wouldn't want an Occam. It's 2016, there's no reason to use regressive leverage curves to deal with the wonky air springs which were common in air shocks 15 years ago. With modern air shocks, that suspension is going to bottom out excessively unless the shock is stuffed full of volume spacers.
    Interesting take on the Occam suspension design being a reason not to buy. My understanding is Orbea collaborated with Fox to specifically tune the EVOL shock this way. The leverage ratio curve is designed to be set at around 25% of travel to further small-bump sensitivity. Then, up to 40% the leverage ratio decreases slightly. And about 50%, the leverage ratio rises to better work with the air spring. Whether or not it actually rides this way is based on personal experience I guess. I demoed the Occam TR for a few days and didn't bottom out at all and I'm a larger rider. If you're interested in this bike and the shock is a deal breaker you can always have it re-built and tuned to your personal preferences- riding style, weight, frame characteristics, etc... for about $200. Check out Push Industries- https://www.pushindustries.com/pages...r-shock-tuning

  125. #125
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    Prenty vanilla review of the Optic on the 2017 Bible of Bike Tests

    I get that it was the 9.3, which by the way seems like an exceptional value, but they seemed to be pretty generic in their review. I guess this could be good or bad?
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    Compared to the scalpel video, which was on the same trail, the Norco optic was bouncing along. Didn't look like they had set it up very well. Bouncing along like it was!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfmetz View Post
    Interesting take on the Occam suspension design being a reason not to buy. My understanding is Orbea collaborated with Fox to specifically tune the EVOL shock this way. The leverage ratio curve is designed to be set at around 25% of travel to further small-bump sensitivity. Then, up to 40% the leverage ratio decreases slightly. And about 50%, the leverage ratio rises to better work with the air spring. Whether or not it actually rides this way is based on personal experience I guess. I demoed the Occam TR for a few days and didn't bottom out at all and I'm a larger rider. If you're interested in this bike and the shock is a deal breaker you can always have it re-built and tuned to your personal preferences- riding style, weight, frame characteristics, etc... for about $200. Check out Push Industries- https://www.pushindustries.com/pages...r-shock-tuning
    The suspension is set to be more xc, firm to to support pedaling in the initial phase of shock travel and it will open when you want go rowdy. Maybe too much for some but it can be fixed easily with extra spacers.

    Totally opposite than Norco Optic, supple at the beginning of shock travel and increasingly progressive when you ride become rough.

    Different companies, different philosophy, any of these setups is not a deal breaker, depending what you want.

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    Seems to me thats how the Revolver feels.

    Completely opposite to the feel of the Optic.
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  129. #129
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    Well, I ran the 28t in the snow today with studded Schwalbes. I also trimmed my bars down a few mm and the bike feels much better. I'm starting to get used it more and have been enjoying the plush ride.

    Bike seemed to climb better (obviously) with the smaller chain ring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Well, I ran the 28t in the snow today with studded Schwalbes. I also trimmed my bars down a few mm and the bike feels much better. I'm starting to get used it more and have been enjoying the plush ride.

    Bike seemed to climb better (obviously) with the smaller chain ring.
    I'm curious what an oval chainring would do to the pedaling. I have heard that an oval ring can make a bike more 'bobby' which might be a good thing if it is too harsh off the top but bad thing for a bike that is already supple?? I don't have any direct experience here, just parroting stuff I've read.

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    I'm curious what an oval chainring would do to the pedaling. I have heard that an oval ring can make a bike more 'bobby' which might be a good thing if it is too harsh off the top but bad thing for a bike that is already supple?? I don't have any direct experience here, just parroting stuff I've read.
    Both 32T and 28T that I tried were ovals.

    I didn't feel any 'bob' with either. Just noticed that the 28T was quicker on the trail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    I'm starting to get used it more and have been enjoying the plush ride.
    Have you had enough time to do comparison review between the optic and the Revolver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Have you had enough time to do comparison review between the optic and the Revolver?
    Having both, they are two completely different bikes - obviously.

    The Revolver weighs in 2 pounds less for my builds and is a bike that just flies. It's fast.

    The Optic, is not as fast for XC or light trail riding. However, it is much more comfortable, plush, or whatever you want to call it. I think you could ride it all day and not be tired. It takes the hits big and small and shrugs them off.

    Both climb very well and have tons of traction going up. As noted above though, I had to resort to a 28T for the Optic, but I run a 32T on the Revolver. Personally, I was spent spinning the 32T on the Optic going up hills. I am also faster on the flats with the 28T on the Optic than I was when I had the 32T on there. This is just personal experience so I can't say it will be the same for anyone else.

    If I had to pick between the two for a ride, I would almost always pick the Revolver. It does everything the Optic does, only faster, but not as soft.

    My guess is the Optic is for more downhill trail riding than what I have here in SE Michigan.

    After ridden both, I don't have any reason to own both of them, but I will keep the Optic for anytime I travel out of state, and to run 2.6" tires and for winter use with studs.

    All other trail and XC riding, I'm taking the Revolver.
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    From your description, I'm leaning back towards the revolver. Keep in mind this is for a 27.5 size.

    Which do you think is more nimble/flickable, hoppable (if that is a word) for tight single track? Ryan Leech said his optic bunny hops higher than any of his other bikes (but I don't think he has a Revolver FS).

    Which do you think is better on technical climbs? Steep climbs with poor traction?

    Where I live, in Central New York, it is rough primitive single track but the downhills are tiny with nothing more than 1 minute. So it's lots of pedaling grinding riding but technical and rooty.

    I'm also drawn to the Revolver FS 27.5 because of the shorter XC geometry. I'm realizing that my height combined with long legs/short torso does not agree well with the new trend in geometries with the long front centers and high front ends.

    A Revolver modified with 120mm fork and dropper post might give me what I need in terms of shorter geometry w/o sacrificing too much on the trail end of the XC/Trail continuum.


    Thanks for the discussion, this is great for me.

    PS. I don't suppose you've demo'd the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt? That is the other on my shortlist.
    Last edited by ashwinearl; 04-28-2017 at 12:49 PM.

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    No Thunderbolt, but I did own the Altitude. Great bike, climbed well, but short geometry. I used to ride it with a 110 mm stem.

    Back on topic.

    Go with the Revolver for what you described. Unless you are some old guy that can't take a little chatter, the Revolver is much more flickable for those types of trails.

    I have a Large 29 and I am only 5'9". I find the Revolver is more manageable for tight trails than the Optic. If you are looking to throw the bike around, the 27.5 Revolver will be even better.

    I've had the 120mm fork on the front of the Revolver and really liked it. I moved to the 100mm travel Fox Step Cast to reduce some weight, so you should be fine with the 120mm and the dropper.

    You can sit and pedal on the Optic, but it will take you longer. It's all in what you want it to feel like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    PS. I don't suppose you've demo'd the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt? That is the other on my shortlist.
    The Thunderbolt and Optic are more similar than different. The Thunderbolt is a bit shorter and uses bushings in everything except the main pivot whereas the Optic uses bearings everywhere. Not much if any difference in performance, but the bushings are more prone to creaks & other noises and they're a complete PITA to service, you need 3 hands to hold all the pieces in place when putting them back together. The bearings on the Optic and other Norcos are much easier to work on, everything comes apart & goes back together easily, all you need to do is pop the seals and regrease the bearings every year or 2.

    Personally I prefer the Optic over the Revolver since it's more forgiving of stupid stuff. I own the Range and tend to ride like an out of control lunatic (half the fun of mountain biking is getting away with near death experiences) so if I owned a trail bike I'd want one that's more forgiving of being over-ridden and crashed every so often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    I'm curious what an oval chainring would do to the pedaling. I have heard that an oval ring can make a bike more 'bobby' which might be a good thing if it is too harsh off the top but bad thing for a bike that is already supple?? I don't have any direct experience here, just parroting stuff I've read.
    Oval chain ring would be very good pick for bikes with lower anti-squat number like Optic and would be be opposite for the bikes with high anti-squad numbers. For instance, if you pick 28T chain ring you are close to switching between 26T and 30T chairing . At the instance when you apply most power to the pedals you are around 26T. It will cause more anti-squad which is good. You are close to 30T when you apply the least power to the pedals. Not sure if it has any meaning in the terms of measurable performance, but at least in theory it works that way. Did not copy this info. from anywhere, just checked oval chain ring cycle on my bike. Chain ring is Black Oval.

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    Maybe that's why it works better with the 28T oval than it did with the 32T oval.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    Oval chain ring would be very good pick for bikes with lower anti-squat number like Optic and would be be opposite for the bikes with high anti-squad numbers. For instance, if you pick 28T chain ring you are close to switching between 26T and 30T chairing . At the instance when you apply most power to the pedals you are around 26T. It will cause more anti-squad which is good. You are close to 30T when you apply the least power to the pedals. Not sure if it has any meaning in the terms of measurable performance, but at least in theory it works that way. Did not copy this info. from anywhere, just checked oval chain ring cycle on my bike. Chain ring is Black Oval.
    Um, I think you have that exactly opposite. Power stroke portion is like 30T, 26T is when you're bringing it back around for another power stroke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    Um, I think you have that exactly opposite. Power stroke portion is like 30T, 26T is when you're bringing it back around for another power stroke.
    Checked it again. Do you think or you know? You are not shifting to low gear when you start to ride uphill, are you?.
    Oval chain ring is about smoothing out power delivery and making it easier to pedal. At the beginning of pushing crank down oval is horizontally to the ground. In the middle of the stroke oval is more horizontally than vertical to the ground. At the end of stroke oval starts to get vertical to the ground. That way power is deliverer more evenly. it would have made no sense to create more power when you have enough power and reduce power where you have not enough power. That is why oval chaining is good thing for bike with lower ant-squat , at least theoretically.

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    Norco Optic

    They are marketed as traction rings and have no claim to increase power wattage output. What they do claim is a smoother stroke by delivering more consistent torque = increase traction. So in theory I also see it as helping the optic s low anti squat properties and increasing the rear traction even more. The simplified way to look at it is smoother pedalling = less pedal induced bobbing. I've got my AB oval on order will test when riding season resumes.


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    Quote Originally Posted by funnyjr View Post
    They are marketed as traction rings and have no claim to increase power wattage output. What they do claim is a smoother stroke by delivering more consistent torque = increase traction. The simplified way to look at it is smoother pedalling = less pedal induced bobbing. I've got my AB oval on order will test when riding season resumes.


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    Based on my personal experience Wolf Tooth ovals feel better than Absolute Black.

    They could be the same exact design for all I know, as I never had both at the exact same time to lay one on top of the other.

    I gave my buddy the AB, and have bought 4 Wolf Tooth rings in total.

    My $.02
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    Quote Originally Posted by funnyjr View Post
    They are marketed as traction rings and have no claim to increase power wattage output. What they do claim is a smoother stroke by delivering more consistent torque = increase traction. So in theory I also see it as helping the optic s low anti squat properties and increasing the rear traction even more. The simplified way to look at it is smoother pedalling = less pedal induced bobbing. I've got my AB oval on order will test when riding season resumes.


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    You might be right in terms of "smoothness" of pedaling but if you look at it in terms of anti-squat geometry, the oval will make bobbing worse on a low anti-squat frame if you're comparing it to a round ring of equal # of teeth.

    For anti-squat, what matters is the effective chainring radius to the point of tangency with the chain during the power stroke. On an oval chainring, this radius is larger than a regular ring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    Checked it again. Do you think or you know? You are not shifting to low gear when you start to ride uphill, are you?.
    Oval chain ring is about smoothing out power delivery and making it easier to pedal. At the beginning of pushing crank down oval is horizontally to the ground. In the middle of the stroke oval is more horizontally than vertical to the ground. At the end of stroke oval starts to get vertical to the ground. That way power is deliverer more evenly. it would have made no sense to create more power when you have enough power and reduce power where you have not enough power. That is why oval chaining is good thing for bike with lower ant-squat , at least theoretically.
    I know. I was just trying to be polite. I don't know what ring you're looking at (the old biopace type oval?), but on most modern oval rings, the pedal downward (power) stroke corresponds to the chain being at the highest point, giving a lower anti-squat value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    I know. I was just trying to be polite. I don't know what ring you're looking at (the old biopace type oval?), but on most modern oval rings, the pedal downward (power) stroke corresponds to the chain being at the highest point, giving a lower anti-squat value.
    Yep, jaks is on the money there, although I kinda doubt anyone is really going to notice it.
    A 26x42 gear combo produces 89% AS while a 30x42 (4T bigger chainring) gives you 80% AS:
    Name:  Excel Optic.gif
Views: 1837
Size:  7.8 KB

    From memory, Absolute Black and Wolf Tooth rings vary by the equivalent of 2T up and down in their size, so you'll only get a few percent variation in the AS value - I doubt most legs will be calibrated well enough to notice the effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    I know. I was just trying to be polite. I don't know what ring you're looking at (the old biopace type oval?), but on most modern oval rings, the pedal downward (power) stroke corresponds to the chain being at the highest point, giving a lower anti-squat value.

    Norco Optic-img_3289.jpgNorco Optic-img_3290.jpg

    Whatever

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaks View Post
    I know. I was just trying to be polite. I don't know what ring you're looking at (the old biopace type oval?), but on most modern oval rings, the pedal downward (power) stroke corresponds to the chain being at the highest point, giving a lower anti-squat value.

    Attachment 1122203Attachment 1122204

    Black Oval 28T. At the beginning of power stroke when you apply most power , relatively smaller chain ring 'diameter', at the end of power stroke the biggest 'diameter' (diameter in quote marks cause it is not exactly diameter). It is may be open to interpretation and arguments cause power cycle will go thru 180 degree, so it must go thru 1/2 symmetrical part of the chain ring and hit its 'highs' and 'lows'. However trend is quite obvious and I am standing by my statements. When apply most power from your leg, chain ring is in 'most easy position', when you finishing power stroke, chain ring is in the 'hardest' position . Why to the hell you would want to use most power from your leg and the biggest 'diameter' of the chain ring at the same time ? And how it would smooth out power delivery?
    It also is not too hard to notice that bigger chairing 'diameter' in its position thru the power cycle has relatively small adverse effect on the bike ant-squat and smaller chain ring 'diameter' in its power cycle position increase bike anti-squat.
    This is obviously theory and i obviously understand argument that bigger diameter chain ring is not a good thing for the bike with lower anti-squat and I do not have the answer which forces have the most impact. However, smoothing power delivery for the bike with more active suspension is always a good thing

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick View Post
    Yep, jaks is on the money there, although I kinda doubt anyone is really going to notice it.
    A 26x42 gear combo produces 89% AS while a 30x42 (4T bigger chainring) gives you 80% AS:
    Name:  Excel Optic.gif
Views: 1837
Size:  7.8 KB

    From memory, Absolute Black and Wolf Tooth rings vary by the equivalent of 2T up and down in their size, so you'll only get a few percent variation in the AS value - I doubt most legs will be calibrated well enough to notice the effect.
    As somebody already stated, calculating anti-squat for bike with Horst-Link should be fairly straightforward with relatively small error, when done correctly. But , looking from side view, Optic suspension pivot which connects to seat tube is hidden behind the chain ring. I am not sure how accurately you can mark this point based on the high resolution photo only.

    Anti-squat calculation , correct me if am wrong, follows leverage curve (or leverage curve follow shock compression) but does not take into account shock tuning . You need to ride the bike to get the feel how active suspension really is.

    With today's availability of the hardware there are many options to adjust anti-squat. Installing E-thirteen 9-46T race cassette with 26T chain-ring will give equivalent of 28-29 T chain ring with standard 10-42 SRAM cassette (on the low gear side) If you would be willing slightly compromise on the sag, you may easily move to 90+ sag %.
    That is not far off from Camber, Revolver or new RM Element developed around 28T chain-ring. You may even replace shock with the standard Factory Fox. It would give quite a bit firmer pedaling platform but only on the smoother trails. But obviously, bike was not intended that way.

    I like Optic but I am not totally sold on this 'see trail differently' marketing hype. And I feel that bike is a tad over -done , over -analyzed and over -engineered by Norco designers and Marketing team. At least for the type of trails I am riding. You have solid 6 lb frame-set, 110mm rear , 120 mm front so it is already solid light trail bike with tons of traction from ART link with any typical chain ring size. Design anti-squat around 28 T chain ring and let buyer decide how to set sag point , to have plusher or firmer ride. But Optic needs to be different than Revolver, that what is the most important for Norco marketing, I guess.

    I think that bikes designs are highly influenced by the place where were created. It may be great for adventure riding in vast wilderness of British Columbia but Bay Area trails / fire roads are certainly not for 'Expedition Uknown' type of rides so I am not sure if taken as is , fit well our busy lifestyles and short 1-2 hours rides.

    I got a bike as a frame set and built 22.5 lb composite rocket with 26T chairing . I do like the bike. It climbs like good XC race bike but feels more solid and more planted on the trail . I just wish it had a tad firmer pedaling support with larger chain ring.

    But I am also aware of bike limitations. Firmer platform is set with sag point around 23% and obviously 26T chain ring is not enough for any serius racing unless uphill only. But again I do enjoy riding the bike on the local Bay Area trails.

  149. #149
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    I have tried 32t round, 32t oval, and 28t oval on the Optic. Best times have been with 28t oval. Even in worse conditions. i.e. ice vs frozen dirt. Yes, I ride studs.

    Bike is super PLUSH compared to my Revolver. But, the Revolver is much faster on the same trails with 32t oval.

    Two different bikes, with different feel, with two different setups needed.

    If you want a fast Optic, use a smaller ring. I suggest 4 tooth smaller. I rode a 30t once and it was just wrong.

  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    I got a bike as a frame set and built 22.5 lb composite rocket with 26T chairing . I do like the bike. It climbs like good XC race bike but feels more solid and more planted on the trail . I just wish it had a tad firmer pedaling support with larger chain ring.
    Norco do their longer travel bikes with more anti-squat (i.e. firmer pedalling support) - they're treated like more of an "up the fire road, hit the rough descents" bike. The Optic has it the other way around, with the suspension kept more active to allow it to tackle tech climbs more effectively. My understanding is that if you want to pedal up the smooth stuff then flick the switch over on your shock.

    Some people will see this backwards - essentially if you're buying the Optic for more groomed trails (up and down) then you'll probably find it lacking pedalling support, or if you're buying the Sight/Range for rougher trails (up and down) then they'll find the extreme level of anti-squat a pain on the climbs (and will experience more pedal kickback).

    This doesn't match many other brands newer models who have dialled the anti-squat back to ~100% even for their 160mm travel bikes.

    I ride a Sight on rough stuff up and down and have had problems climbing tech stuff, however now that I've put 2.6" tyres on it and raised the BB it is much better.

  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    Norco do their longer travel bikes with more anti-squat (i.e. firmer pedalling support) - they're treated like more of an "up the fire road, hit the rough descents" bike. The Optic has it the other way around, with the suspension kept more active to allow it to tackle tech climbs more effectively. My understanding is that if you want to pedal up the smooth stuff then flick the switch over on your shock.

    Some people will see this backwards - essentially if you're buying the Optic for more groomed trails (up and down) then you'll probably find it lacking pedalling support, or if you're buying the Sight/Range for rougher trails (up and down) then they'll find the extreme level of anti-squat a pain on the climbs (and will experience more pedal kickback).

    This doesn't match many other brands newer models who have dialled the anti-squat back to ~100% even for their 160mm travel bikes.

    I ride a Sight on rough stuff up and down and have had problems climbing tech stuff, however now that I've put 2.6" tyres on it and raised the BB it is much better.
    'And there is always a flip side. What I really like about Optic is Firm mode of shock. Most bikes either lock shock or making it very stiff in 3d position of shock damper lever. Optic Firm mode is a bit different. It is relatively active and provide excellent combination of suspension firmness and traction on climbs if you really care about efficiency. However for me Medium mode feels the best including climbing.'

    This is quote from one of my previous posts. Indeed Firm mode works really well with Optic.

  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
    'And there is always a flip side. What I really like about Optic is Firm mode of shock. Most bikes either lock shock or making it very stiff in 3d position of shock damper lever. Optic Firm mode is a bit different. It is relatively active and provide excellent combination of suspension firmness and traction on climbs if you really care about efficiency. However for me Medium mode feels the best including climbing.'

    This is quote from one of my previous posts. Indeed Firm mode works really well with Optic.
    The "flip" side is, if you want to haul ass up or down buy the Revolver.

    If you want a plush, decent handling bike buy the Optic.
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    Hey all. Anybody know when the next gen Optic will be coming out? I'm looking to replace my old aluminum XTC 26er from back in 2009, and I want to make sure the next bike lasts me as long. I don't necessarily mind getting the current model, I just don't want to pull the trigger now, and then have the new one come out a month or two later later. Meaning I could have either gotten a sweeter ride if they improve upon the platform, or I could have taken advantage of close-out pricing on the current model (which at that point would be the "old" model).

    Also, from reading the spec sheet on Norco's site, it seems like the Revelation fork on the C9.3 is 100mm, and therefore isn't BOOST (even though the SRAM front hub is 110). Can anybody confirm this? If my interpretation is correct, then is there any hope that they may put a BOOST fork on the next gen C9.3?

    Apologies for what may seem to be dumb questions, but I've been away from the sport for several years, and I was never all that great with the tech specs side of things.

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    Norco usually works on a 3-4 year product cycle, the Optic only came out last year so it's going to be at least another year till a model refresh. No clue on the fork, unfortunately I didn't pay much attention to the parts on the C9.3 when I had it for a test ride.

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    Yea, from the looks of the articles it came out Apr '16.

    Even if they don't change the geometry from one year to the next, wouldn't they update some of the components to this year's version(s), and maybe throw a different paint scheme on it? Is Norco different from other manufacturers in that sense?

    I'm a tech guy, and I've basically been trained to never buy the 1st version of something, since the 2nd and 3rd revision is when they correct all of the things that small-sample testing never brought to light. Most of the reviewers commented on a chattery rear, and I have reservations about not having BOOST 110 on the C9.3 fork, since I would enjoy the option of fatter tires without having to shell out the money for a C9.2 nor having to upgrade an otherwise decent fork...

    I guess I just don't want to have a "D'oh!" moment in a few months, just because I was rushing to do away with the 26er.

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledman41 View Post
    Yea, from the looks of the articles it came out Apr '16.

    Even if they don't change the geometry from one year to the next, wouldn't they update some of the components to this year's version(s), and maybe throw a different paint scheme on it? Is Norco different from other manufacturers in that sense?

    I'm a tech guy, and I've basically been trained to never buy the 1st version of something, since the 2nd and 3rd revision is when they correct all of the things that small-sample testing never brought to light. Most of the reviewers commented on a chattery rear, and I have reservations about not having BOOST 110 on the C9.3 fork, since I would enjoy the option of fatter tires without having to shell out the money for a C9.2 nor having to upgrade an otherwise decent fork...

    I guess I just don't want to have a "D'oh!" moment in a few months, just because I was rushing to do away with the 26er.
    All non-boost forks fit fatter tires.

    Heck, my SID fits 2.6 Nobby Nics with room to spare.

    All of my Pikes fit 2.8" tires too.

    Also, the rear is not chattery. You must be confusing it with the Revolver.

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    2.6 tyres are fine in most forks. 2.8s seem to fit in Fox just fine and can be squeezed in Rockshox (based on pics I've seen). My Mattoc fits 2.6 well however some (true) 2.8s are too big. You should look into specific forks.

    Boost isn't something I'd base my bike decision on, however actual tyre clearance is. The only catch is if you already have a very nice boost wheelset you want to use, or want to buy to share across bikes.

  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    All non-boost forks fit fatter tires.

    Heck, my SID fits 2.6 Nobby Nics with room to spare.

    All of my Pikes fit 2.8" tires too.

    Also, the rear is not chattery. You must be confusing it with the Revolver.
    I probably am confused. I've read a lot of reviews about a lot of bikes lately, and I remember some people saying some the Optic rear wasn't the most awesome. I thought the complaint was it being chattery, but maybe it was that it's too heavily dampened.

    I should have said "plus" instead of fatter, since I meant 2.8" and 3.0", though 2.6" isn't really that far off.

    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    Boost isn't something I'd base my bike decision on, however actual tyre clearance is. The only catch is if you already have a very nice boost wheelset you want to use, or want to buy to share across bikes.
    I feel you, and I'm not normally one to be about the latest trend, but since I keep my bikes for years (going on 7 years with this last one), I'd like to future-proof as much as possible. More than that though, I have an old friend out in Utah, and I'd like the bike that I ride in Florida to be usable out there as well.

    Figured that throwing on some Plus tires would make up for the shorter travel that excels in SoFla, and the fewer extra components I need to buy to do that, the better.

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    I think you're missing the point.

    A bike with boost spacing doesn't necessarily fit Plus tyres (and I'm pretty sure that none of the Optics fit Plus tyres), and a bike without boost spacing MAY fit Plus tyres. It's a hub width, not a chainstay/seatstay/fork arch clearance width - it's just that boost spacing makes tyre clearance easier for the frame designer to achieve. That's true for forks too.

    So yes I agree, I'd not buy a new bike right now that didn't fit Plus (that's a personal thing), and so I wouldn't buy an Optic. However whether it was 12x148 or 12x142 I couldn't care less - actually 12x142 would be a little better for me I think as I currently have that spacing on my wheelsets.

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    OOOOOOOOOOHHHH...

    The way I understood the explanations of boost was that it was, like you say, a hub width, but that it's purpose was to stiffen the wheel AND allow for a slew of stuff, such as plus tires, shorter chainstays, etc. Well...crap! Now my purchasing decision is even fuzzier. I'd like to have the option to go 27.5 plus, but have the stock setup be a narrower set of 29ers, since plus is not really compatible with the way I like to ride my local trails.

    Thank you kindly for the clarification!

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    I think you're missing the point.

    A bike with boost spacing doesn't necessarily fit Plus tyres (and I'm pretty sure that none of the Optics fit Plus tyres), and a bike without boost spacing MAY fit Plus tyres. It's a hub width, not a chainstay/seatstay/fork arch clearance width - it's just that boost spacing makes tyre clearance easier for the frame designer to achieve. That's true for forks too.

    So yes I agree, I'd not buy a new bike right now that didn't fit Plus (that's a personal thing), and so I wouldn't buy an Optic. However whether it was 12x148 or 12x142 I couldn't care less - actually 12x142 would be a little better for me I think as I currently have that spacing on my wheelsets.
    Haha,
    The Optic will definitely fit plus tires up to 2.8. There is a picture floating around her of one with them.

    I've also ran 29 x 2.6 tires which are larger than 27.5 x 2.8's with tons of clearance.

    I've posted pictures of that too.

    So, not sure where you are getting your information from.
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  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Haha,
    The Optic will definitely fit plus tires up to 2.8. There is a picture floating around her of one with them.
    Yep, here are the photos that I posted earlier with 27.5x2.8 tyres fitted:

    Norco Optic-9302558f8e90a6c82887b2ae84a9ae20.jpgNorco Optic-94cb4a8f4bbc18b42009986fcf7d6355.jpg

    Makes the BB pretty low though, even with a 130 fork:
    Norco Optic-7bb62f5f26a41a07c3e9305e1af57a96.jpg

  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Size Large frame weighs in at - 2.74 Kg or 6 lb 1 oz. with shock and rear thru axle.

    Pictures show clearance with Schwalbe 29x2.6 Nobby Nic.

    Plenty of clearance.
    And here are mine with 29 x 2.6Name:  20170113_195233.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Haha,
    The Optic will definitely fit plus tires up to 2.8.
    I'm not sure what the 'haha' is for, no need to be a smart arse.

    I stated 'pretty sure' as I wasn't 100%, however from what you've posted it still seems correct - most don't consider 2.6 tyres to be 'plus', and stepping down a wheel size to fit 2.8s is something that works on most bikes and typically results in an incredibly low BB.

    So does an Optic 9.x fit a true 29x2.8 and Optic 7.x fit a true 27.5x2.8, or not?

  165. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    I'm not sure what the 'haha' is for, no need to be a smart arse.

    I stated 'pretty sure' as I wasn't 100%, however from what you've posted it still seems correct - most don't consider 2.6 tyres to be 'plus', and stepping down a wheel size to fit 2.8s is something that works on most bikes and typically results in an incredibly low BB.

    So does an Optic 9.x fit a true 29x2.8 and Optic 7.x fit a true 27.5x2.8, or not?
    Well, you didn't state that originally. Most 29er bikes that are fitting 2.8 tires are in fact being converted to 27.5 plus.

    What bike that is sold and marketed as a normal 29er fits a 29x2.8? Probably zero.

    In fact, how many plus 29ers are actually being manufactured? A hand full maybe.

    I think your comment above is a stretch to save face.
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    Are you kidding me? Save face? I couldn't care less if I turn out to be wrong about something, it just happens sometimes. Besides just look up, I did state "pretty sure" - which implies < 100% certainty.

    However a 29er converted to 27.5x2.8, I'm sorry but that's not a "Plus bike". If you want to play that game, well most 29ers are "Plus bikes" (27.5x2.8) and most 27.5 bikes are "Plus bikes" (26x2.8). You could certainly make the claim for 29ers that have had some provision for it from new (i.e. flip-chip to bring the BB up), however does the Optic come with this?

    And nor are 2.6 tyres "Plus" in most peoples eyes - not on this forum, and I don't go claiming that my Sight is a "Plus Bike" even though I'm running 2.6 tyres.

    In the context of what was being asked (boost spacing to fit "fatter" tyres), that certainly implies to me original wheel size and 2.8 width. And so in that context it appears that my answer is correct.

  167. #167
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    Well now that you are "correct" you'll be able to sleep better tonight.

    It's just funny it took you 3 additional posts to prove your point.

    Good work.

  168. #168
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    Norco Optic

    Geometry on the 29" version medium is spot on. I'm 5'7. Been looking for a long reach, steep seat angle, low stack, for 120 front FS for awhile now and Norco seems to nailed it with the optic. Not impressed with the msrp though for an alloy rear bike. I'd never buy at full price but got mine used for good deal. Will see how this low anti squat is as coming off a bike with high anti squat (DW link). Excited to ride once trails permit. Would love to hear more of others experience with the Optic.


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  169. #169
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    Since there are lots of builds on this forum I figured sharing the proper torque specs would help out. These came directly from Chris at Norco.
    2016 Norco Optic Torque Specs


    Optic 27.5/29 FS carbon 2016-

    Upper Shock 8nm
    Lower shock 8nm
    Swinglink main pivot 10nm
    BB main pivot 12nm
    Seatstay/swinglink pivot 10nm
    Chainstay/Seatstay pivot 8nm
    Swinglink centre bridge 8nm
    Hanger screw 1-2nm
    Chainstay cable guides 1-2nm
    Housing gizmos 1-2nm
    ISCG mount 6nm

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    Most of the reviewers commented on a chattery rear, and I have reservations about not having BOOST 110 on the C9.3 fork, since I would enjoy the option of fatter tires without having to shell out the money for a C9.2 nor having to upgrade an otherwise decent fork...

    Yes, Optic C9 chatters. I tried it on same downhill with Kona Hei Hei DL with Fox DPS 100mm and Niner 9 RKT Fox 90mm. It was funny, even Niner 90mm did better and Kona Hei Hei way better. I feel that Optic use maybe 70-80mm of travel and beyond that become extremely progressive. Do not understand why this shock is tuned like this. Maybe it is good for aggressive all mountain riding or somebody who like to do jumps but this tuning does not serve well for light , more XC oriented trail bike. I mean around sag point is fine, quite plush and smooth, but not soggy, and pedaling is really well supported with smaller chain ring. Problem starts when trail become rough with sections of exposed rocks especially after the heavy raining. Suspension does not take it well, dumping is very heavy even in open mode.

    I did some research on Fox website. It looks like shock is customized by Fox beyond volume spacers. So it does not even make sense to mess with its tune up.

    New Fox DPS Performance 7.5 X 2.0 XV is on the way from Jenson. It should by much more linear and support pedaling around sag point at least as good as the current shock . I will install it next week and test my judgment

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    Commenting on the above, I agree the rear is NOT chattery, but the stock shock compressive damping is on the firm side for someone that is lightweight. Prob would work great if you're like 180lbs or more. I happened to have a dbinline of the correct size to replace the stock shock. The frame works great with that shock. Very controlled, uses up most travel, saves the last 10% for big hits.

  172. #172
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    Large Optic C9.1 Frame for sale in Classifieds and Ebay. As new condition.

    With Fox Factory shock - not chattery as the post above states.
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    What 28 T oval did you go with? I have an optic and would like to try out a 28t oval.

    Thanks

  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by carnsr View Post
    What 28 T oval did you go with? I have an optic and would like to try out a 28t oval.

    Thanks
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  175. #175
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    Has anyone tried running a 140mm fork on their 27.5 Optic?

    I don't have much to add on these technical discussions, but I think the 7.x bike is really great! I agree that the firm mode on this bike is amazing for climbing. For the level of rider I am, and the terrain I ride (east slope Washington Cascades), it's a great all arounder bike.

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    Anyone compare to Santa Cruz Tallboy 3? Seems like a true comp in that both are 120/110 travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbrockenchain View Post
    Anyone compare to Santa Cruz Tallboy 3? Seems like a true comp in that both are 120/110 travel.
    Yeah, I've ridden both...

    The Tallboy pedals more efficiently than the Optic on smooth trails and on the road. It employs more anti-squat which helps it feel firmer under hard pedalling.
    Suspension wise the Norco has a progressive leverage rate while the Santa Cruz feels more linear. As a result the Optic is really supple in the early travel and hugs the ground like longer travel bike. Its active nature gives it awesome traction when climbing tech terrain and anywhere else really.

    The progressive rate also offers more support and helps it handle big hits with travel in reserve.
    The Tallboys linear rate makes it feel an little firmer early in the travel, which adds further to the pedalling efficiency. It uses all the travel all the time which makes it comfy but sometimes runs out of travel if you push it *really* hard.

    The Optic frame is 100g lighter and both platforms are plenty stiff. Geometry is very similar, although a large Tallboy is more like a medium Optic. The ability to take 27.5 plus tyres also adds something to the Santa Cruz package. I know the Optic will fit a 27.5x2.8 Maxxis tyre but I reckon it drops the BB too low. Go with a 29x2.6 if you want a semi-fat Optic.

    Hope that helps.

    Norco Optic-screen-shot-2017-06-09-7.38.45-am.png

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    Zerort...did you try the NN 29 x 2.6 tires on your Revolver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick View Post
    Yeah, I've ridden both...

    The Tallboy pedals more efficiently than the Optic on smooth trails and on the road. It employs more anti-squat which helps it feel firmer under hard pedalling.
    Suspension wise the Norco has a progressive leverage rate while the Santa Cruz feels more linear. As a result the Optic is really supple in the early travel and hugs the ground like longer travel bike. Its active nature gives it awesome traction when climbing tech terrain and anywhere else really.

    The progressive rate also offers more support and helps it handle big hits with travel in reserve.
    The Tallboys linear rate makes it feel an little firmer early in the travel, which adds further to the pedalling efficiency. It uses all the travel all the time which makes it comfy but sometimes runs out of travel if you push it *really* hard.

    The Optic frame is 100g lighter and both platforms are plenty stiff. Geometry is very similar, although a large Tallboy is more like a medium Optic. The ability to take 27.5 plus tyres also adds something to the Santa Cruz package. I know the Optic will fit a 27.5x2.8 Maxxis tyre but I reckon it drops the BB too low. Go with a 29x2.6 if you want a semi-fat Optic.

    Hope that helps.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    First off I apologize for not seeing post above comparing the two bikes-my bad for missing it.

    Thanks for write up. The picture actually says a lot. The new Tallboy has such a sloping top tube I have felt almost disconnected from bike-so much seatpost exposed (hard to explain). Haven't found a demo on norco. Currently on a Tallboy v1

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    Zerort...did you try the NN 29 x 2.6 tires on your Revolver?
    I don't know if Zerort has, but I have.

    I'm running one up front currently. (see the 120 mm Fork on a Revolver thread for my thoughts). The rear will only fit a 2.25. 2.35 will fit, but buzzes the drive side chain stay when ridden hard. The wheel can be dished a bit over to correct it for a 2.35, but there is NO way a 2.6 is fitting in the Revolver rear end.

  181. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I don't know if Zerort has, but I have.

    I'm running one up front currently. (see the 120 mm Fork on a Revolver thread for my thoughts). The rear will only fit a 2.25. 2.35 will fit, but buzzes the drive side chain stay when ridden hard. The wheel can be dished a bit over to correct it for a 2.35, but there is NO way a 2.6 is fitting in the Revolver rear end.
    As mentioned above, it's tight in the rear of the Revolver. Studded Schwalbe 2.25's don't even fit back there.

    I did fit the 2.6s in the Optic with room to spare though.
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  182. #182
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    Has anyone tried a DB inline on this bike, if so any improvement on the small bump sensitivity and platform ? I find the stock Fox on my 9.1 misses on both


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    Any long-term reviews of the Optic, esp 27.5? Any modifications you've done like put a bigger fork on or run 2.6 tires?

    In surfing the reviews, they tend to like the general geometry but be neutral to almost negative related to the suspension. It's like the reviewers are expecting firmer pedaling and higher anti-squat like more traditional trail bikes designed for fire-road ups then bomb down. Though the designers talk about how they specifically did not do that for the Revolver and Optic.

  184. #184
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    I ran a Fox 130 travel fork with 29" x 2.6 tires. For XC type trails, it was not a good fit.

    I would not run 27.5" x 2.6" tires as the BB would be way too low. 27.5" x 2.8 might be alright, but it would be a very "soft" ride.

    The bike needs a small 28T or similar chain ring, or you will be reaching for the lock out on any sort of longer, not technical climb. On the techy stuff, it climbed great as it had a lot of traction.

    I ended up selling this frame as the Revolver was a much better climber, does not bob, and I bought an Pole Evolink as my trail bike. The Pole is 3 lbs heavier, yet faster in the XC trails that I ride versus the Optic.

    Having said that, if you are bombing down runs, the Optic is much more plush than both the Pole and the Revolver, but the Pole is more confident as it is longer.

    You could probably ride the Optic all day with 2.6" tires and not be worn out as long as you were headed down most of the time.
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  185. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Any long-term reviews of the Optic, esp 27.5? Any modifications you've done like put a bigger fork on or run 2.6 tires?

    In surfing the reviews, they tend to like the general geometry but be neutral to almost negative related to the suspension. It's like the reviewers are expecting firmer pedaling and higher anti-squat like more traditional trail bikes designed for fire-road ups then bomb down. Though the designers talk about how they specifically did not do that for the Revolver and Optic.
    My C7.3 came with a Revelation fork that I swapped out for a Pike. It was not as much of a step up as I thought it would be. It's funny because I had a revelation on another bike and really disliked it.

    I have gone to a DHF 2.3 / Minion SS 2.3 setup on tires, and honestly I think I might have overdone it a bit with the front tire. I previously had a aggressor / nobby nic setup, and the speed of those tires was great, and the aggressor is still a pretty good front tire.

    I've thought about going to a 140mm, but I have not really bottomed the fork at all at 130mm, and I think it would hurt the climbing ability of the bike too much.

    I think the 3 position shock that comes on the carbon model is really useful, I use the climb mode quite a bit on less technical singletrack climbs. The lockout works great for roads, and the open setting is good for technical climbing. If I was on more rolling terrain maybe I would find using the lever a pain, but everything around here is all up, then all down.

    I have stepped down to a 30T chainring from a 32T - I just don't quite have the motor for the 32T ring on long/steep climbs. It does seem to have given the bike a bit more platform, and I haven't really noticed it descending.

    I think the optic is a really great blend of modern geometry without making a bike that can still turn and is relatively quick from side to side. You are giving up a bit of the plushness of a ~140mm bike, but over long distances it's going to be a much more efficient ride. I'd say that if most of your rides are <2hr and you want to prioritize downhill performance, get a 140mm bike. If you do big rides that still have technical descending, the Optic is the way to go.

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    Some interesting comments. In particular the 2.6 tyres (which I assumed he meant running on a 27.5 model - not downsizing wheels) I find are especially fast rolling, assuming you choose a sensible tread pattern and get the pressures right. 2.8f/2.6r are my go-to for XC.

    It's odd that reviewers would comment negatively on aspects such as a more active suspension design, the very thing the bike was designed to do. The Sight is the bike with the firm pedalling platform however a lot of people probably want something with a bit less travel/weight - it makes me think that an Optic version with altered suspension might sell better, or for that matter a Sight with a more active design.

    I'm a little surprised at the lack of FS designs with ~100mm rear travel but a longer travel fork i.e. 140mm. Plenty of aggressive HTs around but the idea of having just a little at the rear hasn't caught on yet, something I think will change.

  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    In particular the 2.6 tyres (which I assumed he meant running on a 27.5 model - not downsizing wheels)
    Correct, I am focused only on the 27.5 Carbon Optic and considering 2.6 width tires for it. Past posts indicated that 2.6 fits on the 29er without issue and that others have put 2.8 27.5+ on the 29er so am assuming that 27.5x2.6 will fit in the 27.5 specific frame.

  188. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    I'm a little surprised at the lack of FS designs with ~100mm rear travel but a longer travel fork i.e. 140mm. Plenty of aggressive HTs around but the idea of having just a little at the rear hasn't caught on yet, something I think will change.
    The Transition scout is another bike on my radar which has much longer fork travel then the rear 140mm fork/125mm rear. And several run a 150mm fork

  189. #189
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    I'm thinking a 29 x 2.6 on a wider rim will be awesome for the optic. Zerot any reason you didn't like it when you had it set up this way ?


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  190. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by funnyjr View Post
    I'm thinking a 29 x 2.6 on a wider rim will be awesome for the optic. Zerot any reason you didn't like it when you had it set up this way ?


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    I liked it just fine. The ride comfort and grip was incredible.

    But for my trails in SE Michigan, it didn't make sense.
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  191. #191
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    Norco Optic-img_0907.jpgNorco Optic-img_0906.jpg

    Anyone want to guess how much norco will charge me to replace this? Bought used - also my screwup. Somehow a disc bolt backed out and I didn't notice it. Pretty sure it will hold up fine, but damage like this would make selling the bike (no plans to in the near future) pretty tough.

  192. #192
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    ^^ congrats you just shaved off a few grams I would just throw some black touch up on there.
    Norco I suspect will charge you for entire rear triangle.
    Regardless please post how much if you do replace.


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  193. #193
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    Ahaha thanks - I would think they could just sell me the top piece of the triangle. Not had lots of luck getting ahold of norco directly.

  194. #194
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    $400 Retail

  195. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by n8_ View Post
    $400 Retail
    Entire rear ?


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  196. #196
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    I don't think so.

    I had to look up the company that distributes Norco - they have virtually no contact info on their site. Kinda lame IMHO.

    I will say that I broke a chainstay on my Pivot and they wanted $750 so this is better. I won't be fixing it, but I'll keep an eye out for a used part.

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    I ordered a absolute black oval and they shipped me a 34t instead of a 32t to replace my sram 32. I cant return it because im in remote africa. When i slid the chainring over the arm it is about 10mm longer towards my rear wheel than my 32t. before i take everything apart to assemble and find out it doesn't fit, i was curious if anyone here successfully installed a 34t oval on their optic?

  198. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn13 View Post
    I ordered a absolute black oval and they shipped me a 34t instead of a 32t to replace my sram 32. I cant return it because im in remote africa. When i slid the chainring over the arm it is about 10mm longer towards my rear wheel than my 32t. before i take everything apart to assemble and find out it doesn't fit, i was curious if anyone here successfully installed a 34t oval on their optic?
    I ran a 28t, because the Optic pedaled worse with the bigger ring. Meaning more pedal Bob.

    I'd stick with the 32t.

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    Okay. It doesnt look like the larger oval will fit with the arm flare.

    I will just stick with the stock setup.

  200. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn13 View Post
    I ordered a absolute black oval and they shipped me a 34t instead of a 32t to replace my sram 32. I cant return it because im in remote africa. When i slid the chainring over the arm it is about 10mm longer towards my rear wheel than my 32t. before i take everything apart to assemble and find out it doesn't fit, i was curious if anyone here successfully installed a 34t oval on their optic?
    Hi shawn,
    Just curios, was this ring boost offset

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