As far as I’m concerned, if you are after a new bike based on how it looks, the simplicity of the Norco Sight Carbon 7.2 is almost impossible to pass up.
The black frame, cranks, wheels, forks and basically everything look so damn good when paired with the neon Norco logo. That small splash of colour is enough to draw the eye and the bike itself will handle the rest.
In the current crop of carbon wonder bikes, you’d struggle to find a bike that was as universally praised as this one. It’s won plaudits from all over the globe and I’ve got no intention of changing that. Its retail cost means you’re looking at the higher end of recreational cycling enthusiasm. There’s no point opening up any dialogue about the price, it’s a no-win discussion. Quite simply, if this bike is within your budget or fractionally outside, start your search right here. Everything you’d want in a bike of this calibre is already on this bike, the spec sheet is almost exactly as you’d hope for it to be.
The frame features a Smooth Core full carbon front triangle mated with butted alloy chain stays out back. The 140mm platform offered on the Sight places it right in the thick of the ‘do everything’ trail bike market. I deliberately made mention of ‘do everything’, because I feel that’s exactly what this bike can do. If all day riding is your style, you will have no problems piloting the Sight wherever your heart desires. If you’d prefer the thrills and spills of shuttles and more gravity orientated tracks, the Sight is equally at home. Keep in mind that it won’t perform like bikes designed specifically for those formats, but it will be more than close enough to keep 90% of people happy.
If you’re interested in the numbers game, the geometry remains the same from 2014 with a 67.5 degree head angle and a 33.8cm bottom bracket height. The build kit on the sight lends itself to a marginally more aggressive style of riding, but the clever A.R.T suspension design keeps the bike planted at all times. Unlike many bikes I’ve ridden, the suspension system seemed to function extremely well without any input from the rider. The popular Cane Creek DB Inline rear shock delivers a phenomenal ride. During my testing of this bike I never really touched the rear shock apart from adding to or reducing the air pressure. This particular shock is almost infinite in its adjustability, but quite frankly, it’s probably lost on me. I am a set-and-forget style of rider, but that doesn’t mean I had to suffer through a poorly performing rear end.
We were testing the Sight in one of Australia's beautiful alpine regions, in North East Victoria, specifically Bright and Mt. Beauty. With the perfect mixture of conditions and trails for our riding we were able to put the bike through almost every scenario you can think of. The initial fling round the lower trails of Bright’s Mystic MTB Park gave us a good indication we’d enjoy our time on board. For a bike with a burlier build like it has, the pedalling efficiency is remarkably good. In fact, I was quite surprised with just how well it did pedal. The bike can get moving quite quickly and it has no problems staying at speed. Once you reach the top of any knoll, hill or mountain, you’ll have forgotten any hard work you’ve done getting there as the bike will beg you to head downwards.
One of my few gripes with the Sight was tight uphill switchbacks. The front wheel definitely wanders at low speed and it’s almost a little irritating. However, I’m willing to accept this one minor flaw as descending on the Sight is what dreams are made of. The front end of the bike is unflappable. The renowned RockShox Pike delivers minimal flex and the pairing with the Magic Mary almost mocked my pathetic attempts at losing traction. The whole bike feels so in touch with the ground, it’s almost like you’re on rails. This bike gives you the energy to explore the trail, whether it’s popping off anything that’s protruding or slamming the bike into corners. On more than one occasion I probably got a little too excited in my aerial assault but the bike simply took the landing and carried on its merry way.
If I could have only one bike in my quiver, this would be very, very close to being the one. Coming from a more cross country background, I’m still getting to terms with pedalling the bigger bikes. I found the flatter and more uphill trails weren’t anywhere near as tiresome as I expected. I’m almost certain I could find ways to enjoy any trail I point this bike into. The price is at the higher end, but you get a bike that does not need anything changed. Out of the box you could race this bike at your nearest endure without any qualms, you could also have a blast chasing your mates through your regular social ride. This bike won me over in a big way and I’ll happily tell anyone who asks.