Singletracks is preparing a massive mid-travel mountain bike mashup for this fall, and we’ll be sharing previews of each test bike as they come in this summer ahead of the full video and written reviews. If there’s something you want to know about any of these bikes, ask us in the comments and we’ll find an answer before the leaves begin to tumble. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified as soon as each video review drops.
Norco revised the Optic toward the end of 2019, so while it’s not brand new by any means the trail bike fits in with most of the modern bikes we included in our test. With this generation, Norco ditched 27.5″ wheels for 29″ wheels across all sizes. The travel has jumped to 125mm in the rear with a 140mm fork, and the geometry was thrown in the blender. The head angle was reduced by 3.5° on the new Optic, now sitting back at 65°.
The seat tube, which was shortened drastically to acommodate longer-travel droppers, now sits at 76°. Norco started the conversation we’re currently seeing in the bike world, with size-specific chainstays. The rear-center length on our medium test bike is 430mm, with a 5mm difference on each size.
Norco has prioritized an aggressive build on the C2 and on all builds by equipping a shock with an external reservoir, and they worked with RockShox for a custom tune around the bike. The kinematics were designed for support through hard cornering, stability over jumps, and composure though overwhelming terrain.
As parts have been scarce, our build includes Shimano 4-piston brakes, a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, a RockShox Pike Select+ fork, and Stans Flow wheels with DT Swiss 350 hubs. MSRP on this build is $4,999.
So far, we’ve found the Norco Optic to be a great bike for all around riding, with a light and flickable character which excels on flow trails. We’re excited to share the full review soon.