On Review: Norco Sasquatch


The Sasquatch is Norco’s first fat bike that uses a suspension fork. Compared to the Bigfoot line, the Sasquatch’s geometry has been tweaked to accommodate the RockShox Bluto. The 6061 hydroformed aluminum frame has been designed with a low stand over height regardless of size. Compact and sturdy, the relatively low (313mm) bottom bracket height is key to both maneuverability and stability… yet it’s still high enough to clear most logs.


Key components include the fat bike-specific FSA Comet cranks with a lower front chainring gear combo (36/22), allowing you to trudge along as slow as you’d like.


The build spec below is respectable for a bike priced at $2475 USD. A mix of Shimano SLX and XT for the driveline is both durable and economical for most, and offers room for improvement if you desire.


SRAM’s new Guide R brakes are your chicken switches. According to Norco, they choose the Guides over brakes which use mineral oil. SRAM is of the belief that the DOT fluid is not affected by cold weather.

Frame-          Sasquatch alloy frame w/ taper HT /suspension corrected geometry
Fork-             Rockshox Bluto RL 100mm solo air 15mm
Rims-            Aluminum 80mm, single wall rim w/holes
Tires-             Vee Snow Shoe 26×4.5 folding bead (120 TPI)
Front Hub-     Novatec alloy 15x 150mm disc sealed bearing
Rear Hub-     KT alloy 170mm disc w/QR sealed bearing
Spokes/Nipples-    Black stainless 2.0 spokes w/brass nipples
Shifter Front-         Shimano SLX M670 rapid fire 3 sp
Shifter Rear-         Shimano SLX M670 rapid fire 10 sp
Shifter Casing-      Jagwire LEX housing
Front Derailleur-    Shimano SLX M660-E 10 speed E-Type
Rear Derailleur-    Shimano XT RD-M 786 SGS 10 sp
Cassette-              Shimano Deore HG62 11-36T 10 sp
Crankset-             FSA Comet CK7156 36/22T w/guard
Bottom Bracket-   FSA Mega Exo BB external 100mm
Pedals-                Wellgo alloy body / alloy cage MTB pedal
Chain-                  Sram PC 1031 10 sp
Seat Post-             Norco Lite 3D forged double bolt 2014 alloy 31.6
Seat Post Clamp- Norco aluminum MTB / XC clamp 35 mm
Saddle-                 Norco MTB XC Trail saddle w/chromoly rail
Headset-               FSA No 42/ACB tapered
Headset Spacer-  Alloy spacer 1 x 10 mm / 2 x 5 mm
Top Cap-               Black alloy with no logo
Stem-                   Alloy 3D forged MTB stem, 4 bolt front clamp
Handlebar-           Norco 25 mm rise 740 mm width 6061 DB
Grips-                    Super light foam grip / all black
Front Brake-         Sram Guide R 4 piston hydraulic w/ 180mm rotor
Rear Brake-         Sram Guide R 4 piston hydraulic w/ 160mm rotor
Brake Levers-      Sram Guide R
As far as fit goes, this medium-sized mythical monster is designed around a 1118mm wheel base with a 69 degree head angle and 73 degree seat angle. To keep things in perspective, the Norco top model XC racer has a 1088mm wheel base, 70.5 degree head angle and 73.5 degree seat angle. So other than larger wheels, The Sasquatch is not that much longer than one might think.
In fact, the medium size that I know I fit felt a bit long with the supplied 90mm stem. I swapped it out with a 50mm stem.

When setting up the Sasquatch I followed the recommended air pressure for the Bluto as per RockShox’s customary pressure decal found on the left side of the fork. Other items that I had to tweak included the brake lever reach. I tend to leave very little freeplay on the lever, and prefer full braking near the top of the stroke. It was easy enough: with a fresh bleed and adjustment of the reach knobs I was good in minutes.

I wanted a balance of ultimate grip and good rolling resistance. In the case of the the Sasquatch I started at 8.5PSI and played around until I hit a happy medium at 7PSI. I did try lower pressures, but on sharper, squared-edged rocks I started to feel light rim strikes.


Having a good understanding on what I want out of a bike, I was happy to change to a shorter stem right off the bat. After a few initial rides I then swapped out the bar, grips, and seatpost/saddle. Yes I am picky and I prefer carbon in these spots. All of these items are the new Ritchey Trail line of parts, and the saddle is the new WCS Vector EVO Streem saddle. The alloy bars and Norco foam grips just weren’t doing it for me.

At the time of writing this introduction, there was very little snow, but with lots of cold weather and rain that melts the snow and freezes the terrain. Riding mostly around the Milton, Ontario area, most of the trails that I rode had a high content of rock that a set of 45NRTH would handle a bit better. So swapping out the tires to the 26 x 4″ 45NRTH  Vanhelga is something that I am evaluating right now.
Out of the box the Sasquatch is a decent-running bike, and only time will tell how well it will hold up. But so far on the rides that I have taken it on, I’ve been impressed with how well it rides. The mix of components work well. I was surprised how well the bike handles itself in tight singletrack terrain. The Bluto up front does a lot to extend the fun factor over rocks, while the XT shadow plus rear derailleur keeps shifting along nicely. While friends of mine where howling along with their brakes every time they tried to stop, I was pleasantly surprised by how well (and quietly) the SRAM Guide R’s worked.
Stay tuned for the long-term review!