Norco Sight C2Check Out the Full Specs and Review
The Norco Sight has historically been an even-handed trail bike, sitting somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between endurance and enduro. The 2020 iteration makes some strides toward the latter end, with 20 millimeters more front and rear travel and a longer, slacker frame. These changes make for an entirely different demeanor than the previous version; it’s more composed in more terrain, but sacrifices some quickness on climbs.
To create the new Sight, Norco modernized geometry with, you guessed it, a slacker head tube, steeper seat tube and longer wheelbase. It continues Norco’s use of size-specific frame construction, which includes unique tube diameters and rear triangles across the size range (S-XL). Norco also created an extensive setup guide to match your tune to your weight, experience and riding style, and each frame size gets an appropriate-length dropper (200 millimeters in the XL) along with room for a water bottle.
Norco offers two different builds in the carbon sight and three in aluminum, each also available in a women’s version. But if the off-the-shelf options don’t do it for you, Norco’s Build Your Ride service might. Freely mix and match frame material, suspension choice and component spec. Add to cart, click to confirm, and the bike gets delivered to your local Norco dealer, who gets a healthy cut of cheddar. But it comes at a premium—$5,200 for the XT/SLX and Fox Performance kit on the stock C2 is a better value than our SRAM-only, custom test bike.
The Sight is available in both 27.5- and 29- inch wheel sizes, with clearance for 2.6-inch tires on both. We noted that the frame came with a few nice protective touches, like clear stickers in high-rub areas, a nice beefy rubber guard on the chainstay, a truck-bed pad protector and a downtube protector. Our bike also had SRAM Code brakes and burlier tire casings, which reinforce the Sight’s gravity inclinations.
Norco isn’t the first brand to do size-specific layups, and a setup guide isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it is a nice acknowledgment that we aren’t all 6-feet tall and 170 pounds. The Sight is offered in sizes small through extra large, all of which are tuned to serve up the same relative ride characteristics. That’s especially true when it comes to the effective seat tube angle. Norco pitches taller riders very slightly farther forward, mitigating the extra sag caused when the vertically gifted cantilever their extra weight out and over the rear wheel.
On the trail, we were impressed with the Sight’s exceptionally planted, centered feel. Some testers rode it on our muddiest test day, and it turned what should have been a total survival run into a smashy, carvy good time. The traction this bike creates is superb, letting you point it down with the knowledge that it won’t buck you, and lean it over with confidence that it will hook up and support you through the turn. You get on the Sight and it instantly feels natural and intuitive. That said, it wasn’t the easiest to manual, likely due to the longish back end—and while it’s plenty quick to help you pick a line, it’s just not the most poppy-feeling rig. The suspension gets a fairly light-feeling compression tune, which brings it to life on descents and helps create the traction we mentioned above, but it also generates a bit of bob on climbs if you’re riding with everything open.
Which brings us to the rub with this bike— Norco set out to make the Sight a balanced climber and descender, but it’s difficult to do that when you’re slackening things up and adding a bunch of travel. A steeper seat tube can do a lot for pedaling efficiency, but it can only get you so far.
Is that slight loss of uphill speed worth it for the Sight’s big gains in downhill capability? As always, it depends on the kind of rider you are and the kind of terrain you frequent. If you’re an adventure rider planning to dabble in some enduro racing, this could be an ideal partner in crime—but if you appreciated the old Sight’s more endurance-leaning characteristics but like the new Sight’s attention to fit, you might want to look further along the line, at a bike like the Optic.
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