REVIEW | The 2020 Norco Sight A1 Is An Absolute Beast Of A Bike

REVIEW | The 2020 Norco Sight A1 Is An Absolute Beast Of A Bike


G’day frothers it’s Wil here from Flow Mountain Bike and welcome to this video review of the 2020 Norco Sight. Now this is a brand new full suspension mountain bike for 2020 so to start off this video we’re
gonna go into some detail about what kind of bike this is what makes it
special and what’s changed over the previous version then we’re going to go
into some detail about the specific model that I’ve been testing here for
the past couple of months and how I’ve set it up then we’re going to talk about
what this bike does well what it doesn’t do so well and who this bike is best
suited for before we go any further though if you scroll down to the video
description you’ll see a couple of links in there one of those will take you to
the first look story and video for when this bike launched a couple of months
ago now that’s where you want to go to read about all the specs and pricing on
the full range the other link will take you to the full review of the Norco Sight A1 that i’ve been testing here so if you want to know about all the nitty-gritty
details about this bike follow that link to flowmountainbike.com for the full
review so for 2020 the Norco Sight has been completely overhauled it’s got more
travel it’s been stretched out and slackened out and it’s got a really
gravity oriented build kit it’s quite a different bike to the previous version
we have 160 millimeter travel RockShox Lyrik fork on the front
and that’s plugged into a very slack 64 degree head angle on the back we have
150 millimeters of travel courtesy of a four bar suspension design and a
RockShox super deluxe shock the seat angle is pretty steep on this bike
77.3 degrees on the medium frame here though it does get a
little steeper on the larger frame sizes the seat tube itself is quite short and
stout and that’s to accommodate a nice long stroke dropper post on the medium
i’ve got here it’s a 170 millimeter travel dropper but once you
go up to the extra large that extends to a 200 millimeter travel dropper post as
for the chainstay length on the Norco site it actually gets longer by five
millimeters on each frame size on the medium here it’s 435 millimeters but it goes up to 445
millimeters on the extra-large frame the Sight is available in both 29 inch and
27.5 inch platforms and you can get both wheel size options
in all four frame sizes suspension travel that’s identical between the two
platforms and geometry is almost identical and that’s partly because the
back end of the bike is actually shared between the 29 inch and the 27.5 inch
versions now there are five Sight models coming into Australia for 2020 this sits
smack bang in the middle of the range this is the Sight A1 it’s the top of the
range spec with the aluminium frame and it sells for $5,799 for the money the build kid is absolutely dialed as
mentioned before we have that Lyrik fork on the front and that has the superb RC2
damper inside there’s very powerful brakes these are SRAM code RSC’s with a
200 millimeter rotor on the front I might add there’s a SRAM GX Eagle
drivetrain and we have a custom wheel set here with DT Swiss 350 hubs and e*13
rims and they’re wrapped with a very versatile very popular Maxxis Minion tire
combo we have a 2.5 inch DHF on the front and a 2.4 inch DHR2 on
the back now with the heavy-duty parts on this bike it does end up being pretty
weighty setup jubileus and weight without pedals despite clocks in 15.35
kilograms now a lot of that comes down to this very burly frame Norco claims
that the alloy version of the Sight with the rear shock weighs in at 4.6 kilograms the carbon version does drop down to 3.8 kilograms
with the rear shock but it’s still not exactly a featherweight now at 175
centimeters tall I’m riding a medium size in the Norco Sight A1 with 29
inch wheels now according to Norco I’m on the border between a medium and a
large but I’m very glad I went for the medium because this bike is quite big
there’s definitely no way I want to be on a bigger frame size so for those who
would normally up size to get a longer reach and a longer wheelbase I would
suggest taking a closer look at the geometry chart because chances are you
won’t have to do that with this bike in regards to setup Norco’s developed a
nifty bit of software which it calls ride aligned and this is a set-up guide
which has been developed for all of the newly released models including the Sight
you can access the ride aligned calculator either on the Norco website
or of course on a mobile phone app once you’re in you input your height your
weight and your writing skill level and out will pop a whole bunch of
recommendations you’ll have suggested pressures for the fork and shock rebound
and compression settings even how many volume spaces you should be running it
comes up with tire pressures and even a guide on how best to set up your cockpit
as well it’s a fantastic starting point for getting a new bike set up and I
found a lot of the settings were pretty much spot-on to support my 68 kilo
riding weight I have 80 psi in the fork air spring and two bottomless tokens
which come as stock rebound setting is a few clicks lower than halfway with six
out of 18 clicks high speed compression damping I’ve got one click off the
softer setting low speed compression damping I did play around with that
quite a bit so if I was riding much faster steeper trails in dry conditions
I’d run the low speed compression about halfway so 9 out of 18 clicks but if the
conditions were wet slick and kind of traction poor I would
back that low speed off just to increase sensitivity and front-end traction as
for the rear shock to hit 30% sag I have 177 psi inside there and two volume spaces as stock rebound is one click slower than halfway
at six out of ten clicks with the high volume tires on this bike you can run
some pretty low pressures so on the front I had 20 psi and on the rear I
have 23 psi right so onto what this bike does well now I’ll admit that it did
take me a while to get used to this bike and part of that is because it is so
different to the previous site a bike that we’ve really enjoyed testing
here at Flow this bike is quite a bit longer in slacker it’s two and a half
degrees slacker in the head angle the reach is thirty millimeters longer in
the medium 29er Sight and the wheel base has grown 58 millimeters and that’s a
lot overall the new Sight has really shifted away from being a trail bike and
more towards being a pure enduro bike it’s definitely biased more towards
descending and preferably descending very steep trails very very fast with
that slack head angle and the reduced offset fork there is a load
trail on this bike for those playing at home it’s 135 millimeters which is a lot
now if you don’t know what that means it basically means that the front end
steering on this bike is very very steady and very very stable it has a
certain degree of damping to the front end steering and it means this bike is
quite hard to knock off line because the front wheel does stick out so far ahead
though it does mean you have to get your weight over onto the front of the bike
otherwise the front tires gonna lose traction now to help me get my weight
forward I did drop the stem down all the way and I also rolled the bars a little
bit further forward I will point out the Ergon GE1 grips on this bike which are
absolutely fantastic they do support a very defined hand position so you can
actually use those to kind of move you forward on the bike and bring your
weight and also your elbows a little bit further over the front of the bike once
I’d adjusted the cockpit and also my riding style to get further forward on
the bike I unlocked a huge amount of stability in this bike it’s got near
downhill like tracking the suspension is really smooth really supple and it holds
its line on choppy steep fast terrain incredibly well
although the suspension design isn’t overly poppy it does give excellent
traction of course the Minion tire combo deserves credit here these are quite
versatile tires that perform well in varying conditions and they provide
outstanding cornering grip and plenty of stability when you’re leaning the bike
over they’re not amazing in slick conditions there was something I found
on a day that was particularly wet riding some really steep loamy hand cut
trails but even still this bike kind of held its ground really well that long
wheelbase and subtle suspension design kept a tracking even when the tires
broke traction compared to a bike with a shorter wheelbase it’s harder to knock
this bike off line so it’s more likely to hold its line rather than spinning
you off the side of the trail the RockShox Lyrik is an outstanding
performer this is a very supple fork with great sensitivity all the way
through the travel so even when you’re halfway into the travel it’s still ready
to absorb that next hit the RC2 damper gives you a load of control and
stability over a really wide range of riding hits and riding speeds as well
the Code RSC brakes are another fantastic addition to the Sight A1 these have loads of power of course but it’s their
modulation and fine-tuned control which I found most advantageous particularly
when the conditions were wet muddy the bite point at the lever is really solid and
there’s plenty of usable adjustability in terms of lever reach and adjusting the
bite point as to what this bike doesn’t do well well as I mentioned before it’s
less of the all-rounder that the previous Sight was and that position has
been filled by the new Optic which Norco has given more travel and turned into a
more aggressive trail bike the site has kind of recalibrated into more of a pure
enduro bike and this is really built to excel on very steep gnarly high-speed
terrain I call it a winch and plummet bike so it climbs steep stuff well and
it descends steep stuff well on flatter terrain though it is a bit more hard
work and that’s partly because that big long wheelbase that slack head angle and
also the heavy duty build kit with the front wheel way out ahead of you
it can be difficult to wait if the trail isn’t super steep and you don’t have
your weight or any pitch forward so on trails that were fast but were kind of
flat I did have to really consciously get my weight over the front wheel
otherwise the front tire could wash out very very quickly and you’d lose all the
confidence this bike has otherwise given you up until that point of course at
over 15 kilos this bike isn’t the most enthusiastic climber a lot of that comes
down to the heavy rolling stock so the wheel set weight is nearly two kilograms
and each tire is over a kilogram too so that’s quite a lot of mass to get moving
every time you want to accelerate going up a climb however with that steep seat
angle you’re placed into a more efficient and more powerful climbing
position the rear suspension is also pretty efficient to knockos built a
useful amount of anti-squat into the rear suspension kinematics and they’ve
given the rear shock and medium compression tuned now it does have a
two-position compression switch but to be honest I’ve never really used it
offroad this bike actually climbs absolutely fine with the rear suspension
set wide open I’d only ever use that lever if I was riding on on the road or
on a smooth long fire road climb otherwise there’s not a lot of bob out
of the back end of this bike providing you stay seated speaking of the rear
shock I did kiss full travel a few times which is more than acceptable every now
and then but if you did want more progression out of the rear suspension
design it is possible to add tokens inside this
air can to give it a little bit more bottom out support however Norco does
say the leverage rate on this bike is progressive enough that it will accept a
coil rear shock if you wanted even more big hit capability the Sight has been
cleared to run a 170 millimeter travel fork on the front personally I don’t
think it needs it but hey there you go overall I think Norco has done a
fantastic job of fitting out this bike with the kind of parts that hard-hitting
riders are asking for like the piggyback shock the Lyrik RC2 Fork the EXO+
tires and also the more powerful Code RSC brakes elsewhere there are very few
flaws in this build kit I really like that Norco is used a conventional
wheelset build on this bike with standard J Bend spokes DT Swiss hubs and
hats off to Norco for spec’ing the faster engaging 36 tooth Star Ratchet
in the rear hub I also like that we have Ergon GE1 grips and an Ergon saddle and a
Deity handlebar in areas where Norco could have saved some money and spec’d its own brand stuff I think the TransX dropper post was the only unknown
quantity on this bike but it’s been totally flawless throughout testing the
lever is kind of big and awkward and feels a little cheap but otherwise the
action of the post itself has been smooth and it’s not developed any
noticeable play over time the practical build kit on the Norco Sight A1 is
mirrored in this solid well-built frame we have chunky forged alloy components
on this bike nice big generous welds big pivot hardware and Enduro Max sealed
cartridge bearings throughout the rear suspension linkage in fact on the rear
chainstay pivot each pivot uses two cartridge bearings side by side which is
there to improve durability and stiffness through the back end well I do
really like the clean bolt up axles what I don’t like is the fact that the front
axle requires a six millimeter hex key and the rear axle needs a five
millimeter hex key that’s really a mild annoyance but Norco if you’re listening
to this let’s have one hex key for both axles please the only other thing to
watch out for on this bike of a soft e*13 rims the rear wheel in particular is
looking a little worse for wear now for those considering this bike I’d
also consider running a tubeless insert inside the rear tire and that will give
more protection to the rim and will also allow you to run lower pressures as well
right so the verdict on the 2020 Norco Sight A1 well I
mentioned before that this bike is quite different to its predecessor and
depending on how you approach things that’s either a good or a bad thing it’s
less of an all-rounder and it’s not particularly quick up the climbs it’s
also hard work to ride on flatter terrain so if you’re not riding in
alpine areas frequently then you may be better off considering the Norco Optic
overall the Sight has morphed into more of a pure enduro bike this is designed
to excel on really steep fast terrain it’s a winch and plummet bike and if
you’ve got that terrain handy then this is a very very capable bike that’s also
really well spec’d for the money if you did want to go lighter there are two
carbon models above this and if you’ve got a smaller budget there are two alloy
models below this – whichever way you’re going to go though you’re going to get a
well-built big travel bruiser that’s ideal for
pushing your limits and progressing your riding abilities now if you’d like to
read the full review on the 2020 Norco Sight A1 make sure you follow the link in
the video description below if you’ve got any questions for me about this bike
drop them into the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you
if you enjoyed this video give us a thumbs up and if you haven’t already
subscribed to our YouTube channel to be notified of all the new videos we have
coming your way in 2020 otherwise that’s it from me guys I hope you enjoyed this
video and I’ll see you next time