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Bryn Atkinson Shows the Trail Capability of the All-New Norco Optic 11

Revised suspension kinematics, new geometry, and killer build kits all add up to a very exciting new offering from the Canadian brand.

Bryn Atkinson Shows the Trail Capability of the All-New Norco Optic

Norco Bicycles is excited to announce the totally redesigned and re-focused Optic–the latest addition to their line of world-class mountain bikes. Developed in, and inspired by their backyard trails in the mountains surrounding their Vancouver-area headquarters and throughout the Pacific Northwest, the 2020 Optic is an evolution of Norco’s new holistic, progressive design philosophy that is designed specifically for high-speed, short-travel Trail riding.

  Scott Secco

Though the new Optic shares its name with the company’s past all-rounder trail platform, there isn’t a single aspect of the new bike that hasn’t been examined, re-addressed and overly-scrutinized from previous versions. With this new bike, there is a clear priority put on creating a rippin’ fun short-travel trail bike with the agility and confidence riders need to manage speeds that usually overwhelm bikes with this amount of suspension travel.

The Optic’s carbon frame uses Norco’s new holistic, progressive design process to create its high-speed, short-travel performance, with geometry prioritizing confident, playful descents, railing corners and boosting jumps. The precision suspension kinematics and custom RockShox DH shock create 125mm of plush rear travel, which has been matched with a bump-eating 140mm Pike on every model for the control riders need to keep their minds on the trail, and off of what the bike is up to.

The Optic kinematics were radically updated from previous bikes with a focus on providing support for hard cornering, stability on lips and landings, and composure when the travel becomes outdone by the terrain. A much higher starting leverage allows improved small bump but also provides the ability to build in a much higher amount of progression. When combined with the more aggressive high speed compression tune on our custom Ultimate DH shock we were able to build a high support point into the bike allowing the rider to push hard into corners and takeoffs while still handling the square edge hits you can’t avoid.
With the Horst layout we can obtain a high initial antisquat with a fast dropoff. The high antisquat numbers around the sag point provide a firm pedalling platform but by reducing the antisquat deeper in the travel pedal kickback can be minimized to allow more rider stability as the terrain gets rougher. Lower antisquat deeper in the stroke also reduces chain support to provide more consistent depth to the middle and end stroke of the suspension and better square edge hit management.


The steep seat angle and a long top tube will help get all the power and grip they need to claw back up, but make no mistake, what the Optic really wants to do is rip back down again.

Each model benefits from a descent-focused parts package, featuring 180mm 4-piston hydraulic brakes, light, stiff 29-inch wheelsets, short seat tubes mated to long-travel dropper posts for increased clearance, and grippy, aggressive Schwalbe soft-compound 29x2.35-inch tires.

Optic C AXS $8,999 USD purple/silver
Optic C1 $5,999 USD purple/silver
Optic C2 $4,499 USD lichen/black
Optic C2 W $4,499 USD blue
Optic C3 $3,599 USD charcoal/black
Optic C3 W $3,599 USD charcoal/purple

Optic Frame $2,299 USD

The all-new Norco Optic will be available in November 2019 and is available in S, M, L, and XL, with a selection of four complete bikes and a frame kit available through Norco dealers and online at norco.com.


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