2022 Norco Range C1 Bike
(discontinued)

Vital Rating:
Related:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
$3,839.94
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
$6,900.00
Vital Tested - Norco's All-New High Pivot Range C1
We put Norco's new high-pivot enduro bike to the test and find out if the hype is real.
Rating:
Vital Review
s1600 RangeSpotA 682626

With the last update to Norco’s long-travel 29er being back in 2018, the all-new 2022 Range is a bike that should excite those with a focus on flat-out speed. After Vital's First Look with the new Range, it became clear this is a massive departure from previous year's models with a full redesign from the ground up. The new Range is the first official bike launched under Norco’s new brand image. The long-travel 29er now features a high, virtual pivot suspension layout with updated geo aimed at inspiring confidence when smashing into the unknown. With the level of anticipation around this bike during its last three years of development, we were happy to finally throw a leg over it and see if the hype is real.

Highlights

  • Carbon Fiber frame
  • 29-inch wheels
  • 170mm (6.7-inches) of rear-wheel travel // 170mm (6.7-inches) fork travel
  • High virtual pivot suspension design with idler pulley
  • Tapered headtube
  • Internal cable routing
  • Removable dropouts
  • Additional bottle cage mounts for tool storage with clearance for 750ml bottle
  • Integrated rubber frame protection in key areas
  • Pressfit 92 bottom bracket with proprietary MRP mounts
  • 148mm boost rear spacing with 12mm through axle
  • Measured weight (size XL, no pedals): 37 pounds (16.8kg)
  • MSRP $8,999 USD

Strengths

  • Virtual High Pivot suspension platform
  • Overall downhill performance
  • Cornering confidence
  • Riding comfort and fit
  • Proper weight balance
  • Pedals well

Weaknesses

  • Inconsistent shifting from awkward cable routing
  • Bottom bracket area is potentially concerning in the long term
  • We used the lower link protection...a lot
  • Not light

The Range is now one of several high pivot enduro bikes on the market. What sets it apart from most others is the use of a virtual pivot rather than a link-driven single pivot. With a pivot in front of the rear dropout and a concentric lower link driving a shock-mounted yoke, it is one of the more unique orientations on the market. Still, it provides some great ride characteristics. Using size-specific links to accommodate the size-specific chainstay lengths with no flip chips or geometry adjustments in sight, it is clear to see Norco has done its homework to ensure consistent characteristics across all sizes.

You can see the entire Norco Range line compared in our Product Guide.

The frame is 1x specific with standard Boost 148 spacing. Ample rubber and plastic frame protection are in key areas, including a miniature fender to keep the shock clean. The Range sports a bash guard for the concentric lower link which hangs quite low beneath the bottom bracket. There is adequate space for drainage around the super low slung shock. Though, perhaps not enough room for most people to reach the DHX2 high-speed rebound adjustment without the use of a small Allen key. It also features the use of proprietary MRP chain guide tabs which keeps the chain guide options quite limited.

Geometry

Norco’s Ride Aligned geometry is one of the most in-depth approaches to ensure a proper fit for every size rider on the market. Each frame size uses size-specific chainstay lengths, seat tube angles, and on this frame, even size-specific head tube angles to help create the best ride experience possible for riders of all sizes. The Range’s geometry is certainly at the far end of the spectrum as far as enduro bikes go and is in borderline downhill bike territory with the longer, lower, slacker treatment being taken to an extreme. While the geo chart might help suggest how this bike rides, it contradicted our initial predictions. The Range proved to be much more nimble than the numbers suggested.

Setup

We started out using the recommended settings Norco provided for the specifications of our test rider. After a bit of time on the bike, we upped the fork pressure to 110psi and added two clicks to low-speed compression to help aid the more forward riding position. The rear shock settings felt good using the recommended 600lb coil.

Norco's Ride Aligned suggested settings

When we first sat on the bike we were surprised by how deceiving the size was. Norco's new Range does not feel as big as numbers might suggest. When pedaling, we felt comfortable straight away. While descending, the length of the bike becomes slightly more noticeable. The Range felt more spacious if anything, rather than too stretched out. This encouraged more of an “attack” riding position. We initially planned to cut the bars down to a more preferable 780mm width, but after the first couple rides decided the 800mm width fit our size XL test bike quite well. We gave the stock DMR Deathgrips a couple of rides but did not get along with them as great as we’d hoped, swapping them out for Sensus Meaty Paws for a more size-appropriate diameter. Aside from that, we rode the bike with all of the stock components. After a couple of rides, we decided to raise the stack height by 5mm to help sit a little more upright. We did not change it for the remainder of the test.

On The Trail

Trails Ridden

We rode a wide Range of trails on this bike (hilarious) varying from mellow, single track to a full-blown DH track. Some trails were familiar while others were totally blind. Locations included South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ with primarily loose rock on top of more rock and moderate speeds. Payson, AZ for some rough single track in the trees at high speed. Bogus Basin in Boise, ID which offered more traditional bike park style trails. Northstar in Truckee, CA for some rougher, less predictable bike park laps at high speed. Peavine in Reno, NV for some mellower trail riding at a lower speed. Downieville, CA for some longer, high-speed, enduro-style trails, as well as Tyrolian in Incline Village, NV for a good mix of jumps and high speed descending to round out our test. We found the Range to be comfortable in all scenarios but is certainly best suited by the higher speed trails, especially when things get rough.

Perceived Weight

Our first impression out of the box was that the bike felt a bit heavy. That said, the perceived weight does not translate so much on the trail. The planted feeling of the Range is almost contradictory to how easily it gets up to speed and changes direction. It certainly feels lighter on the dirt than it does in your hands. When smashing on blind trails we were pleasantly surprised by how easily the bike was able to Scandi flick into unexpected tight turns at the last second, something that is very important for blind racing.

Sprinting

Getting up and sprinting was rewarded with a quick response without any noticeable loss of power. Thanks to the idler pulley, which eliminates pedal bob, this big bike stands up higher in its travel under load. We were please with the Range's ability to get up and go.

Climbing

The climbing performance of the Range is not exactly what you would expect out of such a big, slacked-out bike. As previously stated, you are in a comfortable position while seated and it helps make for a very efficient pedaling position. Despite the pedaling position being efficient, it does prefer lower speed when pointed uphill. Usually, this is problematic with lots of ledgy climbing like the trails on South Mountain often have. This was not the case with the Range. With ample front- and rear-wheel traction, we found it to be quite comfortable at lower speeds and actually quite nimble in tight sections which was surprising for a bike of this size.

Build Kit

Top-of-the-line spec and a price tag to match. To start, We Are One rims laced to Onyx hubs are amazing to see as the standard spec wheelset for the C1 level build kit. A proper 210mm dropper is appreciated on a size XL with appropriate lengths throughout the rest of the sizes. A Deity Skywire carbon handlebar paired with DMR grips is a nice addition to making this bike truly ready to go right out of the box. Tried and trued FOX Factory suspension adds to the race level pedigree of this bike. A great tire combo of a Maxxis Assegai 2.5WT up front and a Dissector 2.4WT out back, both in the Double Down compound to help put all of the available traction to use on a wide variety of terrain. Full SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain throughout with Code RSC brakes makes for a sleek cockpit with predictable braking and a wide-range cassette. Although we would have liked to see the appropriate X01 Eagle cassette rather than the GX level cassette on a bike sporting a top-of-the-line build. The OneUp Two Ten dropper performed flawlessly and the Ergon SM10 Comp saddle proved to be comfortable for all types of riding, including long days in the saddle. The parts align perfectly with the bike's intentions and all combine to make a race-ready package straight out of the box.

Fork Performance

Our test bike came set up with a Factory level FOX 38. The tried and true EVOL air spring paired with the Grip 2 damper provided the smooth, consistent performance we’ve come to expect from this combination and the numbers provided by Norco’s Ride Aligned setup for damping proved to work just fine for us with only one minor adjustment.

Tire Performance

The Maxxis tire combo provided ample traction front and rear under all conditions and paired perfectly with the level of traction this bike has on tap. Cornering was a standout trait for this bike. We truly felt we were on rails and able to confidently dive into just about any turn we pointed the bike at. With the Assegai being one of the slower rolling tires on the market and the Dissector being a much faster rolling tread pattern, the combo seemed to balance out nicely and offer the best of both worlds with loads of front-wheel traction and a predictable rear-wheel feeling under braking and cornering. On anything from loose over hardpack and rocks to blue groove turns in the bike park, the Maxxis rubber handled it all. After a bit of time, we discovered the bike's ability to break traction when desired which brought a new level of fun to things when wanting to snake the inside of a turn rather than stick to the main lines or tighten up a turn at the last second.

Wheel Performance

The We Are One/Onyx wheels on our C1 build kit are about as good as it gets for an out of the box wheelset and one that will likely last the lifetime of the bike. They were plenty stiff, fast-rolling, with nearly instant engagement, and a 30mm inner width to give the tires a solid profile. We felt they paired up nicely with the rest of the bike in terms of value and ride quality and they remained true throughout the duration of our test.

Brake Performance

The SRAM Code RSC brakes provided ample power and modulation for a bike of this caliber with a predictable lever feel that accurately translates available stopping power at the lever without being overly grabby.

Drivetrain Performance

The SRAM Eagle X01 shifting worked as well as it ever has, shifting flawlessly in the work stand. However, on the trail we did run into some pretty serious issues with skipping. Despite several adjustments made using the barrel adjuster to account for cable stretch, there were issues with getting it to drop into the higher gears and popping into gears while sprinting or under heavy load on steep climbs. The only probable reason for this we could think of might be the angle the shift housing exits the top tube and enters the seat stay, there is a fair amount of curve to it and it is further exaggerated under sag, possibly causing some added drag on the inner cable. It was an issue that was never fully resolved.

Aside from that, no dropped chains or other issues out of the idler pulley setup, it does make a little noise but it is hardly noticeable unless you pay attention to it.

Noise

The bike remained quiet in most scenarios thanks to the internal routing and chain slap protection paired with the silent Onyx Vesper hubs. Although we did experience a good amount of cable rattle up at the bars. This is something that can be solved with a simple cable tie or taping the cables together. Also the thin tube walls of the frame did seem to amplify some of the trail debris flying up and hitting the downtube, otherwise the linkage remained quiet throughout its travel.

The build kit on our C1 level Range was about as good as it gets and worth the money in our opinion, it is truly a race ready kit straight out of the box. Other than inconsistent shifting performance, we have very few complaints about the build kit. If it were ours to keep we might consider the GX level SRAM AXS shifting to help remedy the shifting issues we ran into with the cable-actuated X01 Eagle drivetrain.

Long Term Durability

We feel this bike is structurally sound and will hold up for many years of use with appropriate care and attention to detail. That said, we do have some concerns with some of the aluminum components, primarily the aluminum sleeve held in place by pinch bolts around the BB. A press fit BB, pressed into an aluminum sleeve, held in place by pinch bolts could have the potential for a handful of creaks to develop. We would be curious to see how it does after an entire year worth of abuse.

It's meant to be hit, right?

The paint seemed to be durable although we did end up with a few rock chips from some off trail excursions. We did use the built in linkage protection more than a handful of times throughout our test and we are curious to see how long that protection will hold up before needing to be replaced. Either way, it beats replacing linkage all together. Should any problems develop, Norco offers a 3 year limited warranty on the Range to the original frame owner when registered within the first 90 days of ownership.

What's The Bottom Line?

The 2022 Range is a purpose built enduro race bike and hits the nail on the head when it comes to offering a comfortable ride on which you can confidently smash into the unknown. It is for the racer looking to take Enduro seriously and never have to question if they’ll have enough bike for the task at hand. The Range excels on high speed trails, changes direction quickly, flattens out rough rock gardens, corners on rails, and gets back up the hill with reasonable ease. This is essentially a pedal-able downhill bike that is comfortable to ride all day. The Virtual High Pivot suspension platform offered outstanding performance for its intended use. The Range was so stable that we would consider buying one as a downhill bike replacement if we had a shorter travel option on hand for true trail riding.

Head to Norco.com to learn more about the Range.


About The Reviewer

Jonathon Simonetti - Age: 27 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // Height: 6’4” (1.93m) // Weight: 215-pounds (97.5kg)

Jonny started mountain biking in 2003 after taking a trip to Northstar and discovering how much more could be ridden than on a BMX bike. He began racing at age 12 and raced for about 12 years until ultimately deciding the pressure of racing wasn’t the best fit for having fun on a bike. After a couple of years working in the industry and developing a deeper understanding of bikes inside and out, he has an affinity for pairing his riding ability with the analysis of bikes and breaking down what makes them work well. He rides for fun now but still finds the most enjoyment out of going fast with friends.


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Specifications

Product
Norco Range C1 Bike
Model Year
2022
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Rider
Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S
M
L
XL
Wheel Size
29"
Frame Material
Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Full carbon front triangle, seatstay, and chainstay
Rear Travel
170mm
Rear Shock
FOX DHX2 Factory Coil, HSC/LSC, HSR/LSR, custom tune, 205x65mm Trunnion
Fork
FOX Factory 38 FLOAT, GRIP2, 44mm offset
Fork Travel
170mm
Head Tube Diameter
Tapered
Headset
Cane Creek, internal sealed bearing
Handlebar
DEITY Skywire Carbon, 800mm width, 25mm rise
Stem
Alloy, 40mm length, 35mm clamp
Grips
DMR DeathGrip Soft, Thin 29.8mm diameter (sizes S-M), Thick 31.3mm diameter (sizes L-XL)
Brakes
SRAM Code RSC, metallic pads, SRAM Centerline 200mm rotors
Brake Levers
SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain
1x
Shifters
SRAM X0 Eagle
Front Derailleur
N/A
Rear Derailleur
SRAM X01 Eagle
ISCG Tabs
ISCG 05, lower 2 tabs
Chainguide
Custom MRP SXg
Cranks
SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon, DUB, 170mm length
Chainrings
32 tooth
Bottom Bracket
SRAM DUB PF92
Pedals
N/A
Chain
SRAM Eagle
Cassette
SRAM Eagle XG-1275, 10-52 tooth
Rims
DT Swiss EXC 1501 Enduro 29" Carbon wheelset
Hubs
Front: DT Swiss 240 Enduro, 15x110mm Boost, 6 bolt
Rear: DT Swiss 240 Enduro, 12x148mm Boost, XD, 36-tooth engagement, 6 bolt
Spokes
DT Swiss stainless
Tires
Front: Maxxis Assegai, 3C MaxxGrip/DD/TR, 29"x2.5"
Rear: Maxxis Dissector, 3C MaxxGrip/WT/DD/TR, 29"x2.4"
Saddle
Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
Seatpost
OneUp Components Dropper, travel: 150mm (S), 180mm (M), 210mm (L-XL)
Seatpost Diameter
34.9mm
Seatpost Clamp
Single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
12mm x 148mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
29"x2.5"
Bottle Cage Mounts
Yes, 1 x 750mL
Colors
Black/Silver
Warranty
3-year limited
Weight
N/A
Miscellaneous
  • Completely new bike and suspension design
  • Ride Aligned Design System: each frame size benefits from different chainstay lengths, seat tube angles, and head tube angles
  • High Virtual Pivot suspension design: rearward axle path and lower levels of anti-rise for carrying momentum through rough terrain and remaining active under braking
  • Designed and optimized for 29" wheels front and rear (mixed-wheel not recommended)
  • Optimized and tuned to match the linear spring rate of a coil spring
  • Can be run with forks up to 180mm in both single crown and dual crown configurations
  • Integrated accessory mount and updated frame protection
  • Price
    $8,999.00
    More Info
    What do you think?
    Where To Buy
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    $3,839.94
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    $6,900.00
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