There were a couple of new bikes on the Norco stand at Eurobike, and they were one of the few companies showing a fatbike this year too. First up though, their brand new plus-tyred full suspension bike.
This is the Torrent FS+ 7.1, which is brand new for 2017. It ships with Maxxis’ new 2.8 Minions, both DHR II and DHF. Not often you see Spank rims specced on a bike as standard. These are Oozy 395+, built up on SRAM hubs. It’s no secret that some riders have found the first plus offerings from various manufacturers a bit fragile for some types of riding. Staff on the stand said Maxxis Plus tyres are finally getting burly enough for all kinds of trail. SRAM Guide 4-pots will be handy for quickly stopping that extra spinning mass. All suspension on the 7.1 model is by DVO. Others ship with Rockshox. 140mm travel at the front… … and 130mm at the back. DVO was formed by engineers and other staff who left Marzocchi, suspension fact fans. Neat looking headtube, and graphics matched to DVO’s bits. Cable routing is all external, though the dropper cable ducks into the seat tube. Clamps run above and below the downtube. They’ve also specced Raceface’s new-for-2016 Aeffect cranks. Turbine dropper takes care of the dropping. This bike is equipped for stopping, dropping, and rolling (though hopefully not all at once, or in that sequence). That’s some very nice machining on the remote. Neat, integrated chainstay protector. Is there anything quite like the mild annoyance of building a new bike, then realising you forgot to do anything like this at the end of the first ride, when you spot the cluster of tiny oval bite marks in the chainstay? Norco have you, and it, covered. UK pricing is TBC, but it ships in January and this model is €3599.00. As well as the Torrent FS+ 7.1, there’s also a 7.2, and two plus hardtails too. See more over at Norco. This cabling caught my eye. It’s electrical tape, wrapped like bar tape to neaten cables and hoses. I asked if this was standard, and they said… “No, it’s just something the German guys we hired to build the stand did. We decided it looked neat, so we kept it” (After this, I did spot a couple of other stands that had the same taping). This is the Norco Ithaqua 7.2, and one of the few fatbikes on show at Eurobike this year. Perhaps more use in a Canadian winter than a milder UK one, but fatbikes are not just for snow: they perform surprisingly well in mud. The Ithaqua is rigid and full carbon, with Thru-axles front and rear. There are three different models, but all have carbon frames and rigid forks. They ship with 4.5″ tyres, but have clearance up to 5″. Chipps once lent me a full carbon fatbike. I was a sceptic, but when he asked me how it was later, I grinned and said “I felt like a viking riding a giant puppy”. Downhill, it maintained a solid 20mph on bridleway mud patches that usually swallow 2.4 tyres and bring a dead stop. No front mechs here! The Ithaqua is 1x specific. Again, integrated chainstay protection. This is the Ithaqua 6.2, equipped with SRAM GX 11 speed gearing. The 6.1 gets X1, and the 6.3 gets NX. All cabling is internal. There are various fillets you can put near the head tube, for up to five cables or hoses. Once in, the frame is completely sealed. Novatec hubs are a solid and popular choice. The Ithaqua is available with three different builds or as a frameset; once again, read more at Norco’s website.