Trail Test - Norco Sight 2
I really don’t like white mountain bikes; never have, and never will. There, I’ve said it; and the Norco Sight 2, well it’s a white mountain bike so it’s obvious from the outset that I’m not going to like it, either. There’s something about white bikes that challenges my old-fashioned sense of what’s masculine, what’s cool-looking and what’s appropriate for throwing around in the dirt and the mud, and I will not give up those long held beliefs no matter what.
So at some point in the near future I’m fully expecting to look up and see a pig flying past, because despite all my deeply, deeply ingrained prejudices I like the Sight. I like it a lot. Bordering on infatuation. In this state of internal turmoil I need to vent, so I’m going to tell you all the things I don’t like about bikes (especially white ones) and why, regardless of all these things, I like the Sight 2, and why you’ll like the Sight too.
A Lonely Sight
I don’t like it when, due to our small domestic market, we consumers have our choices taken away from us. Although internationally the full Sight range consists of four models, for Australia we get just one; the mid-range Sight 2. I understand it’s not commercially viable for importers to spread their limited resources too thinly, but surely anyone can see that one model isn’t enough to satisfy the diverse needs and budgets of the whole Australian riding community. Except that, in this case, it probably is.
At $3,799 the Sight 2 isn’t a budget bike, but if you were to take a poll of riders asking them what bits they’d hang off their reasonably priced dream trail bike, chances are virtually everything on the Sight 2 would be on that list. Shimano XT 2x10 drivetrain; Shimano XT brakes; integrated shifter and brake lever mounts; wide but light tyres; a wide (740mm) handlebar with a short (60mm) stem; thru-axle fork with travel adjust for steep climbs; the list just goes on. Add to that a total bike weight (large) of 12.65kg and only 2,780g for the frame and shock and you can see why, for 95% of riders, this is the only Sight model worth looking at. It’s got all of the stuff you’d upgrade to if you bought a cheaper bike, and all the performance you’d get from a fully bling bike, without the price tag or perhaps some of the bright shiny surfaces. Virtually everything on the Sight 2 is about the best bang for buck, up to date, do it all kit that you can buy.
I say virtually everything because I will take issue with three component choices. The Kenda Slant Six is a great fast trail bike tyre for the rear, but as a front tyre it lacks cornering and braking traction. Unless your trails are consistently buff hard pack, most riders will be better served with more aggressive rubber up front. The seatpost quick release clamp is possibly the ugliest and least functional I’ve ever seen; it’s the end result of a conversation between the Norco parts pickers running something like ‘What? You want us to pay $2 for a seatpost collar? We’ll get a perfectly good one for 45c and not a penny more!’