2013 Norco Phaser, Shinobi, Range and Truax

Norco Phaser Review
Norco Phaser

26” XC Race / Trail
Norco Phaser

Norco Phaser is a no compromise cross country rig for riders who like to go fast during races, endurance events, and late afternoon rips with your fast group of friends. The frame utilizes lightweight MU9 butted tubing and incorporates other weigh-saving features like Norglide composite bearing and a one-piece link arm that integrates a pivot point at the lower shock mount.
Introduced in 2011 and reviewed by MTBR.com earlier this year, the Norco Shinobi is an all-rounder that can handle technical singletrack and more all mountain goodness than you’d expect from a frame with a relatively small amount of travel. Featuring 120mm of suspension at the rear of the bike and 140mm up front, the 29” wheeled Shinobi can easily slice and dice its way through terrain that would be a challenge for longer travel 26” bikes.


The Shinobi frame features much of the technology seen in the frames that are new for 2013, including Norco’s ART suspension, a short, tapered head tube, the Syntace X12 axle system (though not offered on the Shinobi 3), a wraparound seatstay yoke to improve tire clearance and keep the chainstays short, a super-stiff Holloform ® link arm, and cable guides for adjustable seatposts. Finishing on the frame is top notch, with double pass welds creating smooth junctions where the hydroformed tubes meet and slick-looking matte finishes on the top two trim levels.


Key features on the Shinobi:

Three trim levels (1, 2, 3) priced between $5450 USD and $2550 USD
Claimed bike weights between 28lbs-32lbs, depending on trim level
120mm of A.R.T rear suspension travel
Hollowform ® link arm
Integrated dropout design: forged dropouts with axle and pivot points, integrated post mount and seatstay support gussets
Tapered head tube
Wraparound seatstay yoke
ICSG 05 mounts
All mountain gearing optimized for 29” wheels: 2×10 with a low 22T/32T (or 22T/33T) front ring set combined with an 11-36T cassette
Thru-axle forks on all models
Larger rotors on larger models
High volume rear shocks for a plush and linear feel
Short stems and wide low rise bars
29×2.2” tires for all models
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Norco brought us the Range in 2011 and it was a bike that could truly do it all, whether you were laying it all out on an all mountain hammerfest through your local trails, climbing into the high alpine, racing an enduro downhill event, or spending a day or two at a nearby bike park. Featuring the same frame as 2011, the 2013 Range retains all of the best traits that make it a solid performer while being built up with solid component specs at every trim level.

The Norco Truax was introduced in mid-2011 and is the evolution of Norco’s iconic Shore series of freeride mountain bikes. The original Norco Shores were some of the true beasts of the freeride scene that exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s and, while they were solid bikes that could handle the abuse that most riders threw at them, they were also heavy and overbuilt because of the conditions that they were forced to endure.


Fast forward a few years and freeride trails have morphed into flowing lines with big jumps and steep, gnarly descents, and it’s on these types of trails that the Truax was designed to tackle. Equipped with Norco’s ART suspension system, the Truax can be pedaled to the trailhead and then pointed downhill for grin-inducing descents. Like the Norco Shore that preceded it, the Truax is a burly frame, but it also includes many of the technological advances that are seen on the newest bikes in the 2013 lineup. The coil rear shocks on all of the models are connected to Norco’s stiff Holloform ® link arm and all of the seatstay pivots feature Norco’s clevisless pivot system that is lighter and stiffer than a more traditional pivot system.


At the rear of the bike, the Truax uses the Syntace X12 142mm x 12mm axle system, which is more precise and easier to handle than a traditional 150mm x 12mm thru axle setup. The integrated derailleur hanger that is used on the frame is stronger and stiffer than the relatively flimsy hangers that have been used up until this point, and this feature contributes to better shifting and fewer failures on the trail.

Source = mtbr


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