Monday, August 20, 2012

2013 Norco Range 650b

The 2013 Norco Range 650b
Norco just had their 2013 product launch and pics of the new products are starting to make their way around the web.  One of their new exciting lines is the Range 650b series.  I was lucky enough to receive a pre production prototype of this exciting new frame and have been spending a ton of time putting the new tech through it's paces.
650b aka 27.5
For most people the headline news on this new line is the 650b wheel size.  For those of you who may not be familiar with 650b, simply put it's a 27.5 inch wheel.  A bit bigger than your standard 26", but smaller than the wagon wheel 29ers.  Basically it's the goldy locks of wheel sizes, not too big, not too small, just right.  Of course, the haters are gonna jump all over this crying out that we don't need another wheel size, but one ride on a 650b wheel will have them changing tunes quicker than Usain Bolt's 100m dash.

Beyond the "new" wheel size (650b has actually been around for quite a while, but has only recently made it's way to the MTB world), the entire frame has been redesigned.  The tapered head tube, 142/12mm rear axle with Syntaces awesome derailleur hanger system, and A.R.T. suspension  (Advanced Ride Technology, but I prefer to call it Awesome Rear Suspension!) have all made their way to the new frame, but so has a bunch of other cool tech like the smooth welds (nicer looking and stronger), Gravity Tune (chainstay length increases/decreases proportionately to the size of the bike), and the clevis-less pivots (basially no welds for pivot points, the pivot is integrated directly into the tubing, making it stronger and lighter).  There's a bunch of other stuff going on as well, but you can check out for more spec and tech.

Smooth Welds
Gravity Tune
A.R.T.:  Awesome Rear Suspension!
At 5'0, I always have issues when it comes to the standover height of my bikes.  It turns out all the whining I did over the past few years has paid off, because the other big news with the new 2013 Range frame is the low standover height.  Despite the larger wheels,  my XS frame is almost 2" lower than my 2012 Range.  For anyone under 5'7", this is HUGE!  Most bikes I've had in the past fit once I got on them, but getting on and off was always a bit sketchy.  The guys at Norco took this into consideration with the new design, and the end result is a frame with the lowest standover height in the business.  On behalf of short people, thank you Norco.

Me:  Happily standing over my bike with both feet
flat on the ground thanks to the awesomely low
standover height of the new frame design.
One of the keys in lowering the standover height of the new Range is the super short headtube on the smaller sizes.  My XS Range has a 90mm headtube - So short that Norco had to get fork manufacturers to make custom tapered steer tubes.  While this might seem a bit extreme, anyone who has ever struggled with standover height will certainly appreciate the extra effort Norco put into this.

I'm not gonna lie, I really like this bike.  Coming from a 2012 Range (using 26" wheels), the improvements were immediately noticeable.  This is first bike I've ever owned that really fits.  Between the low standover and Gravity tune rear end, I finally have a bike that fits me in every way without losing suspension travel or other tradeoffs in geometry.  Right away I felt comfortable on the bike.  

Having never ridden a 29er (they simply don't make them small enough to fit someone my height) I can't comment on how the 650b compares to full size wagon wheels.  What I can say, however, is that the 27.5" wheels don't really feel any larger than a 26" wheel when maneuvering the bike, but seem to roll smoother over almost every type of terrain.  As a smaller rider, I often lack the muscle to be able to power through rough sections, but I was able to plow through sections that I would normally get hung up on.  Traction up climbs, corners, and when braking is also noticeably better, which makes sense given the larger contact area with the ground compared to 26" wheels.  In fact, with the 650b wheels I was able to drop to a narrower tire and still feel just as comfortable while benefiting from the lower weight and decreased rolling resistance of the narrower tires.  I have to admit I was really skeptical going in, but it seems like the 27.5" wheel hits the mark by delivering the benefits of extra rolling ability without a perceptible decrease in handling, and the bottom line is that after riding 650b wheels, I have ZERO desire to go back to 26" wheels for all-mountain riding.

All in all the 2013 Norco Range is awesome.  The 650b wheels may be the latest trend, but the proof is in the ride and I'd be willing to wager this isn't just another marketing ploy and they're here to stay.  Throw in the fact that I finally have a frame that actually fits me properly, and without a doubt this is the best all-around/do-everything mountain bike I have ever ridden.

If you have any questions about the 2013 Norco Range series, 650b in general, or want to see the bike in real life please feel free to send me a note through Blacks Cycle at, or come on out to one of our Tuesday evening shop rides.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Just arrived Scott Foil 40 cd 105 20 spd , xl frame which equates to 58 cm . This bike weighs an amazing 17.5 lbs out of the box all for a retail of 2749.00 . Come check it out

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kink BMX Bikes

Just in 2013 KINK BMX Bikes we have a curb and a launch now in stock