Up to date: Norco Manufacturing facility Group is Testing a Prototype Excessive-Pivot DH Bike


Help us! Bikerumor might earn a small fee from affiliate hyperlinks on this article. Be taught Extra

Replace: The unique model of this publish speculated that the Norco body in query runs a 6-bar linkage which, strictly talking, is inaccurate. This was our misunderstanding, and we thank DHDave for forcing us to rethink this one. It’s really a four-bar linkage that defines the rear axle path on this prototype body, with an extra two hyperlinks and really quick yoke working to drive the rear shock. That mentioned, we gained’t have a full understanding of the prototype Norco DH bike till we’ve got seen how all of the bars rotate because the rear finish is pushed by way of its journey, and have extra detailed data from Norco.

Gracey Hemstreet, Lucas Cruz and Mark Wallace have been testing an all-new prototype aluminum downhill bike from Norco. And, Lucas Cruz simply gained the Canadian Downhill Nationwide Champs aboard his. Right here’s what we’ve gleaned to this point.

Norco’s Prototype Excessive-Pivot DH Bike

prototype norco downhill bike aluminum frame with telemetry
Fortunately, a visit to the Norco web site yielded a number of detailed studio photographs of the prototype downhill bike, dressed up with telemetry. Credit score: Norco.

Till now, Gracey Hemstreet, Lucas Cruz and Mark Wallace have been piloting the Norco Vary DH at UCI Downhill World Sequence occasions, which is actually a long-travel model of the Vary Enduro Bike, tailored for the demanding tracks with a dual-crown fork, and a modified hyperlink within the rear to permit the body to simply accept an extended stroke shock. Now, it appears, the staff is to learn from a devoted downhill bike that runs an all-new suspension design.

norco dh bike prototype four-bar linkage design drive side view
It’s doable this dropout design may enable the staff to mess around with totally different rear-center lengths; certainly, the letters “RC.4” counsel there are not less than 4 doable lengths. Additionally be aware the heavily-machined development of the seat stays.

Bidding farewell to the linkage-driven single-pivot of the Aurum HSP, the brand new Norco sees a four-bar linkage which seems to be a modification of that we see applied on the Norco Vary. The latter sees the decrease hyperlink articulate a couple of pivot concentric to the underside bracket, and related to a secondary hyperlink that serves solely to drive the shock.

In distinction to that, the decrease hyperlink on this aluminum prototype (gentle blue) is pivotally related to the entrance triangle at a place above, and barely aft of, the underside bracket. Between it and the rear shock, there are two hyperlinks working collectively (pink and orange) to drive a really quick yoke (darkish blue), which is the ultimate member concerned in driving the rear shock.

norco dh prototype rough schematic of four-bar linkage layout new high pivot suspension platform
Picture annotated by Cory Benson – Bikerumor.

We reached out to Norco for touch upon the brand new linkage design. Richard Belson of the Norco Communications Group mentioned, “The brand new DH prototype makes use of an entire re-imagining of the Excessive Digital Pivot suspension design we launched on the Vary a pair years again – however optimized for DH racing. Customized linkages and suspension parts enable fine-tuning of leverage curves and permit us almost infinite management over each side of the suspension efficiency. The principal design purpose was to present the Norco Manufacturing facility Group the perfect tools out there to win races on and supply engineers with and unprecedented degree of management over kinematics and fine-tuning each side of the suspension”.

Certainly, Norco is sticking with a high-pivot, seemingly very pleased with the bulk rearward axle path it delivers. An loafer pulley seems to be positioned concentric to the higher pivot as a way to route the chain in such a approach as to scale back the unfavourable results of chain development that may in any other case impinge upon the efficiency of this structure.

norco prototype downhill bike 4-bar high pivot linkage 22tooth idler pulley

The staff are operating a 22T loafer pulley, which could be very giant by present trade requirements. Solely the Nicolai Nucleon 16 with the Lal Bikes Supre Drive runs an loafer pulley this massive; the bigger circumference of the pulley reduces the articulation required at every hyperlink, and thus the friction within the system.

norco prototype downhill bike 4-bar linkage flip-chip upper shock mount
A flip-chip on the higher shock mount will enable for some adjustment.

I shan’t be commenting on what sort of kinematic is prone to come up from such a structure, nevertheless it appears to work properly with each air and coil shocks. Lucas Cruz simply gained the Canadian Nationwide Champs aboard this prototype Norco DH bike, sprung by a RockShox air shock operating a really, very giant air can – as in comparison with the modestly-sized air can we see on the Tremendous Deluxe Final Air Shocks, that’s. In the meantime, 2nd place Mark Wallace‘s bike was coil-sprung.

Additionally noteworthy is {that a} Norco Growth Engineer concerned within the creation of this bike, Kirk McDowall, stuffed third place on that very same podium. Chapeau.

prototype norco downhill bike alloy frame 4-bar linkage spotted canadian national championships 2023
We’re knowledgeable the brand new Norco DH prototype is designed round a 29”/27.5” configuration.

Richard tells us Norco have a strong plan to proceed improvement of this aluminum prototype to fulfill the wants of the staff. He goes on to say, “Every little thing we be taught with these frames and this improvement course of will inform future variations of our hottest platforms, however our major purpose is to create the quickest DH bike on this planet, with no expense spared. There’s nonetheless quite a lot of work to do earlier than figuring out what model of this platform ever makes it to market, and when”.

The snippets of knowledge we’ve collated from the Norco Manufacturing facility Group’s social media point out that the staff might be switching to this new bike for the remainder of the UCI Downhill World Sequence, kicking off in Pal Arinsal, Andorra, on the twenty fourth August.

Till then!