Norco Optic

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
30.2, 30.79, 30.9 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Norco Optic. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

16 reasons to buy

  • The Norco Optic is equipped with progressive “downcountry” geometry, using 125mm of travel in the rear and 140mm in the fork.
  • Testers agree that the Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock is largely responsible for the bike’s lively descending capabilities.
  • Norco utilizes different chainstay lengths on each size of the Optic to provide consistency across all sizes.
  • Experts were pleased to find that Norco specced the Optic with an X-Manic dropper post.
  • Schwalbe’s Magic Mary and Hans Dampf tires were fast rolling and offered riders excellent traction.
  • Experts found that 2.35” tires allowed them to handle the Optic with precision through lines.
  • The Optic has clearance for tires up to 2.6”.
  • A long reach and wide handlebars provide stability to riders on descents and through low-speed technical terrain.
  • Experts agree that, with its progressive rear-end, the Norco Optic can easily launch off jumps.
  • The bike has mounts underneath the top tube. Testers found that this was a great place to store an extra water bottle or tools when riding the Optic.
  • One expert noted that the Ergon grips on the bike were pleasantly comfortable.
  • The bike's chainstays and seatstays have molded protectors that prevent damage to the frame from rocks and trail debris.
  • Test riders found the Fizik saddle on the Norco Optic provided comfort on longer trail rides
  • The bike is composed when hitting bigger trail features.
  • The bike’s fork has a 42mm offset. Experts agree that this provides riders with responsiveness and accuracy.
  • Many testers found Norco’s “Ride Aligned” tool helpful in setting up the bike for a rider of their size and weight.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Experts found they experienced pedal bob on climbs because the bike lacks a climbing mode on the shock.
  • Experts agree that the shock’s adjustment is low in the bottom bracket, making it difficult to adjust.
  • Testers found the Norco Optic to be heavy when compared to others in its category.
  • The Schwalbe tires specced on the bike wear quickly, according to reviewers.
  • The bike has a press-fit bottom bracket that is harder to maintain and noisier than a threaded bottom bracket.

Bottom line

The Norco Optic is a short travel bike that excels on descents. It has 125mm of travel in the rear and 140mm upfront. Its Horst Link suspension setup has a Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock. It is paired with a RockShox Pike fork to allow the Optic to be both playful and precise. The bike’s shock is hard to adjust and does not have a climb mode. Experts agree that the bike is heavy. Overall, the bike is built to be both durable and affordable to a wide range of mountain bikers.

Expert Reviews

78/100 based on 2 rated expert reviews
Bike Perfect

Norco Optic C2 Review

The geometry and chassis dynamic is excellent, the component spec is superbly pitched to flatter feel and capability and the suspension is pretty much a perfect balance of ingredients to cook up a flat-out banquet on every trail. It’s practical, well priced and even the cheaper bike still packs all the play essentials into the package.

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Norco Optic C3 Review

On paper, it has everything I’m looking for: great geometry, RockShox suspension, sticky tyres on wide rims. However, the whole package was let down largely by an over-damped shock and a fork that continued that slightly harsh theme.

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2020 Field Test: Norco Optic – Short on Travel, Not on Capability

In case you can’t tell, the new Optic impressed everyone who rode it during our two-week-long Field Test session. It’s also yet more proof that when your geometry is on-point, short on travel doesn’t have to mean short on capabilities.

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Freehub Magazine

2020 Norco Optic C2 29 Bike Review

The Norco Optic C2 is a massive leap forward for this category of a trail bike. Its rear suspension is so nicely delivered with the bike’s stable geometry that it can slay trails that were intended for downhill bikes just several years back. At the same time, this bike isn’t too squishy to enjoy a nice, high-speed blue trail.

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BIKE Magazine

Bible Review: Norco Optic C2

It does have a certain small-wheeled feel about it, perhaps because of the mismatched travel, or maybe just because of its capacity for hoodwinks. This much is for sure: If you’re after a fast, fun, playful, and capable short-travel bike that doesn’t have short-travel limits, the Optic is definitely one to check out.

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Flow State Dynamics MTB

2020 Norco Optic C3 Short Term Review + Eagle MTB Park Ride Along

The main thing is this bike is a lot of fun. Ready to pop off anything you go for, super capable. I love it.

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MTB McPhee

2020 Norco Optic Ride Impressions

I think the hype is justified, because I can’t think of another bike in this travel bracket and this amount of capability and the price point is excellent as well. But that said, I don’ think this bike is for everyone. I wouldn’t recommend this bike to beginners because I think they would be better off on a bike with a bit more travel if riding how this bike can ride is their intention.

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2020 Norco Optic C1 Review

It feels really good. The only thing I’d change is the tires. I’m not big on these tires.

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Capital MTB

2020 Norco Optic C2 Review

I’d say this bike is the perfect bike for anyone who does long singletrack days but wants just like a little more bike so they can plow through some of the crazy technical sections.

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2020 Norco Optic – The Ultimate Short Travel Trail Bike?

I am personally, absolutely, blown away by the capacity that this bike has.

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Do You Need All That Suspension? // 2020 Norco Optic

I was really excited to get on this bike. Looks awesome and it is awesome.

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[Tested] Norco Optic C2

The Optic is a hard charging bike, and though its travel numbers are similar to many other short travel 29 ‘trail bikes’, the Optic falls into a class of its own. Visually intriguing, confidence inspiring, and keen for a long pedal, the Optic is certainly a top contender for a do-it-all trail weapon.

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The Loam Wolf

Norco Optic C2 Review: The All New Mountain?

While the Norco Optic may have been an XC pinner’s dream a few years ago, it’s now the bike aggressive, baggy short-wearing trail riders will be throwing knee pads on to ride. While that makes riders like us happy, it may alienate the die-hard lycra riders who are still looking to KOM climbs.

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ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

Norco Optic C1 on Test – the Most Progressive Trail Bike of the Year

The Norco Optic C1 is the best example that you should never jump to conclusions. Despite offering only 125 mm travel, it doesn’t have to shy away from the roughest trails. From the first turn of the cranks, it will put a smile on your face and makes an impressive case for the fact that less is often more!

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Review: The Norco Optic C3 Is an Intuitive, Lean Shred Machine

On the whole, the 2020 Norco Optic offers an inspiring riding position, egging the rider on to go fast. Above all else, our tester felt the 2020 Norco Optic was an intuitive bike to ride, describing it fondly as “like riding with a mate who eggs you on a bit”.

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Mountain Bike Rider

Norco Optic Carbon C2: First Ride Review

Norco’s latest Optic is a short-travel trail bike that aims to let you extract maximum fun from minimal travel. So even though it only has 125mm of travel on the rear, it forgoes any XC racing ambitions. Something that’s instantly apparent from the 140mm fork.

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Canadian MTB

Review: 2020 Norco Optic C2

With the 2020 Optic C2, Norco aims to maximize fun on the downs, while giving up as little climbing prowess as possible.

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Review: 2020 Norco Optic – The One Bike Answer?

The Optic is the bike for those that don’t shy away from the most technical terrain. They also don’t want to give up pedaling performance in favor of a big heavy and slower handling enduro bike. If you want one bike to ride any trail no matter how tame or rowdy the 2020 Norco Optic is setting the bar.

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The Optic does charge pretty hard, and I was happy doing some small gaps and jumps that I usually err away from. It’s a super capable riding bike, and one that is pushing what a short travel trail bike can be.

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Flow Mountain Bike

Tested: Norco Fluid FS1 2019

The Norco pushes into a realm of performance where the bike is definitely not going to be holding you back, making it an excellent choice for a rider looking to invest in their first ‘serious’ mountain bike.

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User Ratings

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Compared to other bikes
#104 Best Mountain
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#616 Best of All Bikes
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Bike Comparison

Norco Optic in comparison to averages

Forum Discussions

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