Norco Optic

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
30.2, 30.79, 30.9 lbs
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

75/100 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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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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User Ratings

0/100 based on 0 ratings
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Compared to other bikes
#126 Best Mountain Bike
Bottom 20%
#56 Best Trail Bike
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#3 Best Norco Bike
Bottom 30%
#428 Best of All Bikes
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Bike Comparison

Norco Optic in comparison to averages