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Norco Optic A2

Redesigned from the ground up for 2024

Last week, the Dismount team headed to the west coast and we were lucky to get a full tour of Norco Headquarters in Vancouver where they set us up with a new Optic A2 to test out on their local trail system. One of the first things that stands out with any Norco dual suspension bike is their Ride Aligned set up guide. They’ve clearly invested lots of time and effort ensuring that folks get the proper set up and have gone the extra mile with the newest version of Ride Aligned to give riders the ability to fine tune even more with personal ride preferences.

Initial Impressions

Within a few pedal strokes on the trail climb, the Optic felt so grounded - it felt like I was riding much more expensive suspension than I actually was. Keeping my weight over the rear wheel and staying seated while pedaling over wet roots was eye opening for how much traction I could actually get (oh, forgot to mention this was a night ride in the pouring rain, classic Vancouver).

Taking it downhill after the climb was a whole different animal. Despite it only having 125mm of rear travel and 140mm in the front it was very confidence boosting. Cornering was wild. Firstly, the big built-up berms at Thornhill, where we rode were excellent, but the bike wanted you to push into them hard, even though it was wet. Then over rocks, on steep descents, rollovers and drops, it felt playful like you’d expect a much bigger bike would be. I could easily see the Optic getting me into trouble in the best way by feeling I could tackle stuff that you probably wouldn’t want to take a bike with 125mm of travel on.

The Specs

The way they achieve that feel is a number of different ways. Geometry, suspension kinematics and a solid spec on the bikes all play a part. One huge thing to note though is a very rearward axle path. That means that when the rear suspension is compressed, the rear wheel travels backwards as well as up in a way that helps with rolling over objects and maintaining momentum. It also has a significant effect on how the suspension feels. Norco uses the term progressive leverage ratio a lot, which is a mouthful, but means that at the beginning of the compression, the rear wheel puts more leverage on the suspension, so it feels extremely soft and supple over small bumps, but then as it ramps up, there is less leverage on the shock, so when set up properly for the rider it gives you this incredible bottomless feel.

For the real tech folks who want to get deeper into some more of the technical features, come by, call or email us! Things like idlers, antisquat and antirise are things that get us excited! But if we were to boil down the first ride review into one sentence: The Optic is quiet and a pleasure to ride on the uphills and is so capable on the downhills for a 125/140mm travel bike that it could be the do-everything bike you’re looking for.

Come by to check it out in person!


Norco is more than just a bike company. They’re a collection of...