I have to admit, while I constantly am on the look out for new and exciting bike companies, small custom manufacturers and specialty brands I seem to always come back to Norco and spend my hard earned dollars on their bikes. Over the past twenty five years of cycling I have to say that about 90% of the bikes I have owned, which have been numerous, have been Norco's. From my very first mountain bike that my dad bought me back in 1986, a Black with white flecked Norco Bigfoot to the last Norco purchased, a CCX1 from 2008 I have always been very happy with their build quality, component packages and clean looks.
While Norco for me was never the company out leading the pack in frame development they have always taken the proven design characteristics of other brands and incorporated into their own. The best of all worlds you might say. This year they seem to have broken through their inhibitions and have created a truly stellar lineup, with great colours to boot!
I have had my share of snapped stays on my old Team DH and Team Shore DH bikes, but, I always had a replacement within a week and never had issues with attaining parts. These couple years may have set Norco back in the super lucrative and competitive world of the DH bike but now they seem to be rising again to super power status with their 2011 bike line up.
Perhaps the thing I have always appreciated the most is their valued front counter staff. While managing a local bike shop here in town for several years we established Norco as strong brand within the community. Placing two to three orders a week with Norco always was a joy. The staff and in house reps are magnificent and truly passionate cyclists. They shape the brand, design bikes they love to ride and always present exciting products from all over the world in their distributed brands catalogue.
I am looking at possibly getting back into the industry at some level and I really can't consider anyone else for our product.
Norco, if you are listening, perhaps you require a "Norco Addicts Anonymous" Helpline for all of us who are hopelessly in love with your products. Check out a few of my favs for 2011 and go check out the full lineup here.
The commuter range and urban bikes seriously kick ass this year. Perhaps though they would benefit from a couple more old roadies on staff to create a couple sexy vintage steel touring/commuting bikes.
The Club road bike...very Commonwealth. You're on the right track. I love it!