The Norco Sight is the kind of e-mountain bikes that really catches our attention. A carbon all-mountain eMTB that offers the proper modern trail geometry we see on premier pedal bikes, tidy motor & battery integration, and a real performance spec. Because if you are already going to drop a bunch of cash on a trail e-bike, you might as well have the option to go all in for top-level performance.
2019 Norco Sight VLT premium carbon 150mm all-mountain e-bike
Undeniably, there is still plenty of kickback in the mountain bike scene about where eMTBs should be on the trails (Hint: there are tons of great places to ride where e-MTB access is reasonable and fully allowed.) But while a bunch of pedal-assist tech is limited to strapping a motor onto mid-level bikes, this new Norco Sight VLT is one of those worth a closer look. As Norco puts it, this ” looks light a Sight, rides like a Sight but… yeah, we put a motor in it.”
What separates the Sight VLT from lesser e-MTBs is Norco’s intentions and execution. The new bike is all about building an e-bike to help you extend your range, to get out and explore technical terrain further from the trailhead. This isn’t a bike that is going to make slow riders faster, it’s a bike meant to help strong riders get deeper into the backcountry to explore more new trails.
Norco Sight VLT carbon 150mm all-mountain e-MTB – Geometry
The Sight VLT features real long, low & slack modern trail geometry even with reasonable (short for an e-bike) 440mm chainstays.
It still gets a long wheelbase for stability at speed, but a 66° head angle and 75° seat angle mean it should descend well and still be comfortable to sit up and pedal up with the e-bike assist. The bike comes in three frame sizes, all on 27.5″ wheels.
Norco Sight VLT carbon 150mm all-mountain e-MTB – Tech Details
The heart of the Sight VLT is 150mm of Horst-link four-bar rear wheel travel with a trunnion mount shock, refined for the heavier e-bike setup and associated riding style, all tucked into the light carbon frame. Norco pairs the e-bike with 160mm of e-MTB rated fork travel to eat up technical descents. The e-bike gets an alloy swingarm & rocker, but the rest of the frame is carbon, making it one of the lightest e-MTBs you can get – just 22.3kg/49.2lb claimed for the medium, mid-spec Sight VLT 2 model.
The Sight VLT isn’t quite 27.5+, but all of the builds feature plenty of clearance around 2.6″ tires on 29-30mm internal rims for ample low pressure grip.
The Sight VLT also gets a cleanly integrated Shimano drive setup & battery, even the option for two different level motors. The XT-level STePS E8000 motor is pretty much the most powerful pedal assist on the market and is paired with a 630Wh battery tucked into the downtube.
But the Sight VLT also has a model with the more affordable E7000 motor and a 500Wh battery that helps Norco shave a grand off the price while keeping other build spec solid.
The E8000 motor and big battery promise up to 1400m/4590ft of real world climbing assist in full-on Boost mode (for a 82kg rider). Lower output modes can deliver smoother, lower assist levels and greater range. And you can even customize the power of your pedal-assist with Shimano’s own app directly on your smartphone from the side of the trail over Bluetooth.
Setting up an e-MTB is still new to many of us, so Norco also set out to develop a more detailed than usual setup assistant to help individuals dial in their new e-bike based on rider weight, size, riding style, and typical terrain. Benefit from Norco’s hours testing the e-bike to start out with your suspension dialed.
Norco Sight VLT carbon 150mm all-mountain e-MTB – Spec & Pricing
Complete bike spec is also another place where the Sight VLT stands out. Norco packs the bike’s with premium SRAM 1x drivetrains for wide gearing range, and gives the bikes what is a special single click e-bike specific SRAM single click shifter that is said to be more precise & durable. The Sight VLTs also get stronger wheels with e-MTB rated hubs and shorter 165mm cranks for better pedal clearance.
2019 Norco Sight VLT 1The Norco Sight VLT is available in three complete bike specs, all sharing the mostly carbon frame. The $7700 USD Sight VLT is a full top-end spec with the E8000 powertrain, 630Wh battery, a Fox 36 Performance fork & DPX2 Performance shock, plus a GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain and DT Swiss H1700 wheels.
The $6400 Sight VLT 2 dials it back to a RockShox Pike RC fork & Deluxe RC shock, a NX Eagle drivetrain and WTB rims on Novatec wheels, but still the same e-assist E8000 motor & the big battery.
The $5400 Sight VLT 3 is the most affordable option, dialing back the powertrain to the Shimano E7000 motor & 500Wh battery, plus a NX 1×11 drivetrain.
“The XT-level STePS E8000 motor is pretty much the most powerful pedal assist on the market”
Um, no. The E8000 has 70Nm of torque, while the Bosch Performance CX (a quite common assist motor for eMTB) has 75Nm.
Unrelated, something about a Shimano e-bike system with a SRAM drivetrain just seems…wrong
“The E8000 motor and big battery promise up to 1400m/4590ft of real world climbing assist in full-on Boost mode (for a 82kg rider). ”
Less than a mile of assist at max setting? Is that a typo? A weird way to phrase the data? Some really big assist level?
Along with Pivot’s Shuttle, best looking ebike to date.
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