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Norco Team DH update: 35lbs

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
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More pics and details to come. Spot on 35lbs.

Heres the write up:

So I started this project with the stock 08 norco team dh coming in at around 42lbs. My 07 model hit the scales at 38.18lbs at one stage and this one had to get lighter. I didn't setup a target, the plan was just to put everything as light as possible without affecting strength too much.

I ripped the bike down and weighed all the parts, I got an idea of what was heavy and what I could change in each area. The frame wasn't as heavy as expected coming in around 10.9lbs with the Roco wc Ti spring. Pretty reasonable really. With the frame apart I could see what needed to swap out, the rear shock change was never planned and was just one of those things that popped up; so I gave it a shot. I ordered a bunch of ti bolts for the shock and did a few small custom things to save weight. Theres a pinch bolt that nips the rear axle up, it threads into a steel barrel, I was lucky enough to find an alloy barrel from a seatpost. This combined with an alloy nut saved 10 grams, not much- but you have to think little to get to the big picture on these things. The ti hardware rocked up along with some sweet ano read alloy locknuts, switching out these four bolts (two shock bolts and two o the geo block) saved 80grams, the shock cut nearly 300g. I didn't really keep track, I just knew I was dropping weight.

Next to go were the wheels, nothing wrong with whats on there, but at 2200 grams, I knew I could go lighter without killing performance. The wheels closely resemble the wheels I ran last year which are still going strong. They consist of Stans flow rims, Hope proII hubs, Wheelsmith ae14 bladed 15g spokes and DT ano red nipples. The weight of these babies was sub 1700 grams. Thats some serious savings. The rims also work great with the no tubes setup, they have light tubes in for now. The setup can be done using the stans yellow tape or the rubber strip, I will probably run the yellow tape on the front and a strip on the rear. Should work well, I ran two yellow tapes last year and blew the tyre off once in a race run, something I hope the strip will avoid as it should create a tighter fit. Tyres are just standard 2.5 and 2.35 high roller sr. One place I don't want to skimp.

Drivetrain was a serious weight saver, getting rid of the crazy sram DH cassette saved 180g and the DA it replaced won't cut into the alloy freehub body of the hope hub. I switched to the gammut for the added bashie without adding the weight of the Taco, great product. Love the simplicity of these guides. I also switched out to the new Formula the one brakes. Dh brake power and XC weight apparently. Saved a bit there and went 7" rotors, should be enough power. Of course I added things like alloy chainring bolts, e13 gring and the hone cranks. They saved plenty too, the OCT are 950g with bb, the hones are considerably less and offer nothing less. The pedals are the sexy twenty6 pedals with ti axles and seriously machined bodies. Same weight as welgo mg1s with a little more bling.

Cockpit was setup with the new gravity carbon bar, only 710mm- but nice and light at around 210g. Hopefully they will hold up. The required Thomson is of course in place, but I do have an sdg carbon post ordered and ifly seat. Didn't risk non-lockon grips this year. The fork was originally a team, but has had the full wc setup installed. Will be interesting as I was quite happy with the 888 and it was working well.

So where to from here? Theres more ti bolts on order, these will fit the sunline stem and brake mount bolts. The tubeless will go in next week and everything will undergo a far bit of testing and tweaking to get it right, it really is like a brand new bike again and will take a little while to get it to its peak performance. I will keep the roco coil sitting here just in case and might even do some back to back runs to get a real world comparison, but I did do some runs before the diet and it felt perfectly fine. The small bump compliance is a little sacrificed, but once it gets past that initial threshold, its as lively and as happy in the job as any shock I've felt.

At the end of the day the idea was to make this bike light and nimble, on its first ride today that was defiantly the case, the lower front end and increased acceleration was a huge benefit on a heavy overgrown track- I found out quickly that the brakes still have plenty of bedding in to do...
 

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Mr Nug

Monkey
Aug 26, 2007
138
1
UK
That looks really nice buddy, well done!

I never thought I'd see the day that a norco would be that light!
 

.Pit Steelers.

Nostradumbass
Jun 18, 2006
1,431
0
Hawaii
At some point light just get's to light i think you passed it or are gonna with more weight savings. But it's not my bike, very nice though have you got much time on the roco air?
 

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
0
Yeah a few good runs, seems fine. Doesn't blow my mind or anything, but doesn't give me any trouble either. I forgot I was on air.
 

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
0
Nah, no way. No where near as soft as say a 5.1, and they have a such a small profile that they stay out of the way. Last years rear rim is still ridable, front is like new.
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
10,991
1,291
Copenhagen, Denmark
The bike looks great and interesting write up. I am skinny and weak and would love to try a lighter bike. I just have to build a bike that will require little maintenance as I have no place to fix my bikes and no time to go to the shop to often.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,146
1,108
01776
Sounds neat. Love to hear about longevity at the end of the season. I'm curious as to how those wheels will survive. 1700g is nearing cross country weight from a while back...and that's without disk mounts.
 

davet

Monkey
Jun 24, 2004
552
3
I'd really like to see that on a scale. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I'm not seeing 7 pounds of weight savings from the stock build.
 

poonstar

Monkey
Jan 6, 2008
134
0
nice ride...great work on the diet program. my sunday's about the same weight now and its a blast to ride a light dh bike...i'm sure you'll enjoy your norco!
 

dhkid

Turbo Monkey
Mar 10, 2005
3,359
0
Malaysia
Nah, no way. No where near as soft as say a 5.1, and they have a such a small profile that they stay out of the way. Last years rear rim is still ridable, front is like new.
thats good to hear, i have always been interested in their rims, but after seeing what a few xc/am riders have done to a couple of wheels i have built up a few years aog wasn't very encouraging.

do you know if they have changed the material for the rim?
 

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
0
I was super impressed with the rims last year, I'm not super light on my gear- I busted the wtb rim that comes on the bike on the first ride, huge flat spots and dents all over. The big difference is that the bead of the tyre sits further out as the sidewall is nearly half the height. Less material exposed, sticking out asking to be bent. There was some deflection tests around that showed the flow to be stiffer than the ex721.
 

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jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
56,711
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very sweet build! I'm super impressed by the results. And to be honest, this is the first Norco I've ever said that about. :thumb:


I wanna see pics of it dirty! And how much it weighs covered in mud :D
 

dhkid

Turbo Monkey
Mar 10, 2005
3,359
0
Malaysia
its not deflection that i am worried about its how resistant to denting they are. i will obviously have to give them a go one of these days.
 

davet

Monkey
Jun 24, 2004
552
3
I was super impressed with the rims last year, I'm not super light on my gear- I busted the wtb rim that comes on the bike on the first ride, huge flat spots and dents all over. The big difference is that the bead of the tyre sits further out as the sidewall is nearly half the height. Less material exposed, sticking out asking to be bent. There was some deflection tests around that showed the flow to be stiffer than the ex721.
I'm impressed. I would have never believed it without seeing the scale. Fion Griffiths team bike was down around that weight, but not with a frame that the public could buy.

Nice job, sorry for doubting you.
 

- seb

Turbo Monkey
Apr 10, 2002
2,924
0
UK
Hmm, I'm gonna have to work hard if I want to reclaim my ridemonkey "weight gimp" crown of old aren't I ;)
 

balfarider22

Chimp
Feb 20, 2008
55
0
Lansing, New York
i just built a set of the stans flow rims to a set of tioga carbon dh hubs (20mm front, 12x135 rear) the hubs weigh around 220g for the front and 320g for the rear. the wheels are crazy light, not sure of the exact weight of the wheelset but i came up with around 7.5 pound of the bathroom scale. im running 2.4 front and rear and im very happy with them.
 

- seb

Turbo Monkey
Apr 10, 2002
2,924
0
UK
Tioga "carbon" hubs - sound light, surprisingly heavy though! Plenty of 20mm hubs come in at 180g or so, and my Hope Pro2 150x12 rear is 295g!
 

balfarider22

Chimp
Feb 20, 2008
55
0
Lansing, New York
Tioga "carbon" hubs - sound light, surprisingly heavy though! Plenty of 20mm hubs come in at 180g or so, and my Hope Pro2 150x12 rear is 295g!
i thought they would be lighter too. o well though, the wheels are still much lighter than my other ones (single tracks). and i only paid $100 for the set of hubs on ebay brand new.
 

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
0
Rides amazing. Pedals out of corners like an 'all mountain' bike, but still handles the big stuff. I'm 5'11", 85kg.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,752
878
Build looks pretty awesome to me, but having gone down the same route myself, there's a few places where I reckon you've crossed the line.

1. Alloy nipples
If you use a quality spoke wrench, they won't strip - but that's not the issue, it's that they fatigue and crack after a season. The last wheel I had alloy nipples on, at least 6-7 broken in action over time, and upon inspection many more were cracked and ready to break. Never again, they just aren't suitable for a DH wheelset in my book.

2. Tyres
2.35" rear is a compromise again in my book, I think 2.5" 2ply rubber front and rear should be the minimum on a DH bike. Rear traction is usually in high demand and low availability, and especially on something with longer stays they start letting go a bit too easily without enough rubber. I don't see a problem with trying 2.35 but I think a fair weight (for comparison's sake) on any bike is with 2.5" 2ply minions F/R (I'm sure the highrollers weigh the same, so it's moreso the size).

3. Rims
I haven't tried the stans so I've no idea how they go to be honest, but I couldn't see getting a hard season out of them without having to be careful... especially with tubeless and minimum pressures. I'm running 721's at the moment and they'll get 1-2 hard seasons if you're lucky, but even with those you'll have a few slip ups (hit the same spot twice) and wind up with a write off. Can't really see the stans being better off at all, but I'm open to correction there.

The rest looks pretty good really, like you I reckon air shocks are pretty workable these days and aren't really going to be a limiting factor. Ti bolts sound sweet and the pedals look nice. I see minimal chainstay wrapping there, not sure if that's cheating or you just don't care haha :p... my bike probably has 100-150g worth of wrapping!

But yeah I reckon there's a noticeable difference in acceleration, maneuverability, and just plain fun with a bike that light. Nice work.
 

-C-

Monkey
May 27, 2007
296
9
2. Tyres
2.35" rear is a compromise again in my book, I think 2.5" 2ply rubber front and rear should be the minimum on a DH bike. Rear traction is usually in high demand and low availability, and especially on something with longer stays they start letting go a bit too easily without enough rubber. I don't see a problem with trying 2.35 but I think a fair weight (for comparison's sake) on any bike is with 2.5" 2ply minions F/R (I'm sure the highrollers weigh the same, so it's moreso the size).
Have you weighed a 2.35" dual ply ST Vs a 2.5"?

The difference is next to nothing on average.

Some people prefer the 2.35" because it rolls a lot faster :)
 

Jonny5

Monkey
Feb 13, 2007
503
0
Alloy nips are fine, are you using DT ones or cheapies? The Chinese stuff is shocking, but the dt's have be fine here. I think climate has something to do with it. Bikes from the beach (30mins from here) have had crazy problems with alloy nipples, yet in rocky they are fine. The only thing I'm probably regretting on the wheels is the bladed spokes on the drive side, should have gone something else there to give it a bit more bite. Hasn't been an issue yet, but time will tell.

I've been running 2.35 rear tyres for years, its great for the tracks up here and we have some pretty wild stuff too. The stans rims are a bit magical I think. The secret is in the low sidewall. There isn't this big flat surface sticking out to dent. I'm not going to say that it will work for everyone, but I do have a few mates on them and they are going fine too. Both of these guys are closer to 100kg, but they aren't riding super hard. With your lightweight UDI- I think that they could work for you- but who knows; I've seen 50kg riders kill mag30s. I don't think a heavier rim means a stronger rim, I think there is a lot more to it than that. The rear wtb that came on the bike was shagged on the first ride.

I have some velcro to put on for the padding, being an ano frame though- the chain doesn't totally kill it. The roco air has been great, really impressed. I have serviced the air sleeve and I'm waiting for a vid from marz to do the rest, shouldn't be much diff to the other rocos I have worked on though. Its defiantly up to the job and the feel matches the front nicely.

At the end of the day, its built up to test the limits of what will work for me. Everyone is different and has their own riding style. I ride my bikes for a year and look at the new models when they come out. At the end of the 'season' the bikes get a good going over and are passed off for a fair price. I can afford to do this, and I think its my reward for fixing f'in huffies all day.

So it continues, I have some ti mg1 pedals, xtr cranks and some other bits in mind- sub 34lbs. When I find the line, I will step it back. But so far its all good.

Oh and the 35lb weight was with 2.35 hr rear and 2.5 hr front non ust. From memory there is only 100grams difference between those two. The rear tubeless 2.34 was a good 200 grams lighter though and along with the tubeless and a few other little mods its now at 34. 54lbs. I'm more confident with these tyres setup tubeless than I am with 2 ply tyres and xc tubes. These only ever seem to last me a ride or two before a flat. A few rides in and the tubeless has been great. Its a really nice tight bead. They installed with a floor pump and lost zero air during this. Time will tell if they prove more or less trouble than tubes. Tubed I think I can only realistically get away with a freeride in the rear, so the weight savings are huge if it works. Which it did fine last year and that was with non tubeless intense tyres.


 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,752
878
Alloy nips are fine, are you using DT ones or cheapies? The Chinese stuff is shocking
Ah gimme some credit, I'll skimp on money anywhere in my life that isn't bikes, and I'm sure it's the same for most of us. I was running DT alloy, prolock. But yeah they sucked, they just fatigued and cracked over time... YMMV of course.

I'm pretty curious about the rims (and do agree that heavier doesn't mean stronger, but lighter does have a tendency to mean weaker in most cases), do you think they hold up better than 721's? I bought a pair of them recently (to lace as rears over time) and told myself that after I'd gone through them, I'd try something else. Was pretty keen on trying the Alex Supra D - you probably have some experience with those? 610g I think. The stans might be another option I guess if they truly do hold up better, but you get guys saying that about 5.1's and they suck. I won't kill mag30's but like I said I can kill a 721 in a hard season if I get unlucky, or 1.5-2 seasons if I get lucky... chasing something that will hold up better than that if possible. Rims are cheap but lacing them up is a pain!