Norco Aurum A1 Review
- Price: $2,999
- Frame: Aluminum
- Tires: 27.5 inches
- Gear: 1 × 10
What we like about it: A very cost-effective full-suspension mountain bike that can conquer all the descending surfaces it can ride on.
What we don’t like about it: Aluminum speedy mountain bike that may be too heavy in weight.
Norco Aurum A1, as a downhill weapon, features an aluminum alloy frame with reinforced details for enhanced durability. With 200mm of front and rear suspension travel and aggressive geometry angles, it showcases powerful descending capabilities.
In this article, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Norco Aurum A1.
In the latter part of the article, we will also compare several top bicycle models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
The Norco Aurum A1 is a sturdy full-suspension downhill mountain bike. It embraces a classic design of downhill mountain bikes with external cable routing. I was eager to experience the remarkable performance of this downhill mountain bike.
To quickly ride the Norco Aurum A1 on descending trails, I booked a ticket through Skyscanner and headed to the nearest mountain bike park.
I believed that the steep drop-offs and challenging descents there would truly test the rumored performance of the Norco Aurum A1.
Climbing and Descending
As a downhill mountain bike, I didn’t have high expectations for the climbing ability of the Norco Aurum A1, and the result matched my expectations.
I could ride for a short distance on gentle slopes, but as soon as the terrain got slightly steeper, I had to dismount and push the Aurum A1 uphill.
After a lot of pushing effort, I finally reached the starting point on top of the mountain with the Norco Aurum A1. I put on my helmet and goggles and got ready to go.
Right at the beginning of the trail, there was a steep drop-off. But hey, I was riding a downhill mountain bike!
The moment I landed, the RockShox Boxxer Select front fork and Fox Performance Vanilla LSC coil rear shock absorbed the impact seamlessly.
I have to say that the rear suspension’s ability to absorb vibrations was excellent, and the rear end didn’t feel like it wanted to bounce me off.
Next came a section where I needed to accelerate by pedaling. I quickly adjusted the freewheel gear ratio using the Shimano Zee, RD-M640 shift lever.
The Shimano Zee series, specifically designed for downhill and other extreme mountain biking, is known for its durability and reliable performance.
The SRAM Code R 4 Piston brakes with 200mm rotors provided the same violent and stubborn braking power as the bike’s character.
When I rode the Norco Aurum A1 on a section with many exposed rock descents, the RockShox front fork worked sensitively and performed admirably. Coupled with the excellent traction of the Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ EXO/TR tires, it was effortless to fly down the trail.
On the Trail
The Norco Aurum A1 performs well on continuous trails. The 27.5-inch wheelset offers agility, and the shorter chainstay enhances maneuverability.
However, due to the external cable routing design, some people might find the sound of the cables slapping against the frame to be noisy.
But as I mentioned earlier, this is a raw, full-suspension downhill mountain bike designed solely for ultimate downhill performance.
Furthermore, on continuous tight trail corners, the chain guide design, along with the short rear derailleur of the Shimano Zee, ensures that the chain remains tensioned, eliminating concerns about chain drops.
Overall, the Norco Aurum A1 satisfied me on the trails with its agility and its ability to support rapid descents.
The Norco Aurum A1 is available in four sizes, from S to XL, all featuring an aluminum alloy frame and 27.5-inch wheelset.
It comes equipped with a chain guide design that, when combined with the powerful tension of the Shimano Zee rear derailleur, eliminates any worries about chain drops, no matter how intense the landing impact may be.
The geometry features a slack head tube angle and a low center of gravity, which is advantageous for downhill riding. It greatly compensates for the absence of 29-inch wheels and provides excellent stability.
Norco has also included protective stickers on the downtube and chainstay of the Aurum A1, reducing rock splashes on the downtube and chain impacts on the chainstay.
Furthermore, the connection between the seat tube and top tube, as well as the reinforcement at the junction of the head tube and down tube, has been strengthened.
Additionally, the bike utilizes a through-axle wheel mounting system. While it lacks the convenience of quick-release mechanisms, it provides stability and safety in intense riding conditions.
The Norco Aurum A1 is an excellent value downhill mountain bike that meets the requirements of downhill riding. However, due to the aluminum material, it is quite heavy. So, we found the carbon fiber version within the same series.
Norco Aurum HSP C2 27.5
Compared to the Norco Aurum A1, the Aurum HSP C2 27.5 shares the same front and rear suspension travel and 27.5-inch wheelset, both featuring the RockShox Boxxer Select suspension fork.
However, the Aurum HSP C2 27.5 utilizes an SRAM GX 7-speed drivetrain. This not only reduces weight but also provides a crisper and more responsive shifting experience.
Furthermore, the Aurum HSP C2 27.5 features internal cable routing, which gives it a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing appearance. It also incorporates upper idler wheels, improving pedaling efficiency and reducing pedal impacts during landings.
Finally, the Aurum HSP C2 utilizes a chain guide design to minimize the risk of chain drops. Overall, if you’re looking for a lighter carbon fiber downhill bike, the Norco Aurum HSP C2 27.5 is a good choice.
Below, we will provide detailed specifications of the Norco Aurum A1 and list some other full-suspension endurance race bikes from other brands with similar price ranges for your reference.
What do we like about it?
- The Norco Aurum A1 offers multiple frame sizes and 27.5-inch wheels.
- The built-in chain guide design reduces the risk of chain drops.
- The frame is reinforced in multiple areas, creating a sturdy aluminum downhill mountain bike.
- Excellent geometry design that balances stability and bike maneuverability.
- Moderate pricing allows many riders to obtain a downhill mountain bike without breaking the bank.
- Ride Aligned™ design system matches the bike to the rider, creating a customized platform.
What don’t we like about it?
- Being an aluminum mountain bike, it may be too heavy.
- What kind of wheelset does this bike use?
The front wheelset is Novatech sealed bearing, 20x110mm, and the rear wheelset is SRAM MTH-746, sealed bearing, through axle.
- What kind of people is this bike suitable for riding?
It is suitable for riders with skilled experience in full-suspension mountain biking and ample riding skills.
- How do I choose the right size for this bike?
Here we have a size chart for you. Of course, it doesn’t have to be according to this standard, and the best way to find the most suitable size is to try it out for yourself.
|163cm – 175cm
|Aurum A 7.1Color: Blood Red / Candy Apple Red
|RockShox Boxxer Select, Debonair, Charger RC, 200mm Travel
|Fox Performance Vanilla LSC, Coil Spring, S 350lb, M 400lb, L 450lb , XL 500lb Spring Weight
|Race Face 83mm
|Race Face Chester DM 35, 50mm
|Norco 6061, 800mm, 20mm rise, 35mm bore
|WTB Volt Sport
|Norco 6061 alloy, 2-bolt head
|VP, lock on
|Shimano Zee, RD-M640, short cage
|Raceface Chester, 165mm, 36T
|Shimano Zee, SL-M640, 10 speed
|SRAM PG 1030, 10 speed 11-28T
|e*thirteen LG 1
|e*thirteen LG 1
|SRAM Code R 4 Piston, Hydraulic, 200mm
|WTB ST i29 TCS 2.0, 27.5
|Novatech sealed bearing, 20x110mm
|SRAM MTH-746, sealed bearing, through axle
|Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ EXO/TR
|YT Industries Tues CORE 2 27
|1 × 7
|200mm rear, 200mm front
|Rose SOUL FIRE 2
|1 × 12
|180mm rear, 180mm front
|Commencal CLASH RIDE PARK EDITION
|1 × 7
|170mm rear, 180mm front
|Propain Spindrift AL 29 Start
|1 × 12
|180mm rear, 180mm front
Norco Aurum A1 vs YT Industries Tues CORE 2 27
The Norco Aurum A1 and YT Industries Tues CORE 2 27 are both highly cost-effective downhill mountain bikes. These two bikes feature the same RockShox BoXXer fork with a 200mm front and rear travel.
However, in terms of the drivetrain, the YT Industries Tues CORE 2 27 uses an SRAM GX 7-speed drivetrain. This results in crisper shifting compared to the Norco Aurum A1’s Shimano Zee groupset, but the Shimano Zee is known for its durability.
Both bikes are equipped with the same SRAM CODE R brakes, so there is little difference in braking performance between the two.
The major difference between these two bikes lies in their geometry. The Norco Aurum A1 has a slightly lower center of gravity and a more relaxed head tube angle, providing more stability during descents.
On the other hand, the YT Industries Tues CORE 2 27 is more agile and performs better on continuous singletrack trails.
Both bikes are excellent choices, so either one would be a suitable option.
Norco Aurum A1 vs Rose SOUL FIRE 2
For the Norco Aurum A1 and Rose SOUL FIRE 2, the latter uses a single crown suspension fork with 180mm of travel, which is slightly different from the 200mm fork on the former. The Norco Aurum A1 performs smoother landings when faced with large drops.
However, these two bikes have completely different drivetrains. The Rose SOUL FIRE 2 features a Shimano SLX FC-M7100-1, 32T crankset paired with a Shimano SLX CS-M7100-12, 12-speed, 10-51T freewheel, giving it some climbing capability.
On the other hand, the Norco Aurum A1 has almost zero climbing ability.
Finally, the Rose SOUL FIRE 2 comes equipped with Schwalbe Magic Mary Evolution tires, which offer better traction on the road surface compared to the Maxxis tires on the Norco Aurum A1. However, the durability of the Schwalbe tires may not be as good as that of the Maxxis tires.
For these two mountain bikes, if you desire some climbing ability, then the Rose SOUL FIRE 2 would be the better choice. Conversely, if you only need downhill performance, the Norco Aurum A1 would be a better option.
Norco Aurum A1 vs Commencal CLASH RIDE PARK EDITION
Comparing the Norco Aurum A1 and the Commencal CLASH RIDE PARK EDITION, the former is more like a traditional, raw downhill mountain bike, while the latter leans more towards a freestyle riding style.
In terms of suspension travel, the Aurum A1 offers 200mm of travel both in the front and rear, which can handle more intense impacts compared to the CLASH (180mm front, 170mm rear). However, the CLASH’s RockShox ZEB single crown fork provides greater agility.
Both bikes feature DH-spec freewheels and rear derailleurs in their drivetrain systems, which means they lack climbing capability.
When it comes to braking kits, the Aurum A1’s SRAM Code R 4 Piston offers larger brake pistons on the calipers compared to the CLASH’s SRAM GUIDE RE, 4 pistons. As a result, the braking feel will be more aggressive.
In terms of choosing between these two bikes, the Norco Aurum A1 is designed for pursuing downhill speed, while the Commencal CLASH RIDE PARK EDITION is more inclined towards launching off jumps and performing tricks in the air.
Norco Aurum A1 vs Propain Spindrift AL 29 Start
Norco Aurum A1 and Propain Spindrift AL 29 Start Comparison. From the geometry alone, it’s evident that the latter resembles more of an endurance race mountain bike with full suspension. The overall center of gravity will be slightly higher.
Based on the head tube angle and the SRAM GX 1×12-speed drivetrain employed by the latter, it indicates that the Propain Spindrift AL 29 Start possesses some climbing capability.
In terms of braking performance, the SRAM Code R 4 Piston equipped on the Norco Aurum A1 will provide better braking effectiveness compared to the SRAM G2 R equipped on the Propain Spindrift AL 29 Start.
Lastly, Propain also features a dropper post design. This plays a significant role in transitioning between climbing and descending, allowing for quick adjustment of one’s center of gravity.
Above is our review of the Norco Aurum A1. In our opinion, it is a highly cost-effective mountain bike capable of downhill riding. This is why we give it a rating of 4.8.
Of course, if you want to learn about other full-suspension bikes, we also review a wide range of bikes with various price points, all of which are equally interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.
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