2023 Norco Indie 4 Review
- Price: $649
- Frame: Aluminum
- Tires: 650b
- Gear: 1 × 7
What we like about it: The ergonomic handlebar cross enhances riding comfort and provides agile handling.
What we don’t like about it: The single-disc 1×7 speeds may make riding on a steeper slope a little more laborious.
The Norco Indie 4 is a sturdy aluminum-frame city commuter bike.
Combined with excellent ergonomics, it’s more agile and comfortable to ride than other bikes of its type.
Besides, it’s a recommended city bike for the price it offers.
Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of this bike.
Additionally, at the end of the review, we will also compare several best bike models. If you want to know more about bike reviews, don’t hesitate to follow us.
The Norco Indie 4 is a city bike with excellent handling and cost-effective components.
It features an aluminum frame and internal alignment to minimize the weight of the bike and give it a clean and tidy look.
I decided to go to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA again to have some fun, so I booked my tickets on Skyscanner and took Norco Indie 4 with me.
This bohemian town, with a mountainous view of the sea and smooth roads without too many potholes and no particularly steep climbs, was perfect for me to roam on my Norco Indie 4.
Climbing and descending
The Norco Indie 4 saved me a lot of energy while climbing up the mountain thanks to its lightweight aluminum frame.
The Aluminum, 38T cassette with the 11-34T, 7 Speed flywheel had only 1x7speeds, but it was more than enough for a moderate grade route, and I didn’t even use the largest flywheel.
The Norco Indie 4 used a 2.0-inch outer tire, which had good grip when climbing and held the ground to make my pedaling more efficient.
Right after I rode the uphill section, there was a long downhill section.
My first impression on the descent was that, owing to its unique Aluminum Ergonomic, 25mm Rise, 30 Degree Backsweep handlebar, the Norco Indie 4 was nimble enough.
Finally, it carried mechanical disc brakes, which had good braking effect in long downhill and was also more advantageous than rim brake type city bikes. In addition, it also showed good braking ability in rainy weather.
Compared to other city commuters, the Norco Indie 4’s aluminum frame is lighter and stronger.
1×7 drivetrain is perfectly adequate for my daily commute, as I don’t need to have quick speed.
On my daily commute there are some potholes on the road and this is where the Fast Rolling 2.0″ tire comes into its own.
You can run right over them and free from worries about a flat tire. The wider tire can also absorb some of the ground vibration.
Next, Norco Urban’s saddle has soft internal padding and the base supports my weight well.
All in all, the Norco Indie 4 can meet all the needs of a satisfying daily commuter ride. Its excellent geometry will support more comfort to ride than other city bikes.
The Norco Indie 4 is available in five aluminum frame sizes from XS to XL, and comes with a 650B wheelset and Fast Rolling 2.0″ outer tire.
The biggest impression I got from this bike is that it comes with a unique Aluminum Ergonomic, 25mm Rise, 30 Degree Backsweep handlebar.
It is surprising how well it combines handling and riding comfort together.
In addition, the connection between the top tube and the seat tube is reinforced. This greatly increases the sturdiness and playability of the whole bike.
The Norco Indie 4 also has mounting holes in many areas of the frame, which greatly improves its loading capacity to support its ability to ride long distances.
The overall appearance of the internal cable design is also cleaner and tidier, and the silent cable tube detail ensures that no noise is generated during the ride.
Finally, I would have preferred the Norco Indie 2 to have the option of adding a 29″ wheelset.
This would also greatly increase the speed and confidence when riding over small obstacles. Of course, a 27.5-inch wheelset would be more flexible.
The Norco Indie 4 is an easy and comfortable city bike to ride, with excellent frame geometry and carefully selected components, combined with a moderate price point, making it a great value for money.
But the single-disc design affects its riding speed and ability to ride uphill.
For this reason, we also found the Norco Indie 3, which has higher speed and better braking ability.
Norco Indie 3
The Norco Indie 4 has the same aluminum frame as the Norco Indie 3, but the biggest difference between the two is in the kit used.
First of all, the latter uses a 48/38/28T cassette with an 11-34T, 7 Speed flywheel and has 21 speeds, which makes it more energy-efficient on climbs and faster on flat road cruising than the former.
Next, in the braking system, Norco Indie 3 uses Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes, providing better braking ability than Norco Indie 4’s mechanical disc brakes.Even long-time use will not weaken its braking ability.
So, if you are willing to add some more budget, Norco Indie 3 would be a better choice.
Below, we will list the specific parameters of the Norco Indie 4 and some other brands of full-suspension enduro bikes with similar prices for your reference.
What do we like about it?
- Norco Indie 4 has a highly playable aluminum city frame.
- The unique handlebar design can improve the handling of the vehicle while enhancing the comfort level when riding.
- Norco Indie 4 enjoys excellent passability and comfort compared with other bikes in the same class.
- Full range of frame sizes to cope with the choice of riders of all different heights.
- Norco’s unique philosophy makes the Norco Indie 4 lighter and stronger.
- Extra mounting holes at the fork allow the Norco Indie4 to ride further.
What don’t we like about it?
- With single disc 1×7 speeds, slope ride may be a bit more effort.
- What wheelset does it use?
Front wheelset: Weather Sealed, 9x100mm, Bolted Skewer, 6 Bolt.
Rear wheelset: Weather Sealed, 9x100mm, Bolted Skewer, 6 Bolt.
- Is it suitable for long rides?
The bike has a strong loading capacity and provides an upright riding position as well as comfortable seating position. Even for long rides it will not be overly strenuous.
- How do I choose the right size for it?
Here we provide you with a size chart, but of course you do not have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable size is to test ride.
Norco Indie 4 Specs
|Frame||Indie AluminumBB Standard: BSA, ThreadedColors: Blue / Silver; Grey / Black|
|Fork||Indie Chromoly Steel|
|Bottom Bracket||Cartridge Bearing, BSA Threaded|
|Stem||Aluminum, 70mm Length, 31.8mm Clamp|
|Handlebar||Aluminum Ergonomic, 25mm Rise, 30 Degree Backsweep|
|Grips||Dual Density Ergonomic|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Tourney RD-TX800|
|Crank||Aluminum, 38T, 170mm (XS, S, M), 175mm (L, XL)|
|Shifters||Shimano Zee, SL-M640, 10 speed|
|Cassette||11-34T, 7 Speed|
|Brakes||Mechanical Disc, Resin Pads|
|Brake Levers||Alloy 2-Finger, Reach Adjust|
|Rims||Double Wall Aluminum, 27.5″, 32H|
|Front Hub||Weather Sealed, 9x100mm, Bolted Skewer, 6 Bolt|
|Rear Hub||Weather Sealed, 9x100mm, Bolted Skewer, 6 Bolt|
|Tires||Fast Rolling 2.0″|
|Bicycles||Click View||Driveline||Frame material||Brake Type||Wheelset Type|
|Jamis CODA S3 Step-Over Frame||Click View||3 × 7||Steel||Rim||700c Aluminum|
|KHS X-ROUTE 100||Click View||3 × 7||Aluminum||Mechanical Disc||700c Aluminum|
|Kellys ARWEN DUTCH||Click View||Internally Geared Hub||Aluminum||Coaster||700c Aluminum|
|Devinci Cartier Altus 8S||Click View||1 × 8||Aluminum||Mechanical Disc||650b Aluminum|
Norco Indie 4 vs Jamis CODA S3 Step-Over Frame
The Norco Indie 4 and the Jamis CODA S3 Step-Over Frame are two city bikes that each have their own advantages.
First, the former uses an aluminum frame that will be lighter to ride than the latter’s steel frame, but the steel frame has some ability to absorb shock.
In terms of drivetrain, the latter uses a 48/38/28T cassette with a Shimano HG200 7-speed, 12-32T flywheel, which has more speeds than the former’s single cassette 7-speed.
So the latter will cruise faster on flat roads than the former, and will be more energy-efficient when going uphill.
Finally, as for braking, the former’s mechanical disc brakes have more reliable braking performance than the latter’s rim brakes in long downhill and rainy weather.
Norco Indie 4 VS KHS X-ROUTE 100
The two specialize in different areas. Although they both use a light-weight aluminum frame, the geometry shows that the former bike is more casual, while the latter goes for speed.
In terms of drivetrain, the latter’s 3×7 speeds will have more diverse options than the former’s 1×7, and will be better in terms of cruising speed and climbing ability on flat roads.
As for braking system, both bikes use mechanical disc brakes, with similar braking ability.
Finally on both bikes, the former has a beefier outer tire. This also allows the Indie 4 to filter out small vibrations and be less prone to flat tires, while the latter rides with less wheeling resistance and will be lighter.
Overall, if you seek faster speed, then KHS X-ROUTE 100 is a good choice. Suppose you want a comfortable feeling, then Norco Indie 4 is your perfect match.
Norco Indie 4 vs Kellys ARWEN DUTCH
For the Norco Indie 4 and the Kellys ARWEN DUTCH, I’d recommend the Indie 4 straight away, unless you’re more into vintage style bikes.
These two bikes both enjoys light aluminum material texture, but the latter’s bent top tube is more convenient for women to ride up and down.
Next, in terms of drivetrain, the former 1×7 speed is not rich, but still has a great advantage in climbing and flat road cruising speed.
Another part of the Indie 4’s strength is in the braking system.
It uses mechanical disc brakes with better braking effect than the latter’s rim brakes and is more reliable in rainy weather and long descents.
Norco Indie 4 VS Devinci Cartier Altus 8S
The Norco Indie 4 and the Devinci Cartier Altus 8S are two very similar urban recreational bikes, both with the same single-speed cassette design, 650B wheelset size, mechanical disc brakes and light weight aluminum frames.
However, there is still a slight difference in the frame geometry of the two, with the front bike riding at a more upright angle and the rear bike riding at a more aggressive angle.
This will make the former more comfortable for longer rides, and the latter will ride faster with less wind resistance.
In addition, the latter comes with a fender design, which is a point I like, to effectively prevent the splash of water on the road to clothes.
So both of these are excellent urban recreational bikes. But the latter cost a few hundred dollars more than the former and doesn’t boast more features, so I would prefer the Norco Indie 4.
Above is our riding review of the Norco Indie 4.
In our opinion, it’s a very versatile and affordable city bike, which is why we gave it a 4.8 rating.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other similar bikes, we have reviewed a variety of bikes at different price points that you might find interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.
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