2023 Norco Sight C SE 29 Review
- Price: $8,999
- Frame: Carbon
- Tires: 29 inches
- Gear: 1×12 Electronic
What we like about it: Top-of-the-line carbon fiber frame with top-of-the-line components to bring out the most extreme off-road experience.
What we don’t like about it: It’s expensive and difficult for some people to accept.
2023 Norco Sight C SE 29 offers multiple frame sizes and the option to choose between 27.5 or 29-inch wheels. Additionally, it features top-level carbon fiber frame and groupset, delivering incredible downhill capabilities.
Not only that, but it also provides excellent climbing and efficient pedaling, offering an ultimate mountain biking experience.
In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Norco Sight C SE 29.
In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bike models. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
The Norco Sight C SE 29 is a top-of-the-line full-suspension mountain bike with 160mm front and 150mm rear travel. This travel capability allows it to excel in various aspects.
It doesn’t compromise climbing ability due to excessive travel, nor does it lack the necessary cushioning for descents with insufficient travel.
To experience it firsthand, I’ve purchased tickets on Skyscanner and traveled to Mammoth Mountain.
Although it’s a ski resort during the winter season, Mammoth Mountain offers a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts throughout the year, thanks to its substantial vertical drop and 22 mountain biking trails.
So, join me as we unleash the potential of the Norco Sight C SE 29 on these thrilling trails.
From the start of the climb, the Norco Sight C SE 29 gave me the impression that it could handle anything. By controlling the dropper post’s ascent, I could keep my weight forward on the bike. There was no need to stand up; I remained fully seated and connected to the saddle.
Furthermore, the extensive use of carbon fiber materials made the Sight C SE 29 lighter than typical aluminum mountain bikes.
Coupled with the SRAM Truvativ Descendant Carbon 34T crankset and SRAM 10-52T freewheel, climbing became more effortless, allowing me to conserve energy for the descents.
Moreover, the Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ tires gripped the ground securely, translating my pedal power without hesitation and helping me conquer uphill sections more swiftly.
When it came to descending, the advantages of the Norco Sight C SE 29 quickly came into play. The Fox Factory FLOAT 36, GRIP 2 fork, and Fox Factory FLOAT X2 rear shock rapidly absorbed extreme bumps, effectively dampening each impact.
As I flew off a small jump and landed with force, this suspension duo responded instantly, devouring every millimeter of travel. Thanks to the excellent support provided by the FOX36, the suspension didn’t bottom out.
As I reached the high-speed downhill sections, the 29-inch wheels provided exceptional traction and stability, allowing me to reach maximum velocity. It felt like a heavy truck charging down the mountain.
Finally, the Sight C SE 29 performed flawlessly on continuous singletrack trails.
Its agility, combined with the powerful braking capabilities of the SRAM Code RSC, 4 Piston brakes, and SRAM CenterLine, 200mm rotors, allowed me to navigate these winding trails with ease and confidence.
The Norco Sight C SE 29 is available in four sizes, ranging from S to XL, with carbon fiber frames. All sizes support the option of 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels.
The bike features internal cable routing, providing a clean and tidy appearance. The internal routing also reduces noise caused by cables hitting the frame’s inner walls.
Additionally, the Norco Sight C SE 29 is equipped with protective decals on the downtube, reducing damage from flying gravel during rides. Similarly, the chainstay features a chain protection decal, minimizing noise from chain slapping.
Moreover, the bike incorporates a dropper post design, allowing riders to easily adjust their seated position for optimal riding posture.
The installation holes on the top tube are convenient for carrying portable tools, which proves useful during cross-country rides.
Having tools readily available enables riders to handle various emergencies. The built-in chain guide and chainring guard reduce the risk of chain drops and protect the chainring from impacts.
Finally, the Norco Sight C SE 29 utilizes a through-axle wheel mounting system, which may not offer the convenience of quick release but provides enhanced stability and safety in intense riding conditions.
The Norco Sight C SE 29 is a high-end full-suspension enduro mountain bike, equipped with top-of-the-line frame and groupset, making it capable of handling most riding environments.
However, it comes with a hefty price tag. It may not be friendly for riders who don’t want to spend too much money or beginners looking to get started.
That’s why we’ve found another full-suspension enduro mountain bike with the same top-notch frame but slight differences in the components, offering decent performance at a more affordable price point.
Norco Sight C3
For both the Norco Sight C SE 29 and Norco Sight C3, their frames are identical. They offer four sizes of carbon fiber frames to choose from and support both 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheel options. They also share the same 160mm front and 150mm rear suspension travel.
The main difference between these two bikes lies in the component selection. The former features a Fox Factory FLOAT 36 fork and Fox Factory FLOAT X2 rear shock, providing better support and quicker rebound compared to the latter’s RockShox Lyrik Select fork and RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock.
However, the suspension system on the latter is still excellent and can handle most terrains and drops, albeit without the extreme capabilities of the former.
In terms of the drivetrain, the former’s SRAM groupset surpasses the latter’s Shimano groupset in both component level and performance. However, the drivetrain system on the latter is still a reliable choice.
Finally, let’s talk about the braking systems. The former is equipped with SRAM Code RSC 4-piston brakes, while the latter comes with Shimano BR-MT520 4-piston brakes.
Both of them deliver excellent braking performance. However, the former offers a more aggressive brake feel and maintains outstanding braking power even during frequent braking maneuvers.
Therefore, the choice between these two bikes depends on individual needs. If budget permits, the Norco Sight C SE 29 is the all-in-one choice. If cost is a concern, the Norco Sight C3 is still a dependable option.
Next, we will provide a detailed list of specific parameters for the Norco Sight C SE 29 and other enduro mountain bikes from similar price ranges for your reference.
What do we like about it?
- The Norco Sight C SE 29 offers multiple frame sizes and the option to choose between 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheels.
- The internal cable routing design gives the bike a clean appearance and makes it easy to clean.
- The top-of-the-line carbon fiber frame paired with high-quality components eliminates the need for extensive upgrades.
- The dropper post design allows for convenient adjustment of riding position and center of gravity.
- The installation holes on the top tube make it easy to carry popular riding accessories.
- The Ride Aligned™ design system ensures that the bike matches the rider, creating a customized platform.
What don’t we like about it?
- The price is high, which may be difficult for some people to accept.
- What kind of wheelset does this bike use?
The front wheelset is DT Swiss 240, 15x110mm Boost, 6 Bolt. The rear wheelset is DT Swiss 240, 12x148mm Boost, XD, 6 Bolt.
- What kind of people is this bike suitable for riding?
It is suitable for riders with a sufficient budget and decent mountain biking experience.
- 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 on.
|Frame||Carbon All-Mountain, Aluminum CS, 150mm Travel, 27.5″ and 29″ Options, Ride Aligned™BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press FitColor: Grey / Green|
|Fork||Fox Factory FLOAT 36, GRIP 2, 160mm, HSC/LSC/LSR|
|Rear Shock||Fox Factory FLOAT X2, HSC/LSC, HSR/LSR, 185×52.5mm Trunnion|
|Bottom Bracket||SRAM DUB PF92|
|Headset||FSA #57 E Sealed Bearing, Tapered|
|Stem||Norco CNC, 40mm Length. 35mm Clamp|
|Handlebar||OneUp Carbon, 800mm, 20mm Rise|
|Saddle||Fizik Alpaca Terra, Wingflex|
|Seatpost||OneUp Adjustable Dropper, 34.9mm, 150mm (S), 180mm (M, L), 210 (XL)|
|Grips||DMR DeathGrip Soft, Thin (S, M), Thick (L, XL)|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS|
|Crank||SRAM Truvativ Decendent Carbon, 34T (27.5), 32T (27.5 S), 32T (29), 170mm|
|Shifters||SRAM EA AXS 12 RH Rocker Controller|
|Cassette||SRAM Eagle XG 1295, 10-52T|
|Chain Tensioner||e*thirteen Vario Top Guide, DMB|
|Brakes||SRAM Code RSC, 4 Piston, Metallic Pads|
|Brake Levers||SRAM Code RSC|
|Rims||DT Swiss XMC 1501 Carbon Wheelset|
|Front Hub||DT Swiss 240, 15x110mm Boost, 6 Bolt|
|Rear Hub||DT Swiss 240, 12x148mm Boost, XD, 6 Bolt|
|Tires||Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ 3C Maxx Terra/EXO+/TR, Folding|
|Disk Rotors||SRAM CenterLine, 200mm|
|Bicycles||Click View||Drivetrain||Frame material||Brake Type||Travel|
|Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro||Click View||1 × 12 Electronic||Carbon||Hydraulic Disc||150mm rear, 160mm front|
|YT Industries Capra Uncaged 6 29||Click View||1 × 12 Electronic||Carbon||Hydraulic Disc||165mm rear, 170mm front|
|2024 Santa Cruz BRONSON X0 AXS RSV / Carbon CC||Click View||1 × 12 Electronic||Carbon||Hydraulic Disc||150mm rear, 160mm front|
|Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition||Click View||1 × 12||Carbon||Hydraulic Disc||160mm rear, 170mm front|
Norco Sight C SE 29 vs Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro
These two bikes are the classic full-suspension enduro series mountain bikes from their respective brands.
Firstly, they share the same front and rear suspension travel and the same Fox Factory Float 36 fork. This undoubtedly makes them excellent at absorbing shocks and providing support during big drops.
Similarly, both bikes have top-tier drivetrain and brake system kits, which are highly regarded in the mountain biking industry. In terms of transmission efficiency and braking power, they are equally matched.
However, the latter, Stumpjumper EVO Pro, has storage space under the bottle cage. This is something I like as it allows me to store some riding supplies and portable tools.
Lastly, the major difference between these two bikes lies in their geometry. The former has a slightly lower center of gravity and a longer wheelbase, resulting in more stability during descents. On the other hand, the latter is more agile, making it advantageous for aerial maneuvers.
Both of these bikes are exceptional choices, and no matter which one you choose, it will be a good choice.
Norco Sight C SE 29 vs YT Industries Capra Uncaged 6 29
For the Norco Sight C SE 29 and YT Industries Capra Uncaged 6 29, the latter uses electronic controls for both the front and rear suspension, drivetrain, and dropper post. This means that only the brake lines are exposed, giving it a clean and tidy appearance.
However, I’m not very interested in too much electronic control on a mountain bike. I prefer the peace of mind that comes with cable-controlled systems without the risk of running out of battery.
The biggest difference between these two bikes lies in the suspension. The front and rear FOX suspension on the former provides better end support compared to the RockShox ZEB on the latter.
However, the ZEB is also an excellent suspension fork, offering better initial sensitivity and performing well on continuous small bumps.
Finally, both bikes use the same drivetrain and brake systems.
When it comes to these two mountain bikes, if you desire an electronic-controlled setup and a more futuristic feel, the latter is a good choice. On the other hand, if you prefer to minimize the need for battery charging, the former will be more hassle-free.
Norco Sight C SE 29 vs Santa Cruz BRONSON X0 AXS RSV / Carbon CC
Let’s take a look at the comparison between these two bikes. The Santa Cruz features a VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension design with a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel.
The VPP structure consists of two linkages that connect the front and rear frames, moving in opposite directions. This design allows the chain tension to move like a virtual pivot point during pedaling, maximizing pedaling efficiency.
The combination of a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel offers a balance between maneuverability and impressive traction. It’s a design that I like.
However, with both bikes having the same suspension travel, I prefer the FOX suspension used in the Norco Sight C SE 29. The RockShox Lyrik on the other bike may experience bottoming out during big drop landings, while the FOX suspension doesn’t have such concerns.
Norco Sight C SE 29 vs Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition
Norco Sight C SE 29 and Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition. The latter features a Fox Factory Float 38 fork, which is thicker than the Fox 36 used in the Norco Sight C SE 29, providing better support during drops.
Although the Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition utilizes Shimano’s top-tier XTR M9100 drivetrain, known for its precise and smooth shifting, I prefer the SRAM X01 groupset equipped on the Sight C SE. I enjoy the crisp and sharp shifting feel that SRAM offers.
In terms of brakes, the Shimano XTR Trail 4 Piston on the Rocky Mountain is my favorite. However, the brakes on the Sight C SE 29 are also excellent. I particularly appreciate the Shimano XTR’s lever design and linear braking feel.
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing between these two bikes, the latter offers higher-grade components but also comes with a higher price tag. Therefore, I would still favor the Norco Sight C SE 29.
Above is our review of the Norco Sight C SE 29. In our opinion, it is a highly capable mountain bike with an impressive all-around performance, earning it a rating of 4.9 in our review.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other full-suspension enduro bikes, we have tested and reviewed a wide range of bikes at various price points, all of which are equally exciting. Feel free to check out our other reviews.
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