Norco Storm 1 Review
- Price: $1049
- Frame: 6061 Alloy
- Tires: 27.5/29
- Gear: 2×8
What we like about it: A rugged hardtail mountain bike with great agility and handling.
What we don’t like about it: There is only one kind of painting, which is difficult to meet everyone’s favorite.
The Norco Storm 1 achieves a powerful and efficient pedaling experience by elongating the wheelbase and ensuring even weight distribution between the front and rear.
This design improves climbing traction, downhill grip, and control, making the Norco Storm 1 capable of conquering various trails.
It embodies Norco’s philosophy of creating sturdy and durable hardtail mountain bikes, featuring a dropper post design rarely seen in hardtail mountain bikes. I’m excited to experience what the it has to offer.
Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Norco Storm 1. In the second half of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bicycle models. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
I believe the Norco Storm 1 is a hardtail mountain bike with great potential and excellent performance on gravel surfaces. Another thing that needs to be prepared in advance is booking accommodation. This time, I still booked accommodation on Skyscanner, hoping for a good rest.
To find a suitable riding route for this bike, we headed to the Arkansas High Country Route. The road conditions on this route consist of approximately 50% gravel and 50% regular pavement. It includes terrains with gradients ranging from 17% to 21%, allowing us to truly showcase the impressive performance of the Norco Storm 1.
So, I hopped on the Norco Storm 1 to take on the Arkansas High Country Route.
As I rode the Norco Storm 1 up a gravel incline with a gradient of around 19°, the attributes of this hardtail mountain bike became apparent. It didn’t suffer from the pedal bob often associated with full-suspension bikes.
Equipped with the Shimano Deore M5100 drivetrain and Sunrace CMX8 11-Speed freewheel, the 1×11 drivetrain reduced weight while providing me with easy traversal of various gradients.
To my surprise, the Suntour XCM HLO DS front fork with 100mm of travel didn’t excessively bob while climbing. It provided excellent support during the ascent.
Similarly, the Maxxis Rekon DK60 2.25-inch wide tires on both the front and rear of the Storm 1 offered exceptional grip, minimizing instances of slipping. As a result, my climbing performance on the Storm 1 surpassed many other hardtail mountain bikes.
When it comes to downhill performance, the Norco Storm 1 excels due to its longer wheelbase and 67° head tube angle. These factors contribute to its impressive downhill capabilities, almost giving it the feel of a full-suspension mountain bike.
The Suntour front fork on the Storm 1 provides excellent support during descents. However, it may lack some sensitivity when encountering smaller bumps.
Additionally, this bike is equipped with Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic brakes and Tektro 160mm rotors.
While they offer good braking power on flat terrain, they may exhibit slightly reduced braking effectiveness on steep gravel surfaces during descents. Upgrading the Maxxis Rekon DK60 2.25-inch wide tires to 2.35 inches can enhance grip during the ride.
Moreover, the 720mm wide handlebar strikes a balance between speed on flat roads and maneuverability on off-road surfaces.
The dropper post, which is uncommon on hardtail mountain bikes, is also present on this bike. Indeed, the dropper post allows me to adjust my riding position according to different environments.
In conclusion, I believe the Norco Storm 1 is a hardtail mountain bike with great potential and high performance. It has earned my trust.
The Norco Storm 1 is a sturdy and reliable hardtail mountain bike with ample room for customization. Norco has reinforced the junction of the top tube and seat tube on Storm 1, significantly enhancing its frame strength.
Additionally, the frame is made of 6061 aluminum alloy, providing a balance of strength and weight reduction. The internal cable routing design ensures a clean appearance and convenient maintenance.
It can accommodate 2.35-inch wide tires, further enhancing its off-road potential. It is available in six frame sizes, ranging from XXS to XL. The XXS to S frame sizes are paired with 27.5-inch wheels, while the L and XL sizes use 29-inch wheels.
The M size offers a choice between 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheels. This wide range of size options caters to the needs of riders with different body sizes.
Lastly, I believe the Norco Storm 1 is a robust and reliable hardtail mountain bike with excellent overall performance.
The Norco Storm 1 is a powerful hardtail mountain bike. However, if you are a beginner rider looking for an entry-level hardtail mountain bike at a lower budget, we have some other recommendations.
Norco Storm 4
Compared to the Norco Storm 1, the Norco Storm 4 offers a savings of $390 while featuring the same frame design. Its groupset is suitable for daily commuting and overcoming small obstacles, making it more suitable for entry-level riders. Additionally, Norco Storm 4 offers more color options.
Although the Norco Storm 4 uses an entry-level Shimano groupset and lacks a dropper post for on-the-go riding position adjustments, it is equipped with the same Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic brakes as the Norco Storm 1, ensuring sufficient braking power for everyday rides.
If you prefer not to spend extra money on a hardtail mountain bike, the Norco Storm 4 is one of your best choices. It also provides ample room for future upgrades.
What do we like about it?
- It is built for off-road adventures, offering agile and powerful off-road capabilities.
- The internal cable routing design not only gives it a clean appearance but also provides excellent protection for the cables.
- With a maximum tire clearance of 2.35 inches, this bike unlocks its full potential.
- Multiple frame sizes and tire sizes cater to riders of different heights, ensuring a perfect fit for various individuals.
- The extended wheelbase and well-balanced weight distribution of this bike enable efficient pedaling, increased traction for climbing, and enhanced grip and control during descents.
- The reinforced junction of the seat tube and top tube enhances the overall durability of it.
What don’t we like about it?
- The lack of color options.
- Is the frame of this bike sturdy?
The frame of this bike is constructed with 6061 aluminum alloy, which combines lightweight design with increased frame hardness. It also features reinforced strength at the seat tube and top tube junction.
- What kind of riders is this bike suitable for?
It is more suitable for riders who enjoy riding on trails and those seeking greater possibilities in their riding experiences.
- How to choose the right size for this bike?
|6061 Alloy, Internal Routing, Smooth WeldsBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Silver / Silver
|Suntour XCM HLO DS, 100mm, 42mm Offset (27.5), 46mm Offset (29)
|Prowheel Cartridge Bearing, BSA Threaded
|Alloy 60mm, 31.8mm Clamp
|X6 Alloy, 720mm (XXS, XS, S), 740mm (M, L, XL), 25mm Rise
|TranzX YSP18 Dropper, 130mm
|VP Nylon Flat
|Shimano Deore RD-M5100
|Prowheel MPX, 30T , 170mm (XXS, XS, S), 175mm (M, L, XL)
|Shimano Deore SL-M5100
|Sunrace CMX8, 11-51T, 11 Speed
|Tektro HD-M275 Hydraulic, Resin Pads
|Tektro HD-M275, HD-M276 Short Reach on Step-Thru
|Alex DP21 TRS
|Alloy QR, 9x100mm QR, 6 Bolt
|Alloy QR, 10x135mm QR, HG, 6 Bolt
|Maxxis Rekon DK60 2.25″
|Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2
|1 × 10
|Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29
|Giant Talon 1
|1 × 10
|Liv Tempt 1
|1 × 10
Norco Storm 1 vs Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2
Both bikes are great, I have to say. Although I prefer the Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 because it offers a wider range of paint options.
However, the 69° head tube angle and 2.2-inch tire width of the Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 indicate a more aggressive riding position, making it better suited for cruising on flat terrain compared to the Norco Storm 1.
Additionally, the quick-release skewer design of the Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 does offer the advantage of quickly removing the wheels.
However, I prefer the thru-axle design of the Storm 1 because it provides me with a greater sense of security during intense rides. I also appreciate having a bike with a dropper post design, which is why I would be willing to spend an additional $250 to choose the Norco Storm 1.
If you’re looking to save some money and primarily ride on well-maintained roads, then the Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 would be a good choice. If you require a more versatile off-road bike, the Norco Storm 1 would be a great option.
Norco Storm 1 vs Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29
First of all, both bikes offer a comprehensive range of frame sizes. However, I must admit that the paint options of the Norco Storm 1 have always been a point of criticism for me, especially when compared to the multiple color choices available for the Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29. The paint colors of the Norco Storm 1 seem a bit dull in comparison.
However, what always impresses us about the Storm 1 is its robust, reliable, and cost-effective components, which are synonymous with the Norco line of bikes.
The Norco Storm 1 offers more gear options compared to the Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29, indicating that it has better climbing performance. On the other hand, the Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29 is equipped with SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes, giving it superior downhill braking capabilities compared to the Storm 1.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a mountain bike with greater potential and the ability to tackle more challenging trails, the Norco Storm 1 would be a good choice.
If you prefer a more aesthetically pleasing look and don’t require too many complex features, the Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29 is also a good option.
Norco Storm 1 vs Giant Talon 1
I find it difficult to choose between the Norco Storm 1 and the Giant Talon 1 as they are both excellent bikes. Firstly, the Giant Talon 1 has a shorter fork travel (80mm) compared to the fork travel (100mm) of Norco Storm 1.
However, the wider 2.4-inch tires of the latter compensate for the disadvantage of the fork travel in the Talon 1. This makes it hard to determine which bike has better suspension, but it suggests that the Storm 1 is more suitable for riding on flat terrain compared to the Giant Talon 1.
Secondly, the Shimano Deore M5100 drivetrain used in the Storm 1 is superior to the Shimano Deore M4100 equipped on the Giant Talon 1, and the Storm 1 offers more gear options. This gives the Norco Storm 1 greater climbing capability and better rear traction during bumpy rides.
Considering these factors, when comparing the Norco Storm 1 and the Giant Talon 1, I still lean towards recommending the Norco Storm 1. I prefer hardtail mountain bikes with upgrade potential and higher playability.
Norco Storm 1 vs Liv Tempt 1
Actually, when comparing the Norco Storm 1 and the Liv Tempt 1, the Liv Tempt 1 resembles more of a female version of the previous Giant Talon 1.
Comparing the components of the Liv Tempt 1 with those of the Norco Storm 1, it’s still the Norco Storm 1 components that will catch my eye more.
However, the Liv Tempt 1 is more suitable for female riders. In particular, the Liv Tempt 1 has a slightly curved downward top tube design and a more compact frame design, making it easier for smaller female riders to control and get on and off the bike.
But the Liv Tempt 1 with the Kenda Booster 27.5 or 29×2.4″ outer tire is also a bad design in my opinion. Because the wide tire will greatly increase the resistance when riding.
I would also recommend the Norco Storm 1 for smaller female riders, as well as the XXS size frame.
Above is our review. The playability and ample upgrade potential of the Norco Storm 1 left a strong impression on me. This also indicates that Norco produces quality frames. In my opinion, it is a bike worth purchasing. Considering all these factors, I give it a high rating of 4.8.
Of course, if you’re interested in other hardtail mountain bikes, we also review bikes at various price points and with interesting features. Feel free to check out our other reviews.
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