2023 Norco Torrent S1 HT Review
- Price: $3,799
- Frame: Steel
- Tires: 29 inches
- Gear: 1×12
What we like about it: An aggressive, high-speed hardtail mountain bike that can conquer many complex and difficult roads.
What we don’t like about it: The steel frame is heavy.
The Norco Torrent S1 HT is a full-mountain bike. Compared to full-suspension bikes with a floating rear wheel, the Norco Torrent S1 HT offers better pedaling efficiency, superior cruising ability, and climbing performance.
Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Norco Torrent S1 HT.
In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it to several top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
As a hardtail full-mountain bike, the Norco Torrent S1 HT features an exaggerated 64° head tube angle and a long wheelbase. This provides better stability for downhill riding.
For this reason, I booked a ticket to El Malpais National Monument on Skyscanner, intending to explore the lava roads there. The area offers a mix of surfaces, including long descents, gravel, and soft dirt trails.
Now I’m about to ride the Norco Torrent S1 HT and see if it can withstand these challenges.
Thanks to the Norco Torrent S1 HT being an excellent hardtail full-mountain bike, I didn’t feel any power loss while climbing. I could ride uphill for extended periods.
And when encountering steeper slopes, the speed options provided by the front Praxis Cadet M30, 32T chainring, and Shimano SLX, 10-51T, 12-speed freewheel were sufficient to conquer every hill.
What pleasantly surprised me was the use of Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ 3C/EXO+/TR tires, which offer exceptional grip. This ensured that every pedal stroke produced effective results.
Additionally, the lockout feature of the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork enhanced climbing efficiency on smoother surfaces.
However, this bike is a bit heavy, which is one aspect that I found slightly dissatisfying. It required more effort when climbing long distances.
When riding the Norco Torrent S1 HT on relatively flat off-road descents without significant drops, its advantages become apparent.
With 29-inch wheels, large tires, and a 150mm travel fork, I experienced a smooth and silky downhill ride. The excellent sensitivity of the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 fork filtered out many small bumps.
When descending on winding trails, the braking power of the TRP Trail Evo, 4-piston brakes paired with 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors was reliable and worry-free.
The dropper post design allowed me to quickly adjust my center of gravity during descents, enhancing bike control.
It’s worth mentioning that when faced with larger drops while riding the Norco Torrent S1 HT, the 150mm suspension travel of the fork absorbed a significant amount of front-end impact.
However, as it is a hardtail bike, it’s inevitable to experience some vibration and jumping at the rear. Furthermore, the Torrent S1 HT comes with a sturdy chain guide and a well-tensioned Shimano XT M8100 rear derailleur, preventing chain drops.
In conclusion, the Norco Torrent S1 HT is a hardtail mountain bike that I enjoy. However, it is best suited for trail riding rather than extreme downhill use.
The Norco Torrent S1 HT is available in four frame sizes: S, M, L, and XL, all equipped with 29×2.5-inch tires. This enhances its maneuverability, cruising ability, and stability during downhill rides.
Furthermore, the Norco Torrent S1 HT features internal cable routing throughout the entire bike. This not only gives it a rugged appearance but also makes daily maintenance more convenient.
However, the chainstay lacks chain protection, which is a drawback. This leads to annoying chain slap against the chainstay during rides.
The Butted 6061 Alloy 800mm Handlebar (25mm Rise) paired with the 6061 Alloy stem (45mm Length, 35mm Clamp) offers a more agile and less cumbersome feel when maneuvering the bike.
However, as a Norco Torrent S1 HT frame, it is indeed heavier compared to frames made of aluminum or carbon fiber. Nevertheless, the steel frame provides better shock absorption and load capacity than aluminum alloy.
The Norco Torrent S1 HT is a solid all-terrain hardtail mountain bike in various aspects. However, as a hardtail mountain bike, its price may not be appealing to everyone.
Therefore, we have also found another hardtail mountain bike with the same frame but lower-end components.
Norco Torrent S2 HT
The Norco Torrent S1 HT and Norco Torrent S2 HT share the same frame material and geometry, with both featuring 150mm travel forks.
However, the latter uses the entry-level RockShox 35 Gold RL fork. While it still filters out most rough surfaces, its rebound speed and support are slightly inferior to the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 on the former.
Additionally, the Norco Torrent S2 HT is equipped with a Shimano Deore RD-M6100 drivetrain, which is slightly lower in quality compared to the Shimano SLX mixed with Shimano XT groupset on the former.
Specifically, this difference can be seen in the responsiveness of shifting and the tension of the rear derailleur.
There are noticeable gaps between these two bikes in these aspects, but they are similar in other aspects. However, the Norco Torrent S2 HT offers good value for its price of $2,699.
Below, we will provide detailed specifications of the Norco Torrent S1 HT and list some other full-mountain bikes from different brands with similar prices for your reference.
What do we like about it?
- It is available in various frame sizes and all come with 29-inch wheels.
- It has a slack head tube angle and a longer wheelbase for more stable downhill riding.
- The built-in chain guide reduces the occurrence of chain drops during rides.
- The integrated dropper post allows quick adjustments to saddle height during the ride.
- Reinforcements on the seat tube and top tube make the frame more durable.
What don’t we like about it?
- The weight of the steel frame may be challenging for some riders to accept.
- What kind of people is this bike suitable for riding?
It is suitable for riders of all levels, whether beginners or experienced riders.
- What kind of wheelset does it use?
The front wheel is Bear Pawls BMB-013, 15x110mm Boost, 6 Bolt and the rear wheel is Bear Pawls MS12S, 12x148mm Boost, Micro Spline, 6 Bolt.
- 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||Double Butted Chromoly SteelBB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColor: Green / Chrome|
|Fork||RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, 150mm Travel, 44mm Offset|
|Bottom Bracket||Praxis M30, BSA Threaded|
|Headset||FSA Cartridge Bearing|
|Stem||6061 Alloy, 45mm Length, 35mm Clamp|
|Handlebar||Butted 6061 Alloy 800mm, 25mm Rise|
|Saddle||Fizik Alpaca Terra, Wingflex|
|Seatpost||X-Fusion Manic Dropper, 31.6mm, 125mm (S), 150mm (M), 170mm (L, XL)|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano XT RD-M8100|
|Crank||Praxis Cadet M30, 32T, 170mm (S), 175mm (M, L, XL)|
|Shifters||Shimano SLX SL-M7100-IR I-Spec|
|Cassette||Shimano SLX, 10-51T, 12 Speed|
|Brake||TRP Trail Evo, 4 Piston, Resin Pads|
|Brake Levers||TRP Trail EVO|
|Rims||Stans Flow S1 29″ 32H|
|Front Hub||Bear Pawls BMB-013, 15x110mm Boost, 6 Bolt|
|Rear Hub||Bear Pawls MS12S, 12x148mm Boost, Micro Spline, 6 Bolt|
|Tires||Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ 3C/EXO+/TR|
|Disk Rotors||TRP TR203-29, 203mm|
|Bicycles||Click to view||Drivetrain||Frame material||Brake Type||Travel|
|Ribble HT Ti – Enthusiast, SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed||Click to view||1 × 12||Titanium||Hydraulic Disc||150mm front|
|Chromag Wideangle G2 Better||Click to view||1 × 12||Steel||Hydraulic Disc||150mm front|
|REEB ReDikyelous SLX||Click to view||1 × 12||Steel||Hydraulic Disc||150mm front|
|Orange P7 R||Click to view||1 × 12||Steel||Hydraulic Disc||150mm front|
Norco Torrent S1 HT vs Ribble HT Ti – Enthusiast, SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed
They are both excellent hardtail mountain bikes. However, they are constructed with different frame materials.
The former uses a chromoly steel frame, while the latter utilizes a titanium alloy frame, making it lighter in weight. However, titanium alloy is difficult to paint, so the paint job may not meet everyone’s taste.
Additionally, the two bikes come with different component sets, and I prefer the SRAM GX groupset on the latter. Of course, the Shimano components equipped on the Norco Torrent S1 HT are also excellent, but I prefer the feel of operating SRAM components.
Lastly, I appreciate some of the small details on the Norco Torrent S1 HT, including its built-in chain guide, which is a thoughtful addition.
When it comes to choosing between these two bikes, if you prioritize a lighter hardtail mountain bike, then the latter would be more suitable for you. If you value peace of mind, I would recommend the Norco Torrent S1 HT.
Norco Torrent S1 HT vs Chromag Wideangle G2 Better
For these two bikes, which are priced similarly, they are also quite similar in terms of performance.
Both bikes feature RockShox Lyrik-level front forks with 150mm of travel. In terms of the drivetrain, the latter uses the SRAM GX groupset that I prefer.
However, the key difference is that the Chromag Wideangle G2 Better does not have a dropper post design. This can be inconvenient for adjusting the center of gravity during downhill rides.
Additionally, it only offers a choice of 27.5-inch wheels. While this provides greater maneuverability, it falls short in terms of stability and traction during descents compared to the Norco Torrent S1 HT.
Both of these hardtail mountain bikes are excellent choices, and either one would be a good option. However, I prefer the Norco Torrent S1 HT because it offers better traction and stability during descents.
Norco Torrent S1 HT vs REEB ReDikyelous SLX
When comparing these two bikes, I would highly recommend the former, not only because of the price but for other reasons as well.
The Norco Torrent S1 HT features the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 front fork, which offers better rebound speed and end support compared to the RockShox 35 Gold RL used in the latter.
Although both bikes have Shimano groupsets, the former has a Shimano XT rear derailleur, which provides better tension and response speed.
The biggest difference between these two bikes lies in the braking system.
The former uses TRP Trail Evo, 4 Piston brakes with 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors, offering significantly stronger braking performance compared to the Shimano MT520, 4-piston brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors on the latter.
Therefore, I highly recommend the Norco Torrent S1 HT. Not only is it priced lower, but it also comes equipped with higher-performing components.
Norco Torrent S1 HT vs Orange P7 R
The Norco Torrent S1 HT and Orange P7 R are two hardtail mountain bikes that offer similar performance and price. However, I would lean towards choosing the former.
It comes with a standard 29-inch wheel size, while the latter only offers a 27.5-inch wheel size. I prefer the powerful traction and stability that the 29-inch wheels provide, especially when it comes to tackling rough terrain and downhill sections.
Furthermore, the biggest difference between the two lies in the feel of the front suspension. The Norco Torrent S1 HT utilizes the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, which offers better sensitivity and overall comfort.
On the other hand, the Orange P7 R is equipped with the FOX FLOAT 36 Performance, which provides better support. This makes the latter more suitable for handling larger drops and descents.
When it comes to the drivetrain, I appreciate the SRAM GX groupset on the Orange P7 R. It offers smooth and reliable shifting. It’s worth mentioning that the Orange P7 R also has better traction with its 2.6-inch outer tires.
Above is my ride review of the Norco Torrent S1 HT. In our opinion, it is a highly capable hardtail mountain bike with excellent off-road performance. That’s why I give it a high rating of 4.8.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other endurance hardtail 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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