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Norco 2012 Product Launch Part 2 – Threshold

by Mike Sarnecki

August 05, 2011 (Whistler, BC) – Also released at the Norco 2012 product launch in mid-July was the Threshold, a cyclocross race-focused machine that’s strong, lightweight, and responsive.  While racing is the first thought when you see this bike, the bike designers at Norco built in subtle additional functionality including fender mounts, water bottle cage mounts, and a replaceable dropout to accommodate a geared or a single speed set up.  This versatility allows the rider to run the Threshold year round – not just during ‘cross season.

The Threshold features a proprietary carbon frame with a tapered head tube to reduce front break chatter and a molded carbon headset for additional weight saving. A 56cm frame should come in around the 1,250g mark making the Threshold a lightweight ride that doesn’t compromise strength.  An ergo shaped top tube makes shouldering this cross bike comfortable and there’s loads of mud clearance between the tire and the seat and chain stays.  Using an EPS (Ethyl Polystyrene) mandrel system, Norco is able to create a smooth tube surface on the inside of the carbon in high stress areas like the headtube and bottom bracket.  This reduces the chance of wrinkling the carbon while significantly improving strength over a conventional carbon layup process.

The use of High Toughness Resin results in a stronger frame with up to a 20% increase to impact resistance. Utilizing stronger carbon means less material is required resulting in a lighter weight frame. To buttress the strength of the frame a Thermoplastic Mesh is laminated in key stress areas inside of the frame to dispense stress forces and prevent the propagation of small cracks.

The frame boasts an internal cable running through the top tube with the ability to run complete housing in the rear for better shifting in muddy conditions. Fender mounts are subtly placed on the underside of the stays (on production models) making this a versatile ‘cross racing machine that can double as a winter training or commuting bike.  The replaceable Arsenal Dropouts allow the rider to run this bike as a geared or single speed weapon – including belt drive.  The same story applies with Norco’s road bike lines and the standard BB30 offers a stiff and lightweight crank & bottom bracket set up for smooth power transfer.

The Threshold comes in three different models plus a frame & fork only option and ranges in price from $4,930 for the SRAM Force build with Easton EC90 finishings & Easton EA90 SLT Tubeless Wheelset to $2,249 for the more budget-conscious consumer featuring a SRAM Apex build with Norco branded finishes with a basic wheelset.  Frame and fork only will set you back $1,850 CAD.  Availability for the Threshold is October 2011.

As Norco says, “the Threshold is built for racing, but with added versatility in mind…this is your life and your ride – live it at your Threshold”.

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