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NORCO BICYCLES MOUNTAIN

NORCO BICYCLES ROAD


ROAD TABLE OF CONTENTS ROAD ENDURANCE

FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE:

WHY THE RIDE TO CONQUER CANCEr MOVES US ALL VALENCE

6 p. 8

ROAD RACE

THE LONG ROAD TO THE BIG LEAGUES

A Q&A with TEAM H&R BLOCK RIDERS: KRIS THUSS & ADAM DAHL CRR

1 p. 14

CYCLOCROSS

SAVING RACE:

WHY cyclocross may be the best THing in cycling RIGHT now THRESHOLD

commuters VFR

NORCO BICYCLES INNOVATIONS & KEY MILESTONES

OUR HISTORY

16 p.18

p.22

24 p.26


FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE:

WHY THE RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER MOVES US ALL WORDS : selina robinson PHOTOS : DAN robinson

I

have always been physically active, healthy and fit. I have been a skier my whole life, picked up running through my 20s, learned to play hockey in my 30s and started running marathons the year I turned 40. By the time I was 42 I had run three marathons, several half marathons and an ultramarathon, and I was signed up for another half marathon a few months after my 42nd birthday. However, my life was about to take an unexpected turn.

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– especially one that was making me feel uncomfortable. I went in for the surgery. When I woke from the surgery in April 2006 I was told that the mass had nothing to do with my uterus. This mass was actually a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) – a rare form of intestinal cancer growing on my small intestines. The surgeons had removed the tumour, six inches of my small intestines and some other parts where the growth was obvious. The outcomes for the diagnosis did not look good. It was a type of cancer that did not respond to traditional chemotherapies or to radiation...and it had spread.

In February 2006, a month before my 42nd birthday I noticed pressure against my bowels – a sense that there was something pressing on my insides that just wouldn’t go away. A visit with the doctor followed up with a simple ultrasound detected a mass, the size of a small orange that appeared to be ‘floating’ in my abdomen. The doctor suggested that it was likely a uterine fibroid – a noncancerous tumour – that had come off my outer uterine wall. I was not excited about this prospect at all.

Fortunately there was a relatively new, targeted chemotherapy that appeared to have some success at keeping this kind of cancer from growing. It was recommended that I start this daily, pill-form chemotherapy immediately. Given the impacts of traditional chemotherapies, the side effects of this targeted chemotherapy were minimal: tiredness, dry skin and hair, muscle cramps. I had resolved to beat this thing so I started the chemo.

I wanted this mass out of my body and opted for a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and the ‘fibroid’ along with it. It was a difficult decision, but I had two teenage children and did not plan on having more so I had no more use for a uterus

Seven weeks after my surgery and two weeks after I started chemotherapy I ran that half marathon I had signed up for months earlier – my time sucked – but I ran committed not to let cancer take over my body. That run, however, was my last half


"WE DO

THIS RIDE BECAUSE WE KNOW

THAT TOGETHER WE CAN WIN THIS BATTLE .” marathon. The muscle cramping that is a side effect of the medication had taken the pleasure out of running. But I wasn’t ready to give up my active lifestyle and let the cancer win — this was my body. I discovered that cycling was not as harsh on my body and in 2010 my husband Dan and I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. This 2-day, 250-km ride from Vancouver to Seattle raised money for cancer research and pushed me physically to remember that I, and others like me, are winning the battle against cancer.

The ride is an amazing experience, and it would not be possible without the support of so many incredible volunteers. The ride support makes all the difference. Knowing that there is a pit stop every 30 km makes the ride manageable, as it gives you small goals you can reach for. Stopping for a rest, a drink or bike repair means that we just need to focus on pedalling. There are hundreds of volunteers on the course ready to help out with getting us meals, keeping us warm, managing blisters and fixing flat tires – our only job is to get to the finish line, which is no easy task.

I was so inspired by the first experience that the next year I invited friends to join me and in 2011 we had a team of 10 riders. We raised over $50,000. Calling ourselves Team Way Hey! Hey! we had a range of cyclists. Some had low fitness levels, others were fit but new to road riding and some were high performance riders. We had a range of fundraising talent as well. Some of the riders just asked everyone they knew to contribute to the cause, others held pub nights or offered to shave their heads if they hit their target and others just wrote personal cheques.

For the past two years that I have participated in the ride, one of the two days has been met with inclement weather. Wind and rain for 125 km on a bicycle is simply unpleasant. Being cold, wet and tired can make it so difficult to keep pedalling. Thinking about survivors helps. Thinking about all those surgeries, treatments and the grief that comes with losing a loved one to cancer is all the motivation we need to keep our feet moving. Our discomfort in the saddle is nothing compared to what others endure as a result of cancer.

We had a team name and a team jersey, but we knew from experience that it would be hard to spot each other in the gaggle of riders during the event so a friend suggested repurposing Christmas tinsel to decorate our helmets. It was a hit with other riders and spectators who readily spotted our teammates and would report that there was a team member ahead or behind us. We met so many people on the road over those two days, all with their own cancer story to tell, either as a survivor, a caregiver, parent, child, sibling, lover, or friend. Everyone we met was touched by cancer.

We do the ride because we know that together we can make a difference. We know that the funds we raise will bring the next generation of cancer treatments. These treatments mean there is life after cancer, much like my treatment has meant to me five years after diagnosis. We do the ride because we know that together we can win this battle.

RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER

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CHALLENGE THE ROADS LESS TRAVELLED If you have ever wanted to ride a GranFondo or challenge yourself with an event like the Ride to Conquer Cancer then this is the bike you have been looking for. The most advanced carbon manufacturing techniques combined with intelligent engineering create a bike the gives you the best of performance and comfort in one bike.

OFFICIAL BIKE & TECH SUPPORT OF:


TECHNOLOGY The VALENCE is an endurance road bike specifically designed for riders looking to test themselves against the miles on something a bit more forgiving than a full-fledged race bike. The refined geometry, for a more comfortable, upright riding position and a strategically compliant ride, makes long rides on the VALENCE an easy undertaking. It’s a perfect combination built for riders to take on a weekend century, GranFondo or fundraising rides like the Ride to Conquer Cancer, all in comfort but without giving up any performance along the way.

Think of it like micro-suspension, smoothing out rough roads for longer rides. ARC allows us to make a bike that is incredibly stiff laterally, for efficient power transfer while remaining compliant to small vertical bumps, smoothing out the ride. With ARC you get all of the performance of a road race bike with a more comfortable ride.

CUSTOM CARBON FORKS Ensuring a more compliant ride, the custom carbon forks absorb road vibrations while providing more stable handling. An increased offset lengthens the wheelbase of the bicycle, making it more predictable. At the same time, the offset also allows the forks to be more compliant, which smooths out the ride so you can keep riding mile after mile.

EPS - ETHYL POLYSTYRENE The 2012 Norco carbon frames use an Ethyl Polystyrene (EPS) mandrel system to produce an incredibly smooth and controlled inner surface at complicated, high-stress areas like the headtube and bottom bracket junctions. This process eliminates the chance of wrinkling in the layup of the carbon fiber in these areas, greatly improving the strength over conventional carbon layup processes.

HTR - HIGH TOUGHNESS RESIN The High Toughness Resin is used in all 2012 Norco carbon frames. HTR increases the impact resistance of the carbon by 20%, making stronger frames that are more resistant to damage. And because less resin is required during the layup process, it decreases the overall weight of the frame.

: MARGUS RIGA


MARGUS RIGA


THE

LONG ROAD TO THE

BIG LEAGUES A Q&A with TEAM H&R BLOCK RIDERS: KRIS THUSS & ADAM DAHL PHOTOS: MARGUS RIGA

E

very rider at some point or another considers the idea of riding a bike for a living, even if it is just a passing daydream. But what does it really take? What are the trade-offs and commitments that you have to make to realize your dream? The H&R Block Road Team is a development team that helps cyclists reach their maximum potential while aiming for the big leagues, so we thought we’d ask two of their riders what it takes to go pro. We got their unique perspective: the young-and-hungry Kris Thuss and the on-the-cusp-of-going-pro Adam Dahl. It isn’t easy being a competitive cyclist, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Here is what they had to say.

1. How did you get into competitive cycling? (Kris Thuss): A couple of buddies and I got into mountain biking in elementary school, finding jumps, building them out of dirt, as a way to be outside and have a good time. That slowly turned into a group of guys getting together and going out for big rides. I got hooked up with a club, and then it was off to the races on the weekend. The local group of guys organized a team at our high school and it continued to grow from there. (Adam Dahl): Ever since I was a kid, I always loved riding my bike. As I got older, I really began getting into recreational mountain biking with my family and friends. I entered the mountain bike racing scene at age 14. After that, my racing progressed and I became passionate about the sport of cycling. I gradually became interested in road racing, and started racing competitively on the road at age 16. From there, I’ve grown to love the sport and have stuck with it for the past four years.

continued on page 12

H&R BLOCK INTERVIEW

11


continued from page 11

2. When did you first decide that you wanted to make a go of cycling professionally? (Thuss): I think it was my first foray into Europe with the National Team as a junior. To be travelling around, racing in and out of small towns – the speed and the challenge really took a hold of me. I think my thought was “yeah, if I could do this as a JOB…!” (Dahl): As a second year junior (U19), I had the opportunity to make several trips to Europe with the Canadian National Team. At this point, I decided I would try my best to progress as far as possible with my sport. I am looking forward to racing at a higher level, and potentially entering the pro ranks in years to come.

3. What is the most difficult part of professional cycling? (Thuss): Cycling, it’s a challenging sport, regardless of what level you compete. It asks the most out of you each moment of each training day, each race. It’s an honest sport; there is no way to sidestep the responsibilities required for excellence in cycling. It’s both the reward and the downfall. Also, the crashes. (Dahl): Since I have not yet made the jump to pro, this question is a hard one to answer. However, from my experiences of racing over the past few years, the most difficult part is missing home, friends and family. After spending several months in Europe as a junior, I was definitely ready to come home.

4. What is the most rewarding aspect? (Thuss): I think for me it’s got a couple of different rewards: to be outside, working towards a very personal and challenging goal. On the good days, it’s incredible. I recently read an article on nature deficit disorder and I thought,”I am incredibly lucky to be involved with something that allows me to be outside and to enjoy it.” To cover ground at what is a sometimes alarming pace, for a long period time under your own power. It’s an indescribable feeling. (Dahl): Achieving something that takes hundreds or even thousands of hours of training is extremely rewarding. It is great to see the training finally pay off with a personal best, contributing to a team victory, or an individual win.

5. How do you deal with the pressure of being an elite athlete? (Thuss): Having too many good coffees and ripping around on townie bikes? Maybe… I’ve found that my coping mechanism is to have a space that isn’t related to sport. For me, it’s been having interests that don’t tie directly to cycling, things that I can develop and discover while on the road. It also helps to have a group of friends that are supportive but not necessarily engaged in cycling. (Dahl): I ride because I have fun doing it, and as long as the fun outweighs the pressure and other negative aspects of the sport, I will continue to compete. Although, I try hard to not get too nervous or stressed in race season.

6. It seems like it can be a difficult road; what keeps or has kept you motivated along the way? (Thuss): Teammates, training partners. Seeing people in events like the Fondo, who are experiencing riding bikes for the first time. Going on rides with vicious opponents (Zack Garland) the day after a bike race (the Fondo) and having one of the coolest rides from Whistler to Vancouver. Going for a ride with Rob Britton and just trying to smash each other through effort and effort alone. (Dahl): Motivation comes from the love of the sport, the physical and mental fitness benefits, and support from friends, family, and especially my parents.

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7. How do programs and teams like H&R Block make a difference for riders? (Thuss): It’s crucial. The organization and support that is offered by H&R Block and its partners is incredible and I wouldn’t be able to compete at this level without it. (Dahl): Team H&R Block has made a huge difference for riders such as myself as they provide a huge level of support. It’s not just the equipment and financial backing they provide (although it’s greatly appreciated); it’s the numerous things I have learned while racing with the team, as well as the experiences I have had with the team that help me to develop as a cyclist.

11. Who are your heroes and why? (Thuss): i. There are some great Canadian athletes that I have had the pleasure of meeting, riding with and getting to know. Trevor Linden is an incredibly poised person, concerned with excellence and athletic endeavors. I’ve looked to him as a role model ever since I spent a week training camp in California with him. ii. I can remember very clearly the moment that Simon Whitfield won the Sydney Olympics. He is also a very well spoken athlete, with an outlook and drive that I admire. (Dahl): Probably Batman because he has no superpowers but is still awesome.

8. What steps do you have to take to really make it to a professional level? (Thuss): It’s a full-time commitment, both mentally and physically. There needs to be an emphasis on hard training, and the same emphasis on proper recovery. For me, I sought out a training group that is of the highest level still in the country, and that was Victoria. To be in an environment where I am challenged, a setting where each person pushes everyone else to the group’s gain. (Dahl): Hard work, perseverance, and a love for the sport.

9. How does being a professional athlete affect your relationships with family and friends?

(Thuss): Ah…good question. I’d like to say that the negatives are outweighed by the positives, but that is yet to be determined. It’s difficult to keep up relationships while skipping across the country, but perhaps I’ve been able to inspire a couple to pick up a sport, or get out and be active. I was raised in a very active household to it’s always been a part of who I am, as well as my family. And as for my friends, I swear my buddies know more about what happens in a race that I am in than I do, at times. A couple of them have purchased bikes and asked for my old kit, and it’s always good fun to get out for a ride with them. It’s the girls. They are the ones that aren’t such fans of the cycling. Ha! (Dahl): While I am not a pro, my level of cycling results in a lot of time away from home. However, I make an effort to not let it greatly affect my family life and friends as their support is a great benefit to my sport. The fact remains that I do not always see them as much as I like, which can be hard to deal with.

10. Was there ever a point where you were ready to throw in the towel, but pushed through? What helped you over the hump? (Thuss): Ah. There are times where the lows catch up with the highs. But it’s not soon after those that you are back on the bike, on a ride thinking, “Wow, how did I find myself here? This is spectacular.” It’s finding the moments that make sense and using those to get through injury and misfortune. (Dahl): Not really, although there are always tough times. Partway through the 2011 season, I developed Achilles tendonitis. I managed to continue racing through the season, although it was challenging to continue racing and training in constant pain. I’m happy to say I have made a full recovery from this injury. Overcoming an obstacle like a serious injury has given me extra motivation to perform in the 2012 season.

“CYCLING IS A CHALLENGING SPORT

... It asks the most out of you each moment of each training day , each race... It’s both the

reward and the downfall.”

12. What advice would you give younger riders that have their eyes on making riding their career? (Thuss): Find a training atmosphere that works for you. For me, it was the group dynamic in Victoria, and get the best out of that. Find senior riders and pick their brains. And challenge yourself. There isn’t much gain in being the biggest fish in a small pond. You are going to be brought to your absolute limits in cycling, might as well seek those out. (Dahl): Go for it and pursue it as best you can. Sometimes it takes many years of hard work to see a real result.

H&R BLOCK INTERVIEW

13


For those who prefer to lead No one enters a race to ride at the back of the pack, which is why we designed the Norco CRR road bikes to be some of the quickest around. Innovative carbon manufacturing and race-tested, proven geometry combine to create a bike that was born and bred to lead the pack.

OFFICIAL BIKE SPONSOR OF:


TECHNOLOGY The CRR range is a group of high-performance race bikes. Proprietary frame design coupled with advanced manufacturing techniques produce a frame that is rigid, efficient and light while still being comfortable for longer rides. Geometry has been refined from years of road racing experience to provide optimal fit and performance in every size. If you are looking for only the best, then this is your series. With features like BB30, tapered head tube and oversized tubing there are few bikes that will get you to the front of the pack quicker than the CRR.

THT TAPERED HEADTUBE A huge step forward in bicycle design, tapered head tubes provide three major benefits: wider headtube junction, stronger fork crown/steertube and optimized headset bearings. Combining these benefits makes the bike more responsive, stiffer and more exciting to ride.

BB30 Stiff and lightweight, the oversized BB30 allows for a very stiff bottom bracket area, key for effective power transfer from the pedals to the rear wheel.

EPS - ETHYL POLYSTYRENE The 2012 Norco carbon frames use an Ethyl Polystyrene (EPS) mandrel system to produce an incredibly smooth and controlled inner surface at complicated, high-stress areas like the headtube and bottom bracket junctions. This process eliminates the chance of wrinkling in the layup of the carbon fiber in these areas, greatly improving the strength over conventional carbon layup processes.

HTR - HIGH TOUGHNESS RESIN The High Toughness Resin is used in all 2012 Norco carbon frames. HTR increases the impact resistance of the carbon by 20%, making stronger frames that are more resistant to damage. And because less resin is required during the layup process, it decreases the overall weight of the

frame.

: MARGUS RIGA


SAVING RACE:

WHY CYCLOCROSS MAY BE THE BEST THING IN CYCLING RIGHT NOW WORDS: CADEYRN CRAIG PHOTOS: MARGUS RIGA

W

hen I first heard about cyclocross, a good ten years ago, it sounded ridiculous. Why wouldn’t they just ride their mountain bikes, I thought, and what’s the deal with getting off the bikes — this is cycling, not running. Acting from instinct, assigning stereotypes to a sport that I had yet to understand, I was committing a horrible crime against cycling. At the time, I didn’t know how wrong I was.

little deeper and you’ll notice that this background is not uncommon. Riders come from almost every sport you can think of — snowboarding, downhill racing and BMX to name a few. They show up on weekends to slosh around in the muck and mire, to ride bikes that are part road, part mountain and a barrel of fun. The courses are diverse and the suffering is deep, but this unique combination is what keeps people coming back. It is attracting families and friends, creating new communities and smashing boundaries.

Apart from being woefully ignorant, I, like so many others, was wrong to judge this sport on superficial appearances — insert “book by its cover” cliché here — because at its soul cyclocross embodies so much of what we as cyclists love about riding our bikes. It takes all the good — mud, speed, friends, competition and, of course, delicious beer — and blends it into a beautiful slurry topped off with the slightly off-kilter mentality of its participants. Cyclocross, as it turns out, is awesome and is enjoying rapid and deserved growth in North America. It is attracting an unlikely, unique group of participants and fans to the events.

When you start to look more closely, it is easy to see the appeal of this sport. The season begins right at the perfect time, when winter is still a few months away and summer has wrapped up. People need something to entertain them — idle hands and all. The locations are accessible and allow you to fit the race into a weekend morning; most riders can go to a race and be back home in time for lunch. Courses are spectator-friendly and allow fans to get close enough to the action that they can smell the mud and see the suffering firsthand — it’s exhilarating. With all of these attractive qualities, one has to ask the question: Why is the sport just starting to get noticed?

Go to a race and you would be surprised at just how diverse the riders are. When most people are first introduced to the concept of cyclocross, they incorrectly assume the riders will be skinny, hairless roadies dotted with the occasional cross-country zealot. They picture the elitist, spandex-clad roadmonger. And although most racers do wear spandex, this initial conjuring would be wrong! The riders of cyclocross come from diverse backgrounds and are, for lack of a more eloquent word, pretty badass. The world champion Zdeněk Štybar started on a BMX and then moved onto mountain and road before finding his place in the world of cyclocross. Look a

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Though to many people cyclocross seems like a new sport, it has been quietly developing a long and distinct history that spans decades. It has its own heroes and legends, challenges and triumphs. However, until recently it remained largely a fringe sport on this side of the pond. The original fanatics were committed, “hardcore” cyclists — the type of cyclists that refuse to put away their bicycle when the weather turned. They’re the type of cyclists that see cycling as a lifestyle rather than just another sport. It was a committed group that got together for the competition, camaraderie and a good excuse to go for a beer afterwards. Weather didn’t matter; it was all a good time.


Somewhere along the way word finally got out. Here was a sport that begged you to let your inner child out and revel in a muddy and brutal 45 minutes to an hour of personal pain and suffering. People started to realize what this sport was all about and they wanted to be a part of it.

I still don’t know why they have to get off their bikes during a ride, but I do know why they don’t ride mountain bikes. The bikes are part of what makes it so much fun. But none of that really matters, because cyclocross is more than just opinions; it’s bigger than you or I.

In the past couple of seasons the popularity of cyclocross has exploded and with that has come technological innovation, advancements in equipment and new challenges. Bigger sponsors and brands have taken notice and started dipping their toes in the waters, eager to not miss out on some of the pie. Bigger races are now pulling good numbers of participants and fans alike, and it’s an attractive and active demographic. Cyclocross-specific components and amazing, lightweight bicycles are being introduced from top brands, making it more accessible and enticing than ever.

Ten-odd years ago I was grievously wrong about cyclocross. It is an amazing mix of all that is good with cycling: the people, the ride and the community. It’s a mad sport, filled with personality and promise, taking riders back to the simple roots of why we all ride: for fun! With that in mind, cyclocross may be the purest expression of cycling left. No one can predict how it will deal with newfound fame, but if I had to place a bet, I’d put my money on the sport — the soul is just too strong to fail.

As interest and participation grow, it is safe to say that diehards are not without skepticism: Will its popularity and the intrusion of commercial interests suck the soul out of the sport? Will it lose the very things that make it so enticing to begin with? Only time will tell if being in the spotlight will dilute the heady cocktail that makes this sport such a draw.

For more information about the H&R Block Squad go to: www.teamhrblock.ca

SAVING RACE

17


CROSS YOUR Using advanced carbon-manufacturing techniques, a tapered headtube and BB30 bottom bracket the Threshold is stiff, lightweight and nimble. Built to win races, it will take you to your limits and beyond. The finish line, after all, is just one more line to cross.

OFFICIAL BIKE SPONSOR OF:


TECHNOLOGY The THRESHOLD is a focused cyclocross race bike; lightweight, strong and responsive. It eats mud for breakfast, grass for lunch and occasionally another competitor for dinner on its quest for the podium. For days when it is not dominating the racecourse the engineers have added a twist and wrapped the race-focused soul in versatile function. The highly technical, featureladen frame also showcases fender mounts, water bottle mounts and replaceable dropouts for either single speed or geared drivetrains, making this the ideal bike for winter training or year-round commuting while ruling the weekend race series. Designed for race performance but versatile enough to tackle any ride, this is the bike that will take you to your THRESHOLD.

ARSENAL DROPOUT SYSTEM A replaceable dropout system that allows you to switch between vertical or horizontal dropouts, letting you choose either single speed or geared setups. We include both sets with each Threshold. The vertical dropouts also feature an integrated derailleur hanger to provide amazingly crisp and accurate shifting in any condition and the horizontal dropouts feature a bottle opener so you can enjoy refreshing beverages.

INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING Running the cables inside the frame protects them from the elements, reducing cable wear and keeping shifting and braking smooth and strong. It also makes the frame appear clean and uncluttered and ensures cables won’t get in the way when you throw your bike over your shoulder.

EPS - ETHYL POLY STYRENE The 2012 Norco carbon frames use an Ethyl Polystyrene (EPS) mandrel system to produce an incredibly smooth and controlled inner surface at complicated, high-stress areas like the headtube and bottom bracket junctions. This process eliminates the chance of wrinkling in the layup of the carbon fiber in these areas, greatly improving the strength over conventional carbon layup processes.

HTR - HIGH TOUGHNESS RESIN The High Toughness Resin is used in all 2012 Norco carbon frames. HTR increases the impact resistance of the carbon by 20%, making stronger frames that are more resistant to damage. And because less resin is required during the layup process, it decreases the overall weight of the frame.

: MARGUS RIGA


LEAVE THE CAR(S) BEHIND The VFR is a high-speed alternative that will outpace the daily grind and put a smile on your face. Fitness, commuting or just for fun, this lightweight line of bikes will fit right in with your fast-paced lifestyle. Find out why you'll love

: CADEYRN CRAIG

at norco.com


VFR Road bike performance with commuter comfort, the VFR is perfect for the sporty fitness/ commuting enthusiast. Great parts specs featuring lightweight wheels and frames for people on the go who don’t have time to slow their pace. Get to school, work and your fitness goals at the speed of bike. This is what the VFR was built for.

INDIE A little bit of urban commuting ninja and a little utilitarian stealth, these 700c bicycles are a commuter’s forte. With fast wheels, strong frames and clean paint, the INDIE is for those people that ride the line between utility and style. Fender and rack mounts, single and multispeed gearing ‌ no matter the destination, weather or rider, go INDIE or go home.

XFR No limitations. The XFR series is for those that find themselves travelling all paths of life: from gravel trails, to paved roads and all that lies in between. 700c wheels, front suspension and multi-tread tires provide a bike that is as versatile as your lifestyle. Built for commuters, recreational cyclists and urban aficionados, the XFR series is loved by all riders that pursue adventure in the journey of life.


Innovations & Key Milestones 1964 – Present

1964

Northern Cycle Industries Ltd. is founded by Bert Lewis in a garage in Burnaby, BC, and begins importing bike parts and assembling bikes in Canada.

1970

1980

Norco forms the first Factory BMX Team to promote and support the line of BMX bicycles. Norco opens a second distribution centre in Toronto, ON to offer better service and delivery to bicycle retailers located throughout eastern Canada.

1968

Norco is the first Canadian bike importer and distribution company to capitalize on the road bike market by importing Gitane road bikes.

This Team goes on to win three Canadian National team titles and numerous individual highlights at a national and international level.

1973

Norco develops and brings the first full suspension BMX bikes to Canada, capitalizing on the rapidly growing North American BMX scene.

1984

1991

Norco introduces the Rampage and becomes the first North American bike company to design a front suspension-specific mountain bike frame.

Norco’s head office moves to a new building in Port Coquitlam, BC.

1994

1997

This new 92,000 sq. ft. facility still acts as both the head office and the western distribution/warehouse centre.

Norco is one of the first Canadian bike companies to design and manufacture mountain bikes for the Canadian marketplace. Norco develops and releases the FTS, the first interrupted seat tube, fully active, full suspension bike in the Canadian market. The FTS is the predecessor to the next generation VPS bikes featuring Horst Link technology.

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1995

Norco signs 17-year-old Ryan Leech to the Norco Factory Team, becoming the first Canadian company to sponsor a trials team and to develop a production trialsspecific frame. Norco develops the monocoque framed variable point suspension (VPS) mountain bike, and becomes a leader in the emerging North Shore freeride scene.


1998

Norco becomes the title sponsor of the Ride Guide TV program. For 10 years Norco supplies team riders, staff and products for episodes being filmed around the world.

2001

2004

2007

Norco celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Norco bike line that started out in 1964 as one or two models of bikes now has more than 125 different bikes in 20 product categories. Norco pioneers the development of and is an industry leader in what was called “SuperCross,” or street/dirt jump bikes.

IMBA Canada opens its doors. Norco signs on as their first corporate supporter.

Over the next few years up to half a dozen models are released in alloy and steel frame versions, helping to grow this new market to what it is today.

2000

2003

Norco signs as the bicycle sponsor for Symmetrics Pro Cycling Team. Ryan Leech breaks the side hop world record, while his teammate, Kris Holm, breaks the world unicycle side hop world record. Norco bicycles are rated the #1 bike line by Canadian dealers during an independent third party survey.

Svein Tuft wins the US Open Cycling Championship aboard a Norco CRR race bike, and the Symmetrics Road Team goes on to win the overall UCI America Tour on Norco bikes. Norco continues DH race efforts and World Team rider Fionn Griffiths continues to podium on a regular basis aboard the Norco Team DH.

2005

Norco’s VPS Six wins Mountain Biking Magazine’s ‘Bike of the Year’ award. The One25 dirt/street series bike wins Mountain Biking Magazine’s ‘Bike of the Year’ award. Norco hosts an industry first when they launch their first VPS-Fest customer appreciation day. These events are held at mountain bike parks all over western Canada over the next five years.

Norco’s VPS Shore receives ‘Best Gear of the Year’ accolades from Explore magazine.

2010

Norco partners as the official bike sponsor with Team H&R Block to launch and promote the completely redesigned CRR line of race bikes.

201 1

Norco releases A.R.T. (Advanced Ride Technology) suspension designs across a wide range of mountain bike platforms. This new optimization of the original FSR 4-bar link is another industry first and is recognized worldwide for its pedaling efficiency and performance. Norco launches the Threshold, an all-new carbon cyclocross bike. This new model goes on to win multiple Provincial Championship titles under Team H&R Block riders.

2012

Norco introduces the Valence, an endurance road bike aimed at GranFondo, Century and “Cause Tour” riders. A.R.T.-equipped bikes become the standard suspension platform across all Norco suspension mountain bikes. Gravity Tune, a size-specific geometry design, is released with the launch of the Aurum World Cup DH race bike. Norco sponsors eight World Cup DH riders to take the new Aurum to the podium.

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NORCO BICYCLES OUR HISTORY For almost as long as Canadians have been riding bikes, Norco has been making them. In 1964, Bert Lewis founded Northern Cycle Industries Ltd. with the dream of creating a western Canadian based bicycle company committed to quality product and outstanding customer service. Since then, Norco has grown from its humble beginnings as a couple of guys in a garage to over 150 employees in two offices across Canada. We now have two major Canadian warehouses in Vancouver and Toronto. From the start, Bert’s vision of Norco was to create a company committed to supporting your community by only selling our bikes through independent bicycle retailers who share our high standards of customer service. This means that each and every Norco bike is professionaly assembled by trained, knowledgeable sales staff who want to keep their customers satisfied, not just the day they make a purchase, but every day they own their bike. The bicycle industry has changed dramatically since 1964. Through each stage of this change, Norco has consistently brought leading edge products to its dealers. Bert still rides and runs to stay fit and healthy; he encourages his staff to do the same.

Norco 2012 Road Brouchure  

Norco 2012 road bicycles brouchure.

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