2022 eMTB SHOOTOUT

2022 NORCO SIGHT VLT C1 REVIEW

Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic
Photos by Dusten Ryen

Designed to blur the lines of enduro, all mountain and trail categories, the Norco Sight VLT eBike is a 160/150mm 29er that our testers have enjoyed beating on. Since the Norco Sight VLT has already been subjected to a thorough long-term review before arriving at our 4th Annual eMTB Shootout, we’re going to keep this Norco Sight CLT C1 review a bit shorter and more focused on the ride impressions and who we think the ideal buyer of this bike might be. If you want to see the longer, full-length written review of the Norco Sight VLT, hit the link here and be sure to watch our full length eBike Shootout video to see what we think are the best eBikes on the market for 2022.

QUICK HITS

• 150mm Horst Link Suspension
• 3 Battery Size Options
• HTA 64
• STA 77.7 (effective)
• REACH 485 (Large)

Price: $6,398 (A2+540Wh) – $10,298(C1+900Wh)
Website: Norco.com

FEATURES

Like many other offerings in our 2022 eBike Shootout, Norco opted to equip their VLT eMTB’s with the Shimano Steps EP8 drive system that delivers 85Nm of torque. They are powered by a removable, integrated battery that must be purchased separately. Norco Bicycles sells all their eMTB batteries separately and are offered in three different options – 540Wh ($899); 720Wh ($1099); or 900Wh ($1,299). By doing this Norco lets the buyer pick the ideal balance of range, price and weight to suit their needs. We settled on the middle ground, 720Wh battery for the eMTB shootout to align it with the other contenders, but we see real merit in having the option to go bigger or smaller to tailor the bike to the ride as there is a 1.5lb difference between each size battery.

Norco Sight VLT C1 Profile Shot - 2022 eMTB Shootout

Like the Norco Range VLT, the Sight VLT C1 and cheaper spec C2 models use a carbon fiber front triangle paired to an aluminum rear end, whereas the A1 and A2 use a slightly heavier full aluminum alloy frame. The Sight VLT sports a 150mm Horst link suspension system and rolls on dual 29” wheels.

The spec on the $10,098 Sight VLT C1 tested features a Fox Factory 36 160mm fork and Float X2 shock; SRAM CODE RSC brakes, and a mix of GX and XO1 for the 12spd drivetrain. DT Swiss E 1700 hybrid wheels are equipped with an ultra grippy Maxxis Assegai MaxxGrip DD front tire and a Maxxis Dissector MaxxTerra DD tire out back. However, for our eMTB Shootout, we had Schwalbe on-board as an official sponsor so that we could equip all category bikes with the same compound, tread pattern and casing tires. Our goal was to eliminate as many variables in performance as possible and for that reason we chose to use Schwalbe’s eBike specific Eddy Current tires. The Sight VLT C1 is dressed with a OneUp dropper post and a selection of parts from Ergon and Deity, tipping the scales at 55.5 lbs.

Norco’s Ride Aligned and size-specific geo helps give riders of all sizes a bike that should fit them well. The Sight VLT borrows the majority of the geometry from its acoustic counterpart, which gives it a stretched-out wheelbase for its category that places the focus on going flat out in fast and loose terrain. It is a long bike, with some of the longest stays and wheelbase numbers in the shootout.

Santa Cruz Bronson V4 CC Rear Triangle
Norco Sight VLT C1 Rear Triangle - 2022 eMTB Shootout
Norco Sight VLT C1 Action - 2022 eMTB Shootout

THE DIRT

From our previous experience, most of Norco’s aggressive mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes favor rough terrain. The Sight VLT’s length and weight mean it is particularly comfortable at speed and while tackling hard, rough trails. Our riders all agree that the Sight VLT rides more like an Enduro category eMTB than many of the lighter, shorter and more playful Trail category eMTBs in our Shootout. Without a doubt the Norco Sight VLT C1 is among the best of 150/160mm ebikes when it comes to tackling rough terrain at speed. Our riders felt composed as the supple suspension worked magic over the trail. Similarly, when it came time to putting in big days in the saddle, the Norco Sight VLT was a regular pick by our testers as the suspension and seat tube angle keep your rear end and back comfy and happy. The seated comfort and supple suspension work great with the EP8 system, which offers plenty of power for big climbs and epic trail exploration days.

Of course, there is a downside to that plush suspension and high-speed stability. Most notably on slower, tighter, technical trails or for riders who love to pop, play, manual and ride mellower flow trails where airtime is plentiful. It’s not that this bike doesn’t jump well, it does just fine, but it just feels heavy and the length requires a lot more effort to pop it up and over stuff. The weight also feels very far forward on the bike, and when combined with the long chainstays, it just makes for a bike that doesn’t change direction very quickly, in the air or on the ground.

Norco Sight VLT C1 Action - 2022 eMTB Shootout

The Wolf’s Last Word

Overall, the Norco Sight VLT C1 is a very capable all around eMTB but it definitely favors rough, fast and chunky trails. It’s also a great candidate for riders who like sitting and spinning big miles and exploring paths or backcountry trails. The suspension platform is ultra-plush, comfortable and handles the biggest and roughest hits with ease. It rides more like an enduro-category bike with how smooth and confident it is on the downhills. If you’re a rider who regularly rides slow, techy trails, or lives for poppy jibs and side hits, the length, weight and planted suspension feel may have you working a bit harder than some other bikes in the category. Check out our full eMTB shootout to learn more about the other bikes we put to the test.

Price: $10,098 (C1 + 720Wh tested)
Weight: 55.5 lbs
Website:
Norco.com

VISIT NORCO TO GET YOURS!

NORCO SIGHT VLT C1 SPEC:

CHASSIS
Frame: Carbon Front Triangle and Seatstay, Aluminum Chainstay; 150mm
Fork: Fox 36 29 Factory Kashima | 160mm | Grip 2 | E-Rated
Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory Kashima | 210x55mm

ELECTRONICS
Motor: Shimano Steps EP8 | 250 W, 85 Nm
Battery: Integrated, Removable | 540-900Wh
Display: Shimano Steps

COCKPIT
Brakes:
SRAM Code RSC, 220F/200R Centerline rotors
Handlebar: Deity Skywire Carbon 35mm| 800mm| 25mm Rise
Stem: CNC Aluminum 35mm | 40mm Length
Headset: FSA No.55R-1
Seatpost: OneUp Dropper | 120mm (S), 150mm (M), 170mm (L), 210mm (XL)
Saddle: Ergon SM-10 E-Mountain Sport

WHEELS
Hubs:
DT Swiss 350H
Rims: DT Swiss E1700 Hybrid E-Rated, 30mm
Front tire: Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ 3C MaxxGrip/DD/TR/WT 29″ x 2.5″
Rear tire:  Maxxis Dissector 2.4″ 3C MaxxTerra/DD/TR/WT, 29″ x 2.4″

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: SRAM XG 1275; 10-52T
Cranks: Shimano FC-M8150 E-MTB, 34T, 165mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle; 12s
Derailleur: SRAM XO1 Eagle; 12s

Norco Sight VLT C1 - 2022 eMTB Shootout

We Dig

Impressively capable on downhills
Buttery plush suspension
Stable and confident
All-day comfort

We Don’t

Long and heavy
Front end feels heavy
Not the best for lively, playful riders

OUR 2022 eMTB SHOOTOUT WAS MADE POSSIBLE
THANKS TO THESE GREAT SPONSORS:

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