Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout




Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Norco’s newly updated Range VLT is one of the most aggressive eMTBs to hit the market yet, with a big and burly frame and high-pivot suspension design. We were intrigued if this downhill focus would come with significant drawbacks to its general trail manners and climbing performance, so were excited to have it in the mix amongst the 14 eMTBs in this year’s Shootout.

2024 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Norco Range VLT C1 was one of 14 eBikes that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen and to Howler Bike Park for hosting us for our testing.


• 170mm VPS HP Suspension
• Mixed 29”F/27.5”R Wheels
• Bosch CX Gen4 Motor
• 750Wh EnergyPak Battery

Price: $6,999 – $8,999

Frame: Carbon Front Triangle, Alloy CS+SS | 170mm
Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | 180mm
Shock: RockShox Vivid Select+

Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4 | 85Nm | 600W Peak
Battery: Bosch Powertube | 750Wh
Display: Bosch LED Hub

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC | 220mm F / 200mm R Rotors
Handlebar: Butted 6061 Alloy 35mm
Stem: 6061 Alloy 35mm
Seatpost: Trans-X Rad+
Saddle: SDG Bel Air V3 Lux Alloy

Hubs: Crank Brothers Synthesis E-Bike
Rims: Crank Brothers Synthesis E-Bike
Front Tire: Continental Kryptotal F 29×2.4” | Enduro
Rear Tire: Continental Kryptotal 29×2.4” | Enduro

Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle T-Type | 10-52t | 12spd
Cranks: e*thirteen e*spec Plus | 165mm
Shifter: SRAM AXS POD | 12spd
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle T-Type | 12spd


  • Rough Terrain Eater

  • Devours Big Hits

  • Comfortable, Grippy Climber


  • Not A Playful Bike


FRAME AND FEATURES | Norco’s updated Range VLT is designed to eat up rough and rowdy terrain, while providing a comfortable climbing position with plentiful battery life to get you back up the hill with the power of the Bosch drive unit. Offered in both carbon (tested) and alloy front triangles with alloy rear ends, this 170mm VPS HP (Virtual Pivot System, High Pivot) frame runs on mixed wheels (29” F / 27.5” R). Leading the charge is a 180mm fork.

The Range VLT’s High Pivot suspension demands the use of an idler pulley to ensure optimal suspension performance. Norco opted to license the I-Track patent to give them the ability to move the pulley to what they considered the optimal location, thereby obtain the suspension characteristics they desired. The large 18T pulley is surrounded by a chain guide to keep the chain running smooth and secure.

Other features include internal cable routing through the headtube but not the headset. There’s room for a large water bottle in the front triangle. Generous protection is added to the down tube and chainstays. Finally, the larger 34.9mm seat post diameter is used to better match the burly frame aesthetics and provide a stiffer dropper post.

Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | One of the seven Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4-equipped bikes on test, the Norco Range VLT is the first high-pivot execution of this system we’ve seen hit the market. Delivering 85Nm Torque and 600W Peak Power, the Bosch system has been our benchmark for a couple of years. Norco opted to spec Bosch’s 750Wh PowerTube battery, which can be removed by unbolting the motor cover thanks to Norco’s decision to rotate the motor slightly.

The Bosch Smart System receives an Integrated LED Display nestled in the top tube, which displays battery life in 10% increments and displays the mode selected (out of ECO, TOUR+, EMTB or TURBO) with different colors. The Wireless Mini Remote sits on the bars to allow for the modes to be changed and the Walk mode to be used. Bosch’s eBike Flow App lets the user update software; troubleshoot any issues, and tune the ride modes to their preferences.

GEOMETRY | The Norco Range VLT is given a very purposeful and aggressive geometry package to provide confidence on rough and gnarly descents. The Reach figures on SZ3 and SZ4 sit equidistant from our ideal numbers, which may present a difficult decision for selecting the frame size for some riders.

2024 eMTB Shootout Bike Geometry

BUILD SPECS | Norco is currently offering the new Range VLT in a choice of three build specs, from the alloy-framed A1 at $6,999 to the top-spec carbon frame-equipped C1 we tested at $8,999. The C1 build is not quite decked out in the absolute best of the best, but features a smartly selected build that puts the performance in the areas that matter, and the result was a build kit that our crew enjoyed.

The suspension package is by RockShox, with their 180mm ZEB Ultimate E-MTB rated fork and a Vivid Select+ rear shock. SRAM provides a GX Eagle AXS T-Type drivetrain with an e*thirteen e*plus 165mm alloy crank. Braking is handled by the SRAM Code RSC brakes with a 220mm front and 200mm rear rotor setup.

Finishing kit is handled by a non-branded 35mm Alloy bar and stem, and a TransX Rad+ dropper seatpost in generous lengths topped by a SDG Bel Air V3 saddle.

Rounding out the specs is an alloy Crank Brothers Synthesis E-Bike wheelset, which is wrapped in a Continental Kryptotal Enduro tire pairing as standard. These tires were swapped out for a set of 2.4” wide Schwalbe Magic Marys in Super Gravity casing and Addix Soft rubber, as with all of the bikes in this year’s eMTB Shootout. These control tires gave us a dependable tire spec to allow for easier comparisons between eBikes in this group test.

With these Schwalbe control tires fitted, our SZ3 Norco Range VLT C1 weighed a decidedly burly 57.9lbs (26.3kg).

Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout


SETUP | We opted to test the Norco Range VLT in SZ3, with a slightly shorter Reach than the ideal 475mm-480mm zone for our 5’10” to 6’2” test crew. This was preferable to going up to the 492.5mm Reach of the SZ4. We assumed the aggressive and burly design of the Range VLT would allow us to deal with this shorter Reach and retain some more agility for tighter sections of trail, and it turned out to be a good choice.

Norco’s Ride Aligned online guide let us get the Range VLT set up for the shorter riders in our test crew, though it recommended a SZ4 for the riders over 6 feet and would not give setup for the SZ3 for Sean and Robert as a result. The ballpark numbers that the Ride Aligned calculator put out were very close to what the crew settled on, and with sliding bars to change many elements of preference, it’s likely the best tool of its kind in the industry.

Once suspension setup was dialed in, there were few complaints with the Range VLT C1’s spec and componentry. Our crew would have appreciated a 200mm dropper post, but the 170mm unit proved to be tolerable.

Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

ELECTRONICS AND INTEGRATION | Norco’s integration of the Bosch Smart System is excellent, with the rotated motor neatly integrated into the carbon frame. The motor cover is well executed and appears suitably burly. At no point during testing were any of the crew forced to think about the high pivot system when climbing, as it went about its business quietly, which can’t be said for the other high pivot in the Rocky Mountain.

The Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4 drive unit is still an excellent offering, with plenty of grunt, reasonable energy management and fairly quiet operation. The Norco frame helped to keep the motor a little more quiet – we’re assuming this burly frame has a lot of carbon fiber surrounding the motor mounts. The 750Wh battery offered excellent range, letting us cover serious ground without running out of juice.

As with all of the bikes in this eMTB Shootout, we turned the dials all the way up on the TURBO mode of the Bosch Smart System using their eBike Flow app. This app is a pleasure to use, and let us unleash the full power of the Bosch motor to obtain a level playing field between bikes.

Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

CLIMBING | The SZ3 frame had the shortest reach in this group test, and so with a fairly upright seat tube angle and fairly high front end, the seated position was fairly upright. Even so, with the saddle in the center of the rails our crew was comfortable pedaling the Norco Range VLT for extended periods. This upright position doesn’t give particularly racey or efficient notions going up, but leaves the body in a comfortable position, and the Bosch drive unit does its job just as well.

As mentioned, the idler pulley on the Norco Range VLT led to no complaints with noise or perceivable drag. Norco has done an excellent job with this, though we’re yet to put a year’s worth of miles into the Range just yet so we’re interested to see how idler and bearing life fares.

The VPS HP suspension wasn’t nearly as soft and wallowy as one might expect from a machine that looks so gravity-focused. The kinematics that Norco have achieved with use of the I-Track-enabled idler pulley make for a well balanced climbing feel, and the rearward axle path feels to help mute some of the square edges on the way up. All of our crew agreed that while the Range VLT may not be the absolute fastest feeling bike uphill due to its high weight and plush suspension, it was comfortable and delivered plenty of traction without being hard to manage.

Norco Range VLT C1 eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DESCENDING | The Norco Range VLT was a stand out performer on the descents in this year’s eMTB Shootout. It rivaled the Pole Sonni in its ability to truck through the roughest terrain, but offered a little more feedback and agility. The high pivot suspension has been delivered without the drawbacks of an ultra-high pivot design coming into mind, and just helps to keep the momentum of the bike moving forwards when pushing hard through the chunkiest terrain.

The Range VLT is a confidence-inspiring descender, taking big hits in its stride and rarely feeling phased. That said, as a heavy and long-travel eMTB, it’s not the most fun bike on trails with less gradient, and wouldn’t be our choice for anything but the gnarliest of bike park runs or natural rough descents. If you’re looking to self-shuttle some serious chunk though, it’s a bike that all of our crew can wholeheartedly recommend.

The build kit that Norco put together for the Range VLT C1 gave us very little to complain about, with highly adjustable suspension and solid spec throughout. Aside from a longer dropper post, and perhaps a brake swap-out to suit some of our crew’s preferences, we’d most definitely run it as it came, and run it into the ground.

FINISH AND VALUE | Norco’s carbon-frames Range VLT C1 is not a particularly flashy looking bike, with a fairly subdued dark purple paint job and no shiny coatings or carbon components to be seen. At $8,999, the price is getting towards the upper echelons, but in terms of performance and apparent quality on trail, it holds its ground. We can’t say that it’s a steal, but the money seems about right for the reward when you’re riding it.

We had an issue with an early batch of frame hardware on just the second ride, but following the replacement for the hardware that customer’s bikes will ship with, we’ve sustained no further issues. The Range VLT ran quietly and stayed put together well, requiring no more maintenance than any of the other bikes on test.

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Norco Range VLT was enjoyed by the whole crew in terrain that warranted it. With a dialed build kit and insane capability for the rough and rowdy descents, this is a killer machine for the right rider and terrain.


Riders looking for a self-shuttle downhill rig or an eBike that’ll help to tame the roughest and gnarliest terrain. 

Price: $8,999
Weight: 57.9lbs (26.3kg)


Without their support, we would not be able to make this series possible.


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.