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Details about  Norco Fazer 2 X-Country - Dual Suspension Mountain Bike SRP$3749

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Norco Fazer 2 X-Country - Dual Suspension Mountain Bike SRP$3749
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21 Jul, 2014 20:04:07 AEST
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AU $1,845.00
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Item location:
Lake Illawarra South, New South Wales, Australia


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TASMANIA $350 and other states please ask for a quote.

Norco Fazer 2 X-Country - Dual Suspension Mountain Bike SRP$3749

  • Colour - Red/White
  • Size - Large
  • Light and efficient pedalling bikes built for cross country racing and epic XC trails.
  • Please ask for PDF for full specifications


Please Note:This item is boxed


Text Box: mba 72 Text Box: mba 73 trail





exactly what our large framed test bike

weighed, so the figure on the top model probably stands true and correct—that's both impressive (in terms of being light)

and admirable to see some honesty in their claimed bike weights.

While Norco appears to have assem-

bled a pretty respectable selection of

components to support the new Phaser platform, it's pretty clear that most of

their efforts have gone into the frame; the best way to do it as it's the frame that re- ally sets one bike apart from another—it quite literally defines the ride.

Much of the healthy bike weight is

tied to the frame and fork package. The RockShox SID is a premium race quality

unit and trims a good number of grams

from the Recon/Reba spec that you often

s e e i n t h i s p r i c e a r e a . Wi t h a h i s t o r y

weighted heavily by their freeride/DH

heritage, it almost came as a surprise that they could build a lightweight suspension

frame; yet once stripped back, the large Phaser frame came in at 2,538g—pretty

respectable for an alloy 100mm travel frame that won't break the bank.

The Phaser is a new design from the ground up and resembles nothing that




Norco has produced before. Visually

it shares more design cues with other

new 2011 models like the 160mm travel

'Range' than any of their prior XC de-

signs. Rather than using a tapered steerer

up front, Norco has a specially formed head tube that bulges out towards the

bottom, offering more weld area for

the vital down tube/head tube junction.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal (which may or may not work for you), the curved top

and down tubes provide a ton of stand- over clearance while still offering plenty

of room for a full size bottle on most frame sizes.

At the back end you get a direct post-

style calliper mount, saving a little weight

and providing a sturdy mounting point for rear brake. The bottom bracket and

swing arm pivot are formed from a single chunk of alloy to maintain both strength and alignment. Additional weight savings

are achieved through copious amounts

of machining on everything from the

rear wheel drop-outs to the suspension mounting hard points.

Interestingly, Norco has chosen to use

Norglide composite bearings for the

suspension pivots. These bushing style











































norco Phaser 2










































1. a relatively narrow flat handlebar

clearly signals the Phaser's intentions; its set up as hard nosed XC racer.


orco has a long, proud and dis-

tinguished history in mountain

biking, forged in some of the

most testing terrain on the planet;

British Columbia's steep, muddy,

that sits squarely in the ultra-competitive

$3,000 to $4,000 price bracket. A lustrous candy red/gloss white paintjob with colour-

coded components and a name-brand

wheel-and-tyre combo also sets the Phaser

shock, a nine-speed Deore drivechain (with

an SLX derailleur) and Elixir 3 disc brakes.

At the opposite end of the scale you have the Phaser 1. For $4,499 you get a race ready wheelset with Stan's ZTR

2. While it still relies on a straight

1 1/8 steerer, the head tube bulges

out to provide more 'meat' at the down tube junction.


3. The main swing arm pivot is the

wet, treacherous trails. Long regarded lo-

cally as a vendor of huck'em high freeride or good value downhill race machines, the new-for-2011 Phaser is out-and-out turn- key XC racer.

With 100mm of RockShox air-sprung

travel front and rear, a functional Shimano

SLX component mix, all fleshed out with

lightweight ancillaries, the Phaser 2 is a light, sharp-looking, well-equipped bike

apart from the increasingly crowded light-

weight dually pack.

Phaser arsenal

The $3,749 test bike is one of three

Phaser models. For bang on a grand less, you get the same all-new frame platform with a no-frills component selection. The entry-level Phaser 3 comes with a Recon

TK Gold fork, cheaper RockShox Ario

Olympic rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs built

with light but reliable DT Super Comp triple butted stainless steel spokes. This is backed up by XT running gear (with an upgraded XTR rear mech) and Elixir R Carbon brakes. According to Norco it

should hit the scales at 10.52kg, which is impressive for an alloy dually at well

under five grand. Norco's claimed weight

for the Phaser 2 is 11.2kg, and that's







only spot where you'll find traditional

cartridge bearing in the arT suspen- sion system. also note the one-piece bottom bracket/swing arm mount.


4. The sID rlT is a top spec and a

perfect match for the Phaserit's light, relatively stiff and the Motion

Control damper offers good pedalling efficiency.

Text Box: mba 74 Text Box: mba 75 trail






pivots are found throughout the rear end

and only the main swingarm pivot uses

standard ball bearings. Despite what

many may assume, this was not a simple





What the hell is chain growth? It's when

the distance between the cranks and the

rear wheel axle gets longer as the suspen- sion compresses. Most suspension designs




It accelerates

cost cutting measure, rather a carefully

considered choice, as these composite

bearings save quite a bit of weight and

are designed specifically for pivoting ap-

plications. Industrial ball bearings may

be great in your hubs where they are

have some chain growth and 'some'

chain growth can be a really good thing. It results from a more rearward arching axle path, which tends to better absorb square edge bumps. Furthermore, hard

pedalling will make the chain pull back on

briskly and holds its

speed like a rabbit

constantly spinning, but most suspension

pivots bear fairly hefty loads while only rotating through a few degrees of move- ment. Composite bearings cope well with

the swing arm, restraining the suspension

movement and reducing the amount of

pedalling bob. As with anything, you can

have too much of a good thing, and too

in front of a hungry

greyhound... "

these forces and the Norglide material

promises good durability—purely specu-

lation of course, as a month of riding

isn't really going to test their longevity.

In the worst case, if durability ever

proves to be an issue, the local distribu-

tor will be stocking the appropriate spare

parts; and let's face it, everything wears out eventually. In my eyes the main de-

much chain growth can do nasty things to

your pedalling rhythm when riding over

lumpy terrain—especially when you are in the smallest chainring.

So, has Norco done a bad thing by

adding more chain growth to their new-

est frame designs? I'd say not. Looking

at their own figures (as presented on the

Norco website), the chain growth used to



WarP FaCTor 10

Much of the Phaser's character is deter-





race oriented as a 2x10 set-up but the

Shimano Dyna-Sys drivechain is a bril-




8. a cool looking machined bridge


tracting factor is that you'll need special-

ist parts, as opposed to the universally available cartridge bearings.

s u s P e n s I o n a rT ?

The Phaser also shares Norco's new 'Ad-

vanced Ride Technology' or ART suspen-

sion system with a number of their new

2011 frame designs. While it is still based around the patented Specialized FSR link

(or Horst link), locating the rear pivots

on the chainstays, the rearmost pivot has

been moved down and forward. This is

said to introduce 30% more chain growth.





5. at 440g apiece, the 2.1 schwalbe

be around 7mm over 100mm of travel.

That is a very low chain growth figure—

somewhere between 12-18mm of chain growth would be far more mainstream.

Based on their 30% figure we should now be looking at 9mm of chain growth, which

is not really a massive change. They have effectively 'normalised' the chain growth, bringing it more in line with what the rest

of the MTB world is doing. Is it better

than before? Well yes, it should make for

more efficient pedalling with better square edge bump performance, but it's certainly not an earth shattering evolution in MTB suspension technology.

Once dirty, the Norco truly feels like a well-sorted and efficient XC racer—noth-

i n g m o r e n o t h i n g l e s s . Wi t h t h e s t o c k RockShox Monarch shock, the ride is

more sports car firm than trail ride plush.

mined by the parts spec. The narrow flat

bars, 100mm stem, 440g tyres and paper- thin inner tubes all place it in cross-coun-

try race guise. It is quick, of that there is

no doubt. On sweeping, gravely double track, it accelerates briskly and holds its

speed like a rabbit in front of a hungry

greyhound, its impressively rigid bottom bracket area always urging the bike for- ward, not sideways. The low-ish 325mm bottom bracket height means the cranks

can cop a hiding but also adds a good

deal of stability to the bike at speed.

In more challenging XC terrain the

bike comes across as being a touch nerv-

ous. Much of this comes back to the narrow race focused flat bars and the tyre selection. While the impressively

light Schwalbe Rocket Ron's are listed

as a 2.1, the casing only measures 49mm

liant do-all group in my eyes. You could

always ask the shop to do a pre-purchase swap out if your leg strength/riding area

is better suited to a double ring set-up.

If speed and efficiency is your thing, you can never say enough good things

about a decently light wheelset. The Sun

Ringle rim/hub combination certainly delivered for me; okay, the freehub is

a bit noisy and brash but it engages

promptly which is a bonus in technical

riding situations. Average-to-large riders will probably notice a bit of flex but real XC whippets will love them—if only they

were tubeless ready like the No Tubes rims on the Phaser 1.

seT To sTun

While they haven't reinvented the wheel

with their new ART suspension package,

ties the seat stays together to boost

rear end stiffness.


9. The direct mounting point provides

a solid base for the rear brake cal- liperalso note the tidy finish.





















rocket ron tyres are ridiculously

light but on the narrow side for their designated width.


6. Most suspension pivots rely on

norglide ceramic bushings. They

weigh just 10% of an equivalent car- tridge bearing.


7. Everywhere you look, excess ma-

terial has been machined away from the Phaser.



















There is no noticeable pedal kickback

from the ART suspension on technical granny gear climbs and minimal pedal- ling bob; although I feel this probably

has more to do with the damping on the

rear shock rather than the designed in chain growth. Getting the most out of

the rear shock required a bit of fiddling; a few psi either way or a click too much

rebound and it could feel mushy and

unresponsive, or harsh and unforgiving.

Once in its sweet spot, though, it behaved perfectly well.


















across—that's more like a 1.9-inch width

in my books and not a lot of air volume.

The pesky cork/foam grips don't help

either; yes, I know they're light, but these things wouldn't stay put on a gentle ride with my nine-year-old son, let alone on a day or two at Stromlo Forest Park.

Fitting a wider bar with some slightly wider XC rubber allowed the bike's true

handling characteristics to shine through.

These simple changes transformed the

Norco into the bike I envisaged it to be,

given its Canadian origins. The once-

twitchy front end that stalled in techni-

cal terrain disappeared, replaced with a steering that was only marginally let

down by a bit of give in the lightweight Sun wheels and quick release front end.

The XC style 100mm stem, combined

with an upright 73.5-degree seat tube and

a zero-offset post could easily present an

overly forward weighted riding posi-

tion—real over the bars material. Howev- er, ample wheelbase length and a sensible head angle (Norco claims 71-degrees but

ours measured closer to 70) makes the Norco a stable and able descender. The effective top tube length was also rela- tively long (620mm), ensuring that you

have plenty of breathing space and never feel cramped on the Phaser.

Beyond the aforementioned tyres/tubes

and handlebars, the bulk of the compo-

nents on this mid-range model performed without fault. It may not be as trendy or

they have succeeded in producing a fast,

efficient, light and entirely race worthy bike, and done so at a competitive price point. 'Stable and relaxed' is the phrase

that kept popping into my head when

trying to sum up the ride; Norco's Phaser

2 has very few vices out of the box, and swapping the handlebars for something wider adds a good deal of versatility to

the ride. It can be an out-and-out racer if

you wish, or with a few tweaks, a fast trail

bike for carving buff local trails. A new phase that's set to lift Norco's profile in

the XC arena? I'd say so¼



article by Tim robson

Photography by John hardwick





Thumbs up

Lightweight & damn good


Good stability for an XC racer

Competitively priced

Thumbs Down

Wheels flexy under bigger riders

Monarch shock a tad harsh

Twisty cork/foam 'throttle grips'







Shif ters

Front Derailleur Rear Derailleur

Casset te



Bot tom Bracket

Pedals Brakes

Rims Hubs




Seat Post




Available Sizes



D i st r i b u t o r

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