Anyone who rides bikes knows that, to stay at the front of the pack, you gotta pin it. Learn more about the new Norco VLT series eMTBs.
We were full-gas out of the gate two years ago with our award-winning Norco Gen 1 Sight VLT. Since then, E-MTB technology has leaped forward and our perspective on what makes an E-MTB great has really evolved.
In fact, the tech is progressing at a rate that cycling hasn’t seen in decades, which is helping raise market expectations really quickly.
To stay ahead, we’re continually researching the future of electric mountain biking and evolving the VLT lineup to lead the charge in the electric era. That’s how we ensure that every Norco VLT mountain bike provides state of the art E-MTB technology with our signature Norco ride.
WHAT INSPIRED THE NEW DESIGN?
The new VLT series is engineered around a removable proprietary Shimano- approved battery that’s available in three different capacities: 540Wh, 720Wh, or 900Wh.
We re-designed the VLT E-MTB lineup specifically so the new battery could be slid in and out of the bottom of the downtube quickly and easily for off-bike charging and easy swaps. They’re constructed with state-of-the art, future- proof 21700 cells, which provide greater energy density than our previous batteries.
We were also focused on seamlessly integrating Shimano’s new EP8 motor for its increased torque, light weight and efficiency.
To make the battery removable without compromising the integrity of the downtube, we rotated the front of the EP8 motor up. The rotated mount also provided additional ground clearance, drastically reducing the likelihood of impact damage.
The re-positioned motor allowed us to rethink the suspension layout and kinematics from previous VLT rocker-style designs, resulting in the updated horizontal shock configuration, while further optimizing suspension kinematics. This new configuration also creates clearance for 2 water bottle mounts on the two largest frame sizes of Sight VLT and Range VLT – the best water capacity of any VLT E-MTB to date.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS DESIGN DECISIONS
WHAT IS THE RELATIVE DIFFERENCE IN RANGE BETWEEN THE 540WH, 720WH AND 900WH BATTERIES?
We test our batteries in real-world conditions to determine potential range per charge. It’s an ongoing process that we insist on to improve our designs and determine what kind of variables effect range.
For example, we rode laps at one of our favourite proving grounds aboard a Sight VLT until the fully-charged battery was totally depleted.
NOT a laboratory setting – Real rider, real trail, real results.
Set on the Eco mode, he was able to cover 2100m of elevation over 38km before that battery was empty.
*Let’s be clear: this was a demanding BC ride, under a fit, accomplished rider who can dish out upwards of 300W of power over a sustained period. As with all the battery-powered stuff we have in our lives these days, individual results will vary depending on number of variables.
WHAT VARIABLES WILL AFFECT MY BATTERY RANGE?
1. Battery capacity 2. Assist mode selected 3. Bike + Rider + Battery system mass 4. Rider output 5. Riding conditions 6. Amount of climbing/elevation change 7. Ambient temperature And SO many others…
Thanks to the 380g weight savings from the Shimano EP8 motor, the 540Wh and 720Wh batteries allow for a lighter overall package than previous VLT generations.
Additionally, the 900Wh battery provides the largest battery capacity in the industry without the need for a Range Extender battery pack – and it is almost 2000g lighter than a Range Extender-equipped Gen 2 model – leaving room for a full-size water bottle (or two on L and XL Sight VLT and Range VLT!) in your water bottle cage.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN COST BETWEEN THE THREE BATTERIES?
Batteries are sold separately to give riders the opportunity to choose.
ARE THE NEW BATTERIES AND DRIVE UNITS BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE TO PREVIOUS GENERATION VLT E-MTBS?
No. The new platforms use dedicated systems. They cannot be used with previous generation VLT models.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS BATTERIES
WHAT SPECIFIC COMPONENTS ON VLT E-MTB’S ARE OPTIMIZED FOR USE WITH E-BIKES, AND WHAT DIFFERENCE DO THEY MAKE?
E-MTB-certified suspension forks provide additional strength and stiffness to manage the added stresses of E-MTB.
Strong, stiff re-enforced rims for added support and durability.
Tires with sticky rubber compound provide the grip you need to power through challenging terrain.
Robust, supportive tire sidewalls help manage the added mass and forces encountered in E-MTB and allow you to ride with greater confidence and control.
Reinforced freehub bodies provide added strength and durability to deal with the added torque and power output from the drive unit.
Reinforced spokes to help support the added mass of the E-MTB’s, in addition to helping cope with the added drivetrain forces of the electric assist.
E-MTB saddles provide added forward support for the accelerations and power output of E-MTB, in addition to helping during technical climbing – where E-MTB’s really shine.
E-MTB certified hydraulic disc brakes with 4-piston calipers and oversized rotors for reliable speed management, control and heat dissipation through rough terrain.
SRAM drivetrains utilize the E-optimized single-click shifters to assure precise shifts while minimizing lateral loads associated with multi-gear shifts that get accentuated with and e-assist.
THE GEN 3 VLT E-MTB’S FEATURE:
+ Shimano EP8 drive systems. + Custom battery capacity choice. + Proprietary batteries featuring 21700 lithium ion cells. + IP67 waterproof Rosenberger charge ports. + Integrated speed sensor mount with rotor-mounted magnet. + Custom-offset shock mounts to optimize clearance for piggyback shocks and water bottles on Range VLT & Sight VLT. + Super-taper head tubes with 1.8”/1.125” tapered steerer forks. + Highest available maximum single-battery capacity of any available E-MTB. + The rider’s ability to determine their optimum intended use, frame material, battery capacity and component package without sacrificing drive system power or performance potential. + The Ride AlignedTM Design System, including the Ride AlignedTM Setup Guide.
WHAT KEY FEATURES POSITION ALL VLT E-MTB’S ON TOP OF THE E-MTB MARKET?
+ Every VLT Electric Mountain Bike features: + The best available E-MTB drive system technology. + E-MTB certified suspension forks and E-optimized components. + Tires selected to provide the optimum grip and sidewall support for each model’s intended use. + Short, straight seat tubes to maximize standover clearance with long-travel dropper posts.
The unique character that we build into every Norco, creating the perfect E–MTB for the mountains and backwoods of British Columbia.