One of the jokes around mountain bikes is that everything is a compromise, you want a light bike? Better cough up the cash. You want a bike that pedals well and doesn't bob? You better not like going down hill. You want a bike that eats up the chunder and lets you get totally pitted bro? Well get ready because it's going to pedal worse then a recumbent going up hill. Finding the bike that ticks all the categories is the unicorn of the cycling industry, everybody says that they have one but more often then not that unicorn is actually just a donkey with a broken broom stick taped to it's head. I'm not going to say that Norco has done the impossible here, but at the very least they have made the best effort, creating a stallion with a golden crown, easily mistaken from a distance and none the less fun to ride. The Norco Sight A7.1 is fantastically designed bike, utilizing Norco's A.R.T iteration of the Horst Link to create a bob free pedal platform that will carry you up the steepest climbs with ease with out limiting the bikes ability to take the small hits and maintain traction on the trails. As you push through the travel the Sight shows it playful prowess with a steep ramp up that enables even the modest rider to jump past their ability levels.
An aluminum frame and a ridiculous exchange rate allow this bike to run a componentry spec that is leagues out of its price range. With a RockShox Pike that is worth almost 1/3 of the cost of the whole bike as well as other big mountain necessities like a Reverb dropper post, Sram 11 speed GX drive train and handlebars wide enough to peel the bark off trees, the Sight is ticking the box's for price, climbing ability, and descent capabilities. So what does that leave? Weight. You'd think that this is where the Sight would fall off with an aluminum frame, but the reality is that while the carbon is lighter, this top-o-the line spec list ensures that despite the alloy frame the Sight A7.1 comes in a fighting weight of only 31.5lbs with pedals. OK so thats not XC light, but I didn't say this was a unicorn either. For $3325 I'd take this crowned stallion any day.