Canadian brand Norco is well known amongst mountain bikers but they’re still pretty much unknown in the eMTB scene and have only recently entered the market. The Norco Range VLT C1 is their first, long-travel eMTB. Will the debut be a success?

Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.

Norco Range VLT C1 | Shimano STEPS E8000/630 Wh | 180/170 mm (f/r) | 23.74 kg (size L) | € 7,999 | manfacturer website

Norco have overhauled their entire product range for 2020 and whilst doing so have carried over their stylish, clean new design and progressive geometry over to the new € 7,999 VLT C1 Range as well. The carbon frame fits Shimano’s STEPS E8000 motor, which draws its power from an internal 630 Wh battery. For increased battery capacity, you can buy the optional 360 Wh range extender battery for € 499 and mount it on the down tube.

Components, weight and technical details of the Norco Range VLT C1

With its 180/170 mm RockShox suspension consisting of a Lyrik fork and Super Deluxe coil shock, the Range VLT makes no secret of its bias toward fast descents. To match the suspension, Norco have coloured the frame decals the same BoXXer-red. Sadly, Norco seems to have been less concerned with the frame’s cable ports or the chainstay protector: the cables aren’t securely clamped and there’s nothing to stop the chain from damaging paint on the chainstay. With the exception of the 27.5″ tires, the components on the Norco Range VLT are of the highest quality and well suited for their purpose. However, while the 2.5″ wide MAXXIS ASSEGAI tires on the front and rear come with different rubber compounds, Norco have put the harder compound up front: we’ll get to what that translates to on the trail later.

For the steepest climbs
The seat tube angle of the Norco Range VLT is super steep, which pays off on the climbs. Thanks to the long dropper post, the saddle doesn’t get in the way when you descend either.
The other way round
The robust Doubledown casing of the MAXXIS ASSEGAI on the rear is commendable. However, the extra soft rubber compound slows the Norco down on the climbs and might make more sense up front.
Razor sharp
The brake rotor comes dangerously close to the carbon calliper mount. Riding hard through berms, the rear triangle flexes and the rotor occasionally rubs against the frame.

Norco Range VLT C1

€ 7,999


Motor Shimano STEPS E8000 70Nm
Battery In-Tube Battery 630Wh
Display Shimano STEPS E8000
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 180 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH 170 mm
Seatpost BikeYoke REVIVE 160 – 185 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem Norco 35 50 mm
Handlebar Deity Ridgeline Aluminium 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss E1700 Hybrid 27.5"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23.74 kg
Perm. total weight 136 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 112 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

optionaler Zusatzakku (360 Wh) – 499€ bei Norco bestellbar

Energy drink or energy pack?
In addition to the internal 630 Wh battery, the optional 360 Wh range extender battery can be mounted in place of the bottle cage.
Perfectly tuned
The coil shock swallows up bumps yet still offers enough mid-stroke support for spontaneous liftoff.
For the speed sensor, Norco relies on a fragile sensor mounted on the chainstay and a spoke magnet that can easily come loose.
Longer is better …
… at least when it comes to chainstay protection. The chainstay protector on the Range VLT is way too hard and short: the paint got damaged on the first few rides.

Geometry and size of the Norco

Looking at the geometry chart of the Range VLT C1, it’s immediately evident that Norco are based in the bike Mecca of British Columbia. The steep seat tube angle, the super slack head angle and the long front triangle are all made to charge down the steep trails Canada is known for.

Size M L XL
Seat tube 405 mm 445 mm 485 mm
Top tube 585 mm 614 mm 642 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat angle 77.3° 77.7° 78.0°
Chainstays 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Height 355 mm 355 mm 355 mm
BB Drop 5 mm 5 mm 5 mm
Wheelbase 1,229 mm 1,263 mm 1,298 mm
Reach 450 mm 480 mm 510 mm
Stack 602 mm 610 mm 619 mm
Helmet Fox Flux MIPS | Backpack Norrona Skibotn 15 | Glasses POC Aspire Clarity | Jersey Morvélo Journey Overland Tech Tee | Knee pads POC VPD Air | Shoes ION Raid Amp II

The Norco Range VLT C1 on the trail

Sit astride the Norco Range VLT C1 and you’ll immediately realise what it was designed for: steep climbs and even steeper descents. The super-steep seat tube angle positions the rider centrally on the bike and makes for a comfortable pedalling position on the climbs. Whether standing up, on loose gravel or wet roots, the grippy rubber compound on the rear tire never spins even when making use of the motor’s full 70 Nm torque. Thus, the Norco Range VLT makes easy work of the steepest climbs, getting you to the top of every peak without breaking a sweat. On flat terrain and on flowing climbs the rear tire is too grippy – we never thought we’d hear ourselves say that – which sucks the battery dry pretty quickly. Although the range extender gives you a total capacity of almost 1,000 Wh the Norco’s heavy componentry and aggressive, front-heavy riding position isn’t the best suited for long rides.

You’ve got to stay off the brakes on the Norco Range VLT C1 because it performs best at speed.

On the descents, the Norco Range VLT doesn’t do anything by half measures. The super-slack head angle, tall front end and long reach together with the excellent suspension make you feel invincible. No matter how steep things get, you never feel like you’ll go over the bars. On the contrary, the Range VLT offers so much stability and traction on both tires that you can hold the most difficult lines with confidence. Despite the long front triangle, the bike is very well balanced and allows you to hit open, off-camber turns with speed. However, on wet and slippery surfaces caution is advised: due to the harder rubber compound, the front loses traction much earlier than the rear and makes the handling unpredictable. As the trail gets slower and flatter, the Range VLT feels like a tractor on the Nurburgring. The rear tire, the long geometry and the plush suspension slow it down significantly. The Norco Range VLT only comes to life on rough trails with a steep gradient where it’s able to exploit its full potential.

Tuning tip: harder rubber compound on the rear tire for better all-round capabilities, or a softer compound on the front for more balanced handling in the wet

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. stable


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top


Forest road


Flow trail uphill


Flow trail downhill


Technical single trail uphill


Technical single trail downhill


Downhill tracks



If you’re looking for a relaxed, comfortable pedalling position for longer, leisurely rides, you better look elsewhere. The Norco Range VLT is a true freeride bike: it climbs easily enough, but it does so at its own pace and it’s more of a means to an end. The Norco Range VLT performs best on rough, difficult descents, begging you to stay off the brakes. For € 7,999, the Canadian brand is offering excellent performance and a fresh looking design – some frame details, however, could do with a little more attention.


  • confidence-inspiring on the descents
  • good pedalling position for steep climbs
  • the faster, the better aboard this bike


  • exposed speed sensor
  • rubber compound of the rear tire is too soft
  • chainstay protector

You can find out more about the Norco Range VLT C1 at

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race

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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann