VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN)—Norco Bikes’ 2010 line-up reflects the growing trend toward sustainability and commuting with a new lifestyle series and an updated line of urban bikes.
The Canadian company showed its 2010 bikes to about 100 dealers and members of the media in downtown Vancouver this week in order to showcase the riding in and around the city, which is ramping up to host the 2010 winter Olympics.
The new Indie/Scene series of urban bikes comes with either 26-inch or 700c wheels, flat bars, a chromoly fork, matte paint with subtle graphics, saddles with reflective patches and bolted skewers for security.
The City Glide series is meant for everyday function with internally geared hubs, integrated racks, fenders and front baskets on the women’s bikes.
Another highlight for 2010 is Norco’s use of the Gates Carbon Belt Drive System. The chain-free system can be spec’d on the steel frame Vesta road bike, the Ceres flat bar road bike, and the steel frame Judan 29er.
Other improvements to Norco’s line-up, which includes 130 models in all, is a new line of carbon fiber hardtail cross-country bikes and an overhaul of the CRR carbon fiber road bikes. Norco will also sell an electric bike for the first time in 2010 branded under the name Slipstream.
Stephane Berube, owner of Cadence Bicycles in Quebec, rode the new Spade—a single speed, flat bar road bike with flip-flop hub and a double butted chromoly track frame—around the city and he like it enough to pick it up for next year.
“It is an amazing bike,” Berube said. “It’s nice looking and it’s super fun to ride.”
Pricing for 2010 bikes has been lowered about 3 to 5 percent across the board and will fall between 2008 and 2009 prices despite double-digit inflation from Asia, said Dave Overgaard, vice president of Norco’s bicycle division.
In an effort not to devalue 2009 bikes, Norco has downspec’d models where it made sense, downgrading from dual disc brakes to v-brakes in some cases and using more proprietary branded accessories instead of paying more for the premium brands, Overgaard said.
“We’re very conscious of the economic climate, the shift to a more value-oriented consumer. We just have to find the right balance between price, quality and intended use,” Overgaard said.
Despite the economic woes, Norco is up 6.5 percent so far in 2009 and is projecting moderate growth for the year ahead, said John Williams, president of Norco.
Photo: The new Norco Spade single speed urban bike