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GSPChilliwack

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm really liking the look of these bikes. Good tire clearance and will take 700 x 45's or 27.5 x 2.1 mtn tires (option for 650b or 26 inch on the small sizes) and some other nifty features. 
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Animal494

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Reply with quote  #2 
I agree. Only issue I see is the stack/reach. Lots of adventure bike features on a bike with less stack than an endurance road bike. If you are in to that kind of geo, it looks like a great buy. If you prefer a taller stack, it's tempting but likely uncomfortable.
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Smale Rider

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Reply with quote  #3 
2 smallest sizes are useless. Can't use high volume 700c tires, cross tires, or regular road tires. Can't use the 47 to 2.1 650b tires. All you can end up using really is tires that usually end up on the slate, and random 26ers if they can even be found anymore. It wasn't even worth the time or cost to engineer such junk.
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bridgestone60

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Reply with quote  #4 
I've been interested in this bike since they first introduced it, but on the Norco website it says the 2018 has clearance for 700 x 35 tires. I'd seriously consider getting one if it did have clearance for wider than 40 mm tires.
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GSPChilliwack

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgestone60
I've been interested in this bike since they first introduced it, but on the Norco website it says the 2018 has clearance for 700 x 35 tires. I'd seriously consider getting one if it did have clearance for wider than 40 mm tires.


On this page they say clearance for up to 45mm tires: 

http://www.norco.com/searchxr/

I believe the previous model was limited to 35, so I wonder if they've done some sloppy work on the website. 
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bridgestone60

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Reply with quote  #6 
Oh, now I see that the Search XR is different than the regular Search. Thanks for pointing it out!
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #7 
Good friend of mine is lead mechanic at one of the biggest Norco dealers stateside and often complains about poor QC, especially in the BB shells and head tubes. I have also tested the previous Search (which I almost bought), Threshold, and Tactic SL disc. While they all were really handsome machines to look at the ride quality was pretty lackadaisical, and heavy for top tier carbon. All had the universal feeling of a cheaper bike. Too bad because they sure do look the part. If I was in the market for a carbon bike I'd look elsewhere.. Just my 2¢
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A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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owly

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
Good friend of mine is lead mechanic at one of the biggest Norco dealers stateside and often complains about poor QC, especially in the BB shells and head tubes. I have also tested the previous Search (which I almost bought), Threshold, and Tactic SL disc. While they all were really handsome machines to look at the ride quality was pretty lackadaisical, and heavy for top tier carbon. All had the universal feeling of a cheaper bike. Too bad because they sure do look the part. If I was in the market for a carbon bike I'd look elsewhere.. Just my 2¢


I kind of agree on the generic ride quality having owned a Valence for five years. A lightweight set of wheels made it much better.

Anyway, the geo was always a bit long for me. I see its pretty much the same figures here.

I did try to turn my Valence into a gravel bike, but it only barely fit 32s.
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Jim_H

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have owned a Norco Carbon Search with Ultegra di2 since late 2015. I have probablyy 4000 miles on it in the forest roads of the Pacific Northwest. I dearly love it. I have no real complaints at all except that it's limited to 38mm tires on 700c wheels. These are great for about 90% of the riding I do. However, being a big guy (6' 5" 215lbs), I found that I needed more tire a few times last year.

This led me on a "Search" for a new bike this off season. I wanted something that would give me the 650b option with lots of clearance for 700c as well. I compared a lot of bikes.

I dwelled on drive train (1x vs 2x), and many other things. My final list came down to 3 bikes.

  • Salsa Warbird
  • Lynskey GR250
  • Norco Search XR

I really wanted the Salsa Warbird to work for me. Something about the look of that bike speaks to me. Unfortunately, it just won't support the tires I want to run on 650b wheels (due to a bulge in the chain stay in the wrong place).

I also gave serious consideration to the Lynskey GR250 (I have a Ti road bike and love it) but i was concerned about the long chain stays, and without being able to test ride one, I decided I didn't want to risk it.

I ultimately came back to the Norco Search XR after looking closely at the specs. The fact that I live near a large North American Norco dealer and could demo/test ride and get warranty support if needed helped.

I considered a frameset that I would build up with Ultegra Di2 (50/34 & 11-34), but I decided I wanted to give SRAM Force1 a try, and that build came with s set of decent WTB 650b wheels. Most of the components were more than acceptable (I've only changed the seat and tires so far). The Easton bars were a nice surprise, with just the right amount of flare.

I ordered the 60.5cm Force 1 build in Gray/Silver Fade with orange accents. The bike fits me great. I've only had a few rides because of the crappy weather, but so far I'm very happy with it. The dropper seat post controlled by the left shifter is a nice touch, but not something I will likely ever use. And because it has no setback, I'll probably need to swap it out for a standard post with 20mm setback so I can dial my fit in the way I like it. .

If anyone has any questions about the bike, let me know. I'll do my best to answer.

Here is a quick picture I snapped on the shakedown ride. I'll get some more as soon as I can get it out on a proper gravel ride.

Edit to add: Those are 650b/47mm WTB ByWay tires. There is still plenty of clearance.

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20171230_150953.jpg (2.66 MB, 41 views)

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Soihtu

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Reply with quote  #10 
My frame order is in estimated shipping next week. I got the 60.5 size. 188cm and think i'll use 90mm stem. Going to swap parts from my current specialized crux. Lets see if you can install postmount brakes with adapter, TRP Hy/rd.

I also have chinamade carbon 29er wheels. only problem is that it's 10speed mtb hub with road casette, so it's 143mmx12. Does anyone know if you can convert 15x100 thru axle to 12x100?
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chas

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Reply with quote  #11 
Here is a nice review:  http://www.bikepacking.com/bikes/norco-search-xr-carbon-review/

I am curious as to why people want a 650B option.  Seems to me that you either want 650b or 700c.  Do people really one one of each?  It seems as if people would just pick one or the other and leave it that way.

Also, it seems most reviews I have of this type of 650b/700c bike tend to review it with the 650b option.  Maybe with the 700c wheels there is not much to distinguish them from other 700c bikes???

I'm thinking if the road is rough enough and slow enough to need fatter tires, I would just take a mountain bike rather than a drop bar bike.  
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Soihtu

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Reply with quote  #12 
I have 700c atm. I'm thinking on getting a 650b wheels for the winter. Atm we have something like 70cm of snow and 700c tires are not floating over the packed snow as good as 2.1 tires. But in the summer i really want 700c for road/gravel training.
I have ridig fat bike for trail in winter, because the suspension etc can't handle below freezing that well.
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Jim_H

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soihtu
I have 700c atm. I'm thinking on getting a 650b wheels for the winter. Atm we have something like 70cm of snow and 700c tires are not floating over the packed snow as good as 2.1 tires. But in the summer i really want 700c for road/gravel training. I have ridig fat bike for trail in winter, because the suspension etc can't handle below freezing that well.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm coming from the 700C version of the 2015 Norco Search.

This bike maxes out tire size at about 38mm, and that's a little tight for muddy conditions (find in dry).   

For the riding I do, I need a bike that performs well at multiple disciplines in a single ride.   I frequently do 100+ mile gravel rides that are on a mix of tarmac, clean gravel/hardpack, and some more technical (steep/rutty/washboard, or single track with occasional rocks and roots).   I could take a hardtail 29er, but I would lose so much efficiency on the long tarmac sections just to be more comfortable on a sketchy decent for 5-10 miles.  

With the 650b drop bar bike, I have the road bike feel and handling, and the more aerodynamic and efficient hoods and drops position, but the luxury of having tires that roll (surprisingly well) on tarmac, but can still be comfortable bombing down a washboard 10% grade decent, or navigate a little technical single track as needed. 

And with this bike/frame setup, I have the option to put a narrower set of 700c wheels and narrower/higher pressure (faster) tires for rides where I know I'm not going to encounter any significant terrain.

I've only managed a few short rides on mostly tarmac with the 650b's.  My initial impression is that they roll much better than I expected on tarmac (with the ByWays at about 33psi) than I expected.  And running a 47mm tires tubeless, I have a nearly zero percent chance of a pinch flat with them.  Being 6'5" and 220lbs, this is a pretty nice feeling.
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Soihtu

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Reply with quote  #14 
Just got my norco search xr frame. I don't have all the components to build it. It will fit dt swiss mtb hub with road freewheel.
Some weights: 60.5 frame with cage bolts, without cable guides, seatclamp and axle. 1208g
Fork 410g without axle, uncut
Axles 78g (together)
Seatclamp 26g.

I'm taking 105 groupset from my previous bike. I ordered quarq alu cranks with 46/34 chainrings and 11-32casette. Lets se if short cage 105 derailleur can handle that combination.
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Murdog

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgestone60
Oh, now I see that the Search XR is different than the regular Search. Thanks for pointing it out!
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