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Just in: Norco Threshold C Rival X1

£1,999 carbon fibre disc-equipped cyclocross bike all the way from Canada arrives for testing

Canadian firm Norco updated its Threshold cyclocross bike for 2015 and we’ve just received this £1,999 SRAM Rival 1-equipped model to have a play on, because it’s the season for getting muddy and racing around a school playing field after all.

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What you’re getting for a pound under two grand is a full carbon fibre frame and fork with disc brakes and thru-axles at both ends, clearly demonstrating the company’s mountain bike roots.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - head tube

Norco has borrowed some tech from its carbon road bike models, namely the ARC Race seat stays. These are small diameter tubes with a bow shape that Norco reckons work like  “micro-suspension to dampen fatiguing vibrations.” A bit of comfort on a cyclocross bike is desirable, whether you’re racing or riding for fun.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - front disc

It’s likely the Threshold will take some abuse if you take it properly off-road, so Norco has wisely reinforced the carbon fibre layup with an ArmorLite resin which it claims provides improved impact resistance. Despite that reinforcement work, the frame has a sub-1kg weight so it’s ideal for building into a lightweight race bike. The frame has size-specific tubing profiles as well.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - frame detail

Norco has gone with a 15mm front and 142x12mm rear thru-axle, both borrowed directly from the mountain bike world and about as close to a ‘standard’ in the new disc-equipped road and cycling landscape. Cable routeing, well that’s all internal and is compatible with most gear and brake configurations you could care to build the frame up with.

Providing a bit of versatility is the addition of mudguard mounts that will ensure the Threshold will appeal to those cyclists that still fancy a cyclocross bike as being ideal for winter cycling with a bit of commuting and winter training thrown into the mix.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - fork detail

As it happens, this model comes with SRAM’s Rival 1 groupset, which ditches front mech and combines a wide-range cassette with a specially modified rear mech and chainring to prevent the chain falling off. Norco has combined a 42t chainring with an 11-32T cassette - it’ll be interesting to see how that combination works off-road and in a cyclocross race.

The brakes are Rival 1 hydraulic discs with a 160mm front rotor and 140mm rear rotor, odd to see mixed size rotors on a road bike, but showing Norco’s mountain bike influence as that is standard practice on mountain bikes.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - drive train

Norco has specced A-Class CXD4 wheels with sealed bearing hubs and tubeless-ready rims, fitted with Clement Crusade PDX 33mm tyres, which aren’t tubeless-ready. The list of tubeless cyclocross tyres is growing slowly, so there is a bit of a choice if you wanted to banish the inner tubes.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - disc brake

Finishing kit, but which we mean handlebars, stem, saddle and seat post, is all Norco brand kit. The Cross Race saddle has chromoly rails and the handlebar has a compact bend and the seat post, in 27.2mm diameter,  has a CNC machined head.

Norco Threshold C Rival 1 - cable route

The bike in for test is a 58cm, one of five sizes available, and has a 72.5-degree head angle, 572.5mm effective top tube, 165mm head tube, 67.5mm bottom bracket drop and a 1029mm wheelbase. The stack is 589mm and reach is 398mm.

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David has worked on the tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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