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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com 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.