With tire clearance up to 700 x 45c or 650B x 2.1”, rack, fender and bottle mounts, as well as details such as ‘NINJA’, ‘SASSY’, and ‘Das Boot’, the Norco Search XR looks like an interesting new all-road bike…

Posted by Logan Watts

Just released, the Norco Search XR is another adventure bike platform aiming to push the limits of what you’d expect from a drop bar bike. With generous tire clearance, rack, fender and bottle mounts, and the choice of a carbon or steel frame, it has all the makings to do just that.

Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike

  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike
  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike

Like others in the category, it offers roomy clearance that can fit up to 700x45mm tires or 27.5×2.1” mountain bike tires; the high-end Search XR Carbon Force 1 is specced with 650b Maxxis Tread Lite 2.1” tires.

So what makes the Search XR different? According to Norco, the Search XR uses their “adventure geometry”, and the Power Chassis design that is found on their race bikes to make it an efficient pedaler and improve power transfer. For added comfort on long days, Norco employed something they call “ARC Endurance” bridgeless seat stays and curved, ovalized chainstays which increase vertical compliance and help temper road vibrations. In addition, the Norco Search XR has a few interesting details such as NINJA, SASSY, and Das Boot, to name a few. At this point you might be asking…

What is Das Boot?

As Norco puts it, “… sometimes you end up wading through a river, speeding through thick mud, and getting caught out late at night. To help protect your bike from the elements, we created Das Boot. This is a seat clamp cover that prevents water and mud from entering the frame.” Das Boot also has a rack mount.

  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike
  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike

What is SASSY?

SASSY is the SECRET ATTACHABLE SEAT STAY YOKE. To make the Search XR more comfortable, Norco removed the seat-stay bridge to increase vertical compliance and the bike’s overall ability to absorb chatter. So essentially, SASSY is a custom plastic bridge that fits into place to provide a fender mounting point when needed.

  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike
  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike

What is NINJA?

Well, Ninja stands for NOT INSTANTLY NOTICEABLE JUNK ATTACHMENTS. NINJA threaded inserts add another level of functionality to the frame, allowing full fender capability, while remaining inconspicuous when unused.

  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike
  • Norco Search XR Carbon All-road bike

While normally I’d be giddy about steel, the three carbon models are certainly the most interesting; for some reason, according to the photos, Norco decided to ditch the under downtube and fork bottle mounts on the Search XR steel models EDIT: Norco’s communications team has informed me that the steel models will indeed have the same fork with 5 bottle mounts total… sweet. Based on the quoted specs, both the carbon and steel models get a PressFit 86 bottom bracket and 12mm thru-axles, front and rear. The Norco Search XR Steel comes in two models, the $1999 XR-S Shimano 105 and the $2599 Rival 1. The Norco Search XR Carbon starts at $2899 (USD) with an Apex drivetrain. The mid-range Ultegra is priced at $3799 and the top of the line Search XR Force 1 sells for a cool $4199. Watch their press video below and learn more over at Norco.com.

  • It’s also cool to see the XR Force 1’s smaller sizes (45.5 / 48) being spec’d with 26″ wheels, which often makes a bit more sense for smaller riders! So many options…

  • Great point… I missed that one :)

  • Peter Chesworth

    A shame to remove the seat stay bridge. Hard to see how two zip ties effectively replaces a welded stay for fender attachment.

  • Interesting eh? A lot of stuff like that going on here… I like to see the big brands trying stuff out though!

  • For what it’s worth, there are two indentions on the stays that are molded to work with the plastic insert, so it does seem that the downward forces would be kept in check…

  • This is the “Das Boot” I have been using since a few years ago. A piece of inner tube https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c1becf156a92802d4af18f12a6f0df4c99c41103efdcf9f7712b8bc9585bcb1.jpg :-D

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