Fat bikes aren’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you think of marathon and stage races – but think a little deeper, and events like the Iditarod come up, or even the Snow Epic. So while fatbikes are synonymous with adventure rides, people who can’t go fast so want to get something slow as a new excuse, and riding on the sand and snow – they can also be competitive too. Norco have released the carbon fibre Ithaqua as an option for those who want premium performance for their ultra events on sand or snow.
The Norco Ithaqua combines fat bike versatility with race bike performance. The lightweight carbon frame features the same responsive Power Chassis as our XC race bikes, but with clearance for tyres up to 5” wide. This allows it to float through snowdrifts and over sand dunes alike. Whether you’re racing on groomed trails in the snow, trailblazing through untouched powder or forging across a sand dune, the Ithaqua delivers the full fat experience without the weight.
Massive tyres provide outstanding floatation and traction while carefully dialed geometry delivers the same handling and ride quality you’d expect from a Norco mountain bike. The Ithaqua has a slightly steeper head angle than the Bigfoot and Sasquatch, putting riders in a more efficient, performance-oriented riding position, but ensuring stable, confident handling.
Low slung top tubes improve manoeuvrability and offer plenty of clearance when stepping off the pedals into deep snow or sand. It will also allow room for a top mounted frame bag for storage in an ultra event.
The skinny on the full-fat Norco Ithaqua frame
The Ithaqua features Gravity Tune, Norco’s unique geometry philosophy that adjusts the rear centre length in proportion with the front centre, giving riders of all sizes equal weight distribution over the bike. Stay length starts at 440mm stays on the size small frame and moves up to 447.5mm on an extra-large frame. The Ithaqua uses a 197×12 thru axle rear end with asymmetrical stays to accommodate the combination of wide tires and a short rear end.
The Ithaqua uses mid-modulus carbon fiber construction with a medium frame weighing in at a scant 1350g. The frame uses the oversized Power Chassis as found on the Revolver XC race hardtail, for explosive acceleration and efficient power transfer, ArmorLite resin which increases the frame’s strength and impact resistance, and an updated Gizmo cable management system with ports on the head tube for the rear derailleur, brake, and if added, a stealth dropper post.
Also new for 2017 is a featherlight 690g Norco carbon fat fork with 150x15mm thru-axle, suspension corrected geometry, and 5” tire clearance. The frame is compatible with a 26×5” or 27.5×4” tire.
Want more details? Head to Norco’s website.