Editor’s note: Freeride superstar Darcy Turenne spoke with us about her impact on the development of the Vixa, which we reviewed in Issue 156. You can learn more about Darcy at her web site, hellodarcy.com.
What specific input did you have in the development of the Vixa?
From the beginning Norco gave me almost free-reign over the development of the Vixa. However, seeing as I am not mathematically or geometrically inclined, I worked closely with the engineers at Norco to create what I thought was the perfect bike for freeriding. I’ve been involved in everything from graphics, to angles, to spec.
Any complaints of yours about the 2010 model that were addressed with the 2011 version? (Dustan says the ’11 is much better.)
Yes, the 2011 Vixa is much lighter and stiffer. My complaints were really just the same complaints of the other riders who had tested the Vixa, and those were just that they wanted a lighter bike. So we made one by completely overhauling the platform so it is much lighter, stiffer, and stronger. Definitely a win, win, win combo!
What do you, personally, use the bike for?
I use my Vixa for everything, really. All mountain riding (although for longer rides I’ll use my Norco Phena), downhill riding, slopestyle riding — you name it, I ride it on the Vixa. At first I was unsure about the 2011’s downhill capabilities because it was so much lighter, but this summer I went to Are, Sweden and was faced with some of the steepest, roughest terrain I had been on in a long time. On the gondola up everyone around me had full-on downhill rigs and it was making a bit nervous, but then I started descending with the Vixa and she annihilated all the bumps like a pro. I had no problem keeping up with the downhillers and was far less tired at the end of each run because I didn’t have to maneuver a 50 pound bike. The Vixa and I bonded a little more that day.
What compromises had to be made due to cost or other constraints?
The only wrestling match we had in the design room was that I wanted the chainstays to be 5mm shorter than they are, however, because of the suspension geometry that couldn’t happen. In the end though, it was a good thing because the bike would be less stable and already it is very nimble with chainstays their current length. It was a good thing I lost the battle.