With our focus on fit – enabling the world champion time trialist, the age group triathlete, and everyone in between to find their perfect position – we set off on the quest for maximum adjustability. The more positioning options available, the more easily a rider is able to dial-in their most aerodynamic position, find their optimal level of comfort, and increase their efficiency and speed.
In the Norcom Straight, we have developed a bike that is more adjustable than any of the superbikes out there: a bike that fits to you, rather than forcing you to fit to the bike.
A time trialist is first and foremost a road racer. Built-up power and efficiency would be lost if their bike fit were to be dramatically altered for a time trial. Plus, the typically shorter duration of a TT and the fact that it doesn’t require the rider to get off their bike and run also enables a time trialist to tolerate a more aggressive, aerodynamic position. We found when working with our grand-tour winning Geox-TMC pro team in 2011 that several of our riders, such as 2008 Tour de France Winner Carlos Sastre, felt like they couldn’t get low enough on our D-6. Sastre wanted to keep his power center – hips, lower back, and quadriceps – in the same neutral road position but sought to lower his aerobars and stem angle as much as possible.
Triathletes, on the other hand, focus on fit to maximize their efficiency, as they need to have enough energy and flexibility for the run, as well as the duration of the bike – which often exceeds the typical length of a road race time trial. They’re looking for the most aerodynamic position, that does not constrict their lungs or compromising their hip flexors. Pro triathlete Matt Reed met with Dr. Michael Ross, a sports medicine physician at the Rothman Institute and author of Maximum Performance Sports Medicine for Endurance Athletes. Through a series of V02 tests using different fit scenarios, Dr. Ross found Matt's best position for increased work (increased oxygen uptake) with less lactic acid accumulation (decreased C02) was a more open position.
The extremes of a pure time trialist and long course triathlete were key parameters in the development of the Norcom Straight. We wanted a bike for very tall riders (Matt Reed being our target at 6'5") and for very small riders (Shelley Olds at 5'1") that gave them flexibility in seat height, stack, and reach measurements. We accomplished this by improving the geometry and building in maximum adjustability options - the Norcom Straight is able to accommodate this broad spectrum of athletes with 5 frame sizes: S (49cm), M (51cm), M/L (53cm), L (55cm), and XL (57cm).
One of the most unique and innovative features of the frame is a frame pocket we engineered into the head tube that offers an extremely low, ultra-aggressive position while integrating the stem into the frame and improving aerodynamics. This pocket can also be filled with our proprietary spacers to raise the stem/handlebar combination allowing for over 135mm of adjustability.
We collaborated with the product engineers at Oval Concepts to develop an integrated, 3D-forged stem and optimized it for the Norcom Straight. With our focus on fit, we felt it was important to invest in the additional tooling required to give the maximum number of options. We developed the stem in 6 lengths – 80mm, 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, 120mm, and 130mm and two rise options – ±8° and ±17°, allowing for a total of 24 possible stem positions.
While the Oval Concepts integrated stem fits cleanly into the Norcom Straight frame pocket (and comes as a standard part of the frame package), the bike was designed to allow the use of most manufacturers' stems. And the OC stem works with any 31.8mm aero bar.
The flagship model Norcom Straight 1.1 comes equipped with Oval Concepts’ brand-new 960 aero base bars. These exceptionally low-profile 420mm-wide base bars feature unidirectional carbon fiber construction and are within the UCI's 3:1 aspect ratio making them legal for all cycling events. Optimum fit and comfort is attained via 3 width options for arm rest spacing, 5 arm rest cup rotational positions, and 4 riser height options (5mm, 10mm, 15mm, and 20mm). In all, the Oval Concepts 960 base bar delivers 60 possible arm rest positions.
Also available is the recently introduced triathlon-specific Oval Concepts 970 base bar. This bar utilizes Oval Concepts’ famed JetStream technology.
Completing the Norcom Straight’s fully-adjustable cockpit are Oval Concepts’ aero extensions. All of Oval Concepts’ base bars (970, 960, 950, and 750) are offered in three curvatures; S-bend, ski-bend, and straight. Designed to accommodate 6’5” Fuji-sponsored triathlete Matt Reed, these 376mm long extensions can be cut to shorter lengths to dial in a custom fit. Offering excellent ergonomics as well as superb aero positioning, the S-bend bar will be specified on the majority of models in the Norcom Straight line.
Designed to precisely integrate into the Norcom Straight’s airfoil shaped seat tube, the 400mm seat post has an adjustment range of 180mm in height. Of note is the aerodynamic seat post clamp built into the seat tube of the frame and easily adjusted using the integrated seat binder bolt. Effective seat tube angles from 74° thru 81° are achieved via 70mm of fore/aft seat clamp adjustability. Saddle tilt angle is adjusted independently of fore/aft positioning.