Does a fat bike need a motor? Norco says - yes it does.
Fat bikes may not be your cup of tea, and eMTBs may not be either. So what about an electric fat bike? The Norco Bigfoot VLT is just that, and it's something you may not have expected to come from Norco, a bike brand known for making trail and all-mountain bikes that really shred. But Norco are from Canada, a place where much of the country is covered in snow for all of winter. And the people at Norco love to ride all year round. So a fat bike that was optimised for big days exploring in the snow was always going to be popular.
Of course, here in Australia our uses of fat bikes is a little different. Sure, some people do use them on the snow. BUt they work really well on the sand, or on any super-loose trail surface where a 4.8" tyre at a handful of psi gives you the grip you're after.
Meet the Norco Bigfoot VLT
Norco's Bigfoot has already been a popular fat bike. The aluminium frame has trail geometry, with a long reach, dropper post, short stem and wide bars. Norco's Sight VLT also showed us that when Norco released an eMTB they had a good, long think about what they wanted. And what they amde was nothing short of highly impressive.
The Norco Bigfoot VLT marries the two. With the alloy frame and trail geometry of the Bigfoot, comes the same Shimano STEPS system from the Sight VLT. The intube battery keeps the main triangle pretty open for a frame bag, and rejoice, there is room for a bottle cage on the seat tube, and one on the down tube!
The bikes come with, dropper posts, 1x drivetrains, 4-pot brakes, short stems, 165mm cranks, wide bars and 80mm rims wrapped in 4.8" tyres.
So where do we see the Norco Bigfoot VLT finding a home?
A bike like this is no Giant Trance, Norco Sight or Trek Fuel EX. It's not a trail bike that the majority of riders are going to find fits the bill. Fat bikes are quirky for many anyway, and for many fat bike riders the idea of pedal assist would be the anthithesis of why they ride.
But a fat bike still opens up possibilities on different terrain. Great sandy beaches, loose trails that don't get groomed by other riders or even see a whole lot of use. And yeah, trips into the Australian Snowy Mountains at times of the year where they earn their name. And for riders looking for an n+1 bike, then this might be it. Something to explore on - just for the day.
There are likely to be limited quanities available - get in touch with Norco Bicycles Australia to find out more. Norco will bring in the Norco Bigfoot VLT 1 (above) that sells for $6499, and the Norco Bigfoot VLT 2 (below) that sells for $4999.