Cascade Components brings more travel for Norco's Optic

Norco Optic 130mm
The Optic upgrade link is available in black or silver (Image credit: Cascade Components)

The Norco Optic can be categorized as a peak downcountry bike. With 125mm of rear travel and progressive geometry angles, this frame is very comfortable at climbing and descending.

But what if you need a touch more sensitivity, stability and tunability from your Optic? As usual, the answer is to get a Cascade Components link.

The Pacific Northwest company has built a business designing links for some of the best trail bikes and enduro bikes. Evaluation, design and testing functions are all meticulously performed by Cascade Components, to ensure that its link upgrades don’t rub, compromise kinematics or ruin bearings.

On shorter-travel bikes, the link upgrades require an even more precise approach to engineering, because the margins are smaller. Cascade Components now offers an aftermarket link that edges the Optic into true trail bike territory without sacrificing its climbing efficiency.

With the Cascade Components link in place, the Norco Optic gains 5mm of rear travel, settling at 130mm. That increase in suspension function is supported by improved shock progression, working with the Optic’s kinematics.

Norco Optic 130mm

(Image credit: Cascade Components)

Better on small bumps and big landings 

Although the 5mm of additional travel will pique interest for most Optic owners, the progression gain, from 17- to 23% is not to be underestimated. Improved shock progression delivers better climbing traction and small bump compliance, both benefits valued by downcountry riders.

The increased progression also gives an Optic running the Cascade Components link a bit more bottom-out resistance if you roll into gnarly rock gardens or get a bit adventurous with your downcountry air-time.

Most mountain bikers think of any rear-suspension related upgrade requiring proprietary tools and mechanical skill, but the Optic link isn’t a chore to fit. It uses the standard Norco Optic shock stroke and doesn’t create any clearance issues.

Cascade Components estimate that most riders should swap out the factory Optic link in about 20 minutes.

As with all Cascade Components gear, the Optic link is machined from 6061-T6 aluminium and weighs 255g. Enduro bearings are embedded into the Cascade Components link, to ensure excellent durability. This quick fit suspension upgrade isn't cheap though, retailing at $332.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.