If you live in a city where the hills are big and the climbs off-putting, look no further than the 2023 Norco Scene VLT. Its Shimano Steps E-8010 mid-drive motor pumps out 60 Newton meters of torque, flattening nearly every incline so you can ride almost sweat free anywhere you want to go.
Thanks to the Shimano Alvio, 9-speed drivetrain hills will be even less of an issue. Excellent ratios offered by the 11-36 tooth cassette will enable you to ride economically on the battery, maximizing range if you’re planning a long day in the saddle.
Though it lacks a throttle — is pedal assist (PAS) only — this is a great city bike from end to end that is ideal for both seniors of both genders and those after a more feminine machine.
The gray option allows a male to ride it without being too aware it is a step-through bike, but if you like the more feminine colors, then there are two options for you there too.
The step-thru frame allows anyone to ride it even if they lack the mobility to get their leg over a crossbar, though the battery sited inside the seat post will mean you have to move your foot to get on and off.
It is a comfortable electric bike to ride. Choose the right frame size, and you will be sat in the perfect position. For hills or where you might otherwise stand up to get extra pressure on the pedals, it features a dropper seatpost that, at the push of a button, can raise or lower the saddle for optimum comfort. This idea comes from the mountain biking world and is a great little thought – it isn’t just off-road riding where you need to adjust your riding position quickly.
Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic brakes make for comfortable stopping even on a big hill in wet conditions. Thanks to the 160mm rotors, they won’t overheat either, and that’s almost as important a feature for hill riding as the quality transmission system.
One downside to comfort is the lack of a suspension fork. This limits the bike to city or road riding only, though the 27.5 x 2.2” tires offset this slight discomfort, which will do much of the job a suspension fork would do. Staying comfortably, take a 10-mile ride on delivery to see how your rear end likes the saddle — a $75 aftermarket outlay can get the ideal one for your anatomy.
For commuting and utility riding, the 2023 version of this e-bike comes with lights, full fenders, and a rack. If you bought the slightly more affordable 2022 version, you would soon buy these as aftermarket accessories for inclement weather or to avoid a sweaty back while riding.
The range is not an issue for most riding thanks to the 504 Wh battery. In realistic riding conditions, if you’re relatively fit, you should see 45-50 miles of range, but if you’re using the upper levels of pedal assist more, perhaps 30-45 miles.
The 2023 Norco Scene VLT is an excellent machine for most city riding. Whether getting to the cafe, visiting friends, or using it as a daily commuter bike, it has all the big-name branded equipment to serve you well. We like the five-year limited warranty on motor, frame, fork, and battery — that shows a high confidence level in this machine by its makers.
Reasons to Buy
As mid-priced electric city bikes go, this is a winner on many levels. It looks good for any gender riding it is comfortable, and can be ridden hard even in a very hilly city. It could even be used for day touring thanks to its comfortable range, and its components are of good quality.
If you’re planning an investment that will serve you for many years of riding in most weather and light conditions, this could be a very sound choice. The fenders and rack will allow you to carry a few days of shopping or all the stuff you need for the office, and the power will make a car a second choice on most days of the year.
Things to Consider
Soon after delivery, take it for a ten plus mile test ride to assess the saddle’s comfort. Remembering that this is a pure road bike, it won’t be too comfortable if taken onto an unpaved path, though the 2.2” thick tires offset this well. One final drawback to the aesthetic is the battery that sits on the seat tube. It puts the weight slightly higher than we would like and interferes with your foot when you get on and off.