When Haley Smith and Peter Disera race the cross country mountain bike event in Tokyo, it will be both athlete’s Olympic debut. To commemorate that achievement, Norco tapped Toronto’s custom paint house, Vélocolour, for very special Tokyo-bound bikes.
“The potential of The Games runs through the veins of every athlete who commits to the pursuit of gold – and when you’re one of the select few Canadians chosen every four years, those golden hopes, and the pride of your country, course through you like the veins of a maple leaf,” Norco says of the inspiration behind the green-gold leaf theme.
Tokyo-bound Norco Revolver FS 100
And a maple-theme Revolver HT
The maple design isn't just hyper real, it's the actual imprint of Canaidan maple leaves
Raw carbon clearcoated, plust a pearl green-gold over the set stays
More details inside the rear triangle
Vélocolour's Suzanne Carlsen putting finishing touches on the frame
Adding a bit of extra incentive, Tokyo will also be Norco’s Olympic debut. The selection of two Norco Factory Team racers marks the achievement of a decade-long project for the team and for the Canadian bike brand.
The bikes, Norco Revolver FS 100 and Revolver HT frames, draw on the Canadian heritage of the maple leaf. Not just metaphorically. Vélocolour used actual Canadian maple leaves to create the design, imprinting them directly onto the race bikes. The pearl green-gold leaf texture is clear coated over raw carbon, for a stunning but light finish.
How it started. There's a lot of parts to keep straight
Sorting and selecting the source material
Hand finished maple prints
A delicate process of imprinting, but not tearing the leaves
Carrying a little bit of Canada to Japan
Applying paint directly to the leaf, before its transferred to the frame
Finding each leaf a home
It's not just the leaves that are hand painted. Vélocolour gets into the details
A base layer of green-gold pearl finish
Noah Rosen on the decal work
Everything at Vélocolour is cut and applied by hand.
With official selection for the Canadian team coming in early July, the frames were barely dry before being boxed up and flown to Tokyo to meet – and surprise – the Disera and Smith as they make their final preparations for racing.