Norco is a well known Canadian brand with a full line of shred-ready bike offerings. From the big hit Range to the shorter travel Optic models, Norco has some fun bikes. The new Norco Fluid is no exception. Aptly named, the Norco Fluid provides modern flow to women (and men) looking for a shorter travel (120mm rear/130 front) full suspension mountain bike. And they do it at a reasonable price. Not quite an XC bike and not big enough to be a true trail bike the Fluid slides right into the sweet spot of travel for our everyday rides.
Updated Modern Geometry:
Trends for mountain bike geometry have been to make bikes with a longer reach, steeper seat angles and slacker headtube angles. The Norco Fluid checks all of these boxes with their updated alloy frame. The FS 1 Women’s model is offered in two wheel sizes, 27.5′ for XS, S and M as well as 29″ for M size only. For the men’s version, they offer 6 sizes (XS-XL) with the smaller options available in 27.5″ and larger sizes in 29″. With size specific tubing and wheel size options this means everyone should be able to find their perfect fit.
Our Fluid FS1 test bike is the women’s medium 29er model but the only real difference to the men’s version is the color and the saddle. We made a few changes swapping over one of our favorite saddles from Ergon, a 10mm longer stem and a carbon bar to drop a little extra weight. The wheels were also immediately set up tubeless out of the box, to drop even more (all important) rotational weight.
After getting the bike set-up and a little more personalized we were out testing in Pisgah and DuPont.
How Does the Norco Fluid FS1 Ride:
The climbing position on this bike is great for those steeper climbs with a 76-degree seat tube angle. The Fluid’s four-bar suspension provides excellent traction without excessive bobbing. A lockout lever is never something we ever wished for, even on long and steep Pisgah climbs.
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Descending on the Fluid felt extremely stable and comfortable. To our surprise, the bike was very playful as well. Quick turns and popping over root and rock sections are very easy despite the slightly heavier weight. The bike is definitely agile and allows for flowy riding. We tested the bike in a variety of conditions in Pisgah that included plenty of trails normally reserved for longer travel enduro bikes. As long as lines were chosen with care, we felt like the Norco Fluid never let us down and was quite fun to ride.
The WTB Trail Boss tires offer pretty good traction and low rolling resistance. For a front tire, the Trail Boss is a little too round for our preferences and is way too heavy. Good thing Norco recognized this and changed the spec to a much better Maxxis Forekaster 2.6’s. This saves well over a pound of rotational weight with a more acceptable square profile.
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The rest of the component spec is solid for this price range. Sram’s NX Eagle shifts a little slower than more expensive GX and XO1 but still gets the job done. The Rock Shox Revelation and Deluxe suspension offer a reasonable amount of adjustment and works well.
Norco Fluid FS1 29″ | MSRP: $3049 (USD) | 130mm Front/120mm Rear Travel | Weight: 32.8lbs
- Bang for your buck.
- Excellent modern geometry.
- Four-bar rear suspension – efficiency, traction and suppleness.
- only one color option at this spec.
If you are looking for a bike in the $3000 range the Norco Fluid is a fantastic choice. The Norco Fluid is an amazing modern full suspension bike that could grow with the owner’s enthusiasm for the sport. It could be easily upgraded with lighter tires, bars and saddle for minimal investment. If you are a smaller and less aggressive rider you could upgrade the wheelset for something lighter and get an even more nimble, playful ride.
While spending several months aboard the Norco Fluid FS1 our opinion of how well a $3000 full suspension bike can perform has been reset. After riding more expensive carbon bikes for many years, we were pleasantly surprised with this less expensive alloy frame with well thought out and modern flowy fun geometry.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]