BIKE TEST / NORCO FLUID FS
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Fluid FS 7. 2+ is constructed from aluminum and features
Norco’s ART (Advanced Ride Technology) suspension. This is
the same platform Norco uses on its top-notch race bikes. One
thing that quickly caught our attention, however, was the Boost
15x110-millimeter front axle paired with a 9-millimeter quick
release out back. The rear axle measures 141 millimeters, which is
narrower than Boost 148 spacing, but the frame still has clearance
to fit WTB’s Ranger 27.5x2.8-inch tires. Norco then worked on the
geometry to make the Fluid trail-ready, giving it a 68-degree head
tube angle, a roomy top tube and a low bottom bracket height.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Norco’s Fluid FS 7. 2+ has a modest build kit that blends new-school and old-school technology. The bike comes ready to shred
with a dropper post and a 1x10 drivetrain. A 10-speed drivetrain
may sound like a thing of the past, but with an 11-40-tooth
cassette and a 30-tooth chainring, the Fluid’s gearing is on par
with most modern trailbikes. Norco then spec’d a pair of entry-level
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Alex plus-sized rims and RockShox
suspension. Altogether, Norco managed to pack these features into
a bike with a retail price of just $1900.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setting sag: We set the sag on our Norco to 30 percent front
and rear; however, setting up our fork required a clever trick.
Since the RockShox Sektor lacks a sag indicator ring, we were
forced to use an old trick. We fastened a zip-tie around one of
our fork’s upper tubes, then used the zip-tie to help measure sag
and removed it afterwards to prevent any damage to our fork.
The shock required no tricks. We simply adjusted the air pressure
to our body weight plus riding gear and found it landed us right
around 30-percent sag.
ART suspension: The Fluid features Norco’s ART (Advanced
Ride Technology) suspension platform. This suspension design
is used for all of Norco’s full-suspension bikes, from their
entry-level Fluid to their top-level Halo bikes.