BIKE TEST / NORCO FLUID FS
33. 7 pounds
Medium ( 17. 5")
130mm ( 5.1")
120mm ( 4. 7")
RockShox Plus Sektor Silver RL
RockShox Monarch R
Alex MD 35 650B+ (35mm inner width)
W TB Ranger ( 27.5x2.8")
W TB Volt Sport
Trans X (125mm travel)
Norco alloy (760mm width, 25mm rise)
Norco alloy (70mm length)
Tektro Hydraulic Disc
Shimano Deore Shadow Plus
Shimano Deore 10-speed
Samox (73mm cartridge)
None (weighed with X T Trail)
NORCO FLUID FS 7. 2+
Bottom bracket height
Top tube length
Head tube angle
Seat tube angle
Suspension travel (front)
Suspension travel (rear)
Descending: The Fluid rides like a Cadillac down the trail with
its surprisingly plush suspension. This bike is all about going fast
in a straight line. Its weight provides momentum, which helped our
test riders smash through rock gardens and other trail obstacles.
Riders looking for a bike with a planted feel will appreciate the
Fluid’s ability to glue itself to the ground.
Braking: Norco spec’d a pair of entry-level Tektro brakes on
the Fluid, likely to stay on budget, but our test riders all begged
for more stopping power. Many of our test riders felt the need to
pull the levers with two fingers to maintain control. Fast riders will
need to brake earlier than usual to avoid blowing through corners
and going off trail.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Bikes in the sub-$2000 category generally aren’t worth
dumping a bunch of money into, but we can suggest a few tricks
and upgrades that could help bring the Fluid FS 7. 2+ alive. First
off, we would ditch the stock brakes for something with more
power. Riders of all ability levels will notice elevated confidence on
the trails when they have better stopping power. Next, we would
put the Fluid on a diet by using lighter-weight tires or by replacing
heavy parts with lighter ones as the current components get
worn out or damaged. Adjusting the air pressure in the Fluid’s
suspension and tires to better match your local trails is a free
upgrade that will drastically improve the Fluid’s performance.
Norco sells bikes to meet the needs of almost every rider, and
while the Fluid is not the most exciting bike in Norco’s lineup, it
provides a stepping stone for riders new to the sport or advanced
riders who can’t justify spending more than $2000 on a bicycle.
Riders who want a trail-worthy bike will find the Fluid can handle
whatever is thrown at it. Sure, the Fluid may never be worthy of
the bike park or super-gnarly trails, but for the rider who wants to
get out on some singletrack and enjoy the thrills of being on two
wheels, it will do the job well. ❏
No fear: Norco designed the Fluid to handle their roughest
backyard trails, which include rocks, roots and, of course,
ladder bridges. If the Fluid can handle everything B.C. has to
offer, it can likely handle your local trails too.
Modern 10-speed: Norco, in an effort to keep cost to a
minimum, spec’d the Fluid with a 10-speed drivetrain; however,
this isn’t just any old 10-speed. The Fluid features a 1x10 with a
wide-ratio, 11-40-tooth cassette and a single 30-tooth chainring.
Together, our test bike had enough gearing to conquer all of
our local trails.