What’s been cooking in the Norco kitchen for 2017? Our favourite Canucks only recently treated us to one of 2016’s tastiest offerings, the Optic (read our review here), but what else is on the way for the new year?
The value-busting Fluid line gets a new Plus-sized offering. Good call, we say! Bringing the ‘mid-fat’ format into the dual suspension realm at this price makes a lot of sense, as less experienced riders really stand to benefit from the gobs of traction that 2.8″ tyres bring. With so much grip, conquering trails that can be off putting for a new rider is much less of an issue.
At $2799 the FluidFS 7.1 Plus seems like a particularly dialled offering. A SRAM NX drivetrain removes the clutter and makes for logical, zero-fuss shifting, and there’s a Trans X dropper too. WTB seem to be carving out a good niche in the Plus tyre market, and they provide the 2.8″ Ranger rubber. It was only recently that we tested the Torrent Plus hardtail (check out the review here) and really liked it, so we think this bike will be making its way onto our home trails for a review too.
One of our favourite all-mountain bikes is the Range (read our long term review here), and while this line doesn’t have any significant changes for 2017, some of the models have been refreshed with some great looking spec. The Range A7.2 in particular turned our head. It’s a striking looking bike, we really like the new all-black FOX Performance suspension against the loud frame graphics!
This particular model is a bit of a winner, we think. At $4599, the Deore level brakes do seem a bit below par, but the rest of the bike is on the money: FOX 36 with 170mm travel, a Float X rear shock, Raceface’s well regard Turbine dropper post, SRAM NX/GX drivetrain and some excellent Maxxis rubber to round it all out. As you’ll find, if you read our long-term Range test, this bike is a lot more capable as an all-round trail bike than its generous travel might suggest.
Ok, it’s not a mountain bike, but we like it a lot. Norco’s Threshold CX bike also carries over from 2016, with a few minor changes, including a much cleaner axle system. The previous version used Maxles front and rear, and they were pretty bulky. The full carbon frame and fork has clearance for up to a 40c tyre, so taking this thing off the cyclocross track and onto some rough fire roads won’t be an issue.
The Revolver is another bike that’s still relatively new to the Norco lineup, so there’s no great changes going on there. Once again though, Norco impressed us with just how sharp their graphics and frame finishes are. This Revolver FS9.2 is one of the best looking bikes of 2017 that we’ve seen so far. If it were joining our fleet, we’d ditch the fork lockout and add a dropper post, but otherwise it’s all set to do some damage to your mate’s Strava times!
Our final fave from the Norco 2017 line up is this little shredder! Fully adjustable air-sprung suspension, a 1×10 drivetrain with a chain guide, proper Shimano disc brakes and even Schwalbe tyres make us want to be five years old again.