21 Dec 2018

The new 2019 Norco Fluid series are the least expensive dual suspension bikes in the Norco line-up, but there's nothing cheap feeling about the new FS1 29er we've got on test.

The not-so-minor details

Product

Norco Fluid FS1 29

Contact

Advanced Traders

https://www.norco.com

Price

3199

Positives

Looks like a sorted machine for the burgeoning mountain biker.
Neat finish and great component choices.
Roomy, confident geometry.

Negatives

None so far.

The Fluid FS series is no longer the clunky, awkward little sibling of the Optic and Sight. For 2019, it’s grown into a much more refined looking bike, with cleaner construction and all the attention to detail you’ll find on the higher priced Norco duallies. The tube shapes, the excellent internal cable routing, the paint finish – it’s all top notch. All the Fluid FS bikes share this same frames too, so whether you’re spending $3199 on the bike we’ve got on test, or $2199 on the entry level Fluid FS3, they’ve all got the same well-executed chassis.

The four-bar suspension system drives a RockShox Deluxe rear shock. There’s no lockout, just rebound adjustment. Note the neat cable routing too.

A bike for those making the leap. 

This bike is firmly aimed at the rider making the leap to their first serious mountain bike. With 120mm rear travel and 130mm up front, it’s got the travel numbers that tread the line between efficiency and enough bounce to start pushing your limits. What really makes us smile though, is the geometry; Norco have prioritised confidence over snappy uphill performance.

The finish of all the welds is top class.
Yep, they’re big old tyres! The 2.6″ Maxxis Forekaster is a great choice. It rolls pretty fast for such a big-bagged tyre, and the 29mm rims give decent support.

High five for whoever specced this thing!

Nothing has been missed. And while many of the components aren’t exactly from the top shelf, they’re all great choices, ticking the fundamentals for a solid trail bike. The RockShox suspension package is high quality, and free from too many complicating adjustments. Of special note is the new Revelation RC fork, which now has a Charger damper for 2019. The whopping Maxxis Forekaster tyres get a big tick too, especially once you’ve converted them to tubeless. There’s SRAM’s new NX Eagle drivetrain, too.

An NX Eagle drivetrain, plus some neat chain slap protection.
The Guide T brakes are the basic four-piston offering from SRAM. Plenty of power, even if there’s not a lot of adjustability or feel.

Options?

Like most of the Norco duallies, you can choose between 29er or 27.5, but only in certain sizes. It’s an approach we’ve seen from other brands like Polygon before. In X-Small to Small sizes, you’ve got 27.5″ wheels. In a medium frame, you can choose 27.5″ or 29er. Then in large and X-Large it’s 29er only. For our medium sized test bike, we opted for a 29er. A 120mm-travel 29er is just about the ideal platform for a huge swathe of the riding in Australia. Plus the bigger wheels adds confidence in the rough, which plenty of riders who’ll be looking to start pushing their limits will appreciate, and it rolls faster if you’re thinking about a race or two.

We’ll be taking this bike out for some Christmas break ripping, so stay tuned for a full review soon!