We're no strangers to the Norco Fluid. It was a budget standout at last year's Trail Bike Field Test
, and even won a 2022 Pinkbike Award
for Value Bike of the Year. So when Norco made the decision to upgrade the front triangle of the Fluid FS - moving from alloy construction to carbon fiber - our ears perked up.
Conveniently, the bike is otherwise unchanged, offering the same general design, geometry, and ethos as the all-aluminum models. The bike's new tagline sums it up well: "Everything Fluid FS, now in carbon."
Norco Fluid Carbon Details
• Intended use: Trail / All-Mountain
• Carbon front triangle, Alloy rear
• 130mm suspension
• 140mm fork
• 65° head angle
• 420-510mm reach
• 425-440mm chainstay
• Size-specific seat tube angle
• Price: $4,099 - $5,999 USD
A trail bike through and through, the Carbon Fluid retains the easy handling and adaptable geometry that we liked about the alloy version. With balanced geometry and plenty of size options in the range, there should be a solid option for the majority of riders. It's always great to see a high stack number on bikes as the frame size grows, and it's no surprise to see this from Norco, who have been at the forefront of proportional geometry.
The main takeaway here is a 600 gram (1.3 lbs) reduction in weight, all shaved off that front triangle simply by moving to carbon fiber construction. All of the hardware remains the same, so in theory you could just pop the new front triangle in to achieve the same effect. No word on whether that will be available as an aftermarket option, but food for thought.
There are a few size-specific geometry elements on the Fluid, including the reach, stack, chainstay length, and seat tube angle, as well as the typical standover and seat tube length. Combined with their Ride Aligned setup guide, it should be quite easy to find a comfortable starting point on the bike once you've chosen a size. Compared to the all-aluminum Fluid, Norco aimed to sharpen the handling characteristics with a stiffer chassis, in addition to the reduction in weight.
With three build kits to choose from, as well as a host of colors, the Fluid aims to retain the mass appeal and easy of entry that the first generation really nailed. Pricing is naturally higher than the alloy counterpart, but value is still a strong focus for the series.
Fluid C1 Color & Build Kit; $5,999 USD $7,999 CAD
Fluid C2 Color & Build Kit; $4,999 USD $6,199 CAD
Fluid C3 Color & Build Kit; $4,099 USD $5,199 CAD
And a compelling frame-only option; $2599 USD, $3299 CAD
I have a C1 Fluid Carbon in for a long term test, so we'll see how the new bike holds up, and just how much of an improvement that carbon front triangle proves to be. Stay tuned!
For more photos and graphics, check out the high-res gallery here