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Long-term review: Norco Fluid FS C1

Long-term review: Norco Fluid FS C1

When Norco took the unusual step of launching the Fluid FS in aluminum first, it earned much critical acclaim. It wasn’t hard to see why, either. The alloy bike was comparatively affordable but still had features like size-specific geometry that are typically reserved for pricier bikes. We had a blast on our alloy test bike and, when Norco inevitably announced the carbon fiber version was on its way, we we’re stoked to try it out, too.

But is carbon fibre automatically better? After spending months on both bikes, it’s an interesting question. Does the difference in performance balance out the added cost? Ultimately, the Fluid FS C1 is a great bike, but with some interesting traits. Dive into all the details below.

The bike: Norco Fluid FS C1

Before we get into whether or not the fancier frame material is better, lets look at what all has changed. First, it is only the front triangle that gets an upgrade. The chainstays and seat stays are still alloy. But the change the the front triangle alone helps Norco shave off a full 600 grams from the frame weight. It’s also 150g lighter than the existing Optic frame. Norco also tidies up some frame details, like cable routing and adding a bash guard, as well as upgrading to bearing mounts on the upper shock mount.

Beyond those changes, this is the same 130mm/140mm travel 29-er as the alloy bike. There’s still size-specific seat angles and chainstay lengths. There’s still clearance for long-travel 34.9mm dropper posts in all sizes, and there’s still support from Norco’s Ride Aligned set-up guide.

The price is, of course, also different. Whereas the alloy range tops out at $5,000, the Fluid FS C1 is $8,000. That is not a small difference, but it’s not just the frame that changes. The C1 includes RockShox Ultimate-level suspension (Pike fork, Super Deluxe shock), Crank Bro’s. Synthesis Enduro alloy wheelset, SRAM G2 RSC brakes, a carbon fiber bar from One Up Components and, of course, SRAM GX T-Type wireless shifting. There’s some significant parts upgrades over the A1 model in there that contribute to that price increase.

The ride: Fluid FS Carbon in the wild

While our first impressions of the Fluid FS Carbon were positive, really settling into the bike took a little longer. The improvement that come with moving to a lighter bike and resulting ease of acceleration was immediately positive. As was the snappy feel pushing into smooth, fast corners. Buoyed by those good vibes, we set out…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…