2012 Norco Revolver 1 Review

29er Pro Reviews

In general, the Revolver held up pretty well for the duration of the review. The gloss black finish on the frame is a little scuffed and muted in places, but there aren’t any spots that experienced excessive cable rub marks. Both the Fox RP23 rear shock and RockShox SID 29 remained trouble free, and the WTB Stryker wheels stayed straight with only a couple of adjustments, despite being ridden through some fairly technical terrain and challenging conditions.

As mentioned above, there were a couple of issues with some of the components: the master cylinder on the X0 rear brake failed about half way into the test; the X0 front shifter failed at about the same time as the rear brake. Norco’s warranty department replaced both of these parts.

Lastly, one of the bearings in the Holloform link arm disintegrated during the review. It was replaced by Norco and the bearing in question was declared defective. Its replacement has held up fine but it’s a good reminder that pivot maintenance is something that’s worth staying on top of over the course of a season.

Normal wear items like brake pads made it through the entire test but are definitely due for replacement after a winter’s worth of riding. Each of the brakes was bled every two months, although the rear brake needed an extra bleed towards the end of the review period. The FSA bottom bracket held up well but the non-drive side bearing was just starting to feel a little gritty after the winter.

Is the Revolver the bike for you?
Norco is well known for developing bikes that are fun to ride and the Revolver is the embodiment of this design philosophy. The Revolver is a well-balanced bike that climbs exceptionally well and descends better than many bikes with 100mm of front and rear wheel travel. The parts spec is top notch and well thought out although some riders might swap out components like the tires, handlebar, grips, and saddle to suit their personal preferences. While it’s not a 29″ all mountain bomber — the longer-travel Shinobi is Norco’s answer for that type of riding — the Revolver is very comfortable on long hauls, is excellent at climbing up fireroads and bombing down singletrack, and can easily handle cross-country and marathon racing on a casual level.

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  • Izzy says:

    Funny that an [almost] top tier component level from SRAM (XO) would suffer such issues on a stock bike. You would hardly — if ever — hear anything like that happen with XT or XTR. Shimano reliability is unmatched.

  • substitute says:

    I got a Revolver 3 recently and I’m strongly considering a tire change. Wet rocks and roots are just plain scary on those tires. I quess the Slant 6′s are nice on hardpack but unfortunately that kind of terrain basically does not exist around here. I think it’ll be WTB Bronsons or Continental Mountain Kings for me in the not-so distant future.

    I see the 2013 Revolvers and Shinobis have Conti X-kings on them. That’s a change for the better for sure but I’d still go for more knobby tires in rocky and rooty terrains.

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