Norco Fluid Two – a Canadian do-it-all All Mountain Bike

Pro Reviews

The Bike

Frame:

The Fluid Two uses a Specialized-licensed four-bar Horst Link rear end. Head-tube and seat-tube angles are traditional all-mountain at 69 and 73 degrees respectively. Rear travel is adjustable between 4.5 – 5.6″ (114mm to 140mm of travel) by moving a rear shock member on a forged link arm on the rear end from one hole to another using a couple of allen keys. The bike’s geometry does not change between either rear-travel adjustment; a very nice touch.

There is enough clearance for a 2.5″ Kenda Nevegal tire (a change from previous versions of the Fluid where 2.35 rear tires were the limit. The toptube of the bike slopes giving ample clearance. You can substantially drop your seat if necessary for downhills as the Fluid Two has a non-interrupted seat tube.

The front end has a 1 1/8″ head-tube. Top tubes and downtubes are hydroformed for lighter weight. Unfortunately there are no water bottle braze-ons.

The complete Fluid Two weighs 29lbs. You don’t lose a lot of weight if you go to the Fluid One which is a pound lighter then the Fluid Two and costs another $ 1100 Cad.

Components

A RockShox Revelation 409 with no travel adjust and a 9mm axle is provided as front suspension. It’s a relatively light tuneable fork. Not terribly sexy but it does the job without fuss. Fox’s proven RP2 is on the rear end of the bike. Both are tuneable air shocks.

The Fluid Two’s drivetrain is a mix of Shimano parts. Of note is Shimano’s impressive “value” SLX group which shifted error-free even under load.

A nice surprise was getting Avid’s superlatively powerful Elixir CR brakes on a middle-end bike. Reach and pad contact are adjustable at the level without tools. Power is outstanding. Unlike the sometimes grabby Juicys, the Elixirs modulated well and were silent!

The rider compartment is outfitted with Ritchey handlebars, stem, seatpost. The wheelset is a standard budget build (Mavic XM117, Shimano M475 – essentially Deore hubs) but with tread that performs well in my local trails (Kenda Nevegal 2.1s)


Cable-routing is very clean. Note the non-interrupted seat-tube and the curved top tube for clearance. Rear suspension can be adjusted between 4.5 to 5.6″ (116-143mm)


About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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  • Bakes says:

    I liked you very “to the point” review of this bike. I am toying with getting into the full suspension version and am currently riding a Norco hardtail that I absolutely love. I am considering spending a little more to get a Fluid model or save a few bucks and buy a buddy’s gently used Gary Fisher Sugar 2. I trying to do a little research in the hopes that it will make my decision easier. Cheers!

  • Joe says:

    Cool music! What is it?

  • LeeL says:

    Thanks Bakes. It’s nice to learn on a hardtail – I think it helps build solid fundamental skills. I used to have a GF Sugar 1. Nice bike but quite a bit different then the Norco. Glad this could help

    Joe – it’s Remind Me by Royksopp

  • wow says:

    um……….

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