2012 Norco Revolver

29er Pro Reviews

2012 Norco Product Launch
Whistler, British Columbia
18-20 July 2011

29er Marathon
2012 Norco Revolver

Hot on the heels of last year’s well-regarded Shinobi comes the 2012 Norco Revolver, a trail-focused ride that features 100mm of front and rear travel. Intended for riders who love pounding through rolling singletrack with friends or participating in long-distance endurance races, the Revolver incorporates many of the features that grace the Shinobi and adds a bunch of others that are new for the 2012 model year.

Advanced Ride Technology

In 2011, the Norco design team introduced us to its Advanced Ride Technology (A.R.T.), which is a proprietary, optimized version of the successful FSR linkage that has graced Norco’s full suspension bikes for more than a decade. On the Revolver, ART is realized by using optimized pivot placement that combine to increase pedaling efficiency, improve braking performance, increase square-edge bump compliance, and make it easier to achieve a bottomless feeling suspension system.

Key Frame Features

Like most other bikes in Norco’s performance oriented lineup, the Revolver features a custom, hydroformed tubeset that has been engineered to be both lightweight and stiff while maintaining solid good looks. Some key features of the frame’s tubing include a seat tube that integrates the link arm pivot, clevisless pivots at the chain and seat stays, and a dramatically curved top tube that does an admirable job at keeping standover at a reasonable height.

At the front of the frame, the short, tapered headtube allows Norco to keep the front end of the bike low, improve front end stiffness, and employ modern suspension forks with the stiff and strong crown steerer units (CSUs) that are a core part of these components. Similarly, larger tubing at the front end makes the bike stiffer and contributes to more precise steering than non-tapered designs. The Revolver’s rear end is comprised of asymmetrical seat stay tubing and a one-piece asymmetric chainstay yoke that is optimized for strength, stiffness, and weight. The bike’s front derailleur is mounted to the chainstay yoke too, and this design feature allows the front derailleur to follow the suspension as it moves through its travel.

Taking a cue from the longer-travel Shinobi, the Revolver utilizes a Holloform ® link arm, which is comprised of two forged pieces that are welded together to create a one-piece link arm. This link arm improves the frame’s lateral stiffness and isolates the rear shock from the twisting forces that could otherwise keep it from moving smoothly through its travel. Forged lower shock mounts are designed to better disperse shock forces by creating an improved structure near the bottom bracket area.

The Revolver employs Syntace’s X12 142mm x 12mm rear axle, which is stiffer and stronger than the more traditional 135mm x 10mm rear axle and is easier to remove and install. Additionally, the system’s integrated derailleur hanger is stronger and stiffer than conventional designs, which contributes to crisper, more precise shifting. All of the bikes in Norco’s lineup that use the Syntace X12 axle system include a spare hanger bolt that is stored in the frame’s downtube, which is a pretty trick and thoughtful feature.

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