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2019 Norco Fluid FS, an all-new affordable aluminum trail bike

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
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Norco has given their full-suspension Fluid FS trail bike a full refresh, updating the aluminum 120/130mm mountain bike to make it even more of a singletrack shredder. This is Norco’s go-to bike for everyday mountain bike riding, and it becomes even more capable with updated geometry, size specific wheels, and room for bigger tires to take on the most technical trails.

2019 Norco Fluid FS 120mm travel alloy mountain bike

One of Norco’s best-selling everyday mountain bikes since its original introduction sixteen years ago, how we ride trail bikes has come a long way since then. The affordable Fluid FS needed to be brought up to speed, so Norco has given it a ground-up refresh.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
courtesy of Norco

The new 2019 Norco Fluid FS shares the same basic Horst-link four-bar suspension design and 120mm of rear wheel travel. But even that gets updated with an improved main pivot location optimized for 1x drivetrains. Now more playful and plush than ever before, the Fluid FS also gets totally new modern trail geometry for a more balanced ride, both climbing and descending.

2019 Norco Fluid FS updated Geometry

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike geometry

The Fluid FS gets much of the same geometry updates we’ve seen dominate aggressive trail bike sin recent years – a longer reach and steeper seat angle for a more forward position on the bike, improving both pedalling efficiency and front end control. The new Fluid also gets a slackened head angle to 66° and longer 130mm travel forks to soak up more techy trails.

2019 Norco Fluid FS alloy mountain bike Tech Details

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike

The affordable Fluid FS features a light, yet durable double-butted aluminum frame with size-specific tube, scaled to deliver the same stiffness and ride quality across the wide six frame size range (XS-XL). Carrying over the same size-specific wheelsize concept, the new Fluid FS uses 27.5″ wheels for the smaller XS-M bikes and 29″ wheels for the larger M-XL sizes. Paired with size-specific tubing, that let Norco’s team engineer a consistent handling & ride feel for a broad group of mountain bikers.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike

Not something we hear about much even though most bike makers do it to some degree, Norco specifically put together an easy to understand suspension setup guide for the new Fluid FS to help riders to set up their bike quickly and efficiently based on their weight, terrain & personal riding style.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike

Together with contemporary geo updates, the new bike finally gets updated to Boost spacing and thru-axles. The new Fluid FS features a tapered 1.5″ front end, a threaded 73mm BSA bottom bracket, and a 31.6mm seatpost. The new 1x-specific bike gets internal cable routing in the front triangle, including stealth dropper routing.

Norco continues to offer the Fluid FS in women-specific builds. The Women’s builds seem only to get a different saddle spec and different paint job (no pink, mostly all black instead.) And they come only in the smaller XS-M size range, while still including the size M 29er option.

2019 Norco Fluid FS alloy mountain bike Pricing, Spec & Availability

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 4 29
2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 4 Women’s 27.5

Norco says that delivering high performance bikes at reasonable prices in a core principle for the brand – and the alloy Fluid FS is a good example. With eight complete bikes at four spec levels on offer, the most affordable Fluid FS 4 & Fluid FS 4 Women’s retail for just $1650 / $2000 CAD with an SR Suntour XCR34 Air fork, X-Fusion O2 Pro R rear shock, a Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain with Tektro Hydraulic disc brakes, a TranzX dropper post and 2.6″ tubeless-ready Goodyear Escape tires on tubeless WTB STP i29 rims. It’s surely not the lightest trail bike in the world, but that’s a pretty solid spec at a price that can’t be beat.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 3 Women’s 27.5

The next step up Fluid FS 3 & Fluid FS 3 Women’s upgrades to RockShox suspension with a Recon RL fork & Deluxe R shock, plus a NX 1×11 drivetrain at a still affordable $2050 / $2550 CAD pricepoint with nicer 2.6″ Maxxis Forekaster tires.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 2 29

The Fluid FS 2 & Fluid FS 2 Women’s again get a spec boost at $2700 / $3000 CAD, this time to a RockShox Sektor RL fork & the Deluxe R shock, the same 1×11 NX drivetrain, but an upgrade to SRAM Level T brakes.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 4 29
2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike
2019 Norco Fluid FS 4 Women’s 27.5

The top-end Fluid FS 1 & Fluid FS 1 Women’s aren’t super cheap at $3050 / $3600 CAD, but they do get a nicer complete build with a NX Eagle 12 speed group, a RockShox Revelation RC fork to go with the Deluxe R shock, and an upgrade to Guide T brakes as well.

2019 Norco Fluid FS affordable 120mm travel aluminum alloy trail mountain bike

Norco.com

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Tim
Tim
5 years ago

How did we get to a point where all cables are routed internally? Ugh. Hopefully, in a few years the bike industry will be telling us all about the benefits of external cables- easier accessibility and maintenance.

Benito
Benito
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

+1…what is the benefit of internal routing supposed to be? Cleaner lines? Cables/hoses are only really ugly where they come splaying out of shifters/brakes up at the bar. Internal routing is just an answer in search of a problem.

Esteban LV (@es7ebanlv)
Reply to  Benito

Cables/hoses aren’t ever ugly, especially when they come splaying out of shifters/brakes up at the bar. Think hard about what you’ve said and don’t return until you repent.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I sell bikes for a living and I agree. But 99% of customers want internal cable routing. Every brand has to do this or they won’t sell anything.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Again, this is strange! I remember being around shops a lot in the mid- 90s up to the early 2000s. In the beginning of that period, the only bikes that came with internal routing were Kleins; there had also been some road bikes that had internal routing, but everyone hated that and the trend died. The nails were in the coffin! I think what brought internal routing back was the increased prevalence of carbon and of hydroformed aluminum (hard and expensive to mold cable stops, or to rivet them in place, easier to make a hole). It’s easier and cheaper to make frames with internal routing, so that’s what we consumers end up with. The ‘benefits’ are something cooked up post-hoc.

Derek
Derek
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

If you’ve ever used one of Norco’s internally-routed bikes, I think you’ll find that they address a lot of your concerns. They keep cables looking tidy and out of harms way. Cables/hoses don’t rattle on the frame, as they’re secured at both ends, they don’t rub and damage paint or carbon, and they’re never in the way when you want to clamp/shoulder your bike. And for all these benefits, the only downside is that you have to feed the housing/hose through a window in the frame specifically designed to be easy enough for an epileptic monkey to do blindfolded.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Derek

In my twenty years of cycling on various bikes, all with external routing, my cables have never rattled or become damaged in a crash. My riding included trials, which involves frequent crashes. Cables are also secured at both ends on bikes with external routing. They’ve never been in the way when portaging. Those are non-issues.
Cables can rub through paint or carbon, but that’s never happened to me on any of my bikes. Less (superficial) ‘damage’ to frames *might* be a benefit of internal routing- but if it is, it’s the *only* benefit.
I’m sure anyone can feed cables INTO a frame; it’s pulling them OUT of the hole that is routinely a PITA.

Brooodie
Brooodie
8 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Shut up Tim no one cares

Eric
Eric
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I have 2014 Fluid. I’ve had to replace all my cables because the tailgate pad wears them out so internal routing is welcome.

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