The Norco Revolver has been one of the lighter, faster full suspension XC mountain bikes on the market for many years, and now it’s getting a longer legged sibling to go with frame and geo updates. The new MY20 Norco Revolver 100 and 120 put the rider forward and lower, with travel options for both all-out XC racing to longer, multi-day epics.
Besides now offering a 120mm travel version, the big change is the geometry. The rider has been pushed forward and lower, keeping him or her more centered in the wheelbase. They say this helps the suspension work better by balancing the weight better, so it won’t “wallow” on those long seated climbs. And they’re able to stay planted in their power position over undulating terrain, which conserves energy over the course of a race.
Both versions were developed in tandem because they wanted both to perform like a race bike. So, both use a 40% stiffer (axially) hi-mod carbon fiber frame designed to go where you point it. The bikes are virtually identical, simply using a longer stroke rear shock to achieve the extra 20mm of travel. Actual shock length is the same on both bikes, so the difference in BB height between the two is minimal and only caused by the longer fork travel.
We really liked the suspension before, particularly noting it’s ability to eat up successive roots on technical power climbs. The overall layout carries forward, but they say they’ve made refinements to the kinematics to improve efficiency so there’s less reliance on a lockout switch. And, they’re including a new set up guide to help riders get it dialed.
On the descents, the 100mm travel version gets a 68.5º head angle and shorter 60mm stem, borrowing from trail bikes to help keep that wheel out in front a bit. The 120mm goes a bit further with a 67.4º head angle, and both use a 51mm offset fork. Here’s the full geo:
Other little changes include ~15mm shorter chainstays that before, making it a bit more nimble on tight switchbacks. The shocks are now metric, which is what allowed the new design, but are just a tad heavier. Actual frame weight is about the same as before, though.
The bikes will come in three colorways, the matte carbon with blue shown at top, the Carbon/Red Fade (above) and Carbon/Concrete Fade (below).
Framesets run $2,799, and complete bikes run from $3,999 (for the Revolver FS 120 with SRAM NX Eagle, Rockshox SID Select, Reverb R, Stan’s Arch D) up to $8,699 (Both models, with SRAM Eagle AXS and SID Ultimate). All models use the SID fork, either in 100 or 120mm travel setting, but the 100mm bikes all use the new Ultimate version. The 100mm bikes come with 29×2.25 tires, and the 120mm bikes get 29×2.35. The new Revolver FS goes online today, but won’t start shipping until June 2019.