For the pro men’s XC race at Sea Otter this year, Norco’s team riders will have the choice of the existing Revolver hardtail 29er or this prototype Revolver full suspension.
They were tight lipped on details other than to say this was the first time any of the athletes would be throwing a leg over it, and to discuss a bit of their development process for making new bikes.
To state the obvious, it’s a Horst Link design, likely getting 100mm of travel, with a shock layout that’s a departure from the upright positioning found on their longer travel Sight, Range or the new Aurum Carbon DH bike. Instead, a small but stout rocker link pushes the shock forward just under the top tube. Beyond that, they’d only say that they were doing things a bit differently with this bike…
Up front, two ports on either side make room for rear shifter, rear brake, rear shock remote lockout and likely either front derailleur or dropper post remote. From the looks of this one, there’s a dual hydraulic lockout switch activating both the RS-1 and a Monarch rear shock.
They sort of mumbled something about the shock being special, but outside appearances don’t suggest anything special…looks like a Monarch to us.
The downtube, bottom bracket and stays are all oversized. The Kenda tires simply said Norco Factory Team, so there’s probably something special going on with them despite a similar looking tread pattern.
The Revolver hardtail from which this one’s based. The bikes will be raced by Haley Smith, Peter Disera, Evan Guthrie and Evan McNeely.
For a prototype, this one’s looking awfully polished. And it’s full carbon, meaning they’ve opened molds. Their marketing rep said they have done plenty of testing with alloy mules to get the linkage positions dialed, suggesting these are more about getting the layup and small bits right. They said when they’re going to do something, they commit big (carbon molds are expensive), and they went through the same process with the new carbon Aurum, too. So, despite not specifying a release timeline, our hunch is it’s close.