Thanks to the friendly folks over at Norco, we just tried a brand new 2012 Norco Fluid DX on the dusty, but awesome singletrack of Israel. For two weeks we pounded the crap out of this thing on the trails where it handled everything from nasty rocky descents, sandy wadis and long grinding uphills really well.
Categorized as an all-mountain style bike, I recently came to understand what all-mountain actually means: “What’s the difference between XC and all mountain?” asked Yaron Dari of Samar Bike. “In XC we ride 60 kilometres, then take a lesson in nutrition. In all-mountain we do 35 kilometres and then we take beer.”
I’m in for all-mountain. And the Fluid DX had me enjoying those 35 kilometres (and the beer) happily.
Although not the lightest full-suspension bike on the market, the price ($1485) is right and the versatility of it is impressive. You could do a pure XC ride on this one day and a mild DH run on it the next. The fork lock out was a great option when climbing hills and it was fairly effortless to reach down and lock out the rear suspension on more intensive climbs.
And when it came to the descents, this bike can take it. Not too twitchy, not too sluggish, the steering is great at high or slow speeds and the 5.5 inches of travel and the F.S.R. geometry suck up some pretty nasty bumps. Two pinch flats were the only casualties of some pretty heavy abuse.
For anyone looking for a well-priced all around machine the Fluid DX is worth a serious look.