Norco hid in plain sight at the Sea Otter Classic a new cross-country race machine called Revolver. That it’s made of carbon fibre and sports a taut 100mm of suspension at both ends is no surprise – but that it’ll be offered in both 27.5in and 29in wheel sizes certainly is.
The new Norco Revolver looks ready to go at this year's Sea Otter Classic
Norco officials at the company’s race truck wouldn’t say too much about the new bike but there’s plenty to glean just by inspection. The new frame will be made of carbon fibre from head to toe, including the main triangle, the bridged seatstays, and asymmetrical chainstays. From the looks of things, even the stubby shock link will be made of moulded composite. Claimed weights weren’t available but somewhere just under 2kg seems like a reasonably safe bet.
Not surprisingly, Norco is sticking to its proven true four-bar linkage rear end for the new Revolver with 100mm of travel at either end. At least on the team bikes we spotted, both the rear shock and fork can be locked out via RockShox’s new dual remote lever, and the Monarch rear shock also wears a new air can with an expanded negative chamber for what should be a more supple initial stroke.
The carbon fiber rear end features asymmetrical chainstays and a true four-bar design
Other features include a PF92 bottom bracket shell, 142x12mm rear hub spacing, front and rear thru-axles, a high direct-mount front derailleur bracket, and an internal cable routing setup that will not only work with mechanical and electronic drivetrains (apparently including an internal battery mount) but looks to be very impressively well finished, too. The tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in head tube is also notably short to accommodate the ultra-aggressive positions typical for the segment.
What is surprisingly, however, is that Norco will release the new Revolver in both 27.5in and 29in-wheeled versions – and not just based on size. Norco apparently decided early on in the Revolver’s development that it would offer both options to satisfy rider preferences: 29in wheels for racers who prize all-out speed, and 27.5in ones for riders who want more agility and quicker acceleration for punchier courses.
The internal routing setup looks very well done
Either way, the test mules’ highly refined and finished appearances suggest that an official release is imminent. If we had to guess, we’d say that we’ll hear more around the autumn trade show season at the very latest.
For more information, visit www.norco.com.