Norco Fluid 7.2 2015 review

A boisterously fun if slightly flexy full suspension machine

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,200.00 RRP | AUD $2,499.00 | USD $1,775.00

Our review

Great spec and smooth suspension for the money mean the Fluid is aptly named
Buy if, You want a superb value full-sus ride and aren't afraid of a bit of flex and shimmy
Pros: Controlled and predictable rockshox suspension, balanced handling, light and fast enough to be enjoyable all day
Cons: Frame can get out of shape when hammering hard, sketchy rubber
Skip to view product specifications

It sounds daft attributing human emotions to a collection of tubes. But whenever we rode Norco’s Fluid 7.2 we got the unmistakeable feeling that it was every bit as glad to be out riding as we were and determined to deliver the maximum fun from every trail.

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Breaking that down into the detailed ride dynamic, the handling is the most obvious and influential part. A 740mm wide bar immediately adds purpose and power assisted authority to the steering, and for some reason it seems to be the sweet spot that just scrapes between the tightest tree squeezes of most wooded trails.

The 70mm stem is still short enough to finesse and feather traction without disturbing inherent confidence and stability. Meanwhile the RockShox TK32 fork, with a 15mm thru-axle, takes the control all the way to the tips.

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The supple suspension and inherent flex make for a lively, flowing ride:

The supple suspension and inherent flex make for a lively, flowing ride

The narrow rims and fast rather than grippy Beeline treads mean that things can go a bit haywire in the last part of the rider-to-trail connection, particularly in damp conditions, but at least you get early and accurate information when things start to slip. A grippier front tyre would noticeably reduce the cornering and off camber fail rate in wet conditions though.

Lively frame that keeps you on your toes

The same lively rather than dull vibe flows through the frame too. Relatively narrow curved frame tubes and skinny linkages mean there’s definite distortion along its length when you’re pushing it hard. A bit of spring and compliance can sometimes really suit a bike though and that’s certainly the case with the Norco.

The 120mm of travel isn’t enough to suck you into really sketchy sections too fast. But if you do find yourself in dicey circumstances, having a frame that can swerve the biggest slams can be a useful get out of jail card.

The suspension is equally lively and active too. It’s tight enough to put your effort into the trail without wallowing and bobbing with every pedal push, yet supple enough to stop you getting knocked off your stride.

If you’re a really hard rider then you’ll want to ramp up pressure for solid support, but that’s likely to make the frame flex more obvious so you’re better off cutting it some slack and letting it make the most of the travel it’s got. If you really want to get your grunt on there are lockout levers at both ends anyway.

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The impressive value, slick-shifting and highly durable Shimano Deore/SLX/XT mix 10spd transmission is great value on a full-sus bike in this price bracket – and it’s light enough to gain speed easily so you don’t need gravity on your side to have a really good time.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Fluid 7.2 (15)
Brand Norco

Bottom Bracket included with crank
Rear Shock Rockshox Monarch RL HVI
Wheelbase (in) 44.29
Standover Height (in) 30.2
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.07
Spoke Type Black stainless steel
Brake Levers Shimano M-396
Stem Alloy MTB stem with 4 bolt front clamp
Shifters Shimano Deore M610 rapid fire
Seatpost Norco 6061 alloy double bolt 30.9 x 350mm
Seat Angle 74.5
Saddle WTB Volt Sport SE XC trail saddle
Rims Alex DP 21 dbl wall 650B I21 tubeless ready
Rear Tyre WTB Beeline 27.5x2.2
Rear Hub SRAM MTH 306 alloy disc w/ QR
Brakes Shimano M-396 hydraulic disc w/160mm rotor
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX M-675 Shadow Plus 10 speed
Headset Type FSA #57B tapered internal
Head Angle 68.5
Handlebar Norco 6061 alloy 1Ó rise bar 740mm
Grips/Tape Norco MTB gator design trail grip
Front Tyre WTB Beeline 27.5x2.2
Front Hub Alloy disc w/15 mm / sealed bearing
Front Derailleur Sram GX high clamp mount FD downpull
Frame Material Fluid alloy 27.5 frame with 120 mm travel
Fork Rockshox Recon SilverTK SA 120mm 15mm
Cranks SR Suntour 2 pc XCM 36/22 10 speed
Chain KMC X-10
Cassette Shimano HG-50 11-36T 10 sp
Frame size tested M