First Ride - Norco Revolver FS120 | BIKE Magazine


Norco already has a trail bike. In fact, depending on your definition, it’s got three of them, some spanning multiple wheel sizes. So, when the British Columbia-based brand decided to offer a longer-travel version of its recently updated Revolver XC race bike, that apple was probably better off if it didn’t fall too far from the tree.

In the case of the Revolver FS120, that meant adding nothing more than a dropper post, a slightly wider set of bars and a slightly wider set of tires. Turns out, that works just fine. The Revolver FS120 is as conservative as you’d expect on the descents. Both the RockShox Sid fork and the light & lively Revolver frame have an unavoidable bit of lateral flex. But the Revolver’s rear suspension performance offers a uniquely perfect mix of mid-stroke support and off-the-top sensitivity. Without the need for excessive pressure or any volume spacers whatsoever, the Revolver FS120 stayed poised under forceful pedaling and pumping loads, but let me float as well as any bike with these numbers could. That’s true on the descents, where that supple top end keeps the feathery frame from deflecting off line. But it’s also true on the climbs, where the comfort that might draw you to the versatile 120-millimeter version over the focused 100.

The geometry combines a long cockpit, long wheelbase and short chainstays (which happen to be of totally unique lengths, depending on the frame size) with a conservative 67.4-degree head angle and a steep-for-an-XC bike 74.9-degree seat angle. For those who want a bike focused on all-day power but with the capability for half-day sprints, this revolver is worth a shot.