New Norco Fluid VLT first test – Long anticipated, finally tested

Norco actually stored us on our toes! Though the brand new Fluid VLT gentle eMTB was unveiled final yr, there weren’t any rideable specimens to pay money for till now. Nonetheless, lastly we acquired our palms on one of many first check bikes, and the idea is promising: Bosch SX motor, mullet wheel setup and 140/130 mm of journey. However is the Norco value its eye watering € 12,999 price ticket (and the lengthy wait)?

Norco Fluid VLT C1 130 | Bosch Efficiency Line SX/400 Wh | 140/130 mm (f/r)
18.1 kg in measurement S4 | € 12,999| Producer’s web site

Though Norco took a while to affix the ebike sport, after they did, they took on the competitors with sporty-looking, high-performance bikes. That is partly as a result of model’s personal historical past and philosophy. Norco is a really established core model within the mountain biking section, and relies in British Columbia, Canada – the mecca of mountain biking! The Canadian model has a protracted custom, and is deeply rooted within the native scene. Evidently, their ebikes needed to do justice to the model’s heritage. The brand new Fluid VLT is Norco’s first gentle e-mountainbike and depends on a Bosch SX motor. By the way in which, all the Canadian producer’s ebikes bear the VLT suffix of their identify, which stands for Volt. We examined the C1 130 flagship mannequin, which mixes a mullet wheel setup and 140/130 mm of journey, tipping the scales at simply 18.1 kg. Nonetheless, if you wish to name Norco’s full carbon e-bruiser your new N+1, you’ll need to fork out a whopping € 12,999 for the privilege.

The Norco Fluid VLT intimately

The Fluid VLT depends on a Bosch SX motor and slim, easy body. In contrast to Norco’s analogue path bruisers, the Optic and Sight, it forgoes advanced suspension designs with eye-catching loafer pulleys and different fancy options. The black carbon body employs a modern design language, making certain a discreet, understated look. Because the identify suggests, the shapes movement between the analogue world and the electrical dimension, with discreet branding underlining the general elegant look.

“What sort of bike is that this?” That’s the kind of query folks requested once we rolled up with the Norco. The branding is elegant and understated.
Ebike? Sure, however! On the drive facet, the Bosch Efficiency Line SX motor is built-in seamlessly into the body, whereas the down tube appears to be like very slim, regardless of the completely built-in battery.

On the down tube, mounting factors for a bottle cage let you carry water or the optionally available 250 Wh Bosch PowerMore Vary Extender. There’s additionally a device mount on the highest tube the place you may safe a device strap with all of your path necessities. A chunky TPU plate within the backside bracket space protects the carbon body towards nasty impacts, whereas a beefy shuttle guard prevents chafing while you throw your bike on the again of a pickup truck – a should for a Canadian bike! A smooth chainstay protector is supposed to forestall chain slap and paint chips, however sadly it doesn’t stretch all the way in which to the entrance of the chainstay. We suggest including somewhat mastic tape to guard the body (and your ear drums!). The chain slap is accompanied by a loud rattling noise from the cables, that are routed internally and disappear into the body by means of standard cable ports on the top tube. Whereas the cable ports may not stop rattling, they guarantee a clear look, and make it simpler to service the bike than an inner headset routing system.

The small mudguard on the primary pivot level prevents small rocks from getting jammed between the primary body triangle and the swingarm.
The chainstay protector doesn’t lengthen all the way in which over the entrance part of the chainstay, which ends up in loud chain slap. Norco want to enhance this!
Opposite to the present development, the cables disappear into the body by means of standard cable ports on the body.
The cable-operated OneUp dropper put up provides yet one more cable to the cockpit – however with out it, you wouldn’t have an enormous 210 mm dropper put up.

The spec of the Norco Fluid VLT C1 130

The Norco Fluid VLT C1 130 comes geared up with a Bosch Efficiency Line SX drive. So long as the 400 Wh battery lasts, the motor packs fairly a punch, delivering 60 Nm of torque and 600 W peak energy, which is identical peak energy as a full-fat Bosch CX drive – fairly spectacular figures for a light-weight motor. Nonetheless, the motor additionally requires extra bodily effort from the rider, because it solely delivers its most energy at a really excessive pedalling cadence. The small Bluetooth distant on the handlebars and Bosch System Controller within the high tube completely go well with the bike’s sporty orientation whereas underlining the tidy look, with simply three cables on the handlebars. The wi-fi SRAM XX Eagle Transmission drivetrain depends on a direct-mount rear derailleur and ensures butter-smooth shifting, even below load, proving an ideal match for the Norco. The SRAM Degree Final Stealth brakes, alternatively, are somewhat too weak for a motorcycle on this class, delivering poor deceleration on the path and requiring robust fingers – and the small 180 mm rotors don’t make your life any simpler.

The light-weight however fairly massive Bosch Efficiency Line SX motor delivers as much as 600 W peak energy, however solely delivers its full energy at excessive pedalling cadences.
The ability of the motor is transmitted to the rear wheel through a SRAM XX Eagle AXS Transmission drivetrain with a direct-mount rear derailleur.

For the suspension of the Fluid VLT C1 130, Norco depend on RockShox, combining a Pike Final fork and matching Deluxe Final shock which generate 140/130 mm of journey, in contrast to the opposite Fluid VLT fashions, which mix 150/140 mm of journey. The fork gives numerous adjustment choices, whereas the inline shock gives solely restricted adjustability.

Much less insertion depth for extra journey: the 210 mm OneUp Dropper V3 dropper ensures loads of freedom of motion on the bike.
The SRAM Degree Final brakes and small 180 mm rotors don’t do justice to the bike’s character and meant use, rapidly resulting in fatigue and arm pump.

The OneUp Dropper V3 dropper put up gives a whopping 210 mm of journey and might be inserted all the way in which into the body from body measurement 4 upwards, making certain loads of freedom of motion downhill – it’s actually value placing up with the extra cable within the cockpit. OneUp Parts additionally provide the 800 mm handlebars, which have loads of built-in compliance to make sure a excessive degree of consolation. To maintain the burden of the flagship mannequin in test, Norco selected a Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon Enduro wheelset, which permits for a complete system weight of 18.1 kg in body measurement 4. The wheels are paired with a fairly uncommon Continental tire combo, with a 2.4” Kryptotal on the entrance and a couple of.4” Xynotal on the rear, each in Conti’s path model, with the laborious endurance rubber compound and skinny path casing. Whereas this mix is completely appropriate for the bike’s orientation and journey class, tires with softer rubber compound and extra sturdy casing would guarantee higher path efficiency, particularly in moist situations. The light-weight carbon parts would possibly assist scale back weight, however in addition they push up the value to a hefty € 12,999.

Not precisely Kryptonite: the Continental Kryptotal entrance tire.

Norco Fluid VLT C1 130

€ 12,999


Motor Bosch Efficiency Line SX 55 Nm
Battery Bosch CompactTube 400 Wh
Show Bosch System Controller
Fork RockShox Pike Final 140 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Deluxe Final 130 mm
Seatpost OneUp Dropper V3 210 mm
Brakes SRAM Degree Final Stealth 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX AXS Eagle Transmission 1×12
Stem Norco SL 40 mm
Handlebar One Up Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon Enduro 29″/27,5″
Tires Continental Kryptotal FR Path/ Continental Xynotal Path 2,4″/2,4″

Technical Knowledge

Measurement S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
Weight 18,1 kg
Perm. whole weight 138 kg
Max. payload (rider/tools) 119 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Particular Options

Instrument Mount

Completely different spec variants of the Norco Fluid VLT

The Norco Fluid VLT is offered within the three variants; C1, C2 and C3, all of which generate 140 mm of journey, apart from our C1 130 check bike, which has 10 mm much less journey each on the entrance and rear. The entry-level C3 140 mannequin retails at € 6,499, whereas the mid-range C2 140 variant prices € 7,999. The largest distinction between these two fashions is the body materials: whereas the C3 combines a carbon body and alloy swingarm, the dearer C2 mannequin depends on a full carbon body. Weight is 20.3 kg for the C3, 19.9 kg for the C2 and 19.3 kg for the C1 140.

Norco Fluid VLT C1 140 | Bosch Efficiency Line SX/400 Wh | 150/140 mm (f/r)
19.3 kg (Producer’s specs) | € 10,499 | Manufaturer’s web site

In the event you’re not too fussed about weight and also you’re searching for extra downhill efficiency – a minimum of by way of spec – then the € 10,499 Norco Fluid VLT C1 140 could be the best choice. It comes geared up with FOX suspension consisting of a 150 mm 36 Efficiency Elite fork and matching 140 mm Float X2 shock, each of which supply numerous adjustment choices. The shock depends on a piggyback reservoir and is geared toward sporty riders searching for constant rear suspension efficiency to deal with lengthy descents. In contrast to our check bike, the C1 140 options highly effective SRAM CODE brakes with 200 mm rotors, and is due to this fact our high tip for sporty, downhill-oriented riders.

Norco F Fluid VLT C2 140 | Bosch Efficiency Line SX/400 Wh | 150/140 mm (f/r)
19.9 kg (Producer’s specs) | € 7,999 | Producer’s web site

The C2 140 mannequin retails at € 7,999 and depends on a blended suspension setup, with a RockShox Lyrik fork and FOX Float X2 Efficiency Elite shock. Significantly putting is the digital SRAM GX Transmission drivetrain, which delivers butter-smooth gear shifts even below load.

Norco Fluid VLT C3 140 | Bosch Efficiency Line SX/400 Wh | 150/140 mm (f/r)
20.3 kg (Producer’s specs) | € 6,499 | Producer’s web site

The entry-level C3 140 mannequin retails at € 6,499 and employs extra fundamental RockShox suspension with restricted adjustment choices, and an inexpensive Shimano DEORE drivetrain. Braking is taken care of by TRP brakes, that are a uncommon sight on off-the-shelf builds.

Norco’s Trip Aligned idea

Norco got here up with a intelligent function for all MTB newbies and those that hate organising their bikes! It’s the Trip Aligned setup information, which makes it simpler to decide on the appropriate body measurement and helps you with the preliminary setup, whether or not it’s the suspension, tires or saddle peak. In consequence, the maiden voyage along with your new Norco gained’t be a wild expertise dictated by a guessing sport of pressures and settings. All you need to do is choose your bike from the homepage and punch in a bunch of fundamental data, resembling your physique measurements, using fashion and most popular using place. What comes out on the opposite facet are numerous (and really correct!) setup suggestions. We adopted these religiously and couldn’t be happier – the settings suited our wants nearly completely!

The geometry of the Norco Fluid VLT C1 140

The Norco Fluid VLT is offered in 5 body sizes, providing an appropriate choice for riders between 155 and 195 cm tall. Our C1 130 check bike in measurement 4 combines a 65° head angle and 77.75° seat tube angle, that are each half a level steeper than on the Fluid VLT fashions with 140 mm of rear journey. From body sizes 2 to five, the chainstays develop with the body measurement in 4 mm intervals, from 432 mm to 444 mm, which is supposed to make sure constant dealing with throughout all sizes. Total, the Fluid VLT is on the lengthy facet for a motorcycle with 140/130 mm of journey.


Measurement 1 2 3 4 5
High tube 568 mm 592 mm 617 mm 641 mm 665 mm
Seat tube 385 mm 395 mm 415 mm 445 mm 475 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 76.5° 76.8° 77° 77.3° 77.5°
Chainstay 432 mm 432 mm 436 mm 440 mm 444 mm
BB Drop 31.5 mm 31.5 mm 31.5 mm 31.5 mm 31.5 mm
Wheelbase 1,177 mm 1,206 mm 1,239 mm 1,273 mm 1,306mm
Attain 427 mm 452 mm 477 mm 502 mm 527 mm
Stack 607 mm 616 mm 625 mm 634 mm 643 mm

The Norco Fluid VLT on the path

At first look, the Norco Fluid VLT appears to be like extraordinarily lengthy. With its 1273 mm wheelbase, it could have been the 4th longest bike within the newest path bike group check of our sister journal ENDURO, which included 15 of the most popular path bikes of the season. Nonetheless, as quickly as you swing your leg over the saddle and absolutely lengthen the 210 mm dropper put up, the bike doesn’t really feel so long as it appears to be like. The steep seat tube locations you comfortably near the handlebars, making certain a well-balanced, roomy pedalling place, which is each upright and relaxed, and comfy sufficient for lengthy days within the saddle. Speaking of lengthy rides, the body encompasses a bottle cage for giant 750 ml bottles, in addition to a device mount below the highest tube for a spare interior tube, CO2 canister and tire levers. Whereas on steep, technical uphills, the Bosch Efficiency Line SX motor requires excessive pedalling cadences, it pushes laborious for a lightweight motor. It’s so highly effective, in actual fact, that you simply’ll need to actively weight the entrance wheel to maintain it monitoring.

When gravity takes over, the Norco integrates you properly between its wheels, with the burden evenly distributed between the entrance and rear. Along with the lengthy wheelbase, this evokes enormous quantities of confidence, encouraging you to open the faucets and hit the roughest strains. However beware: right here the short-travel suspension rapidly reaches its limits and places an finish to the rowdy enjoyable. This can be a actual disgrace, as a result of you may clearly really feel how the bike needs extra! In the event you hang around on demanding trails, we suggest taking a more in-depth take a look at the model with 150/140 mm of journey, which strikes a greater stability between composure and reserves.

Helmet Giro Tyrant MIPS | Glasses Candy Safety Memento | Backpack Camelbak Chase | Jersey Image Osborn Printed SS | Sneakers Crankbrothers Mallet E Speedlace | Socks STANCE

Throughout this check, we got here to the conclusion that it’s simpler with the Fluid VLT C1 130 to pop off pure kickers and hole rougher path sections, fairly than simply shut your eyes and plough by means of them – the poppy suspension and low system weight actually assist with this. Whether or not you wish to accumulate air miles or just keep away from obstacles, the Norco Fluid VLT C1 loves taking off into the air. In the event you scent one thing burning, it’s not the forest catching fireplace, however the SRAM Degree Final brakes and small 180 mm rotors, which require robust fingers and have a tendency to overheat rapidly, delivering inconsistent braking efficiency and an inconsistent chew level. Nonetheless, on flowing singletracks they’re nonetheless high-quality, whereas the progressive suspension makes it straightforward to generate pace by pumping by means of rollers and berms. In open corners, you’ll need to actively shift your weight over the entrance wheel to generate traction – and for those who improve to a entrance tire with smooth rubber compound this shall be loads simpler.

Who ought to take a more in-depth take a look at the Norco Fluid VLT?

The Norco Fluid VLT C1 is a really respectable path eMTB. Nonetheless, its confidence-inspiring character encourages you to hit trails that are gnarlier than the suspension can deal with. In consequence, it’s extra appropriate for skilled riders who’re searching for a quick bike, and still have the abilities to keep away from extra daunting options – whether or not by gapping them or shralping round them. The spec doesn’t fairly do justice to the bike’s character and meant use, slowing down the in any other case super-fast Norco.

Our conclusion in regards to the new Orbea Rise 2025

The Norco Fluid VLT C1 130 is a no-bullshit path eMTB with a low system weight and good-natured dealing with. It encourages you to push tougher than the suspension journey suggests, but it surely quickly reaches its limits for those who get carried away. With the costly variant we examined, the eye-watering € 12,999 worth solely will get you a lighter bike, so if you’d like extra bike, we suggest choosing the Norco Fluid C1 140, which has extra journey and a extra downhill-orientated spec but in addition weighs a smidge extra.


  • Balanced using behaviour
  • Very composed for its journey class
  • Trip Aligned setup information gives wonderful suggestions for the preliminary setup


  • Spec doesn’t do justice to the bike’s character and meant use
  • Undersized braking system

For more information, go to

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Phrases: Julian Schwede Photographs: Peter Walker

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