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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! I just got an offer and need to act quickly. But I wanted your opinion first.

For those that don't know me, I'm 5'7" 320lbs and somewhat of a noob.

I was wondering what your opinion is of this bike and it's worthiness of my fluffy splendor. I've only been able to find one review on this site and it received an overall rating of 5 chilis.

2008 Norco Fluid Four. Brand new for a total of $850 shipped. Components are mediocre at best, but I don't know anything of the sturdiness of Norco's frames. I'm thinking, if the frame is decent, it would a good starter that can be upgraded as the budget allows.

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From what I've heard and seen (had a Norco frame but never built it up), Norco makes a solid frame. As a clyde myself, the tora will be too soft since it's a coil spring. I have a tora 318 solo air and it works well except it flexes under hard cornering enough to rub the tire on the crown. But overall it's a decent fork for what I paid.
I'd say you'd be getting a good deal but at your weight realize that parts are going to have issues, even if you just ride the bike path. Sorry but bikes are made for 150-170lb people so some of us are carrying a passenger along with us, myself included.
Unless you're dead set on a FS bike I'd consider a stout HT.
 

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I'd steer clear of anything with a coil spring.
They don't make springs that can even come close to handling us UBER Clydes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DSFA said:
From what I've heard and seen (had a Norco frame but never built it up), Norco makes a solid frame. As a clyde myself, the tora will be too soft since it's a coil spring. I have a tora 318 solo air and it works well except it flexes under hard cornering enough to rub the tire on the crown. But overall it's a decent fork for what I paid.
I'd say you'd be getting a good deal but at your weight realize that parts are going to have issues, even if you just ride the bike path. Sorry but bikes are made for 150-170lb people so some of us are carrying a passenger along with us, myself included.
Unless you're dead set on a FS bike I'd consider a stout HT.
LOL, yeah I'm pretty set on a FS. I've had and have HT's and want to see how a FS will suit me, if at all. I may ride it for a few months, find out I hate it and go back. But I'll never know if I don't try.
No worries about talking about my weight. I'm a big heavy guy and there's no denying that fact. But that's why I'm here (clydes MTB forum). I'm working to change that. I'm sure I'll have to put beefier components on as my needs/skills evolve. But what I'm most concerned about at the moment is whether or not this bike offers a good foundation to build on. I haven't heard any BAD about Norco. Actually I haven't heard much at all about them. But the company and their quality seem to be up there in the ranks.
 

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The tora u turn is going to be outgunned even on the flats. I have an extra firm string in mine (~$60 installed) and it works for me but I am only 220#. The 2008 tora is known for a damper defect that causes it to puke out it oil. My LBS keeps spare dampers on hand since they do so many warranty repairs on the low end toras. See if you can swing a fork upgade if your are buying through a shop it is the cheapest way to get into a better fork.

Brian
 

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The parts spec is actually not that bad, everything should work for you except the fork. You might want to upgrade the bars and cranks, and maybe even the seatpost for the extra security (you're a big guy)
 

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MrGoodHammer said:
LOL, yeah I'm pretty set on a FS. I've had and have HT's and want to see how a FS will suit me, if at all. I may ride it for a few months, find out I hate it and go back. But I'll never know if I don't try.
No worries about talking about my weight. I'm a big heavy guy and there's no denying that fact. But that's why I'm here (clydes MTB forum). I'm working to change that. I'm sure I'll have to put beefier components on as my needs/skills evolve. But what I'm most concerned about at the moment is whether or not this bike offers a good foundation to build on. I haven't heard any BAD about Norco. Actually I haven't heard much at all about them. But the company and their quality seem to be up there in the ranks.
That's cool you want to try out a FS bike. Speaking as a plus size rider myself and as a former LBS manager, you need to realize upfront a FS for a heavy rider takes more setup and maintenance. Like I said in my previous post you are getting a pretty good deal so if you can afford it plan on some upgrades from the get go, it may help (I just built up about the fifth or sixth FS bike I've owned (a Haro Werx EXT), so far it is sweet but our trails are covered under ice and snow. I've kept returning to HT's because of frame flex and susp. issues).
I recommend air spring forks and shocks but realize you'll be running at the max pressures which can cause seal blowouts. I used to like coil sprung stuff but the stiffest springs available are more for 200lb'ers than the 250+ crew so you end up on a marshmallow that ghost shifts off every bump.
Look at trailbike/AM type bikes and forget XC types, that Norco is categorized as All Mountain XC sooooo take labels for what their worth (side track rant, I get annoyed at all the marketing names for bikes nowadays. My go-to HT is a 98 Kona Explosif steel HT which has done epic trailrides, been 24hr raced, gone down Keystones DH course and what'd ya know? It's all one bike! Besides the fact it's 12 yrs old now!).
I'm guessing you're mail-ordering the bike and can't try it out first? If you have a Specialized dealer around you could try a FSR with similar travel as the Norco uses the same type of rear susp. design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
DSFA said:
That's cool you want to try out a FS bike. Speaking as a plus size rider myself and as a former LBS manager, you need to realize upfront a FS for a heavy rider takes more setup and maintenance. Like I said in my previous post you are getting a pretty good deal so if you can afford it plan on some upgrades from the get go, it may help (I just built up about the fifth or sixth FS bike I've owned (a Haro Werx EXT), so far it is sweet but our trails are covered under ice and snow. I've kept returning to HT's because of frame flex and susp. issues).
I recommend air spring forks and shocks but realize you'll be running at the max pressures which can cause seal blowouts. I used to like coil sprung stuff but the stiffest springs available are more for 200lb'ers than the 250+ crew so you end up on a marshmallow that ghost shifts off every bump.
Look at trailbike/AM type bikes and forget XC types, that Norco is categorized as All Mountain XC sooooo take labels for what their worth (side track rant, I get annoyed at all the marketing names for bikes nowadays. My go-to HT is a 98 Kona Explosif steel HT which has done epic trailrides, been 24hr raced, gone down Keystones DH course and what'd ya know? It's all one bike! Besides the fact it's 12 yrs old now!).
I'm guessing you're mail-ordering the bike and can't try it out first? If you have a Specialized dealer around you could try a FSR with similar travel as the Norco uses the same type of rear susp. design.
Well, I pulled the trigger on this one, and yes, forks will be my FIRST upgrade for sure! I test rode a Specialized FSRxc in the parking lot of a LBS and liked the ride just fine. I stood up and cranked it pretty hard and it pedaled alot like my HT. Except for the sticky Tora forks (of which I was assured would smooth out after a bit of use), I was quite impressed. But, given my noobness, that's not hard to do. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me take the bike on a trail to really give it a whirl. At $850 compared to the $1100 retail, I should have enough equity to get my money back should I decide that FS isn't for me. Hopefully it won't take an expensive equipment failure to learn this. As far as setup and maintanence, this won't be a problem since I do enjoy tinkering on my bikes as the hobby side of cycling. So, wish me luck and I'll keep you all posted on how it's going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your input. I have since received the bike and am loving it! I was amazed at how an FS can just smoothly roll over holes and bumps in the trail without feeling like I'm being prison raped by the saddle. LOL, I find myself just staring at it envisioning all the tweaks and trails I'll put this thing through. So far it's seen most of it's use on pavement and a little bit of relatively level offroad. I've been concentrating on building my cardio so I don't kill myself due to fatigue on some hill. Plus, I don't trust those forks. BUT, when I unpacked the bike, I found the frame received some cosmetic damage from the front wheel hub. The owner of the bike shop I bought it from is going to work me a sweet deal on some forks to compensate. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll find a suitable riding partner and be confident enough to take some of these trails sprawling around the foothills of the Sierras. I'm also thinking I should find some beefier wheels to replace the Alexrims DM18's. Actually I'd like to setup the DM18's for asphalt and use the tougher wheels for offroad.

 

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Nice bike and have fun riding!

Look at it now as at least you know when the first scratch is going to happen! :lol: Sorry, that stinks having stuff like that happen.
Just occurred to me...could that be why it was so cheap? I managed a shop before and if we got something like in it would've been sent back...hmmm.
Ok, enough conspiracy theory, go ride your bike! :D
 
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