The Factory XC Team has been riding a wave of success aboard the new Norco Revolver FS 100 following the second stop of the 2019 UCI World Cup season.
The team made a cautious switch to the all new FS 100 model in the middle of the 2018 season, a move that initially pushed the riders out of their comfort zone.
The Norco Factory Team Revolver FS 100 prior to World Cup stop #2 in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
“It’s always challenging to switch equipment halfway through the year, and I was a little apprehensive. You don’t know if it’s going to fit the way you want it to, all those things, but I got on it the day before [a race] and I was like ‘I am going to race this bike, this feels good’,” recalls Haley Smith.
The change paid immediate dividends for Haley, “I had the best race I’ve ever had (to date) and any apprehension was totally gone.”
Designed with the XC racer in mind, the FS 100 is all about performance on the course. With a holistic design approach that examines the rider’s body position within the wheel base as a primary focus, the new design allows riders to maintain an aggressive race position at all times. Previously, Factory Team riders, like many in the discipline, were running their seats slammed forward, with long, dropped stems to try to bring their centre of gravity forward to maximize power output on climbs. In response, the new bike’s reach has been lengthened, and features a lower front end to help riders maintain front wheel traction.
Sean Fincham putting the power down on a climb.
By focusing on the riders’ centre of mass, Norco engineers were able to maximize power output on climbs and traverses, minimize rider fatigue, and create an aggressive, confident descending position with a slacker headtube angle and 60 mm stem.
“The most important aspect of an XC bike for myself is the balance between it all,” says team rider Peter Disera. “When you lock it out front and rear it’s a road bike and its ready to take any tarmac sprint at the end of a World Cup. I can also unlock it and have be super plush and mellow where we are going to be pedaling in rough terrain for a couple hours.”
Peter Disera about to attack a rocky descent in front of the Czech crowd.
Fast-forward to the present season, and Haley Smith has been leading the charge, having landed her first career Elite podium in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic with a third-place finish.
“The Revolver FS floated over all the chundery roots and it climbed like a dream over all the rough stuff. The equipment and support was absolutely world class, which made my job easy!” said Haley after taking bronze and standing on the podium for the first time.
Haley Smith on her first Women's Elite podium.
Peter Disera also has had a strong start to his year. A 7th
place finish in Nove Mesto during the short track event put him shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s best, with a front row starting position come the main event on Sunday. This was on the heels of his top-20 spot in Albstadt the previous week, the best finish of his career.
“The results from the first two world cups have solidified my confidence as to where I am as a rider,” says Peter Disera on his start to the year. “The results have made me hungry for more but I’m always hungry for more. I’m not going to lie the sensations and emotions after Nove Mesto were mixed primarily because I was so close and I just missed out on capitalizing. I plan to take any opportunity I am presented and run with it as far as I can.”
That locked out efficiency helping Peter grab the holeshot.
Andrew L’Esperance’s results are steadily moving up, placing 42nd
in Nove Mesto after a 54th
place finish in Germany in the talented Men’s Elite field for a solid start to his World Cup season.
In the Under-23 category, Sean Fincham turned a 10th
place finish in the first stop into a 6th
the following race, and Quinton Disera made a big leap from a 56th
finish to 19th
in the second race of the year, both showing signs of growth and progress.
“The new Revolver has been riding great and the whole team is on another level with both support and subsequent results. It has been a blast so far this year with a great group of people” – Peter Disera
Look for the team to keep their Revolvers rolling in the right direction as the season resumes on July 5-7 in Vallnord, Andorra.
As for your next world-class XC race bike, click here
for all the specs and details on the Norco Revolver FS 100.
Revolver FS 120
For those looking for XC climbing efficiency and a lightweight chassis but with a bit more suspension for fast trails and big day adventure, the Norco Revolver FS 120 is the weapon of choice. Suited for everything from never-ending epics and endurance stage racing to fast morning rides before work, the FS 120 provides control, traction and efficiency on climbs paired with agility and confidence on the descents.
For more on the Norco Revolver FS 120, click here.
All photos courtesy Andy Vathis.