Is Norco Revolver HT 1 120 Splendid? – [Norco Revolver HT 1 120 Review]

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Norco Revolver HT 1 120 Review

  • Price: $4,899
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Tires: 29 inches
  • Gear: 1×12

What we like about it: Ultra-light carbon fiber frame with high-performance components for a faster descending XC mountain bike.

What we don’t like about it: The more expensive hardtail mountain bikes are difficult for some people to accept.

Rating: (4.9/5)

Norco Revolver HT 1 120
Norco Revolver HT 1 120

The Norco Revolver HT 1 120 is a carbon fiber hardtail bike. I love its lightweight design and the excellent groupset it comes with. It is a great hardtail mountain bike for riders who seek cycling efficiency, and it can even be used for some XC mountain bike races.

Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Norco Revolver HT 1 120. In the second half of this article, we will also compare it to several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

As an XC mountain bike, the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 has great geometry and is equipped with the top-notch 120mm RockShox SID Ultimate fork.

In light of this, I booked a ticket to Moab, Utah, on Skyscanner. The riding trails there offer a variety of intricate red rock paths, canyons, and national parks, providing not only exciting riding challenges but also incredible scenery. I’m about to ride the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 on these exhilarating trails.


While maneuvering the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 during uphill rides, the lightweight carbon fiber frame makes a noticeable difference and significantly eases the effort. The relatively upright riding position also prevents the front wheel from lifting off the ground during climbs.

The Praxxis Girder Carbon M30, 32T crankset combined with the Shimano XT CS-M8100, 10-51T, 12-speed freewheel provides a wide range of gear ratios. This means that even on a slope with a gradient of more than 30 degrees, I don’t need to shift to the larger freewheel cogs.

One aspect of this XC bike that I’m most satisfied with is the Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo, 2.35″, Super Terrain, TLE tires. I appreciate the Schwalbe tire brand and consider them to have excellent grip. Even as I’m currently climbing on bare, muddy rocks, they still provide excellent traction.

Furthermore, the Fizik Alpaca Terra, Wingflex saddle with closed-loop rail design offers increased strength and weight distribution. It effectively supports my body weight and reduces pressure on my perineum, allowing me to take on more challenging climbing routes.


After the tiring and monotonous climb, I finally rode the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 on a long stretch of downhill trail.

On the initial section of loose gravel, the 120mm travel RockShox SID Ultimate top-of-the-line XC fork on the Revolver HT 1 effortlessly filters out these small vibrations with its smooth and responsive rebound. The carbon fiber frame also contributes to the bike’s ability to deform slightly, reducing some of the vibrations at the rear end.

Furthermore, I truly felt the stability of the Revolver HT 1 120 with its 29-inch wheels and 2.35-inch tires on this downhill terrain. It felt like a tank, and I didn’t need to touch the brakes. It was so stable. Additionally, the dropper post design allowed me to adjust my riding position whenever needed.

As I descended the winding trail, I needed to use the brakes to control my speed frequently. The Norco Revolver HT 1 120 has Shimano XT BR-M8020, 4-piston brakes, and Shimano XT MT800, 180mm front and rear rotors. The braking performance was truly exceptional. The braking effect was so good that the 4-piston XT brakes were unnecessary.

Since this is an XC mountain bike, I won’t be performing any big drop jumps with it, so I don’t need a chain guide. Relying solely on the tension provided by the Shimano XT M8100 rear derailleur was enough to ensure the chain wouldn’t come off.

In conclusion, the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 is an excellent XC mountain bike with a well-rounded performance, impressive climbing capabilities, and solid descending abilities.


The Norco Revolver HT 1 120 is available in four frame sizes, ranging from S to XL, and all come with 29-inch wheels and 2.35-inch tires. This ensures good traction and excellent capability to handle various terrain.

Furthermore, the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 features internal cable routing throughout the bike, resulting in a cleaner appearance. It also eliminates any noise from the cables hitting the frame during downhill rides.

The One Up Carbon 800mm, 20mm Rise handlebar provides better handling capabilities. The 800mm length allows riders to customize it according to their preferences.

It’s worth mentioning that the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 has a chainstay protector installed. This protects the expensive carbon fiber frame and reduces the noise caused by chain slap on the chainstay during bumpy rides.

Overall, the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 is an outstanding XC mountain bike that stands out from the crowd.


Other Versions

While the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 boasts an excellent carbon fiber frame and high-end groupset, its price will certainly not be low.

In light of this, we have also found a hardtail mountain bike with the same frame but a slightly lower-grade groupset.

This makes it more beginner-friendly and leaves room for future upgrades and improvements.

Norco Revolver HT 3 120

Norco Revolver HT 3 120

Both the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 and the Norco Revolver HT 3 120 use the same frame. However, the latter is priced $2,100 lower than the former and comes with a similarly respectable groupset, making it more suitable for riders on a tighter budget.

The HT 3 120 features the X-Fusion RC32 Boost Air, 120mm fork. Although the RockShox SID Ultimate on the HT 1 120 outperforms it in various aspects, the X-Fusion RC32 is still an excellent fork, offering responsive rebound and good support.

Moving on to the drivetrain groupset, both models have the same 32T chainring. However, the HT 1 120 has a 10-51T 12-speed freewheel, while the HT 3 120 has an 11-51T 11-speed freewheel. There is also a difference in gear ratios, allowing the HT 1 120 to adapt to a wider range of terrain. Nevertheless, the HT 3 120 still delivers good climbing and light off-road capabilities.

The difference in brakes is more pronounced. The Shimano XT BR-M8020 on the HT 1 120 may feel slightly overpowered, whereas the HT 3 120’s Shimano BRMT400, while not on par with the XT M8020, is still a suitable brake for an XC bike.

Below, we will provide specific details about the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 and some other full-suspension mountain bikes from similar price ranges for your reference.

What do we like about it?

  • The Norco Revolver HT 1 120 features a carbon fiber frame with four available sizes, weighing only 1,100 grams.
  • Equipped with a high-performance groupset, the HT 1 120 offers impressive speed.
  • The 29×2.35 tires provide excellent grip and stability during descents.
  • The integrated dropper post design allows for saddle height adjustments during rides.
  • The chainstay protector at the rear prevents chain slap noise during cycling.

What don’t we like about it?

  • Some individuals may find the price of the high-end hardtail mountain bike to be too high.


  • Is the frame of this bike sturdy?

The bike utilizes a carbon fiber frame. Carbon fiber is not purely carbon; it is a composite material made by weaving carbon fibers and reinforcing them with epoxy resin. Carbon fiber frames are known for their lightweight, high rigidity, and excellent shock absorption capabilities.

  • What size is the dropper for it?

It uses an X-Fusion Manic Dropper, 31.6mm, with 125mm of travel (S) and 150mm of travel (M, L, XL).

  • How do I choose the right size for this bike?

Here we have a size chart for you. Of course, it doesn’t have to be according to this standard, and the best way to find the most suitable size is to try it on.

Rider heightSIZE
5’4″- 5’9″M
5’8″- 6’0″L
5’11”- 6’4″XL



FrameCarbon XC Race, Ride Aligned™
BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit
Color: Black / Chrome
ForkRockShox SID Ultimate, 120mm, 44mm Offset
Bottom BracketPraxxis M30 BB92
HeadsetFSA Internal
Stem6061 Alloy, 60mm Length, 35mm Clamp
HandlebarOne Up Carbon 800mm, 20mm Rise
SaddleFizik Alpaca Terra, Wingflex
SeatpostX-Fusion Manic Dropper, 31.6mm, 125mm (S), 150mm (M, L, XL)
GripsErgon GA20 Lock-On


Rear DerailleurShimano XT RD-M8100
CrankPraxxis Girder Carbon M30, 32T, 170mm (S), 175mm (M, L, XL)
ShiftersShimano XT Sl-M8100 I-Spec EV
CassetteShimano XT CS-M8100, 10-51T, 12 Speed
ChainShimano XT CN-M8100
BrakeShimano XT BR-M8020, Metallic Pads, Ice Tech, 4 Piston
Brake LeversShimano XT BR-M8020


RimsStan’s Arch S1 29″ 32H
Front HubShimano XT HB-8110-B, 15x110mm Boost, Center Lock
Rear HubShimano XT FH-8110-B, 12x148mm Boost, Micro Spline, Center Lock
TiresSchwalbe Nobby Nic Evo, 2.35″, Super Terrain, TLE
Disk RotorsShimano XT MT800, 180mm

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick to viewDrivetrainFrame materialBrake TypeTravel
RSD MIDDLECHILD V2 Titanium Deore/D2 BuildClick to view1 × 12TitaniumHydraulic Disc140mm front
Yeti ARC C1Click to view1 × 12CarbonHydraulic Disc130mm front
Ibis DV9 V2 XTClick to view1 × 12CarbonHydraulic Disc120mm front
Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLEClick to view1 × 12SteelHydraulic Disc120mm front

Norco Revolver HT 1 120 VS RSD MIDDLECHILD V2 Titanium Deore/D2 Build

RSD MIDDLECHILD V2 Titanium Deore/D2 Build
RSD MIDDLECHILD V2 Titanium Deore/D2 Build

Although both are hardtail mountain bikes, the two have distinct styles.

The latter, with its slacker head tube angle, longer fork travel, and beefier tires, resembles more of a hardtail trail bike. It is better suited for aggressive riding environments and more challenging terrain compared to the Norco Revolver HT 1 120.

However, the Norco Revolver HT 1 outperforms the latter in uphill sections. Additionally, the HT 1 features the Shimano XT M8100 drivetrain, which is of a higher grade and lighter weight than the Shimano Deore M6100 used in the latter. It also offers a faster-shifting response.

One thing I dislike about the latter is its external cable routing. External routing on a trail mountain bike is prone to accumulating dirt, making cleaning a hassle.

When choosing between these two bikes, if you’re looking for more thrilling rides, I would recommend the latter.

If you prefer a lighter ride that excels in uphill capabilities, I recommend the Norco Revolver HT 1 120.

Norco Revolver HT 1 120 vs Yeti ARC C1

Yeti ARC C1
Yeti ARC C1

The Norco Revolver HT 1 120 and the Yeti ARC C1 are similar hardtail XC mountain bikes. Both feature carbon fiber frames and have similar geometry, giving them impressive overall capabilities.

They differ in terms of the representative forks used. The fork on the Revolver HT 1 is more active and excels in filtering out small vibrations. On the other hand, the FOX 34 fork on the ARC C1 provides better support.

Next is the choice of drivetrain. The Revolver HT 1 utilizes the Shimano XT, which is one level higher than the Shimano SLX on the Yeti ARC C1, offering better performance. Additionally, the Shimano XT allows for shifting four gears at once, which is a feature I appreciate. Regarding brakes, the Revolver HT 1 has a higher brake level and more pistons in the calipers, providing a more aggressive braking feel.

Both of these hardtail mountain bikes are excellent choices, and you can’t go wrong with either. However, considering the similar price range, I recommend the Norco Revolver HT 1 120.

Norco Revolver HT 1 120 vs Ibis DV9 V2 XT

Ibis DV9 V2 XT
Ibis DV9 V2 XT

Let’s compare the Norco Revolver HT 1 120 and the Ibis DV9 V2 XT. I prefer the paint design of the former. The black frame with the blue fork looks more appealing overall. However, both of these bikes are excellent hardtail mountain bikes.

Firstly, both bikes feature a Shimano XT groupset with a 1×12 drivetrain. Additionally, they both have Shimano XT brakes of the same level, although the Revolver HT 1 uses four-piston calipers while the DV9 V2 XT uses dual-piston calipers. Nevertheless, the dual-piston brakes still provide excellent stopping power for an XC bike.

Finally, the tire choices for the two bikes differ. The Revolver HT 1 uses Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo, 2.35″ tires, while the DV9 V2 XT uses Maxxis Recon Race 29″ x 2.4″ Exo/TR WT tires. In this regard, the Schwalbe tires on the Revolver HT 1 offer better grip and adhesion to the ground, while the Maxxis tires on the DV9 V2 XT are more durable.

Learn More: Is Ibis DV9 Deore Worth Buying? – [Ibis DV9 Deore Review ]

Norco Revolver HT 1 120 vs Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLE


Norco Revolver HT 1 120 and Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLE are two XC mountain bikes emphasizing different aspects. The former’s carbon fiber frame is lighter, while the latter’s steel frame is heavier but offers more mounting points, making it more suitable for long-distance rides.

Furthermore, I prefer the SRAM GX drivetrain on the Niner SIR 9, as it provides crisp and precise shifting, and I also like the sound it produces. In the mountain biking realm, SRAM groupsets are more reliable than Shimano’s. However, when it comes to brakes, I prefer the design and braking feel of the Shimano XT on the Norco Revolver HT 1 compared to the SRAM G2 R on the Niner SIR 9.

So, if you enjoy long-distance riding and touring, the Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLE’s versatility would be a good choice. But if you want to pursue XC mountain biking speed or even participate in races, I recommend the Norco Revolver HT 1 120.

Learn more : Is Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLE Splendid? – [Niner SIR 9 3-STAR SRAM GX EAGLE Review]


Above is my riding review of the Norco Revolver HT 1 120. It is a hardtail mountain bike with impressive off-road capabilities, so we gave it a high rating of 4.9.

Of course, if you’re interested in other hardtail mountain bikes, we also review various bikes at different price points that are equally exciting. Feel free to check out our other reviews.

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