2020 Bigfoot 1S | The Complete Review

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

2020 is a big year for Norco fat bike fans as the Bigfoot has been totally redesigned. Introduced in 2014 the Bigfoot sported a 2x9 drivetrain, black alloy chassis, hydraulic brakes and massive 4” Vee Mission tires . . . it was a beast.



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review 2014 Norco Bigfoot
  
Fast forward to 2020 and the Bigfoot has been redesigned to bring the best of what Norco has to offer the fatbiking world and Fatbike Republic secured the flagship Bigfoot 1S for some serious testing.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

At the heart of the redesign is the new frame manufactured from double butted X6 alloy. Having a longer reach (470 mm vs 441 mm), slacker head tube angle (68.5 vs 67.7) and steeper seat tube angle (74.0 vs 71.7) provides a more forward weight distribution within a longer wheelbase (1186 mm vs 1180 mm). This allows more powerful pedaling, increased climbing traction with added grip and control when descending.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

There are two bottle cage mounts in the triangle and a third set on the underside of the downtube. Additional points on the seat stays gives you lots of places to mount stuff on the 1S.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

And there is plenty of room in the rear to mount up massive meats. But will a Vee Snowshoe 2XL squeeze in there?

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Norco decided to run all the cables and hoses internally on the 2020 Bigfoot 1S, entering up near the head and exiting at the bottom of the downtube. 
This makes for a very tidy and uncluttered fat bike.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

If you happen to spy a Sasquatch 6.1 you may think that it looks quite similar to the 2020 Bigfoot 1SNot only is the triangle much larger, the top tube intersects the seat tube at an entirely different angle and the rear triangle is completely different. 


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The redesigned frame on the Bigfoot 1S also offers 32 sqin more space (127 sqin Bigfoot vs 95 sqin Sasquatch) in the triangle.

DRIVETRAIN & BRAKES

The 2020 Bigfoot 1S has a full 12 speed SRAM drivetrain to power the beast through the wilderness. A PG1230 Eagle cassette drives the rear wheel with its wide range 11-50T gearing engineered for durability, performance and weight savings.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

A NX Eagle chain transfers the power from the 30T chainring, while a Truvativ STYLO 6K DUB crankset (with 175 mm cranks) connects the rider to the rear wheel.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The DUB (Durable Unified Bottom Bracket) technology is also carried into the bottom bracket, which creates a better fit with improved sealing against contamination – which is great for fat bikes.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Shifting through the gear range is a bar mounted SRAM NX Eagle trigger shifter mated to smooth SRAM NX Eagle derailleur featuring a Roller Bearing Clutch and Cage Lock.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

To slow down those massive tires, Norco speced entry level SRAM Level hydraulic brakes. The Level Platform is built to be light weight while still providing significant power and control. The stopping is done with a 180 mm rotor in the front and 160 mm rotor in the rear.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

WHEELS AND TIRES

Turning to the business end of the Bigfoot 1S, there are some serious meats on this fat bike. For 2020 Norco chose to shoe the bike with massive 26 x 5.0 Terrene Johnny 5 tires.



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

While they measure closer to 4.6", these tubeless ready tires are made with a medium/hard 62a rubber compound with supple 120 TPI.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Weighing in at a claimed 1700 g a piece these visually massive donuts have a very aggressive directional tread. Not only do they have a very strong staggered single/double central tread pattern with siping, but the lugs continue way out into the edge of the sidewall.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review Johnny 5

Generous spacing between the lugs maximize snow and mud clean-out while giving the square edged lugs plenty of opportunity to grip the trail.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review Johnny 5

Keeping the Johnny 5s in check are 26” x 80 mm alloy rims with sealed KT hubs. While the Norco specifications indicate that the 1S sports Sun Mulefut 80SL rims, it is possible for the bike to supplied with SB-T80s from Shining Cycle. This particular demo bike had the optional SB-T80s. 


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

While the rims may differ, both wheel sets come stocked with the same front (15 x 150) and rear (12 x 197) hubs and axles. No QR though.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Taking close stock of the front end of the bike you will find a Manitou Mastodon Pro. Weighing a claimed 2430 g (5.35 lbs), with 34 mm stanchions and a hexlock 15 x 150 axle, this massive fork provides up to 100 mm of front squish.



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

COCKPIT

Norco mixed some new stuff with the tried-n-true when connecting the rider to the bike. Up front there is a relatively short Norco alloy stem with a standard 35 mm bore. 



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

A wide 780 mm alloy Norco bar and VP lock-on grips provides steering for the bike.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Wrapping up the cockpit you will find a sweet Fizik Taiga saddle and
 a 150 mm internally routed X-Fusion Manic dropper post.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

PRE-SNOW TESTING

The 2020 Bigfoot 1S arrived in late fall when I anticipated a short trial of dirt track riding before getting hit with the white stuff. It actually turned into six weeks of intensive dirt testing.

Before mounting up the pedals I thought I would weigh the 1S. It came in at a respectable 16.71 kg (36.8 lbs) even with the somewhat chunky Mastodon.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Prior to hitting the trails I took a little time to fine tune the cockpit for my personal preferences – adjusting the seat, positioning the levers and setting up the Mastodon. My 5’11” frame felt comfortable on this size large fattie. The 60 mm stem combined with 780 mm bars put my weight pretty much over the middle of the bike. It just felt comfortable.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Hitting the dirt I took the Bigfoot 1S exploring uncharted trails, bombing some local singletrack and on a few gravel grinds when I just wanted to stretch my legs.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Having some past experience spinning a SRAM 1x12 drivetrain I have to confirm that I do like this gear set. While the cassette is huge, I feel it provides an excellent range of fat bike gearing when mated to a 30T chainring. Although, I would give up a little top end speed for low end torque for those crazy climbs and low speed prowling by swapping out a 28T.



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The SRAM Levels had no issues with stopping the beast in all but the slimiest of conditions.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

While the grips many not look like anything impressive, they work extremely well for a stock grip. I found that the simple horizontal ribbing provides plenty of grip in both dusty and wet conditions.



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Being a fan of Fizik saddles I was happy to see one mounted to the Bigfoot 1S. While the seat may appear to be a little on the firm side, it was very comfortable during short trips and longer rides.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The Mastodon Pro did quite well in soaking up the trail nasties that overwhelmed the fat tires. Protruding roots, devious rocks, and unexpected drops were all soaked up by the Mastodon.



And last but certainly not least . . . the Terrene Johnny 5s. They are one gnarly dirt fat bike tire. Aired up to 8 psi, these tire showed very little mercy to terra firma. 



Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The huge lugs and equally huge negative space provided traction in all situations I encountered. Conditions where I felt that other tires would spin or slip, these would keep on chewing.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The redesigned 2020 Bigfoot 1S ranks pretty high as a dirt shredding beast. It climbed well, descended without issue, felt nimble in the tight stuff and prowled uncharted territory without fear or complaint. It is a very capable hardtail. Pop on a set of your favourite 4” tires - my choice being Vee Snow Avalanche – and watch the 1S really come to life in the dirt.

While I was unable to strap on any bikepacking gear, I would anticipate that the Bigfoot 1S platform would make for some fun overnight experiences.

SNOW TESTING

As the temperature cooled, Old Man Winter finally decided to show up with a dusting of white. My winter prep of the Bigfoot 1S included a thorough cleaning to remove dirt and putting some lube on the important moving parts.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The first few winter rides had the Bigfoot 1S skirting semi-frozen puddles and mud holes. The snow on the ground reminded me of icing sugar on my favorite donut, so dropping tire pressure was not needed. 

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

While unstudded, the Johnny 5s did do a decent job of keeping me vertical when hitting those small icy patches. Grabbing onto the dusted roots and rocks proved no challenge either. 

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The drop in temperature did not impact brake or shifting performance and the Mastodon soaked up the frozen terrain.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

As we got deeper into winter, the snow started to accumulate and it was time to start paying attention to tire pressure. For most snowy conditions my go to tire pressure is 5 psi at the start of a ride. 

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Once again the Johnny 5’s performed very well by tracking where I wanted them to go, gripping when I wanted them to grip and drifting when I wanted them to drift. During one ride I actually aired down to 3 psi to help keep traction and float in the late afternoon sugary snow.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The deep cold and white stuff had no impact on the braking or shifting ability of the Bigfoot 1S. Neither did it treat the dropper post and lever any differently.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

The Norco grips maintained their “grippiness” in the colder temps with heavier gloves, and finding the shifter paddles with bulky gloves was not problematic.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

My fondness for the 1x12 drivetrain only deepened when in the snow. Oftentimes I would jump off the beaten track to ford my own trail and the extra low gearing allowed me to plow through some deep white stuff.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Riding fat bikes on level groomed trails is fun - and can get you distance and speed - hitting the local mtb trails makes riding a little more spicy. And the Bigfoot 1S had no issues carving the downhill trail . . . except for the tree.



While I do ride some highly traveled fat bike terrain, I do enjoy exploring uncharted territory. I headed out after one of the nastiest snowstorms in history and managed to stay upright . . . most of the time.



And the big question . . . does a Vee Snowshow 2XL (the fattest tire alive) fit in the 2020 Bigfoot 1S? The simple answer is yes.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

Norco’s tolerance for rear tire fitment is 8 mm clearance at the chainstay. The 2XL is just at that, or slightly under.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

However, when in the large gear on the cassette there is a hair thickness between the chain and the tire. This is a little tight for my liking, however a spacer on the drive side of the BB might open the gap.

Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

While I did not get to spin the 2XLs in the snow, I did have to swap to a studded tire when things got icy. A set of studded 4.6 Terrene Cake Eaters took the place of the J5s.


Fatbike Republic 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S Fat Bike Review

FINAL THOUGHTS

The fat bike scene has certainly evolved since the original Bigfoot hit the market in 2014. Originally meant for snow, fat bikes have evolved into a four-season mode of transportation . . . and the redesigned 2020 Norco Bigfoot 1S is a prime example of that.

The Bigfoot 1S is a rock solid, hardtail mountain bike during the dirt season – especially if you mount up a set of skinny 4” tires. During the winter it excels in carving, plowing and crawling over snow with a front shock to suck up any holes or ice ridges. And studding up the J5s should address any ice concerns.


If you are looking for a fat bike that can pretty much do it all, and do it well . . . the 2020 Bigfoot 1S just may be the bike you are looking for.


RIDE FAT!



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