Northrock XC00 Review: A Great Fat Bike for Beginners?

There are countless fat bikes on the market right now, and this makes choosing the right one a very complicated affair.

The situation is pretty tricky for someone who’s just getting into the fat bike sector for the first time. Without the necessary information, it’s easy to get sidetracked.

With so much at stake, there’s one bike that has been garnering the attention of people in terms of affordability, great features, and availability. The Northrock XC00 hasn’t been around for very long, but in that short period of time, the bike has established itself as the go-to bike for newbies looking to try their luck with a fat bike.

This is going to be a detailed review of the Northrock XC00, including the bike components that make it such a good buy, the pros and cons of having it, and the specifications.

Features of the Northrock XC00

Being an inexpensive bike, don’t go around expecting the Northrock XC00 to have the killer features of higher-end mountain bikes. Still, the bike does pack some teeth.

It can stand on its own against the big boys in the fat bike line, and that’s one of the many reasons why people love it despite everything. The following are some of its standout features that are worth your attention.

Frame

The frame used on the Northrock XC00 is crafted out of aluminum alloy.

Like any other fat bike, the Northrock XC00 is a pretty hefty bike when it comes to weight. In an attempt to cut down on as much of that weight as possible, the manufacturer chose to go with an aluminum frame as it is a much lighter option that still packs enough strength to support a heavy rider.

The aluminum frame specification actually purports to support riders who are as tall as 6’2″.

Another notable feature is the rustproof coating that protects the whole frame from rust when it comes in contact with moisture. The frame color is matte black with slight variations when it comes to artwork.

Drivetrain

The drivetrain used in this fat bike is the Shimano Altus, a 7-speed gear beast that gives the bike all the power it needs to deal with tricky climbs and complicated terrain.

The Northrock is a mountain bike that requires a high level of precision when navigating the mountain trails, and the Altus derailleur from Shimano provides the rider with a lot of responsiveness and handling.

The gear shifting is easy when riding over loose gravel or sand. Shimano components are always reliable, and the Altus gear does a much better job at turning this bike into an efficient machine.

Tires

The Northrock XC00 fat bike is equipped with 28″ x 4″ Kenda fat tires, a common tire brand found in a lot of fat bike models in the market. The tires are massive, a quality that allows them to simply roll over any surface with ease while granting the rider stability and control.

The Kenda tires also have one of the best surface grips thanks to deep treads that increase traction, making them the ideal bike for slippery roads and loose gravel terrains. The Costco bike tires also feature alloy rims that are lightweight but sturdy enough to shoulder the weight of the bike and the rider without a single wheel spoke coming apart.

Read Also: 6 Best Fat Bike Tires

Brakes

The bike uses Tektro disc brakes that may not be the best on the market but still get the job done, all things considered. The brakes have particularly been found to be very handy on loose gravel and sandy beaches as they’re highly responsive, bringing the bike to a complete halt with the slightest touch of the brake levers.

The one redeeming thing about these brakes is that they don’t require too much maintenance and are compatible with many fat tires. They’re also durable, and replacing them along the way isn’t hard.

There’s actually the option of upgrading them, but they work just fine as they are.

Rims and Hubs

The rims and the hubs are in line with the other parts of the bike in terms of quality. Basically, you get exactly what the price of the bike can buy.

Are they top of the range components? No, but they do pack a decent performance in them.

They’re much lighter than higher-end hubs and rims, but that’s barely noticeable since the wheels are pretty heavy on their own.

You could choose to upgrade them to better and heavier hubs that will improve the overall riding performance of the bike.

Other Parts

The wheel spokes are stainless steel spokes solid enough to hold the hub and the rims together. Steel also has the tensile strength required to handle the pressure that comes with supporting heavy loads from the top.

The Northrock XC00 features universal gear mounts that can be customized depending on the user’s preferences. You can mount a rear rack, a water bottle cage, a child seat, among many other gear possibilities.

The handlebar and the seat are designed to make the cyclist lean over slightly to apply extra pressure on the front wheels; this makes climbs much easier to deal with as you get more leverage and power output on the pedal gear.

Northrock XC00 Fat Tire Bike: Pros and Cons

The following are some of the pros and cons of owning and using this fat tire mountain bike model.

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Light framework
  • Rustproof
  • Reliable Shimano shifters and drivetrains
  • Decent Tektro disc brakes
  • Comfortable Velo contoured handle and seat
  • Fast-rolling Kenda tyres
  • Easy and fun to use for beginners
  • Adjustable seat post
  • Chain guard
  • Budget value fatbike
  • Assembly-ready and comes with dedicated assembly tools

Cons

  • Most parts are a bit cheap and could do with some major upgrades
  • Too big for riders who are below 5’7″
  • Not ideal for snow surfaces

Who is the Bike Made For?

The Northrock XC00 is an entry-level fat-tire mountain bike that works best in the hands of a beginner, someone who doesn’t have much experience dealing with these kinds of road bikes. If you’re looking to switch to a fat tire bike for your daily commute or recreational fun, then this could work for you.

As much as it is touted as an all-weather off-road bicycle, the quality bit of the parts used doesn’t make that possible. At best, you’d be fine riding on sandy beaches, but pushing it to the limits on rougher mountain trails will come with repercussions.

The short of the review is, when going for the Northrock XC00 fat-tire bike, manage your expectations. Don’t go around hoping to get a super fat bike.

If you have the patience and the stomach for gradual upgrades, then you may experience a more fulfilling affair with this bike, although that will probably set you back a couple of dollars. When you combine the solid construction with a few tweaks, you can end up with an enviable machine in your hands.

However, for those looking for instant results, you’ll be better off forking thousands of dollars for that high-end mountain bike rather than settling down for this Costco buy.

The Bottom Line

For people looking for something reliable, a bicycle to take you to challenging heights like snow and mountain ranges, the Northrock isn’t your bike; try aiming higher.

For beginners looking for alternative entry-level bikes to their off-road bicycles, the Northrock XC00 could be a good start. It’s affordable, and you’ll be able to squeeze some decent miles out of it before it starts acting up.

Feel free to check out more reviews and stars rating of the Northrock XC00 to get more information before making a decision on it.