Many people looking to get into mountain riding don’t expect to pay up much for a decent ride. However, there aren’t many brands that produce entry-level bikes that can perform well on demanding terrains. Here, we review one of these options, the Fluid Nitro, and determine whether it’s ideal for mountain biking.
The Fluid Nitro is an all-round mountain bike (MTB) excellent for city commuting and the occasional trail ride. It’s an ideal entry-level MTB for newcomers looking to get into off-road riding. The Fluid Nitro mountain bike has a hardtail suspension fork that uses aluminum alloy and ensures the correct balance between weight and strength, making it durable and easy to handle.
This mountain bike only has a 27.5-inch wheel size available and three frames available with various dimensions. It has mechanical disc brakes, which have excellent stopping power regardless of the weather, and quality Shimano gear components.
The Fluid Nitro has some unlabeled parts, such as the fork and crank set. Fortunately, they seem to perform as expected. With this mountain bike, you can expect a suspension that can soften your riding experience in urban roads and improve control in fire roads and other lighter trails but not the more intense paths.
Overall, the Fluid Nitro is a pretty decent bike that offers a comfortable and versatile ride compared to other mountain bikes for its price.
- Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
- Excellent internal cable routing
- Considerably cheaper than the competition
- Several unlabeled pieces
- Doesn’t have hydraulic disc brakes
- Doesn’t have 29-inch tires.
The design of the Fluid Nitro leaves nothing to desire. It has a sleek aesthetic on both men’s and women’s models, with a full black frame. The women’s one, in particular, has a contrasting turquoise color for its graphics. Unfortunately, the Fluid Nitro mountain bike doesn’t have many colors available apart from black so far.
At first glance, the frame of the Fluid Nitro looks as if it was from a more expensive bike. It has the perfect size on a market that usually tends to oversize the chassis and some features that set it apart from other mountain bikes at this price point.
A good example is its high-quality internal cable routing. This full-length housing bodes well for reliable gear shifts in any weather and protects the cables from dirt and grit that may cause premature wear. It prolongs its lifespan and improves the braking and shifting performance of the mountain bike.
The hardtail aluminum chassis is thicker in some areas than others, providing an adequate balance between strength and weight. Finally, the 31.8 mm diameter handlebar is lengthy and rises slightly from the middle. It’s a good MTB handlebar that’s comfortable in an open-chested riding posture and provides reasonable bike control.
There are few differences between the Fluid Nitro men’s mountain bike frame model and the women’s. The most notable is its shape and size.
The men’s mountain bike model, for example, has three available sizes, 39/46/51 cm, and they all have a slightly larger distance from the saddle to the handlebar. Meanwhile, the women’s mountain bike only has two sizes, 41 and 46 cm.
The suspension fork makes a considerable difference in a bike’s ability to endure daily trail rides and other forest paths; for that reason, the Fluid Nitro mountain bike has a hardtail fork with 100 mm travel and a mechanical lockout that provides enhanced bump absorption and better climbing efficiency. Nonetheless, it still has some limitations.
This fork makes the bike feel comfortable on urban roads and flat trails, where it provides enough control and helps you achieve the most out of this otherwise quality bike.
However, the fork doesn’t perform that well on more intense trails. It wears out rather quickly and may feel clunky and stiff.
Regardless, the suspension fork is pre-load adjustable. You can change its stiffness, making it either harder or easier to compress. Meanwhile, the mechanical lockout is almost essential on smooth surfaces and while going uphill, as it improves pedal efficiency by locking out the front forks.
It’s somewhat helpful because the pedal bob of this bike does lose some energy during the suspension’s compression.
To ensure the bike is ready to take on most situations, most of its groupset is comprised of either Shimano or Microshift parts. Here is an in-depth of some of its features:
The Fluid Nitro mountain bike comes with 24-speed, 3×8 Shimano switchgear components. Its front derailleur has three speeds, while the rear derailleur has eight. This drivetrain gives you all the power you need to cruise quickly through the city and tackle the occasional fire road.
After all, the Shimano Tourney TX trigger shifters ensure that the gears feel completely smooth during the ride with almost no delay.
The Shimano mechanical disc brakes handle the stopping power of the Fluid Nitro. It’s one of the best options available for an entry-level MTB, but it does have some disadvantages compared to a hydraulic model or even V-brakes.
Still, these disc brakes perform as expected. The condition of the rims doesn’t seem to affect the brakes’ performance, and they remain good enough in both wet and dry conditions, so rainy riding isn’t an issue.
Compared to hydraulic disc brakes, the mechanical ones need more maintenance. They’re also heavier and require slightly more squeezing power. Nonetheless, they feel and function well.
On the other hand, V-brakes are cheaper and easier to maintain and replace, but nothing more.
If there’s something to be picky about, it is that the 170mm, 24-34-42T crank set seems unlabeled. It hasn’t given any trouble so far, but it would be helpful to know which model it is in case it breaks down.
The wheels can make a significant difference in how mountain bikes ride and feel. Despite that, Fluid Nitro doesn’t have any wheel size other than its versatile 27.5-inch x 2.1-inch MTB ones.
Their shallow tread depth and mixed spacing offer quick and stable rolling and solid grip on roads and light trails. Overall, they’re pretty good wheels for road and off-road rides.
The custom Fluid saddle does feel well enough for mountain riding. Its shape and width are comfortable enough to keep riders safely seated without risking soreness and slips.
The Fluid Nitro mountain bike is partially assembled from the box. However, you need the following tools which don’t come with it: a 15 mm spanner to attach the bike’s pedals, Allen Hex Keys set (4-8 mm,) and a Phillips head screwdriver. Fortunately, the bike was easy to put together with the instructions that came within the box.
Fluid offers a lifetime warranty on mountain bike frames for manufacturing faults and 12 months on bike components for the same reason. All you have to do is bring it to the local Anaconda store once it presents issues.
How Does It Compare to the Fluid Method?
The Fluid Method and the Nitro may appear similar initially, but they differ in many aspects. They have different gears, frames, weight capacity, forks, shifters, and derailleurs. After all, Fluid replaced these parts for better ones in the Nitro model.
Both bikes are terrific at their price ranges and serve similar functions, but the better option is the Nitro mountain bike. However, if you wish to save some expenses, the Method can make up for it.
Is Fluid a Good Mountain Bike Brand?
Fluid offers various bikes and bike accessories, including commuter, folding, heritage, cruisers, comfort, and mountain bikes. The latter stand out thanks to their low price point and excellent specifications.
Moreover, they use parts from world-leading cycle manufacturers, such as Shimano and Tektro; for example, the Fluid Momentum mountain bike has hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro, robust hardtail suspension, excellent Shimano groupset components, and more.
Generally, Fluid bikes tend to outperform bikes with the same price as theirs, but with a slightly higher budget, there may be better options. Still, they offer good bikes that may last for a long time if you use them appropriately.
The Bottom Line
Regarding its price, it’s a good bike. However, it can’t accomplish everything it claims it can do. The Fluid Nitro is an entry-level bike with a slightly higher weight (15.8 kg) than other bikes in its range but features reliable Shimano running gear.
Furthermore, this bike is comfortable to ride. The unlabeled suspension fork and 24-speed drivetrain make it more than capable of quickly traversing roads and other flat trails. Its diverse 27.5-inch tire also allows it to ride on wet and muddy surfaces with more ease, but it does have its limitations.
Overall, the Fluid Nitro mountain bike is a superb option for those just getting into off-road riding as long as they stick to rail trails, fire roads, and urban commutes. Although the bike may initially endure more adventurous routes, it can’t handle them frequently. If those things align with what you want, then the Fluid Nitro is the right bike for you.