technology

First Experience: 2023 Santa Cruz Nomad – Now With Combined Wheels

Santa Cruz has been on a roll this yr, updating their catalog with geometry adjustments and in-frame storage compartments for mannequin after mannequin. Subsequent up is the venerable Nomad, the long-travel machine that is been a mainstay within the lineup since its introduction all the best way again in 2005.

Model 6.0 of the Nomad retains its 170mm of entrance and rear journey, but it surely’s now operating blended wheel sizes, with a 29” wheel up entrance and 27.5” within the again. Together with the larger entrance wheel, the brand new Nomad’s geometry has been made a contact slacker and longer, though the adjustments aren’t too wild. As soon as once more, it is extra about refinements moderately than drastic revisions.

Nomad 6 Particulars

• Wheel measurement: 29″ entrance / 27.5″ rear
• Journey: 170mm
• C & CC carbon frames
• 63.5º head angle (low)
• 77.6º seat tube angle (measurement L, low)
• 444mm chainstays (measurement L, low)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Weight: 33.5 lb / 15.2 kg (measurement L, X01 AXS RSV)
• Worth: $5,649 – $11,199 USD
• santacruzbicycles.com

There’s additionally a Glovebox for stashing instruments and tubes contained in the body, and tweaks to the bike’s kinematics designed to extend the suspension’s sensitivity and consistency.

There are 10 completely different construct choices, with costs starting from $5,649 for the R equipment all the best way as much as 11,109 USD for the XO1 Reserve construct.

Body Particulars

The Nomad’s body has all the accoutrements that Santa Cruz has turn into recognized for. A threaded backside bracket, tube-in-tube inner cable routing, chainslap safety in the best locations, room for a full measurement water bottle, a common derailleur hanger, grease ports for the decrease hyperlink bearings –there actually is not something lacking.

There’s that Glovebox too, which has a small latch that enables entry to the within of the downtube. A neoprene device pockets and tube purse are additionally included to assist with group and preserve issues from rattling round contained in the body.

There are two body coloration choices, Gloss Gypsum, which is type of a white / purple / gray relying on the lighting, and matte black. The body makes use of a 230 x 65mm shock, and is suitable with air or coil choices.

Geometry

In comparison with the earlier technology, the Nomad’s head angle has been slackened by a scant .2-degrees, and the attain numbers stay the identical, though understand that it does have a 29” entrance wheel now. The 472mm attain of a measurement giant is a little bit shorter than the 480 / 485mm quantity that a number of different firms have settled on, however that is not essentially a unfavorable. Keep in mind, there’s extra to how a motorcycle rides than one or two numbers on a chart.

There’s additionally a brand new XXL choice within the combine with a 520mm attain for all of the taller riders on the market.

Probably the most substantial geometry change happens on the chainstays – the size has been elevated by round 8mm relying on the scale. This was completed to enhance the fore / aft steadiness of the bike, particularly because it now has blended wheels. The chainstay lengths develop because the body measurement will get bigger, beginning at 439mm for the small and going all the best way as much as 450mm for the XXL.

Suspension Format

Not surprisingly, the Nomad retains its acquainted lower-link pushed VPP suspension structure. The Nomad’s preliminary leverage ratio has been decreased, and it is truly barely much less progressive than earlier than. It is nonetheless coil shock suitable, however the adjustments ought to assist make for extra constant efficiency all through your entire journey vary.

The anti-squat has additionally been decreased, which Santa Cruz says was completed to scale back suspension harshness and to enhance climbing traction.

Costs

R-Equipment $5,649
S-Equipment $6,799
GX AXS-Equipment $8,499
GX AXS-Equipment Reserve $9,799
X01-Equipment (CC) $9,299
X01 AXS-Equipment Reserve $11,199

Spec Examine

There is not any getting round the truth that Santa Cruz’s costs are on the upper finish of the spectrum – this isn’t the place to look if you happen to’re making an attempt to stretch your {dollars} so far as attainable. That mentioned, the components within the numerous construct kits are effectively chosen, and if a motorcycle has a GX drivetrain it has a full GX drivetrain, not only a derailleur to make it appear that approach. All the bikes have some model of SRAM’s Code brakes with 200mm rotors entrance and rear, and all fashions get bash guards as effectively.

Apparently, the construct kits with coil shocks get Maxxis’ DoubleDown casing tires, and those with air shocks get EXO+. Perhaps coil customers usually tend to make poor line decisions?

My solely actual gripe with the kits is the 175mm hydraulic Reverb on the scale giant frames. I moaned a little bit bit about this when the brand new Hightower got here out, however on this case it is much more related. The Nomad is actually a pedalable DH bike – I need the seat as far out of the best way as attainable within the steeps, and I do know I am not the one one. There are additionally loads of cheaper cable-actuated posts available on the market that work simply as effectively (or higher) than the Reverb and have adjustable journey as well.

Experience Impressions

The earlier model of the Nomad was a fun-loving, comparatively mild-mannered machine, an extended journey, do-everything bike that did not appear to thoughts if the terrain wasn’t all the time tremendous steep and tough. The brand new model nonetheless maintains most of these easygoing traits, however the revisions it is obtained, together with that 29” entrance wheel, take its capabilities to the following degree.

Contemplating how related the Nomad’s geometry numbers are to the Megatower, I wasn’t certain how a lot distinction there can be between the 2 out on the path. They even share the identical entrance triangle, so it actually comes right down to the Nomad’s smaller rear wheel and barely differerent kinematics. Because it seems, all the delicate alterations add as much as one thing far more substantial.

In all honesty, the latest Megatower hasn’t actually blown me away, and I’ve put in a big quantity of trip time on it this season. It is what I would take into account a Very Good bike, but it surely does not have the little further little bit of particular sauce to push it into the Nice class. That hasn’t been the case with the brand new Nomad – after a handful of rides it is presently making its approach in direction of the highest of my listing of favourite bikes this yr.

What’s so particular about it? For me, it is the best way the suspension permits for heels-down plowing whereas additionally sustaining sufficient help for pedaling or pumping by way of flatter sections of path. With the Float X2 there have not been any harsh backside outs, and I’ve despatched this factor extra-deep on a couple of event, primarily as a result of it looks as if that is the best way it needs to be ridden. I strive to not use the phrase ‘confidence inspiring’ greater than a couple of times a yr because it’s turn into such a cliche, however on this case it is an applicable one. The Nomad has loads of journey for coping with massive hits and rugged terrain, with an additional sprint of pace that makes it a extremely addictive bike to trip.

The Nomad’s suspension does really feel a little bit softer off the highest than the Megatower, which meant I used to be extra more likely to attain for the climb swap on smoother climbs, but it surely stays calm sufficient whereas pedaling that leaving it open on a regular basis is completely possible.

Whereas the Nomad’s attain numbers could also be on the marginally shorter aspect of the fashionable spectrum, that is balanced out by the slack head angle and the reasonably lengthy chainstays that present loads of stability at greater speeds. These days, my desire for a mixed-wheel configuration on longer journey bikes has been rising, and that continues with the Nomad. Together with creating extra rubber-to-rear-end clearance, it feels simpler to choose up and place the rear wheel, particularly within the steeps.

I’m inquisitive about how the Nomad will maintain up over a long term take a look at interval – contemplating that sky-high price ticket you’d hope that it will be completely flawless. There are a bunch extra onerous miles on this bike’s future, together with a few massive enduro races and many bike park laps – I am going to report again with a closing verdict and comparisons to different bikes on this class as soon as it is really been by way of the wringer.


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