Santa Cruz Nomad Mountain Bike Review

5.00 out of 5
By Greg Heil    on Apr 2, 2014

By Greg Heil    on Sep 23, 2014

By Greg Heil    on Sep 25, 2014

By Corey Maddocks    on Oct 8, 2014

By Greg Heil    on Jul 11, 2016

By Aaron Chamberlain    on Jun 1, 2017

By Aaron Chamberlain    on Aug 14, 2017

By Jeff Barber    on Oct 16, 2017

By Aaron Chamberlain    on Feb 19, 2018

By Singletracks Staff    on Mar 19, 2018

By Jeff Barber    on Feb 22, 2018

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Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon
Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon 27.5

March 19, 2015
Model/Year: 2015 Sata Cruz Nomad Carbon 27.5 XO1

Pros: Climbs really well, neutral feel front to back, simplicity in construction, well thought out parts spec, light weight.
The overall Nomad package performs just like every review you've read 18 times over. The bike is confidence inspiring and quickly becomes an extension of the body, encouraging poppy lines and higher speeds.

Cons: Coming from 26" wheels, maneuvering the 27.5 wheeled bike was a slight learning curve at slower speeds (but easy to adjust).

Recommendation: Riding the steep up/down trails of CO's front range has been a joy on this bike.

October 5, 2013
Model/Year: 2012

Pros: Very nimble. Handles whatever you throw at it. Made me a better rider. Gets me out of bad situations

Cons: None

Recommendation: I changed a few things. Enve wheels with DT Swiss 240s, Shimano Xtr brakes. 170 mm XTR cranks, Fox CTD rear shock. Shimano shadow derailer. Race face 1 x up front. Criss king bottom bracket and front cassette . Reverb dropper seat post.

August 20, 2012
Model/Year: 2012

Pros: Lightweight, plush suspension, Tracks well, jumps well, climbs well....You get the idea

Cons: None

Recommendation: Great bike. I was glad to purchase this bike. It can accommodate a dropper post if I desire and has the cable attachment points for it as well. Pick up the SPX model and you will be happy. Great parts and good value.

August 18, 2012

July 31, 2011
Pros: Everything. Flick a lever, turn a dial and say hello to Sybil - climbs better than my RM ETSX-70 (which changed my life and I love) and has more descending confidence and prowess than I'll ever tap. It's stiff and tight on the climbs; accurate and terrain gobbling on descents. (It's not a plush downhill rig, though you could do some freeriding with the right set up. I went with the RP-23 and TALAS, both of which help the versatility at the expense of a little plushness, but I live in the Rockies with long, punishing climbs to get those sweet descents and it's the purest marriage I can imagine.) To top it off, I've always liked the Nomad because it created a niche and it's lines make me weep. It's the sweetest machine I've ever sat on, and I can't wait for tomorrow.

Cons: Nothing. It's not cheap - and I hate cliches - but you get what you pay for. And from that perspective, it's a downright bargain, and a dam good value.

Recommendation: If you are looking for a bike that kicks ass in more arenas, that will take you to more greatness, this will fit the bill (plus, it's just plain sexy). I give huge props to the Mojo HD and Remedy 9 as well. Sometimes history and aesthetic make the final difference.

March 21, 2009
Pros: Climbs like a goat, and decends like GPS guided missile! This bike makes me look and feel like a better rider. I've taken 10 ft drops like it was NOTHING! This is a trail monster!

Cons: I've ripped through 2 of 3 front chain rings in one year. I ride hard about 5 times a week, though.

Recommendation: If you do a lot of different riding, XC, AM, DH, FS, then this bike is for you. Ride hard, she can take anything you can give her!

August 23, 2008
Pros: Have had the opportunity to ride this sweet MTB and loved it. I will quote another member for my PRO's : This bike is just amazing, it cans do XC and All mountain stuff without problem. Very stable during downhilling, it climbs without pumping, thanks to the VPP device.

Cons: ????

Recommendation: A very good and solid MTB that I would highly recommend.

January 2, 2008
Pros: This bike is just amazing, it cans do XC and All mountain stuff without problem. Very stable during downhilling, it climbs without pumping, thanks to the VPP device.

Cons: The quality of the frame paint. It marks easily. SC told me it was one of the best paint in the world...I had my frame repainted by SC swiss for free. Thanks to them. SC USA wouldn't do anything.

Recommendation: Yes buy it definetely, but get the anodized version! ;-)) Why not a carbon version Mr SC ???

April 10, 2007
Pros: The VPP suspension is everything that it has been touted to be. It has proven to be reactive to small bumps and large hits while under pedalling or braking forces. The suspension does firm up a bit while pedalling, especially up hill while in low gears, but this is far from a negative trait. It in fact contributes to the VPP's attractiveness as an effective suspension. It will claw uphill as long as I concentrate on staying smooth with my pedal stroke. The absolute best feature of the Nomad is in its ability to suck up nearly anything that a rider could possibly encounter, and then some. With over 6 inches of travel the Nomad is in its element during more gravity oriented pursuits. With a slack head angle and long chainstays, the bike rails corners and sticks to the trail while screaming downhill, and retains a stability and surefootedness that instills a natural intuitiveness to the ride. The Nomad can be built anywhere between the 30-40lb range, depending on both budget and riding style. The bike will never win any XC races, but it is perfectly suited to everything else, from all-day trail rides, to Super D and excursions into lift serviced black-diamond trails. I personally built my Nomad without any consideration towards keeping weight down. With only strength and reliability in mind, my Nomad is nearly 40lbs, but it easily outpaces and flies past even the best downhill specific bikes. On twisty, curvy singletrack, it nearly steers itself just by looking in the desired direction of travel.

Cons: The original Nomad had a 1-1/8" headtube, but for '07 the bike now has a 1-1/2" headtube, which is better suited for the newest crop of long-travel single crown forks. Not exactly a con, as the 1-1/8" headtube is plenty strong with the right fork.

Recommendation: If your taste in riding has you searching for the fastest, roughest trails; and you enjoy riding epics past the sunset on unknown singletrack, the Nomad is for you.