Previewed: Santa Cruz Nomad “Redux”

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The Santa Cruz Nomad frame design broke new ground by practically defining the “all-mountain” category of mountain bike. Now Santa Cruz has redesigned the Nomad using many of the same revisions that we saw them use on the new Blur LT (TESTED HERE).


The Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) revision results in a flatter shock rate, meaning a less Dramatic falling rate at the beginning of travel, and less of a rising rate near bottom-out. The instant center of the rear suspension now sits lower than before, and the new design has less chain growth than the old one. These elements make the new bike pedal and climb more efficiently than before. The geometry of the bike still ensures excellent stability, but the suspension feels more lively and the new Nomad feels more snappy and responsive everywhere.


The new linkage design features 15mm diameter alloy axles bolting directly into the frame that are locked in place with ultra-trick collet heads. These control preload on the angular contact bearings in the lower link, which are in turn easily lubed up via the grease ports in the link. Each frame comes with a grease gun.


The upper link is molded carbon fiber. These changes result in vastly improved weather resistance, longer intervals between servicing, much easier user serviceability (lower link can be removed without having to take the cranks off), and improved chassis rigidity.


Changing from the old clamshell welded top tube design to a triple
Butted 6000 series aluminum front triangle allowed the engineers to increase strength and stiffness in the front end, incorporate ISCG 05 chainguide mounts and increase head tube diameter to 1.5″, yet at the same time reduce frame weight by a third of a pound over the previous model. Frame weight for a large size powdercoated Nomad running a RockShox Monarch 3.3 is 6.9 pounds. Smaller frames will weigh less, as will anodized frames.


The old Nomad defied easy categorization. It spanned the gap between heavy duty long travel trail riding and aggressive terrain high performance abuse and found friends at either end of the spectrum. This redesign muddies attempts to pigeonhole the bike even further. It’s lighter and more responsive, but at the same time stronger and more stable. The territory that the Nomad calls home has grown in size.


The Cliff Notes for this redesign are as follows:

  • Revised links and VPP shock rates
  • Grease ports in lower link
  • Carbon fiber upper link
  • All-new link hardware
  • Shorter chainstays
  • Redesigned front triangle
  • ISCG 05 mount


Available late October, in the following colors – black, white, red, yellow, lime green, liquid blue, ano green and ano slate.






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