We’ve just taken a delivery of an aluminium Santa Cruz Nomad and it's the 'R' model, meaning this is the cheapest bike int he range. Identical to the carbon version of the bike in every way other than the frame material, this 170mm enduro bike looks ready to roll straight out of the box for our month of testing.
Although this bike doesn’t quite fit with our off-road mission to test some of the more wallet-friendly bikes, this is the bottom of the range version coming in at £3,600 for the whole bike. You can also buy a frame only for £1,900 or the same spec bike with a carbon frame for £4,300.
This is the Nomad V4, released in July last year, when it got a full redesign and makeover with only the wheel size staying the same as the previous generation bike, the Nomad is still a 27.5" bike.
The main updates for the 2018 bike are as follows:
- Travel has been upped from 165mm to 170 front and rear, the shock is actuated by the lower link of the VPP linkage rather than the upper one, giving it the V10 downhill bike look.
- Geometry has been updated making it longer, with a slacker head angle and a chip that can change the bottom bracket height by 5mm the head angle by 0.4 degrees.
- Santa Cruz also says they have revised the shock rate meaning better small bump sensitivity and a more supportive mid-stroke.
Changes to the geometry make the bike longer and slacker, our medium bike has a 440mm reach, a 74.5° effective seat angle and a 596mm effective top tube. The head angle sits at 65°, 64.6° with the flip chip flipped to the low position. The wheelbase is 1192mm and the bottom bracket in the high position sits at 344mm or 339mm in low.
It’s not the most progressive bike out there but it is 25mm or so longer than last years bike so is likely to produce a more stable platform and coupled with a better suspension set up should provide a roomier, grippier more aggressive ride.
For your money, you get Rockshox Yari fork which is pretty standard for a bottom spec bike these days. There is a Rockshox Super Deluxe shock at the rear and a mix combination of Race Face and SRAM kit all over the rest of the bike. We’ve got mix of SRAM NX and GX kit, a 10-42T cassette, a 30T chainring with an E*Thirteen chain guide and Guide R brakes with 200mm rotors.
The bike rolls on the popular and adequately wide WTB i29 rims with Novatec hubs fitted with Maxxis Wide Trail tyres – a 2.5” DHF on the front and a 2.4” DHR on the rear. The Santa Cruz website says medium bikes only come with 125mm dropper’s whilst the large and extra large bikes get 150mm posts but our Medium bike is fitted with a 150mm dropper - happy days. Finishing things off in the cockpit are RaceFace 780mm wide bars, a 50mm stem and Santa Cruz own grips.
We’ve got a month aboard this bike and are looking forward to it, We've heard good things about the carbon version and we're interested to see how good it is in its cheapest form. Check back soon for a full review!
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