Santa Cruz has given what the brand thinks is the most abused bike in the line-up a refresh for 2021. It sees in a new kit list, size-specific chainstays, and some very eye-catching colourways. Santa Cruz has also added a host of features to make this bike last as long as it possibly can.
The big news for the Nomad in 2021 is the change of geometry, whilst the bike stays as a 650B brawler, it gets an overhaul elsewhere. The Nomad gets a 63.7° head angle and a much steeper 77.5° seat tube angle. Reach has also grown too, it's up around 10mm per size. Much like the previous iteration of the bike, it keeps the flip-chip which can steepen the angles to a 64° head tube angle, 77.9° on the seat tube, both of which shrink the chainstay lengths by 1mm, alter the bottom bracket height by 4mm and change the reach by a couple of mm too.
On the subject of chainstays, Santa Cruz has opted for size specific chainstays across the range, something we think will become more and more prevalent as enduro bike manufacturers seek to ensure stability and a consistent ride feel across their size range. For example, a size small frame gets a chainstay length of 426mm up to whilst the XL bike sits at 441mm in its slackest setting.
There are a range of spec updates too, the new Nomad benefits from the burlier forks that have been released this year. The Nomad R gets RockShox' new ZEB fork while the other bikes in the range see in Fox 38s offering 170mm of squish.
A RockShox Super Deluxe handles the 170mm of rear suspension on the R model with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ can be found on the other models. There's also an option for a coil shock from RockShox at the top end of the range.
In terms of suspension, Santa Cruz still uses the Virtual Pivot System (which uses a pair of counter-rotating links) but they have used a longer stroke shock this year and make tweaks to the leverage curve to lower it slightly. They say this will make the bike feel better damped and more settled over rough ground. It also adds more progression at the end of the stroke so the bike will ramp up more on larger hits.
Bikes in the range will sport coil or air shocks and the engineers say that the bike works well with both.
The new Nomad sees sustainability as a pivotal point in the bike's design, for this year, it keeps grease ports at the lower link and sealed pivot bearings all around. Much like on the Hightower, there's a shuttle guard on the down tube to keep the frame from rubbing when it's being hauled back up the hill over the back of a pickup and integrated chainstay protection too. As always, Santa Cruz offers free bearing replacements and the brand says that the frames are built to be super tough, as well as light for it to take whatever you'll throw at it.
The 2021 Nomad is available with both C and CC carbon options with a choice to upgrade the wheels to Santa Cruz's Reserve 30 carbon wheels. The bike comes in four sizes from S to XL and there are two colour options, Oxblood or Adder Green.
Prices start at £3,300 for the CC frame only, and they go up to £7,800 for the top of the range Nomad CC XO1 RSV.
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