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The basic idea is that the smaller the number translates to how fast you can pedal the bike down a hill, and the bigger the number translates into how easy it will be to grind up a hill.

The fewer teeth there are on the smallest cog, the longer it'll take you to pedal out of your gears. For example, running a 36t front chainring with a 11t smallest cog in the rear will basically make it so you won't spin out as fast as with a 12t rear cog. In other words, you'll be able to pedal your bike to a higher top speed because for every one revolution of your cranks with an 11t rear cog, your wheel will revolve 3.27 times (36/11), whereas with a 12t rear, your wheel will revolve 3.0 times (36/12).

The tallest cog - the bigger number - translates into how easy you can make your gear ratio for climbs. For example, say we're running in the small ring in the front, a 24t. If you've got the 11-21 cassette, your biggest gear in the back will be 21t, and your easiest gear ratio will be 1.14. For every revolution of the cranks, your rear wheel will rotate 1.14 times. Thats not an easy gear to climb a steep hill with. If you're running a 11-34t cassette, then that changes to 0.71 (24/34), a much, much easier gear to climb with.

Yep. All the SRAM X stuff works together for the respective speeds. All the 9-speed X5, X7, X9, and X0 shifters and derailleurs work interchangeably. Same thing goes for the 10- speed stuff. You just can't mix the 9-speed and 10-speed stuff together. The 9-speed uses 1:1 Actuation, and the 10-speed stuff uses Exact Actuation.

You got it on the second part. The Stylo OCT 2.2 and 3.3 crank arms are identical. They just bolt different rings to them. The chainlines for the smallest two gears on the 2.2 are going to be the same as the chainlines for the smallest 2 gears on the 3.3.

That being said, I'm running this Stylo OCT 2.2 in a 2x10 drivetrain and it works perfectly fine. It pedals great, shifts flawlessly through the gears, and it doesn't wear on the cassette or chain any faster than any other setup I've run.

5 5

Built up 1x9 with a 120mm Float. It's great for trail riding, jumping, cruising, everything. Burly and strong, but light enough that I've got a 26-ish pound bike with a pretty solid build on it.

I'm 5'11 and opted for the medium. I run it with a 70mm stem, and am comfortable in the saddle for hours on end.


Other sites list this wheelset as having a QR adapter. That means that you'll be running a 15mm hub and have the ability to use the included 9mm QR adapters to run a 9mm front hub.

Those wheels in the photos (as of today) are also Centerlock wheels. Again, the other sites have this wheelset listed as being Centerlock hubs with 6-bolt adapters so that you can run either Centerlock rotors or standard 6-bolt rotors.

5 5

It's not the best trail bike, it's not the best race bike, it's not the best hucking bike.

It is the best bike for doing any kind of riding really, really well.

Depending on the build, you can literally do any type of riding on this frame. It's a light enough frame to be built up as an XC-ish machine, but burly enough to be built up as a gravity sled. Or, you can do what I did with the frame and go for an all-around, do-everything bike.

Only gripe with the frame is the zerk fittings on the lower link. I broke one, and it was a pain in the ass to get the part of it still in there out - it took a lot of swearing at and fighting with the broken fitting before it came out. My opinion is threaded zerk fittings, not pressed ones, would be better. In any case, big thanks to Santa Cruz and its awesome customer service for hooking me up with some free replacement fittings.

For those who are stuck between the LT2 and the Nomad, here's the basic take-away: If you're more climbing-oriented, get the LT2. If you're more descending-oriented get the Nomad.


Your best bet is to go into a shop and see what is comfortable. Get someone who's ridden a bit to help you get on the right size bike. It really doesn't matter what brand you look at - you can just compare the geometry to this bike. In all honest-to-goodness, I'd say the top tube length is the most important number to look at, followed by the standover, then headtube angle. Find out what you like, then come here and get the bike.

Another thing to keep in mind is your own preference on sizing - some people like smaller bikes on the trail, some like larger. Based on what your height, and assuming you have a normal reach (how long your arms/torso are), I'd say you could safely go for the 18". However, you might consider the 16.5' of 19" frame, just depending on your pants inseam (for the standover), your reach, and how you like to ride.

You can use this wheelset for DJing, but it probably wouldn't be a very good idea - it is not what this wheelset was designed for. You wont get the same durabilty banging these around on jumps as you would with a DH/FR/DJ specific wheelset. In addition to the wheels listed above, another great wheelset that won't break the bank you should check out are the Azonic Outlaws. They're strong, relatively light, and come in all kinds of colors.