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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.
Sure, a lighter will run you $0.49 at the gas station, but there's something really gratifying about opening a beer post-ride using your bike. If only SC could design a hanger that poured the beer for me, too.
And, yeah. It holds the derailleur pretty well, but I don't think that's the point here.
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.
Fairings work great for keeping the noise down. More importantly, they also add a bling factor to your car. Since the toys I am usually hauling are worth more than my car, it makes me feel good to know that the fairing helps to hide that fact.
Spiders will live in your bars without these. I lost one once, and spiders quickly moved in. It did suck that I had to buy four to replace the one. Other than that, they are great.
I have never had issues mounting skis, surfboards, bikes, kayaks to these. Awesome, strong, and you can buy all sorts of cool adapters for them to put all of your toys on top of your car.
I use this stuff on all the moving parts on my bike, and it works great. Put it on after you clean it (or when it comes new), then reapply if it starts making noise. I also use it on just about anything else that makes noise when it moves - hinges, recliners, doors, and the lawnmower.
I raced on this stem (the 50mm one) for a couple years. It is a great addition to the front end of your bike, and it wont break the bank. Set it and forget it.
They are strong, and they come in pretty colors. You put them on your bike, and they work. That being said, if it gets wet, the bearings start to feel like crap - they are not sealed bearings. Unless you are running shoes with sticky soles, they do not have the best grip in the world. They are really heavy - you can pick up cheaper pedals that weigh 100g less than these. Best part of doing that is that you have money left over for beer.
I usually end up grabbing these things like they are the last thing I am ever going to grab. Somehow, Avid has made it so that when I do that, I do not end up dying. When I am not panicked, there is good modulation, and lots of power to bring my stupid self to a safe stop. Gotta love that.