Santa Cruz Bicycles Nomad Carbon 27.5" X01 Complete Mountain Bike $6,599.00
There are few bikes on the market that have as strong a history with hard charging riders as the Nomad. And while the Santa Cruz Nomad X01 Complete Mountain Bike may be the value-oriented option out of the lineup, you’ll forget that fact the moment it hits dirt. Now in its third generation, the 27.5 inch wheeled equipped trail slayer is even more aggressive than its predecessors, which translates into added confidence when you’re tackling the hairiest terrain you dare to ride.
The Nomad’s VPP suspension platform has been considerably improved as compared to the previous version, with particular focus being paid to improving mid-stroke support, as well as off-the-top small bump compliance. Much as it always has, it still maintains the snappy pedaling that’s essential for piloting a long-travel bike to the top of your favorite runs. At the heart of VPP is two aluminum counter-rotating links. The upper-link, borrowed from the V10, provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which is responsible for the firm pedaling feel.
As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower-link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts. This affords you extra margin for error when you’re experimenting with the ragged edge of control. It’s a design that’s well matched by the incredibly capable Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir rear shock, which has been redesigned to offer even better small-bump compliance than its predecessor. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight, and are easily serviceable by home mechanics.
Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is on display here as well. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. With this process, the fibers remain uninterrupted by seams, maximizing strength on an already notoriously bulletproof frame. Additionally, the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside thanks to maximum the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing. And testing has proven that this provides the ideal degree of compaction, further enhancing frame strength.
As compared to previous iterations of the Nomad, it’s safe to say that this is the most aggressive version yet. The head angle has been relaxed to an ultra-stable 65 degrees. Rear wheel travel has been increased to 165mm. By doing away with the need for a front derailleur, the chainstays have been shortened to a highly responsive 17.1 inches—no small feat when considering that the wheel size has grown to 27.5 inches. In keeping with modern bike fit, the reach measurements have grown by a full inch per size to provide adequate reach with today’s shorter stems. The result is a bike that’s most at home charging full-bore into hair-raising terrain. And while it yields stability traditionally reserved for downhill bikes, the 6.2 pound frame weight, combined with steeper seat tube angles, means that it’s surprisingly pleasant to pedal back up for another lap.
As you probably guessed, the X01 AM build features SRAM's 11-speed X01 groupset. By using a massive 10-42 cassette, you're able to get a gearing range that's similar to a traditional double chainring drivetrain, without the need for a front derailleur. Suspension duties are handled by Rock Shox, with a Pike RCT3 up front, and a Monarch Plus RTC3 out back. This has become perhaps our favorite suspension package for aggressive use, thanks to the combination of controlled stroke, and plush feel. Stopping is provided by Shimano’s proven XT brakeset. You'll find a Race Face SIXC carbon fiber handlebar, held in place with a Race Face Atlas stem. The staff favorite Rockshox Reverb Stealth six inch dropper post puts control of your saddle height at your fingertips. Rounding out the build kit is a hand built wheelset comprised of DT's legendary 350 hubs laced with DT spokes to WTB i23 tubeless compatible rims. They're wrapped in Maxxis High Roller II tires, which have developed a loyal following for their fast rolling and incredible grip across a broad range of trail conditions.
The Santa Cruz Nomad X01 Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes, from Small, to X-Large, and in the colors Matte Black/gloss black, and Turquoise/pink.
Reviews & Community
How does the Nomad compare to the Bronson?...
How does the Nomad compare to the Bronson? Which one is considered more trail vs enduro/all mountain. I guess I'm wondering what the major differences are besides the shorter chain stays and Rock Shox vs Fox.