Why We Like The Nomad Carbon CC X01 Eagle Coil Mountain Bike
With all of the confusing terminology about rearward axle paths, progressivity, and aggressive geometry numbers, sometimes it's best to go for a gravity-minded shred-sled that's stood the test of time. The Nomad began years ago with enduro roots and as the popularity of 29in sleds brushed other 27.5 wheeled bikes aside, the Nomad stuck around thanks to its ability to shred everything in sight with a playful perspective. This Nomad Carbon CC X01 Eagle Coil build brings all of the capability we could ever dream of for endless bike park laps, with an impressive pedaling platform to get us up to our favorite alpine descents when we're in the mood for a spin.
Considering that the recipe for the Nomad V4 was already pretty close to perfect, we're not surprised that Santa Cruz opted to give this 5th generation bike a host of sensible updates instead of a complete overhaul. Like its predecessor, the Nomad V5 rolls on 27.5-inch wheels and boasts 170mm of trail-taming VPP travel. Though the two frames look very similar, the V5 now uses a twin upright swingarm to bolster frame stiffness and durability, and all build kits come with burly 38mm forks for taking on the most technical terrain on the mountain. The bike also sees improved suspension kinematics for a better overall feel on the trail, and it's now compatible with SRAM's Universal Derailleur Hanger to make finding replacement hangers a breeze.
Most of the changes lie in the bike's geometry, the most significant being the move to a 77.5-degree seat tube angle, a near 4-degree increase over the previous Nomad. This gives the bike a more upright pedaling position that makes steep climbs more manageable and provides increased comfort for long-mileage days. Naturally, the bike gets a bit slacker too, moving from a 74.6-degree head tube to 73.7 (in the low position), with longer reach figures to give us that edge when we're sending big lines in unfamiliar terrain. We're also pleased to see size-specific chainstay lengths, with the chainstays growing by about 5mm as we go up in size. This means that riders of any height get the same balanced geometry and predictable handling, regardless of which frame size they ride.
One of the best perks of a Santa Cruz bike is the legendary quality of their carbon frames. This build uses their top-tier CC carbon, manufactured in their exclusive facility to protect the advanced carbon layup techniques they've developed. A one-piece layup is used to eliminate overlapping joints, meaning less material is required because there is no need to bond or wrap those joints. This sheds unnecessary weight. Carbon is wrapped seamlessly between tubes for better distribution of loads and impact energy, resulting in a stronger frame. The layup also allows them to integrate full-length carbon tubes for internal cable routing. Routing our cables is simple and quick, no need to fish for cable or use a guideline. Another benefit of Santa Cruz's layup is that they can achieve maximum compaction of the carbon layers. This prevents resin migration, resulting in a strong frame that is almost as smooth on the inside as it is on the outside. The frame is backed by a lifetime warranty to the original owner.
This Nomad build is kitted with performance in mind, as the Fox Factory suspension is among the best in the business which is shown by the DH X2 Factory Coil that provides ultimate small-bump compliance and big-hit absorption. SRAM's X01 Eagle groupset handles the shifting duties, with an impressive 10-52t range which lets us tackle grueling alpine climbs. The SRAM Code RSC brakes with 200mm rotors are fit for a downhill bike which is completely appropriate for a bike of the Nomad's capabilities and will be sure to stop us consistently during a long day at the bike park. Trusty Race Face ARC rims spin on DT Swiss 350 hubs for reliable performance and durable construction in case we gap onto a rock or case a big tabletop jump. Santa Cruz rounds out this build with trusty Maxxis rubber for precise cornering grip and reliable sidewall construction thatâ€™s necessary for a gravity bike of this caliber.
- 27.5in wheeled trail rocket for big days at the park
- Carbon CC frame material is exclusively designed for strength and ride quality
- Aggressive geometry numbers make quick work of rocky terrain
- 170mm of front and rear suspension soak up harsh trail
- SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain is enduro race-ready
- Coil suspension is dialed to handle repeated hits on rough trails