Progression through aggression.
It's no secret that the industry is evolving in the direction of lower, longer, and slacker geometries as riders demand bikes capable of tackling terrain that would've been the sole domain to dual-crown downhill bikes just a few years ago. Aware of these market forces, the designers and engineers at Santa Cruz gave the Nomad Carbon CC XO1 RCT Coil Complete Mountain Bike an aggressive facelift that pushes it further into the gravity end of the riding spectrum. Even though the fourth-gen Nomad is more aggressive and gravity-focused than ever, it never strays far from the original Nomad's roots, namely its ability to pedal back up for another wicked descent that leaves you with a euphoric surge of adrenaline coursing through your veins.
In making the newest Nomad, the engineers at Santa Cruz were inspired by their downhill-dominating V10. This resulted in a complete redesign of the Nomad's VPP linkage, giving it a lower-link mounted shock, alongside a flip-chip with high/low geometry settings for altering its stance to your riding style. Looking further into the fourth-gen Nomad's details, you'll be even more impressed with thoughtful additions to the bike's most sensitive regions—mainly with the cleanly integrated shuttle guard, but also with the mud-blocking shock fender and aluminum ear cover that protects the swingarm from dropped chains.
While the previous generation Nomad was aimed squarely at enduro racing, the newest version is less of a dedicated race bike and more of a gravity rig you can pedal uphill without struggling like other long-travel sleds. Think of it as a freeride bike for riders seeking one that's versatile enough to lap the resort park and shuttle downhill laps, then pedal along backcountry epics the very next day. The 65-degree head tube angle (in high setting) and longer reach keep things calm and comfortable on the descent, yet the steeper 75-degree seat tube angle places you in an optimal pedaling position without struggling to shift your weight forward on steep climbs.
The flip-chip integrated into the swingarm provides the ability to fine-tune its geometry to your exact riding preferences and local terrain. Keep it in the highest setting for a more efficient pedaling platform on rides with a mix of blistering descents and steep climbs. Conversely, you can switch it to the low setting for an even slacker geometry (head tube of 64.6 degrees) that's purely focused on lift-accessed downhills and shuttle runs where climbing isn't an issue. Ultimately, its adjustable geometry lends the ability to push the bike to the absolute limit on lift-accessed days or retain more balance for earning your turns across large swaths of alpine terrain.
This version of the Nomad enjoys the weight savings of Santa Cruz's Carbon CC construction, which makes it all the more efficient when you need to get back uphill. Because it's meant for hard and fast riding, this lighter carbon construction doesn't sacrifice any strength or stiffness you've come to expect from Santa Cruz frames. We don't have any real figures on hand for weight savings, but a typical Carbon CC frame weighs about eight to nine ounces lighter than Carbon C versions. Another detail to note, this build comes with a RockShock Super Deluxe Coil RCT shock that transforms the new Nomad into a mini downhill bruiser. This coil shock is a great choice if you live for lift-accessed days and sustained descents where an air shock would normally falter.
- Aggressive redesign pushes it further into gravity realms
- V10-inspired chassis with lower-link mounted coil shock
- Adjustable flip-chip with high and low geometry settings
- 75-degree seat tube angle optimizes pedaling efficiency
- Longer reach shifts weight forward for better traction
- Carbon CC frame drops weight without sacrificing strength
- Protective details: shuttle guard, shock fender, aluminum ear cover
- XO1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain + RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RCT shock