Nomad Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike
With 170mm inches of plush VPP suspension inspired by Santa Cruz's V10 downhill bike, the Nomad Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike makes quick work of tricky root sections and steep drops, and won't shy away from the gnarliest trails you can find. With more travel and slacker angles than the Bronson, this bike stays better composed at high speeds and does a fantastic job holding its line when things get dicey. While it might not be quite as efficient on the climbs, it won't be far behind either, tackling ascents with a hunger that defies its big-travel, slacked out geometry thanks to the efficiency of the VPP suspension platform and a seat tube angle that puts you in a comfortable seated climbing position. Changes for the 2020 model year include some sweet new colors, and a switch to Maxxis Assegai tires for improved grip on virtually any trail surface. Otherwise, this workhorse "S" build kit remains pretty much the same with a wide range GX-Eagle drivetrain, powerful Code R brakes, and a trusty Fox 36 Performance fork up front paired with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ rear shock out back.
Although the previous generation Nomad was aimed squarely at enduro domination, the newest generation is less of a dedicated race bike and more of a gravity rig that you can actually 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 wicked descents, yet the steeper 75-degree seat tube angle puts 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 high 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 aimed on downhill laps at the resort and shuttle runs up the pass where climbing is less of 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 and imposing alpine terrain.
Moving to the revised shock placement, the engineers at Santa Cruz sought to achieve a more linear shock rate with the fourth-gen Nomad, much like you'd find with the V10. The VPP suspension is driven by a lower-link mounted shock, marking a radical departure from the likes of Santa Cruz's trail bikes with an upper link-driven design. This revised shock placement eliminates the Nomad's previous tendencies to settle in the middle of its travel, meaning it feels more active and tracks to the ground noticeably better across steep descents and rugged terrain. And even though its shock rate is more linear, it doesn't sacrifice support deep into the travel, meaning it never feels harsh on bigger hits and downhill runs.
This Carbon C frame retains the legendary stiffness and strength that first placed Santa Cruz on the map as leaders in carbon frame construction. It's decked out with SRAM's GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, which gives you the largest 1x gear range on the market. You'll find FOX's 36 Float Performance fork paired with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ air shock in the rear for an optimal balance of big-hit composure and small-bump suppleness. This rear shock is metric sizing, which makes it all the more futureproof, should you decide to upgrade to a coil option down the road. Besides its impressive component spec, you'll be impressed with Santa Cruz's placement of protective bits—mainly with the shuttle guard that keeps your frame scratch-free, but also with the mud-blocking shock guard and aluminum chainstay cover that prevents dropped chains from damaging the rear swingarm.
- A long travel, single crown bike that knows no boundaries
- Long, low, slack geometry gives you unrivaled stability
- 170mm of trail-taming VPP travel inspires you to go big
- Flip-chip lets you tune the geometry for trail or park days
- 75-degree seat tube angle optimizes pedaling efficiency
- Carbon C frame is strong, stiff, and backed by lifetime warranty
- SRAM Eagle drivetrain offers a massive range for ups and downs
- Protective details: shuttle guard, shock fender, downtube protector