We’ve guessed it was coming for sometime; the question was, would it live up to our expectations? Our wishlist had consisted of the following: shorter chainstays, lower bottom bracket height, steeper seat angle, slacker head angle, and a water bottle cage. On our bikes, an AngleSet had fixed two of the above: slacked out head angle, and a low BB height of about 13.5″. We were stuck with the longer stays though, as well as the hydration pack.
Yesterday, on April 1st, AKA April Fools Day, as has been a tradition with Santa Cruz Bikes, the 3rd iteration of the Nomad was presented. As expected and hoped for, the newest Santa Cruz model ticked all the boxes: steeper seat angle (74.2º), slacker head angle (65º), lower BB height (13.4″ inches/ 340mm), and shorter chain stays. (17.1″ inches/ 433.1mm) And we finally got a water bottle mount. The best part is that it fits a bottle even with a piggyback shock.
The newest Nomad is a hardcore all mountain/ enduro weapon, and retains the stand over height from the previous versions, making it compatible with the 150mm Reverb Stealth adjustable height seat posts. Most folks won’t need this feature, but when you’re about to boost a huge bike park sized double, or dropping into a double black diamond chute, you’re going to be very happy your seat is completely out of the way. Suspension travel has been increased a bit as well, up to 165mm, and the frame is intended for use with forks ranging from 160mm to 180mm of travel.
The headtube is now of a tapered variety, as opposed to the full 1.5″ version of the previous model. The best part is that the new frame still has that signature Nomad look- with so many of the other models in the SC bikes line looking so similar, we’re happy to see the Nomad retaining some of the personality we knew and loved. A new feature to the Santa Cruz line has also appeared— internal routing for the cables. Although other manufacturers have been using internal routing, this marks the first time Santa Cruz has implemented the feature. Thankfully though, the bottom bracket remains a threaded unit. Those of us that hate on the various press-fit options will be happy about this.
Santa Cruz took advantage of one by drive trains, and by fore going a front derailleur in a one by specific frame design, moved the lower link into the frame. Not only is the lower link shielded from crud, but they’ve managed to keep the chainstays pretty short. In fact, the Blur TR, which had 428.3mm stays, is only 5mm or so less. Considering the new Nomad has significantly more travel and bigger wheels, it was no easy feat. The new chainstays are now more inline with the new Intense Tracer 275. (the Nomad is just over a 1.1mm longer)
- 165mm VPP suspension
- 27.5” wheels
- Internal routing
- New compact lower link and V10-style upper link
- Full carbon frame and swingarm in S, M, L & XL sizes
- Single-chain-ring-only design
- RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air160mm fork
- RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair or Vivid Air RC2 shock
- USA pricing from $6,599 complete for SRAM X01 build, inc. Reverb Stealth
- $2,999 frame only
- Frame weight from 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg) with Rock Shox Monarch Plus
- Complete from 27.1 lbs (12.3kg)
Admittedly, the latest Nomad is still overkill for most of our local Bay Area riding, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to ride the hell out of one. The question remains though— now that the Nomad has gone 650b/ 27.5″, what bike is getting the tweener wheel size make-over next? The V-10, or the Chameleon? And will an alloy model be made as well? (is there even enough demand for it?)
Check it out: Santa Cruz Nomad 27.5″/ 650b