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Thread: Nomad vrs. EVO?

  1. #1
    BMJ
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    Nomad vrs. EVO?

    Any thoughts on disadvantages and advantages between these two bikes?

    VPP vrs. Horst four bar?

    I got rid of my Cannondale single pivot because I was tired of the rear end locking up on me on granny gear climbs. I replaced it with a Nomad and still get some of the same atributes as my Cannondale on the climbs. Not so happy all the time.

    I will say that for a 6.5 inch travel bike, my Nomad does climb great in the middle ring and gets great traction in the granny on gravelly surface. The firming up of the VPP and single pivot bikes seem to work well for this by driving the tire down into the ground. It's when the climb is strewn with well routed rocks, the VPP in the granny virtually locks up on me and kills my cadence.

    I had a GT LTS Horst four bar before the Cannondale but found the Cannondale climbed much better as does the Nomad. I found that it was too free to move and would push through it's travel with each stroke. Maybe VPP represents a blend of the two suspension types, good and bad.

    How does the EVO, with it's long upper link mounted far forward to the down tube, stack up against the bikes I've owned and VPP?

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Now this is one Nomad complaint that I haven't heard beforeon a properly set up Nomad. I'm a granny ring addict on most of my bikes, Nomad included. I also get to ride lots of other bikes and designs. Climbing in technical, rocky terrain is the forte of the Nomad. I have a couple of trail Bullits, and I know what you mean about the single pivot "lockout"...or at least very dramatic stiffening under hard pedaling in granny. However, the Nomad's design releases smoothly and easily on nasty climbs when you hit rocky obstacles. During the last two years at Moab, even my riding buddies noticed me climbing stuff on the Nomad I'd never cleared in past years.

    There are other good climbing bikes in granny ring in technical terrain, but the Nomad is one of the best. I'm wondering if you have your rear shock set up incorrectly. Another issue...if you have a DHX Air on the Nomad, the shock inherently blows through its mid-stroke so quickly and annoyingly on the Nomad that you easily get out of the VPP "sweet spot", thus aggravating the rear suspension action on the Nomad and lots of other rear suspension designs.

  3. #3
    BMJ
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    DHXair....yes.

    I will say that I beat most every other guy in my group when it comes to any type of climbs. I'm in no way a climber though, in my opinion. I definately ride rock strewn trails better than any other bike I've ever had.

    I do have a DHXair. I've read many complaints about this set up as well. I've set up my DHX a few different ways to solve the mid range problem and haven't found a total solution. My biggest complaint with the mid range issue is when I'm lofting or moving around the bike and the rear seems to squat easily and then when I torque the cranks it re-extends rapidly. This may be my issue with some of the steep rocky hill climbs. I find myself trying to make the climbs in the middle ring to keep away from this issue.

    I'd love to try a different shock, but I haven't the budget at this time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMJ
    I will say that I beat most every other guy in my group when it comes to any type of climbs. I'm in no way a climber though, in my opinion. I definately ride rock strewn trails better than any other bike I've ever had.

    I do have a DHXair. I've read many complaints about this set up as well. I've set up my DHX a few different ways to solve the mid range problem and haven't found a total solution. My biggest complaint with the mid range issue is when I'm lofting or moving around the bike and the rear seems to squat easily and then when I torque the cranks it re-extends rapidly. This may be my issue with some of the steep rocky hill climbs. I find myself trying to make the climbs in the middle ring to keep away from this issue.

    I'd love to try a different shock, but I haven't the budget at this time.
    Hmm, interesting.

    I have a Reign X1, with DHX coil, and I think I've noticed similar issues on technical climbs, lifting over rocks etc and getting back on the power, the bike feels different than my Stumpy FSR, and seems easier to spin the back wheel. I'm not sure if I need to modify my technique, or play with the shock rebound more...

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    BMJ
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    Technique helps. BandAid?

    I suppose all suspension designs have there achilles heel or quirk if you will. Modifying ones technique could probably mask the issue but there's always that time in the ride when technique goes out the window. Difficult terrain, unexpected obstacles or exhaustion level can take you off gaurd and you just have to try to pull it together to get to the other side.

    My technique at this time is to stay out of the granny in the rough. Not a perfect solution. I've read others that use the same technique to get around this effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMJ
    I suppose all suspension designs have there achilles heel or quirk if you will. Modifying ones technique could probably mask the issue but there's always that time in the ride when technique goes out the window. Difficult terrain, unexpected obstacles or exhaustion level can take you off gaurd and you just have to try to pull it together to get to the other side.

    My technique at this time is to stay out of the granny in the rough. Not a perfect solution. I've read others that use the same technique to get around this effect.
    Might have to experiment with that.
    But, on most of our technical climbs, I'm already in 22x30 or 34, so going to 32x34 would HURT...

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    My input will probably be of limited help as I haven't ridden the Nomad, GT or Cannondale. I ride the Evo right now, and it does "drop in" to it's travel sometimes with the stroke of the pedal when I'm climbing slowly and going over big rocks/ruts, exerting a lot of energy with each stroke. It mostly happens when I push real hard to get the back wheel over something, then it goes down the back side of the obstacle and hits the ground, causing the suspension to compress and screwing up my cadence. It's only an issue if the rear wheel hits the ground about the same time as my foot reaches the bottom of the pedal rotation. I've gotten used to the bike enough now that I can predict this effect and compensate, it's really not much of a problem.
    Overall I've found the Evo to be a really good climber and the feeling of the pedal stroke is excellent.

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    TNC
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    Good point. Actually I think just about any bike with an articulating swingarm will have "some" negative sensation of this type under the right circumstances, so it really comes down to trying to design something that diminishes it successfully without screwing up the suspension action somewhere else in the wheelpath. Hell, I can feel wheel hangup on my dirt motor, and I'm definitely not pedaling that beast...LOL!

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    The nomad is alot of fun period climbs great descends better. Run a coil shock dhx whatever and suck up the weight, its worth it. I Have an xcl too and the dhx air is alright. The EVO is a great bike and can't be beat for the money. Horst link....vpp... I think they are both great better in different ways.

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    I need to ride a Nomad.

    I also need to ride the Evo again and get some time on the new RFX.

  11. #11
    BMJ
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    I'm all done!

    I've tried to love my Nomad over the past year and a half, and it's just not a match made in heaven!

    I've got an 08 EVO on it's way from Taiwan as we speak! The new design seen at the Interbike outdoor test ride.

    Can't wait to be off my Nomad!

    Ebay here you come.
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    Lucky dog! Put coils on her to release the true beast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMJ
    I've tried to love my Nomad over the past year and a half, and it's just not a match made in heaven!

    I've got an 08 EVO on it's way from Taiwan as we speak! The new design seen at the Interbike outdoor test ride.

    Can't wait to be off my Nomad!

    Ebay here you come.
    To hell with ebay. Donate it to the "strange wants a nomad association." You get no tax break but you do get that warm fuzzy feeling that people get when they realize they screwed themselves out of something really expensive... Good feeling. True story

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    I've ridden Faux bar, Four Bar, VPP, and Giants Maestro rear suspension and found them all to pedal very similar. Shock technology seems to be very good at making crummy and good suspensions pedal at a very close level of efficiency. I've spent the vast majority of the time on a Reign and spent the last year riding with no pedaling platform due to the shock (a manitou 3-way swinger that suuuuucks) and the Maestro pedals fantastic when in the saddle, out of the saddle it bobs like I'm humping a running camel (my favorite descriptive visual by the way). I think that the VPP will perform similarly because the maestro and VPP are based on the same principle of creating a pedal canceling geometry through the first inch of travel after the 30% sag, but don't privide a fix-all pedaling solution. The 4-bar linkage of the EVO is good but I don't think it's better or worse than the VPP or Maestro when it comes to pedaling. Short story is that if you've got a good shock with a good pedaling platform (Pro-pedal, SPV, or Floodgate, whatever you want to call it...) it's gonna run well. I'd say go with what you like or whatever you can afford and just ride it!

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    BMJ
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    My thoughts on VPP

    My feeling is that if the sag point on these VPP type systems is so critical in where it sits while standing still, it wreaks havoc on the system when your all over the bike in the rough.
    Moving your body weight around, and climbing and decending put different load amounts on the suspension so your sag point is constantly changing. Same as when the tire is tracking the ground and interacting with your pedal stroke. So... what looks good as a sag point rolling around in a parking lot is all over the place in real trail conditions.

    My take on the Horst four bar set up it that it's not position sensative and that regardless to the axles relation to the cranks, the suspension is going to act more consistantly through out it's stroke. This is my take.

    "Hardway" Help me understand the advantage of a coil. Is it really a huge difference?

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    Does the EVO have clearance for a coil shock? The clearance looks tight on the swing arm.
    Come to think of it I've never seen an EVO with a coil shock.
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    not mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarashi
    Does the EVO have clearance for a coil shock? The clearance looks tight on the swing arm.
    Come to think of it I've never seen an EVO with a coil shock.
    yes, it does have plenty of room for a coil. the dhx-a has a piggy back. i dont see how the clearance could be different?

    (not my bike, dont have $$ for a CCDB)

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    I think he was reffering to the rocker, if it was a little bit narrower the coil would hit it.
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    my bad, i should learn to read.

    though, the picture does show a coil has clearance. i have also seen a dhx coil on one before. i think a coil evo would be a way nice ride. my riding buddy might put one on his.

    BMJ, enjoy your new evo, they are such nice bikes.

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    congrats on the new frame. Let us know how you like it once it arrives.

    We rode the EVO at I-bike and I own an Intense 6.6 (VPP similar to Nomad) so can make some comparisons for you.

    You should like the EVO. The EVO is a nice, plush, active rear suspension. It squats a bit on climbing (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) but rolls over stuff nicely and you don't get the pedal kickback that you do with the VPP designs. If might be a bit more bouncy on standing efforts but that can be easily tuned out with the propedal. It's also more active on rough descents while braking. We were quite impressed with this bike.

    I don't like climbing at all in rocky terrain in the granny gear on my 6.6. The pedal kickback is annoying and seems to make me lose traction and momentum. I've just had to become stronger and do most all my climbing in the middle ring which works pretty well.

    Enjoy the new bike.

  21. #21
    BMJ
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    Exactly!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    congrats on the new frame. Let us know how you like it once it arrives.

    We rode the EVO at I-bike and I own an Intense 6.6 (VPP similar to Nomad) so can make some comparisons for you.

    You should like the EVO. The EVO is a nice, plush, active rear suspension. It squats a bit on climbing (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) but rolls over stuff nicely and you don't get the pedal kickback that you do with the VPP designs. If might be a bit more bouncy on standing efforts but that can be easily tuned out with the propedal. It's also more active on rough descents while braking. We were quite impressed with this bike.

    I don't like climbing at all in rocky terrain in the granny gear on my 6.6. The pedal kickback is annoying and seems to make me lose traction and momentum. I've just had to become stronger and do most all my climbing in the middle ring which works pretty well.

    Enjoy the new bike.
    "EXACTLY!!!"

    I try to ride the middle ring as long as possible throughout my ride for the same reason. The problem is that riding in New England involves alot of rocky, rooty, steep climbs. I find the VPP works great on the rock faces and loose gravel climbs to keep the tire glued but the rest of the time it's just plain abuse!

    In trying to love my bike I looked into getting a Rohloff set up. Test rode one at a local shop. Wasn't a fan of the gripshift or function. Price and unsprung weight weren't pretty either.

    Time to move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMJ

    "Hardway" Help me understand the advantage of a coil. Is it really a huge difference?
    Sorry, I missed this question when I originally read your post.

    The short answer: my bike feels more stable and dependable, and I get more travel with a softer ride out of coils.

    The long answer:

    First, I've never used an air fork for more than riding around a parking lot and jumping off curbs and short retaining walls, so I can't say I have any trail experience with one.
    It seems like 95% of people that I hear complain about broken or leaky forks, here and in general, are riding air sprung forks, and I don't like the feel of the air forks I've tried (Fox float/older talus, RS lyric two step), so I'll stick to coil on the front.

    I rode my bike for a year with the DHX Air and was never able to get it dialed in to my specs. I'm on the heavier side, around 240# w/gear, and I ride aggressively, so I'm asking a lot from a rear shock.

    To get proper sag and keep from bottoming out on drops, I had to almost max out the psi in both the main reservoir and the boost chamber. This led to a very stiff ride. That would have been tolerable, but every time I'd get into the rock gardens, even pretty small ones, the shock would blow through about 2/3 of it's travel and just hang out there in the last 1/3 until the hits stopped coming.

    The end of the travel is controlled by the boost valve to mediate bottom out, so it's very progressive, stiff and tends to kick back hard, even with rebound turned up.

    My coil shock is not position sensitive, so it responds the same way regardless of where it is in it's travel. My bike feels so much more plush and I'm getting the full range of travel through all terrain, and the damping is always the same so it has this rock solid, very dependable ride that I love. The coil also blows the air shock away on landings, SO SMOOTH!

    Air shocks are still progressing and I'm sure will get closer to the plushness and dependability of coils. I'm a heavier rider, so the issues with air are more apparent to me, but I think even a lighter rider would enjoy the benefits of a coil shock.

  23. #23
    BMJ
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    Hey "Hardway", Thanks for your reply.

    I'm 170lbs fully geared up. I've never seemed to had problems with utilizing my shocks stroke. I haven't had a chance to ride coil though so I can't compair myself.

    Any photos of your setup?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMJ
    Hey "Hardway", Thanks for your reply.

    I'm 170lbs fully geared up. I've never seemed to had problems with utilizing my shocks stroke. I haven't had a chance to ride coil though so I can't compair myself.

    Any photos of your setup?

    If you've used air shocks in the past a like their performance, that's perfect because you don't have to spend any more $$$$!
    Seriously though, the EVO was still a pretty damn nice ride with dhx air on there, at your weight I think you'll have more success tuning it than I did. I still think you'd like the feel of a coil better, but the difference will probably be a lot smaller.

    That pic of the EVO with the ccdb in this thread is mine, I have a coil Lyrik on her now, but I haven't taken any pics recently.

  25. #25
    BMJ
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    Cool.

    Alan said he might be able to do a CCDB upgrade on an XCL for me before I decided on the EVO. I'm waiting to see if that may be a possible option on my EVO order. Maybe a perfect opportunity to get into a primo shock right off the bat!

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