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Thread: M6 vs Nomad

  1. #1
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    M6 vs Nomad

    A lot of people have asked for my feedback on this since I have both bikes. For a little history I like to try the newest hot bikes out on the market and am fortunate enough that I can get the bikes I want and have them simultaneously. As for me I am an over 40 guy who started racing BMX at 13 and got my first MTB in 1988. Today I am fast enough that I can stay in the top 5 on any local descent, but I am more about having fun. My preferred trails are fast a rocky descents. About a year ago I was on my trusty Mojo HD which was a fantastic introduction to what an efficient long travel bike was like. That bike was a revelation for me and I realized that there was merit to the newer geometry, carbon etc.

    After being on that bike for 2 years I was big wheel curious. I have tried demo'ing bikes in the past, but for me it is completely worthless. Riding a bike for 45 minutes with a stock build and marginal suspension setup at best told me nothing about how much I liked or disliked a bike. Because of this I went out and bought an Enduro 29 while I still had my HD. I created my ideal build on that bike and rode it for 3 months. Outcome was 29'rs are not my thing or it was just too radical a change from my HD. What I found over those 3 months was that "feel" means nothing in terms of speed. I am a Strava geek and my testing showed that there was zero difference in speeds based on wheel size. On every type of segment my HD and E29 were less than a second apart. That includes long smooth fire road climbs, tight rocky twisting descents and everything in between. Before everyone starts jumping up and down saying that 26 sucks, 29 rules and 275 is better than both, make sure you step up with actual hard data. I don't care if it feels faster someplace or if your times improved after a month. Show me back to back days on two wheel sizes running the same tire setup, riding the same trails that you already know on both and then I will start to listen. There is way too much disinformation out there where someone switches to a new bike that is 4 lbs lighter and is running XC tires and then they exclaim how much faster it is than their old rig. Well no kidding!

    So onto the bikes. I came onto my M6 from my HDR which had replaced my HD. I found the M6 to be better in every way compared to my HDR. The progression in geometry was significant along with the Pivot implementation of DW on the M6. As a side note I do not like the M5.7 or Firebird and not a Pivot fanboi. The M6 is much more stable at speed, but also changes direction better than the HDR. The only word I can think of that describes the M6 accurately is AWESOME. I can throw down fast times on the descents and still stay in the top 10% on the climbs. My build is definitely on the more burly end of the spectrum with Derby carbon wheels, Pike 160, 750 gram tires because anything lighter gets destroyed within a week, etc.

    When the Nomad came out I was very excited about the geometry, but not excited about getting on a VPP bike again. Prior to my HD I was on an Intense Tracer and I found the differences in suspension to be significant. From a geometry perspective I do not buy into the wide bar/short stem idea that I should be running a 35 mm stem with 800 bars on a bike that has the same reach measurement as a bike that ran 600 bars with a 90 mm stem. My current preference is to run 740 bars and whatever stem feels comfortable which is an 80 mm on my Pivot. My bikes have also gotten progressively more slack with the final iteration on my HDR being 65.5 and my M6 virtually identical. The Nomad at 65 is exactly where I think things will stabilize and the increased reach measurement would allow me to run a 60 mm stem comfortably. Overall I think that SC nailed the geometry on the Nomad.

    When you get on the Nomad the first thing you notice is that the bike feels BIG. Second is that you feel like you are in the bike instead of on the bike. Overall it feels like my E29 with smaller wheels mounted in the parking lot. Where the M6 feels like an offroad buggy that you can throw around at will, the Nomad feels like a Truggy/Class 8 truck that destroys anything in front of it. I thought there was a lot of hyperbole around the new Nomad when it came out and everyone was raving about the bike just charging downhill. I was wrong, it is not hyperbole. The acceleration out of corners is simply shocking and I have been carrying way too much speed into corners and blowing through them. In corners you do have to manhandle the bike much more. It is not a scalpel, but instead a samurai sword. The harder you push it the better it responds and I have to modify my riding style to accomodate. With the M6 it feels very balanced and responds to every input. With the Nomad I have to smash the outside pedal into the ground and throw it around the corner by the scruff of its neck. Completely different style between the two. Climbing is where I thought I would see the biggest difference, but descending is night and day, not because of speed, but because of style. As of right now the Nomad is the faster descender. I have been taking 5-10 seconds off my fastest times when riding the Nomad even though my fitness is not up to par right now.

    When it comes to climbing I would have thought the M6 would blow away the Nomad by the way it feels when riding, but again the data shows differently. SC has done an outstanding job modifying the leverage curve with this bike and it has a very DW like feel. It does not have the snappy feel of the M6, but it has been showing faster times on the climbs. Think of it as a big turbo diesel vs a small high revving V8. Again I am setting PR's going up so at a minimum there is no penalty for the descending capability.

    So overall right now it sounds like the Nomad is killing the M6, but that is not really the case. The differences climbing are pretty small. The descending difference means it takes a completely different style of riding where you have to be much more aggressive. For the rough terrain we have local to my house it is faster/funner right now, but for most areas and riding styles it may not be more fun and that is what really matters for most of us.

    One last note, I only have 2-3 real rides on the Nomad right now after getting the cockpit and suspension setup. I will continue to add to this thread, but as usual let me know any specific questions you may have.

    Pivot Pics













    Nomad Pics







    No action pics yet since I only have a few rides.

  2. #2
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    Once you get in shape, do all this again please.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

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    Great words!!! Thanks a lot for your effort writing this since you have been very busy...

    I guess it is a little to soon to ask you this questions: Are you keeping both? If you are going to keep just one, which one will you choose?

    I'm just a few days of ordering my new frame ( finally!!! ), I am practically decided on the Mach 6, but the Nomad looks like a very good option. From your words I think the Nomad is a better option if you are going to race with it? Or is it really more about the type of terrain that you ride? ( Twisty single track= Mach 6, wide open and steeper= Nomad? ) Thanks a lot!!!

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    Nice review, I demo a nomad in Whistler and came away shocked at how well it climbed.
    Whistler is litter with rocky tech climbs and I've been to Colorado, Moab etc... the tech in BC is on a whole new level. I still think my m6 is the better climber base on my style of out the saddle singlespeed climbing. That being said the build with the fox 36 and Monarch air was perfect. The bike felt so active on the downs similar to my last bike a Stumpjumper Evo makes you want to pop and pump. Very playful, I did not take in into the park but I saw over a dozen of these Nomads in the park. I'm sure with the 65 head angle which is almost like my V10c its no joke in the park.

    Salespunk rides Gnar and on less aggressive terrain I'll take the M6 its snappy and quick in the corners and will not give up much to a nomad on the rocky steep stuff just what maindog pointed out. When I'm back in Ohio I chase crowns on my hardtail.

    BTW that Miami Vice color is dope. Nice build!

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    sub'd.

    I'm curious what you know and/or think about the Intense T275 implementation of VPP? Comparable to what SC has done with the Nomad?

  6. #6
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    One thing I did not think about when I wrote this up. I have made a dramatic change to my suspension setup after my last race. I went from running 47 PSI/no tokens in my fork to running 60 PSI/2 tokens. It is more out of curiosity since I rarely bottom my fork locally, but it may have some effect on something. On the rear I am running both bikes slightly over 30% sag.

    Maindog, I think both are great race bikes and it comes more down to your style of riding. If you are more of a precision/float over the rocks type of rider the M6 is the better choice. If you are a bash through/let it all hang out and see what happens type of rider I would recommend the Nomad. There is really no bad choice here.

    I am keeping both for now. I like having an extra bike around just in case. Mwhlr, I will be going back out on the M6 in a month or two after I feel like I have fully adapted to the Nomad. That way I can ride both back to back with some muscle memory of each one. Not sure if I ride gnar, but there is a ton of rock where I live. The last two pictures really show what it is like everywhere around here. I have ridden with friends that live within 30 minutes of me and everyone comments about us not having dirt, only rocks.

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    Thanks for the excellent comparison SP. I hardly even think of these two bikes in the same class, but when you compare geometry, weight, and even travel they are pretty close. Shocked by the equal climbing discovery you have made (Sounds like you were surprised too).

    It's so helpful to hear someone's measured, unbiased impressions of two bikes ridden on the same trails and specifically set up for that person.

    Saw a ton of Nomad's in Whistler. In fact ran into the whole SC endure team on stage one of the EWS Crankworx when we rode Micro Climate and Crazy Train the day before the race (Stages 1 and 2). Those guys are so fast, fluid, and smooth on some very steep and technical terrain.... and the Nomad seemed to be working really well for them.

    Any observations with regards to stiffness? Does the Nomad have carbon wheels as well? (Nevermind, I see in the pic it has the Derby's as well)

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    KRob what did you think of the stages? I heard very mixed reviews with some people saying they were great and other saying they were awful with no flow.

    Was definitely surprised by how well it climbs. Found out yesterday that I have been riding with a broken scaphoid for the last four weeks so no riding for a little while.

    KRob I could not have thrown a 2 mm allen without hitting two or three Nomads at the EWS in Colorado. Definitely the "it" bike right now, but it is living up to the hype so far for me. Looking forward to getting back out there in a few weeks hopefully. My teammate and one of the fastest guys around just got one as well so I will be getting feedback from him as well.

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    Great info Salespunk! Was your HDR set up as 26" or 27.5"? I currently have an HDR 27.5" which has been great so far, but I'm the type that always thinks about what the next bike will be. I've been following closely the Nomad, M6, and the new Ibis 650b prototype.

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    I agree with the review - very nice write up. 3 of us tested rode the new Nomad here in Santa Cruz on 4 long shuttle runs with climbing. It climbs well, but the size of the bike is noticeable. I feel the lightness lets you manhandle the Nomad in places where the geometry is too big. It is fast and that is fun, but I prefer a more playful bike (which is my Uprising). If I was racing, this would give you an edge, but I am not racer so I am not worried about the seconds that I am giving up and prefer the other aspects on the trail.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    KRob what did you think of the stages? I heard very mixed reviews with some people saying they were great and other saying they were awful with no flow.
    Micro Climate and Crazy Train are fairly steep and technical with a bunch of turns. Typical new school BC trails: Loamy, rooty, and steep with some rocks and a few slabs and drops. Not fast and flowy. I thought they were fun to ride.... not sure how fun they would be to race. However the pros I watched go by were looking pretty smooth and kept the flow up pretty well. I thought they were a good choice for a Whistler enduro. Tough enough to separate times by technical riding ability.

    I'm a competent technical rider and there were a couple of moves I passed on on Crazy Train (Stage 2). Not undoable just a higher risk for injury. I'm always a bit more cautious on my first and last rides of a biking vacation.

    Sorry to hear about the injury. Heal soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Great info Salespunk! Was your HDR set up as 26" or 27.5"? I currently have an HDR 27.5" which has been great so far, but I'm the type that always thinks about what the next bike will be. I've been following closely the Nomad, M6, and the new Ibis 650b prototype.
    I was setup 26 on both my HD and HDR. My buddies that ride 275 HD's love them and are super fast everywhere. They do run 160 forks on them which makes them much more slack.

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    Thanks for the first class write up Salespunk! Your reviews are up here with the best on MTBR.

    As a very long legged rider (35" inseam for A 6' guy) the Nomad with the 6"" reverb was the first test bike I tried that instantly gave me full extention saddle position, with enough drop for a real downhill run. The 35 mm stem seemed just fine too.

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    M6 vs Nomad

    @salespunk

    Great review. Which bike do you describe being more playfull? I know how the Nomad rides but had not much time on the Mach 6.
    So is the M6 much more playfull and easier on the rear whell than the Nomad (which is not that playfull)?
    Is the M6 more a nimble Trailbike for everyday riding with the Nomad being a race Enduro?

  15. #15
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    I think the M6 is definitely the more playful bike. I can place it where I want on the trail or in a corner. I haven't adapted to the Nomad enough yet to be that comfortable. It took me about 4 weeks to adapt to the M6.

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    Nice comparo! Good luck with the scaphoid. Took mine 10 weeks to heal. Did it skiing. PS those aren't rocks they're pebbles and does the nomad feel noticeably longer and less maneuverable on the slow techy chunky climbs and descents?

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    If your local trail is 60% uphill, with 25% of the hill are steep and you have to pedal up all the time. what would you pick? which one is better climber overall?

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaymonster View Post
    sub'd.

    I'm curious what you know and/or think about the Intense T275 implementation of VPP? Comparable to what SC has done with the Nomad?
    Kaymonster, I think I missed this comment. I don't have any time on the T275 yet, but I believe the Nomad to be the first implementation of VPP3 where the T275 is VPP2. I could be wrong though. I did have time on a Carbine and found that for me I had to ride it in Trail mode the entire time similar to my E29. There was not enough mid stroke support for my liking and it felt like the bike wallowed quite a bite with the Fox CTD crap on it. I have heard the DBAir is a much better alternative.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bapesta View Post
    If your local trail is 60% uphill, with 25% of the hill are steep and you have to pedal up all the time. what would you pick? which one is better climber overall?

    thanks
    I would currently say the Mach 6 with one caveat. If you like standing climbing I feel the position is better on the Nomad with the longer front center. I am just getting ready to do a decent climbing ride right now and may have more feedback this afternoon.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the comparison. Looking forward hearing more once you get more time on the nomad.
    You should have posted this thread in more neutral and frequently visit forum like AM though .

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    M6 vs Nomad

    Interesting. I've been playing around with various bikes recently and have been slowly identifying the differences in feel with the leverage curves, and your experiences jive with what I've been finding - flatter leverage curves tend to feel more playful, poppy and floatier. Highly progressive leverage curves feel more planted, stable and composed. Granted, shock differences such as low volume air vs coil can modify the end-result force curve, but I digress.

    The discovery all started with riding an SB66 alongside a Nomad 2 with the push link (very similar curve to the current Nomad 3 and the original Nomad). This also plays out when trying bikes such as the Uprising (linear, playful), Firebird (progressive, composed) and Stumpjumper (linear, playful).

    The more linear legerage curve allows you to reach deeper into the travel, providing more energy to boost/pop, whereas the more progressive curve keeps good small bump compliance and tracking, while still keeping a large amount of travel in reserve to plow through uneven terrain.

    As you say, both styles can be fun - it mostly depends on the rider and the terrain. I find myself wanting both types of bikes for different terrain. Give me linear, poppy, playful in a lightweight shorter travel 5" bike, and progressive, stable, composed in a heavier burly 6+" bike with a 170/180mm fork. The Nomad and an SB5c makes more sense to me, though the Mach 6 is a fine bike, I'm sure. I'm just bummed the aluminum is going away. I really don't want the new Nomad in carbon - it begs to be flung haphazardly through rock gardens.

    Note, some may clamor that the Mach 6 (or Uprising) is not linear, but I very much disagree - consider the curve after the sag point.

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    looking forward for your further review. I'm actually thinking to put a +1 angle set, if i go for nomad. that way, it makes the nomad HA the same as the Mach 6(66*) and the wheelbase little bit shorter. which I think, it will make the nomad better climber. Do you think it's gonna work? or I'm just ruining the whole bike?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Kaymonster, I think I missed this comment. I don't have any time on the T275 yet, but I believe the Nomad to be the first implementation of VPP3 where the T275 is VPP2. I could be wrong though. I did have time on a Carbine and found that for me I had to ride it in Trail mode the entire time similar to my E29. There was not enough mid stroke support for my liking and it felt like the bike wallowed quite a bite with the Fox CTD crap on it. I have heard the DBAir is a much better alternative.
    Thanks SP (and sorry for bring up T275, I know your thread is M6/Nomad...there is just so little info/reviews out there right now).

    Great point on the VPP. I'm currently on the Carbine 275 and am not loving the suspension. I'm about to switch and am leaning towards the Nomad.

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    M6 vs Nomad

    The Nomad has VPP2. There is no VPP3 right now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Interesting. I've been playing around with various bikes recently and have been slowly identifying the differences in feel with the leverage curves, and your experiences jive with what I've been finding - flatter leverage curves tend to feel more playful, poppy and floatier. Highly progressive leverage curves feel more planted, stable and composed. Granted, shock differences such as low volume air vs coil can modify the end-result force curve, but I digress.

    The discovery all started with riding an SB66 alongside a Nomad 2 with the push link (very similar curve to the current Nomad 3 and the original Nomad). This also plays out when trying bikes such as the Uprising (linear, playful), Firebird (progressive, composed) and Stumpjumper (linear, playful).

    The more linear legerage curve allows you to reach deeper into the travel, providing more energy to boost/pop, whereas the more progressive curve keeps good small bump compliance and tracking, while still keeping a large amount of travel in reserve to plow through uneven terrain.

    As you say, both styles can be fun - it mostly depends on the rider and the terrain. I find myself wanting both types of bikes for different terrain. Give me linear, poppy, playful in a lightweight shorter travel 5" bike, and progressive, stable, composed in a heavier burly 6+" bike with a 170/180mm fork. The Nomad and an SB5c makes more sense to me, though the Mach 6 is a fine bike, I'm sure. I'm just bummed the aluminum is going away. I really don't want the new Nomad in carbon - it begs to be flung haphazardly through rock gardens.

    Note, some may clamor that the Mach 6 (or Uprising) is not linear, but I very much disagree - consider the curve after the sag point.
    I agree with you on the style of bikes as well as leverage curves. The only part that really matters is after the curve. Everything ahead of that only deals with negative travel. My plan is to get rid of one of the bikes and probably pick up a 5c. Great minds think alike.

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