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  1. #1
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    Carbon Nomad vs Carbon Bronson

    I'm surprised nobody has posted this one yet? I have a carbon Nomad and love it for rougher trails and mild downhill runs (Porcupine rim/Downieville kind of stuff).

    So I saw that Santa Cruz put the Bronson under the All mountain category rather than trail on their website.

    Anybody have a Carbon Bronson and a Carbon Nomad or have ridden both extensively speak to the ride/big hit/cornering/climbing performance of these two comparetively speaking?
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  2. #2
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    On the I-MTB article they had a brief discussion about back to back testing of the Bronson vs Nomad.
    Santa Cruz Bronson 27.5″ – Bike Test | I-MTB Magazine

  3. #3
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    Nomad is definitely a more aggressive bike
    This. I would choose NomadC if you ride bike parks or generally do lift/shuttle assisted biking.

  4. #4
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    I don't have a NomadC; but just replaced my gen-1 NomadAL with a BronsonC. My old Nomad was built heavy -- 66 fork with a coil DHX, and had pretty funky geometry since it required an 1/8" headtube spacer for the 66 crown to clear the downtube.

    Obviously, the Bronson doesn't feel as burly. But so far, I've been surprised how comfortable it is on the steeper, gnarlier stuff. The suspension (now that I have it better tuned) is predictable and, while not as plush as my old coil setup, very smooth. Not to jump into the Great Wheel Debate; but I've noticed so far that I don't have to hang my ass over the rear wheel nearly as much as with the Nomad when it gets really steep. It has also been a far poppier bike -- definitely likes to jump.

    So I'd agree with mehukatti, that if the OP is primarily riding parks (and my old Nomad -- with a burlier wheelset -- was my Whistler bike) and/or traditional serious DH, the NomadC will probably give you more options for a bigger build. But I've also ridden Porc Rim (pre-sanitizing) and Downieville and there's absolutely nothing there that I'd hesitate to hit on my Bronson vs. my trusty Nomad.

    (Full Disclosure: I've only had a handful of rides on my Bronson so far, though it has already been here. )

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    ... but I've noticed so far that I don't have to hang my ass over the rear wheel nearly as much as with the Nomad when it gets really steep. ...
    I agree, when standing and descending on the pedals the rider needs to position it self further rearwards to balance the Nomads' or the Blurs' tendency to "put you" in front of your centre of gravity. The reason is that those bikes have the "shortest" reach in their categories.The Bronson has definitely an updated geometry and the reach is much more comfortable

    Just for this my vote goes to Bronson.

  6. #6
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    I rode the Nomad c for the last two years, and am now on a Bronson. The Bronson is like a trophy truck version of the Nomad. It just rolls over **** but is still super flickable. I am running a 160mm travel fork though. It is way less twitchy than a 26" wheel bike and more stable at speed without feeling like a bigger wheel bike at all.

  7. #7
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    Trophy truck version? Meaning you feel like its as beefy as the nomad?

    I've never felt any of the all mountain 26 in bikes are twitchy personally.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

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    So lets say you put a Vengeance 170 fork and something like a CCDBA shock on this bike, would it be a capable part time "park bike" that could do a fifty mile XC ride the next weekend?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by confused View Post
    So lets say you put a Vengeance 170 fork and something like a CCDBA shock on this bike, would it be a capable part time "park bike" that could do a fifty mile XC ride the next weekend?
    Early to say, but NoahColorado is talking about trying out a similar setup on this thread.

    I'm heading up to Whis-gnar in mid-June -- if you want to lend me a vengeance and a ccdba (and maybe another set of wheels) I'll slap them on and give you a ride report free-of-charge.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whason View Post
    Anybody have a Carbon Bronson and a Carbon Nomad or have ridden both extensively speak to the ride/big hit/cornering/climbing performance of these two comparetively speaking?
    I've got an AL Nomad and will be replacing it with a 650B bike in the next year or so. So far the Bronson is the top bike in running until I see what Ibis and Knolly do.

    I ride up for 95% of my downhills so I'm not worried about losing a touch of burliness .
    Safe riding,

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've got an AL Nomad and will be replacing it with a 650B bike in the next year or so. So far the Bronson is the top bike in running until I see what Ibis and Knolly do.
    I ride up for 95% of my downhills so I'm not worried about losing a touch of burliness .
    I am in the exact same position as you currently, I am just waiting to see what the other major players in the market, will bring in 650B.
    Apart from the Bronson, the Norco Killer B is another pretty good AM option so far. Also the Scott Genius 710 is another one.
    Let's wait and see.
    Last edited by tp806; 05-11-2013 at 04:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    The Norco doesn't climb in the same class as VPP and DW link. I keep my bikes a long time so I'm fussy about getting the right suspension design. So Norco is out of me.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  13. #13
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    ^Have you ridden one of the new Norcos?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    ^Have you ridden one of the new Norcos?
    I've read the reviews and I have been following the various suspension designs over the years.

    VPP & DW Link have been consistently superior designs for climbing. I haven't seen anything about the 650B Norcos that makes me think differently.

    Additionally if you look at the pricing on the Norcos they are high for the spec and an AL frame.

    They didn't made my shortlist of possible new bikes.

    I'm hoping to test out:

    - SC Bronson
    - SC Nomad 650B
    - Ibis Mojo HD 650B
    - Knolly Chilcotin 650B

    Just depends who makes what in the next year or two.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  15. #15
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    I agree with the high price of the Norco frames when a plastic Bronson is a similar price. I think Norco should have eaten more of the development costs rather than try passing it on to customers. I don't think they can offer plastic next year at a higher cost than what it is now.

    I've been on a Range 1 for 2 years now, and felt it has outperformed my Nomad 1.5 in all terrain. Geo numbers play a huge part in that, and the Bronson looks to address that which is a huge step forward. Nomad felt burlier, but was also probably 5+lbs heavier too.

  16. #16
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    One problem with buying a new bike is that after getting my Nomad's shock tuned by Avalanche it's a much different and better bike. When I get a new bike I'll send the fork and shock off for a custom tune pretty quickly. So I need to evaluate what I think these bikes will ride with non-stock suspension since that's what I'll end up with.

    Not to mention just getting a real dirt test ride on any $5K+ bikes is hard to do.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've got an AL Nomad and will be replacing it with a 650B bike in the next year or so. So far the Bronson is the top bike in running until I see what Ibis and Knolly do.

    I ride up for 95% of my downhills so I'm not worried about losing a touch of burliness .
    If you wait to see what Ibis does, you won't be getting a new bike for another 3 1/2 years, judging by how long it took them to come out with a 29er.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whason View Post
    Trophy truck version? Meaning you feel like its as beefy as the nomad?

    I've never felt any of the all mountain 26 in bikes are twitchy personally.
    Yes, feels as beefy and as stiff, but rolls over **** like you dream about.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motosc View Post
    If you wait to see what Ibis does, you won't be getting a new bike for another 3 1/2 years, judging by how long it took them to come out with a 29er.
    I have no intention of waiting 3.5 years to buy a bike and I would suggest any bike company that is trying to sell only 26ers in the 150-160mm FS segment even 2.5yrs from now will be going out of business.

    If Ibis doesn't come up with a 650B option I'll buy something else. So will lots of other people.
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  20. #20
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    The Ibis Mojo HD, is already officially available with a 650b alternative setup, albeit in 140mm mode (more trail bike than full on AM/Enduro in this guise though).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tp806 View Post
    The Ibis Mojo HD, is already officially available with a 650b alternative setup, albeit in 140mm mode (more trail bike than full on AM/Enduro in this guise though).
    I don't want to pay $5K+ to hack a bike into a 650B or buy a 140mm HD or one that can't take big rubber. I would like a bike that's been designed from the start to be 650B and has clearance for some large tires.
    Safe riding,

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  22. #22
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    I had a XL Nomad C for 3 years. This year I bought a XL Bronson C as a replacement. I think the Bronson is roughly equivalent to the Nomad on the descents, but is a much better climber. Part of that is the Bronson is longer in reach, which was a beef of mine re the Nomad for some time. Another part is the steeper seat angle. And of course, i think the bigger wheels help too. Biggest beef so far is fork feel (I wish I had the new Fox 34 that came out just before Sea Otter), which isn't as confidence inspiring as my 36. Otherwise tho, the Bronson is a helluva bike. Very fast.

    That said, I don't think I'd put a 180mm fork on it, as some people do with the Nomad. I would also avoid riding it in the park. But that may be because I have a DH bike for park duties. ;o)

  23. #23
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    Any addition comments on this, perhaps?

    I am also interested in Bronson VS Nomad performance especially given long, all day epic mountain adventures. I mean lot of climbing included.

    How does Bronson climb? Nomad is wonderful in climbing due to looong rear chainstays. Front wheel is planted on the ground.

    What about descents? Is Bronson more similar to Blur LT or to Nomad in this department?

    More opinions are truly welcomed

  24. #24
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    Yup, I had the pleasure of riding with GeePhroh and can tell you he's an excellent rider and knows his stuff. He let me ride his Bronson and I can say, without a question of a doubt, that I will take the Bronson over a Nomad in ANY condition! I figured it would be a good climber (and it is - better than any of the many iterations of Blurs and BLT's that I've owned), but was really thinking there was no way it was going to be solid on downhills and jumps. Was I ever wrong - bike corners better than any Nomad I've ever ridden and is more poppier for jumps. It's simply more fun. I'm selling my FR bike (converted 7" travel IH 6 Point) because the Bronson IS that capable. Climbing is superb in part to the 73 deg STA and bigger wheels. It really is a bike that kills it on both the uphills and downhills. Now tell me where I can get a good deal on one?! Funny thing is I never thought I'd get back on the VPP bus (especially after DW link) but here we go again!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    PS - FWIW I don't agree with the i-mtb review at all. They admittedly didn't even have anything technical to try the Bronson on anyway so how ITH can they say a Nomad is a far more aggressive bike? Put a more capable fork on a Bronson (Lyrik 650b in the works I hope?) and then we'll talk some smack!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Yup, I had the pleasure of riding with GeePhroh and can tell you he's an excellent rider and knows his stuff. He let me ride his Bronson and I can say, without a question of a doubt, that I will take the Bronson over a Nomad in ANY condition!
    Great riding (and beer drinking) with you, too...thanks again for the tour. Sorry I didn't let you get a shuttle run down Gales as well -- post-parking-lot-growler descents are where you really get to learn what a bike can do.

    Like GMAN said, the bronson is more bike than it looks like. Again, if you want something primarily for park riding, there's no question the nomad can be built bigger; but I haven't felt like I've given up much going to a bronson. And the gain in climbing and all-day pedal-ability is huge.

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