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  1. #1
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    Correct Nomad Size?

    I'm strongly considering the new Nomad, but my LBS doesn't have a demo on it. I was able to ride one in the parking lot and I can tell it's a bit shorter than my Heckler. I currently ride a 2004 Medium Heckler with a 120mm stem and a zero setback seatpost. My Heckler fits pretty good like this, but I am not sure about a shorter top tube. Also, I still find the Heckler to be a little too twitchy for my taste even though I have the 120mm/15 degree stem.

    Has anyone gone from a Medium Heckler or Blur to a Large Nomad? I wish I had one to demo before spending so much.

    I don' t want to ruin the smooth steering by going to a large. If I used a 100mm stem on a Large Nomad, would it get twitchy? I imagine that 67 degree head tube will keep it smooth, but anyone with input, please post.

    Also, does anyone know when the 2009 Nomad is going to be available?

    Thanks everyone!
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  2. #2
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    I went from a medium Blur LT ('06) with a 90mm stem to a large '08 Nomad with a 65mm stem. They had made the '08 Nomads a bit shorter, bumping me from a medium to a Large. I tried an '06 Nomad in medium that also felt good. My Blur always felt cramped where my Nomad just feels right. If you really need that much stem, you may want to even look at an XL Nomad with a much shorter stem. It all depends on how you plan to build it up and how you plan to ride it, but a shorter stem would better suit the bike in my mind.

  3. #3
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    Hi tree trunks, thanks for your response. Yes, currently I use a 120mm stem on my Medium Heckler and that's about the feel I like, so I have a feeling that I might like the large Nomad, but I am waiting for the new Nomad to come out first. The TT on the new Nomad might be a little different. I hear it has 6 inch travel and not 6.5. Also, my torso is a bit longer, so that's why I like the longer TT on my bikes.

    I test drove a Blur LT2 and it felt very similar to my 04 Heckler. I only rode it in the parking lot, so I can't say how it climbs, but it felt so much like my Heckler that I don't see paying 2K to upgrade to that bike. Originally I was thinking BLur, but then I rode the Nomad. It's a luxury ride compared to my Heckler. It's like going from a Honda to a Lexus.

    Anyway, now I am interested in the Nomad, but we don't have a demo on that bike. The other bike that has somewhat similar specs is the new Intense Tracer, but again, I don't have a demo nearby for that bike either.

    Well thanks for your comments. I thought there were more Nomad riders to post feedback on size, but there hasn't been much feedback on this thread yet.
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  4. #4
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    I thought there were more Nomad riders to post feedback on size

    well, actually this has been discussed quite a bit even recently.

    for the past few years i have gone from a classic blur to a blt and this summer a 1.5" head tube version nomad. all have been size large. the nomad's tt is 23.3" in it's current form while the blt was 23.5". i swapped virtually all parts from the blt to the nomad. this includes a 70mm 0 degree rise thomson stem and a thomson setback post. for me size is spot on. i do admit that ride time on the nomad is extremely limited due to injury, but i do not feel "cramped" at all. in fact i feel more comfortable on the large nomad than i did on the blt.

    for me, the progression from a classic blur to the nomad is a direct reflection to the progression of my riding - more aggressive (less XC more agro trail/light FR/DH). for this the nomad fits the bill. so, i think much of "sizing" comes down to intent of use. if one is looking for a long travel xc bike and want that stretched out feel i can see why some are opting to size up on the nomad. however, is this really the purpose or style in which the nomad is intended? probably not. a bike like intense's 6.6, although has longer rear travel by .25", has a dramatically different feel more XC than the nomad (a result of very different geometry - longer tt, londer seat tube, higher bb, steeper angles, etc.). i think one needs to look at a frame as the sum of it's "parts" or geometry rather than get caught up on one aspect (tt length) of a frame.

    this is why i feel very comfortable (never cramped) climbing and especially descending on the slightly shorter tt nomad. it's a result of different head tube and seat tube angles, seat tube length, wheelbase, etc., etc. all add up for me to be an ideal fit, an ideal mix to compliment long 20-30 mile high country epics to all day shuttle ventures.

    finally, you are correct the new, yet to be released nomad has a slightly longer tt than it's current form - however the travel remains the same at 6.5".

    btw, i am just over 6' tall, have a 30" inseam and a slightly longer torso.

    One more thing, parking lot tests really do nothing to tell you how bike A will perform against bike B. You really need to get out on a diverse terrain trail on test bikes that are properly set up for you. This includes stem lengths,etc but especially proper suspension set up for your weight and type of riding conditions.
    Last edited by EastBay_Slim; 08-18-2008 at 06:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    Hi, I received a direct email from Santa Cruz, and they say the new Nomad will have a 6" travel. It sounds like it will compete with the new Tracer by Intense. Also, it's supposed to come out at the end of October.

    Here is more information in case you haven't seen it online:

    Introducing the new Nomad

    Following in the footsteps of the Blur LT's redesign earlier this year, the
    Nomad is the latest recipient of SCB's next generation VPP.

    The Cliff Notes for this redesign are as follows:
    - Revised links and VPP shock rates
    - Grease ports in lower link
    - Carbon fiber upper link
    - All-new link hardware
    - Shorter chainstays
    - Redesigned front triangle
    - ISCG 05 mount



    The "why" of this requires a little more explanation:

    The VPP revision results in a flatter shock rate, meaning a less dramatic
    falling rate at the beginning of travel, and less of a rising rate near
    bottom-out. The instant center of the rear suspension has been revised, and
    the new design has less chain growth than the old one. These elements make
    the new bike pedal and climb more efficiently than before. The geometry of
    the bike still ensures excellent stability, but the 160mm travel suspension
    feels more lively and the new Nomad feels more snappy and responsive
    everywhere.

    The new linkage design features 15mm diameter alloy axles bolting directly
    into the frame that are locked in place with ultra-trick collet heads. These
    control preload on the angular contact bearings in the lower link, which are
    in turn easily lubed up via the grease ports in the link. Each frame comes
    with a grease gun. The upper link is molded carbon fiber. These changes
    result in vastly improved weather resistance, longer intervals between
    servicing, much easier user serviceability (lower link can be removed
    without having to take the cranks off), and improved chassis rigidity.

    Changing from the old clamshell welded top tube design to a triple butted
    6000 series aluminum front triangle allowed the engineers to increase
    strength and stiffness in the front end, incorporate ISCG 05 chainguide
    mounts and retain use of a 1.5" headtube, yet at the same time reduce frame
    weight by a third of a pound over the previous model. Frame weight for a
    large size powdercoated Nomad running a RockShox Monarch 3.3 is 6.9 pounds.
    Smaller frames will weigh less, as will anodized frames.

    The old Nomad defied easy categorization. It spanned the gap between heavy
    duty long travel trail riding and aggressive terrain high performance abuse
    and found friends at either end of the spectrum. This redesign muddies
    attempts to pigeonhole the bike even further. It's lighter and more
    responsive, but at the same time stronger and more stable. The territory
    that the Nomad calls home has grown in size...

    Available late October, in the following colors - black, white, red, yellow,
    lime green, liquid blue, ano green and ano slate.
    MSRP in the US start at $1850 for powdercoated frames with RockShox Monarch
    shocks.

  6. #6
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    Not a truer word spoken ancient wisdom. I think you summed it up perfectly Im 6'2 on a large nomad and feel not cramped at all. Makes me wonder what people mean by cramped? ... knees hitting bars or just uncomfortable?

  7. #7
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    OK so we were both off a bit. not 6" and not 6.5" but rather 6.3". i don't think this will make a huge difference. in fact it's quite insignificant really.

    i have to disagree when you state that it will compete with the new tracer vp. the tracer is replacing the 5.5 (a xc bike with steep angles) the competitor/brother of the blt. jenson and others are now blowing out 5.5 frames for $1399 because it is being discontinued. the 6.6 remains in the line up and from what jeff steber has mentioned on the intense forum will benefit from some updates in the future, namely the new linkages and grease ports.

    the tracer was designed to keep pace with the blt2 imo. it's an interesting bike because of the adjustable travel abilities. not so much because of the added .5" of travel but because when paired with a 160mm fork the geometry become much more slack at 67.5 degrees (not quite as much as the nomad at 67) when compared to the 5.5/140mm set up which is still very XC oriented at 69.5 degrees which is the same as the blt1&2 if i am not mistaken.

    a reduction in 5mm of travel (.2") does not all of a sudden make the nomad less capable, or all of a sudden a xc/trail bike. in fact it is stronger and more stable than before, added iscg tabs, yet lighter too. additionally sc didn't mess too much with geometry. i believe it will retain the relatively slack 67 degree hta.

    again i stress not to get focused on one aspect of bike geometry. look at a bike like the nolly delirium t. it "only" has 160mm or 6.3" of travel the same as yet to be released nomad. is it then a direct competitor to the tracer? absolutely not. the claims from it's happy owners is that it is an outstanding pedaling bike, but make no mistakes it is a heavy hitter that is capable of exceeding many 7"+ travel bikes in execution and durability in the rough steeps. think quality over quantity. more is not always better. and less does not always mean less. is a uzzi vpx at 7.7ish", or turner highline with 7.1ish" of rear travel more trail bike and/or less of a FR/DH bike than the vp free at 8.5"? no.

    sc is fine tuning their bikes with the new generation of vpp. blt gets an extra .2" of travel the nomad losses .2". both now use a 8.5" x 2.5" shock. these changes lower the leverage ratio on both frames as part of sc's attempt to nullify the minor "issues" associated with the original vpp design. there are also other subtle differences to be notes as well that further tweak the ride quality.

    again my point in this post as well as the previous is to look at frames/bikes holistically. the type of suspension, how it is executed, the amount of travel (to a degree), the lengths of frame sections (tt, bb height, wheelbase, seat tune, etc), and angles especially seat tube and head tube. the sum or combination of these parts make the frame and whether or not you will be comfortable on it or not and whether or not it will perform to your expectations given your riding style, terrain, etc.
    Last edited by EastBay_Slim; 08-19-2008 at 03:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    moozico, back to your original post...regarding the 120mm stem and twitchy steering. is it twitchy as in really quick? and is this something you like or dislike? me, i don't like that feeling because it is detrimental to the majority of the type of riding i prefer. i believe that the statement "twitchy for my taste even though I have the 120mm/15 degree stem", the 120mm stem is the reason steering is twitchy. also what fork are you running on the heckler? head tube angles, as you speculated, will also play a role in steering feel. a fork with short travel and perhaps more importantly a short axle to crown length will steepen the angles. conversely, go too far in the other directly and the bike will feel raked out and floppy/slow rather than twichy and fast.

    my blur was quick or twitchy so was the blt when set up with a 130mm fork and a 90-100m stem. they are steep angled XC/trail bikes, built tough but designed with drastically different geometry and intent when compared to the nomad. to me they never instilled confidence when attempting high speed, rough descents. great bike in their own rights but limiting if you are pushing the steep, rough, jump/drop envelop.

    when i switched the blt to a 70mm stem ( down from a 90mm. the 20mm made a huge difference in the positive for me) and mounted a 160mm 36 TALAS the steering became just what i was looking for but didn't previously know it. it was really one of those WOW moments. slow and controlled but not "stupid" slow. this was the result of bringing the stem, and of course the handle bars, back behind the front hub. also the 545mm axle to crown length of the 36 had the affect of slackening the head tube angle to approx. 67.5 degrees. together these changes sort of mimicked the nomad and as a result i gained much more control and confidence on high speed, rough descents. the blt did suffer slightly from the 160mm fork on the climbs but not much. i think the nomad with 160mm fork climbs better than the blt ever did regardless of fork, but that is because it is designed to perform well with that size/length of fork.

    not sure if you have experimented with stems in the 65-90mm range? see if you can get a shop to let you test some to get a feel of how they affect the ride/feel on your current bike. be patient and look beyond the feeling of being more upright versus feeling stretched out. once you get used to being more upright in the saddle you will notice just how much better it is with a less "twitchy" steering performance and the added benefit of confidence and less over the bar feeling when pointed down. imo the nomad should have 90mm or less stem, some may disagree.

    well, in the end it's really a personal thing so try to get on a demo, or borrow a friends or nearby friendly rider, or see if a nearby shop has one and play around/experiment with various set ups. and get it out on some trails, parking lots tell you very little.
    Last edited by EastBay_Slim; 08-19-2008 at 03:13 AM.

  9. #9
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    Makes me wonder what people mean by cramped? knees hitting bars or just uncomfortable

    pylie, i wonder the same thing. my conclusion from reading these statements is that most who feel this way are coming from more xc bikes and riding styles; stretched out, super long stems, steep angle, etc. and are expecting that same feel on the nomad or other comparable bikes. thus it is a feel of perceived comfort and not really a banging knees on the bars/stem issue. they say change is hard, and honestly it is, or more people would change the things/habits in their live they don't like and are detrimental. but change is possible if you open your mind to the possibilities, exercise patience...

    ok getting a bit philosophical, back to the nomad sizing/cramped feeling issue. maybe this is not the case and i am way off but that is what my gut tells me.

    i for one never felt "at home" stretch out on steep angled bikes and much prefer the more upright feel and slacker angles associated with bikes in the nomad category. one of which is a category of compromises really. it has to be in order to meet the needs/demand of so many different riders and intended uses. therefore, it will never be perfect for everyone and it won't be the best at everything. but it sure does put a smile on my face every time i swing a leg over and put power to the pedals.
    Last edited by EastBay_Slim; 08-19-2008 at 03:18 AM.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=ancientwisdom]
    i for one never felt "at home" stretch out on steep angled bikes and much prefer the more upright feel and slacker angles associated with bikes in the nomad category. QUOTE]
    I hear where your coming from ancientwisdom . To me having a smaller cockpit and being a bit more upright allows me to get behind the seat a little quicker and easier. You can still weight the front end when needed and when riding down steep stuff you havent got that feeling of the bike trying to push all your weight on the bars. It seems a hell of a lot easier to jump and makes the bike more " flickable " when you can work your way around the cockpit

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the comments. They are all very interesting and helpful. To followup on the twitchy feeling of my Heckler, I have to agree that it's because of my forks. I weigh 200 and I have Vanilla 125 RLC forks, and I have to say, they are very soft. I got the bike used and it was setup for a 150 or less rider. So they are short, but also soft. Usually I just ride with them locked out. Before I had the 120mm stem, the twitching was much worse. It had a 90mm stem and it was horribly fast for me. The 120mm 15 degree rise made it much smoother. I think it would be about perfect with longer forks.

    I just bought 150mm Z1 forks, but I am saving these babies for my new bike. So far, I think I'll be going with the Nomad. I wonder how these 150mm forks will do with that frame?

    Back to my Heckler...I have a zero setback seatpost and the overall fit is very upright. The bars are too low for my taste due to the short forks and the steering tube is cut at about 7.5 inches. I could buy a riser handlebars, but I don't think that would smooth out the steering. The problem is the short forks making it around 70 degrees at the head tube....that's my guess.

    As far as the Tracer goes, it sounds like something between the Blur and the Nomad if you look at the angles of everything. But I really like the smooth drive in the Nomad when I tried it in the parking lot...of course, it was the 2008 model. I'll have to go back and measure the fork to crown length now that I picked up that tip from Ancient Wisdom.

    My concern about the shorter TT on the Nomad is climbing the steep tech parts of our single track. I like to pull on my bars and scoot up on my seat, but I think the TT will bring my bars really close on the Nomad. I did try a medium Yeti 575 though, and it seemed too big for me, and the small Yeti seemed too short. I felt right between the 2 would be a good size, and that is why I thought the large Nomad would fit. But that is just the TT length. The angles are different, so who knows. When they are in, my LBS will help size me.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments. I've learned a lot on this forum. I practically have my own bike shop now in my garage! Just got my workstand today, and I'll be building my new wheels possibly on Friday with my buddy who's a bike mechanic of many years. I got CK hubs and Stans Flows. I'm going to podercoat the rims too, so they'll be just what I want when they are ready. I figured I'd go the extra mile since they cost a fortune anyways...what's another few bucks right?

  12. #12
    Knolliac
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    glad to help you out. as for the z1 i do not know how tall that fork is, but it will probably be a bit shorter (axle to crown) than a fox 36. i really do not know though. it will then steepen the front a bit. the nomad is built around the fox 36's 545 axle to crown length which results in a 67 head tube angle. deviating in either direction with either slacken or steepen accordingly as i have already stated.

    actually i think there a few nomads in the picture thread build up with the 150mm z1 fork. check it out when you have a chance.

    good luck with the nomad build, if that is what you end up with! post some pics when it's complete.

  13. #13
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    Z1 150mm fork A-C is 538mm

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