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  1. #1
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    Do Nomads Climb?

    I have a question for the Nomad owners; does the Nomad climb as well as any other bike with 6 inches (or more) of travel? better than? or not as well as? It would be cool to see some comparisons. I've been riding a Turner 6-Pack for about a year and a half, but I'll be riding a new Nomad this weekend. I'll give you my impressions after this weekend.
    turtle coming out of the closet on a nomad
    Last edited by Turtle 1; 03-17-2006 at 09:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    Yes it can climb...

    Yes... the bike climbs up anything that my Heckler did. Depending on your setup, fork, wheelset, tires, stem lenght, etc, etc... climbing results will vary.

    [SIZE="4"]The most important factor IMO is the ability of the motor (rider) doing the hauling up the hill.[/SIZE]


    D

  3. #3
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    Hey welcome to the SC forum Turtle. So you finally decided to stop bugging the nice fellows at Turner forum and hit on a new buch here! hahahaha Don't worry, some of your old pals are lurking here also, names like Tscheezy rings a bell??? haha

    PS. you will love the Nomad, up and down!

  4. #4
    TNC
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    OMG, does it! I don't want to sound like an SC commercial here, but this has been one of the strongest benefits I've noticed. I have a 6" 2000 modified Spec Big Hit FSR, a 2004 Haro 6" Werks, two 6.5" Bullits, and an '06 Nomad. All of these bikes have very similar setups with 6" forks, so this is a pretty fair comparison...even in the weight department as all of them are between 32-34 pounds.

    The Nomad is the superior climber to these bikes mentioned here. The FSR is a not too distant second, the Haro is third, and the Bullits are last. Be aware that I'm not saying that any of these bikes are "bad" climbers...they just have a definite pecking order. The Nomad's characteristics go far beyond just climbing quality. The most dramatic and pleasant thing I've noticed on the Nomad is that it does everything better "while pedaling". By this I mean that while you're stroking the pedals either hard or easily, it goes through rocks, climbs, and anything with greater ease than anything else I've ridden. My big single pivots like the Haro and Bullits tend to display a "hanging up" sensation at the rear wheel in rocky areas when pedaling. The FSR doesn't hang up, but is harsher over these same areas. The Nomad on the other hand gives a sensation of riding on top of the rocks and trail irregularities while you're jamming on the pedals. It's a weird but awesome sensation. There's something impressive going on there in the wheelpath and perhaps in other elements of the bike like geometry, wheelbase, etc.

    I've only ridden setups similar to your Turner at I-Bike Demo Days out at Bootleg. I rode two Treks, a Liquid and Session 7, and a Kona Coiler. I liked the way they rode and performed. I'd assess them as performing a little like my FSR but not at the level of the Nomad. I rode a VP Free there also, which was the most impressive bike I rode over the two day period, but it's more bike than I want for all-around riding. We setup and sold a Turner 5-Spot to one of our regular customers, and it is a very nice bike. I think it's a little harsh with its RP3 shock, but still pretty impressive. In fact that's my only concern about a Pack...its higher ratio rear suspension design. I have no direct personal experience with riding a Pack, but I've noticed bikes with lower ratios tend to be easier to setup and ride smoother/plusher.

    Good luck with your test of that Nomad. No bike is perfect, and the results can often vary because of rider preference, priorities, and setup. One thing I'd recommend to try on that Nomad is to find a really rocky incline or even a flat rocky trail, like a streambed, and try to power pedal through it on the Nomad. See if you notice what I was describing here. We've mainly been talking about pedaling here, but I notice this sensation of the bike "riding on top" of whatever trail irregularity there is seems to be quite noticeable while descending too. Again, I don't know how much of this attributed to the VPP design or the Nomad geometry issues, though the VP Free at Bootleg had these qualities too. BTW, I was also amazed at how well my Nomad climbs with a 50mm stem and 1" setback seatpost. I didn't think that would work at all. I tend to attribute that quality to the Nomad's geometry more than VPP design, at least as far as the ability of the front to stay on line with such a stem and post.

  5. #5
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    I recall reading a review of a SC Blur that noted the same things - I think it's all about the VPP.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    OMG, does it! I don't want to sound like an SC commercial here, but this has been one of the strongest benefits I've noticed. I have a 6" 2000 modified Spec Big Hit FSR, a 2004 Haro 6" Werks, two 6.5" Bullits, and an '06 Nomad. All of these bikes have very similar setups with 6" forks, so this is a pretty fair comparison...even in the weight department as all of them are between 32-34 pounds.

    The Nomad is the superior climber to these bikes mentioned here. The FSR is a not too distant second, the Haro is third, and the Bullits are last. Be aware that I'm not saying that any of these bikes are "bad" climbers...they just have a definite pecking order. The Nomad's characteristics go far beyond just climbing quality. The most dramatic and pleasant thing I've noticed on the Nomad is that it does everything better "while pedaling". By this I mean that while you're stroking the pedals either hard or easily, it goes through rocks, climbs, and anything with greater ease than anything else I've ridden. My big single pivots like the Haro and Bullits tend to display a "hanging up" sensation at the rear wheel in rocky areas when pedaling. The FSR doesn't hang up, but is harsher over these same areas. The Nomad on the other hand gives a sensation of riding on top of the rocks and trail irregularities while you're jamming on the pedals. It's a weird but awesome sensation. There's something impressive going on there in the wheelpath and perhaps in other elements of the bike like geometry, wheelbase, etc.

    I've only ridden setups similar to your Turner at I-Bike Demo Days out at Bootleg. I rode two Treks, a Liquid and Session 7, and a Kona Coiler. I liked the way they rode and performed. I'd assess them as performing a little like my FSR but not at the level of the Nomad. I rode a VP Free there also, which was the most impressive bike I rode over the two day period, but it's more bike than I want for all-around riding. We setup and sold a Turner 5-Spot to one of our regular customers, and it is a very nice bike. I think it's a little harsh with its RP3 shock, but still pretty impressive. In fact that's my only concern about a Pack...its higher ratio rear suspension design. I have no direct personal experience with riding a Pack, but I've noticed bikes with lower ratios tend to be easier to setup and ride smoother/plusher.

    Good luck with your test of that Nomad. No bike is perfect, and the results can often vary because of rider preference, priorities, and setup. One thing I'd recommend to try on that Nomad is to find a really rocky incline or even a flat rocky trail, like a streambed, and try to power pedal through it on the Nomad. See if you notice what I was describing here. We've mainly been talking about pedaling here, but I notice this sensation of the bike "riding on top" of whatever trail irregularity there is seems to be quite noticeable while descending too. Again, I don't know how much of this attributed to the VPP design or the Nomad geometry issues, though the VP Free at Bootleg had these qualities too. BTW, I was also amazed at how well my Nomad climbs with a 50mm stem and 1" setback seatpost. I didn't think that would work at all. I tend to attribute that quality to the Nomad's geometry more than VPP design, at least as far as the ability of the front to stay on line with such a stem and post.
    Damn...now thats and essay...how do you find time to write all this?????

    D

  7. #7
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    **** Yeah

  8. #8
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    Climbs better than any bike I've ever had on technical stuff (closest in travel was my Heckler with a 5th coil at 145mm). It's not a hardtail on smooth stuff, but it does very well there too.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  9. #9
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    Thanks guys, I gotta say I'm totally excited about tomorrow's ride-can't wait. I caught a bunch of flack for going with the Nomad, but after close inspection I'm pretty sure I made the right choice; I'll know for sure tomrrow.

    The best climbing bike I've ever owned was the Blur. My friends even commented on how I rode faster with that bike than ever; now that's something when you hear someone say I was riding fast. The only time I move beyond turtle speed is on the way down; On the way down, gravity rules .

    The geometry on the Nomad looks great and the longer shock is a step up for a heavy rider. I put a 66SL on the front so I'm in for a totally new experience. I think I told you the story about a guy that used to ride with me. That is he used to ride with me until he got his Nomad. Once he got that Nomad, all I saw of him was the back wheel headed over the top of the hill; he climbed better than ever on his new ride.

    Thanks again for the feedback on the Nomad-I'll definately post a report when I get home from the ride.
    turtle

  10. #10
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    Skanky D taming the waterfall(on his Heckler). But he kills it on the Wasabi Nomad as well!
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    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  11. #11
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    Turtle, I too rode a Blur for 3 years before I got my Nomad about 6 months ago. You won't be sorry. The Nomad climbs very similar to the Blur. It may have been luck, but I have been able to climb sections on the Nomad that I never made on the Blur. You may have to inch forward a little on steep climbs due to the slack head angle to keep the bike from wandering, but its an easy adjustment. It feels very solid for a 6.5 inch travel bike. I love mine. I'm sure you will too.

  12. #12
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    now you're talking. We've got some trails that look something like the pic of the Waterfall trail that Aqua posted-I hope I can ride some of them this summer. Gotta get to bed so I can get up and ride.
    turtle

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    now you're talking. We've got some trails that look something like the pic of the Waterfall trail that Aqua posted-I hope I can ride some of them this summer. Gotta get to bed so I can get up and ride.
    turtle

    When I climb with the Nomad I forget it actually has 6.5" travel. Feels more like a 4" on smooth climbs, and on the technical ones - that's where it really shines.


  14. #14
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    I've enjoyed climbing on the Nomad, especially after riding a Norco VPS for the last few years. It really does get up the hills nicely if you stay seated. Out of the seat it feels like the old Norco but a bit stiffer.

    The one problem i do have is small chainring and 4th in the back. I can really feel the chain being pulled on in this gear combo when seated. I shift to 3rd and it's almost gone but the feeling in 4th throws off my rhythm when climbing a little. Anyone else get this?

  15. #15
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    Hey turtle, please do a follow up on that ride, Im waiting for a Nomad right now from esquire at Boutiquebikes as I type. The 6 Pack was/is one of my favorite bikes so the Mad has some shoes to fill, but if it pedals anything like the 36 pound Uzzi VPX did, your in for a treat!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    Thanks guys, I gotta say I'm totally excited about tomorrow's ride-can't wait. I caught a bunch of flack for going with the Nomad, but after close inspection I'm pretty sure I made the right choice; I'll know for sure tomrrow.

    The best climbing bike I've ever owned was the Blur. My friends even commented on how I rode faster with that bike than ever; now that's something when you hear someone say I was riding fast. The only time I move beyond turtle speed is on the way down; On the way down, gravity rules .

    The geometry on the Nomad looks great and the longer shock is a step up for a heavy rider. I put a 66SL on the front so I'm in for a totally new experience. I think I told you the story about a guy that used to ride with me. That is he used to ride with me until he got his Nomad. Once he got that Nomad, all I saw of him was the back wheel headed over the top of the hill; he climbed better than ever on his new ride.

    Thanks again for the feedback on the Nomad-I'll definately post a report when I get home from the ride.
    turtle
    I look forward to your Nomad riding feedback, esp. coming from a 6pack (the other bike at the top of my short list). I've been contemplating a Nomad (or pack or, maybe, 6.6), either as bike 2 in the stable or as bike 1. I'm on a flux now but used to ride a blur. I think the flux is a little better technical climber than my blur classic (blur was hands down faster up long fire roads) but overall those two bikes are very evenly matched. As I contemplate a bigger travel bike, VPP sure seems like it would ideal.

    My only issue with my blur was with lower pivot bearing problems I had that required a new rear triangle. Anymore that doesn't make me fear VPP; I will simply be more vigorous about regular bearing cleaning, greasing, etc. I am a total hands on bike maintenance geek, and I still can't figure why I didn't pay more attention to the blur's pivots, esp. having bought that blur used to start with.

  17. #17
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    Good job! Nomad; First Ride

    I picked up my Nomad today and headed for Whidbey Island; nothing crazy, just lots of nice trails. Before I left the shop we set up the 66SL and the rear suspension. 30psi in the positive chambers, 75 in the negative and 5psi in the PAR. The rebound was full open and I put 6 clicks of compression in to prevent brake dive.

    I've got a DHX 5.0 coil and weigh 235. We put one turn of pre-load on the 600lb spring, 150psi in the boost chamber, bottom out adjuster was all the way out and the rebound was full open and I put 5 clicks in from full open on the pro-pedal. Believe it or not-it was a perfect set up, I never touched the settings the whole ride.

    I got to the trailhead and pointed the bike uphill and it just kept going and going and going-the only reason I stopped was to catch my breath-this puppy climbs. Up and down we went and there was no stopping this bike-it was like I was just holding on the entire ride. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the bike made me a better rider, all I'm saying is this bike rides like the wind; now I know what some of you were talking about when you said it floated over stuff-it really does.

    The only thing that really got in my way on today's ride was me-the bike went over everything but I put the brakes on thinking I couldn't make it-but just when I thought I couldn't get over something I ended up on the other side-it was amazing.

    I ride this trail system all the time and I can always find a reason to stop and rest or take a break. But that wasn't the way it worked out today-I rode more and stopped less than ever before-that's because the bike pedaled so well.

    The fork bombed through everything-there was never an issue. The rear suspension was fantastic, rock solid stable and yet just as plush as could be; small bump, big bumps, high speed; it just ripped. I never even thought of reaching down and adjusting the shock-now that's saying a lot because I usualy always fiddle with the settings.

    I love the slack head angle-it's prefect for my riding style. What amazed me was that I just left the fork extened to the full 170mm for the whole ride-the front wheel did not come up on the climbs. In addition, with the fork fully extended, I never once bashed the pedals.

    On the way back to the car there's a short dh section-nothing wild, just some smooth trails where you can get going pretty fast. I gotta say this bike gets up and moves-I was all smiles the whole ride.

    One thing that really amazed me was how well I climbed on tight switchbacks. I've always walked up this one particular section of trail-I never try to ride. Today I smoked it on the Nomad-I was so suprised I almost fell of the bike. What doesn't make a lot of sense to me is how come it climed so well with a slacker head angle and a 7 inch fork; go figure!

    I got a chance to hit some swoopy stuff today and I loved the way the bike handled-it was so well ballaned-I was really impressed. I really enjoyed my first ride-being able to see the wheel out in front was a welcome sight-this is a very stable ride. I know a few people with the new 6.6's, they said I wouldn't be happy with the Nomad-sorry guys, you're dead wrong-this bike is awesome, it's a perfect set up for me. Thanks Santa Cruz
    turtle
    Last edited by Turtle 1; 03-18-2006 at 10:37 PM.

  18. #18
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    My 32lb Nomad climbs like a bobcat with it's ass on fire. It even whips my 27lb Superlight (w/Fox-R rear shock) with the same setup. Initially when I tested it in the parking lot of my LBS I was worried cuz the wheelbase seemed so long. Now after a few months out in the woods, I crank around trees and sharp 90 degree bends in the trail tighter than a wedgie! The trick is to forget about leaning the bike into a corner, like you do with a Norba style geometry, and just stay vertical and turn the bars... sounds crazy but it works. On fast fireroads and high speed ST ride it just like a Norba style bike, that is, lean 'er over like a sailboat.

    Spend the extra $150 and get the Fox DHX rear shock and have a 'competent' tech show you the setup... it's a little tricky to get it right. I do it with another person to help me. Seriously.
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  19. #19
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    My Nomad climbs very well indeed. After 3 months or so I'm still amazed. It seems to just power over the rock and rough sections with ease...so much so that u can remain seated more and save a bit more energy for later. Overall its a very impressive bike. Did go over the bars this weekend, but I blame myself for that on tech rocky (slippery) descent... but luckily no damage to bike (ano is tough)...
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  20. #20
    TNC
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    Turtle, it is amazing how you can run such tall forks, short stems, and setback seatposts and still get a great climber out of the Nomad. I've been raving about it too...an amazing bike.

  21. #21
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    Turtle/TNC, is the Nomad more rigid laterally than your previous bikes? I'm 235lbs with full camelbak and am curious how the bike feels under a big guy.

    thanks,

    -Sp


    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle 1
    I picked up my Nomad today and headed for Whidbey Island; nothing crazy, just lots of nice trails. Before I left the shop we set up the 66SL and the rear suspension. 30psi in the positive chambers, 75 in the negative and 5psi in the PAR. The rebound was full open and I put 6 clicks of compression in to prevent brake dive.

    I've got a DHX 5.0 coil and weigh 235. We put one turn of pre-load on the 600lb spring, 150psi in the boost chamber, bottom out adjuster was all the way out and the rebound was full open and I put 5 clicks in from full open on the pro-pedal. Believe it or not-it was a perfect set up, I never touched the settings the whole ride.

    I got to the trailhead and pointed the bike uphill and it just kept going and going and going-the only reason I stopped was to catch my breath-this puppy climbs. Up and down we went and there was no stopping this bike-it was like I was just holding on the entire ride. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the bike made me a better rider, all I'm saying is this bike rides like the wind; now I know what some of you were talking about when you said it floated over stuff-it really does.

    The only thing that really got in my way on today's ride was me-the bike went over everything but I put the brakes on thinking I couldn't make it-but just when I thought I couldn't get over something I ended up on the other side-it was amazing.

    I ride this trail system all the time and I can always find a reason to stop and rest or take a break. But that wasn't the way it worked out today-I rode more and stopped less than ever before-that's because the bike pedaled so well.

    The fork bombed through everything-there was never an issue. The rear suspension was fantastic, rock solid stable and yet just as plush as could be; small bump, big bumps, high speed; it just ripped. I never even thought of reaching down and adjusting the shock-now that's saying a lot because I usualy always fiddle with the settings.

    I love the slack head angle-it's prefect for my riding style. What amazed me was that I just left the fork extened to the full 170mm for the whole ride-the front wheel did not come up on the climbs. In addition, with the fork fully extended, I never once bashed the pedals.

    On the way back to the car there's a short dh section-nothing wild, just some smooth trails where you can get going pretty fast. I gotta say this bike gets up and moves-I was all smiles the whole ride.

    One thing that really amazed me was how well I climbed on tight switchbacks. I've always walked up this one particular section of trail-I never try to ride. Today I smoked it on the Nomad-I was so suprised I almost fell of the bike. What doesn't make a lot of sense to me is how come it climed so well with a slacker head angle and a 7 inch fork; go figure!

    I got a chance to hit some swoopy stuff today and I loved the way the bike handled-it was so well ballaned-I was really impressed. I really enjoyed my first ride-being able to see the wheel out in front was a welcome sight-this is a very stable ride. I know a few people with the new 6.6's, they said I wouldn't be happy with the Nomad-sorry guys, you're dead wrong-this bike is awesome, it's a perfect set up for me. Thanks Santa Cruz
    turtle

  22. #22
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    I was just reading what TNC said about getting to know the Nomad and it reminded me of some of the emails I exchanged with Rob at Santa Cruz. When the VP Free came out I emailed Rob and asked him if there was any chance Santa Cruz would come out with a 6 inch VPP bike, I can't remember exactly what he said but I got the impression he thought the market was headed in that direction. And 2 or three years later we have the Nomad.

    On yesterday's ride I thought of the Bullit more than once-there was something about the rear suspension that reminded me of my friend's Bullit. Then today as I was pedaling around the parking lot waiting for my friends to show up, I had the feeling I was riding a big bike. I know the Nomad is not a monster bike or for hitting super big stuff-but I will say I think it's built for way bigger stuff than I'm capible of.

    What I found out today was how well the Nomad rips steep sections of trail-I've never owned a bike that rolls down stuff this well. I'm not a hucker/jumpper but I love fast descents and technical trails; the Nomad is making me very happy.

    Regarding the fork-all I have to say is the 66SL is turning out to be exactly what I was hoping for; it's about three steps up from the 36 Talas I had-make that 4 steps up. When I say I'm happy with the Nomad that's a total understatement. I checked the air pressure in my rear shock this morning and it was dead on where I left it yesterday. I have not touched any of the adjusters on the shork or the forki-this totally amazes me, I've never seen anything like it.

    If there were some less good things about the Nomad and the 66SL it would be that now I'm going to end up working harder when I ride because I don't get to stop and rest-the bike pedals too good. The other less good thing about the Nomad is now I'm going to have to travel farther to hit some of the trails with longer descents. Oh dear-all these terrible things I'll have to do; the Nomad is a very cool bike.

    Hey SinglePivot, the Nomad is absolutely stiff-there's not one thing flexy about this frame. I weigh 235 without gear and it's rock solid.
    turtle

  23. #23
    TNC
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    Very solid bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by SinglePivot
    Turtle/TNC, is the Nomad more rigid laterally than your previous bikes? I'm 235lbs with full camelbak and am curious how the bike feels under a big guy.

    thanks,

    -Sp
    That's why I posted a question awhile back about the comparison of the shock link on the Nomad to the Free. They look very similar even though they're not identical, so the Nomad's shock link and bearings are decently sized. I thought a Nomad might turn out to be a Blur or BLT on steroids, but it's really another full step up from there in frame beef. I have frequently been referring to the Nomad as the VPP Bullit, but really it has more geometry benefits than my Bullits, though it does have that big hit Bullit quality.

    On rear triangle stiffness, I've always felt my '03 Bullit to be noticeably stiffer than my '99 model. The odd thing in a stiffness comparison between my Bullits and Nomad is how the Nomad's rear end is kind of "unnoticeable". By that I mean there's a kind of weird sensation of the rear tire/wheel not getting hungup or knocked around down in the rocky and rutted grooves on really gnarly trails. It always feel like the rear wheel is "on top" of what you're riding, so flex in the rear or the frame as a whole is not noticeable if there is any. I don't know any other way to word that sensation, but it's a very pleasant sensation for sure. I weigh 190 but usually always have on body armor (MX-style top & elbow), knee/shin guards, and a Camelback with 160oz of water for 20+ rides at our favorite plus. I'm no Cedric Gracia, but I ride my bikes in pretty gnarly terrain and do some jumps and drops on them. The Nomad feels quite stiff.

  24. #24
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    Put it this way...........

    I just took my Nomad out on my first big climb. It's only about 30Km, but with some big long hills before a good downhill and singletrack blast. I used to ride this trail on a Kona Coiler and could do it fine but needed two chain rings up front. Ride profile below - check that ***** of a hill at the end out. And it's tarmac!!

    I decided to test myself as I want to fit an MRP on my cranks, so I rode the whole thing in one ring up front. It was slightly tough on the last part of the hills, but I never expected it to be so easy overall. It just climbs brilliantly in all conditions, trails or rock gardens. I ride 3 gears higher than I used to now and I've only had it 2 weeks.

    Looking forward to ditching the granny gear now.......
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  25. #25
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    Dump the granny ring!

    I use the granny ring on the Nomad heaps more than i used to on the VPS, but only because i am climbing more on the Nomad.

    The Nomad is definitely an excellent climber, but i'm suprised no-one else has mentioned the resistant feeling from the chain in the granny ring acting on the suspension.

    I'm really happy with the Nomad and wouldn't trade it for another Horst Link bike or any other suspension design at the moment. I did buy it without testing it myself but was reasonably confident that after reading a US, UK and Australian magazine test on the bike where they all pretty much said it was "the one bike" that i should be okay. I just find the sensation of chain pull very noticable and have been suprosed it wasn't mentioned anywhere at all.

    Does anyone else ever feel the chain pulling on the suspension in the granny ring, especaially in 4th at the back?

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