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  1. #1
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    Nomad 3 vs Bronson for allaround mtb riding

    Which is the perfect choice for all around riding. Will be riding it most on the OC and Socal trails.

    Saw on the site that the optimum front travel for the bronson is 150? Anyone who uses 160 for the more gnarlier stuff? Im torn between the hd3 and the bronson but accdg to test riders the mojo does not really feel long as advertised and just feels a tad longer than the bronson. If thats the case then I might just get the Bronson for easy serviceability.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGavin View Post
    Saw on the site that the optimum front travel for the bronson is 150? Anyone who uses 160 for the more gnarlier stuff?
    Yes. Pike dual-position. Rides great. I drop travel for long climbs. It can be a little tough to make it up sudden steep technical pitches in the middle of gnarly descents where I don't have a chance to drop the travel.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGavin View Post
    Im torn between the hd3 and the bronson but accdg to test riders the mojo does not really feel long as advertised and just feels a tad longer than the bronson.
    Having owned a Bronson for a few months and doing a demo ride on the HD3 this Sunday I can tell you without looking at the geo #'s they feel (in terms of cockpit and overall length) virtually identical.

    At this point, if I had to make a choice, I'd go w/ the HD3, only because I haven't owned a DW bike and this one pedaled really well for having the DBInline set soft.

  5. #5
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    I've got a bronson with 160 fox 36 and DB air. I love it, and can't say that the nomad will make a difference in performance. It's harded to get squirrelly with the slacker HA, so if you'll be riding over your limits a lot maybe go nomad. I think the nomad looks a lot better. Just go with your gut. There isn't really a bad choice there.
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  6. #6
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    I've had a Bronson for a year and a half and it's been fantastic. I recently demoed a Nomad for a couple days and was sold. I was trying to figure out how to get one. But then I really started thinking about how capable both bikes are and how I'd be riding them. The Nomad is an exceptional bike that would excel on steep technical trails but the Bronson is actually enough bike for 95% of my rides. I have a Pike 160 and it really is all I need. If you ride some pretty gnarly trails regularly or ride the lifts I'd go Nomad. But for an everyday trail bike, the Bronson is awesome.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys for the feedback. Yeah i heard that the bronson and the hd3 feels the same on a blind test. The only thing that keeps me from going all in for the hd3 is the new(complicated) look. If they sticked with the old suspension design with less moving parts (just like my hd) and just updated the geometry and added iscg tabs and water bottle mount then i am sold. I also love the cs of Ibis but been hearing great cs reviews too for santa cruz and the pivots is accessible for regular maintenance.
    The bike i want is aimed to be ridden in OC since i will be migrating there in January. I want a bike that can be labeled as ALL around. Something you can climb effociently and you can enjoy when the trail points down. If a nomad can do that then its goood!

  8. #8
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    Depends on the trails you ride in OC. If you like the steep and technical or more flowy. The nomad is a great climber. I guess if I had to do it over again (and didn't already have a Bronson), I'd go Nomad! Price is another factor.

  9. #9
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    Subscribed. I'm in the same boat and can't decide what I want. After five years on a BLTc I'm ready for something new. The bike evolved with changes to a shorter stem, wider bars, dropper post and even a DHX RC4 with Ti coil and 2.4" tires for DV, Demo, UCSC and Pacifica. Even though I've been happy with the bike on 95% of the trails I've always wanted a little more out of the bike. I added an Intense Uzzi to the stable equipped with a Talas 180, dropper post and Hammerschmidt but at 38 lbs, it was too heavy after a loop out in Demo. I just sold it off and figured something that weights the same as the blur with the capability of the Uzzi may be the one bike for me since I'll have to sell the BLTc as well to help fund the new purchase.
    Last Spring Passion Bikes held a demo and I managed to try the Bronson in both Med and Lrg. At 5'10.5" I'm in between sizes but determined the Large would be needed but it didn't feel leap and bounds above my BLTc. A few months ago I took a Nomad for a short loop at Wilder (med) but they wouldn't let me switch out a large out for direct comparison on the same day. I did notice the low BB while having some pedal strikes in areas that totally surprised me. I have yet to go back for the large but recently hit up a demo from Trailhead Cyclery. Their large T275c was out of commission but I did take their alloy (old geometry) out at STP's Rocky Ridge. A great ride despite having a Fox 34 and triple crank set up. This was followed by top of the line Specialized Enduros in both 28 & 27.5. Very capable rigs with refined details throughout but the 11spd gearing was too steep for me. Perhaps a 30T would be need. Ibis was there but the new Mojo was not revealed yet so unfortunately I'll have to sit patiently until more reviews come and I can throw a leg over one.

  10. #10
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    I've tried nearly every iteration up front on a Bronson. A 160 fork is "okay" but raises the BB and makes the bike sluggish in corners. I can say, without a question of a doubt, that it works best with a -1 deg Works headset and a 150 fork which makes it a lot like the Nomad and gives a HTA of 66 degrees exactly with a Pike 150 and drops the BB height to 13.3". Combine that with a more capable rear shock (I run X Fusion Vector Air) and the line starts to blur between the Bronson and Nomad and is IMHO the best option for what you seek. I was ready to unload my Bronson for a Nomad until I went with the angleset and dropped the fork; just rails corners and is very capable on DH's! I think a lot of Nomad owners are buying more bike than they need, in part, because the Bronson is limited by the lame stock rear shock and steep 67 deg HTA and higher BB in stock form.

    Have FUN!

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  11. #11
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    I own a Bronson. I like the bike, it's plenty capable. Mine still has the lame Fox 34 and CTD shock so I can't compare to a new version with a CCDB and Pike. I bet it's a lot better.

    If it were me buying a new bike right now, I'd get a Nomad. Bronson was my first mtb ever. Turns out, most of my riding is up a fire road, bomb down or we shuttle. If you want something more all around then the Nomad, I would probably look at other brands. The Intense T275 seems really nice. I think its 66 degree HTA and 160 mm front and rear. The new Ibis is also a nice bike. I wouldn't get a Bronson until Santa Cruz updates the frame.

  12. #12
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    It's funny how we define "all around" mountain bike differently. To me the Nomad is the opposite of an "all around" mountain bike as it's focused more on downhill riding. I opted for a 5010 as my "all arounder" as I thought that the Bronson was too downhill oriented for long days in the saddle (20-30 trail miles with 4,000+ feet of climbing.

    No real advice, other than to make sure that your idea of "all around" riding is the same as the person who is giving you advise.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    It's funny how we define "all around" mountain bike differently.
    That's why the best thing to do is to test ride and pick the one that works for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    I thought that the Bronson was too downhill oriented for long days in the saddle (20-30 trail miles with 4,000+ feet of climbing.
    See that's exactly what I do on my Bronson, but the 5010 wouldn't be enough bike for me. Which only goes to prove your point:

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    make sure that your idea of "all around" riding is the same as the person who is giving you advise
    Exactly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGavin View Post
    Which is the perfect choice for all around riding. Will be riding it most on the OC and Socal trails.

    Saw on the site that the optimum front travel for the bronson is 150? Anyone who uses 160 for the more gnarlier stuff? Im torn between the hd3 and the bronson but accdg to test riders the mojo does not really feel long as advertised and just feels a tad longer than the bronson. If thats the case then I might just get the Bronson for easy serviceability.
    I've had a Bronson and now a Nomad and they are both great bikes. I agree with GMAN that the best setup on the Bronson was with a 150 fork and a -1 degree angleset. I had this same setup and the bike ripped. I disagree though with it blurring the line and almost close to a Nomad though. Even with this setup the Nomad is still a good amount faster downhill.

    I live in OC and ride other So Cal trails and both bikes are good for our trails. The main difference between the two is riding style. The Nomad has to be ridden aggressive all the time while you can be a little more relaxed with the Bronson. If you ride fast and aggressive all the time and have strong climbing legs get the Nomad. If you are more of a casual rider and aren't the best climber get the Bronson.

    I have no problems doing big backcountry rides with the Nomad (25 miles 4K feet ) and climbing technical terrain (not fireroads). Here is a shot from this weekend.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajaguy View Post
    I have no problems doing big backcountry rides with the Nomad (25 miles 4K feet ) and climbing technical terrain (not fireroads). Here is a shot from this weekend.

    Great pic!!! Love Trabuco!!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajaguy View Post
    The Nomad has to be ridden aggressive all the time while you can be a little more relaxed with the Bronson. If you ride fast and aggressive all the time and have strong climbing legs get the Nomad. If you are more of a casual rider and aren't the best climber get the Bronson.
    Exactly why all my friends told me to get the Nomad. Almost all of our dh are aggressive, tech and rocky. I feel that this was an area that I always held back because of the bike not me.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajaguy View Post
    The main difference between the two is riding style. The Nomad has to be ridden aggressive all the time while you can be a little more relaxed with the Bronson.
    Bajaguy (or anyone else with Nomad experience) help me understand the quote above? How does a bike "have to be ridden aggressively all the time"? At some point aren't you just pedaling? I get the term "begs to be ridden fast all the time" but this one puzzled me. Not trying to be facetious...serious question.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondre3000 View Post
    Bajaguy (or anyone else with Nomad experience) help me understand the quote above? How does a bike "have to be ridden aggressively all the time"? At some point aren't you just pedaling? I get the term "begs to be ridden fast all the time" but this one puzzled me. Not trying to be facetious...serious question.


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    ron
    Good point.

    I'm not bajaguy, but I believe his reference is to really pushing to go fast on the descents. That's were the slacker HA comes in, and where the big difference in the 2 bikes is.

    So if your trying to ride just past YOUR limits above the Nomad is more forgiving. the trade off is that it's less agile and nimble. Unless you grew up riding bMX dirt or a racer who loved trails I think the Nomad is better. If you have my background (BMX racer, trail boss) then the quicker handling of the Bronson is more comfortable and the nomad feels dull.
    believe in yourself! I believe in you!

  19. #19
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    Yup, similar to a true downhill bike. You can't just sit down and let it do the work for you, you have to muscle it a little more.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  20. #20
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    Long, all day epic type rides are what makes me want to keep my Bronson instead of getting a Nomad. I haven't done many of these rides but they often seem to have less challenging terrain and are more about the scenery and just putting in some good distance. I think the Bronson would excel in this type of riding.

    I'm sure a Nomad would be fine as well but most of the reviews I've read about the Nomad suggest that it's not as much fun unless it's pointed seriously downhill. In those conditions, the slack head angle, low BB and long wheelbase give tons of stability and confidence. Those same traits make it more of a pig on mellow terrain.

    I've never ridden a Nomad but that's the impression that I get from reading about it extensively. I'm moving back to Vancouver in January which is why I want a Nomad instead of a Bronson. Vancouver area has some pretty extreme terrain and a bike like that is at home there. I currently live in Edmonton. We have some good trails in our river valley and in the rocky mountains near by. Around here, even a Bronson is a bit over kill but it makes for the perfect every day bike.

    I think it ultimately comes down to where you live and what type of riding you do 90% of the time.

  21. #21
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    That 65-degree HTA has saved my ass a couple times already, and I'm surprised at how well the Nomad handles tight stuff when it needs to. Especially after a little instruction and getting better at high-marking/pre-turning switchbacks and fine-tuning my body position on the Nomad, I'm lovin' it. And climbing with the DBAir CS in climb mode is amazing, though still nice without it. If enduro racing and park days are in your schedule, then the Nomad is tough to beat and the low speed/tight singletrack trade-off is worth making for sure.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete View Post
    That 65-degree HTA has saved my ass a couple times already, and I'm surprised at how well the Nomad handles tight stuff when it needs to. Especially after a little instruction and getting better at high-marking/pre-turning switchbacks and fine-tuning my body position on the Nomad, I'm lovin' it. And climbing with the DBAir CS in climb mode is amazing, though still nice without it. If enduro racing and park days are in your schedule, then the Nomad is tough to beat and the low speed/tight singletrack trade-off is worth making for sure.
    That is one reason that I'm really tempted by the Nomad. With a 28 lb weight and lock out suspension, I'm sure it climbs quite well. I'm sure a steeper head tube is better for climbing but everyone seems to say they got used to it in a hurry. I run the same tires on my Bronson as I would on a Nomad so I can't see there being a huge difference in pedalling efficiency with the shock in climb mode.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondre3000 View Post
    Bajaguy (or anyone else with Nomad experience) help me understand the quote above? How does a bike "have to be ridden aggressively all the time"? At some point aren't you just pedaling? I get the term "begs to be ridden fast all the time" but this one puzzled me. Not trying to be facetious...serious question.


    Thanks,
    ron
    It's to do with how the bike positions your body, and your weight relative to the axles. If you're not in an aggressive attack position then the bike steers poorly, and you won't have enough weight over the front wheel to be able to corner effectively at all, and the front wheel will wash out. You have to be highly engaged in the front end. Cornering requires more input into the handlebars than steeper, shorter bikes do. It's not "leaning forward", but it's definitely a rethink of where you hold your mass and what you do with it compared to a lazy bike.

    I came from a shorter, steeper bike with longer chainstays. I could be very lazy when I rode it - if I got tired, I could sit down and cruise down a trail or just stand there with most of the weight in my feet and have a rest. Doing the same thing on the nomad makes its handling completely fall apart.

    Being so slack and low, it's also very stable at speed. Other trail bikes have always felt like they have a "top speed", over which they get a bit scary. On the nomad I just haven't found this top speed yet, and instead it just becomes more playful the faster you go.

  24. #24
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    Nomad 3 vs Bronson for allaround mtb riding

    I test rode my home boys nomad with a 36 talas and a vivid air man that blows my mach 6 out of the water going down last saturday at the dh and super d event in fontana. Going up it was ok not a mountain goat like the mach 6 but im guessing thats because of the dwlink, nonetheless it made me order a 36 and a ccdb to keep up.


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  25. #25
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    I wouldn't say the Nomad needs to be ridden aggressively, but the body position where you find the center, i.e. where you're not preferentially compressing the rear shock, unweighting the front wheel, and slackening the HTA a little more, is definitely a little forward. Sit up/back and the handling will definitely suffer.

    I don't really think of it as riding aggressively--the middle of the bike is just further forward than most due to the long front-center, and the handling suffers when you're further back than you should be.
    Last edited by DrPete; 11-26-2014 at 06:47 PM.

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