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  1. #1
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    Nomad vs. BLT2 for moab

    Hello. my trip days are getting closer (sep 15) and I cant decide between a SC nomad or a SC blt2 for my bike rental.
    I know there are a lot of variables here, but generally speaking its 5.5 vs 6.5 travel bike but... its also 29lb vs. 34lb bike.
    Im also having a hard time deciding between a size S and a size M frame, I 5'6" and thats right in the middle of the S and M chart. what is better for moab (never been there) a slightly smaller bike or a slightly bigger bike. thanks.

    bernardo

  2. #2
    TNC
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    If you're an aggressive rider who likes fairly gnarly terrain, then I'd rent the Nomad. If you're closer to XC and are more geared toward climbing, then probably the BLT2 will be a good choice. Both of those will climb very well, the BLT2 just a bit better. Bombing down Porcupine Rim will be better on the Nomad...as well as Amasa. The BLT2 will probably be better on Sovereign. It would be a mixed bag on Slickrock, as there will be pros and cons for both in different parts of that ride. Flat Pass has lots of uphill and lots of downhill. The downhill is fast and some of it is technical. Pick your preference there.

    Picking your size is hard to do when you don't know some of the specifics on the components fitted...stem length, type of handlebar, handlebar height, etc. If it's not the brand new Nomad, I'd generally say the medium will be better unless they have some crazy long stem on it.

    You'll have fun at Moab regardless of which bike you pick.

  3. #3
    TNC
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    I'm going to revisit this since you haven't received any other responses. Since you're not talking about what bike to buy this makes it a bit easier. You're going to Moab. Moab is an odd place in that many of the best trails are usually wide with many varying levels of difficulty and excitement all often packed within a 10-20 foot width. This provides so many lines to choose from...some of which you'll probably want to go back and try again. Sovereign Trail is probably the closest thing to a real singletrack experince, but even there I'd stay with my Nomad. This trip is going to be a new experience in a totally new place, so I'd flatly suggest going with the Nomad. This should keep you from being easily overwhelmed by some of the terrain you'll encounter and bolster your confidence in some places where your hair might stand on end. So in this case I'm suggesting you rent the bike that will perhaps be a little more than you need sometimes which IMO is better than not having enough bike when things get scary.

    Both of these bikes are excellent rigs, but pop for the Nomad to give you more capability in a new and challenging place. You're not going there to XC race, so a little more bike for the fast and gnarly sections will probably be the better compromise. Also be aware that the Nomad is not some kind of inefficient pig DH/FR bike. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Nomad won't turn you into Cedric Gracia, but it sure won't hold you back at Moab. Are you renting in Moab?...if so, Moab Cyclery or Chili Pepper?

  4. #4
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    TNC gives great advice and I have no experience with Moab, but will put in a good word for the BLT2 which I own.

    I guess it can really depend on your setup but my BLT2 at 28lbs is great for climbing and can handle everything that I feel comfortable with including jumps where I get ~4 feet of air. If you are a very aggressive rider and looking to just huck off anything you can find and take the most crazy line then probably Nomad. Otherwise BLT2 is a great ride. And you cant really go wrong with either. Why dont you rent each one different day btw?

  5. #5
    singlespeed'n
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardo
    Hello. my trip days are getting closer (sep 15) and I cant decide between a SC nomad or a SC blt2 for my bike rental.
    I know there are a lot of variables here, but generally speaking its 5.5 vs 6.5 travel bike but... its also 29lb vs. 34lb bike.
    Im also having a hard time deciding between a size S and a size M frame, I 5'6" and thats right in the middle of the S and M chart. what is better for moab (never been there) a slightly smaller bike or a slightly bigger bike. thanks.

    bernardo
    Hey Bernardo,

    - What bike do you currently ride?
    - Are you an aggressive rider? (i.e. plow through rock gardens, hit drops, etc.)
    - Or, are you more of a technical rider who pick a line through rock gardens?

    w/o knowing what type of riding you do it's hard to say one is better than the other, but TNC's advice is spot on. I don't think you will regret the Nomad.

    FWIW: I've done Moab on a 110mm xc bike and had a blast. I'm sure you will have a great time no matter what bike you choose!

  6. #6
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    TNC's advice is sound as always.

    I spent a week in Moab this past spring. There were 5 of us, an Ellsworth Truth, a Rocky Mountain ETSX-70, an Ibis Mojo, a Nomad, and my 34-pound VPfree. TNC's trail breakdown is pretty close to what we rode and accurate descriptions of all. There is a ton of climbing almost everywhere in Moab but either of the bikes you're considering are competent there. The lighter bikes in our fleet with clipless pedals were definitely quicker on the climbs but my Nomad buddy and I with platforms weren't far behind. He actually climbed most of the steepest stuff at Slickrock in platforms!

    On the downs I was very glad to have a bigger bike. Nomad and I were definitely faster on the rough downs at Amasa and Porcupine. Trail notes - Amasa is on a river-bend peninsula but the "main" trail doesn't get out on it. A little exploration can be quite rewarding though route-finding can be tricky. On the Porcupine - we did it twice, the two last riding days. One of the days we got 10 flat tires in the group. Tubeless or high pressures recommended. We left an option to repeat the favorite ride on the last day and it was unanimous to go Porcupine. Kyle at Acme Shuttle did us right, discount on the second day. Ask him about winning a previous year Hellride.

    Oh yeah, they should be able to get you way up to the top dropoff point at 9,000 feet or so. You can do a 2,000 foot climb from there to Burro Pass (11,000 feet) then have a 7,000 foot descent into town. You might want to do just the down first though to see what you're getting into. When the trail dead-ends with an unrideable rock gully on the right, yep, that's the hike-a-bike down.

    Sovereign trail is about as smooth and easy a singletrack trail as you'll find. We talked to a couple of girls from BC on hardtails on that one. Of course being from BC they could probably ride the Shore on those things.

    I'd go for the Nomad. Even if it doesn't climb quite as well the only thing that's going to compromise is a little climbing speed. Error margin and safety will be better on the downs with a bigger bike. Unknown trails + unfamiliar terrain = hedge your bets.
    Monkeyshines _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2006 VPfree, 2003 Heckler, 2000 Schwinn Homegrown

  7. #7
    TNC
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    LOL! miklorsmith...yeah, Porc Rim is a hoot...especially from the upper Koko trail section. The Nomad definitely shines there. On that spot near the bottom that you defined as "unrideable"...believe it or not, more people than you think can actually ride that...in control...not me. One of our group rode that on his Transition Dirtbag with Monster T fork and made it look somewhat easy...amazing.

    Isn't Sovereign trail a blast for singletrack? It's got plenty of pucker spots on it depending on speed and line choice, but anyone can get out and back on it.

    Moab is the absolute best. We spend two solid weeks there camping and riding and never get bored. I think I could have someone take me up to the top of Porc Rim every day for those two weeks, and I wouldn't get tired of it.

  8. #8
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    Word, that one is a classic, so many styles represented. And, more descending than climbing. What more could a me me me mountain biker want?

    I believe that section is rideable. There's lots of stuff like that on the Shore and Whistler BUT that particular corner is on a no fall zone. I had visions of slipping a tire and walking a long way broken.
    Monkeyshines _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2006 VPfree, 2003 Heckler, 2000 Schwinn Homegrown

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