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  1. #1
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    Rides #2 & #3 on the NOMAD - XC guy gone NoMAD!!!(LONG!!)

    Well, After my first ride being mostly a set up ride, I hit the trails again on Friday with my new settings to see if the ride were more agreeable with me.

    I basically went up on the psi in the rear shock about 20-30psi higher than what Santa Cruz suggests for my weight. I'm 230 lbs. and I went with 280 psi of air in the main chamber. I left the other chamber (what ever its called ) at around 105 psi. I also left the pro pedal where it was, which was basically at almost its highest setting. The bottom out resist knob was cranked up near its max setting as well. I then lowered the psi setting in the fork about 30 psi less than Fox suggests.

    My second ride after making these adjustments was on a pretty tame and fairly flat trail with occasional ups and downs and lots of turns. I thought this would let me get a feel for the bike and the setting without getting in over my head too quickly. Consequently, I was a little bit bored because this kind of trail is not really what the Nomad was intended for.

    The new set up allowed the bike to turn a lot better than the original set up. The fork in general rode a lot better and absorbed trail debris a lot better. The rear was stiffer and didn't bob unexpectedly like it did on the first ride. The bike still feels pretty heavy and sluggish compared to the XC rigs I've been on for so long but I can tell already there is a whole other dimension to Mt. biking that I haven't experienced yet. I think once I'm more used to this bike I'll be able to have fun that I've never been able to on frail, spindly XC rigs.

    Side Note: This weekend I went on a fun ride with my wife. Sort of a rails to trails deal where an old rail road bed had been converted to a bike trail. Very flat and a good place to take someone like my wife who never rides and has no desire to become a Mt. biker. Anyway, I rode my Racer-X and we went for about two and a half hours. I figured after being on this bike, my Nomad would really feel sluggish. Not the case at all.

    OK, on to my ride today.

    I left all of my settings the same as my last ride. Today was a pretty rough trail with lot of steep ups and downs and a lot of granny gear technical type climbs. There are also a lot of huge logs to cross on this trail at the most awkward places along the trail. All started well and my Nomad actually felt like it pedaled better after riding the Racer-X over the weekend.

    About ten yards in I was grinning like the Cheshire cat. This bike feels great after riding a short travel bike with limited technical abilities. I was hitting the short steep climbs a lot better today and the downhill roughs were no problem. I still need to get used to the mannerisms of this bike because it takes a lot different technique and position on the bike to make it work in different situations.For instance, I'm sure it will go a lot faster down hill if I can just get my position correct. My seat is up fairly high in order to accommodate my long legs. It sort of gets in the way when I 'm trying to get my weight back and there wouldn't be enough time for an adjustable seat post on this particular trail. Also, I noticed on the climbs that some of the big roots and rocks that I crawl over slowly on my XC bike are better "attacked" on this bike. The harder you hit the deep roots and rocks the better it goes over them. It's almost like you are better off to hit the high spots on this bike because if you let the wheels go too deep into the roots and rocks the 6+ inches of travel will soak up some of your precious momentum. This of course takes more energy, especially going up hill. I guess I'll have to re-learn where to put in extra effort and where to conserve it. For some of you guys out there with some time on the Nomad, is this a DHX Air trait or a 6" + of travel trait?

    By the end of the ride I was starting to notice that the 30 psi less in the fork wasn't really cutting it on this trail. It's nice and plush and steers well but on the rough down hills or huge log crossings the lower setting felt too soft and uncertain, almost flexy or like I had lost air in the front tire but I hadn't. At the end of the ride I jacked it back up 10 psi for the next ride. It might just be that the fork is starting to break in and needs more air to feel as solid as it did with less air on the first ride.

    Ending Notes: Like I said before, I'm 230lbs and have mostly ridden XCish type bikes for the last 10-15 years. I got a little board with that and thought I 'd try something different. I've tried longer travel bikes before like Bullits, La Brujas and maybe one or two more. They were fun but always more than I really needed so never stuck it out for very long. This bike has similar travel as previous bikes but it does pedal better and seems to be more trail worthy than others. It is very stiff laterally and rock solid for big boys like me. A Blur LT or a 5-Spot would be better climbers but they really don't have the stability or the ruggedness of this bike.

    The reason I write all of this is that I imagine there are a lot of trail riders out there like me that have contemplated the Nomad for a long time but really wonder if it's better suited for huckers. I imagine you could do a lot more hucking on this thing than it will ever see out of me but it is still a fun bike for an aggressive or big (or both) trail rider. If racing your buddies on their 4-5" travel trail bikes is your thing you might want to go lighter and for less travel. If you just want to have fun or already have a 4-5" travel trail bike and want something more aggressive this might just be the ticket.

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Glad you're enjoying the Nomad, Verve...not surprising. Your comment about "attacking" trail obstacles and technical parts of the trail are exactly what riding a bike like the Nomad is all about...not that you can't cruise an easy trail if you want, but the Nomad is like having a machine gun to break beer bottles with...just plain fun.

    Your DHXA setup sounds about normal for your weight except for the Propedal. Most riders, even heavier ones, seem to run little or no Propedal on the Nomad/DHXA. The Propedal seems to introduce unneeded harshness and then seems to "let go" a little too quickly which aggravates the mushy mid-stroke of the DHXA. People are different, however, so it may work for your preference. Also you may find different settings to be more effective as you get used to riding this bike. Good luck with the new ride.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    the Nomad is like having a machine gun to break beer bottles with...just plain fun.
    Very true
    Your DHXA setup sounds about normal for your weight except for the Propedal. Most riders, even heavier ones, seem to run little or no Propedal on the Nomad/DHXA. The Propedal seems to introduce unneeded harshness and then seems to "let go" a little too quickly which aggravates the mushy mid-stroke of the DHXA. People are different, however, so it may work for your preference. Also you may find different settings to be more effective as you get used to riding this bike. Good luck with the new ride.
    I'll have to try this and see what it does. I'm still in the experimental stages. It does seem to have a tendancy to "break loose" like a bad platform fork.

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