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  1. #1
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    Cross post: Why not a Nomad?

    Hi,

    I posted this on the Santa Cruz forum and got some gret repsonses but figured you Turner folks might have some opinions as well. If I buy Spot I'm looking at a Pike 454 fork, on a Nomad Talas RC2:


    So, like many in this forum I'm looking at the Nomad for my next bike. I currently ride a Stumpy 120. I've never felt really balanced on it and now want something slacker.

    I've looked at the standard options and have pretty much narrowed it down to a few bikes:

    Nomad
    5 Spot
    Heckler
    BLT

    The Spot and the Nomad are out in front

    Now before I get a ton of replies saying the nomad isn't in the same category as a 5 Spot, let's take a look at the geometry numbers and my riding.

    I live in the Bay Area so climbing is a fact of life, lots of it. I'm trying to get away from a pure cross country ride, open up the HA to 68 or 69, and use the bike for "agressive trail riding", lots of flow. No hucks, if I do drop it will be less than 2-3 feet, as part of a trail.

    If we look at some of the key bike geometry numbers in XL (I'm a bit over 6'4"):

    HA WB SA
    Nomad 69 45 71
    5 Spot 69 45.6 73.5
    Heckler 69 44.9 71.5
    BLT 69.5 44.7 72.5

    I found some of these interesting...for example, you often hear that the nomad is long but according to these numbers the 5 Spot is actually longer! Actually the more I think about it the Nomad looks like a VPP Heckler. Hence my question.

    Normally I'd say "I don't need a Nomad, too much bike". I rode a Nomad and a Spot, loved both of them and was leaning towards the spot but more and more I keep asking "Why not get a Nomad?"

    For instance, weight wise, the Nomad and a Heckler are close. Everyone loves a heckler for agressive trail riding.

    A beefy 5 Spot will get up there in weight as well. The spot is longer too.

    Will a nomad let me grow further as I progress?

    I suspect I can't go wrong with either ride but I'm certinaly open to comments and suggestions.

  2. #2
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    I don't have either of these bikes (so feel free to disregard everything I say ) but I have crunched the numbers a bunch so I'll give you my input anyway.

    As you stated, the XL Nomad has a HA of 69*, that's with a 522mm A-C length fork. That means a Pike, a ~130mm Marzocchi, or a 36 Talas with the travel reduced accordingly. That also mean you have 6.5+" in the back and ~ 5 or 5.5" up front. Will this affect how "balanced" the bike feels or the handling? I don't know.

    If you put the typical 150-170mm fork on the Nomad it's going to slack it out a bit. Which some people love and some don't. Maybe the 36 Talas will give you the versatility you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulq
    I found some of these interesting...for example, you often hear that the nomad is long but according to these numbers the 5 Spot is actually longer!
    It's possible that the "Nomad is long" comments stem from the Nomad's long chainstays (17.5", compared to the spots 16.9"). That's just a guess, though. I'm sure the additional 0.6" affects the bikes handling.


    Quote Originally Posted by paulq
    A beefy 5 Spot will get up there in weight as well.
    According to the specs on their respective websites the Spot frame is almost a pound lighter (and that's assuming a DHX air on the Spot and a Float on the Nomand). With the same build maybe the pound is irrelevant, but generally Nomads are built up a little beefier than Spots. Just my observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulq
    I suspect I can't go wrong with either ride but I'm certinaly open to comments and suggestions.
    If you've ridden both and liked them I guess you can't go wrong. I hope I helped (maybe a little?).

    Patrick
    Last edited by PCinSC; 05-29-2006 at 06:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Knollician
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    You have made some valid statements. Just a couple of other things to think about. The Nomad is a bigger bike as you stated. In some cases, bigger is not better.

    Since you are in the Bay area, is it safe to say you see lots of rain? The one thing I absolutely love about my 6 pack is the bushings/grease ports. All though I live in a very dry climate, a few shots of gease every few months and I have the quietest and smoothest bike I have ever owned. The Nomad will develop squeeky bearings (this is noted very well on the SC/Intense boards) due to the design. It is not a bad design, there is just a ton of stress on the bearings.

    I love the way my 6 pack climbs and descends, and it is built burly at about 35lbs.. I cannot imagine how well a Spot would climb.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  4. #4
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    Good points made above. Don't forget customer service. Both companies provide the goods, but Turner will take care of problems so fast, you'll almost feel guilty -- and will likely miss one weekend of riding at the most.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  5. #5
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    Spot.

    If you just plan on trail riding and not hucking over 2ft, the Nomad is overkill. Sure, if you plan on going bigger, the Nomad will allow you to do so, but how much over 2-3ft will you go? Probably not over 4ft, which is nothing to scoff at, as it is a bigger drop/hit than most riders will ever take. 5" is plenty of travel. More than enough for most applications. The Spot and Lt are enough bike for what you are looking for. The Heckler would be a great choice as well and is much cheaper than the other choices.

    I would choose the Spot and Heckler over the Lt. I am still not a big fan of vpp bikes, even though they pretty much do every thing as advertised. I have a Pack and have owned a Heckler and the Spot has better pedaling and braking characteristics over technical terrain. The Heckler is no slouch though and it can handle more punishment than a 5-spot and most of the other bikes in its class. It is a great bike.

    In your case, I think the 5-spot is the best choice.

  6. #6
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    For me, it's the BB. 13.7 is too low for a 6.5" travel bike. I smack my pedals enough as it is (as the sheared mallet axle from last weekend shows), and I had a 13.7" BB with the 5.75" foes. With .75 more travel than that particular bike, the BB is just way too low for aggressive riding in nasty terrain IMO.

    Other than that, I guess it may be ok. I like the versatility of my pack, and the ability of it to take serious abuse. Clearly marketed as "freeride", whereas the nomad is a lot of bike for "all mountain" without the green light for "freeride".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Cross post: Why not a Nomad?

    Hi Ronny,

    Thanks for the reply! I agree I don't need a nomad but from my research thus far I can't figure out why not to get a Nomad. If you look at the nomad geometry numbers and weight it isn't as far off the Spot as you'd expect. I'm not saying they are the same but the nomad can clearly be a killer trail bike.

    So, my problem keeps coming back to why not?

    I have no doubt the spot would be sweet, and if you don't like VPP that makes it easy. I've demo'd a nomad and found VPP pretty impressive.

    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    If you just plan on trail riding and not hucking over 2ft, the Nomad is overkill. Sure, if you plan on going bigger, the Nomad will allow you to do so, but how much over 2-3ft will you go? Probably not over 4ft, which is nothing to scoff at, as it is a bigger drop/hit than most riders will ever take. 5" is plenty of travel. More than enough for most applications. The Spot and Lt are enough bike for what you are looking for. The Heckler would be a great choice as well and is much cheaper than the other choices.

    I would choose the Spot and Heckler over the Lt. I am still not a big fan of vpp bikes, even though they pretty much do every thing as advertised. I have a Pack and have owned a Heckler and the Spot has better pedaling and braking characteristics over technical terrain. The Heckler is no slouch though and it can handle more punishment than a 5-spot and most of the other bikes in its class. It is a great bike.

    In your case, I think the 5-spot is the best choice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    I don't have either of these bikes (so feel free to disregard everything I say ) but I have crunched the numbers a bunch so I'll give you my input anyway.
    Thanks for the feeback...everythign helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    As you stated, the XL Nomad has a HA of 69*, that's with a 522mm A-C length fork. That means a Pike, a ~130mm Marzocchi, or a 36 Talas with the travel reduced accordingly. That also mean you have 6.5+" in the back and ~ 5 or 5.5" up front. Will this affect how "balanced" the bike feels or the handling? I don't know.

    If you put the typical 150-170mm fork on the Nomad it's going to slack it out a bit. Which some people love and some don't. Maybe the 36 Talas will give you the versatility you need.
    I rode the Nomad with a 36 Talas on front...felt good. I wouldn't go bigger for trail use. Truth be told I don't need that much travel but it seemed to match the bike well.

    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC

    It's possible that the "Nomad is long" comments stem from the Nomad's long chainstays (17.5", compared to the spots 16.9"). That's just a guess, though. I'm sure the additional 0.6" affects the bikes handling.
    I'd be curious to hear from people who understand geometry detail better than I. How does chainstay length affect handling exactly?

    What about WB beign shorther vs. chainstay being longer?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    According to the specs on their respective websites the Spot frame is almost a pound lighter (and that's assuming a DHX air on the Spot and a Float on the Nomand). With the same build maybe the pound is irrelevant, but generally Nomads are built up a little beefier than Spots. Just my observation.

    If I use the SC site to build a nomad, I can get it to around 30.26 lbs - 32.75 lbs. I haven't tried an exact weight in on a spot but form the forums, with a 454, I figure around 30-ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    If you've ridden both and liked them I guess you can't go wrong. I hope I helped (maybe a little?).
    I did help, thank for the input!

  9. #9
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    Another bit to chew on: 5-Pack.
    If you don't really want a 6" bike you could build up a RFX with a Spot rear triangle and 5" rockers and have a bike as burly as the Nomad, that can be converted to 6" down the road. The shorter chain stays will make it feel a bit more nimble, and the total frame weight will be very close to a stock Spot according to some of the ppl here who've done it... Tscheezy even went as far as using only a Spot seatstay, with a longer shock to get the RFX up to ~7" It dosen't sound like you'll need anything like that ... this is just some things to make your head spin I guess...but it's nice to know the longterm options are there.

    For simplicity sake though it sounds like the 5 Spot will fit your needs well ... I cannot compare it to the Nomad firsthand though.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 05-29-2006 at 09:09 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I was not really trying to talk you out of a Nomad, it just seems like a 6.5" travel bike is a tad much for what I interpret from your post, as general trail riding. You can hit 2 footers to tranny on a 4" xc trail bike. Sure, you can use the Nomad for every type of riding and you very well might start riding it on more aggressive terrain over time.

    Like I stated before, Vpp works as advertised for the most part. One draw back is that the vpp is reliant on chain tension and the harder you pedal, the firmer the suspension becomes. This can become somewhat of a hinderance when you are pedaling hard over technical uphill terrain and the suspension becomes stiffer. This is not as evident on a HL or well executed Faux bar design. I do not really take a firm stance with the sp vs HL vs vpp debates, but there is differences between the designs and the vpp bikes have some of the negative traits of the traditional sp bikes.

    I wouldn't base my research on geometry and numbers only. It makes more sense to use a 5" fork with a Spot than a 6" fork that is common on a Nomad. This would give a HA close to 69dg. Most riders are using a 6" fork on the Nomad, which gives a HA of 68dg or less. Some riders are putting a 5.5" Pike on the Nomad and as Jayem suggests, the already low bb, becomes lower and pedal smacks can become a regular occurance, or not, as I don't have any serious time on the Nomad to say for sure, one way or the other.

    VPP pivots are notorious for being unreliable. It is pretty much a certainty that you will be wrenching/replacing pivots on your bike more if it is a vpp, than another design. The Turner Bushing system is the best in the business. Bushings in a Turner are low maintenance.

    I still feel that a 5-spot, BLT, and Heckler would be better platforms for the riding you prefer. If you are really set on a Nomad, then get it. I would recommend trying to get a ride on all the bikes of interest first.

  11. #11
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    nn/mm
    Last edited by DamoNNomaD; 05-29-2006 at 09:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    Of the 4 bikes you mentioned the Nomad's geometry is the least fit for climbing because of the long chain stay, and slack seat tube angle.

    The steeper the ST the better climber the bike is cos the saddle, and your peddling power are directly above the BB.

    The shorter the CS the closer the rear wheel is to your center, the better you climb.

    From the description of your riding style and the amount of climbing involved I would go with any of the other 3. If most of that climbing is fire roads go with VPP or Single pivot. If most of the climbing is technical go with 4 bar.

    Of the 4 bikes I have ridden the Heckler and 5 Spot and both are superb bikes with dailed geometry. I ended up with a Spot but almost got a Heckler. The BLT and Nomad were not out yet...

  13. #13
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    If you are looking to bring up the level of your game, and want a big bike then get one. The 5spot is a work of art, and you will probably be very happy with it as it is a solid do-all bike, but imho you should compare the RFX to the nomad.

    My point of view is to buy the biggest bike you can 'handle' on the climbs and let your skills grow into it. Who knows, maybe once you have a big bike you will start taking bigger drops, etc.

    The only thing that would keep me away from the nomad would be the bearing rumours. I've had a 6 pack for about a year, and it is smooth and whisper quiet...in my mind a lot has to do with being able to easily grease the bushings. Next time you go to the bike shop, have the guy show you the greaseports...it's such good design. The bushings were not something that I cared about at the purchase, but something that I have grown to appreciate more than other factors as my ownership has progressed.

  14. #14
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    Take this for what it's worth....

    A friend of mine recently rode a Nomad at a demo day and really enjoyed it. Then rode my Spot and fell in love. This guy currently rides a pure XC Sugar 1 so any type of a "All Mountain" bike was going to be a big switch for him.

    These were his thoughts: The Nomad really inspired him on the downhill sections and made him "a much better technical rider". The handling felt good and the only thing he didn't like was the climbing aspect. Said he could really feel the weight and that he felt slower (duh!) although he didn't have to pick lines which helped.

    When he rode my Spot the first thing out of his mouth was he couldn't believe how well it climbed (mine is fairly heavy also as it still has the Romic on it). He said he could feel the weight difference but felt as if the weight disappeared on the climbs. He also said the downhills were very smooth and couldn't tell much of a difference from the Nomad. So in his opinion the Spot climbed much better than the Nomad and decended as well as it. He also mentioned that the handling seemed a bit quicker with the Spot, but didn't really say if yeah or nay to that on either bike.

    Well...there's a second hand story for you. The one caveat that I would put in is the fact that the Turners Bushing system is tops. I've been riding my Spot for 2+ years now without any maintenace (other than using the grease gun every couple of months) and the bike is as quite & tight as the day I bought it. Enjoy!!

  15. #15
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    I've owned a much simpler SCB bike (Bullit, from '02.5, rode for 2 seasons, still in use by a friend)

    and I've ridden a few of the newer VPP bikes (Blur, Blur 4X, VP-Free)

    here are the reasons to buy a Nomad --

    1) you want what all the bike mags have hyped endlessly (translation: you are a lemming)

    2) you like the new frame design (translation: "I think it looks cool")

    3) you like the assortment of colors available from SCB

    4) you like the fact that you can get a SCB as a frame, partially built, or fully built at a bit of a discount from what it would cost for a Turner

    5) you have several SCB dealers near you and no Turner dealers near you, and having a dealer nearby is very important to you

    6) you've ridden other VPP bikes and like the feel

    here are reasons to ignore SCB and get a Turner

    1) you want to be able to ride your bike instead of spending time replacing pivot bearings and checking fastener torques

    2) you know that the bike mags hype the newest "hot bike" by their biggest advertisement buyers, rather than what truly is a new revelation in bicycle design/performance

    3) you don't need to be palliated with the comfort of a local dealer

    4) you are comfortable with yourself

    5) you don't need to have the mfr tell you what "build kits" are best for your bike

    6) you've ridden a Turner and know that the SCB bikes, although they deliver nice performance, are really in the farm leagues when it comes to cornering and stability.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    I was not really trying to talk you out of a Nomad, it just seems like a 6.5" travel bike is a tad much for what I interpret from your post, as general trail riding. You can hit 2 footers to tranny on a 4" xc trail bike.
    you can hit 2 footers to NO TRANNY on a fully rigid CX bike.

  17. #17
    not so super...
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    Another sugar-coated response from gonzo
    Nothing to see here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    Another sugar-coated response from gonzo
    thanks for that rolling-eyes bit of nonsense. I suppose you think that mollycoddling someone with "unbiased" information helps the decision process?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    ...you like the fact that you can get a SCB as a frame, partially built, or fully built at a bit of a discount from what it would cost for a Turner
    The Nomad frame, as per Speedgoat, anodized with the DHX Air (how the Spot comes standard) is over $2200, which is actually more expensive than the Spot frame. Maybe some shops give a discount. The SC build kits are heavily discounted, but that's assuming one wants a SC build kit (I wouldn't). Just something for the OP to keep in mind.

    Patrick
    Last edited by PCinSC; 05-30-2006 at 08:15 AM.

  20. #20
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    Patrick, I think you'll find that Speedgoat's prices typically are higher than even MSRP.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    Patrick, I think you'll find that Speedgoat's prices typically are higher than even MSRP.

    Good to know, I didn't realize that (I've never purchased from them). Their Nomad is marked right at SC's MSRP. Speedgoat claims they'll price match, so I'm sure one could get it cheaper. Thanks for the heads up.

    Patrick

  22. #22
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    is it just me or does the nomad look like a dog having a ****??????

  23. #23
    not so super...
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOZWAFC
    is it just me or does the nomad look like a dog having a ****??????
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nothing to see here.

  24. #24
    My cup runneth over
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    thanks for that rolling-eyes bit of nonsense. I suppose you think that mollycoddling someone with "unbiased" information helps the decision process?
    Gonz - The same things could have been said with a little mollycoddling and would have made them easier to swallow. Not a requirement (of course). This post came across as if you had just completed a frenetic religious/social/political battle with people you consider complete idiots. (Not that I am trying to read your mind or anything ).

  25. #25
    Knomer
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    The XL Spot will fit you better than the XL Nomad.

    The rest is pure bias.

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