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  1. #1
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    Bike feels like a 2x4

    Ive had my Nomad 3 for about 3 months now, I love it but I just feel like at times it feels extremely stiff especially in chatter like braking bumps and higher speed tracks almost like the bike just wants to rattle rather than get into the suspension. Ive been riding it fine but just seems awfully stiff, I do all my own maintenance and I know what im doing everything is tight and greased. Bike has pike up front and fresh rebuilt X2 out back only thing I haven't done is lower leg service which will be done soon. Frame is carbon wheels are carbon and bars are 35 dia carbon as well, all on the bike when I bought it, im coming off a all aluminum everything trail bike, is this just a side effect of carbon stiffness??

  2. #2
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    What pressures are you running in fork/shock? Do you have enough sag? Too many spacers? Proper rebound? It sounds like a setup issue of some sort.

  3. #3
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    I am running about 30-35 front and rear both are set at recommended base line settings I am using almost all travel on rear, almost all travel on front, fork has mrp ramp control as well all the way linear so basically no ramping. Ive messed with the fork a bit but nothing has made a big difference, what would be a good base setup on the Pike? Im a former moto guy maybe im expecting a unrealistic planted feeling but my previous bike felt a bit more planted than this and it had 20mm less travel. it seems the worst through high speed bike park braking bumps and loose rocks. not nearly as noticeable on steep slower speed things

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    I am running about 30-35 front and rear both are set at recommended base line settings I am using almost all travel on rear, almost all travel on front, fork has mrp ramp control as well all the way linear so basically no ramping. Ive messed with the fork a bit but nothing has made a big difference, what would be a good base setup on the Pike? Im a former moto guy maybe im expecting a unrealistic planted feeling but my previous bike felt a bit more planted than this and it had 20mm less travel. it seems the worst through high speed bike park braking bumps and loose rocks. not nearly as noticeable on steep slower speed things
    30-35 psi on the fork AND the rear shock? That can't be right. Are you talking about tire pressures?
    I'm 150 pounds and run around 80 psi on a 160 Pike Dual Air with very little rebound damping, and around 150, I think, on a Fox DPS rear with more rebound damping. I run both wide open.

    BTW, at my weight and riding style, I removed all of the spacers and it's perfect. I get small bump compliance without it diving while braking, and I get full travel without bottoming out on my rides.

    Based on your weight, these are Santa Cruz's recommended settings to start:
    https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/nomad
    Look under Tech Support, Shock setting.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 11-08-2018 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5
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    Sorry I was referring to sag percentage, I found some other good resources for fork settings I'm going to start there and see if I can mellow it out with some different fork settings

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    Sorry I was referring to sag percentage, I found some other good resources for fork settings I'm going to start there and see if I can mellow it out with some different fork settings

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    Good luck. I'm thinking the Nomad 3 should ride really nice, once dialed in.

  7. #7
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    Sounds to me like you could benefit from lower air pressure in your tires or higher volume. I switched from alloy rims to carbon and running the same pressures rattled me everywhere regardless of suspension settings. I have gone back to my smooth mushy alloys and couldn't be happier.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Sounds to me like you could benefit from lower air pressure in your tires or higher volume. I switched from alloy rims to carbon and running the same pressures rattled me everywhere regardless of suspension settings. I have gone back to my smooth mushy alloys and couldn't be happier.
    I've never owned carbon rims and until recently, always thought I was missing out. Guess I'm glad my rims are alloy. That said, it's still hard for me to believe that I could ever tell the difference between rim materials considering 6+ inches of travel plus 2.6" wide tires. Really? I'm amazed.

    FWIW I'll mention that I'm 225# geared up to ride and running tires at 18-20# front and 20-23# rear, depending on trail surface conditions.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Sounds to me like you could benefit from lower air pressure in your tires or higher volume. I switched from alloy rims to carbon and running the same pressures rattled me everywhere regardless of suspension settings. I have gone back to my smooth mushy alloys and couldn't be happier.
    Yeah I am currently running 2.3 rear and 2.5 front on the ibis 35mm internal width wheels I shoot for around 25ish psi when doing super rocky bike park stuff but have only flatted once, im going to try tire inserts and reduce psi a little as well, just sketchy trying low pressures with no inserts on carbon rims especially at 200lbs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I've never owned carbon rims and until recently, always thought I was missing out. Guess I'm glad my rims are alloy. That said, it's still hard for me to believe that I could ever tell the difference between rim materials considering 6+ inches of travel plus 2.6" wide tires. Really? I'm amazed.

    FWIW I'll mention that I'm 225# geared up to ride and running tires at 18-20# front and 20-23# rear, depending on trail surface conditions.
    =sParty
    Yeah I'm not much on carbon to begin with but got a great deal on a used bike with carbon wheels. Not sure I'd ever spend the money on carbon wheels myself although these have been very durable so far, just a bit harsh but I think that has to do with some suspension settings as well

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  11. #11
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    Couple of things:

    -CF wheels may/might be quite harsh compared to many Al rims. Not every wheel is the same so I say "might be".
    -Tire pressure sounds quite high to me.
    -Most importantly is suspension set up. Recommended settings for that X2 are just that, recommendations. The X2 has a lot of adjust-ability. The good news is when it's dialed it should perform very very well, the bad news is when it's not it can ride like crapola.

    If your sag is where you want it (35% sounds like quite a bit but I never had a Nomad), and you are using full travel without harsh bottom outs (every ride) then that's a good start. Next is compression/rebound settings.

    If your shock is "packing" up on repeated high speed bumps (causing that dead/wooden feeling), then you may have too much high speed rebound damping, although this feeling could happen with way too little damping as well but that's pretty easy to check as it should be quite obvious when just pushing down on the seat harshly and letting go of the bike. It shouldn't bounce up, it should be controlled.

    I'm not going to go in to much more, I'm not an expert just an experienced rider, but low speed compression/rebound and hi-speed compression/rebound all need to work in tandem.

    Take a look at this for X2 set up info....
    (I can't seem to embed the videos so here are two links to good Youtube tutorials)

    https://youtu.be/_Z9wzS_6NXM

    https://youtu.be/HTOnkLVl5gU
    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 11-07-2018 at 09:49 PM.

  12. #12
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    The Nomad is spec'd with a RockShox Super Deluxe. Do you still have that, or only the X2?

  13. #13
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    One at a time I guess...


  14. #14
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    Seller threw in the old monarch but its total junk compared to the X2 even with it tuned halfway correctly. Thanks for all the links! I'm gonna start with the fork and shock tubing and go from there.

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  15. #15
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    Pike RC or RT3? Both have a few known issues that specifically cause harshness. That end is pretty easy to fix. Its not settings or pressures, it needs to be fixed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Pike RC or RT3? Both have a few known issues that specifically cause harshness. That end is pretty easy to fix. Its not settings or pressures, it needs to be fixed.
    Fork is rct3


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  17. #17
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    Are you running it with the rear shocks pedal platform engaged? If so, try running it in the open position.

  18. #18
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    number 2


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    Fork is rct3


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    You may need the lower seal head replaced. Theres an updated part to fix air from the spring leaking into the lowers which causes harshness.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Couple of things:

    -CF wheels may/might be quite harsh compared to many Al rims. Not every wheel is the same so I say "might be".

    A lot of people say that their carbon fiber bike frame (not the wheels) absorbs bumps much better than aluminum. So is it true that a carbon frame can absorb chatter better but the carbon fiber wheels cannot? And if that's true, then in your opinion is the best setup for smoothness a carbon fiber frame and aluminum wheels? I was thinking of getting a 3.50 carbon wheelset but is that not a good idea? (My bike weighs over 30 lbs so losing 1.35 lbs off the wheels is not going to do much anyway).

    As for tire pressure, for sure it affects how a bike rides. You can put your fork on the softest setting/pressure but if the tire is just a few psi higher than it should be, it feels like your fork is not working at all.
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  21. #21
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    ^^^
    I don't really know about a carbon fiber frame absorbing bumps better than an aluminum one. I've been riding aluminum bikes for 13 years out on the trails and just recently purchased a full carbon fiber frame. Although I have limited rides on the bike due to a knee injury so far I don't really feel any difference. I think this would be especially hard to tell on a full suspension bike there are just too many other things going on that will affect the ride compared to the material your bike is made out of. Such as your fork and shock. Ride characteristics between different frame materials on a rigid hardtail would probably be far more perceivable.

    As far as carbon fiber wheels go, saying they are "harsher" may not be a good description. They are more laterally stiff than aluminum wheels, generally speaking. They don't flex as much, far less compliant so the lack of flex translates into direct motion up into your bike frame and your body. That translates in to a stiffer (feeling) ride.

    But again, these are just generalizations. Some aluminum wheels can be very flexy while others quite stiff.

  22. #22
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    Sounds like with 30 to 35% sag

    that the majority of your suspension travel is the lower 1/2 or quarter of the shock/fork stroke and the rattle is the result of riding at the bottom of the stroke instead of at beginning in the upper mid stroke unsagged.

    How much do you weight and are you using any volume reducers? And what rebound/compression are you running fast-slow/# of clicks from bottom?

    Id say fiddle with some volume reducers, less sag in order to settle into the mid stroke of the shock/fork travel and more psi...

  23. #23
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    Maybe you need to lower your fork pressure to about 40% sag and adjust your MRP for more ramp to prevent bottom out. I thought that was the point of the MRP to allow you to run the fork softer while still preventing bottom out.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    I am running about 30-35 front and rear both are set at recommended base line settings I am using almost all travel on rear, almost all travel on front, fork has mrp ramp control as well all the way linear so basically no ramping. Ive messed with the fork a bit but nothing has made a big difference, what would be a good base setup on the Pike? Im a former moto guy maybe im expecting a unrealistic planted feeling but my previous bike felt a bit more planted than this and it had 20mm less travel. it seems the worst through high speed bike park braking bumps and loose rocks. not nearly as noticeable on steep slower speed things
    There is the problem right there, you are a former moto guy. As one myself you sadly will never be able to get your bike to feel like that. The moto world is lightyears ahead in the way things feel. Few reasons is that weight is not as important. Also that you are not having to deal with chain tension used as pedaling anti squat in a moto as you do on bikes. Also there is the, it is just not tuned as well at the factory as moto parts because the user of the bike weight location and style plays a much bigger impact that a moto. The closest I found was to do a push industries 11-6 and a Coil front fork as well. You have to accept that you will need to add weight in order to get performance. Another thing I found helpful to smooth out some of that trail chatter is running Cushcore inserts. It will really help dampen the feeling of the trail and help counteract the harshness of super stiff wheels. Moral of the story, make you bike weight more and it will feel better. Keep it a fly weight and it will stay bouncy.

  25. #25
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    On a dirtbike the suspension is pushing against a 230 Lbs motorcycle before it gets to you. A mountain bike just doesn't have much mass for the suspension to push into so it goes straight into your arms and legs.

    As a former motocross racer myself I've hated the suspension on every bike I've ridden for aggressive downhill. I still think there is a ton of improvement to be made with suspension though. It's to "one size fits all." My motocross bike's suspension was tuned for me on the track I rode most by KPS suspension in NJ. Night and day difference between stock and tuned. I also had a wide range of high and low speed compression adjustment to dial things in.

    I'd actually recommend try reducing sag a tiny bit. The more suspension travel you use the more harsh it gets because of the increasing air pressure toward the end of travel. Should only be using 90-100% of travel on big hits and drops. So pick a rough section you find is harsh and check how much travel you use. If using all of it for a pretty simple rock garden you may want to up your shock pressure.

  26. #26
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    You need enough spring rate to support you. 40% sag front or rear is unlikely to support anyone, on any fork or shock.

    Like previously said, there is some known issues at play here that cause, specifically, harshness. Dont try to sag out your bike to fix something broken. On a pike, you need to make sure the fork is working properly and has the current seals installed. No excessive air in the lowers. If its an RC, you need to reshim it because RC's are all harsh and improperly tuned from the factory.

    This is a huge reason I like dougals spring setup method so much (setting by frequency). The spring needs to be set to a rate that dips and rebounds evenly (check his shockcraft site for full description) and supports your weight.

    Once you do that, you can truly address the damping setup.

  27. #27
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    As the answers to your post have revealed.... I agree it's most likely poor suspension setup. It's not about the frame and wheels. It's amazing how many times bike owners complain about their bike, all the while overlooking what could be the culprit. I have found out thru my own experience that the OEM suspension systems are inferior to the bike they are mounted on.

  28. #28
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    I played with setup quite a bit this weekend, it feels much better but still not blowing me away on the chatter stuff but feels much better on bigger hits. Once bike park season rolls around next year it will be a little easier to try different things quickly at one time.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    I played with setup quite a bit this weekend, it feels much better but still not blowing me away on the chatter stuff but feels much better on bigger hits. Once bike park season rolls around next year it will be a little easier to try different things quickly at one time.

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    I may have missed it. Did you come straight from moto, or from another mountain bike?
    hightechredneck and Fajita Dave may have the right perspective. I think you're right as well, in that next season you'll be able to try a bunch of different stuff. I expect you'll be able to dial in that bike.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I may have missed it. Did you come straight from moto, or from another mountain bike?
    hightechredneck and Fajita Dave may have the right perspective. I think you're right as well, in that next season you'll be able to try a bunch of different stuff. I expect you'll be able to dial in that bike.
    Well moto since I was 8 then to a smaller trail bike but was riding it on mostly local singletrack xc style trails, I was more trying to learn a lot of other things. I think I have it set up pretty good now just gonna mess with some more stuff to try to smooth out some chatter may also try a 2.5 out front rather than a 2.4. Bike doesnt feel stiff on anything but lower speed small chatter when your going fast this bike just eats it up I think part of that is just in the geometry.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    I played with setup quite a bit this weekend, it feels much better but still not blowing me away on the chatter stuff but feels much better on bigger hits. Once bike park season rolls around next year it will be a little easier to try different things quickly at one time.

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    What size front chainring is on your bike? A VPP design uses a lot of anti-squat and a way to reduce the amount of anti-squat is to move the chain to a higher pivot/tension point....aka larger chainring. Just throwing an idea out there. If you have like a 28t you could go 32t with a higher capacity in the cassette to keep all things equal.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    What size front chainring is on your bike? A VPP design uses a lot of anti-squat and a way to reduce the amount of anti-squat is to move the chain to a higher pivot/tension point....aka larger chainring. Just throwing an idea out there. If you have like a 28t you could go 32t with a higher capacity in the cassette to keep all things equal.
    Actually just put a fresh 32t on it. Kinda wish I had got a 30t with the 10-42 cassette but ill live

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  33. #33
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    do you have any other wheels you can put on it that arent CF? rule that out?

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