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  1. #1
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    Yeti, Nomad, Help deciding$ on a New England trail/all mountain bike. Yeti, Nomad

    I've been scouring the internet for over a year now trying to find the "best" bike that I can for my riding. Im coming off a 39lb 2005 Specialized SX Trail 1, broke the Chainstay had it professionally welded then broke it again.

    A little background, I ride New England trails, lots of rocks, roots and crud, but also smooth fast single track at times. I tend to to ride fairly fast and a little rough I think. Im 6'0 and around 200lbs, but I have still been able to get the old "heavy" trail 1 moving pretty quick but it's a lot of work getting it uphill and through steep technical sections. Im always checking my Strava times but also like to play a little and hit some 3 & 4 ft drops. Money is definitely an issue, im going to sell my Harley to finance the new bicycle, which should give me a budget of around $5,500 absolute max. Ok I just puked, I could have never imagined spending this much money on a bike but I'm in.

    So on to bikes, I've been looking at every thing 27.5, Capra, Strive, Kona 153, Enduro, Patrol, HD3, Bronson. I always keep coming back to Yeti Sb5-6 or Nomad. I want a bike that will get a move on when you push the pedals and will not get hung up in the rocks and steep switchbacks. Although I don't mind giving up a little efficiency if the bike will still climb decent.

    To be honest I'm in love with the yeti bikes but I'm worried that I may be a little rough at choosing lines and their reliability/maintenance/5 year warranty and customer service worries me. The concern I have with the nomad is that it will not be as efficient as the yeti on flats/climbs and I will be struggling to keep up on longer rides but has the lifetime warranty and good customer support behind it.

    They other concern I had which is damn near pointless is the bottom bracket height because we tend to ride through so many rock sections here where a low bottom bracket frankly "sucks" because if you stop pedaling even briefly you lose a lot of momentum. But that might be something I'll just have to deal with.

    I will be demo-ing the Bronson, nomad and yeti sb5-6 soon but was just throwing it out there to see if any of you had any insight or experience with these bikes or maybe other options for my size and type of riding. I appreciate the Bronson as a bike , just feel if I'm going to throw that much money out there then the nomad seems like money better spent for the long term than the Bronson. If any of you have any info on the reliability of the newer yeti's, rear swing arm, switch infinity, help would be appreciated. I'm honestly kind of worried that I will break or crack it. Thanks
    Last edited by JTbfd65; 03-03-2017 at 08:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    Intense tracer carbon. Gitty up. Ride mine all over Connecticut. Love it. Does all i ask and more.


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  3. #3
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    Nomad, so hot right now, Nomad

  4. #4
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    I'll throw in a vote for the Canfield Balance. For a lot of good reasons.

    The CBF suspension linkage works extremely. It climbs very efficiently while still staying active. It doesn't wallow and stays relatively high in its travel. It doesn't firm up under chain tension (like a dw-link, etc). You have more traction when you need to put power down and grunt up things. Especially on rocky, technical climbing, it's a stable, efficient platform with gobs of grab.

    On the downs, it's phenomenal. Leverage curve is mildly/moderately progressive and gives really nice support. Again, it doesn't firm up while pedaling and stays active when accelerating. It doesn't get hung up on square edges, and is stable through braking. Pairs well with a coil if you're leaning that way.

    The geometry is really very excellent. Modern long reach with a steep STA for a really good climbing position, slack (65.5) HTA, and very short (420mm) chainstays keep it maneuverable. It carves, feels great on steep stuff, pretty good balance of straight-line stability (more than a Nomad, less than a SB6), and has a very "in the bike" feel.

    Static BB is 13.5", which is IMO perfect for a 6" bike in New England - low enough, but not frustratingly low. And you always have the option of running shorter cranks. There's a slightly different pedaling feel, and you might adjust your chainring size slightly to compensate, but it's a good way to let you pedal through a greater percentage of shit.

    The frame only comes in aluminum and is, frankly, heavy. (edit: heavy by modern standards. ~8lb frame not including shock. Full builds in the 31-33lb range.) But, for a heavier rider, an extra 2lbs in the frame is nothing compared to the total bike+rider weight.

    It's also a lot cheaper than a carbon frame, and you don't have questions about durability with rock strikes (especially compared to Yeti). Heck, you can get a Balance with a PUSH 11.6 for the same cost as a Yeti frame with a stock Fox air shock.

    Addendum:
    I do really highly recommend the 11.6, or any coil. The extra pound of weight gets you a ton of sensitivity and traction, and really shines in choppy, rocky conditions. Especially when the rocks are moist.

    Canfield sells the frame only for $2100 with a DBAir or DVO Topaz. The DVO Jade is a $100 upcharge and the 11.6 is $900, direct from Canfield. They sell a factory build for $4500, with actually really nice components, Lyrik, MRP Stage, and DVO Diamond fork options, and the same shock options of course. So you could have (arguably) the best suspension with the best damper on the market within your budget, if that's of interest to you.

  5. #5
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    Love my Nomad. Im also from the NS of Mass, saw you are in Beverly, Ipswich here. So we are riding the same trails I would imagine Greenwood, Lynn, School St, BnTs..... I find the Nomad to be a perfect bike for the trails I like to ride the most here. It eats up the short techy climbs we have here and very confidence inspiring on the downs. As for the pedal strikes I had the same concern and went with 160 cranks instead of the more typical 165, which I think has helped.

    I came from a Yeti SB66a and had a similar short list. Nomad, SB6, RFX. After demoing the SB5 in Moab and the Nomad in Fruita last year the Nomad was the bike that blew me away and the SB5 was fine but didnt blow me away like the nomad. I broke the rear triangle on the 66 twice and while Yeti CS was good that experience just helped to push me more to SC with their lifetime warranty.

    Also not sure if you've noticed but the Nomad seems like the official bike of the NS. Just so many guys riding them here.
    Hope this helps some, I know dropping 5-6 grand on a bike really makes you want to make the best decision possible. If you have any specific questions let me know, will be happy to help.

    Scott

  6. #6
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    I'll throw in the Turner RFX: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/turner...view-2016.html

    Some of the bikes you mention would be a bit sluggish in tighter East Coast singletrack: Yeti SB-6, Santa Cruz Nomad, so definitely get a ride in on those bikes before buying. The RFX has a better balance between nimbleness and stability for all around trail riding, while being a better climber than both of those bikes as well as many other shorter-travel bikes.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  7. #7
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    If you're deciding between Nomad, Bronson, and SB6c you'll be happy which ever bike you choose. If the trails are tight, the Bronson and HD3 is very capable and are better "everyday bike" than Nomad or SB6c. Meaning, Nomad and SB6c need a little more room to run, but when they get moving they are amazing at higher speed. I had a similar decision last year between HD3, Nomad, and SB6c and went with the SB6c.

    Nomad and SB6c were more capable and pedaled well. SB6c was better pedaling and climbing over tech and non-technical trails. Easier to ride for longer distances. Nomad was more playful descending. I like bikes with a little longer chain stay as well. I look for bikes that highlight my weakness and the Yeti helped more with climbing.

    1-10 (best) 5 is average
    Tech downhill
    Nomad 9.5
    Yeti 9
    Ibis 7

    Tech Uphill 1-10 (best) 5 is average
    Yeti 9.5
    Nomad 7.5
    Ibis 8
    Yeti SB6c
    Cannondale Jekyll Carbon Team
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Cannondale Scalpel

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    I'll throw in a vote for the Canfield Balance. For a lot of good reasons.

    The CBF suspension linkage works extremely. It climbs very efficiently while still staying active. It doesn't wallow and stays relatively high in its travel. It doesn't firm up under chain tension (like a dw-link, etc). You have more traction when you need to put power down and grunt up things. Especially on rocky, technical climbing, it's a stable, efficient platform with gobs of grab.

    On the downs, it's phenomenal. Leverage curve is mildly/moderately progressive and gives really nice support. Again, it doesn't firm up while pedaling and stays active when accelerating. It doesn't get hung up on square edges, and is stable through braking. Pairs well with a coil if you're leaning that way.

    The geometry is really very excellent. Modern long reach with a steep STA for a really good climbing position, slack (65.5) HTA, and very short (420mm) chainstays keep it maneuverable. It carves, feels great on steep stuff, pretty good balance of straight-line stability (more than a Nomad, less than a SB6), and has a very "in the bike" feel.

    Static BB is 13.5", which is IMO perfect for a 6" bike in New England - low enough, but not frustratingly low. And you always have the option of running shorter cranks. There's a slightly different pedaling feel, and you might adjust your chainring size slightly to compensate, but it's a good way to let you pedal through a greater percentage of shit.

    The frame only comes in aluminum and is, frankly, heavy. (edit: heavy by modern standards. ~8lb frame not including shock. Full builds in the 31-33lb range.) But, for a heavier rider, an extra 2lbs in the frame is nothing compared to the total bike+rider weight.

    It's also a lot cheaper than a carbon frame, and you don't have questions about durability with rock strikes (especially compared to Yeti). Heck, you can get a Balance with a PUSH 11.6 for the same cost as a Yeti frame with a stock Fox air shock.

    Addendum:
    I do really highly recommend the 11.6, or any coil. The extra pound of weight gets you a ton of sensitivity and traction, and really shines in choppy, rocky conditions. Especially when the rocks are moist.

    Canfield sells the frame only for $2100 with a DBAir or DVO Topaz. The DVO Jade is a $100 upcharge and the 11.6 is $900, direct from Canfield. They sell a factory build for $4500, with actually really nice components, Lyrik, MRP Stage, and DVO Diamond fork options, and the same shock options of course. So you could have (arguably) the best suspension with the best damper on the market within your budget, if that's of interest to you.
    I will 2nd the Canfield Balance. I have only had it for 8months but it is an amazing bike. Pedals better than the Tracer I had before hand and owns the downhills.Yeti, Nomad, Help deciding$ on a New England trail/all mountain bike. Yeti, Nomad-img_0077.jpg


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  9. #9
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    I think you're right to be concerned about Yeti. I recently owned a 4.5C for a second and did not care for the bike in the rocky tech of Phoenix. Felt spindly and like it wouldn't survive. I suppose it's no coincidence you don't see a lot of Yetis here.

    I do own a Nomad. Tremendous bicycle. And an incredibly efficient pedaler for a bike with so much travel.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  10. #10
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    I have been on a Nomad for the last couple years and just picked up an SB6, mostly because I like to get a new bike occasionally and I was curious to try the Yeti. Both bikes are great, similar geometry. I agree with most reviews I've read where people feel the Yeti has a firmer feel than the Nomad. I think the Yeti climbs better and is a good descender. The Nomad is also a good climber and descender, the Nomad definitely is more plush. The Yeti feels really good on square edged hits like when climbing up ledges, really soaks them up without transferring the impact to the rider.

    Stuff that the Nomad plows over are easier to pop off of with the Yeti.

    Im happy with the quality of both frames, the Nomad cable routing is much easier to use than the Yeti. Santa Cruz has tubes to route your cables through and the rear brake stays out of the frame. I will say the Yeti looks pretty sleek with all the cables running inside the frame.

    As far as which to go for, if you want plusher get the Nomad if you want a bit firmer feel but a little better climber get the Yeti.

  11. #11
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    If I HAD to choose between the two I would get the Nomad, soley based on the warranty and CS of santacruz. However I wil umm. 3rd? the Canfield balance. Bomb proof, ride it as hard as you like and will not hurt it. Also you can get the bike build up with a 11-6 for less then either bike you mentioned. Bike climbs great for a full blown enduro sled, bombs on the downs ( both owners/ designers are pro level DH racers) Sadly they do not have a marketing dollars to get as big as the two you mentioned. Take a few mins to look into the Balance.

  12. #12
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    New Nomad being announced by SC sometime between Apr and Jun so you'll be getting smoking deals on the current line. If budget is a concern you'll get an awesome bike for the money.

    I have a 2016 Nomad, a friend the SB6. Both good climbers (for this kind of bikes) but I'd say the Yeti has the edge on that. Descending both are beasts.

    If I were to buy a bike again, still be sticking with the Nomad over the two of them basically as I dislike the piece of long-term maintenance nightmare the infinity switch might become.

  13. #13
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    And to counterbalance that I have spent less time maintaining my Yeti than I did the SC's I owned previously.

    The switch is pretty damn simple, just looks complicated.

  14. #14
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    I'll be interested to see what you think about the Bronson. I'm in NE and on the last generation Bronson. I can't imagine wanting too much more bike for the type of riding, but it does depend on riding style. If I moved up to the Nomad, I feel like I would lose a bit of ability to have fun on smaller stuff as it would suck up more and I imagine that it would be less fun in tighter stuff.

    I don't know how many bikes you've been on so far, but you may be surprised at how much the current generation of ~150mm bikes can handle compared to previous iterations.

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