Nomad or VP-Free- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Nomad or VP-Free

    Having recently broken the fork on my Haro X-1 , I have decided that it'd be more cost effective to buy a new bike than to upgrade the suspencion and get new rims (bent em) for my X1.

    I have looked through many bikes and have finaly settled on either VP-free and Nomad because
    A. I want to buy Santa Cruz, since it's a good company and I have a SC shop 1/4 of a mile from my house.

    B. These bikes best fit my both my riding style (long distance loops over harsh terrain w/ chutes, mile long rock gardens and drops; also I do some jumping every once in a while) and where I want to go with my riding: more serious DH, including Whistler, Devil Mtn and Big Bear.

    I wanted to know how well you guys think these bikes can pedal and whether the Nomad can take a notable amount of abuse from a ~135lb rider who's going to seriously mess up at least a couple of times while learning the finer points of DH. I was considering the VP-Free because I know it has very low brake jacking and supposedly is not too hard to pedal, but is still more than good enough to cover for me if I mess up (ie extra travel to cover my ass if I hit a drop thats too big etc.)

    The Nomad seems like a similar bike to the VP-Free, and better pedaling but I have not found any real info about it online (I checked the reviews here- no solid info) and I have not idea as to how worthy it'd be as a FR/intro DH machine.

    I'm gonna get a cheapo hardtail for XC so it doesnt matter if either bike isn't epic ride worthy. I just need to be able to get up the mountain before decending and cover 7mi loops w/ some gnarly uphills without having too many heart attacks on the way up.

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Maybe a dual VP Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneoldman
    Having recently broken the fork on my Haro X-1 , I have decided that it'd be more cost effective to buy a new bike than to upgrade the suspencion and get new rims (bent em) for my X1.

    I have looked through many bikes and have finaly settled on either VP-free and Nomad because
    A. I want to buy Santa Cruz, since it's a good company and I have a SC shop 1/4 of a mile from my house.

    B. These bikes best fit my both my riding style (long distance loops over harsh terrain w/ chutes, mile long rock gardens and drops; also I do some jumping every once in a while) and where I want to go with my riding: more serious DH, including Whistler, Devil Mtn and Big Bear.

    I wanted to know how well you guys think these bikes can pedal and whether the Nomad can take a notable amount of abuse from a ~135lb rider who's going to seriously mess up at least a couple of times while learning the finer points of DH. I was considering the VP-Free because I know it has very low brake jacking and supposedly is not too hard to pedal, but is still more than good enough to cover for me if I mess up (ie extra travel to cover my ass if I hit a drop thats too big etc.)

    The Nomad seems like a similar bike to the VP-Free, and better pedaling but I have not found any real info about it online (I checked the reviews here- no solid info) and I have not idea as to how worthy it'd be as a FR/intro DH machine.

    I'm gonna get a cheapo hardtail for XC so it doesnt matter if either bike isn't epic ride worthy. I just need to be able to get up the mountain before decending and cover 7mi loops w/ some gnarly uphills without having too many heart attacks on the way up.
    I am considering a Nomad, but your needs sound closer to a VP Free. I might already have a Free if not for the 150mm rear hub. The Free frame is not that heavy, and you'd never know it had 8.5" of travel when pedaling it...until you hit something. I posted my other thoughts and experiences on a recent post on this forum, "ASX or VP Free". The dual Free comment in my post title refers to what some have done to make a trail Free. It appears that the Free can have a real dual personality, much like the Bullit has...made into a decently light, aggressive trail bike, or a really big hit shuttle bike. Photo John and some others have made a shorter travel trail bike out of theirs with another shock. It appears that 2 shocks and 2 forks could give you 2 really different bikes...in both weight and function. Actually I was pretty impressed how well I was able to pedal on a Free decked out with an 888 and big wheels/tires at I-Bike last year at Bootleg Canyon...and I'm no spring chicken.

  3. #3
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    I was planning to spec. the bikes as follows (I should have posted this in the original post- sorry I forgot):

    VP-Free: SPX-FR kit (ie, pretty much all XT components 9 speed)
    Shock: DHX5 Air
    fork: Fox 40 (very expencive idk if its worth it) or 36 Vanilla RC2

    Nomad: SPX-FR kit (very similar to the one on the VPF)
    fork: 36 Vanilla RC2
    Shock: DHX5 Air or Coil

    Also I tend to run into things and "bruteforce" rock gardens, which is why I have decided against the Enduro and Heckler- good bikes but bad for slamming into huge logs at high speeds. (I do jump smaller things under 1.5' high but I still need to improve in bunny hop hight)

  4. #4
    TNC
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    Decently light Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by oneoldman
    I was planning to spec. the bikes as follows (I should have posted this in the original post- sorry I forgot):

    VP-Free: SPX-FR kit (ie, pretty much all XT components 9 speed)
    Shock: DHX5 Air
    fork: Fox 40 (very expencive idk if its worth it) or 36 Vanilla RC2

    Nomad: SPX-FR kit (very similar to the one on the VPF)
    fork: 36 Vanilla RC2
    Shock: DHX5 Air or Coil

    Also I tend to run into things and "bruteforce" rock gardens, which is why I have decided against the Enduro and Heckler- good bikes but bad for slamming into huge logs at high speeds. (I do jump smaller things under 1.5' high but I still need to improve in bunny hop hight)
    That build won't be too heavy IMHO. The Fox 40 and DHX Air will help to keep that bike quite reasonable. I guess I'm still categorizing the Nomad more as a very aggressive big hit trail bike capable of an occasional ledge drop. I know how SC is marketing the bike with that label of being capable of freeride, but I'd want 7+ inches of travel for a real freeride/DH bike.

  5. #5
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    My Nomad

    What is funny is that my Nomad has more travel than the first FR bike I had which was a Kona Stinky that had 5" and 5". We thought it was a huge travel freeride machine. Well, times have changed and I use my Nomad for all mountain or extreme XC. Some may call it freeride but I don't consider myself there. One thing I do and absolutely love the Nomad for is Downhill. It is not a true DH rig like the V10 by no means, but it is an amazing well handling bike. If you do a lot of pedaling, go uphill a lot and do trails that are flat and up and down then go for the Nomad. But, if you want to shine, really shine on the downhills, and do a few drops and jumps I would for sure go with the VP Free. The Nomad is strong but is still more along the lines of the Heckler. I want a VP Free or V10 for my DH rides but I'll have to be patient until I get the funds. I saw a VP free at Interbike that was built up with single crowns and an DHX Air and it looked sweet, looked light. I thing the VP Free is real versatile in how you could build it, similar to the Bullit. I had a Bullit, I loved it. I traded it for the Nomad and at times I really miss the Bullit.

    Good luck in your selection.

    Here is a pic of my Nomad.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Shuntavi; 10-31-2005 at 07:06 AM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
    rollin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuntavi
    ... all mountain or extreme XC. Some may call it freeride
    what if we called it "XXXC"?
    that has a nice marketing roll-off-the-tongue sound to it.

    triple X C is more than cross country but less than freeride.

  7. #7
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    I think I'm going to go with the VP-Free then. I just got a (almost brand new) Specialized P2 from my friend (rides realy well btw, amazing in the air, etc) and since my LBS said that they cant get the Nomad till next year (how did any of you guys manage to get one?) and I need a bike for Whistler this year... I'm gonna get the VP-F.

  8. #8
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    Dude.....Get BOTH!

    End of discussion.
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  9. #9
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    I think the VP-Free will serve you better based on your descriptions.

  10. #10
    TNC
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    Well Mudd...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    Dude.....Get BOTH!

    End of discussion.
    If everyone could win a Nomad in a contest, I'd bet we'd all have two bikes...LOL!

    Poor me, however. I don't have a Nomad AND a Free. I only have a couple of trashed-out old Bullits and an antique Big Hit FSR...oh, and a Nomad. Life is not worth living...

  11. #11
    Hisforever
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    you are 1/4 mile away from the santa cruz shop? factory or just a retail store that sells them? either way what you doing on here? get down there and test ride them if you can....then decide. if comfort is more important I would go nomad for it should be lighter and easier to climb. if DH is the focus. VPFree's the way to go.

    Compromises...


    Moxie HT
    Orbea Rallon (fo sale)
    sb 130/150
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  12. #12
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    I'd go with the free solely for the slacker head angle. I think the head angle on both is steep relative to the amount of travel these bikes have, but the vp-free is angled more towards downhill. Seriously, go sit on both before choosing.

  13. #13
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    Well...

    Do you think he got something already? This thread is from October.
    "If you give up your dream, you die."
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