Anyone riding a VP Free or Nomad?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Anyone riding a VP Free or Nomad?

    I am looking at both of these bikes and was wondering if anyone in town rides either/both and could comment on ride, climbing ability, build etc.. I am currently riding a Transition Dirtbag which I have concluded is just not right for me. As such, I am used to pedaling a "big bike" around the foothills.

    My original thought was to build down a VP Free for AM and FR. I also have a Gran Mal for shuttle runs and DH. I am learning to ride FR more and more and I would like to have a frame that is solid and confidence inspiring. But I also want too be able to pedal it as well. It is my understanding that both bikes pedal exceptionally well. A look at the geometries between the two bikes (Nomad and Free) seem very similar, as well as the weight. The biggest difference is the 2" of additional travel. It seems to me that if the bikes are not that far apart in weight and geometries why would I choose the VP Free over the Nomad or should it be the Nomad?

    Any suggestions would be great.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garnetspur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    nomad dude. 6" of pedalbility...makes more sense to me given the bikes you already have

  3. #3
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
    Reputation: Visicypher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Jimi - the Nomad is a do-all bike. It does light FR, and definitely AM. The Free is designed for FR and "light" DH (though people race it as DH). You can climb on the Free, but the Nomad is better designed for it. The Free's angles, wheelbase, and axle-crown specs are all also different than the Nomad.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    I have both!

    I am currently trying to decide which one to keep, it is a tough call.
    Here are my ratings, and some comments.

    Still part of me thinks Nomad, hoping that this weekend will make my mind up completely, foreverů. Mmmmm

    Here is the problem
    My bike ratings would be (with 36VAN up front).

    VP (Nomad)

    General ease of pedaling: 7 (8)
    Fire roads: 7 (8)
    Singletrack: 7 (8)
    Technical: 8 (8)
    Tight corners: 7 (8)
    Step ups: 7 (7)
    TOTAL: 43 (47)

    General ease of pedaling: 7 (8)
    Fire roads: 7 (8)
    Singletrack: 7 (8)
    Technical: 7 (8)
    Tight Corners: 7 (8)
    Step ups: 7 (7)
    Steep: 8 (7)
    TOTAL: 50 (54)

    General ease of pedaling: 7 (8)
    Fire roads: 8 (8)
    Singletrack: 9 (8)
    Technical: 9 (8)
    Tight corners: 8 (8)
    Berms: 9 (7)
    Jumps: 7 (8)
    Drops: 9 (8)
    Stability 9 (8)
    TOTAL: 75 (71)

    Totals 168 (172)

    It is a tight run thing!

    If the VP was 2lb lighter, then I think the call would be easier, as it would jump better.

    The only other thing that I think I need to try is the technical climb at Learnie. The Nomad was amazing up it, I wonder if the VP would be the same or better.
    Strange to say that it could be better!

    I have ridden the Vp with 40's until now, but the Totem could be better.
    I am 6ft and have a medium Nomand (nimble) and a large VP free.

    The biggest downside to the VP is that you cannot put the seat all the way down if you run a 410mm seat post required for climbing.
    VP is 36lb in AM setup and 45lb (40's) in mud down hill setup.
    The seat post thing may be the clincher..

    The Nomad loves to jump, as does the VP, just the shorter lighter Nomad is fun.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I have had both bikes and ended up selling my free. the biggest factor for me was the weight. i used both bikes for everyday riding, but when it came to certain rides that require some hike a bike, i hated the vp free. i just about stopped and slit my throat pushing that pig.---- going down, vp free all the way. you can run over a car with one.
    I love my nomad, its a vp w/out the weight and it climbs much better due to the diff. geometry. i had the fox 40 on the vp and loved it, and have the talas 36rc2 on the nomad, both great forx, but the totem and the lyric are looking and feeling really good. rock shox has really stepped up the last few years. unless your into big hucking air, 10 footers and higher, i would go with the nomad. you can hit some pretty big **** on a nomad still. good luck, your choosing between two wicked good bikes.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    For me the hucking is the issue!
    I want to DH and play on them both.
    I have dropped 15ft+ on the Nomad with the 36's and it feels great. For climbing with a 160mm fork the VP felt better as you would expect. But the Nomad feels better going down with a 160mm fork.
    The new TALAS could be the option or a RS with wind down, then the Nomad could be perfect.
    The seat post not going all the way down on the VP is a real pain!

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