I got the most saddle time on the Santa Cruz Nomad. I didnâ€™t want to let the bike go, so I kept on ridingâ€¦ and as soon as I turned it back in I felt instant regret. The guy who was waiting for it was sure was happy though.
On the Nomad we wandered up to the less ridden XC trails at the top of Bootleg. I gave the Nomad a shake on Skyline, Boy Scout, the East Leg and Girl Scout. Taking the shuttle up was almost as fun as riding down. Itâ€™s a mountain bikersâ€™ paradise – sandwiched in the back of a flatbed between hundreds of thousands of dollars in bikes and their respective riders, driving toward destination downhill.
Since the trails up top are so much better than the lower trails, I absolutely loved riding the Nomad. Iâ€™ve heard the stories about how awesome the Nomad climbs, and how awesome the Nomad descends, but now I really believe them because I lived on a Nomad for just a few short hours. The six plus inches of travel in the rear coupled with the freeride style geometry and seven inches up front really empowered me. I learned quickly to trust the bike over the technical spots. I only fear that riding this bike will tempt me to ride stuff I really shouldnâ€™tâ€¦
The marketing copy for the Nomad from the Santa Cruz website is no lie:
â€œIt’s plain and simple folks. Here we’ve got two bikes for the price of one. On one hand, we’ve got a peach of a trail bike that will allow full immersion in your masochistic love affair with the climb without any bothersome bobbing or mushy feeling. On the other hand, we’ve got a rip-roaring, dyed-in-the-wool freeride bike that will devour any rock garden or log-drop like hotdogs at a Coney Island eating competition. Proudly possessing a full 165mm of rear wheel travel, room for a front derailleur, and a QR-ready rear drop out, you won’t know if you’re Mark Weir climbing, or Mark Weir descending.â€
If you have any doubt and are considering the Nomad for your personal riding pleasure, you can at least take my word for itâ€¦The Nomad will give you all you dreamed for in a downhill bike, plus everything you didnâ€™t expect in a climbing XC machine.