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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 2011 Santa Cruz Nomad with a 2014 Fox rc4 rear coil shock and Push link. Bike is super plush in the rear. For anybody that has ridden this setup vs. a new 2019 model what are your thoughts? Is the new bike just as plush as my current setup? Most of my rides are pedal up to go down, but I enjoy the down much more. ;) I hit small jumps and such, but I’m not a hardcore type rider.

Would it be worth upgrading to a 2019 Nomad? Is it really that better a bike? Please share your thoughts. I would not pay the money for new if not absolutely better than my current Nomad. Thanks for any comments.
 

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You have a decade of changes in bikes to unpack. 27.5 or 29er. Longer, lower, a LOT slacker. Santa Cruz suspension design has moved on noticeably in my era (2014 and on), let alone in the 3 years prior. All of the components have improved.

It’s absolutely better than the Nomad v3, if that helps, both climbing and descending. This was with the same componentry on the v3 as I upgraded over the past several years. The only big jumps for me were the wider SC rims and wider tires and the new lower link design.

It really is better. You might even want a different bike, so don’t limit yourself to just the Nomad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m pretty set on getting another Nomad, just trying to justify if it’s worth the cost over my 2011 w/Fox rc4 coil and Push link. I really can’t afford to buy a new 5-8k+ bike every few years. I have been happy with mine for the 8 yrs I’ve had it, but then again I’ve been out of the loop on all the latest and greatest offerings. Heck, I haven’t even been on anything with wheels over 26”. :eekster: I’m sure I’d be ok with the 27.5 wheels, but would probably feel weird to me going to 29” (I used to ride BMX bikes as a kid).

Is the marketing true in that the new 2019 Nomad feels like a mini V-10 that can climb? If so, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

I had a 3-4 year break with no riding, but really starting to get motivated again :)
 

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Seeing as you state yourself that you only ‘hit small jumps’ and you’re not a ‘hardcore type rider’ and considering you’re just coming back from a 3-4 year break I really don’t think it’s worth you spending what is a massive chunk of money on something you won’t massively appreciate, not just yet anyway.
 

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I currently have a 2011 Santa Cruz Nomad with a 2014 Fox rc4 rear coil shock and Push link. Bike is super plush in the rear. For anybody that has ridden this setup vs. a new 2019 model what are your thoughts? Is the new bike just as plush as my current setup? Most of my rides are pedal up to go down, but I enjoy the down much more. ;) I hit small jumps and such, but I'm not a hardcore type rider.

Would it be worth upgrading to a 2019 Nomad? Is it really that better a bike? Please share your thoughts. I would not pay the money for new if not absolutely better than my current Nomad. Thanks for any comments.
I had a 2013 Nomad and can honestly say the Bronson I changed to in 2014 (v1 Bronson) was an upgrade. Pedaled better, descended better ... I then got the Nomad v3 and it was an absolute beast - pedaled just as well as the Bronson but was fantastic on the DH. I'll skip over every bike I have since had, but I just sold my Nomad v4 and got a Megatower and the easiest way to describe the situation you find yourself in is that today's bikes make bikes of 5-7 years ago look terrible. The Nomad v4 is an awesome bike (I prefer the Megatower, but I also prefer the bigger wheels) ... both of these may likely be complete overkill for you now, but both would be a huge step up from your Nomad. If you can demo, definitely do that. I would potentially look at a Bronson.
 

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I had a 2013 Nomad and can honestly say the Bronson I changed to in 2014 (v1 Bronson) was an upgrade. Pedaled better, descended better ... I then got the Nomad v3 and it was an absolute beast - pedaled just as well as the Bronson but was fantastic on the DH. I'll skip over every bike I have since had, but I just sold my Nomad v4 and got a Megatower and the easiest way to describe the situation you find yourself in is that today's bikes make bikes of 5-7 years ago look terrible. The Nomad v4 is an awesome bike (I prefer the Megatower, but I also prefer the bigger wheels) ... both of these may likely be complete overkill for you now, but both would be a huge step up from your Nomad. If you can demo, definitely do that. I would potentially look at a Bronson.
I would second this. I came from a 2011 Nomad C with a 2014 Pike and CCDB A CS so basically as best as I could get and it was a great bike but I switched to the N4 when it came out in 2017 and it really is everything it claims (I have a 2012 V10 as well). The push link and rc4 probably helps it get closer to the same suspension performance but you can't overlook the geometry, I think even a 5010 has a slacker head angle now. The most impressive thing is the new N4 does all this while climbing better at the same time. So as much as I loved my N2 the N4 is a step up in every way so it's not a compromise anywhere as far as I can tell. That said the new Bronson or HT v2 is maybe a better fit for most riders (myself included) but wasn't using the new design when I was shopping and owning a v10 as well I was fully aware of the performance gain going to the lower link driven design and wasn't interested in staying on what I knew would be a phased out design so the HTLT wasn't on my list. Buying today I would demo all four of the modern designed bikes and then make a decision.
 

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Shock is 230mm* eye-to-eye by 60mm* stroke, per the components tab on the SC website.

P.S. I have a friend who came off a Nomad v1 or v2 and he's pretty stoked with his new v4. It took him a little while to get used to modern geometry.

*P.P.S. More about the metric shock sizing introduced in 2017 here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info. Geez, I guess I really am out of the loop on all this new technology. A lot has happened since I was last looking at and following all the new bikes. Looks like if I did go with a V4, I would have no carry over parts from my current bike or what I’ve stocked up in my garage over the years.

Are these new metric sized air shocks just as plush and supportive in the mid stroke as previous coil shocks? Would an “S” build be sufficient, or would I have to go with a coil shock and upgrade the fork to make the bike super plush??? Thanks again for the help.
 

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Thanks for the info. Geez, I guess I really am out of the loop on all this new technology. A lot has happened since I was last looking at and following all the new bikes. Looks like if I did go with a V4, I would have no carry over parts from my current bike or what I've stocked up in my garage over the years.

Are these new metric sized air shocks just as plush and supportive in the mid stroke as previous coil shocks? Would an "S" build be sufficient, or would I have to go with a coil shock and upgrade the fork to make the bike super plush??? Thanks again for the help.
Not having tried the coil but after reading most reviews saying the air kept it more playful (most also seemed to prefer the air as a do anything bike) and already having my v10 that I've kept for pure DH and plowing I decided to go with the air. I think both would work fine in the end but they will have their own character.
 

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If you are coming off old tech, I really think you will be surprised at how good stuff has gotten. The stock air shock on the s build may be good enough.

I went from a v2 bronson to the n4 and it was a completely different feel. Then going from the n4 to the megatower also felt better. The rate at which stuff improves is incredible.

I am selling a size large n4 frame with the coil shock. I also have the fork for it and some 27.5 carbon rims, industry nine hubs and some tires in great condition. If you want to build one up, that could be a good deal.


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Thanks for the info. Geez, I guess I really am out of the loop on all this new technology. A lot has happened since I was last looking at and following all the new bikes. Looks like if I did go with a V4, I would have no carry over parts from my current bike or what I've stocked up in my garage over the years.

Are these new metric sized air shocks just as plush and supportive in the mid stroke as previous coil shocks? Would an "S" build be sufficient, or would I have to go with a coil shock and upgrade the fork to make the bike super plush??? Thanks again for the help.
Yeah, forget all your old parts. They are worthless now. Sorry :( On the plus side pretty much everything on a bike is better now, so you'll reap the full benefits of the new bike.

BIG difference between the N2 and N4. Completely different animals. No question that it would be a big upgrade. Unless you are going big at the park you will be over-biked, but who cares. Being over-biked is fun as long as you're not chasing down the XC fasties on easy buffed out trails.

Shock-wise, I've always preferred coil over air on front and back. On my N4 I have the Fox X2 (air) and it's pretty damn good. Super plush and a nice firm mid-stroke and very tune-able. If I were forced into a new shock I'd probably go coil just to try it out, but I have no intention of changing it now.

As far as the fork goes both the Lyrik and Fox36 are solid forks as is. That being said I upgraded my 36 with the PUSH coil kit and to me it is superior and a solid match for the N4, even with an air shock.
 

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Are these new metric sized air shocks just as plush and supportive in the mid stroke as previous coil shocks?
In short, I would bet, based on what you've said about how you ride, that you would find a modern air shock to work just fine. If not, you can always err on the side of caution by choosing a bike that will fit the coil shock you might be interested in.

A coil spring is going to be more supple, in that it moves more easily in response to small forces due to the lack of stiction from the necessarily air-tight seals of an air spring.

A coil spring is also going to be linear, in that an increase in compression of the spring results in a corresponding increase in spring force, regardless of how much the spring is already deflected. This is in contrast with an air spring, which ramps up (ideal gas law), especially if you add tokens/spacers. This means that air springs don't bottom out as easily, and not all suspension designs are compatible with coil springs, particularly those (Ibis, for example) that compensate for the air spring ramp-up with regressive leverage ratios.

But "plush"? "Plush" is a subjective term that depends on pretty much everything (travel, spring rate, damping, rebound, suspension design, tires, riding style, body position, the trail, your skill level).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When I first got my V2 Nomad with Fox RP23 air shock, I was very disappointed. No matter what settings I dialed in, the rear end just felt terrible to me on the way down. Lots of others had the same problem as well. (It did climb well, but down was like an XC bike IMO. After I got the Fox rc4 coil, and Push link, the rear of the bike felt SOOooo much better. If not for that mod I would not have kept the V2. I like the rear to feel “plush” or smooth over fast roots etc., and dislike the firm chatter and beating the previous shock gave me. I would really want the new V4 to feel the same, or better.

I ride for fun (as we all do) and prefer more technical terrain with some drops and jumps. Nothing huge, just trying to have a good time and push my own personal limits. I do not care to be the first one to the top, or the bottom. I don’t really ride XC type stuff unless I’m trying to train.

I agree that with the V4 I may be overbiked, but I prefer that. A little more forgiving, and motivates me to push harder.

So my opinion on “plush” would be as described above, without feeling like I got beat up and worked on the way down. I want to get off the bike with a :) on my face and say “wow, that bike was smooth and felt awesome” not like man, I just took a beating.
 

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From what you are describing, the n4 may be grossly overbiked and something like the new bronson could be a better choice. I really cannot stress enough how much has changed between the v2 and current bikes. The bigger wheels smooth things out, the bigger tires add cushion, the lower link suspension greatly improved small bump sensitivity.

The nomad only comes alive when the speed is high and the terrain is big.

Definitely go demo both of them and see how different bikes are today vs when you got the v2.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On my usual rides I use all 160mm in the rear and close to all up front, based on 25% sag rear, about 20% sag up front. Having been on a 160mm travel bike for so long, it would be hard to go any less. I had a 2009 Blur LT2, and wanted a bit more so I went with a Nomad.
 

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From what you are describing, the n4 may be grossly overbiked and something like the new bronson could be a better choice. I really cannot stress enough how much has changed between the v2 and current bikes. The bigger wheels smooth things out, the bigger tires add cushion, the lower link suspension greatly improved small bump sensitivity.

The nomad only comes alive when the speed is high and the terrain is big.

Definitely go demo both of them and see how different bikes are today vs when you got the v2.

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I think this statement might be a little over the top. Yes the new Nomad is a monster but at the same time it's not a pig/sled and actually climbs better than an N2. That said the Bronson is also a much more capable bike than anything before. From what I have gathered from those that have ridden both is they're fairly close to each other with the Bronson's being more poppy/playful and the Nomad able to plow a little more but in other aspects like climbing and maneuver ability they aren't worlds different from each other. I would agree with trying both before buying though.
 

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How are you blowing through 160mm of travel if you are only hitting small jumps and drops? Is your shock very linear?

Either way each iteration of suspension and frame design is vastly better than what came before it. Especially when talking about stuff 10+ years ago.

If your goal is to feel fresh at the end of a ride, a long travel 29er could be the ticket. The bigger wheels definitely roll over stuff better and make things smoother. Maybe a new hightower or the discontinued hightower lt could also be options.

I think getting the most recent nomad just because you have a nomad from 10 years ago seems shortsighted when they have released so many other aggressive trail bikes since then. Get to a demo day and without prejudice, try all of the trail models. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how good bikes have gotten.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Let me clarify a bit......when I say I’m using all the 160mm travel out back, I should have said I’m getting very close to it, but never bottomed out. Fox rc4 coil. I only run a few clicks of H/LS compression. It just feels best to me that way. I set my sag as a “ballpark”, then fine tune it by feel, and what I like.

Really I’m just trying to have fun out there. Overbiked or not. Like I said earlier I’m not trying to shave seconds off the clock or anything I just want to ride and enjoy myself out there. I will probably never be the guy that’s clearing 30 foot gap’s and 20 foot drops but I prefer a bigger bike, although I may not use it to its full potential. About the only other bike that I would personally consider would be a Bronson V3. As far as 29rs, I just really don’t like that big of a wheel coming from a BMX background
 
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