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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't decide between the Heckler - Blur LT - and Nomad.

SO I would greatly appreciate if some of you more experienced santa cruz people out there give me your opinions...


I've been mountain biking for 8 years now, but wasn't serious until about 2 years ago. I've been using the same bike for those 8 years (GT aggressor 2.0) so I think an upgrade is justified. Plus this last season I trashed my bike.

During riding season I go for about 2+ hour rides 2-4X's a week. I've really been dying to get more technical but always feel like I'm going to wreck in my current setup. I'd consider my riding type to be AM. I want to get better at both climbing and descending and my near future goal is to start hitting some of 3 foot drops I've been shying away from.

Are the blur and nomad too much bike for me?
What makes the 100 dollar difference in the nomad over the blur lt?
Would the heckler be the best starting point for me, coming from an old cheap hardtail?

Thanks
 

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a.k.a Slacker
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In my not so humble opinion. I would choose the Nomad - since you say your riding type is AM.

I would also say, I started out with a Heckler - it too was a great bike, but I think if you've got the cash, the VPP bikes might be a good transition for you. Some people like the simplicity of the Single Pivot though, which is fine, but the VPP is more efficient at climbing.

With that said, I would pick the Nomad over the LT, well actually I don't have a good reason, aside from a little bit more travel. What I'm trying to say is, at that point, you're probably going to have to evaluate if you're going to progress even more and continue ride agressively, or if you are going to be an in betweener (in which case the LT would be a fine machine as well).
 

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mtbr Decade+
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Those three bikes are all probably what you are after. They all will be a huge step up from your old hardtail and will all handle infinitely more "rough stuff" than your hardtail. Two other things I'm curious about are first, your size, and second, your budget.

I have a BLT and think it is plenty of bike for very technical riding; I test rode the nomad and thought it was overkill for me. Awfully cool to look at but I thought the BLT would handle long trail rides much nicer.

If you are a clydesdale the Heckler with a coil shock is also a very nice option. Much less maintenance than the two VPP bikes and it looks awfully sweet as well. Also, you can save yourself a grand, or more!

There are many people on here with more knowledge than me, but I think my answer should get you started. By the way, obviously test driving all three would be an optimal way to decide.

Personally, I have a BLT and a BXC, they cover the bases for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Biggie said:
Two other things I'm curious about are first, your size, and second, your budget.
5'9'' - 160lbs.

My budget originally only allowed the heckler. But I've held out long enough now any of those 3 could be had. However, is the $1000+ increase justified? Especially since I consider myself an intermediate. I would love an excuse to buy one of the vpp bikes, but don't want to over do it.
 

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millertime1025 said:
5'9'' - 160lbs.

My budget originally only allowed the heckler. But I've held out long enough now any of those 3 could be had. However, is the $1000+ increase justified? Especially since I consider myself an intermediate. I would love an excuse to buy one of the vpp bikes, but don't want to over do it.
If you are intermediate, I consider myself begintermediate, and don't know if your desire to go AM will progress I think the Heckler and the grand in the bank would be the way to go.

My BLT replaced a Devinci Jalapeno, a 6 x 6 coil bike - similar to a Heckler, and if I had to do it again, I'd probably have just bought the Heckler in the first place. Yes, the new Nomad and BLT are nicer bikes, but realistically, hou can probably save closer to 2 grand with a nicely built Heckler!

At your size try test riding a medium in each...
 

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dude, the blt sounds like your ticket, although whichever you get you will be stoked. the new vpp is fantastic; the blt2 will be a bit stiffer than both the heckler and nomad but is still 'the trail machine.' the nomad will be slacker and squishier, which for me would be too big of a jump from a hardtail, especially if you're hammering out 2 hours 4x a week; you're probably used to that stiff rear (no, not that one).

i think you should get the blur, if you can afford it. couple it with a 20mm up front, and you will be so beyond stoked, youll be riding 7 days a week... and try to keep away from using the term AM. your all mountain may be my freeride and someone elses cross country, which should not dictate your bike purchase
 

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I would say either the Heckler or BLT. Coming from a hardtail, the 6" Nomad is a lot of bike, sure it'll handle everything you can throw at it, but is it nessacery for your kind of riding? Both the Heckler and BLT will get you into enough trouble and still have more than enough ability. Comes down to your budget/how much your prepared to spend.

Best thing for you to do is demo all 3. Shouldn't be too hard to find demo bikes in your size. See which you like the best and what really suits what your realistically going to do.
 

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Biggie said:
If you are intermediate, I consider myself begintermediate, and don't know if your desire to go AM will progress I think the Heckler and the grand in the bank would be the way to go.

My BLT replaced a Devinci Jalapeno, a 6 x 6 coil bike - similar to a Heckler, and if I had to do it again, I'd probably have just bought the Heckler in the first place. Yes, the new Nomad and BLT are nicer bikes, but realistically, hou can probably save closer to 2 grand with a nicely built Heckler!

At your size try test riding a medium in each...
I ll side with Biggie, but... I am biased since I ride a Heckler :D I was in the same boat as you and I wanted something that would make for a good transition from HT to FS and since I am not bike mechanic and I hate maintenance I went with the Heckler. I ride a Medium and I am 5'8" and depending on beer intake and the riding season I weigh any where from 182-195 lbs, with camel back I ll teeter in the 200 lbs and my Heckler climbs well and descends great. I do wish I would have gotten the DHX coil on the rear though if you go with the Heckler.
 

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pin it to win it
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the only difference between the nomad and lt is a slacker seattube angle, .5in more travel, and a 1.5headtube. i have been riding a lt since june and have no complants about how it climbs and decends. If you want a true do anything bike go with the lt. You can race the downieville classic one weekend then go race at nothstar the next.
 

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nerfherder
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millertime1025 said:
Well the majority has swayed me, it's time for a demo.

What should I be looking for during a demo?
I was working on a technical answer for you here but I think at the end of the day you should be looking for smiles. Which bike puts the biggest grin on your face. :D

Aside from that, try to control for build differences. A FR built Nomad is going to ride differently than a AM/Trail built Nomad.
 

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nerfherder
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mtbames190 said:
the only difference between the nomad and lt is a slacker seattube angle, .5in more travel, and a 1.5headtube. i have been riding a lt since june and have no complants about how it climbs and decends. If you want a true do anything bike go with the lt. You can race the downieville classic one weekend then go race at nothstar the next.
I'm thinking the 2* difference in head angle and the Nomad's longer wheelbase/chainstays might be a pretty significant differentiator.

In my opinion there's a big difference based on my experience as a previous owner of a BLT 1 and a current owner of a Nomad 1. Not dogging either - both are fantastic.

Some overlap but still different tools for different jobs.
 

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scruffylooking said:
I was working on a technical answer for you here but I think at the end of the day you should be looking for smiles. Which bike puts the biggest grin on your face. :D

Aside from that, try to control for build differences. A FR built Nomad is going to ride differently than a AM/Trail built Nomad.
Spot on there, just go with what feels best, what you think suits you best and try to take into account the differences in builds. Coils will as a rule feel plusher than air sprung bikes, different length stems and bar widths can have a huge affect on how a bike feels too.
 

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nerfherder
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Pete-G said:
Spot on there, just go with what feels best, what you think suits you best and try to take into account the differences in builds. Coils will as a rule feel plusher than air sprung bikes, different length stems and bar widths can have a huge affect on how a bike feels too.
Good details, Pete-G. One example I have in demoing a bike: I rode a small Chumba XCL with a ridiculously long 130mm stem. Swapped it out for a 90mm and the ride went from hate to love. It was very dramatic.
 

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scruffylooking said:
I'm thinking the 2* difference in head angle and the Nomad's longer wheelbase/chainstays might be a pretty significant differentiator.

In my opinion there's a big difference based on my experience as a previous owner of a BLT 1 and a current owner of a Nomad 1. Not dogging either - both are fantastic.

Some overlap but still different tools for different jobs.
With a 160mm fork on the front of a Blt2, the head angle difference is almost exactly that of a Nomad. Not 2 degrees.

I should know, I went from a Nomad with fox float 36 to Blt2 with the same fork. It is awesome and I have never felt less than confident.
 

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nerfherder
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Well, sure, but I could throw a Totem on the front of a Nomad and we could start an slack HA war. Pretty sure that's not recommended for a BLT. Point being, as designed, around the forks they're designed for, there is a difference. They're not the same bikes. There is a difference. That's my point.

But if a 36'd BLT is what fox floats your boat, then rock on. I'm not saying one's better than the other. Ride it how you like it - but they are different animals.
 

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Since I had almost the same dilemma as you do, maybe my 2 cents are worth something. I have been mtb'ing for almost over 2 decades. My first a Trek 4300 cromoly, very cool bike and very heavy.
This one was followed by a Cannondale f500. Superlight, fast, reliable. As a matter of fact, after about 10.000 miles she still looks great and I still use her for the occasional climb, cruising, etc.
The Cannondale I rode for about 12 years. After some serious knee and backproblems I got back to MTB 1 year ago. Created a little club and use to ride 2 / 3 times a week for about 30 miles. Where I live (Spain) mountains are very steep, but once on top the trails are endless. I decided it was time for a new bike and my first choice twas SC, whether Heckler, Nomad or Blur. After trying them all, I was pretty much stoke the Nomad, but did not think that 1.500 USD price difference, as compared to the Heckler same build, was justified. Sure, the looks are awesome, the ride is amazing, but so is the Heckler. Bought the Heckler and built it up pretty standard (RAM).
I am 6,3, 200 lbs, and have been riding the H since August with high intensity (up to 3 rides a week, 30 miles a piece) climbing almost 60% of the time. In the beginning it was tough to hold on to my buddies. The bike is much heavier than the one I was used to, but after a month or so learning curve and setting up, etc, I am where I used to be.
What I am trying to say is that we all ride for pleasure and we are not professionals. IMHO, I do not think that we, amateur mortals, do note the difference that much as to make a 1 1/2 to 2 grand difference justified. If you go after the bling/cool issue, I can understand, but from an objective rider point of view I think the Heckler is a bike that gives an extremely high ROI (i.e big smiles, security, fuller wallet).
Again, the choice is yours, but imaging having an awesome bike in your backyard and 1.500 bucks in your pocket..., you do not have to be a Harvard graduate to figure that out.
Good luck and let us know what the final outcome was.
 

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Try them all and buy the one you that gives you the most fun.

Life is too short to be worried about saving money.

Having said that, you may like the Heckler best. They're all great bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey all,

I was able to get to a Santa Cruz dealer and test ride. Unfortunately, they only had the blur LT in stock, Therefore I was unable to try out the other two. I'm planning on going to there larger sister store next Friday to try out the other two.

My thoughts on the LT... friggin amazing. It's amazing the world of difference that new bike makes. I felt like I was hopping higher, riding faster and enjoying it even though I was only in a parking lot. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the excitment of riding a bike that I've been researching for months. And maybe just a little that it was a 3 grand bike versus an 8 year old hard tail.

I wish I could say that i'm leaning towards the LT right now, but that'd be unfair since I haven't tried out the Heckler. I've ruled out the Nomad based on what others have said, but will still give it a go to see what the fuss is about. I figure I'm more likely to do XC type things then to get good enough at DH to need the beefiness that is the Nomad.

I'll weight in with my decision next weekend being that I intend to buy a bike after Xmas but before new years.

Once again, thanks everyone, and feel free to post more comments.
 
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