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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SO heres the question.

If you were going to build a bike for Mini DH, which would you choose? I know the C is stiffer, but I am worried about impact resistance to be honest. I am not worried about the weight difference.

The plan is to build it with a coil, and possibly a 180mm fork.
 

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Since weight is not the issue, I would say Aluminum. Most DH bikes...hooned properly;) , are likely to last 4-5 seasons...at that time, you'll be looking for the next greatest thing.

Put the saved cash towards parts that will make an actual difference on the trail...tubeless wheels, Avalanche products, brakes...etc.
 

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Op never said anything about money being the issue as far as saving goes towards buying things that actually make a difference. Hmmm does being stiff as SHITE not make a difference??? And as far as durability goes I'm sure your not as aggressive as Steve Pete or Greg Minar and probably not 6'4" 225 either and carbon is ALL they ride now. Just sayin.........carbons the way to go ;)
 

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I use my Nomad as my DH bike, because I don't have a real DH bike. I would trust the carbon, I would have bought one if they had carbon 2 years ago. I don't think the carbon would pose a safety risk, however if you put a sharp rock into it, it will most likely take more damage than an aluminum one. I have faith that Santa Cruz would take care of you if it did happen, but i guess thats the trade off, more stiffness at the risk that it may be damaged easier.
 

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Tintr said:
Op never said anything about money being the issue as far as saving goes towards buying things that actually make a difference. Hmmm does being stiff as SHITE not make a difference??? And as far as durability goes I'm sure your not as aggressive as Steve Pete or Greg Minar and probably not 6'4" 225 either and carbon is ALL they ride now. Just sayin.........carbons the way to go ;)
While I wouldn't be too concerned about the carbon issue, using Peat and Minnar as examples of how tough the carbon is might not be a valid point. I'm betting they get free bikes regardless of how tough the frame is.:D

The V10 main frame that's sold to the public is carbon, and I doubt that SC wants to deal with a bunch of warranty claims or even just bad PR because of fragility in either the V10 or Nomad. If weight is not an issue, I wouldn't be too concerned about the aluminum either, as far as this stiffness issue is concerned. The aluminum version is hardly a wet noodle. The weight loss on the carbon Nomad is probably its best feature.
 

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Intense SS seems more purpose built to mini dh if you want vpp and are not attached to carbon composite.

I've been riding an 07 Nomad with a ccdb/ talas 36, syncros ds28 wheels for 3 years, lots of shuttling and climbing/descending in northern California and southern Oregon, Northstar, Plattekill, etc, and this bike kills.
Fwiw, I have a Domain 180mm that sometimes goes on, but I prefer the 160mm. Damping quality aside, I like my body position/ balance better with the shorter fork.
 

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Tintr said:
Op never said anything about money being the issue as far as saving goes towards buying things that actually make a difference. Hmmm does being stiff as SHITE not make a difference??? And as far as durability goes I'm sure your not as aggressive as Steve Pete or Greg Minar and probably not 6'4" 225 either and carbon is ALL they ride now. Just sayin.........carbons the way to go ;)
I didn't mean my post to read as if I felt aluminum would be more durable over the frame's lifetime. I meant that either frame could likely go 4 or 5 seasons without issue, at which time you'll be eyeing that shiny new frame in the shop. I don't see the point of spending extra money on carbon when weight is not an issue (carbon's main benefit) for the OP.

Stiffness...just how many SHITE units is that and what's the conversion to N/m? I don't see anyone complaining about flex in the alu Nomads. How many seconds could we all drop from our run times on this additional stiffness? More than a having less rotating mass? Or more than the improved traction from a custom tuned shock/fork? If this were the case, we'd all be scrambling to buy carbon frames with Spinner forks.

If you really believe the frames Peat and Minnaar ride are the ones you buy off the shelf or ever see more than a weekend's worth of riding, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. And if you're going to support your opinion with idol worship, at least do them the favor of getting their names right.
 

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In SC's case, the switch to carbon is more about added strength than weight gain. The carbon frames are lighter, but marginally so. However, they are much stiffer & stronger than their aluminum counterparts.

As to Peat and Minar not riding off-the-shelf frames, you are certainly wrong. A carbon mold costs a fortune, and there is no way small SC is having special carbon molds for the pros. Plus, it defeats an important purpose: competition testing. These guys push the frames, and SC learns a great deal from how their frames survive pro use. They may not be riding the same frame for a long time, but for sure the carbon frames are the same as ours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Using Pros as "its what they ride" as an argument fails because they are employees and promotional models, and will ride what the company wants them to push. I have no doubt that the Nomad C will hold up to riding, thats not my concern. My concern is me being a muppet and dumping it.

The stiffness thing I really question. No doubt it will be stiffer, I get that. But the way people talk, its like its a completely different bike, leagues better than the original.

I don't think so.

What I think is that its marginally stiffer, and people are confusing the ride of carbon with other elements, such as a damped ride. At the end of the day you still have the pivot points to deal with which are the same on both bikes, so I just can't see the tubes being so much stiffer that its an altogether different bike. I just don't buy it.

This will be for a project article, so I want it to be stellar. If the Alloy being discontinued for sure?
 

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It would help so much if "frame stiffness" was somehow quantifiable, consistent, and provided as a unit of measure along with every frame purchased from all manufacturers of all bikes. Just slot it right in there between HTA and frame weight.

Until then, I know for certain I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between ALU and C if I didn't look down at my frame.

ALU Nomad2 owner myself. If someone handed me $500 at the point I purchased my frame, and if it was 6 months later, I would've gotten the carbon. Just because, well ... most bikes will be carbon eventually. May as well get on board. Plus those graphics on the white one are dead sexy.

Having said that, I love my ALU one heaps. It's my one do-it-all bike, that I managed to finish in the top half of a 50km XC enduro event a few weeks ago, only a few weeks after taking it DH riding in the Alps in the same configuration.
 

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polymathic said:
As to Peat and Minar not riding off-the-shelf frames, you are certainly wrong. A carbon mold costs a fortune, and there is no way small SC is having special carbon molds for the pros. Plus, it defeats an important purpose: competition testing. These guys push the frames, and SC learns a great deal from how their frames survive pro use. They may not be riding the same frame for a long time, but for sure the carbon frames are the same as ours.
I don't see how the pro's V10.4 is the same as an off the shelf unit. They're longer, slacker (perhaps accomplished with bolt ons), use a Driver 8 rear end, and two carbon link options. Anyone tried the stiffer "Fort William" upper link on their V10?

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/pro-bike-greg-minnaars-santa-cruz-syndicate-v-104-carbon-26590

Again, I'm not saying carbon isn't strong. I'm looking at the question from a cost/benefit perspective. If that $650 meant stepping up to an Avy or BOS or R1's...
 

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C will have a more compliant ride which will let you do more runs before getting fatigued. Personally I wouldn't build up a nomad with a 180 for DH. THe BB is so tall you won't be able to rail corners as well as a proper DH set up. Low and Slack is best for DH. Here's a very inexpensive DH build that can still be ridden AM style when you want and will destroy a Nomad on any DH: VP Free with 8.5x2.5 shock and 180 fork. THe short shock lowers and slackens the bike and brings the rear travel down to a nomad's level. You'll have a low slack bike that's still light with a proper DH 150 rear compared to the nomad's 135. I own a nomad with a 38 180, and have owned a short shocked free. The free will dog a nomad with a 180 all day long and it will cost you a FRACTION of what a nomad c will.
 

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slimat99 said:
C will have a more compliant ride which will let you do more runs before getting fatigued. Personally I wouldn't build up a nomad with a 180 for DH. THe BB is so tall you won't be able to rail corners as well as a proper DH set up. Low and Slack is best for DH. Here's a very inexpensive DH build that can still be ridden AM style when you want and will destroy a Nomad on any DH: VP Free with 8.5x2.5 shock and 180 fork. THe short shock lowers and slackens the bike and brings the rear travel down to a nomad's level. You'll have a low slack bike that's still light with a proper DH 150 rear compared to the nomad's 135. I own a nomad with a 38 180, and have owned a short shocked free. The free will dog a nomad with a 180 all day long and it will cost you a FRACTION of what a nomad c will.
Your comment on the compliance factor of a carbon frame is interesting. I'm not claiming any absolute knowledge on this, but is this really an issue on a bike that has 6"-6.5" of travel? I have a carbon roadbike, and I agree that this is an issue on something rigid like a roadbike application, but is this really that noticeable on a long travel MTB?

I'm also not sure about your assessment of the 180mm fork on the Nomad. The 20mm increase in travel over a 160mm fork may not translate directly into a 20mm rise in the head angle depending on what forks we're comparing here. Additionally I'm not so sure the BB would become insanely high because of this what with sag and setup playing a big part in the mix. However, I would agree with you about not using a Nomad as a true DH bike. An old Free or other model or brand would probably be a better choice, but there wouldn't be anything wrong with pursuing the use of a Nomad in manner like this for more all-around use.

I mention these issues for discussion and not as a flame.
 

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I've never owned a C 6" bike but have heard from many people that the ride is more compliant. I too thought that with 6" you wouldn't notice any difference but people say there is a very noticeable improvement. I ride a nomad with a 36 180 and I just lowered it to 170 because my cornering game suffered quite a bit compared to a nomad with a 160. The 36 180 has one of the lowest axle to crowns of any 180 on the market. I also ran a totem on my nomad at one time. Of course it's all personal preference, you may not feel it's too tall and you may corner just as well? Maybe I misunderstood your post, I only mentioned the short shocked vp free because it makes a great mini dh bike, but if you want an all around bike with a bias towards dh the nomad is a better choice. A short shocked free with a 180 is super slack with a long wheelbase which makes for a mean dh rig, but it's too slack and long to perform as well as a nomad when it comes to all around riding. Just thought I'd offer another option, and one that would be more of a mini dh than a nomad. I absolutely love my nomad, but there are better mini dh options out there. However I feel there are no better options for an all around, do anything bike .
 

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Can someone please enlighten me on the term ‘compliant’ when comparing 6” carbon / alu mountain bikes? Vertical, horizontal? :confused:

To me this only makes sense when dealing with a hardtail, or at most, a short travel XC bike. I understand compliance on a carbon vs. Aluminium hardtail, especially in the vertical direction. Carbon works well for this because you can design the final shape for vertical compliance while maintaining lateral stiffness (horizontal compliance)

In my head, I broke it down to the individual front and rear triangle being much stiffer (on their own) in comparison to the aluminium. In effect, this would make for a much stiffer finished assembly, discounting the identical pivot axles bolt configurations shared between the two frames. I think it would be possible to feel the difference, although I haven’t had enough time on a NomadC. Would it be THAT noticeable for the recreational rider as compared to the Syndicate pro riders? Not so sure.
 

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philshep said:
Can someone please enlighten me on the term 'compliant' when comparing 6" carbon / alu mountain bikes? Vertical, horizontal? :confused:

To me this only makes sense when dealing with a hardtail, or at most, a short travel XC bike. I understand compliance on a carbon vs. Aluminium hardtail, especially in the vertical direction. Carbon works well for this because you can design the final shape for vertical compliance while maintaining lateral stiffness (horizontal compliance)

In my head, I broke it down to the individual front and rear triangle being much stiffer (on their own) in comparison to the aluminium. In effect, this would make for a much stiffer finished assembly, discounting the identical pivot axles bolt configurations shared between the two frames. I think it would be possible to feel the difference, although I haven't had enough time on a NomadC. Would it be THAT noticeable for the recreational rider as compared to the Syndicate pro riders? Not so sure.
Yeah, that was the discussion that slim and I were having, and perhaps it's one of those elements that can't truly be qualified unless there's some kind of frame device to truly measure resonance or such. If you've owned a carbon roadbike, you'd think there might be some vibration damping, but would it really be that noticeable on a long travel bike that is already being heavily damped by some excellently plush suspension? And as you point out, the carbon in roadbikes is usually designed to provide the tiniest bit of flex in one plane but not others to give the rider some comfort and performance feedback. Since the carbon in MTB's is designed more for a weight and stiffness benefit, you'd think there might be less of that "comfort" feature that's due soley to the carbon. When you have this much suspension travel, it seems you already have a ton of the "comfort" feature.

I'm going to speculate that carbon probably does indeed have a resonance benefit to some degree over aluminum in whatever layup the carbon is desiged in, but the stiffer the carbon layup is, perhaps the less the resonance benefit. It's an interesting concept and discussion.
 

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TNT, maybe chime in on a Nomad C forum and ask those guys about ride compliance. I have a friend that rides a mojo hd carbon and he says he feels less fatigued at the end of rides. My thought at first was if carbon is stiffer there would be less ride compliance. It's counter intuitive, but that's the word on the street. Wish I could comment but I've never ridden a carbon squishy.
 
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