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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gang,

I am tinkering with the idea of possibly picking up a VP Free over the winter to set up as a more FR/DH oriented rig. Probably with a Boxxer or 888, etc.

I am 5'10" or 5'11", and currently have a large Nomad with a Lyrik up front, and a 70 mm stem. Fits me like a glove. I tried a medium Nomad before I bought mine and it felt way too small and like my knees would hit the front end.

SC's website says I would need a medium free, and from searching on here, it seems that most people in around my height run mediums as well, although a few run larges. And I have also gathered that the Free rides larger than it is.

I would still want to take the Free for the occasional trail ride here and there, and I will also need to ride it to the top to enjoy the goods on the way down.

I haven't yet found a shop or ran into anyone on the trail that has one that I can check out for sizing purposes.

Thoughts or recomendations? Thanks!
 

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Some Assembly Required
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Not sure if this helps at all, but here goez, I'm 5'10" and ride a med VP Free. It fits me perfectly. I was riding a med 04 Bullit & always felt cramped in the cockpit. The med VP Free has a lil longer (effective) top tube & I loved the change. The SC VPP bikes wheel base "grows" as the suspension compresses, i.e. it gets longer as it compresses, not sure if this has bearing on your decision but thought I'd toss it out there. I rode a friends med Nomad around a parkin'lot, setup for XC, not my forte, but it felt ok, but it had a looong stem on it, yuck, so I really didn't get a good idea if the med was right or wrong for me.

Hope this is useful in some way.

asymmetrical
 

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Hey;

I'm 6'2", ride a Large VP Free.
That is a LARGE bike. Which is awesome, but it might be too big for you.

My friend is 5'9" and rides a medium - fits him greatly.

I'd say you'd better off with a Medium.
 

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Lord of the Chainrings
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I'm 5'-10" and ride a large Nomad and VP-Free.
Both my stems are 50mm.
 

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I'm 6'-0" tall & ride a large Nomad set up for trailriding with a 80mm stem. I also ride a medium VPFree with a 65mm stem & it feels awsome. & actually took it out for a 16 miler last night with equal amounts of climbing / descending, felt nice & not too small, running a Totem for the fork. At 5'11", go with a medium if you plan on doing freeride / DH on the bike, as a large will feel tall & too long for you. I travel to SoCal every 6 weeks & borrow a large when I go, feels pretty big IMO.

Check her out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate the comments. I would still lean towards the medium at this point, b/c it seems like a large would be the way to go if I wanted to build up a more trail friendly bike. But that would probably overlap with my Nomad too much, and defeat the point of me building up a Free.

Maybe due to overkill/possibly too much overlap, the better solution would be to just build up a burlier set of wheels for the Nomad, and have a triple crown fork to swap out on days I want to ride the bigger stuff?

At any rate, I have time to decide and try to find a few Free's to check out for sizing. I am just kicking this idea around, you know, in case I come across a good deal or anything. :D
 

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All Mt, DH
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I'm 6'1 and ride a Large Free with 50mm stem.
I had a Large Nomad with a 70mm stem, but changed to a 4x with a 70mm.
The Free is a little longer in the top tube, at your height maybe a medium Free would be best. Two of my mates run medium Frees and they are about 5'10.
Cheers
Rogue
 

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Propr
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I'm 5'-11.5" and I run a large Nomad and a large Free. The Nomad has a 90mm stem w/Lyrik and the Free has a 70mm stem w/888. I'm using 50mm riser bars @ 711mm wide. Love the setup on both bikes. The Free is not really setup for "trail" riding, mainly shuttle or lift access riding...use the Nomad for the 7 to 25mile rides. ;)

I feel totally fine on the Large Free, but if you like to throw the bike around a bit more it will take a little more effort with the large. It feels totally solid and smooth on the drops and jumps though.
 

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I'm an honest 6' and ride a medium Free with a shorty stem. I've ridden it on long climb rides, at the shore and Whistler, and it's perfect for me. I tried a medium Nomad and there was no way that was going to work - too short.

I didn't try the large Free but the consensus when I was shopping was "go shorter" if you want nimble and fun, or bigger if you're pursuing stability and top speed. Of course, this is generally the rule with long-travel bikes.

The medium fits me like a glove - love it!
 

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I have to agree with Mik, I am 182cm and ride a Medium Free. I had a Med Nomad but that was too small, the L Nomad fits me just fine with a 50mm stem and a Thompson Layback post. I run the Free with a 50mm stem and a layback post and its probably my best fitting bike. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I'd def go with a medium at this point.

I ran into a guy at Galbraith this past weekend that had a medium, and he said it fit great. He was might height or a bit taller, and he said on a Nomad he was a large for sure, the medium Free worked well for him. Unfortunately though, I didn't get a chance to try it on for sizing b/c we were both holding our crews up.

Off topic question, the Free can run the same 8.5" x 2.5" shock that the Nomad runs right? And it takes the Free's rear travel down to 7.75" or 7.5" I think?
 

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Hey, that guy was me! I'll almost surely be up there again this w/e if you want to give 'er a spin. That bike rocks Galby.

The 2.5 stroke shock takes travel to 7.7". The OEM DHXa is the full 8.75" i2i but I think this is a custom size for SC. A lot of guys are running shorter (8.5" x 2.5") shocks on the Free which lowers/slackens it and gives the 7.7" travel. I'd like to hear SC weigh in on possible effects on the VP design/axle path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
miklorsmith said:
Hey, that guy was me! I'll almost surely be up there again this w/e if you want to give 'er a spin. That bike rocks Galby.
Sweet, I might take you up on that, thanks! We are planning on heading back up there, but the weather doesn't look like it's going to cooperate.
 

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"Off topic question, the Free can run the same 8.5" x 2.5" shock that the Nomad runs right? And it takes the Free's rear travel down to 7.75" or 7.5" I think?"

The answer is yes it works, slackesn the head andgle and drops the travel to 7.75. not sure the same spring weight applies as the load changes i think, well it feels more plush on the same spring anyway,
 

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Lord of the Chainrings
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I'm getting set to swap my large VP-Free frame for a medium.
I'm looking for more of a "nimble and fun flick factor".
My current large has stability, but it's too big to toss around.

I keep going back to this chart: http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/vpfree/index.php?sizing=1&x=65
Checked my old SC catalogs and found that there's not much if any difference in dimensions from the 2004 version.

Still, at 5'-10" the large Nomad frame is the way to go. I'm very happy with my 50mm stem setup.
Nomad chart: http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/nomad/index.php?sizing=1&x=65
 

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Lord of the Chainrings
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New setup. Medium VP-Free with Risse flat crowns.
WoW! what a huge difference from the large frame. Very flickable on the nasty DH stuff.
Climbs much like my large Nomad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Color me jealous Mudd, sweet looking rig!

After more time on it, I'd like to hear your thoughts since you've owned both a medium and large.
 

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Freeriding Feline
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Medium

Most recent shot of my medium Free. I'm 5'7" and the stem is 50mm.
The air shock does shorten the travel a tiny bit but I really like it.
Bike weighs in at 39 pounds right now.
By the way...He's sleeping in this picture.
 

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