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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone to post a review on how the new Nomad compares with the BLT2? Really interested to know how good the new design pedals, climbs and where it effectivelly is better/equal/worse than the BLT2. I mainly ask this because I suppose many will give the new Nomad the Big Trail treatment we're already seeing around, building it light but still strong enough. So I'm curious if the BLT2 won't be pushed behind when it comes to heavy duty.
 

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noMAD man
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A new BLT2 frame came into the shop today for a buildup...Pur's bike that he got on that SC/Downieville deal. It's an impressive frame IMO. It doesn't have any dinkiness like the BLT1 had...skinny link plates and such. It basically looks a bit like a Nomad. The new Nomad frame is right at 1/2 pound heavier. It will logically take a longer fork which will "optimally" add about a pound in most cases. I'm talking decent AM builds here...not stupid light or ignorantly heavy in the component buildup. I think everything but the forks will be about the same in weight in strength for a proper build on a trail version of either bike. So you end up with about a 1.5 pound advantage/disadvantage, depending on how you look at that. Then there's the travel difference. The slight reduction in travel in the BLT2 will offer "some" efficiency over the Nomad, especially since both are almost identical designs. However, there's only .8" difference between them now, so maybe that's not a big issue. I find it odd that SC reduced the travel on the Nomad a tiny bit. Frankly I think they should have up'd it to 6.75" or so to really separate it more from the BLT2. I think it's no wonder that people are asking questions like this since the line is more Blur'd between the two bikes now...pun intended.
 

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Im glad you asked . . .

I wrote most of the following for a posting on a local MTB website. Before you read this please read my disclaimer...

... the following text constitutes my opinion which may or may not bare any inkling of truth and is merely my views based on subjective experience. Please be forewarned that this post may contain media hyped pseudo-science and misleading clichéd industry jargon . I reserve the right to argue doggedly to uphold my "opinion" but may change my "opinion" with no notice and for no apparent reason . . .

BLT2, very sprightly pedaling and handling when built with 130~140mm travel fork. Really lays down the power in middle ring pedal mashing but there is a bit of feed back when spinning rough ground in granny. Very effective and reasonably plush suspension for trail riding.

My verdict, a very nimble and versatile all round XC trail bike.

Nomad, a very trail worthy all-mountain/light free-ride bike with superb plush, ground hugging suspension. Pedals very well for a big bike partially in middle ring but motors up hills amazing well in granny. Seems best to spin up granny climbs but the suspension completely swallows 100mm rocks and logs so all I needed to do is is just keep turning the cranks. When climbing it has an unusual trait in that I didnt need to weight the front end very much to keep the wheel down, but, when descending, I found it a bit more difficult to lift the front. Something to do with long chain stays ??? Corners great in all but the tightest trails but is particularly stable and predictable in medium to high speed turns.

My verdict, it blew my mind, absolutely the best bike I have ridden on rough, fast, flowy single track. Great all round bike for everything from aggressive XC to light free ride/DH but a bit more bike than I would like to lug around in tight XC trails and long XC rides.

BLT2 and Nomad Crossover /Overlap, Ive tried running a 160mm travel fork on my BLT2 and it had a different feel to the Nomad in that the Blur felt a bit more sprightly handling in tight trails but not as stable as the Nomad at speed. Obviously there is a difference in rear wheel travel between the two bikes but interestingly the Nomad's suspension at 25% sag felt very similar to the Blur at 30% sag. The Nomad had a fairly energetic pedaling at 25% sag but when I increased the sag to 30% the bike took on a real DH kind of plushness but felt a little soft at the pedals.

So in a nut shell the Nomad seems to be able to be set up fairly sprightly for trail riding or plush for free-ride but it is a bit of a hand full on tight trails, The BLT2 on the other hand seems to have a bit of a limit to how plush it can be set up {with the stock shock???} but is a fair bit more XC friendly.
 

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Interesting thread that got me thinking of the BLT2. I wonder how it would ride with a 150mm fork? I don't like quick XC steering OR floppy lazy steering. Ah, carp... I should probably just stick with getting a Nomad. Do Nevegal 2.35 fit on that gold beauty?
 

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SS Pusher Man
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gticlay said:
Interesting thread that got me thinking of the BLT2. I wonder how it would ride with a 150mm fork? I don't like quick XC steering OR floppy lazy steering. Ah, carp... I should probably just stick with getting a Nomad. Do Nevegal 2.35 fit on that gold beauty?
Yes they do.....SC eliminated the arch that went over the back tire, so now there is a ton more room back there.
 

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gticlay said:
Interesting thread that got me thinking of the BLT2. I wonder how it would ride with a 150mm fork? I don't like quick XC steering OR floppy lazy steering. Ah, carp... I should probably just stick with getting a Nomad. Do Nevegal 2.35 fit on that gold beauty?
I believe the crown to drop-out measurement of the 32 Talas 150 is only 5mm longer than the 140mm travel 32 forks. That wouldn't hurt the handling one little bit. Another possibility is the DT Swiss 150 fork but I dont know the measurements for that.

Re tyre size, I have ran a 2.5 Minion DH tyre on my "gold beauty" with no problems.
 

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noMAD man
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Yep, roomy.

mtnbikej said:
Yes they do.....SC eliminated the arch that went over the back tire, so now there is a ton more room back there.
Yeah, there's a ton of tire room back there. We stuffed a 650B wheel with a 2.35 NeoMoto tire into one yesterday, and there really was plenty of room in the swingarm. The knobs did touch the seat tube and front der cable stop under full rear shock compression...just the tiniest bit. A 650B/NeoMoto is a little taller than a Michy DH32 2.8 tire, so I suspect you can just about fit any tire of any reasonable consideration into the back end of the BLT2.
 

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Black RONIN said:
Other Aardvark, have you set your Nomad more like a big trail or it's more FR-ish? What's the weight and specs for both the Nomad and BLT2?
My Nomad is 32.5 pounds and is set up for aggressive trail riding with a 36 Van fork, Mavic SX Crossmax wheels and XT cranks. I probably could of got it down to 30 pounds but I like this component collection. I also have a heavy duty wheelset with 2.5/2.7 Minions for DH shuttling days which adds a massive 6 pounds of led!

My Blur, which now has a 32 Talas, will probably weigh about 29 pounds when I fit my new big volume 2.1 tires. Please Note, the set up you see in the picture of my BLT2 has been a stop gap while awaiting the arrival of my Nomad. The BLT has filled the gap admirably but now is taking its rightful place as my light-ish XC bike.
 

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emtb.pl
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Just one word about forks.
I run a 36 talas with a 650b wheel up front and a King headset (pretty high lower cup) on my LT2. I also run a very low riser bars (syntace vector carbon, 15mm rise) and no spacers under the 0deg stem. I've been running it @130mm 90% of time.
It's been -10 to -20'C here lately and although I've added around 10psi to the talas, it is saging a bit more than usual. I switched it to full 160 and ride the sh!t out of it for two weeks now. I love it! I added another 5psi to get the proper sag and still love it.
LT2 is build around a 140mm fork but happily accepts 160 and it seems it accepts a slightly higher fork too. At least on the XL size.
It also seems that this and the coil shock indicate the direction I am taking - straight to the new Nomad;)
 

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legal alien
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TNC said:
Frankly I think they should have up'd it to 6.75" or so to really separate it more from the BLT2. I think it's no wonder that people are asking questions like this since the line is more Blur'd between the two bikes now...pun intended.
I completely agree.

Do you think putting on 8.75 x 2.75 shock will work on the new Nomad? That ought to give right around 6.6" of travel.... However, I'm not sure if the lower link would clear, and by how much the BB would be raised and head angle steepened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Although I haven't riden any of them yet, I don't quite think travel has anything to do with it anyway. But, regarding this, I can see that the BLT had its travel increased by 5-10mm to cope with most trail bikes around which is a lot of travel already, but it's a safe spot for what AM riding is demanding now. I see the less travel in the Nomad as an intelligent choice coming from the new VPP design. It probably has a decreased falling rate, making it more progressive as it comes from the middle down to the bottom. Apart from that, big bikes like the Nomad are now being used as big trails, so the less travel beneficts those choosing the Nomad as their "one" bike. Either way, I think the Nomad may be working better now than before, as I think the BLT may probably have a better performance than the old one. So travel itself is not the matter, at least considering this issue.

What makes me wonder - and TNC hit the nerve on that indeed - is how each bike performs, and if one can outdo the other in their own field; if the Blur can take enough as a heavy duty FR lite-like bike and if the Nomad can be a brave trail bike. Can they attend the needs of those seeking to push back or further on both bikes' limits? Can the Nomad be build light enough at 28lbs as a trail bike, and still be a good AM? Or can the BLT2 and its lighter and trail-oriented chassis be build as strong as a tank to face the harshest stuff? That's what I'm trying to know.

The BLT2 has been claimed as the ultimate trail machine, and at the time of its release, they said it could replace 3 bikes: the Nomad, the Heckler and the old BLT itself. Ok. Now the new Nomad is up, what about it? Is the new Nomad now even better? Can it be a better Blur LT? That's where I'm going with it.

OA gave us good insight about each bike personas. But how far can it be twisted without discharactering them? That's the point. If travel has something to do with it after all, ok, but what there is around it to justify the new travel setup then?

If I buy a Nomad, I won't spec it like a FR bike, I'll spec it more like the Jalapeno bike that was first showed back at Eurobike I guess. It will be a 160mm version of the general 5.5-6 trail bikes we're seeing around, like my 575. I want a stronger bike, not a mini-DH machine. The question is: is the Nomad up to it? Or should I consider the BLT2 or Tracer all the way? Can you get me?
 

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legal alien
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True, travel is far from everything. The geometry of the Nomad is much more of a factor in differentiating it from the Blur: the Nomad is slacker, longer overall, longer chainstays, etc... In my opinion, these differences place the Nomad squarely in the all-mtn category since it'll descend and generally handle more technical situations better.

I remember your pics from Eurobike of that Jalapeno Nomad-I drooled over them many times and when I ordered my Nomad (just last week) I was hoping to get that very color, but ano is delayed until late spring so I got White:).

All that said, I would still love it if the longer shock could be thrown on without major ill effects on geometry. Mostly because I prefer having just a little bit more travel in the rear but I'm sure the bike will be excellent as-is, and feel like more travel as you said due to the more linear shock rate.
 

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Black RONIN said:
Although I haven't riden any of them yet, I don't quite think travel has anything to do with it anyway. But, regarding this, I can see that the BLT had its travel increased by 5-10mm to cope with most trail bikes around which is a lot of travel already, but it's a safe spot for what AM riding is demanding now. I see the less travel in the Nomad as an intelligent choice coming from the new VPP design. It probably has a decreased falling rate, making it more progressive as it comes from the middle down to the bottom. Apart from that, big bikes like the Nomad are now being used as big trails, so the less travel beneficts those choosing the Nomad as their "one" bike. Either way, I think the Nomad may be working better now than before, as I think the BLT may probably have a better performance than the old one. So travel itself is not the matter, at least considering this issue.

What makes me wonder - and TNC hit the nerve on that indeed - is how each bike performs, and if one can outdo the other in their own field; if the Blur can take enough as a heavy duty FR lite-like bike and if the Nomad can be a brave trail bike. Can they attend the needs of those seeking to push back or further on both bikes' limits? Can the Nomad be build light enough at 28lbs as a trail bike, and still be a good AM? Or can the BLT2 and its lighter and trail-oriented chassis be build as strong as a tank to face the harshest stuff? That's what I'm trying to know.

The BLT2 has been claimed as the ultimate trail machine, and at the time of its release, they said it could replace 3 bikes: the Nomad, the Heckler and the old BLT itself. Ok. Now the new Nomad is up, what about it? Is the new Nomad now even better? Can it be a better Blur LT? That's where I'm going with it.

OA gave us good insight about each bike personas. But how far can it be twisted without discharactering them? That's the point. If travel has something to do with it after all, ok, but what there is around it to justify the new travel setup then?

If I buy a Nomad, I won't spec it like a FR bike, I'll spec it more like the Jalapeno bike that was first showed back at Eurobike I guess. It will be a 160mm version of the general 5.5-6 trail bikes we're seeing around, like my 575. I want a stronger bike, not a mini-DH machine. The question is: is the Nomad up to it? Or should I consider the BLT2 or Tracer all the way? Can you get me?
I think weight is is probably over hyped much as wheel travel.

Wheel travel is kind of relevant to the suspension system and intended use. On many brands of bike I have ridden the longer travel versions often highlight negative traits of a particular suspension system. For example a 4 inch travel FSR bike is a pretty smooth but slightly squishy pedaling bikes. 6 inch travel FSR bike are usually very squishy pedaling unless there is some kind of very tricky shock tech going on. But, if smooth bump absorption over a wide range of terrain is your thing, uncoupled pedaling/braking then the inch bike may be just the ticket.

But pedaling is not really a factor with these bikes because the Nomad pedals just as well (more or less) as the BLT2.

Really geometry is what sets these bikes apart. As I talked about in my little Nomad versus BLT2 comparison the Nomad can be set up to pedal "sprightly" as the BLT . What I didn't mention is on my normal XC loop I usually bottom the BLT once or twice. This is good because it means I am fully utilizing the suspension for the use I intended it for. Its also worth mentioning that the BLT is doesn't hold me back in anyway on my usual XC rides. So what Im saying is my Blur is an excellent match for my ability, riding style and trails I ride.

I cant say the same for my Nomad on the same trails because that slack geometry gets me bogged down in some of the tight trails and o-ring on the shock shaft shows me Im only using about 140mm of the available 160mm of travel. Riding these trails on the Nomad is just a waisted effort.

But I dont care because I have both BLT2 and a Nomad and generally Im not in a hurry to get anywhere. :D

Really the proof is in the pudding . . .

. . . and you will never ever really know if you dont never ever really go . . .

. . . until you test ride both these bikes you cant really know . :D
 

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Black RONIN said:
Here's a bike that illustrates pretty well what I'm saying - thanks to Rui Abreu:

- Rui, if you're reading this, what's the weight on this setup?

There are bike builder thingies at he Santa Cruz and Competitive Cyclist websites which allow you to project weights and prices for various builds.

My guess is about 31 pounds for Rui's bike.
 

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Black RONIN said:
Just found it! :thumbsup:



An here's the BLT2 at the same show:



Comparing the specs, I say the bikes weight almost the same. Can you see what I mean?
Wheels, fork and frame are going to be the differences in weight.

I personally would not want a 30# 6" bike. It seems like a waste to me. Most people are going to save weight in the wheels and putting light wheels and skinny little tires on the Nomad seems pointless.

I think a lot of people get too excited to have more and more travel. Most people I see on the trail don't need 6" of travel, but they get sucked in by all the hype and good looks of these bikes.

I think a good call would be the BLT2 with an adjustable 160mm fork. This seems like a very versatile bike. 160mm for the aggressive days and 130-140mm for the XC/AM days. Maybe even have two sets of wheels.

I think the current 5.5" travel bikes (5Spot, BLT2, Ciclon, tracer VP, etc.) with an adjustable fork is the call for most trail riders.

TG
 

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G-AIR said:
Wheels, fork and frame are going to be the differences in weight.

I personally would not want a 30# 6" bike. It seems like a waste to me. Most people are going to save weight in the wheels and putting light wheels and skinny little tires on the Nomad seems pointless.

I think a lot of people get too excited to have more and more travel. Most people I see on the trail don't need 6" of travel, but they get sucked in by all the hype and good looks of these bikes.

I think a good call would be the BLT2 with an adjustable 160mm fork. This seems like a very versatile bike. 160mm for the aggressive days and 130-140mm for the XC/AM days. Maybe even have two sets of wheels.

I think the current 5.5" travel bikes (5Spot, BLT2, Ciclon, tracer VP, etc.) with an adjustable fork is the call for most trail riders.

TG
Thats a fair cop ,guv!!!
 

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I copied these posts from "BLT2 Or Nomad" thread cause it's similar discussion . . .

by dirt biker
I know that this has probably been beat to death on this board but I have had the itch for a LT2 and I'm just not sure it's worth me to go and get one. I currently have an 08 Nomad which I really like, I also have an 04 Heckler that I also like. I read that the BLT2 is in close relations to the Nomad.

I need your honest opinion on which is the right bike. I mainly do all mountain riding, a little bit of everything, I am on the heavier side at 210lbs, I don' t do huge drops but I'm not afraid to take flight when a jump is present. I am torn between keeping the Nomad or buying a BLT frame and changing over parts.

I hate having this obsession with wanting another bike but man the BLT looks good. Please give it to me straight for those who have either owned both or have knowledge of the two.
by Michelin
Hi Dirtbiker i to have an 08 NOMAD and one of my riding buddies has just bought an LT2 and i was lucky enough to go out for a ride with him today and have a spin on the LT2 heres what i thought the LT2 has an air fork and air shock and 2.1 tyres where as my NOMAD has coil forks and coil shock and 2.3 high rollers the lt felt like a lighter bike were as the Nomad feels stiffer and burlier i must say that the lt did feel like a really fantastic bike to ride and i wouldnt hesitate to have one but at the end of the day i felt like the Nomad could take more of a beating and to be honest you'd think that the lt would pedal a lot better than the Nomad but it didnt and i think if the Nomad had air forks and shock and 2.1 tyres then it would be just as easy if not better to get it up the hills,so to be honest in my opinion i dont think you will be getting a better bike than what you already have.If you ride mostly xc then the lt would be fine but if you like to be more daring and you do jumps and maybe the odd dh run then the Nomad would be better for you, hope this might help you a bit
by Loll
About the main reason why I choose a BLT2 instead of nomad1 is for the VPP2 pivots.

I hate squeaky bike.
by thetreadway
I just did exactly that...I sold my 07 Nomad frame and and swapped my parts over to a new LT2. I only got about 4 rides on the LT2 before the snow hit. I, so far, have not missed my Nomad. The LT2 jumps better and is more nimble for switchbacks and tight spots. The shorter wheelbase probably isn't as good for high speed bombing through the rough stuff as the Nomad is. I've done some 6-10 foot drops on the new LT2 and its just as solid as the Nomad...I'm sure it'll take all that I can throw at it!
I agree with Michelin that you won't be getting a better bike, just different...My opinion is that the LT2 is a superior all around bike because it can still handle the drops and rocks, but is a more nimble quicker trail bike.
I've got a Lyric U-Turn coil and a DHX 5.0 Air shock on it.
by OhSchitt
db, I can understand that itch to have another bike. While their qualities are different, I think the amount of abuse that the nomad and the heckler can take are on par.

Based alone on your comment that you itch to want to have another bike, you're probably not a one "do it all bike" kind of guy anyways. I started with the heckler, and had the choice between the Nomad & the LT2, I chose the Nomad, knowing full well that I wanted something higher on the spectrum because I would fill in the XC part with another bike, which I did eventually get a Blur Classic a month later.

Now I have that itch again too, and looking for a hardtail single speed.
 
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