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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, the Nomad is a bike that I have interest in but there is one thing that bothers me quite a bit on it. I've been reading many posts of people complaining that the front wheel wanders/lifts a bit on steep climbs. This seems to be it's only weekness and I really wonder why it behaves like this because in theory since the chainstays are very long on it, it should help it not do that.

I can clearly understand if someone is using a long fork like Fox 36 with a shorty 50mm stem and the seat way back on a setback seatpost, it will most probably exhibit that behavior. On the other hand, there should be no reason for that behaviour with the same fork used with a 80-100mm stem and a straight seatpost with the seat way in front on the rails.

So maybe if a lot of you post your specs here, we could figure out why it does that for some but not for others and put this issue to rest. The lenght/rise of the stem, the type of seatpost (straight/setback) and the fork.

Thanks much.
 

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I have had no issue with climbing even tech stuff, dogboy is right if you shift your position on the bike and hunker down you will improve your climbing.

I have: Easton ea50? 90mm stem
Pike Team Air
Thomson Seat bost straight
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
baycat said:
I have had no issue with climbing even tech stuff, dogboy is right if you shift your position on the bike and hunker down you will improve your climbing.

I have: Easton ea50? 90mm stem
Pike Team Air
Thomson Seat bost straight
Yes guys I know it's about technique and shifting your weight around makes all the difference.

However, depending on the bikes geometry and setup (stem/seatpost/fork), certain bikes will need more or less "shifting", some don't even need shifting around at all, which for climbing is really an advantage specially for long steep climbs.

As I can see, you have a more longuish/normal stem lenght, a straight seat post and a fork that is not high, the Pike is only ~520mm axle to crown so that might be why for you the feel of the Nomad climbing is fine.

Will be interesting to see what others will say, specially the ones with a 50-70mm stem, setback seatpost and Fox 36 or Marzo AM type forks...
 

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The wandering of the front wheel pretty much comes down to one simple thing. How slack the head angle is. How well you control it comes down to the skill of the rider, and maybe using some slick equipment. Not to give away a trade secret but I ride a bullit with a 05 Marzo 66RC (tall fork) and this is what I use as a crutch: http://www.hopey.org/. its better than a starnut. You could also do what I tend to do on steep climbs... walk. (im a DH rider)
 

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benja55 said:
If I wanted to walk I'd go take a hike!
I'll walk if I have to. I focus on the downhill always.

benja55 said:
That damper looks pretty nice. Are those essential for DH these days?
No. They help with wrist and hand fatigue during long days at Whistler or other epic DH runs but they help the most with the wandering front wheel syndrome you are talking about. I like having it for when I'm on loose rocks. Its a nice addition but its not essential.
 

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I had the opportunity to try a Hopey on Hopey's (the creator Tim Hopey) own bike this summer on our local trails; it was awesome. It keeps you straight and stable through the rough stuff, and carving through corners is really awesome too. Yeah, its alittle expensive, but it's worth every penny!

(Ok, so I'm a bit biased because the Hopey building is seconds away from where I live, but still, it's amazing!)
 

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I have a Med Nomad, straight seatpost, 70mm stem, 26" wide 3/4" low riser easton bar; 5'7" tall ; 30"inseam.

With a Fox talas 36, I can climb anything with the fork at 6" mode, but it is more comfortable and neutral feeling to do climbs with the fork lowered to 4.5".

If you go to a shorter stem; wider bars do tend to position your body more forward and make it feel more natural. I usually use a 90-110mm stem with a 23-24" wide bar for xc. The 70mm/26" combo feels great for all mtn (goes up and down comfortably); I like 50mm/26" for DH and freeride (climbing comfort does decline quite abit but dh tech and jumping/dropping is much better).

Good luck with your setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
GspotRider said:
I have a Med Nomad, straight seatpost, 70mm stem, 26" wide 3/4" low riser easton bar; 5'7" tall ; 30"inseam.

With a Fox talas 36, I can climb anything with the fork at 6" mode, but it is more comfortable and neutral feeling to do climbs with the fork lowered to 4.5".

If you go to a shorter stem; wider bars do tend to position your body more forward and make it feel more natural. I usually use a 90-110mm stem with a 23-24" wide bar for xc. The 70mm/26" combo feels great for all mtn (goes up and down comfortably); I like 50mm/26" for DH and freeride (climbing comfort does decline quite abit but dh tech and jumping/dropping is much better).

Good luck with your setup.
Good info. The Nomad is probably "borderline" in it's geometry for steep climbing and that's probably why some say it wanders too much on steep climbs and others say it is fine. A few reports from Interbike were mentioning the front was wandering on steep climbs but with demo's like that it's always difficult to have it setup properly. You've put a straight seatpost and seem to have dialed your setup so that's probably the key. I just found it stange to read the complaints with a bike that has 17.5" chainstays, I thought a lenght like that would keep the front end planted on the ground!
 

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It's pretty simple, it's all about give and take.

If you're buying a Nomad I'm going to guess that you like aggressive riding. If this is the case then you are going to be willing to sacrifice some steep climbing capability. If steep climbing is your #1 priority then you are buying the wrong bike. Another thing NOT to do is dress a Nomad up in xc components so you can clean the same uphills as your xc race bike. The Nomad is a light freeride/heavy trailbike and should be adorned with the appropriate components. Move your ass up in the saddle for those steep climbs.
 

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ISO Gems...
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Dusty Bottoms said:
It's pretty simple, it's all about give and take.

If you're buying a Nomad I'm going to guess that you like aggressive riding. If this is the case then you are going to be willing to sacrifice some steep climbing capability. If steep climbing is your #1 priority then you are buying the wrong bike. Another thing NOT to do is dress a Nomad up in xc components so you can clean the same uphills as your xc race bike. The Nomad is a light freeride/heavy trailbike and should be adorned with the appropriate components. Move your ass up in the saddle for those steep climbs.
Well said Mr. Bottoms...couldn't agree more.

D
 

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Too Much Fun
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What about wheels (XC Nomad vs AM/FR Nomad) ??

Dusty Bottoms said:
If you're buying a Nomad I'm going to guess that you like aggressive riding. If this is the case then you are going to be willing to sacrifice some steep climbing capability. If steep climbing is your #1 priority then you are buying the wrong bike. Another thing NOT to do is dress a Nomad up in xc components so you can clean the same uphills as your xc race bike. The Nomad is a light freeride/heavy trailbike and should be adorned with the appropriate components. Move your ass up in the saddle for those steep climbs.
Well said, Mr.Bottoms, well said. But let me ask you where you draw the AM/FR<->XC line? I'm a lighter (150lbs) and smoooother rider and I'm speccing parts for my med Nomad currently on order. I don't think I'm going too lightweight on any of the parts, but the wheels are one area that I'm uncertain of. I'm thinking mavic 717s or 819s laced to Kings... I want to keep that rotating weight DOWN.

Which "XC" parts do you think violate the Proper Nomad Specs ?
 

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benja55 said:
Well said, Mr.Bottoms, well said. But let me ask you where you draw the AM/FR<->XC line? I'm a lighter (150lbs) and smoooother rider and I'm speccing parts for my med Nomad currently on order. I don't think I'm going too lightweight on any of the parts, but the wheels are one area that I'm uncertain of. I'm thinking mavic 717s or 819s laced to Kings... I want to keep that rotating weight DOWN.

Which "XC" parts do you think violate the Proper Nomad Specs ?
I've been riding 819's laced to Kings on my blur for 3 years with no problems at all, and I'm 210 with gear and not that smooth. When it comes to wheels...it's all about the builder. Beyond that, assuming you have a nice 6" fork, you can go pretty light on the rest of the build. However, if you plan on leaving the ground with your bike I'd stay away from carbon bars.

I've been riding my Blur very hard for 3 years and still absolutely love it. I've been slowly re-tooling her with new parts which should be done after Chistmas. When building it, I had one rule to build the spec around...."Keep it on the ground". I knew this would keep the total weight under 30 pounds, and all my teeth in my mouth. I'll always have a bigger bike for leaving the ground.

Anyway, by no means am I saying you should apply the same rules, just try to build your bike for its intended purpose, and of course your riding style. Too often do we see people buying a long travel bike and speccing it with an xc race build so they can say "8 inches of travel and only 27 pounds!" They don't get it.
 

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benja55 said:
Which "XC" parts do you think violate the Proper Nomad Specs ?
#1. The cardinal sin is putting light XC tires on the bike. Should be 2.35" single ply tires or at least a real tacky compound. The Nomad just screams for UST tubeless to help keep it light and invincible. Putting 3" ten pound tires is about as dumb.

#2. Don't put a dinky fork on it either. some people get by on flexy QR forks but the front end will be stiffer and inspire a lot more deserved confidence with a 20mm axel and a nice stiff fork like a 36 or whatever. If you don't mind working a little harder, a 36van or a 66sl are good options. If you don't mind your fork being a little less plush than perfect, then a 36 talas with its travel adjust goodness would be great stuff.

#3. Handlebar and stem. I never had a problem climbing with a short stem and DH bar but I've been in fear for my life trying to descend a steep rockgarden with a long stem with XC race bars. Treat yourself to the best of both worlds for your nomad (60-70mm) but be sure the Bar you pick is still strong enough to handle the activities you have planned for it (nothing scarier than a handlebar snapping.

#4. Hubs and rims. You can ride with just about any setup, but you can save yourself a few hundred dollars by getting tough enough components in the first place. I like the idea of having EX819s on a Nomad, 823s aren't all that much more weight. There are all kinds of hubs that will do the trick. I lean towards Hope Bulbs because they are not that expensive, pretty light, have a titanium driver, and tough enough. DT Swiss, Hadley, King are my other picks.

#5. Shock. There is a reson why DH and FRers use coil-and-oil shocks almost exclusively. Air shocks just haven't held up as well. With new airshocks like the DHX air people are begining to give airshocks another chance. I say DHX air is the bare minimum of burliness for this bike.

#6. Cranks. Some people wouldn't know a pair of stiff cranks from flexy ones even if their life depended on it. I run Shimano Hone cranks on my DJ/urban bike but I'm beginning to think that was a mistake, something is definitely off in there. I have Saint cranks on my DH bike. I generally like Shimano's cranks. I've seen people running XT cranks on DH bikes but I think they just didn't know any better. If I can excersize the demons in my Hone cranks then I would be willing to endorse them but for now I'm just not sure what to do for cranks. A local shop owner has the Raceface evolve DH single ring with 36teeth on his 29lbs Nomad and says that he never has a problem without a granny gear. I would lean towards something like this with a light chainguide. Cranks are a good place to save weight though.

Bottom line is you want to try to keep a nomad light, but you keep it light within a certain range of components. If you really need to hear from the experts on abusable components drop a few questions into the DH/FR forum. If you watch New World Disorder 6: Unchained you get to see Kirt Voreis absolutlely throwdown on his Nomad. That'll give you some indication of what this bike is capable of. You can build a Nomad any way you want, but a Blur LT would work really well if you aren't looking to push the envelope.
 

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Look at me! I ride big travel heavy bikes with fat tires because I have no skill. :p

Man, where do you guys get off to spout off your platitudes on how great you are because you can huck and slam a bike down. Perhaps you guys should get some smooth lessons.

Get this: the Nomad is with DHX air shock is around 7lbs. It is light. It is not a 10lbs plus bighit frame. Sure it can take a beating. My point is that its light enough that guys that ride more mild stuff than you are going to be interested in building it up for what they think is heavyduty riding. For them, perhaps they need the extra suspension cush to reach the next level. There are all sorts of riders out there that would love the nomad: most of which probably are not expert riders.

The way you have written your responses seem like you are patting yourselves on the back. Do you even have a Nomad? Have you tried it with a shorter smaller fork? You might be surprised to find that with the fork at 4-5" travel the bike feels pretty much like xc bike handling wise. Have you tried skinnier tires on the bike? On the front fatter feels so much better, but on the back you can go pretty skinny if you have the balls for some sliding around.

Please take your attitudes to the downhill forum.

Merry Christmas.
 

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For the record, I pretty much agree what the others said. I would add though with an adjustable fork like a fox talas 36 or AM1 I can't see that climbing would ever be a problem. The bike can clean the steepest rooty trail with the fork in 6" mode, but lowering the fork does make it more pleasurable. There is so much forgiveness in the rear suspension that climbing difficult stuff is easier than a short travel bike...except for the extra weight.

I certainly would not buy this bike to climb, but like the others said...to play! Set it up to play while making it climb and roll well enough to be enjoyable. It really is a personal preference. If you do harsh landings, obviously you will need stronger rims/spokes and perhaps wider/heavier casing tires if the terrain is gnarly. If you are just flowing and popping off stuff as you go, a beefed up xc setup is probably the way to go.

This is truly the most versatile bike I have ever had...and the most fun! Historically I went from xc to NS stuff to DH racing and these days trail riding and xc racing. I have tried to make xc bikes do stupid stuff and have tried to make DH bikes do xc stuff. This bike has a wide spread of abilities and the results make it a very enjoyable bike in many types of situations. It climbs surprising well and descends compentently. Because it is so light and pedals so well, it is super lively and fun.

If you want to explore your fun half and still like to pedal and do epics...this is a great bike.
 

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noMAD man
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Ouch!

GspotRider said:
Look at me! I ride big travel heavy bikes with fat tires because I have no skill. :p

Man, where do you guys get off to spout off your platitudes on how great you are because you can huck and slam a bike down. Perhaps you guys should get some smooth lessons.

Get this: the Nomad is with DHX air shock is around 7lbs. It is light. It is not a 10lbs plus bighit frame. Sure it can take a beating. My point is that its light enough that guys that ride more mild stuff than you are going to be interested in building it up for what they think is heavyduty riding. For them, perhaps they need the extra suspension cush to reach the next level. There are all sorts of riders out there that would love the nomad: most of which probably are not expert riders.

The way you have written your responses seem like you are patting yourselves on the back. Do you even have a Nomad? Have you tried it with a shorter smaller fork? You might be surprised to find that with the fork at 4-5" travel the bike feels pretty much like xc bike handling wise. Have you tried skinnier tires on the bike? On the front fatter feels so much better, but on the back you can go pretty skinny if you have the balls for some sliding around.

Please take your attitudes to the downhill forum.

Merry Christmas.
Did someone steal your Christmas presents, G?...LOL. :D I don't think I detected that level of attitude or negativity from Robster's post, but maybe I'm just too mellow this morning...I have had at least one cup of coffee so far. Personally I like to hear the perspective from both sides of the aisle...big hit heavy vs. light weight fast. I've wrestled with this same issue for some time trying to find that perfect do-it-all bike, and I agree with you that the Nomad is probably about the best candidate to come along...waiting for one now. It looks like I can get it to 31 pounds or lighter without it being a glass slipper.

Yeah, maybe there are no hard and fast "cardinal rules" for building up a Nomad, but the personal pespectives from each person are pretty interesting to consider. As far as the guys and gals on the DH/FR forum are concerned, there are some darned good riders over there. To suggest a generalization of a lack of talent that requires a big hit bike is kind of harsh. I think it's more of being just another venue of riding requiring a different level of equipment and skill. In fact I feel that the emphasis on long travel, big hit bikes is exactly what has spawned bikes like the Nomad. We're probably getting more capable bikes with more travel and less weight than ever before.

Now me, on the other hand, I am an old, no-talent, hack who needs all the help he can get to hang on to his bike when riding off curbs. I like the extra "suspension cush" to keep my brittle spine intact, and when my failing vision causes me not to notice that big rock, I can survive to ride again without an extended stay at the nursing home. Well, Merry Christmas...peace on earth, good will towards man...and lots of travel too. :D
 

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GspotRider said:
Look at me! I ride big travel heavy bikes with fat tires because I have no skill. :p

Man, where do you guys get off to spout off your platitudes on how great you are because you can huck and slam a bike down. Perhaps you guys should get some smooth lessons.

Get this: the Nomad is with DHX air shock is around 7lbs. It is light. It is not a 10lbs plus bighit frame. Sure it can take a beating. My point is that its light enough that guys that ride more mild stuff than you are going to be interested in building it up for what they think is heavyduty riding. For them, perhaps they need the extra suspension cush to reach the next level. There are all sorts of riders out there that would love the nomad: most of which probably are not expert riders.

The way you have written your responses seem like you are patting yourselves on the back. Do you even have a Nomad? Have you tried it with a shorter smaller fork? You might be surprised to find that with the fork at 4-5" travel the bike feels pretty much like xc bike handling wise. Have you tried skinnier tires on the bike? On the front fatter feels so much better, but on the back you can go pretty skinny if you have the balls for some sliding around.

Please take your attitudes to the downhill forum.

Merry Christmas.
what an assss. yo gspot i hope the whole dh/freeride forum comes over and takes your little santa cruz world over. it would only take like three people anyway. we could even have a nomad huck battlefest and such.
riding is riding. all forms have merit. your post smells of low self esteem.
 

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As I've said before, If you want a climber bike that can still bomb, you've got two good options with SC: Nomad and Blur LT. Despite its magical climbing ability the Nomad geometry really is more like a bullit than a heckler. Or at least, thats the way it felt when I rode, it. Don't think I'm just assuming it is like a Bullit, I know its still plenty different. Everybody wants to save weight but there is a certain threshold you cross when getting super light components, where you really may be better off with a lighter bike. The benefits of running the sticky meats (fat, soft tires) is more to do with physics than an actual lack of skill although they help with that too. 2.35" may seem like a lot for some of you, but for the nomad it would be ideal, for the front tir, at least, as long as you keep them light. The stock builds for nomads don't come with anything smaller than 2.35s.

Back to what we were talking about before, if the front end wanders too much for you, you could aslo look at the Intense 6.6 which is similar except that they went for a steeper head angle and a shorter chainstay (the Nomad chainstay is long to make up for the slack head angle). looking for a good short fork with travel adjust (pike maybe) is also a good move. As I said before, wandering is more due to how slack the head angle is. The nomad has a noticably slack head angle compared to its competition. If you get real low and climb like you mean it, then I think a good 1" riser bar (cut appropriately) and a 70mm or 90mm stem will keep your front end steadier. Talking about steap climbs tells me that your Seat post should have nothing to do with it. As far as I know, for a steep climb you shouldn't be in the saddle anyway. If anything I only use my saddle to stabilize my bodyweight when climbing hard.

If anything, it shouldn't stop you from buying one. My biggest concern is VPP vs. FSR/horst.
 
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