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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been a 1 bike guy until this year, because I finally gave up on trying to find "that one bike for everything".
So, this year I've managed to collect a new IH Sunday, SC Nomad as well as a new RFX.

I ride in Santa Cruz and Nisene Marks, Demo etc, mostly bayarea stuff. Most of it is fast swoopy corners, take a look at Steve Peat in Decline a few months back with his foot out in front of his handlebar and his grip dragging in the dirt. I hit that turn almost every time I ride. Some of the other stuff I ride is in Tahoe, which varies from Sandy/Rocky to Sandy/Bermed.

I think the way you ride and what terrain you ride is obviously the biggest factor for geo. With that being said, and a few solid rides between all three bikes, I think in terms of DH I'm the fastest on the Sunday, second is the Nomad, third is the RFX. The reverse is true for climbing, however, I'm running taller gears on the RFX so in some situations it takes more power to granny up some ridiculous climb, but whatever.

The new RFX is way better than my old 6Pack. It doesn't flex nearly as much, it pedals just as neutral and the suspension feels a lot smoother, it's also quite a bit lighter. The BB is way,way too tall for the terrain I ride. I'm going to throw a 7.5X2.0 shock on it to see if I can make it faster on the downhills, but right now I'm still quite a bit faster on my Nomad through the corners. I also feel for some reason that the 72* seat angle is too far forward. I don't seem to need to be that leaned forward when I'm riding, and for some reason it feels like I'm squishing my spine when I'm seated. The nomad has a 70* Seat angle and this feels much more natural to me. I also hate the cable routing on the RFX. I sweat too much and HAVE to run full housing.

One thing I do like about the RFX geo out of the box is that it is really intuitive. The bike rides very even and predictable. I don't have to do anything special to make it turn and it drifts corners in a very smooth way. To make the Nomad drift turns you have to be very aggressive, and basically ride it like a DH bike, compressing the rear suspension through each turn. I'm guessing this is because it has a longer wheelbase.

Why does any of this matter? Well, on the thread about the baby-highline, there was a lot of talk about why would anyone need anything other than the RFX and some other talk about what geo people like.

I guess I would say that the Nomad is pretty close in terms of geo to what a Mini-DH bike would feel like to me. Maybe I would like a slightly lower BB and a slacker head-tube. The RFX feels like a big XC bike in comparison, and that is what I'm using it for now. When you are going FAST and drifting both wheels from corner to corner, you need a low BB. I run about 40% sag on the Nomad and I can push the bike into corners almost as fast as the Sunday. If Turner were to create something in between the Highline and the RFX it should focus on being a small-travel DHR. 6.5 inches of travel, realtively low BB, shortish TT. Weight should come in around 34lbs with single-ply 2.5 tires or DH casing 2.35 tires. This should not be a bike that people want to pedal all day long. This should be a bike for fast and smooth trails and should corner like an absolute madman. I think the Highline and the RFX pretty much cover every other area.

I've raced a bunch of local "DH" races this year, and placed on the podium for most of them. Problem is that I've won just as many on my Nomad as I have on my Sunday. Isn't the Sunday supposed to be the "race" bike? How come I can win a DH race on a trailbike? The DH races are less gnarly these days, and they focus more on pedaling and cornering than gnar-gnar big stuff. Think about the Sea Otter DH. Nobody is being fooled into thinking that that course is a DH course. What I would want is a bike that pedals and sprints like the RFX, has the nice supple suspension of the RFX, weighs as much as my RFX and jumps like an RFX but corners like my Sunday. ZOOOOM!

Oh yeah, and bring back ISCG tabs on the BB.
 

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Interesting observations, E C.
I assume the DH races you placed well on the Nomad were the central coast races near Monterey?
At Northstar the Nomad would be overwhelmed and the Sunday would be rocking.
I spent a season on a Nomad, and while I liked certain aspects of it's performance the pedal feed back and falling rate suspension caused me to move on.
I am waiting on a new RFX and looking forward to comparing it to the Nomad, as well as the 6.6 I am currently riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1soulrider said:
Interesting observations, E C.
I assume the DH races you placed well on the Nomad were the central coast races near Monterey?
At Northstar the Nomad would be overwhelmed and the Sunday would be rocking.
I spent a season on a Nomad, and while I liked certain aspects of it's performance the pedal feed back and falling rate suspension caused me to move on.
I am waiting on a new RFX and looking forward to comparing it to the Nomad, as well as the 6.6 I am currently riding.
I placed decent at Sea Otter, CCCX races, CHDH and the Firestone classic DH.

The Nomad would definatly be overwhelmed at Northstar, unless you put a coil on the rear and a Fox 40 set to 7.5" of travel. I think it would do pretty well setup like that.

The Nomad certainly does have some pedal feedback issues, as well as a falling rate suspension. However, I was able to set mine up so that it doesn't bottom harsh at all, and thus I can pump the suspension through corners a lot easier, this is a nice way of lowering the BB instantly and It's a compromise I've learned to deal with quite well.

In terms of climbing, there hasn't been anything I couldn't do on one bike or the other, it has just been easier to do on the RFX in some situations, and easier on the Nomad in others. However, I definately feel limited when it comes to mobbing DH runs on the RFX. I have to do some further experimentaions, as the tire setups are different as well as the handlebar setup on both bikes.

I think for me the Nomad feels more planted and overall it feels laterally stiffer, albeit, not by much. I am also forced to ride it more aggressively, in a similar manner at to my Sunday, so therefore I am used to taking lines that are fast for a DH bike, and not necessarily for a trailbike. You can either slide through the corner with both wheels, or come straight in, slam on the brakes, and pedal out. Sometimes it's just as fast to do it either way.
 

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El_Chimichanga said:
The Nomad certainly does have some pedal feedback issues, as well as a falling rate suspension.
I'm not so sure about that. Here's what Darren had to say.

PUSHIND said:
Below is the actual leverage rate from the Nomad generated by our on-board leverage rate analysis hardware/software. The Nomad produces one of the highest rising rates that I've ever recorded at 31%...
http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=2108088&postcount=18
 

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Not sure what to make of the info provided by Darren, but I and near every single other Nomad rider I talked to noticed the falling rate suspension.
You should ride one if you get the chance, you'll notice it right away.
This is not to say it bottomed hard, just used all it's travel all the time. IE: a little g out in the trail that would used half the fork stroke would use 90% of the rear travel.
I tried several different shocks and widely varied air pressures to control the issue, but it persisted.
The bike was very stiff laterally though, seemingly more so than any other trail bike I have ridden.
 

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carpe mañana
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Thanks for the thoughts, El Chimi. Sounds like your perspective on handling is quite analogous to mine, albeit, I'm not quite the caliber of a rider you seem to be.

Very interesting to read your and 1soul's impressions about the Nomad, as it is a frame one of my buddies is considering.

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1soulrider said:
Not sure what to make of the info provided by Darren, but I and near every single other Nomad rider I talked to noticed the falling rate suspension.
You should ride one if you get the chance, you'll notice it right away.
This is not to say it bottomed hard, just used all it's travel all the time. IE: a little g out in the trail that would used half the fork stroke would use 90% of the rear travel.
I tried several different shocks and widely varied air pressures to control the issue, but it persisted.
Funny, this is exactly what I love about how the Nomad feels.
 

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Amphibious Technologies
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1soulrider said:
Not sure what to make of the info provided by Darren, but I and near every single other Nomad rider I talked to noticed the falling rate suspension.
Perhaps its not the rate but the super slack seat angle that causes one to feel like it has a falling rate?
 

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El_Chimichanga said:
The BB is way,way too tall for the terrain I ride. I'm going to throw a 7.5X2.0 shock on it to see if I can make it faster on the downhills, but right now I'm still quite a bit faster on my Nomad through the corners. I also feel for some reason that the 72* seat angle is too far forward. I don't seem to need to be that leaned forward when I'm riding, and for some reason it feels like I'm squishing my spine when I'm seated. The nomad has a 70* Seat angle and this feels much more natural to me. I also hate the cable routing on the RFX. I sweat too much and HAVE to run full housing.
Those are the 2 issues that have kept me from getting an RFX already. I dont want a long travel XC rig, I want a short travel DH rig that weighs around 32lbs and can be ridden uphill relatively smoothly. Thanks for the write-up and the information.
 

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Hey Paul, small circles we run in huh? Didn't know you had the RFX. Since I'll be moving to Expert this fall, I'm really at the same place. The 44lb Fly I've been riding just isn't going to cut it. Besides, riding that thing at Demo is a lactic acid torture fest. I think you summed it up best here:

"If Turner were to create something in between the Highline and the RFX it should focus on being a small-travel DHR. 6.5 inches of travel, realtively low BB, shortish TT. Weight should come in around 34lbs with single-ply 2.5 tires or DH casing 2.35 tires. This should not be a bike that people want to pedal all day long. This should be a bike for fast and smooth trails and should corner like an absolute madman."
Right now I'm debating the RFX, Enduro SL, Foes FXR or 6.6 VPX. Obviously everyone of these have one compromise or another, so I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible to all the pro's and con's.

A buddy of mine owns both an RFX ('02 or '03) and a Highline. The RFX he has feels a little too upright for my tastes, but I really dig the Highline. So maybe the new RFX will be more to my liking? At any rate, maybe I'm just too used the riding the Fly as my do it all bike and when going to a 6" travel bike the body position changes to match the geo - something I could get used to. Now if DT is listening (or lurking as the case may be) I sent in an app for sponsorship and would be plenty stoked to throw a leg over an RFX AND a Highline! :thumbsup:
 

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El_Chimichanga said:
The BB is way,way too tall for the terrain I ride. I'm going to throw a 7.5X2.0 shock on it to see if I can make it faster on the downhills
Wierd, the BB listed for the nomad is almost exactly that of the RFX, in fact I felt the nomad and 6.6 were somewhat "tall" bikes.
 

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2w4s said:
Those are the 2 issues that have kept me from getting an RFX already. I dont want a long travel XC rig, I want a short travel DH rig that weighs around 32lbs and can be ridden uphill relatively smoothly. Thanks for the write-up and the information.
That is a tough order to fill, although I understand your motivation.
It seems that manufacturers are nervous about light weight dh/fr rigs because of the level of abuse some may subject them to. I can sympathize with them because they don't want to replace a bunch of broken bikes under warranty.
Still, I have dreamt of a true "Highlight" style frame. If you were to take the short version of the Highline and build it with lighter tubes to a weight of 8# +/- you would have a really fun bike. A bike like this could be in the low-mid 30# range easily, would have the geometry and handling of a FR bike w/o most the heft. Such a creation would need an Intense FRO style warranty, not replaced if it is broken due to abuse.
Of course we are talking about a niche bike with possibly a very limited range of appeal, and sorting to how to determine what constitutes abuse for warranty work could be a nightmare.
As for the cable routing, I agree 100%. I would be so happy to see David change to the routing he used for the 4X bikes, at least for the 5spot and RFX if not across the board.
 

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One thing of interest is that you are comparing the RFX to a both a DW link and a VPP. With the RFX, if you lower the BB, the tire will hit the seat tube. The only ways to work around this are to:
  • lengthen the chain-stays
  • steepen the seat tube
  • reduce travel
  • reduce tire clearance
  • go to interrupted seat tube
  • go to DW link or VPP
  • some combination of the above

FWIW I think any of these changes (in order to lower the BB) are going to have side effects that most people won't like......or you'll end up replicating a bike that already exists?

1soulrider said:
As for the cable routing, I agree 100%. I would be so happy to see David change to the routing he used for the 4X bikes, at least for the 5spot and RFX if not across the board.
Agreed- that looks perfect.
I took a power drill to my '07 RFX straight away, and drilled out the cable stops for full length. Zip-tie guides work better, look cleaner, and down tube routing means you can swap cables & hoses with minimal effort.
 

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carpe mañana
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FM said:
One thing of interest is that you are comparing the RFX to a both a DW link and a VPP. With the RFX, if you lower the BB, the tire will hit the seat tube. The only ways to work around this are to:
  • lengthen the chain-stays
  • steepen the seat tube
  • reduce travel
  • reduce tire clearance
  • go to interrupted seat tube
  • go to DW link or VPP
  • some combination of the above

FWIW I think any of these changes (in order to lower the BB) are going to have side effects that most people won't like......or you'll end up replicating a bike that already exists?

Agreed- that looks perfect.
I took a power drill to my '07 RFX straight away, and drilled out the cable stops for full length. Zip-tie guides work better, look cleaner, and down tube routing means you can swap cables & hoses with minimal effort.
If you design the frame from scratch, can't you just weld up the BB a little lower? What you say makes sense if you keep the front triangle intact, but is that true all together? I figured you could extend the seat tube a little lower, steepen up the down tube a tad and you have a lower BB without affecting the geo? I could be completely off base, though.

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jayem said:
Wierd, the BB listed for the nomad is almost exactly that of the RFX, in fact I felt the nomad and 6.6 were somewhat "tall" bikes.
I can run a lot more sag with the Nomad's DHXair and not have it bottom out in any kind of a harsh way. I also run my Fox Float 36 with more than an inch of sag, as it doesn't ever bottom out either. I think this significantly lowers riding height.
Don't forget that the Nomad's listed fork A-2C height is 545mm, whereas a Fox 36 I believe has an A-2C of 535mm. Not huge, but should be mentioned.

This doesn't seem as easy to do with the RFX. I'm using a Fox 36 Vanilla for the RFX and it seems to ride higher in it's travel and not be as progressive as the Float 36. When I tried to run 40% sag on the RP23 with no pro-pedal, it just bottomed out. Right now I'm running about 33% and I have the pro-pedal turned in the number "1" position. This gives me more sag, but now it doesn't bottom out at all. This also seems to match the front fork's bump absorbtion as well. The bike feels pretty balanced now.

I've also noticed several people on the board here are measuring thier BB height to be more like 14.5" rather than 14.1". I have to re-measure mine, but I'm also remebering it being around 14.5" on the RFX as well. I could be wrong, so I'll get back to you and let you know.
 

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MK_ said:
If you design the frame from scratch, can't you just weld up the BB a little lower?

_MK
nope, since the rear wheel swings in an arc around the main pivot... you either have to move the wheel down (thus moving the BB up) or reduce travel... or change the frame design.

The highline uses longer chainstays to work around this- which I like- It makes the BB feel lower, adds high-speed stability, and helps keep the front end down on climbs. But most people dislike longer chainstays.
 

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carpe mañana
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FM said:
nope, since the rear wheel swings in an arc around the main pivot... you either have to move the wheel down (thus moving the BB up) or reduce travel... or change the frame design.
I suppose that's true if you keep the relation of the BB to the main pivot unchanged. I figured that the Turner's cast/machined BB/main pivot shell allows for some degree of flexibility, however, I suppose that the location of the main pivot in relation to the BB is fairly critical.

_MK
 
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