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Discussion Starter #1
And I'm even more confused now. I was leaning towards the Nomad going into it, but after riding both bikes, albeit on a short section of trail, I'm leaning more towards the BLT now.

Both bikes had their strengths. I've been riding a dated Klein FS XC bike, so it was really eye opening to experience VPP technology in action. For the most part, I ride XC, but I make the occaisional trip to Moab/Fruita, where it would be really nice to have a do it all type of bike like the Nomad. Plus, I may be more inclined to ride the lifts here if I had a bike that could handle it; although, I think the BLT could handle occasional lift access riding with the right build. I also got back into road biking in the last year, and I really had a hard time motivating myself to ride with the old inefficient suspension design of my XC bike, so I was thinking that getting a versatile bike that could do it all would make mountain biking "more fun" again (not that it wasn't).

The Nomad was so plush that it seemed like a beach cruiser as it just rolled over bumps, logs, roots, etc... The Float R shock on it was setup really plush, almost to the point that it felt sloppy, so I'm probably going to have to go back to the shop when I have more time to really get a feel for it with the suspension setup how I'd like it... Plus I'd like to take it out for an extended climb to see how it feels. The build was a bit on the heavy side at over 32 lbs, but the upright cockpit geometry on the large frame felt really comfortable to me. I had a hard time riding up a steep embankment though. It could have had to do with me not setting myself up properly over the bars, and I probably could have lowered the talas fork as well. I did like the slack head tube angle and the way the fork just soaked up obstacles, but at the same time, the stretched out wheelbase felt a little too long for tight turns and switchbacks.

I rode a large Blur LT, and the cockpit geometry was a little too stretched out for me. I'd probably wind up with a medium frame on the BLT. I was really impressed with how nimble, responsive and light the BLT felt. The Nomad almost felt sloppy by comparison, but again, it may have had to do with the way the shock was setup. The Blur LT also shined when I went to climb up the same embankement that gave me trouble on the Nomad. The Float RP3 shock stiffened up as soon as I got on it, and it accelerated right up the slope. I immediately noticed that the steeper headtube angle didn't give it the ability to roll over logs and other obstacles like the Nomad did. It was equipped with a 130mm Vanilla RCL fork, which got me thinking that a fork with a little more travel and A-C height, like a Marzocchi AM1 would be better suited for this bike. The cross brace on the seat tubes was the only thing that concerned me, as there was about 3mm of clearance between it and the tire with a 2.35" rear tire on the bike. I'd like to see if SC has corrected this problem, because I'd like to run as big of a tire as possible.

The Nomad is a really intruiging bike, and I can see why it's garnered all the hype that it has received, but the BLT was equally as impressive to me. I'm really starting to think that the Blur LT is going to be the way to go for me. I like that it leans towards the XC side, which I'll be doing 70-80% of the time, but that it can handle all mountain type riding as well. I'd love to hear opinions on how the bike feels from people who've put longer travel forks on their BLT's like the AM1, Talas 36, etc.
 

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I dont have any experience with the blt, but do have a blur xc and a nomad. My gut impression from your post is that you want to do xc rides and I would think the blt would be the way to go because of the ht angle (crisp steering) and rp3 rear shock that is set up to reduce bob.

I just got the Nomad so I don't have much time with the nomad yet. I had to gut the parts off my blur xc to get the nomad running so the nomad has a xc build up. I did put a fox talas 36rc2 on the nomad while my blur has a f100x on it.

The nomad build up to 30lbs with xc gear and I could climb insane stuff because of the rear traction (even though same tires). I had to shift weight more and it felt abit awkard to climb really steep stuff but I was impressed that I could ride everything and more than my blur xc. Of course downhill I just let go of the brakes and ripped. Just amazing! I think the Nomad stretches the usefulness of one bike from xc to dh more than I could ever imagine previously. I have been making more trail worthy since adding wider tires and handlebars and shorter stem...making it slightly less xc fun, but much more capable in the rough.

One thing you should do before you decide is try the Nomad with the Fox DHX air rear shock. It is a technical marvel! The feature I think are worthy of mention is that the compression damping is adjustable via air pressure in the boost valve AND has adjustable propedal. The adjustable propedal knob is so handy and affective that it is ashame not to have on the Nomad you tried. You can turn up the propedal on the fireroad and turn it down on the trail down...or set in between.

Gotta go...
 

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aka baycat
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I am just envious you got a Blur XC and a Nomad, are you looking to adopt?

Id say after reading your post, based on what you said was get some more time on the BLT because it sounds like the better of the two bikes. I was in a similar situation, but opted for a Nomad since I had a capable XC bike, a Superlight, and needed something a little "burlier" with more travel that gave me a VPP bike but also one with a lot of adapatbility.
 

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Some good ideas from the other posters got me thinking.

If I wanted one bike but wanted it to be burlier when needed....

Get the Nomad with DHX air and Fox 36RC2 and set it up with xc stuff. It should be around 28-29lbs if you get the chichi stuff. Crank the fork down to 130-140mm and you will have a fantastic all mountain machine. You don't need 6" travel for xc riding so the lower settings will be sufficent travel and give you crisper steering by steepening the ht angle.

When you want to DH at the ski slope or get ready for some burlier trails. Fit on your wider tires and crank that Fox talas upto 150mm and fly. Of course the rear DHX air you can adjust to the type of riding. Higher boost air pressure for trail riding and more propedal. For DH and speed; lower boost air pressure, less propedal.

If I got the BLT, I would leave it as an all mountain machine and not mess with it. Trying to make a short travel bike do big bike things just never worked out that well for me in the past in both the performance department and the durability department.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
GspotRider said:
One thing you should do before you decide is try the Nomad with the Fox DHX air rear shock. It is a technical marvel! The feature I think are worthy of mention is that the compression damping is adjustable via air pressure in the boost valve AND has adjustable propedal. The adjustable propedal knob is so handy and affective that it is ashame not to have on the Nomad you tried. You can turn up the propedal on the fireroad and turn it down on the trail down...or set in between.
Cool. Thanks for the replies. I was wondering about the DHX Air, and the guy at the shop also suggested that it would make a big difference in the feel of the rear suspension under pedaling. The BLT did have the pro-pedal feature, which I experimented with a little bit, and I was really impressed with the way the suspension felt while I was pedaling with it cranked up. It also sounds like I'm also going to have to go back and try some technical climbing with the 36RC2 fork set down to 110mm. I told the salesman that I'd be back a little more prepared to take the Nomad out for a longer climb to really see how it does. I regularly do rides with 2000+ vertical feet of climbing, and I just want to be assured that the Nomad won't be too much bike for rides like that. If not, I think I'd be more than happy with a BLT.

While I'd love to have two mountain bikes, I'm pretty much limited by space and money. I can only have two horses in the stable, the road bike and a new mountain bike. I want to make sure I get it right.
 

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There is almost no way your nomad is going to get down to 28lbs without making some unacceptable compromise. 29.25 is the lightest I've seen. Just remember that your rotating weight makes, by far, the biggest difference. If you are over 5'6" 140lbs you will have no problem climbing a 30lbs bike anywhere you want to go as long as you keep the rims and tires light. I always recommend Mavic UST with single ply tires. It won't climb like the blur, but it will climb well enough and the extra effort will just tax that little bit more exercise out of you. I kinda like that. You may also look at the 66SL fork. This guy in the DH and FR forum is singing its praises.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=148489&page=1&pp=50
I usually preffer marzo damping over fox talas, but the 36 is fine.
 

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RobsterCraw said:
There is almost no way your nomad is going to get down to 28lbs without making some unacceptable compromise. 29.25 is the lightest I've seen. Just remember that your rotating weight makes, by far, the biggest difference. If you are over 5'6" 140lbs you will have no problem climbing a 30lbs bike anywhere you want to go as long as you keep the rims and tires light. I always recommend Mavic UST with single ply tires. It won't climb like the blur, but it will climb well enough and the extra effort will just tax that little bit more exercise out of you. I kinda like that. You may also look at the 66SL fork. This guy in the DH and FR forum is singing its praises.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=148489&page=1&pp=50
I usually preffer marzo damping over fox talas, but the 36 is fine.
Good points! My Nomad even with xc parts cannot compare to my blur xc for pure xc speed. But I was amazed at how well the nomad did at xc yet bombed down stuff with easy. The xc trim does not bring out the best in the nomad. I am putting on stronger wheels and wider tires, bars, shorter stem, bigger brakes....probably be in the 32lbs range and it will be in the light side of freeride. Probably be 33-35lbs in freeride trim.

Like I said earlier the blt sounds like the obvious choice for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the support Gspot. Either the Nomad is really that great of a bike, or people around here are a little biased ;)

I obviously don't want to dismiss the Nomad after a few short laps on a little trail, especially when it really wasn't setup how I'd like it. I'm really looking for a bike to put the fun back in mountain biking after my mountain bike sat neglected last summer while I racked up miles on my new roadie, and the Nomad would certainly fit the bill. I'll be back down in Denver later this month, so I'll have to swing back by Mojo Wheels and spend a little more time getting familiar with the Nomad.
 

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If you're going to do mostly XC with some DH mixed in, get the Blur LT. If you're going to do DH with some XC mixed in, get the Nomad.

The idea is to get a bike that suits your preferred riding style and that you can grow into, rather than to get the biggest, newest, most awesomest bike of the moment. If you don't need the travel and beefiness of the Nomad, it's only going to slow you down.

$0.02
 

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A BLT in both Fruita and Moab will rock..I ride in these two places all the time and 5 inches of travel will take you where you want to go and then some on the trails there, unless of course you're a hucker...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have any of you pro-nomad guys ridden an Intense 6.6? After reading some reviews, and checking out the geometry on it, I'm definitely curious about it. I had kind of dismissed it because it didn't have the sex appeal of the nomad, but upon further review, I think the geometry will be a little better suited for my riding style; although, the frame is a bit heavier. It also looks like the LBS that I bought my road bike from is carrying Intense bikes this year, so I'm going to have to swing by for a test ride if they have one in stock. I guess I'll also have to take a look at the 5.5 to see how it compares to the BLT.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There's some guy claiming his Epiphany is under 25lbs on the Ellsworth forum, but it doesn't have pedals, and it's got some rather weak looking tires on it. Regardless of weight, I'm wondering how the suspension works compared to the VPP. After riding a couple of VPP bikes, I'm sold.
 

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aka baycat
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go post that question in the Turner forum, they will help you out with the Ellsworth suspension ? ;).

I think in Ellsworth new catalog it has a breakdown/comparison of their suspension design versus others
 

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I've got a blur classic and a vpfree. my wife has a nomad which I ride on the shore sometimes. All great bikes. From what I've read, you should get yourself the BLT and rent a downhill bike for the occassional resort ride.
 

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nomad

i have vpfree with a dhx 5.0 with a fox 40 and a BLur LT with a fox Van36rc2, so need a nomad to test it out, and keep the one i want.............hmmmmmmmmmmmm
 
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