Santa Cruz Nomad Trail Mountain Bike

Santa Cruz Nomad Trail Mountain Bike Add to MyBests

Expert Review

A 28-pound bike with 165mm of travel? Say it ain’t so might have been a common reply in the recent past, but the Nomad boasts those features and many more with performance oozing out of every pore on this trail-hungry machine. The longer frame thrives at high speed on steep and tricky descents and flies over would-be obstacles with ease, while the Nomad’s frame geometry keep riders perfectly positioned to climb with equal poise. Climb aboard and the bike resonates with a palpable lust to go everywhere and do it fast.

A top end component group drives the Nomad with precision while SRAM’s GX 1x11 derailleur offers a range of gear options for whatever you ride. Need to stop in a hurry? The Shimano SLX disc brakes are rock-steady, powerful and reliable. Cane Creek rocks a cartridge bearing, smooth as silk headset, and the RockShox Monarch fork (with Vivid Air upgrade option), paired with a Pike RC shock takes the sting out of the bumps.

The bike stays gripped to the trail with Maxxis tires and rolls fast on Easton aluminum rims. Santa Cruz upped the bar even further with killer details like carbon fiber-made internal housing guides for a super clean look, maintenance-friendly threaded bottom bracket, and water bottle mounts. The Nomad isn’t lightning quick in slower speed, technical sections, and the stock 175mm crankarms matched with a low bottom bracket can lead to more pedal clips on the ground (swap in 170mm cranks to solve this issue). However, these are just minor blemishes on an otherwise speedy, trail-loving machine.Rating: 4.5/5

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