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When Jekyll met Hyde.
More than maybe any other frame rocking a DH-cum-enduro geometry, Santa Cruz's Nomad Carbon CC Monarch Plus Mountain Bike Frame has served to chart the course of the riding style that's all the rage in the all-mountain scene. This may be because that low, slack geometry doesn't come with the weight penalty of yesteryear's DH machines. It may also be because of the latest model of Santa Cruz's Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension, which takes advantage of that low weight with a pedaling platform that's responsive to the point of personal injury. Or maybe it's the good looks. Whatever the case, the only reason we can see to ride a different manufacturer's 27.5in enduro sled is sponsor obligations — and even then, we might still consider riding a stealthily rebranded Nomad instead.
The Nomad's qualities are especially evident on race day or anytime that its pedals are turned in anger. It's got the Jekyll/Hyde dynamic of a bike that climbs like a trail machine but drops in with 6.5 glorious inches of DH appetite. The frame features the same material and build as 2015's top Nomad model, which means that it remains Santa Cruz's best. For the CC build, the engineers use a higher modulus carbon than the standard Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to less weight, and, well, you can see where we're going with this. Climbing and pure speed both benefit when there's less mass for your engine to propel.
The frame's two carbon triangles are built as whole pieces rather than glued together from disparate bits. This saves weight and increases structural integrity by allowing Santa Cruz to wrap carbon continuously through and around key junctures. This method reinforces the frame with less material while eliminating the artificial stress points that result from bonded construction methods. The carbon is also compacted from inside and out for a more even finish that avoids any structural defects, excess material build-up, and resin pooling for — you guessed it — even more weight savings.
All that carbon goodness meets at a VPP suspension platform, which returns for the new model year with the same improved mid-stroke support and small bump compliance that maintains snappy pedaling to take advantage of the stiff, lightweight chassis and efficient, 17.1in chainstays while piloting the Nomad's 6.5in of travel to the top of your favorite runs. The system's two counter-rotating links yield a vertical wheelpath in initial travel to maintain a firm pedaling feel over small bumps and climbs. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the axle moves rearward to accommodate big hits for extra margin of error when you’re experimenting with the ragged edge of control. The suspension is governed by a RockShox Monarch Plus, whose Rapid Recovery feature encourages high riding to maintain contact with the trail across multiple successive impacts, further increasing speed and stability.
- Item #SNZ007A
- Q & A
Cream of the crop, one bike to do it all
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
If you like to ride the big boy trails, or if you just like a plush ride, you definitely cannot go wrong with the new Nomad. I was absolutely blown away with how well this bike climbed, but yet still has a 65 degree head angle for the extra stability to pin it down any track while giving the stability and confidence that you aren't going to die. You can get a water bottle in the front triangle regardless of the shock which is a huge plus for those not riding with a pack now days and the internal tubing for the cable routing makes bike building or housing replacement a dream. If you've been dreaming about that new bike, you definitely cannot go wrong with the Nomad. A one bike quiver to rule them all. If you need help with a custom build or just have questions on how it will ride, don't hesitate to reach out.
One of the classic all mountain bikes ever created. Very well rounded climber and descender! The kit calculator may not show all available options for a custom build. If you have questions or need help in configuring this bike fell free to contact me direct. Im always happy to help!
Wes Branham-Account Manager