jeff.brines's Comments

Added a comment to Roots_rider's bike check 6/17/2017 6:13 AM
C138_img_5234

Well would you look at that (maybe it shifts now?)

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  • Vital MTB member Roots_rider
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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/5/2017 3:59 PM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Just an XL. I felt zero desire to try a smaller size. Personal preference for sure but at 6'2" I feel strongly you'd be most comfortable on the XL.

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/5/2017 7:50 AM
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The notion this bike can't be an everyday ride came down to the following...

1) I didn't get to pedal it enough nor did I ride it very much on mellow terrain to the point where I can fully comment on its everday-ability. I'm speculating, but the time I was on smoother trail it was actually kinda boring ("overly muted").

2) I don't know many places in the lower 48 where this bike will actually be pushed to its "element".

I'm only implying the Nomad is perhaps not the best option if you find yourself on flowy singletrack, the kind that dominates the riding in US, most often.

As far as pigeon holing goes - I too agree its a bit silly. I tried my best to articulate this bike really doesn't fit into a category, which is why its so cool in so many ways.

As to your last point, this is obviously personal preference. In my neck of the woods, I continually find myself faster and having more fun on a bike with less travel and good geometry. Again, this has to do with type of terrain, personal preference and riding style.

Overall, it sounds like this is a bike you should really look hard at as I'd wager it checks all boxes for you...

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/1/2017 4:18 PM
C138x104

Thank you Sven for asking all the right questions.

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Added a comment about photo George Brannigan's Commencal Supreme DH V4 29er 6/1/2017 3:26 PM
C138_ftwilliambb_n3x0107

Those wheels with that axle path...Alex Morgan must be laughing...

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 3:12 PM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

I KNEW that was coming. Ha!

This would be something I might hone in on if I had the bike longer. As I mentioned, I did really have to focus on staying forward or I became a bit of a passenger on the bike. Would have longer stays and maybe a hair shorter reach helped me with respect to balance? Maybe. But its pure speculation as again, I just didn't have the bike for that long.

Also have to remember, with 2.5" sticky tires (the back tire was a double down with softer rubber) and suspension that tracked the ground better than anything I've ridden this side of a DH bike, I felt the rear end hooked up *super* well as opposed to the vague skittish feeling short stays often give me with more pinner/harder rubber and less travel/suspension performance

This is why I believe I just had to continue to remind myself to stay low and drive the front end hard (love the front wheel) and the rest would just happen without much of a thought...

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  • Vital MTB member Allen_Gleckner
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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 1:40 PM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

I don't think that its all that fair we are saying the new nomad lacks versatility to the degree we might be suggesting. It is more capable when descending for sure, but remember, it has excellent antisquat properties and only 5mm more travel (though it can feel like more). Overall, we're guessing, being i just didn't get to hammer it up big hills - that said, It *seemed* to pedal okay. The old bike already had an uber low BB and 65 deg headtube angle after all.

I'm hoping SC sends me a bike for a longer test (though am doubtful) so am left to speculation here but with less aggressive tires I could see pedaling this everywhere I would the old Nomad. I just feel most of the descents I usually ride would make the new nomad feel akin to taking a GT3 to go-kart track or something. It'd be a bit boring (bad analogy). How about "jackhammer when only a sledge hammer was needed"?

I actually think this bike is going to sell like crazy. Its not that anyone actually needs it, but then again, look how many jeeps go down the highway in Colorado that have never even seen dirt. Exact same mentality here. People want to know that they can even if they don't. Gas millage has never been a big priority for Americans, and I'd argue with bikes its a similar thing. Put another way, Transition sells more Patrols than Scouts even though I feel most people would be far happier with a Scout 98% of the time.

TO your final point, It is different than any of their other bikes (VP Free, Driver 8 etc) in that it pedals well, is still buildable under 30 pounds and has a steep seat tube angle.

...what they might sell less of however is V10s...

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 9:53 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

You are right, I did spend some time on the Sanction. This bike feels notably more "like a downhill bike". Few reasons...

1) Leverage ratio curve is more aggressive on the Nomad
2) 5mm more travel
3) Dampers have evolved since then.

Overall, both overly mute your local trail but are awesome on rowdy descents. I'd say the Sanction feels slightly more sprightly on the gas but the Nomad is uber capable when it comes to "the gnar".

Don't forget, the Sanction has a bar mounted compression adjust, something I'd be adding to the Nomad (at the expense of the low speed dial), if I owned one. I do think with a bar mounted compression adjust it'd be a good race bike for a guy like me at the top level of enduro (EWS -
where I need all the help I can get in technical terrain).

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 7:42 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Unfortunately, I haven't ridden the new Slayer - Brandon can comment to the pedaling performance of this bike better than myself.

However, under said circumstances (straight line no tight corners ascending), I'd argue both bikes will get you to the top okay. Both have good antisquat properties which keeps pedal induced bobbing, especially while seated, to an absolute minimum.

Its your out of saddle efforts, say, while romping on the pedals out of a blown corner, where you'll notice some of that energy going to the suspension. Its not terrible, but any longer travel bike is going to suffer from this to some extent.

I need more time to better assess the pedaling characteristics of the bike but my initial feel isn't as much that it totally sucks at climbing as much as it is "are you climbing to the top of descents that are worthy of this bike"?

Put another way, I'd find myself a bit bored (or I'd be running over hikers left and right) if I was lapping the local XC loop on this beast...

Whistler on the other hand? Different story...

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 7:29 AM
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I really did like both. They have different feels, for sure. The problem was I didn't get enough time to really play with the air shock, or coil for that matter. Just set it close to ballpark and rode it. So take these findings with a grain of salt.

I was faster and more consistent on the coil shock, and I'd probably lean that direction. When I was really pushing into corners I found the bike rode higher in its travel and had more grip with the coil shock. Air felt like it used the first 2/3s of its travel slightly more easily than the coil.

But then again, the tunability of air is awesome.

The thing about air that is so cool is you can use it as a ride-height adjust. For instance, if you were riding mega steep gnar, you could run more sag, maybe put a volume spacer in it and slacken the bike out. Conversely, you can do the opposite if you are riding more generic flatter trails.

Again, I need more time. For most riders, I'm steering them toward the air shock just on the principal of how easy it is to dial in spring rate. That alone is more important than damper type IMO.

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Added a comment about product review First Look, First Ride: The All-New 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad 6/1/2017 7:12 AM
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You have to remember, Santa Cruz isn't just building bikes for media, but their entire demo fleet. It is pretty standard across all industries for product demos to be the top end variant of a model.

That said, I 100% would be willing to ride any of the builds Santa Cruz is offering with or without carbon wheels. Few thoughts.

1) My personal bike has a GX 11 speed drivetrain and I don't have any desire to upgrade.
2) Santa Cruz specs Codes on almost all builds. I'd take low end Codes over high end Guides any-day when it comes to downhill performance (which is what this bike was built for)
3) All bikes have good tires and suspension. Maybe I would end up swapping a damper in the Yari for the charger variety but this is a relatively cheap upgrade. The Metric Super Deluxe rear shock is stellar.
4) As far as wheels are concerned, light, swanky carbon wheels are nice and can positively affect the ride, but its not night and day. So much so, I actually chose to run good aluminum wheels this year on my personal bike. If I had all the money in the world, maybe I'd upgrade, but I feel rim width is more important than material these days.

The lower end builds will be heavier, but I don't think overall ride quality will be *that* much different.

End of the day, I welcome the opportunity to ride any of the builds. Hear that Santa Cruz?!

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Added a comment about video Cingolani Rokketta Legend Superenduro 5/25/2017 1:45 PM
C138x104

Cheesy music aside, that was actually awesome!

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Added a comment about video What's the World Champ Think? Danny Hart on 29ers in DH Racing 5/6/2017 6:53 AM
C138x104

Somebody else commented on DH being cycling's Group B. For those not in the know, I give you this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INwqyPct8qY -- Group B was rally's unregulated "send it" class. Cars were pushing 900 horse and weighed 2000 pounds. Crazy amazing stuff. If I remember right, the Delta S4 could push 70psi of boost if needed? Yes, 70.

I also don't know how many times I can point it out - EWS racers are allowed to run anything and there is still no consensus what is faster. Why is everyone so positive 29" is going to always be faster in DH? The only argument here that seems to have merit is cost. I can see teams running 29" here and 27.5" there. Two bikes, setup different for different tracks. That'll put the teams with money at an advantage. And I say "so be it". Awesome. The more crazy technology these guys have, the more we all benefit. Its how product is developed, tested, pushed, and those little tweaks that matter so much happen.

As far as overall cost, well, WC DH racing has a LONG way to go before we rival any form of motorized racing. An additional bike for every rider on a team costs relatively nothing. I may get pushback on this, but for racing at the top level, WC DH is relatively cheap. Teams aren't going anywhere (due in large part to sites like Vital telling the story of the sport). These days, more than ever, people care about DH racing as a ***sport***, not as a stunt. That is important as I'd argue you'll see more and more support in the space even if companies aren't selling DH bikes. Car companies always sell more "practical" cars than they do "race" cars (Outback vs STi for instance) but racing still matters.

Keep it open. Let WC guys develop the most kickass technology for hacks like me. We all win this way. Oh, and it makes for some interesting nerdery in the meantime...

Side note, if anyone wants to post more Group B content, please do!!!

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Added a comment about video What's the World Champ Think? Danny Hart on 29ers in DH Racing 5/5/2017 2:53 PM
C138x104

I still can't get over how the underlying assumption that big wheels are always faster is the case. I still stand by the idea that it depends on the track, the rider, the conditions, other attributes of the bike etc.

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/4/2017 8:20 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Food for thought, Greg C always seems to crush tight, twisty, awkward EWS aboard a 29" steed. The old school "29" bikes can't corner in tight stuff" belief is sort of a theory from yesteryear being perpetuated forward IMO.

Bikes are already long and slack as hell. That, more than anything, is going to impact its ability in the mega tight stuff.

My opinion anyway...

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 8:09 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Again, we'll always disagree here but my 20 years of adventure sports experience says otherwise. My education in economics and dayjob in finance also says otherwise. You are arguing against how innovation works and how markets work.

Bigger companies can throw their weight around and cause a bit of turbulence for sure (Trek with boost for instance), but being a number of my close buddies are engineers within the space, they all say the same thing.

"Don't buy it if you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to upgrade".

Simple as that.

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything in the sport. Nobody is saying "to ride down this here hill you need 29" tires, boost, XXmm axles, XXmm wide rims etc.

Progress comes at the expense of change. A company must introduce something new, or die. And some of those innovations mean new standards, new wheels, new this or new that. "Progress" and "New" often go in the same sentence.

If its not worth the squeeze, we don't have to bite. What is incredible is the industry will continue to make legacy product. Maybe 10 years from now you can't buy the new XYZ fork for your 26" bike, but you can still buy a suspension fork of similar caliber for the era your 26" bike. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything new *unless you want something better*. I believe having something better is not a right, its not something you are entitled to.

Remember, in most any other technology driven sport, there is no standard. Period. You can't just take a Honda motor and swap it into a KTM chassis. Hell, you can't even take a wheel and swap it. I can't put my Polaris sled skis on my buddies Cat (without a bunch of modifying). I can't put fuel injection on my CB650 (well, I can, but it costs a ton).

You have to accept new standards or we have to accept little to no progress.

No conspiracy other than the fact the bike industry is (and always will be) populated by a bunch of nerds (like me) looking for an edge over my more talented friends. And I'll buy it if I have to...

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 7:54 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

...and the v10 is only 190mm of travel for those not riding an XXL. Seems like an apples to apples analogy to me!

To add, I have had the unique privilege of interviewing the founder of the company regarding the SB 5.5c in which he point blank said it was designed as a race bike for the EWS. (it was actually designed for an ex Yeti racer who now rides for a company with lots of red in their logo. This racer may be the best racer of all time.... )

That said, I can offer more...

Sam Hill rides the 27.5" Nukeproof, but he has the option of a 29" that is almost identical. Cody Kelly too swaps back and forth from the SB6 to the SB5.5c depending on the track, what he's feeling comfortable on etc.

Norco has the option of either too, with Blenki (who is 6'1") and Joe Smith both going 27.5" in New Zealand...

There are too many data points suggesting 29" wheel is great, but its more to do with preference than gospel. If it was set in stone "always faster", all these top level athletes who have the choice, would always chose to be on the bigger wheel. Remember, its their JOB to win. Fun comes second...

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 7:14 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Don't forget, both are still affiliated with brands so you aren't hearing something completely unbias.... (EG: If Canyon doesn't have one in development of course Fabien is going to be more bearish on the wheel size...)

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 7:04 AM
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What a boss.

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Added a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/2/2017 4:39 PM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

All fair points! You will see more 29" DH bikes soon btw (Fort Bill according to the rumors - 2 more teams)! So the field will be (more) level if in fact it is the advantage some are suggesting. Again, I dig the conversation. Cheers!

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