Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon Frame

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
Views:
Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon Frame Frame - 2014 Nomad Carbon - Blue
C70_frame_2015_nomad_carbon_blue C70_frame_2015_nomad_carbon_black
Create New Tag

Compare to other Frames

Need more info? View our Trail Mountain Bike Frames buyer's guide.

Santa Cruz Nomad 3

A highly capable frame that isn't going anywhere soon.

Rating: Featured Member Review
Santa Cruz Nomad 3
The Good:

Simple and incredibly functional, Pedals extremely well for an enduro bike, Descends even better, Easy to maintain

The Bad:

Made in China (But is that all that bad now days?)

Overall Review:

When I first got into mountain biking in the early 2000s there was always one bike company I had a hyper crush on, it was Santa Cruz. Starting with the Super 8 all the way through to the current lineup, there was always something about Santa Cruz bikes that caught my eye. About 2 years ago I stumbled across a killer deal on the Nomad 3 frame that I couldn’t pass up. After riding it for about a year and a half, it is the only bike I wish I would have never let go. With that said, here are my impressions:


Out of the box:

Pulling the frame out of the box, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. Now days every trail and endure Read More »

Overall Review:

When I first got into mountain biking in the early 2000s there was always one bike company I had a hyper crush on, it was Santa Cruz. Starting with the Super 8 all the way through to the current lineup, there was always something about Santa Cruz bikes that caught my eye. About 2 years ago I stumbled across a killer deal on the Nomad 3 frame that I couldn’t pass up. After riding it for about a year and a half, it is the only bike I wish I would have never let go. With that said, here are my impressions:


Out of the box:

Pulling the frame out of the box, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. Now days every trail and endure frame is getting lighter and lighter so the nomad’s weight isn’t exactly something to blows other frame out of the water but for what the frame is capable of doing, it certainly is a pro. The paint and frame design are simple and beautiful. The only thing that worried me about the nomad frame was seeing the “Made in China” sticker but considering 98% of frames are made oversees now days, I have settled with it. Having a 5 year warranty on the frame compared to other companies that offer 2-3 years certainly helps me sleep better at night as well.

Climbing:

When it comes to climbing, the Nomad frame is the frame that shouldn’t exist. It’s like a unicorn. The fact that it climbs so well with having 165mm of rear travel is mind-blowing. You can thank it’s climbing ability to the carefully designed VPP suspension system. Similar to DW-link which are found on a plethora of bikes, the Nomad pedals amazingly even in the fully open position. I remember the first real ride I put on it which ended up being over 20 miles and I felt like it was half that.

Having customized my frame with the Fox Float X – remote, I was actually able to flip the bike into climb mode by a flick of a button which made climbing even more convenient. Whether you own a Nomad or not, I highly recommend opting for the remote option if your shock of choice offers one.

Descending:

Pointing the front tire downhill is when things get crazy. This lean, mean climbing machine has a real appetite for the gnar. Countless times I found myself looking back up a big mountain line or DH course asking myself if I actually went down that. Coming initially with 160mm of travel up front which I later bumped up to 170mm there was very little I felt I couldn’t do on this bike. Having a longer, more slacked out front end really helped in “Oh shit” moments and the fact that the XL frame had a seat tube angle under 20.5” (which is the norm) helps get the saddle out of the way which really own me over. There wasn’t much I turned away from and whatever thing I did, it was because of my own cowardness and certainly not limitations with the bike.

I even had the opportunity of throwing a Fox 40 on the frame for a weekend and it tuned this enduro dominating machine into something completely Down-Duro. Although I don't recommend this for anyone's every-day bike. It sure was a blast to have the front end feel like a DH rig while being able to pedal up almost everything I was able to before the swap.

Oh yeah, it jumps very well too!

Maintenance:

Having worked on bike for over 8 years, maintenance is a huge deal for any bike I won. The thing I loved about working on the Nomad was how simple it was. Unlike previous bikes that I’ve owned that have had 8+ bolts and pivot points, the Nomad only has 4 (2 more including the shock mounts) and all of which are incredibly easy to get to and service. Having a lifetime warranty on all the bearing is a huge plus too which Santa Cruz honors very well. Making sure my Nomad was in tip-top shape wasn’t a chore like other bikes I’ve owned and was actually enjoyable.

Bottom Line:

The Santa Cruz Nomad is hand down the best endure bike I have ever owned and is one of the best on the market to date (which says a lot since it’s been out for 3 years!) Santa Cruz did an amazing job creating the perfect linkage design. It climbs incredibly well and descends even better. It truly is a unicorn. I understand the new Nomad 4 is right around the corner but I find it difficult to comprehend a frame that offers overall better performance than the Nomad 3. That being said, there is going to be a tsunami of used Nomad 3 frames hitting the classifieds in the months to come. Having owned one for 2 years, I can confidently say you wouldn’t be missing out on much at all if you were to pick one up.

Rate review: +1 Up Down
Vital MTB member dirtworks911
14755 dirtworks911 http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/14755/avatar/c50_14881538_1588539877838281_1800798274_o_1477766735.jpg?1477766635 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/all 04/09/12 6 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/dirtworks911,14755/setup 1 1 22 89

Specifications

Product Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon Frame
Riding Type Trail
Rider
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length 22 23 24 25
Head Tube Angle 65° 65° 65° 65°
Head Tube Length 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.7
Seat Tube Angle 74.2° 74.2° 74.2° 74.2°
Seat Tube Length 15.5 16.5 18 19.5
Bottom Bracket Height 13.4 13.4 13.4 13.4
Chainstay Length 17.1 17.1 17.1 17.1
Wheelbase 45 46.1 47.1 48.2
Standover 28.6 28.5 28.8 29.2
Reach 15.4 16.3 17.2 18.1
Stack 23.3 23.6 24 24.3
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Full Carbon Frame and Swingarm with Internal Cable Routing
Wheel Size
Rear Travel 165mm
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch Plus Debonair or Vivid Air RC2 Upgrade
Head Tube Diameter Mixed Taper 1.5" Lower, 1-1/8" Upper
Bottom Bracket Standard Shell, Threaded
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 142 mm
Front Derailleur Size No Compatibility, Single-Chain-Ring-Only Design
Seat Post Diameter 31.6mm
Max Tire Size 2.5"
ISCG Tabs Carbon ISCG-05
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Stealth Black or Blue/Magenta
Warranty Five Year Frame, Lifetime Bearing
Weight
  • 6 lb 3.1 oz (2810 g)
  • 6 lb 9.8 oz (3000 g)
Miscellaneous Nomad Frame with Vivid R2C Upgrade: $3250 USD
Price $2,999
More Info Santa Cruz Website