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2018 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
Nomad CC X01 Reserve
2018 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve
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Most Fun Bike I've Ever Owned

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Fun, fast, and forgiving.

The Bad:

Pricey, but that's it.

Overall Review:


Rider and Bike History

Bikes I've owned:

  • Univega Dual Action Sport
  • Cannondale SuperV 900 with the carbon rear
  • Kona Stinky Dee-Lux with Shivvers
  • Specialized Enduro '06 with Fox 36 Talas
  • Nomad N2 Carbon
  • Bronson 2 CC, 160 float 36 up front and dhx2 coil in rear (coil for sale) i9 hubs.
  • Nomad N4 CC X01 Reserve Size L with the Superdeluxe RCT. I ride flat pedals too.

Been saving my $ to buy and ride mountain bikes since I was 12 mowing lawns, 22 years ago. I am not mowing lawns anymore, but still saving to buy the best toys.

I want to review my build as a whole package because I think the reserve wheels really add a lot to the riding characteristics of the bike. Also, I will compare the Bronson a bit since I built it to be a mini nomad after my N2.

Riding Style

Reliant on more experience than finesse to stay upright as I plow through what's in front of me. Prefer steep, fast, chunky trails. Ride mostly in Santa Cruz and usually on campus, but also love Mt Ashland and Downieville/Sierra Buttes. I'm 5'10.5" and 165 lbs. I don't race, I like to ride efficiently and I like to think I am pretty quick on the downhills. I am not the fastest guy on the hill by any means but my main goal on a ride is to go down and quickly.

Suspension Setup

This is my first time riding Rockshox since my Univega, which had a Quadra 21s on it...

60 psi up front, 3 tokens, lsc two clicks from open. 180 psi out back, stock tokens (not sure how many they come with), lsc 5 clicks from fully open. Both front and rear settings taken from the "Playful" setting on the shockwhiz. Shockwhiz testing included drops up to 6 ft vertical, hucks to flat, rough trails, loamy trails, and Z's medium jump line (15-20 ft doubles, 20-30 ft out  stepdown). 

Onto the N4...

Most fun bike I have ever owned. 

Climbing: Seat angle is super important, it helps a ton. VPP is so good to maintain an "efficient-for-170mm" pedal platform. I have climbed a lot of laps on this and it is pretty hard to notice the difference between open and closed on the rear shock on the singletrack. In the past I have tended to use the climb switch but have been keeping it open aside from fire roads. The length of the bike isn't much more noticeable than modern bikes, you float a bit on switchbacks but it's not distracting. Again I am coming from a 150/160 Santa Cruz Bronson 2 to compare. I have to say, on uphills I feel more comfortable with that slight tweak in SA, and may even be a bit faster on sustained climbs.

Pedaling/Traversing: Here's where I thought the extra 20mm suspension would be the most noticeable (aside from the obvious downhill prowess), and I was right, but I was really surprised at how small of a difference it was. I was expecting a more sluggish experience but it carries on really well. It is definitely efficient for what it is, but there is no denying that it is a 170mm bike. I find the acceleration to be helped by the rims, it feels more sprightly than it looks, but you still have a bit of squish to work with front and rear when you are fully on the gas on the flats. I will say the engagement on the DT 350 hub is slower than my old I9's but thank god I don't have to listen to them anymore. Love/Hate loud hubs, there's no in between. I thought I would love them but I hated them. Standing up and accelerating out of turns, or just getting on the pedals, you know your bike is a bit bigger, but compared to my Bronson it is negligible. Getting into a full out sprint, the Bronson had a bit more twitchy response, the Nomad smooths out that twitch. It is hard to convey how good of an all around bike this is. Saying that, if I rode more 10-20 mile loops vs lapping multiple descents for 10-20 miles, I’d be on a Solo. 

Pedal Strikes: Occur more than my old bikes. I'll take it and I bought the SRAM crank booties to protect that carbon. 

Descending: You have read a ton of reviews about the descending abilities of this bike and everyone is right, it is a beautiful thing. The N4 responds really well to rider input while cornering, and simply hauls freight when pointed straight. I find myself being rewarded for slamming it into the apex of berms/ruts and compressing the suspension into the turn, it is easier to do that on this bike vs. my Bronson. As suspected the low BB assists in this department, and I’ve only been running it on the “high” setting. The rear suspension feels so plush and supportive all the way through the stroke. I used to be a bit more timid on a particular huck to flat off a wood ramp over a stump on my local and now I am riding like I was a teenager again, just sending and laughing upon landing. No harsh jolt, just absorbed impact and forward momentum. 

The wheels really feel like such a compliment to all of the positive characteristics of this bike, it works so well as a unit I am glad I went big on the spend for this one. I am so confident in them with the lifetime warranty that I am not holding back anywhere, and I think that is an important part of my impression of the overall bike. Slamming into rocks, casing jumps, hucks to flat. Nothing has come loose and the wheels are true as hell. These are the first carbon wheels I have purchased because I am not very good on wheels. So far so good. Make all the jokes about rich guys and carbon wheels but I am all in on a lifetime warranty. 

For me, riding bikes is my recreation. I love it, I love being in the woods, going fast, cruising, pedaling, jumping, etc. In my mid- 30s I value endorphins as much as adrenaline. The Nomad 4 is checking every box for me, it makes me excited to ride every time. I haven't done a lot of riding on XC oriented trails with it, but I don't typically ride those types of trails so it is working great for what I bought it for. I highly recommend it for people who just want to get on and forget about it. My main argument to my wife to help justify buying it was that it was a safer bike for me. It would let me get away with more. That is totally true, but I have a feeling I am going a bit faster lately because of it, so safety may not be the absolute truth. Good thing they are making lightweight full face helmets these days...


Product Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon CC X01 Reserve
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
XS (Low, High), S (Low, High), M (Low, High), L (Low, High), XL (Low, High) View Geometry
Size XS (Low, High) S (Low, High) M (Low, High) L (Low, High) XL (Low, High)
Top Tube Length 541mm, 540mm 574mm, 573mm 598mm, 596mm 621mm, 619mm 654mm, 653mm
Head Tube Angle 64.6°, 65° 64.6°, 65° 64.6°, 65° 64.6°, 65° 64.6°, 65°
Head Tube Length 90mm 100mm 110mm 120mm 130mm
Seat Tube Angle 74.1°, 74.5° 74.1°, 74.5° 74.1°, 74.5° 74.1°, 74.5° 74.1°, 74.5°
Seat Tube Length 375mm 390mm 420mm 450mm 480mm
Bottom Bracket Height 339mm, 344mm 339mm, 344mm 339mm, 344mm 339mm, 344mm 339mm, 344mm
Chainstay Length 431mm, 430mm 431mm, 430mm 431mm, 430mm 431mm, 430mm 431mm, 430mm
Wheelbase 1135mm, 1134mm 1169mm, 1168mm 1194mm, 1192mm 1218mm, 1217mm 1252mm, 1251mm
Standover 704mm, 710mm 706mm, 712mm 722mm, 728mm 720mm, 726mm 718mm, 724mm
Reach 386mm, 390mm 416mm, 420mm 436mm, 440mm 456mm, 460mm 486mm, 490mm
Stack 587mm, 584mm 596mm, 593mm 605mm, 602mm 614mm, 611mm 623mm, 620mm
* Additional Info High and low geometry settings via flip chip in link
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Full Carbon CC frame and swingarm, internal cable routing with internal carbon tubes, molded rubber swingarm protection, and bolt-on shuttle guard, downtube protector, and shock fender
Rear Travel 170mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RCT or Super Deluxe Air RCT
Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3
Fork Travel 170mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated
Handlebar Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bar - 35mm x 800mm
Stem Race Face Aefect R - 50mm
Grips Santa Cruz Palmdale
Brakes SRAM Code RSC with 180mm Avid Centerline rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 Eagle
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
Chainguide e*thirteen TRS + 1x Guide
Cranks SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon 32 tooth - 170mm
Chainrings 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket 73mm threaded, included with crankset
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed
Cassette SRAM XG1295 Eagle, 10-50 tooth
Rims Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon - 28 hole
Hubs Front: DT 350 - 15x110mm, 28 hole, Torque Cap
Rear: DT 350 - 12x148mm, 28 hole (XD)
Spokes DT Swiss Competition Race
Tires Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR, 27.5" x 2.5?
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR, 27.5" x 2.4?
Saddle WTB Silverado Pro
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth - 100mm (XS), 125mm (S), 150mm (M-XL)
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12mm x 148mm
Max. Tire Size 2.5"
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Ink and Gold, Tan and Black
Warranty Lifetime Warranty
Weight 29 lb 11.5 oz (13,481 g)
Miscellaneous 170mm VPP travel
Progressive lower-link shock configuration
Metric shock sizing
Bolt-on shuttle guard, downtube protector and shock fender
Air and coil shock compatibility
180mm post mount brake
Angular contact bearings maximize stiffness
Double sealed pivots for long bearing life
Forged upper and lower links
Recessed lower link protected from rock strikes
Single grease port on lower link for swift and easy maintenance
Price $8,399
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