Review: Brand New Santa Cruz Nomad V5

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The Nomad has been Santa Cruz’s flagship all mountain, long travel enduro bike for a good few years now, around 15 to be precise, and today sees the launch of the latest iteration - the Nomad V5.

The brand new Nomad V5

Still rolling on 27.5 wheels, the V5 is a 170mm big mountain trail monster, designed to be pedalled to the top and take on the biggest, burliest descents you can find. At the heart of the Nomad is a brand new full carbon frame delivering that 170mm of travel via the now familiar VPP lower link system.

As with other bikes in the Santa Cruz range, the Nomad V5 is available in both C and CC frames. Both are full carbon but the CC is slightly lighter yet offers the same strength and durability, albeit for slightly more money.

While the silhouette of the V5 may look similar to the previous version, the frame has been fully redesigned with new features and an improved leverage curve. The V5 features fully internal cable routing, including the rear brake which was external on the V4. One of the biggest changes though is the move to twin swingarm uprights. Where the previous version only had an upright on the non-drive side, the V5 has them on both.

Nomad V5 Geometry

The Nomad V5 has also seen a pretty big overhaul of its geometry from the previous version as well and continues with the flip chip on the lower shock mount letting you swap between low and high settings. And while it's had the now stereotypical ‘longer, lower, slacker’ treatment, it's not just the descending prowess that has been addressed.

The V5 has a much steeper seat angle than its predecessor for an improved seated position and pedalling comfort. Our size large test bike comes in at 77.9 in high and 77.5 in low, which for me seems to be around the sweet spot. 

The flip chip lets you swap between high and low with nothing more than a hex tool

And while the seat tube angles have increased, as you’d expect, head tube angles have decreased by a full degree. The front end of the V5 now sits at 64 degrees in high mode and a super slack 63.7 in low. 

Reach measurements have also been increased across the board to give added stability and confidence in the steeps. Our large test bike has grown 15mm and now features a reach of 475mm in high and 472mm in low.

Santa Cruz Nomad V5 Geometry

Another key feature of the updated geo is the chainstay measurements. For the first time (OK, a couple of other bikes had longer chain stays on the XXL models!) Santa Cruz has introduced size specific CS lengths. These start at 426mm on the size small up to 441mm on the XL, with size our L coming in at 436mm.

Nomad V5 - The Build

The new Nomad comes in a range of different build specs, along with frame only options, ranging in price from £4,499 up to £7,799. It's available with an air or coil shock at each of the price points and there are also options for carbon or alloy wheels. 

Our test bike is the Nomad C XT RSV build with a  Super Deluxe Select+ air shock that features Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels and comes in at £7,099. You can have the same spec but with a coil shock for the same price or go for alloy wheels (keeping the rest of the build the same) for £6,099.

The Santa Cruz Nomad XT RSV

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