First Impressions: Santa Cruz Nickel

Timing is everything, and I was lucky enough to pick up my new test bike, the all new Santa Cruz Nickel, just a couple days before heading out to Dirt Rag‘s Dirt Fest at the Allegrippis Trails in Hesston, PA. These super-fun and flowy trails were a great place to get the Nickel dialed in and to get a taste of what’s in store over the next few weeks of the test.

Santa Cruz introduced the Nickel this year as their new "Trailbike" alongside the Blur LT and the Blur LT Carbon. Fitting somewhere between cross-country and an all-mountain bikes, the Nickel features Santa Cruz’s new Actual Pivot Point (APP) suspension design with 5" of rear travel. What’s APP? Well, Santa Cruz describes it as "…a single pivot suspension that utilizes a pair of links to create a variable shock rate." They admit it’s a bogus name, but hey, you gotta call it something. I won’t get into all the details now, but I will share some pics and specs of the bike.

The complete Nickel I’m testing sports the Fox Float RP23 rear shock and a Rock Shox Revelation Race Dual Air 130mm travel fork. Drivetrain highlights include SRAM XO shifters and rear derailleur and Shimano XTR front derailleur.

So far, the Nickel has not disappointed me. It climbs surprisingly well for a 5" travel bike. Downhill, the only thing holding me back apparently is my overdeveloped sense of self preservation. Lucky for me, I’ve got a few more weeks on the Nickel to help me work on that.

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