Shortly before the Easter weekend, the fine people at Santa Cruz announced the production of a carbon fiber version of the wildly popular Nomad. “While the now tried and true aluminum Nomad is still a vital part of our lineup, we decided to splice some carbon fiber into it’s DNA and see what happens,” says the press release we got last week.

What happened is that the new Nomad Carbon frame is 1.25 pounds lighter than the aluminum version, while still using the latest generation of the VPP suspension design, giving 160mm of travel. Santa Cruz also claims the carbon frame has more strength and stiffness “by large margins” than its aluminum sibling. Santa Cruz points to three aspects of their carbon fiber manufacturing process that combine to hit the sweetspot of lightweight, strength and stiffness:

1. One piece lay-up and curling
By laying up and curing the entire front triangle as a single piece, instead of assembling or bonding pieces together during the process, less material can be used to achieve the same end.

2 Continuing fibers around tube junctions
One piece lay-up and molding allows the use of continuous fibers throughout the frame, meaning the structure can more widely distribute loads and absorb impact energy.

Net shape lay-up and fiber compaction
Our proprietary manufacturing process allows us to precisely control both the outside and inside frame shape while compacting the laminate layers, which in turn results in superior stiffness and strength while eliminating excess material.

Before we get to the photos, here’s a quick bullet list of other interesting points about the bike:

  • 6.1 pound frame weight with shock (medium black/gold frame with Monarch 3.3 shock)
  • Impact absorbent strip on the bottom of the downtube and drive-side chainstay and seatstay
  • Metal plate to help guard against chainsuck
  • 1.5″ headtube
  • Available mid-June
  • Prices for frame and fork is $2499
  • Collet axle pivots

Ok, now for your photos: