Santa Cruz launches new Nomad, new wheels and a Juliana enduro bike




Those who pay attention to such things had figured the Nomad was next up for a revamp, as it was looking a little dated in the very competitive all-mountain/enduro category.

Drawing from the V10 downhill bike, the new Nomad actuates the shock with the lower link. The rest of the Santa Cruz line-up uses the upper link. Santa Cruz is able to tune the shock rate to be “extremely linear and progressive” or “supportive and progressive” depending on what PR materials I’m reading. Some riders felt the previous Nomad could blow through the mid-stroke too easily, and this should address those complaints. It also makes it play much better with coil shocks, and some build kits will have the option of a RockShox air or coil shock. Travel bumps up from 165 to 170mm, matched with a 170 fork up front.

The V3 Nomad was already pretty darn long, slack, and low, but the new one gets a little slacker and lower and longer. There is also a flip chip to make things just a little slacker and lower when needed.  The seat tube gets a little steeper, now at 74.1/74.5 degrees. This matches up with a 64.6/65 degree head angle, 430 chainstays, and 339/344mm bottom bracket.

Bolt-on guards protect the downtube, both in front of the bottom bracket and below the head tube to prevent riding damage and abrasions from shuttling with the bike hanging over the bed of a truck. The rear shock is protected by a fender, which is a very good idea, as the shock now sits in the path of all kinds of crud.

Ride Impressions

No ride time yet, but we’ll do our best to remedy that soon.


“The new Nomad is available in two tiers of carbon, with a number of build kits and an option to upgrade to the company’s new Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels. The C carbon bikes start at $4,499 US with the CC bikes starting at $7,199. The Reserve carbon rim upgrade is an additional $1,200. The bike is available in two colors–Tan & Black, or Ink.”

Spec and Aluminum

There are a few interesting things if you dig down into the spec. While most bikes get the typical SRAM goodness, the sole Shimano bike uses an XT derailleur, SLX chain, Race Face 30t crank and an E13 TRS Race 9-46 cassette. Running a non-Shimano cassette to increase range isn’t a new thing, but it is the first time I’ve seen someone as conservative as Santa Cruz do so.

Aluminum frames will be out this fall, which good news for riders a full bike budget south of $4k. Price is TBD.

29 Inch Wheels?

I asked Santa Cruz about the lack of 29er options for the new bike, to compete with the likes of the Specialized Enduro 29, Trek Slash and Evil Wreckoning. The casual response was along the lines of 27.5 for fun, 29 for fast, and there is room for both. Between that statement, the internet pics of a new rear end on team riders’ Hightowers and the almost complete lack of the word “enduro” in these press releases leaves me to think there might be an enduro race-specific bike in the works and probably with big wheels.

Features, etc

  • 170mm VPP travel, front and rear
  • Progressive lower-link shock configuration
  • Metric shock sizing
  • Bolt on shuttle guard, downtube protector and shock fender
  • Air and coil shock compatibility
  • High and low geometry settings via flip chip in link
  • 27.5-inch wheels
  • Santa Cruz Reserve 30 carbon wheel upgrade option
  • Colors: Tan & Black, Ink
  • Available in CC and C carbon, alloy available in the fall
  • Lifetime Frame and Bearing Warranty
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Retail availability: June 15, 2017
  • Weight: XX1 Reserve (L) (air): 29.29 lbs./13.39kg; (coil): 30.60 lbs./13.88kg

Juliana Strega

As with the rest of the Julian line, the Strega shares a frame with the Nomad. Santa Cruz’s PR copy on this is better than most, so here it is:

The Juliana Strega reaches deep into the darkest corners of women’s mountain biking at the highest level. It is a bike without an equal in the market, because few dare to tread where this outsider plays.

More agile and versatile than a Santa Cruz V10, more composed at speed and on steeps than a Roubion, the Strega launches straight into the nowoman’s land of a 170mm travel bike.

The lower-link mounted shock creates the most progressive VPP platform in the Juliana line-up. This provides a consistent feel throughout the shock stroke…the kind of feel you’d expect from a DH bike. And even with a gravity oriented 65 degree head angle, Strega’s geometry still delivers a ride that’s as spellbinding on big trail days as as it is on big park days.

Juliana’s trademark attention to detail can be found all over the Strega too…including suspension tuned appropriately for the anticipated rider, crazy low standover heights, and frame size specific dropper posts. Juliana is founded upon a drive to meet the demands of the most committed female outdoor athletes. We’re not afraid to see where that leads us, and the Strega proves that sentiment. It may be the most niche bike we’ve ever produced, but those who know, know that the wickedest of good times lie out there on the fringes.

The Strega gets different paint choices, only three sizes (XS, S, M) and women’s grips and saddle. But unlike a lot of brands, the Strega can be purchased at all the same price and spec points as the Nomad. Title IX in the form of bike parity.

Reserve Carbon Wheels

It was only a matter of time until Santa Cruz took its years of carbon design experience and applied them to carbon rims. These have been years in development and have been soundly tested and thrashed by the Santa Cruz enduro athletes and Danny MacAskill before being released to the public.

Danny MacAskill gap from platform to rail

Santa Cruz isn’t shooting for the lightest wheels, but rather the strongest while keeping a premium ride quality.

HyperFocal: 0

To that end, Santa Cruz moved more material to the spoke holes and rim bead, the two most common locations for rim failures. The rims are low profile and all will be built with 28 spokes to keep stiffness in the Goldilocks range. The rims have an offset spoke bed to help equalize spoke tensions.

The lifetime warranty is proof Santa Cruz is confident in these wheels.

An upgrade to Reserve wheels on any build kit is $1,200 and will be ready to spec on a new Santa Cruz in July. Aftermarket wheels will hit the market in the fall and pricing is TBD.



  • 29-inch wheels in three widths: 25, 27 and 30mm internal
  • 27.5-inch wheels in two widths: 27 and 30mm internal
  • 28-spoke, 3x lacing
  • DT Swiss Competition Race double-butted spokes
  • Available with DT Swiss 350 or Industry Nine Torch hubs
  • Sapim Alloy Secure Lock Nipples
  • External nipple access for easy servicing
  • Built in Santa Cruz, California
  • Lifetime Rim Warranty
  • Weight: Reserve wheel weights, inclusive of valve stems and rim tape
  • Reserve 30 w/DT350 Hubs: 1860g
  • Reserve 30 w I9 Hubs: 1700g


More info on the Santa Cruz website.


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