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  1. #1
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    Killed a Santa Cruz Nomad

    I'm going through a mourning process right now. Last Saturday while beginning to ride the local Lake Norman State Park trail I noticed a couple of stress cracks in the top tube of my 2006 Nomad. I was very, very surprised to say the least (as were the bike shop and Santa Cruz). The reason I invested in a Heckler and then a Nomad was for the durability aspect due to my "clydesdale" status. To the Nomads credit it did not catastrophically fail and leave me stranded as i rode out the rest of a 20 mile ride and the cracks only got a little worse.

    The good news is the my LBS, Mock Orange Bikes in Winston Salem NC, got right on the job and emailed SC some pics and SC got right on it and said return/ship them the frame asap. Once received they would ship a new one. I was given a choice of a blue powder-coated one available right now or a black anodized (like my current one) would be available for shipping on the 20th. I chose to wait for the black ano as I really prefer the finish as it matches my black ano Maverick DUC32 fork and by the time they get my frame next week (going all the way across the US) it would only be a few extra days wait for the ano finish.

    Many "props" to Santa Cruz for standing behind their product. Also, big thanks to MOB for all their help w/ the process and offering me a loaner that I haven't gotten so far as I "repo'ed" my Heckler from my brother! I ride between 40-70 miles of singletrack in an average week and this would have been absolute torture w/out a loaner of some sort.

  2. #2
    pedal head
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    That sucks. One more reason to have two bikes.

    How much do you weigh? Any pics of the frame?
    [SIGPIC]http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q82/probable556/BF_Sig_Small2Custom.jpg[/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Wow please give us more info on your frame. Do you jump it? I am thining about jumping into the Nomad myself but I go 230 lbs and worry I may break it.

    Thanks
    Mike

  4. #4
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    Weird, that only the 2nd Nomad I've heard of failing.

    KiaTia,
    I've been pounding my Nomad for about 7 months now. Probably 80% of it is shuttled DH trails and ski resorts. I'm about 200# with gear, and no problems what so wver with the frame. And keep in mine, I bought the frame from a pro rider who rode it for a season before me

  5. #5
    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    You're getting the same frame? If you broke one, you may break another.
    Idaho

  6. #6
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattP. View Post
    Weird, that only the 2nd Nomad I've heard of failing.

    KiaTia,
    I've been pounding my Nomad for about 7 months now. Probably 80% of it is shuttled DH trails and ski resorts. I'm about 200# with gear, and no problems what so wver with the frame. And keep in mine, I bought the frame from a pro rider who rode it for a season before me
    Yeah but that Spangler guy just kinda rolls around.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  7. #7
    Obeying Gravity
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    Yeah but that Spangler guy just kinda rolls around.
    Oh yeah, forgot about that. Them old folks (40+) can't throw down

  8. #8
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    I got a 2005 Heckler in May of 2005 after a 10 year hiatus from mountainbiking during which my weight got to 282lbs doing very little cardio but still weight training. In June of last summer I let my bro talk me out of my Heckler and I upgraded to the Nomad at about 265lbs. Since then, over the last 14 months I've dropped to my present low 240's. I'm shooting for 225 to be at my desired body fat%.

    Anyway, me and a bud have figured we rode somewhere between 26-2800 miles in those 14 months as we rode year round. Lots of cold (like 20 degrees just getting on the trail) night rides w/ the HID's glowing. We ride most M, W, Th evenings after work and Sat and Sun weather and wife permitting...

    No problem whatsoever w/ another Nomad. The way I see it, that bike has seen more torque applied to it than most bikes will see in a lifetime. You know the old "closet" syndrome that can set in! I'm sure SC will study mine very closely and make improvements if needed. It could be many factors w/in their control but it could be raw material issues as well. I'm sure they will stand behind this one as well.

    We ride mostly local eastern NC trails that are typical singletrack w/ nice climbs, sweet downhills, etc. No sick BC/Whistler style drops but some good hard riding. Our most ridden are the Itusi/Monbo loops at Lake Norman State Park, Dark Mountain/OVT which is the site of the SourceBurn 24 (that M Henderschott of the SC Syndicate won the solo!!), Tanglewood Park, Hobby Park, Fisher Farm, North Meck Park, US Whitewater Center and Tsali.

    I didn't snap any photos before I took it to Mock Orange. They took the photos to email to the SC rep and he forwarded them to the warranty dept. I may be able to get some from MOB though. Anyway, the cracks were on either side of the center weld on the top tube at its lowest point where the VPP joins. The one on the left was approx two inches long running front to rear about centered between the VPP round weld and the top tube weld. The one on the right ran straight down from the top weld for about a half inch and then turned forward about 45 dgrees for about 1.5" to the round VPP weld. It actually began to discolor and fatigue the round weld.

    If you look at the Nomad frame you can see how this would be what I see as the only potential weak area. It has some crazy downward, rearward, forward, and upward forces exerted on it as the VPP and the Fox 5.0 Air work there magic.

  9. #9
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    It happens.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  10. #10
    Hardrocker
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    can you guys take pictures of a cracked frame? I've never actually seen a cracked frame and would be nice to know what to look for. Is it apparent? or does it start out really small?

  11. #11
    Banned. Jeronimo_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    can you guys take pictures of a cracked frame? I've never actually seen a cracked frame and would be nice to know what to look for. Is it apparent? or does it start out really small?

    Just buy a santa crud. You'll see a cracked frame soon enough if you ride it.

  12. #12
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    BenLi,
    The cracks appeared to be small scratches in the finish but anodizing doesn't flake or peel like paint would. I could run my fingernail over the "scratch" and you could feel the crack. I guess you would call them hairline-like fractures.

    As far as finding a Santa Cruz to examine, I have heard of Superlights that were broken but anything built to be light is going to reach a point of compromise between weight and durability. Bullits, Nomads, Hecklers and the like have proven track records of being very durable but any brand or model is subject to failure.

  13. #13
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    Cracked Nomad frame

    Wow!
    I have had my 2006 Nomad for 11 months. After a nice cleaning today, I discovered a cracked frame. Exactly the way you described it. I weigh 185 and don't really jump much at all. Up until today, I could not have been happier with ALL aspects of this bike. It is an absolute gem.
    I will call tomorrow and see how things are handled by SC.

  14. #14
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Think I'm gonna do a Nomad build. This hasn't changed my mind, because I'm only around 145lbs with gear and you guys seem to be bigger than that, but it has at least made me consider an Intense again.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  15. #15
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    ok - so I google "Santa Cruz frame cracks" and this forum thread comes up. Here's the story... I bought a new black ano SC Nomad in April '06 - size L. I was 45 years old, 6' 1" and 192. I ride everyday, all year round. I freeride. Lots of climbs, descents, old school technical, steeps, some drops and stunts - nothing over 8' drops - all onto transititions (I avoid flat landings wherever possible). I raced in the 2006 Canadian National DH race at Whistler, BC on my new S-C Nomad (Master's Division). So about 1 year after purchase I notice what looks like a fine line on the top tube just above the main center pivot - right on the ridge - yep, it's a stress crack. I take the bike to my shop and they photograph the crack and send it to S-C. They (S-C) replace the frame (front portion only). I was impressed - there were no questions asked. I sent a long e-mail to my shop owner and thanked him and S-C for their professionalism and customer service.

    Here we are about 14 months later. Today I am out riding and notice the same kind of fine line in the EXACT same spot on the ridge on the top tube above the center pivot - it's cracked! I have not changed riding style or body weight - every thing is the same. I love this bike. I am unhappy about the second frame cracking.

    The other thing I have always noticed with my Nomad is that the center always starts to creak after several months of riding - does anyone else notice this?

  16. #16
    ed
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    Holy living crap!! I'm so OCD that if my bike made any sort of odd creak noises...I took it apart until I found it and slapped that noise in the hiney!!

    This in another reason I'm back on a hardtail. Less manic moments on the trail trying to locate noises while slappin' skeeters.

  17. #17
    BFG
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    Just say no to brakes. BFG's Avatar
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    Matt who did you buy your frame off? All these moons ago. Man this is old.

  18. #18
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    Apparently the main pivot is notoriously creaky - in the BLUR and the Nomad (see bike magazine Aug '08) - the cause is the bushings. The article on the Blur says S-C has solved this problem with newly designed bushings that may be available for all S-C's... wondered if anyone else had experienced this.

  19. #19
    Specialized Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    Holy living crap!! I'm so OCD that if my bike made any sort of odd creak noises...I took it apart until I found it and slapped that noise in the hiney!!
    I hear you there. I hate the break-in period of a bike. I always get nervous about any creaking or "different" sounds. I do constant check-ups on everything.

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