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Heckler vs. Nomad

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,184
13
TN
Well,

I thought I had all this figured out. I need a good trail bike capable of some light DH and stunts, but also good for some long trail rides. I know the Heckler fits the bill pretty well, but I gotta wonder about this Nomad. Who has ridden both and how do they compare?
The nomad costs about $600 more, but this bike is going to have to last me a while...I wont have money as Im headed back to school full time, so I need the right bike.

E-pinions anyone?

The bike will be taking a pike and double ring btw.

thanks for the help.
 

Dirtjumper999

Turbo Monkey
Feb 13, 2005
1,563
0
Charlotte, NC
screw both, go to the intense evp 6.6, its so sweet. i don't really know, but between the two, i've heard that the heckler is fairly decent at freeride. but i'd have to go with my first statement, ididn't really like the nomad when i rode it.
 

Tame Ape

BUY HOPE!!!!!!!
Mar 4, 2003
2,284
0
NYC
I'd say get the Heckler for simplicities sake. I'm sure the Nomad is a hot performer, but take a look at the cost to replace the bearings and the number of places that trouble can crop up over a few years.

My only gripe when I had my Heckler was the lack of rear stiffness, otherwise it was great.
 

Racillo

Chimp
Nov 23, 2005
12
0
Lima, Peru
I have a Heckler and it is great. Used it for the last 3 years in the Peruvian Andes, works fine. Like the Bullit that is gone for 2006, the Heckler will be gone for 2007. S.C. is going VPP. The Nomad is made to replace the Heckler. Same as the VPP Free replaced the Bullit. You can have big fun with the Heckler at a cheeper cost, and now with the Fox DHX Air 5.0 a lighter bike. Something to consider is that the Nomad and the Intense 6.6 are the new generations.
 

Skookum

bikey's is cool
Jul 26, 2002
10,189
0
in a bear cave
For you i'd say Heckler since it's tried and true, simple and will work. The Heckler is more balanced with a Pike, and more importantly you won't have the first year run issues that always come with a first year run bike. And Santa Cruz customer service is terrible so better to get a bike you won't have to go back to them for.

Personally i'm eying the Nomad since it's almost everything i need for my alpine XC summer trail riding. The negatives of the Nomad are the price, the high top tube (looks good, but potential ball buster), and the inevitable tweaks that need to be done from something too close, or not strong enough design in the suspension or just the frame.

i think the main selling point of the Nomad compared to the Heckler, to me is it's climbing prowess. But how, where, and what i ride, climbing is just as important to have as much efficiency so i can save the gas to use all the bike for the descents. But i ride my Bullit with a Boxxer Ride which when i dial down to 137mm in travel, becomes a big fat oversized Heckler, and it does the job just fine. So with the small hills eurrh mountains you have on your side of the world that's not too much of an issue.

So spending 600 more dollars for some bling that might take your nuts out, and climb better than any big bike out there. i dunno for you maybe not, for me i'm still thinking about it, but i'm wierd that way i guess.
 

bikenweed

Turbo Monkey
Oct 21, 2004
2,435
0
Los Osos
If you think SC has bad costumer service, good luck with Intense. Once they stop making the 6.6, when something breaks, which it will, you´re SOL. Plus, it´s veeery pricey.

I had a Heckler for 3 months, with a non-platform shock, and I hated it. The Nomad is a step up, and you can sell it aftermarket for a looooot more $ than the Heckler. If you have the means, go for the Nomad, you´ll be that much more stoked to ride it. Kirt Voreis hucks some biiiiig gaps on his Nomad in NWD6. Yes he gets paid, but he won´t completely jeopardize his safety for money. Either way, you´ll have a good bike. Good luck.
 

Castle

Turbo Monkey
Jun 10, 2002
1,447
0
VA
if you have the money and patience (I mean to maintain it), the nomad out performs the heckler, however the heckler is much less of a headache.

I'd vote heckler for simplicity.

Santa Cruz has done some changing in there dept's and there customer service is better then ever in my opinion....

if you got the money look into the turner 6 pack....
 

manhattanprjkt83

Rusty Trombone
Jul 10, 2003
9,079
514
Nilbog
sounds like everyone is split down the middle.

I vote the Nomad. It is just a better performer all around..There really isnt anything that the heckler is better at...Seems like a no brainer to me. I mean to everyone saying the Nomad is a headache, how so? Nobody has even put in much solid time on one, let alone wear out pivots :think:
 

Dirtjumper999

Turbo Monkey
Feb 13, 2005
1,563
0
Charlotte, NC
well, if you are set on just those two, set your sights on the heckler, over the years sc has improved the heckler into a great allmountain riding machine. It is very simple which is good, and a single pivot frame should suit you better for some downhill as well as getting you to the top of that mountain. do this get the heckler and put a 5th element on the back and a rock shox pike on the front, out of all of the all mountain forks i've ridden the pike is the best. the reason i shun away from the nomad, is that it is a new design and it is too complex for the simplicity of all mountain. that is all. do this go to mtbr.com and compare ratings. but me having ridden a heckler for 1/2 a season, would say its the best bet.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,081
1,862
[303]
Well, I'm gonna chime in here as well, because I have an e-pinion on the matter. SC bikes are nice, and ride well, and everyone I know that has one loves it. But there are other options out there that suit your requirements of "all-mountain, light DH, XC, etc." Know that I am biased, but would you consider a Yeti 575 or even an AS-X? the 575 might be a little "light" in the "light DH" category, but I've ridden mine down some gnarly stuff going WAY to fast and the bike held together perfectly, I love that bike for all mountain riding, epic XC, and all that stuff. I've also put quite a bit of saddle time on an AS-X, both set up for DH and XC, and it performs really well at both. With the stable platform Fox is climbs surprisingly well if it has to, and even with a single crown fork I've bested times down the Angel Fire trails over running my full-on DH bike.

Just some thoughts, not sure how Yeti's compare with SC on price so it might not even be an option for you. And heck, you might be sold on the SC just like I'm a Yeti Freak, making my e-pinion even more moot.
 

mobius

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
2,160
0
Around DC
Heckler. I've had one for a year and a half and its the best all around bike i have. Although its in pieces now i've used it for xc/trail, ridden full dh race courses on it, and raced mtn x this past season on it.
 

MTB_Rob_NC

What do I have to do to get you in this car TODAY?
Nov 15, 2002
3,430
0
Charlotte, NC
I will give another vote for a Heckler.
It is simple, bullet proof and can be built up reasonably from 28lbs with 6" of travel. Save the cash, you will not be disappointed with a nicely built Heckler.

manhattanprjkt83 said:
I vote the Nomad. It is just a better performer all around..There really isnt anything that the heckler is better at...Seems like a no brainer to me. I mean to everyone saying the Nomad is a headache, how so? Nobody has even put in much solid time on one, let alone wear out pivots :think:
I certainly dont think the pivots are any kind of death knell, but all of SC's VPP bikes require maintenance of the bearings regularly. Sometimes they can be a nightmare, others can just be simple replacements depending on the use they get. That isn't a + or - just something you should "bear in" (ah that almost sounds like bearing :blah: ) if you are considering it.
 

Superdeft

Monkey
Dec 4, 2003
863
0
East Coast
I'll also vote heckler. At school having a simple bike that's easy to clean is key. Also 600 bucks is 600 bucks and the benefit of slightly better pedaling in exchange for weight and worse geometry isn't worth that cost in my opinion. I'd spend that 600 getting your favorite shock for the heckler and a set of nice wheels.
 

Castle

Turbo Monkey
Jun 10, 2002
1,447
0
VA
manhattanprjkt83 said:
sounds like everyone is split down the middle.

I vote the Nomad. It is just a better performer all around..There really isnt anything that the heckler is better at...Seems like a no brainer to me. I mean to everyone saying the Nomad is a headache, how so? Nobody has even put in much solid time on one, let alone wear out pivots :think:
from vpp experience, we deal both intense and santa cruz, they all have to have the bearings, hardware, maintained and changed more often then anything else that we work on or sale. They are great performing bikes though.

The one place the nomad has a advantage there, is the new oversized bearing at the swing link. However the problematic lower link remained the same.

With the use of SC's Bearing tools it makes the maintaining and changning of the bearings much more feaseable.
 

kizzi77

Monkey
Aug 11, 2005
564
0
nashvegas
(burly posting, not kizzi)

Guys, thanks for all the info. This is a serious matter for me, as this bike is going to have to do it all for at least the next 2 years. Im leaning toward the Heckler just for simplicity's sake and a proven track of reliability....not to mention the cash.
As for the 575 or ASX, it just seems like the Heckler falls exactly in between the two. I like an ASX, but its more of a bike than im looking for honestly...and I dont think my pike does it justice. And a 575 just isnt quite meaty enough..plus they cost a bit more.
As for Intense... Im not paying more for a sticker.
Anyone out there who has a nomad is more than welcom to chime in. And if you live near Nashville...Id love to ride it.
 

Austin Bike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 26, 2003
1,559
0
Duh, Austin
Rode with a guy that snapped his heckler frame about 2 miles into the ride (not doing DH, but there are a lot of limestone legdes in Austin). They'll warranty. He likes the bike.
 

Ascentrek

Monkey
Jul 17, 2003
656
0
Golden, CO
Nomad. More efficient, more travel than the Heckler. I have a Bullit, and the Nomad is where I'm headed.

Thought about the intense, but why. They have to pay royalties to SC anyway, and its more expensive.
 

hooples3

Fuggetaboutit!
Mar 14, 2005
5,247
0
Brooklyn
I have a heckler and was looking to upgrade top a nomad. My order was in . i just wanted some more travel, plus it is an older heckler..2nd year made. then i rode a 6.6 <intense> i made up my mind.. i am now waiting for the 6.6...
 

1soulrider

Monkey
Apr 16, 2002
436
10
nor cal
I rode the Heckler, Intense 6.6, and the Nomad. The Heckler was better than expected, but I didn't expect much from it. The Intense was not at all what I wanted, short wheel base and steeper headangle made it feel like a long legged xc bike. The Nomad impressed me right away, it just felt right. It pedals better than I thought possible for 6.5" of travel, and handles so nicely. I had been on a 5spot and like the Nomad better going uphill and down. For the rocky tech trails I ride all the time it seems to be the perfect bike, climbs great, and decends with authority.
My $.02
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,296
319
chez moi
Personally, I'd get the Heckler and maybe get a Nomad down the line when you've got more cash and the design has been through a few evolutions...

I just find SC bikes a little awkwardly sized for my body, though. Wish the TTs were at least 1/2"-1" longer for the given sizes...

MD
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,766
192
NORCAL is the hizzle
I have some friends at SCB so I am biased. I've owned a heckler since the new generation first arrived. In that time it has gone from a light XC build, to DH build with a boxxer, and beefy wheels (2.7 tire in back), to the present trail/freeride/light DH, and basically all kinds of trim in between. I like it for trail riding so much I sold my blur. I am 200 lbs, like to jump, and I lack finesse - my heckler has not complained once. That includes a trip to Whistler, many weekends in the Downieville area, lots of days in Santa Cruz, out at Sand Hill, etc. With a platform shock like a DHX or 5th you give up very little in pedalling performance. It is the most versatile bike I can imagine, and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. Seriously. Get a pike with u-turn and you will be stoked.

I've been able to take a nomad out for a few rides, they are really sweet too. I just don't think the extra weight and travel make a lot of sense for a true all-around rig. All the pedalling efficiency in the world won't matter if your bike is too heavy. You will probably also want at least a 150mm fork (longer than the pike) for DH on the nomad.
 
I have owned a heckler for the past two years and had an oppurtunity to take the Intense 6.6 out for a day. The 6.6 is more efficient than the Heckler climbing. Both bikes handle well on the descents although the Heckler is a much more playful bike on the trail and on the way down which I like. Since money is an issue for you I would definitely go with the Hecklar especially since your Pike will match up perfectly with the Hecklar's frame geometry.

With that said, in case you're interested I am selling my size large blue transparent Hecklar with a 5th element coil next month. Let me know if you are interested.
 

manhattanprjkt83

Rusty Trombone
Jul 10, 2003
9,079
514
Nilbog
Gfreak said:
With that said, in case you're interested I am selling my size large blue transparent Hecklar with a 5th element coil next month.
Transparent :think: guess i missed that color...how do you find your bike when you sit it down in the woods?:dead:
 

Mattoid

Monkey
Aug 3, 2003
973
0
Charlottesville, Virginia
Nomad looks like a real winner, but 600 is a ton of money. Ive loved all the hecklers ive ridden but when your buying a nice bike going with what you really want is always nice. If youve got the 600 bucks available then why not? Maybe take a look at a 7point.
 

RubberSideUp

Chimp
Jan 20, 2005
55
0
Here
OGRipper said:
I've been able to take a nomad out for a few rides, they are really sweet too. I just don't think the extra weight and travel make a lot of sense for a true all-around rig. All the pedalling efficiency in the world won't matter if your bike is too heavy. You will probably also want at least a 150mm fork (longer than the pike) for DH on the nomad.
A stock XT Nomad with the 36 from SC weighs 32 lbs (no pedals). That's damn light for a 6.5" bike but I guess it really depends on what kind of riding your doing.

For trail riding and the occasional Whistler and North Shore trip I have my Heckler built at 32 to 34 lbs depending on tires and I think that weight is fine. The long trail ride days would sure be easier with a more xc build but this way i can hit nearly anything I want and not have to worry about it.

I would love to have a Heckler with the travel, weight and geometry of the Nomad so I could avoid the annoying lower link bearing issues. I hope Rob Roskopp is reading this. 2007 Bullit maybe?
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,361
535
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
DRB said:
I loved my Heckler but I love my 575 more.

I've seen enough Blurs with crapped out bearings and links that I would personally steer clear of the vpp bikes.
For sure look again at the 575, it is a little bit more than the Heckler, but cheaper and lighter than the Nomad. Having riden mine over everything imaginable it does quite well.

With some 2.3s and if you have u-turn a 130mm fork it XCs better than a Blur.

Slap some 8" rotors, 2.5s, and jack up the Pike and your golden for shuttle runs. I ran mine with a 66 for awhile and it handled great, I have since obtained a propper DH bike and have the 575 back to fighting weight (27.3#) The customer service is iffy, but you'll likley never have to deal with them.