Santa Cruz Nomad £3199

On first impressions, you'll either love the Nomad's pressure formed S-curve top tube or think, as one witty wag put it, 'it looks like a dog having a crap'. Either way,there's no denying that the Nomad is distinctive enough to stand out from the common herd.

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

On first visual impressions, you'll either fall in love with the Nomad's pressure formed S-curve top tube or, as one wag put it, think it looks 'like a dog having a crap'.

Either way, there's no denying that the Nomad is distinctive enough to make you stand out from the common herd - and, at a couple of pennies short of £3200, that's exactly what you'll be looking for in a bike.

Despite a couple of gripes with the Nomad in the middle and end stroke, the VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) system still managed to impress us, particularly when it came to steep, technical terrain. Pace's RC41 Fighter fork was super supple, with easy sag, good stiffness and big hit control, meaning that the Nomad stayed remarkably light and lively on the hills, where we shot up as if we were riding on Tarmac.

If you're brave enough to handle it, the Nomad will take you to places with your riding that you've never been to before. The mixture of a sublime frame, Hope brakes that promise to stop you on a Dime and a suspension setup that's perfectly balanced to let you concentrate on your line rather than whether or not you're about to fly over the handlebars, means that you're guaranteed to feel the need for speed on a regular basis.

The Nomad comes in a number of different setup options, so you're sure to find the perfect ride for you.

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