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Santa Cruz Nomad Generation 1 BBSHD

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    Santa Cruz Nomad Generation 1 BBSHD

    73mm threaded bottom bracket, BBSHD fits perfectly. 42t Lekkie fits perfectly. Mighty mini fits above motor and under shock.

    If you are on your second frame because of chainstay problems or not getting the 2.5 inches for the motor, you are glad to read this. It is safe to go back to Craigslist or Pinkbike and look for a Gen 1 Nomad. Bye.

    The rest of you know I embark on a build like Gonzo goes to Vegas to cover a motorcycle race. This is going to be fun! $500 bike and a check to Luna is the theme of the bike. It is a fallacy to think you can really do it this and not have junk at the end. Should have mentioned that before the others left. So the goal is to make the bike right and handle like new, but still look old and not restored.

    This is for a friend. A real friend doesn't give away fish, he teaches his buddy to fish. That's right, I'm grabbing a beer and LMAO while he installs the HD. Stay tuned.

    So how about this Nomad? The paint job in the add didn't match anything on the Santa Cruz website and they have a good website for past bikes. So the paint job and no serial number leave me torn.

    The bike probably represents a bad debt. The seller didn't know anything about bikes. This is where I take a test ride around the block just to listen to the angel on one shoulder argue with the devil on the other shoulder.

    Did the devil win? I would like to think I bought it still a bit confused. However I had to go to my LBS right away and there it was cleared up. There was some team or special people who only got this paint job. Being some team bike might explain why there is no serial number. What a cool frame to start with! And my stay at home dad has some bucks for diapers. That is all I really want.

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      Would that be considered goth or what.


      • xcnick
        xcnick commented
        Editing a comment
        But bright colors of the '70s? Could be a divisive style, I am gambling. Ever notice how polite the Goth kids are? I like them. But how long does it take them to get dressed in the morning?

      Tires! It has crusty old Maxxis downhills. As crusty old tires go, these are my favorite. Both of these can get shredded on the back. Mounting a DHF backwards on the rear is good little trick for rat rod single trail bikes.

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      Regular valves are better for most people and this rim can use them so that is what he will get. (Always use tubes that lock to the rim.) A little Stans in the old tubes and away we go hoping for the best. However knowing how tenuous it is to use old tubes I will throw in a midfat tube as a spare. Specialized makes one for a 26 midfat, 2.4 to 3.

      The front is getting a new 2.8 Minion DHF. The midfat tire is all the rage on the new eMTBs. Schwabe is making a mid fat just for eMTBs, but only in 27 and 29. A mid fat 26 is hard to come by. However the DHF is a great tire, not just the only choice. Amazing on pavement of all things. Make a note, 2.8 midfat fit, but air down the back tire to get the axle in. It fits once in and aired up again. Not bad considering most old 26ers won't fit a mid fat at all. Note Maxxis lie about width, it is really 2.6" wide. Mid fat isn't just wide, but taller, rounder, more volume, so check height as well as width.

      Wheels! The midfat tire really needs 30 to 40mm internal width rim for a nice profile. Enduro bikes of this age were still skinny. I have a Hope wheelset in a 28mm internal width. Pretty wide for their time. They look more ratty than the Dtswiss it came with which is right for the theme of this build. The hubs are 100mm front and 137mm rear, just normal, no Boost, Super Boost, 150 downhill, or any of the other modern "standards".

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        Fork me! Weird ass axle retention from the past but normal 20mm axle and the normal Hope front hub I want to use fits fine. The rear axle itself was strange too, Dtswiss, but gone now in favor of a quick release with Hope hub. This fork works, so it stays.

        If we get the suspension right the bike is elegant. If we get it wrong it is just a cordless drill driving mom's 3 speed. EMTBs don't benefit as much as pedal bikes benefit from the new suspension technology, so I have high hopes for the fork. Low Compression and High compression adjustments are best for us, other new stuff is to make it easier to pedal.

        Chris King headset, what more do you want. I didn't inspect the bearings. However I loosened it up and reset it. felt the bearings and they feel fine. The one eighth steering tube dates this bike and key to the theme.

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          Coil rear shocks are known for being more linear and plush, a good choice for an outlaw eMTB that wants to hook up on hill climbs. Springs are harder to change for new riders, but this is for one rider specifically.

          There is rebound, high and low speed compression, just what we need.

          I will give it to him with everything set in the middle and a spring for his weight.

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          Last edited by xcnick; 08-19-2018, 10:44 AM.


            Stop! Only half the pad was touching at the back as if they used the wrong post. Not sure how this happened but it is down now by eliminating one of the cam/washer sets to center caliper (hope all still works), new bleed etc. I can't believe I didn't have to touch the front brake, works fine. Already has 203mm rotors, score!

            How good are old Saints? :-)

            Four pistons are used in most big brakes, Four pistons on a $500 bike is a good thing to look for.

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            I know, the lever needs to go in. I am waiting for him to get inspired to set up his cockpit.

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              Grips, seat, and pedals are so personal I should not even put them on. However it is too much to expect him to test like I do. I am always surprised how much people put up with not their bike not fitting, but it comes from the problem of how do you test these things?

              I find WTB often has a selection of seats to test at the LBS, but that is hardly enough. The Reno Bike Project has used seats for $5. Buy 5 and donate 4 back. Grips aren't cheep either, so ride other peoples bikes and note the grips. Pedals with 3mm screws for grip is what 99% of the people use, but I like to be able to squish my sole around and cheep pedals work for me.

              The perfect seat is the life long quest we are all on. The challenge here is most seats for big guys are 10 to 11 inches wide and one can't move over the back of it. Not the first industry to think a man built like a football lineman is not an athlete. I found this seat at the Bike Project in Reno.

              The Cloud 9 zmarkjam is using looks good. Comfort seats for a mountain bike is not an easy task.

              The seat tube of old bikes are always a mess. The bottom bracket is coming out anyways so I clean seat tubes with the bottom bracket out. The cleaning solutions can flush out the bottom. It takes a while to get the inside clean and you have to get inventive with cleaning tools. Seat now goes up and down like one would hope, but never happens on old bikes.

              Classic ODI grips that bolt on. He had never seen bolt on grips and was elated at the convenience. I use blow on grips with the little flange to give me a blister on my thumb. Pain to take off, but I have to have them.

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              • xcnick
                xcnick commented
                Editing a comment
                Cranks and pedals should not be taken lightly. As I look at my bloody toe I am reminded to focus on crank length first. Pedal strikes are no joke. This nomad has a high bottom bracket and might do well with the basic Bafang crank. I know from painful experience a med Gen 2 Nomad should use 150mm. Shorter cranks is the new hot thing with the production eMTBs. They are even changing the programming to match the crank length.

              The BBSHD needs a proper drive train to get the most out of it. We have a steep hill so we need to find a low gear that will get us up it. I have made a separate post for each component so questions in comments will group the information together. However I was not able to have the drive train ready when he put the HD on because I didn't know what gear ratio would work for the task at hand.

              We tested gear ratios with the old 9 speed. I put a 11-40 on the rear and 30 and 36 up front. We could get up the hill with a .9 ratio. (of course assume 26” wheel whenever I speak of ratios) I would have like lower, but if one can get by with .9 then a 42 front to 46 rear gives .9 with a straight chain line. Using a 30 or 36 would not have lasted because of the chain line.

              There is only one choice for drive train.

              The 11-46 10 speed Sunrace cassette with derailleur extender might as well be sold with the BBSHD. However a $500 bike will no doubt have a 9 speed like this did. Sunrace makes a 9 speed 11-40 with extender, but only a small person can get by hill climbing 42 to 40.

              We have to go from 9 speed to 10 speed. I have an older XTR derailleur/shifter which is way overkill but on it goes. When it was on the Townie one bike mechanic noticed the irony and it did make me smile. I look forward to many knowing smiles from this build.

              The front chain ring is a 42 Lekkie. We know this is high tech, light weight, and expensive, but shhhhhhhh... Swinging the original heavy sunflower would have been the best for the theme, but we can't pull a 46. Perfect chain line with no spacers on the 42 Lekkie chain ring. I mean perfect.

              The extender did not fit the Nomad Gen 1. I had never had this happen before and with no time to do a bike history lesson I whipped out the dremel and made it fit. Sorry I don't have more on this because it is only thing that won't just bolt up. Maybe it is a special hanger for the x0 Sram that was on there.

              Extender as a concept is a bit of a kludge so it doesn't always grab the small teeth, high gear. My EX-1 derailleur is designed from the start to go 11-48 and even it has trouble on the 11.

              Knowing this I set the B screw first not last, guessing at the angles the chain would give, perfect on the big gear and maybe not working on the tiny 11. Then just holding the chain in place, check high an low again and pick a length with the same ball park criteria. Then do the B screw again like you are suppose to after the chain is made .

              I have used chain calculators etc. but remember the derailleur manufacturer is going to say this extender won't work. Still the end result is close to my EX-1s for 1/10th the price and most importantly for our theme, it just looks like a new cassette on an old drive train, a replaceable part.

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                My buddy isn't on the ol' interweb, but he can read, and unlike the rest of us has an attention span greater than one visit to the crapper. He just now read the entire thread and he says this thread is missing a picture of the bad vs. good chainline. Well at least here is a pic of a good chainline.

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                It is great to let him on this write up which about him. However look at this headlight. Duct tape is one thing, but packing tape sets a new low. zip tie ends not even cut off. I just want to gnaw it off with my teeth every time I see this pic. But it is his art now.

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                Is there anything we can learn from my buddy, a less than newbie with a roll of packing tape?
                Yup, the best kickstand ever. I went and bought one right away. Now how do I feel about him adding a pound? Does not matter how I feel. The game of weight vs. benefits is now his to play. But let be stated he started at 54 lbs.

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                Last edited by xcnick; 08-28-2018, 05:29 AM.


                  We have some great upgrades that we didn't buy at Luna so can we write about them? Social media is weird enough, but now I have to think about this. How do I explain this forum? My explanation was I give this forum my best because Luna has given me their best. Here, ride my bike again. That is a Ludicrous controller, I am still thanking them for selling me this.

                  I could see the grimace on his face when it sounded so tit for tat, so I shared how I like something straight up. I joined Facebook last week, posted nothing and I am already flooded with emails. They sell me to their advertisers and give me nothing.

                  The Ludi is too powerful, so I am glad they got to know I am not a big whiner and accept the consequences of my choices. We have other toys with competition upgrades that you can't buy off the shelf so this is not a new concept to us.

                  I actually have friends in this forum. OK, I can only recognize my friends by their avatars, but here is Azguy, an E team member. Really! He says with excitement. After I would call E teamers a bunch of pussys who stall the top of their loops, my buddy with this Nomad is the guy I hide behind. Azguy is who told us all about the cassette you are using, so you need to thank him and you haven't even met him.

                  Then there is commuterbike. He moves a house hold every day. Yup, a UPS driver is an athlete. We have actually ridden together and it was bitchen. He has taken classes to learn more, so listen when he writes.

                  You should know Paxtana and High Voltage. It is almost as if they are paid to answer my stupid questions because they do it so well and with such great patience.

                  So do I mention another shop, you all should know about the cool stuff we just bought? Paxtana, who knows who the Merry Pranksters are, but is too young to have met us, deserves some of our twisted game playing. I say we just take our shot and mention another store and see what happens. Paxtana has already had to close one thread of mine, but fair warning, we dosed your return key. If you flame us, your in for one long strange trip.

                  Being Pranksters, I say we make our own rule that we say only nice things about other stores. If we say something bad it would be in good taste for them to censor us. However if they censor us for saying something good about another shop it is their Karma that will take a hit.

                  So here is my favorite bike shop. Many of the accessories you see on my builds come from here. Return policy is generous, but no help at all with products and no customer service. And you think Luna has trouble keeping things in stock...

                  My buddy was resistant as it is one of those stores many people just don't like to go into as if it was against their religion. So that is why I am telling you all this store has some great stuff. Call it Wally World or whatever you like, but let us go in and have a look.

                  Check out this tool box. In all my years I have never seen both the chain tool and the tire tool box for sale at the same time. There was only one of each left and he got them both. Glueless patches, scuff tool, tire irons, chain breaker, masterlink, now shoved all in one box. Mine is on the left with a Park tool chain breaker. His is on the right, Bell chain breaker. Strong pin, unlike the one that came with my Luna tools box, we will see if it as good as the Park.

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                  They got a cool strap on bottle cage. We all need this because our batteries usually take up the bottle cage space and mounts. At my age all my girls need batteries and a strap on. I had an extra SKS so that is what I put on his bike. Always use a bottle from the LBS.

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                  Multi-tools are great when strapping them to the bike, but suck if you really have to use them. Check out this cute set of allens! Little shorter than normal ones, but still handle like normal. The trick here is to remove the 5.5mm you don't need and replace it with a Torx 25 you do. However I can't find a place to buy just the t25. The one you see in my kit is from the Luna tool kit.

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                  Handlebar bags are a bit suburban for our bikes but necessary as a last mile commuter even if that mile is single track. There are two sizes and they both have insulation to keep the beer cool. This is the big one.

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                  And it goes on and on. Want to try 10 seats and return the 9 that don't work? Cheep tubes for spares. The little light holder that swivels. Bike locks. Pedals, racks, and oh yes, I got something for myself.

                  That's right. Full sus, full bagger, with basket. If you see this deep in the back country on a black diamond trail and don't laugh your ass off there is something wrong with you.

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                  I am not totally out of order. This post has to do with the bike itself. I am getting to that special day we bolt her up and gave her the first run down the driveway.


                    This store is also my favorite outdoor store. I wonder how the REI forum would react to me saying that? This little pouch you see strapped on the bike is really a lot more than you would think and I have only seen it at my favorite store.

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                    It unfolds into a backpack. Incredible storage for so little weight and size. Even on my full bagger I use the backpack for a gallon of milk because it is so heavy.

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                    The little allens are cute and fit perfectly, but they could be better. We have to find a set that has the ball type end on the long end.

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                      What kit should this bike have? It is hard to explain how I prefer with some friends not just buy new and by now we know the theme. So I went through the bone yard. It seemed simple enough to do a process of elimination to figure out what is still good. Did not work out that way. I smoked two good controllers, one a Ludi. I bought a motor core I didn't need. It got ugly quickly with no real conclusion. Maybe a specter in one of the displays. In the end I bought a 961 display for this bike, on sale for $35. Black and white is great to see, but it has nothing but useless information. BBSHD, stock controller, no shift or brake cutoff stuff. The outsides look good and used, but I think I Mobil oned this one already inside.

                      I had two mighty mini batteries used only maybe 200 times in parallel but something was wrong and why I now run a Wolf. Turns out one mini is only charging to 56.5. So the good one is all he really needs to last mile commute on twenty acres. I have a battery for a backpack if we go on longer rides. The plan is not to try to get long life and just charge to 100% every time. It is getting a couple of charges a day and he will work this battery more than I ever did.

                      It is so nice to not have more battery than one needs. This small battery is key to keeping this light and nimble.


                        We are late to the BBSHD party. Some of you have turned on your friends or been turned on. However it appears most of us are alone, wait impatiently for the FedEx guy, then stay up all night bolting it up.

                        Typically we watch some dumb TV show about the Copenhegan Wheel or something similar, then go on the ol' interweb and get an education. Yes, it is tough to cough up a couple of grand for something you know nothing about, but the biggest hurdle is taking on a new hobby all by yourself. How many sports have you done alone and then made friends in the sport AFTER you learned how?

                        These people are special and rare. This forum has more dumb questions than any other which means we have the most self starting, fearless individuals, who follow their dreams. Pretty cool, huh?


                          The coup de grâce would one clear post chucked full of concise organized content for a first time builder. I tried... really. I took pictures, video, wrote down notes, and interview him as he went along. Certainly I lack some writing skill, but the most content for a builder is in the long threads of questions by complete newbies. I will have to find a newbie who is also a writer, then it will happen the way I want.

                          My notes do give some highlights. The way a BBSHD digs it's teeth into the bottom bracket is not something even a mechanically experience American has seen. “Really this works?” I played into it and gave him the little lazer cut wrench first. After that came loose a headset wrench. And the third time the socket with a big ass breaker bar. (You can start with the breaker bar and it will still come loose three times)

                          I was trying to keep the bike light and this was not as important as I thought. First thing he put on was a kickstand, and I have to admit, even on a eMTB this is just civilized. Then longer trips with 4p more battery didn't change his experience. I am talking single track with tech. 55 to 65lbs hasn't made a difference to him. (65lbs is my tipping point.)

                          The Nomad might be 10 year old tech, but he missed mtbs from the last 20 so the biggest eye opener is just how capable a mountain bike is. I put the 2.8 DHF on the front and after the first test ride up hill to check gear ratios it was the grip coming down that created the first exclamation.

                          I never expected to get a first hand look at how ebikes change the world. I have always laughed at such comments. However coming back from a 10 mile single track ride including summiting the peak, we ran into a young co-worker and his fine wife pedaling up on ten thousand dollars worth of mtb. Of course a chance meeting is exchanged with pleasantries, but as an observer I am still obsessed with what they were thinking. To be a fly on the handle bar after they left.

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