Santa Cruz Bicycles Nickel
The five-inch travel Santa Cruz Nickel is a true jack of all trades. That might seem like an underwhelming statement at first, but consider the range of riders that encompass the 'trail' segment of the market. There are distance racers seeking cross-country bikes with more travel. Then there are thrill-seeking riders who will take on any trail but don't have the means to own more than one bike. Bikes in this category often end up favoring one kind of riding style or application over another. Not so with the Nickel; it's a confident all-rounder that responds with exuberance to nearly every task.
The Nickel benefits from Active Pivot Point (APP) suspension, which is the result of Santa Cruz's efforts to mimic the variable shock rate produced by its Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension, but in a simpler and more cost-effective single-pivot design. What's so special about that VPP shock rate? Riders of Santa Cruz's popular Blur will testify that it makes the first part of the travel plush and ultra-responsive to bumps, and the last part of the travel stiffer to avoid harsh bottom-out. To achieve a similar variable shock rate in the single-pivot Nickel, Santa Cruz added two links connecting the swingarm to the shock. These two links are the crux of the APP design, and they allow the Nickel to offer some of the superior ride characteristics of VPP suspension in a more budget-friendly package.
The Nickel gets five inches (125mm) of rear travel out of the accompanying Fox Float RL shock, a light and adjustable unit with compression lockout and rebound adjustment. Up front, you can pair the Nickel with a 120-140mm suspension fork. Whether you go with a longer or shorter fork will change the head tube angle slightly. With a 509mm axle-to-crown length fork, the Nickel has a 68-degree head angle that facilitates confident handling. The Nickel's geometry also features a longer top tube which allows you to stretch out for long, seated climbs and lengthens the wheelbase a bit for descending stability. Another note about the Nickel frame is that it offers excellent mud clearance and room for most 2.35 tires, so you won't get bogged down in slop.
The Santa Cruz Nickel has a 1-1/8 to 1-1/2 inch tapered head tube. You'll need to pair it with a 30.9mm seatpost and a top-swing, top-pull front derailleur. The frame has cable guides for running a dropper seatpost. Like all Santa Cruz bikes, the Nickel has a user-friendly threaded bottom bracket shell. The rear dropout accepts a 135mm QR only. The Nickel comes in sizes X-Small through X-Large and in eight color options: Black, Chocolate, Lime green, Raw, Red, Sea bright blue, White, and Yellow.
US Santa Cruz dealers are prohibited from shipping Santa Cruz bicycles outside of the United States.
Price: $614.99 (54% Off!)
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