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Megatower V2 Vrs. Nomad V6

There are two bikes that can be described as "enduro" (excluding the Ebikes) In the Santa Cruz Bicycles’ range; the Megatower V2, with two 29" wheels or the Nomad, a mullet setup (29’’/27.5 wheels, called MX by SCB).

In the last few months I’ve had the chance to spend some quality time on both bikes, so I thought I would share my experience and thoughts about them, in case -just like me- you were wondering which one of the two is the bike for you.

First of all, both bikes are incredible machines built with an amazing attention to detail. From the super easy to remove axles, the threaded bottom bracket or the “glove box”, everything is functional and really thought through.
For an old dog like me (my first full suspension bike was a 96’ Sunn Radical) it is mind blowing to see how far modern bikes have come...
They are also both designed to go as fast and as big as you dare, so ask yourself the right questions and be sure a bike like one of these is best suited to your riding style and your local spot. For example, the Nomad was a bit of a handful for the super technical and twisty trails I rode in the Pyrénées...
You can find all the info on

Santa Cruz Megatower

For the last two seasons I’ve been riding the Megatower V1, in size Large. It’s my “do-it-all” bike that I use for guiding and coaching all summer but also to ride the valley’s singletracks in the off season. For some reason, this summer I started to feel a bit cramped on the bike (which I loved) and not so comfortable at speed.
At 1m83 I sit right on the cusp between a Large and an Extra Large on the SCB size chart, so I reached out to the Santa Cruz guys who are supporting me (full disclosure) and they were nice enough to lend me a brand new V2 in size XL.

Santa Cruz Megatower V2

To be totally honest, I did struggle a bit to find a balanced position on it at first, but after a serious amount of tinkering with bar height and installing a Fast suspension Fenix coil shock, I was finally comfortable and able to compare with my trusty V1.
One of the most obvious changes is how much more efficient the pedalling position is on the V2, especially for tall riders with a long seatpost. The steeper seat tube angle moves you further forward and reduces the leverage on the shock, therefore limiting the dreaded “bobbing” . The bike also doesn’t feel as rigid as the first version so you don’t need to brutalise it as much for it to start singing! It definitely makes the bike less tiring and more accessible to mere mortals.

As you might know, Santa Cruz offer the possibility to test ride their bikes before you buy, be it through your local dealer or at selected events. That’s actually why I had to give back the Megatower for a bit as someone wanted to try it out... but I got a Nomad instead! I know, lucky me...

Santa Cruz Nomad V6

It gave me the chance to try the Nomad in the same size, with my bars/grips/saddle/pedals/tyres and shock.
So how does it compare?! The Nomad is clearly easier to handle, especially for cornering and when going down steep trails. BUT, coming from a full 29", I also found the difference of grip between front and back quite noticeable. Some will see it as an invitation to drift and those used to 27.5” wheels, will just be amazed by the 29” front wheel but I missed the endless grip of the 29” at the back.

To summarise, for me, the Megatower is the "no compromise" bike, built to always deliver as much grip and speed as possible, whatever the situation (it’s down to you to find out what to do with it!), as the Nomad would make a small job of the gnarliest terrain but with a small compromise to pedalling efficiency and overall speed... but most probably a total weapon if you have a lift handy!