Bike Check: Danny MacAskill’s Santa Cruz Nomad CC

YouTube star's bike of choice for trip to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

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The one. The only. Danny MacAskill coming right at you on his Santa Cruz Nomad CC.

The one. The only. Danny MacAskill coming right at you on his Santa Cruz Nomad CC.

With all due respect to Chris Froome, Aaron Gwin, Nino Schurter and the rest of the more competition-focused cycling stars, you can make a strong argument that Danny MacAskill is the world’s most famous bike rider. Though he doesn’t compete with any regularity, MacAskill has gained global notoriety thanks to a string of must watch YouTube videos, each one more jaw dropping than the next, and each one with view counts well into the tens of millions and beyond.

Check out MacAskill’s latest hit video, Wee Day Out.

That popularity has made MacAskill a coveted attraction at all manner of events, including last month’s IMBA World Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the Scottish trials phenom performed for attendees, palled around during various parties, and headed out on a handful of group rides. Mtbr was lucky enough to jump into one of those rides on the awesome Back 40 trail system, and managed to snap a few photos of MacAskill’s Santa Cruz Nomad CC during a rest stop.

The Nomad is Santa Cruz’s all-mountain enduro slayer with 165mm of VPP rear travel. It was also MacAskill’s bike of choice for a recent excursion with Hans Rey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent. After carrying it much of the way to the 19,341-foot summit, MacAskill called it “the perfect bike for a 5000-meter descent.”

The Nomad is Santa Cruz’s all-mountain enduro slayer with 165mm of VPP rear travel. It was also MacAskill’s bike of choice for a recent excursion with Hans Rey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent. After carrying it much of the way to the 19,341-foot summit, MacAskill called it “the perfect bike for a 5000-meter descent.”

As we walked away to shoot pictures of his bike, MacAskill apologized for the dirt, admitting he hadn’t clean it since his Kilimanjaro trip. Rear suspension for that monstrous descent was handled by a RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair shock.

As we walked away to shoot pictures of his bike, MacAskill apologized for the dirt, admitting he hadn’t clean it since his Kilimanjaro trip. Rear suspension for that monstrous descent was handled by a RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair shock.

Saddle is a WTB Volt — also still dirty from Africa.

Saddle is a WTB Volt — also still dirty from Africa.

The SRAM Eagle has landed on MacAskill’s Nomad.

The SRAM Eagle has landed on MacAskill’s Nomad.

Continental tires look well used but still have plenty of tread life. Wheels are by WTB ASYM 27.5 i29.

Continental tires look well used but still have plenty of tread life. Wheels are by WTB ASYM 27.5 i29.

Up front is an 170mm RockShox Lyric.

Up front is an 170mm RockShox Lyric.

MacAskill is one of the most laid back and approachable athletes we’ve ever encountered.

MacAskill is one of the most laid back and approachable athletes we’ve ever encountered.

MacAskill is running a 34t front chainring to go with the 10-50 cassette out back.

MacAskill is running a 34t front chainring to go with the 10-50 cassette out back.

Pedals of choice are Crankbrothers Stamps in black.

Pedals of choice are Crankbrothers Stamps in black.

Sponsor shout-outs on the top tube.

Sponsor shout-outs on the top tube.

All important braking duties are trusted to Magura’s Raceline MT7s. Grips by Lizard Skins.

All important braking duties are trusted to Magura’s Raceline MT7s. Grips by Lizard Skins.

Santa Cruz gets the marquee on MacAskill’s bars, while KS provides a stubby stem.

Santa Cruz gets the marquee on MacAskill’s bars, while KS provides a stubby stem.

KS Lev also gets the nod for dropper post duties, in this case an internally routed Integra.

KS Lev also gets the nod for dropper post duties, in this case an internally routed Integra.

Magura’s distinctive yellow calipers made sure MacAskill could scrub speed when necessary both in Africa and Arkansas.

Magura’s distinctive yellow calipers made sure MacAskill could scrub speed when necessary both in Africa and Arkansas.

This KS dropper lever does a great job of mimicking a traditional shift paddle.

This KS dropper lever does a great job of mimicking a traditional shift paddle.

No messing around. Rotors were 203mm front and rear.

No messing around. Rotors were 203mm front and rear.

Outside a few bits here and there, this is a fairly stock build. Replicating MacAskill’s massive skill set doesn’t come so easily, though.

Outside a few bits here and there, this is a fairly stock build. Replicating MacAskill’s massive skill set doesn’t come so easily, though.

When it came time to perform in Arkansas, MacAskill swapped the Nomad for his more traditional trials steed, then wowed the crowd with one amazing trick after another.

When it came time to perform in Arkansas, MacAskill swapped the Nomad for his more traditional trials steed, then wowed the crowd with one amazing trick after another. Photo courtesy IMBA/Liz Chrisman

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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  • GuyOnMTB says:

    Danny, had their been no dirt on the bike, it would have looked stale.

    Dirt makes mountain bikes look fresh and ripe!

    You should get googly-eyes for the brake calipers.

  • bob mcbob says:

    Wait, mountain biking is allowed on Mt Kilimanjaro but skiing isn’t? Huh?

  • b0bg says:

    Dirt from multiple overseas countries is allowed to come into the US but I can’t bring fruit from Oregon to California? I’ve had shoes confiscated for having foreign soil on them coming home. Methinks this isn’t exactly what MacAskill said on his UCBP form.

    PS-Love Danny, big fan of biking, ride overseas whenever I’m on vacation. …just sayin’

  • marshall paul says:

    my favourite bike I own is my 2009 Indigo Nomad with pushed shocks

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