Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike - 2015 $3,599.00
Carbon for the people.
The Santa Cruz 5010 is easily one of the most multi-talented mountain bikes ever designed, but some versions of the thing are painfully expensive. Especially where carbon framesets are concerned, the general assumption is that the bikes will be far too pricey to be reasonable. Santa Cruz knows this, but still wants riders of all budgets to be able to enjoy its remarkable engineering, which is why it works with parts suppliers to craft great deals, like the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike.
So what makes the 5010 such a well-balanced machine? Here are the highlights. First, 27.5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and 26ers. Second, 125mm of rear wheel travel, landing right between short-travel race rigs and big-hit trail-crushers. Third, perfectly neutral geometry that can climb, descend, and handle with the best of them. Fourth, in the case of the 5010 Carbon R Complete you see here, the all-conquering carbon chassis and the wonderful things that you can do upon it with the excellent parts you'll find on board.
Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is beautifully showcased in the 5010. The company's "C" carbon models use higher-grade carbon for a moderately lighter, stiffer overall chassis than the standard carbon frameset on which the R here is built, but this standard frame is otherwise identical, and anything but "standard" in the grand scheme of carbon mountain bikes. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the 5010 is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this ideal degree of compaction optimizes the strength. Plus, it keeps the frame weight in the cross-country race realm, at a shade over five pounds with shock. Lastly, the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back.
Santa Cruz's now-famous VPP suspension platform is a big player in the 5010's game, too. It's a system that's widely beloved among experienced riders for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses towards the sag point, or about 15-20% of its travel. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, however, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts and technical terrain, increasing stability, particularly at speed. The ride remains smooth and controllable. You'll also find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are easily serviceable at home if ever necessary.
The 5010 R parts kit is where the money is saved, but that doesn't mean it's where the corners are cut. The company could easily have spec'd out a much cheaper machine, but it knows that the 5010 platform is going to encourage people to ride far and wide, so the build has to, too. FOX handles rear suspension duties with a CTD Evolution shock and its Climb, Trail, and Descend modes, while a 130mm RockShox Sector Gold RL fork does its thing up front. The Shimano XT rear derailleur keeps shifting light and precise, and the balance of the drivetrain is made of Shimano SLX and SRAM parts that are notably light, but still tough and reliable. The Deore M615 disc brakeset will give you smooth, predictable stops every time. The Race Face Ride stem, bar, and seatpost are tested to RF's rigorous durability standards while still being nearly as light as some carbon configurations. Tubeless-ready Maxxis tires wrap around bombproof WTB STi23 tubeless-ready rims, and WTB also tops off the package with a comfortable-all-day Volt Race saddle.
The 2015 5010 Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike comes in four sizes, from Small to X-Large, and in two colors: Satin Black/white and Orange/lime green.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
|Effective Top Tube||Stack||Reach||Stand Over||Head Tube Length||Head Tube Angle||Seat Tube Angle||Bottom Bracket Height||Chainstay||Wheelbase|