Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 Mountain Bike Frame - 2015 $2,150.00
It's easy to spend weeks, if not months, sorting through the avalanche of mountain bike models that debut or are redesigned every year, sorting and sifting through catalogs and websites, just trying to find The One — that one bike that fits your budget and can do it all, from your occasional XC race, to your days riding the lifts, to your multi-day backcountry adventures. There are some compelling entries out there, but allow us to assert that the 2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Mountain Bike Frame you see here is the cream of the do-it-all crop. It's unchanged from the 2014 model with the exception of some new colors, which means it's still the perfect platform on which to build your ultimate one-bike bike.
What makes it so? Many things, but here are the highlights: First, 27.5-inch wheels, the sweet spot between big-wheel 29ers and old-school 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 is the light, stiff aluminum chassis and all the wonderful things that you can do upon it, while saving a good chunk of money compared to the carbon fiber version, too.
Speaking of which, we'll admit that the carbon version of the 5010 delivers the model's purest performance, but the alloy version here showcases the latest and greatest of Santa Cruz's expertise in the manipulation of aluminum, delivering a frame that's only slightly heavier than its fibrous friend. Butted and hydroformed tubes take optimized shapes that came to be as the result of countless test-riding hours and computer model simulation, resulting in, among other things, excellent standover height and a tapered head tube for steering precision. On the whole, handling and lateral stiffness are superb, and the chassis is still light enough to race but tough enough to take some drops. Were it not for the scales or the ring from the flick of your fingernail, you'd likely never notice that this here 5010 is born from metal.
The mid-sized 27.5-inch wheels found on the 5010 have been surrounded by a whirlwind of attention as of late, and for good reason. The geometry of 26-inch bikes has become thoroughly refined over the past few years, but many riders find that the improved rolling characteristics of a 29-inch wheel make them an appealing alternative. However, stuffing a 29-inch wheel into a frame with moderate travel produces some undesirable side effects, most notably long, unwieldy chainstays. By designing the Solo around 27.5-inch wheels, Santa Cruz has harnessed the improved rolling ability of larger wheels, while dropping nearly 3/4-inch off the chainstay length of the Tallboy 29er. And this translates into faster turns and a more responsive ride. The chainstays grow roughly a 1/4-inch as compared to the 26-inch-wheeled Blur TR, allowing it to maintain the snappy handling of its smaller wheeled sibling. And like the Blur TR, the head angle remains at 68 degrees. What this means for you is that the steering feel is nearly identical to the notoriously fun TR — slack enough for DH stability, but aggressive enough for capable climbing. Instead of thinking of the 5010 as a downsized Tallboy, consider it a stronger Blur TR that retains the flick-ability, while also adding a heaping spoonful of speed to the equation.
The mixed tapered head tube accepts the latest generation of suspension forks, taking advantage of a tapered steerer tube in order to provide phenomenal stiffness, especially under hard braking. The 5010 is optimized for a fork with a 519mm axle to crown height, which corresponds to most 27.5-inch 130mm travel forks. It accepts a 30.9mm seatpost with a 35mm seat clamp, and it's compatible with stealth dropper posts should you prefer the cleanest possible cable routing. The bottom bracket is an English threaded BSA 73mm affair, which results in a setup free from creaks. It accepts a 12x142mm rear hub via the included thru-axle.
The Santa Cruz 5010 Mountain Bike Frame is available in four sizes, from Small to X-Large, and in the colors Satin black/white and Orange/lime green.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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