Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 Mountain Bike Frame $1,950.00
It's no secret that Santa Cruz dropped an almost entirely new product line this year, but you should recognize the 5150 frame. In a plot twist befitting the bicycle industry, it was discovered that Santa Cruz's new mid-wheeled trail destroyer shared its name with a bike once offered by another brand. So, the most solitary of Santa Cruz's lineup is back at it, now in a digitized 5010 guise. And while the name is (somewhat) new, it maintains the same nimble handling and phenomenal trail manners that have made it an instant staple in the lineup. It just may be the only bike you need.
While there's no denying the drool-factor of the carbon fiber 5010, aluminum remains the material of choice for the value conscious among us. Luckily for you, Santa Cruz's decades of experience with the material are on full display. Through thoughtful selection of butted tubing, and artfully minimized machined bits, the 5010's frame is kept to a very reasonable 6.8 pounds for a medium frame with a rear shock. And while it sacrifices roughly a pound-and-a-half to its carbon fiber counterpart, it stacks up admirably both in terms of strength and stiffness. That's thanks in part to the oversized 15mm collet style hardware, which is further aided by the 12x142mm thru-axle out back.
With a bike this versatile, it's important to have a suspension platform that pedals as well as it descends. And with the latest version of VPP handling the terrain, that's not a concern. It uses two counter-rotating links to achieve an optimal balance of firm pedaling and a smooth ride. Basically, the beginning stroke is controlled by the upper-link, which starts the stroke in a high-leverage position for a supple ride over stutter bumps. As the suspension settles into the sag point, the lower-link takes over control of the suspension, enabling the rear wheel to travel backwards, out of the way of impacts. The upshot to all of this is when the suspension is at the resting sag point, it harnesses your pedaling forces to neutralize suspension movement, giving you a firm, efficient feel at the pedals. So, whether you're climbing for two hours at a time, or rallying aggressive descents, your suspension works for you, not against you.
The 27.5-inch wheels found on the 5010 have been surrounded by a whirlwind of attention as of late, and with 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 5010 around 27.5-inch wheels, Santa Cruz has harnessed the improved rolling ability of larger wheels, while dropping nearly 3/4-inch off of the chainstay length of the Tallboy. And that translates into faster turns and a more responsive ride. The chainstays grow roughly 1/4-inch as compared to the 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. Instead of thinking of the Solo as a downsized Tallboy, consider it a beefed up Blur TR that retains the flick-ability, and adds a heaping spoonful of out-and-out speed to the equation.
The mixed tapered head tube accepts the latest generation of suspension forks, taking advantage of a tapered steerer tube 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 is 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 Orange and White.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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