Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Carbon X0-1 AM Complete Mountain Bike $6,799.00
Thanks to the booming popularity of Enduro racing, we've been graced with a new generation of trail bikes that are efficient climbers and stunningly capable descenders. Which is precisely how we'd describe the Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon X0-1 AM complete mountain bike. It's built on the exact same frame that the Santa Cruz Syndicate has been racing all year at the Enduro World Series, and rounded out with SRAM's all-new X0-1 groupset and Fox suspension. Better yet, it comes stock with a Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper post, and a hand-built DT/WTB tubeless compatible wheelset. In other words, think of it as a pro-level race bike that's just as happy throwing dirt around on your local trails.
Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is on display here. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. Not only does this save weight, but it means that the Bronson 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 makes the frame as strong as possible. In other words, the carbon fiber Bronson strikes an ideal balance between being svelte and stout.
While the Bronson is decidedly aggressive in orientation, its Enduro racing focus means that exceptional pedaling efficiency is just as important as terrain-taming smoothness. 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 sitting at the sag point, it harnesses your pedaling forces to neutralize suspension movement, giving you a firm, efficient feel at the pedals. So, whether you're going for a personal record on your favorite descent, or hammering up a lung-busting climb, your suspension works with you, not against you. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that has become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. That means that your pivots stay tight and are simple to service, even for home mechanics.
The mid-sized 27.5 inch wheels found on the Bronson have generated tons of attention as of late, and it's not much of a surprise. While 26 inch bikes has become thoroughly refined over the past few years, 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 suspension frame can produce undesirable side effects, most notably long, unwieldy chainstays. By designing the Bronson around 27.5 inch wheels, Santa Cruz has harnessed the improved rolling ability and superior contact patch of larger wheels, while dropping nearly three quarters of an inch off the chainstay length of the Tallboy LT. And that translates into faster turns and a more responsive ride. The chainstays grow roughly a quarter inch as compared to the Blur TR, allowing it to maintain the snappy handling of its smaller wheeled sibling. However, the head angle is a degree slacker than the TR, at 67 degrees. What that means for you is that the steering feel remains neutral at higher speeds. Instead of thinking of the Bronson as a downsized Tallboy LT, consider it a beefed up Blur TR that's optimized for riding as fast as humanly possible down everything short of a true downhill track.
As the name implies, the X0-1 AM build features SRAM's 11 speed X01 groupset. By using a massive 10-42 cassette, you're able to get a gearing range that's similar to a traditional double chainring drivetrain, and you save the weight and complexity of a front shifter and derailleur. The concept has been proven at the highest levels of competition via SRAM's XX1 groupset, so the reliability and functionality leave nothing to be desired. Suspension duties are handled by Fox units front and back, in the form of a 34 TALAS fork, and a Float CTD evolution rear shock. The fork employs Fox's FIT sealed damper for consistent performance on long descents, and the none-more-gold Kashima coating, in addition to travel adjust. The TALAS spring allows you to lower the fork to 110mm of travel for more responsive climbing, and lengthen it to the full 150mm of travel for descending. Speaking of which, Shimano's venerable XT brakes handle stopping duties. You'll find an Easton Havoc alloy handlebar and Truvativ AKA stem handling the steering, and the staff favorite Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper post puts control of your saddle height at your fingertips. Rounding out the build kit is a hand built wheelset comprised of DT's legendary 350 hubs laced with DT spokes to WTB i23 tubeless compatible rims. They're wrapped in Maxxis High Roller II tires, which have developed a loyal following for their fast rolling and incredible grip across a broad range of trail conditions.
The Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon X0-1 AM complete mountain bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large, and in the colors Matte Black, and Tennis Yellow
Santa Cruz Bicycles
|Effective Top Tube||Stack||Reach||Stand Over||Head Tube Length||Head Tube Angle||Seat Tube Angle||Bottom Bracket Height||Chainstay||Wheelbase|
What community has to say
Santa Cruz Bronson - First Ride
By Bike Radar
Still Getting Acquainted
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I've only gotten a few rides in on the Bronson so far, so things may change as the suspension gets more dialed. I'm 5'7" and am a solid medium; my wife is 5'4 and fits comfortably on it as well. The bike climbs well, but I definitely use the Trail and Climb settings on the rear shock on extended climbs, if I leave it in descend there is noticeable bob.
Descending is..interesting. The Bronson's 27.5 wheels seem to get up to speed just as fast as my 29er, and the shorter wheelbase is noticeable in tight, techy spots. Going downhill, the bike is certainly fast, I need to compare times w/ my 29er, but it just doesn't feel as playful. On my last ride in Moab I was definitely flying down the trail and keeping up with a friend who usually drops me. I felt like I was comfortably pushing my limits, and I do think the bike played a role in that. The rear wheel seems glued to the ground, which is great most of the time, but it feels like other bike I've ridden were much more nimble and flickable. It feels like to get any airtime I need to be going full speed and really pull, and I?m not talking about sending it off kickers or thing like that, just the typical waterbars and root/rock drops on the trails here around SLC.
The X01 build is solid top to bottom. Drivetrain is easy to setup and maintain, and I haven't dropped a chain yet on the 1x11 setup. XT brakes are the standard in my opinion on performance and reliability. Stock havoc bars are 740mm wide, and my medium came with a 60mm stem. The High Roller tires setup tubeless without leaking a drop of Stans on the WTB rims. DT 340 hubs are worry free. The Reverb Stealth remote can either be mounted above the bar on the right, or below on the left and includes a matchmaker clamp for the shifter. I think the Bronson X01 is one of the better, ready to ride out of the box bikes available.