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Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike - 2015

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Item # SNZ002O

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Item # SNZ002O


The supreme capabilities of Santa Cruz's all-trail crusher, the Bronson, have been well documented, as have the eye-watering prices that some models of it command. Cry not: The Santa Cruz Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike is here to dry your tears, putting Bronson's skills in your hands without taking your wallet out of them.

Certainly, the carbon fiber version of the Bronson 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. Were it not for the scales or the ring from the flick of your fingernail, you'd likely never notice that this here Bronson is born from metal.

At the heart of the Bronson is the highly refined VPP suspension platform that's been optimized for mid-sized wheels. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved among avid 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 into the sag point. 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, 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 lengthen the wheelbase at the same time for greater stability. 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 Bronson 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 Bronson platform is going to encourage riders to push their limits and their equipment, so the build had to, too. FOX handles rear suspension duties with a CTD Evolution shock and its Climb, Trail, and Descend modes, while a 150mm RockShox Sector Gold RL fork does its thing up front. The Shimano SLX drivetrain is light, but tough and reliable, while 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. Some of our favorite tires, tubeless-ready 2.3-inch Maxxis High Roller 2s, wrap around some bombproof WTB STi23 tubeless-ready rims, and WTB also tops off the package with a comfortable-all-day Volt Race saddle.

The 2015 Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike comes in four sizes, from Small to X-Large, and in two colors: Satin Black/magenta and Dark Green/lime green

  • 150mm of VPP-controlled travel, managed by a FOX FLOAT CTD Evolution
  • RockShox Sektor Gold RL fork
  • Custom-drawn aluminum frame
  • Shimano SLX drivetrain, Deore brakes
  • Race Face cockpit
  • WTB rims wrapped in Maxxis tubeless-ready tires

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Rear Shock:
Rear Travel:
150 mm
RockShox Sector Gold RL
Front Travel:
150 mm
Cane Creek 10 (tapered)
Shimano SLX M670
Front Derailleur:
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano SLX M675
ISCG Tabs:
yes, ISCG 05
34 t 22 t SRAM S1000 GXP
Bottom Bracket:
36 t 11 t Shimano SLX HG 81 10-speed
Shimano SLX HG75
[F] 180 Shimano RT66, [R] 160 Shimano RT66
Race Face Ride
Handlebar Width:
740 mm
Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-on
Race Face Ride
WTB Volt Race
Race Face Ride
Seat Collar:
34.9 mm
[F] SRAM MTH 716, [R] SRAM MTH 746
Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO Tubeless
Tire Size:
2.3 in
Recommended Use:
all mountain, trail
Manufacturer Warranty:
5 years on frame

sizing chart

Bike size by rider height


Geometry chart

Sant Cruz Bicycles

Geometry Chart



Seat Tube


Effective Top Tube






Stand Over

Head Tube


Head Tube Angle


Seat Tube Angle


Bottom Bracket Drop




S 16.02in 21.81in 22.99in 14.76in 28.27in 3.54in 67o 73o 13.62in 17.28in 43.62in
17.01in 22.99in 23.39in 15.87in 28.78in 3.94in 67o 73o 13.62in 17.28in 44.84in
18.5in 24.02in 23.39in 16.85in 28.86in 3.94in 67o 73o 13.62in 17.28in 45.87in
XL  20in 25in 24.09in 17.64in 29.49in 4.72in 67o 73o 13.62in 17.28in 46.93in

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Here's what others have to say...

Unanswered Question

Is the $250 credit coming back on this bike?


Favorite Whip

    Background: I don't have an extensive mountain bike resume. I purchased my first real mountain bike a few years ago. It was a Santa Cruz Tallboy LT. I bought it cause I've been riding a road bike for a few years and the 29" wheel and big travel intrigued me. Long story short, I didn't like the bike. I sold it 6 months after I purchased it.

    I was looking for a one-quiver bike that would allow me to enjoy most of my local trails. A bike that could climb well, cruise on the flats, and put a smile on my face on the descent. A bike that even a novice like me could control . A bike that could take steep, sharp hairpins. I determined the Bronson was what I was looking for.

    I pulled the trigger on the Bronson and I have absolutely no regrets. I love the bike. For me, it's a dream. The big thing for me is that it 's enjoyable to ride. It has a nice Lay-Z boy geometry for easy handling. The 150mm travel is nice for rolling over just about anything in your way.

    If you're looking for an all-around mountain bike that you will look forward to riding, I recommend the Bronson!


    Bronson is a beast

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

    Good service by mr Bride!

    The bike came in a competetive cyclist box ready to ride except wheels and handlebar to be mounted. Had one component upgrade ;) -Rode it a few times... runs like nothing else ive tried. Downhill it flies and steady with the wiiiide handlebars.

    The steering bearing was not tighten enough from backcountry, so it had a play when braking but an easy fix.

    The REAR Fox shock leaks oil, probably 2-4drops of blue fluid. Backcountry says this is normal in beginning and shock works well so lets see what happens!

    The Bronson is a bit heavy in the front but going downhill its awesome!

    We will kick out a full fat video review later on



    Bronson is a beast

    Awesome Bike!

    • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    Took my Bronson out to Keystone, CO for downhill for my first ride and bike absolutely crushed it. Responsive, smooth, suspension came well adjusted from the box. Cheers to Backcountry for having my bike built and shipped in about 4 days to my house!