Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson R Complete Mountain Bike - 2015 $3,199.00
Stop crying. Start riding.
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.
Sant Cruz Bicycles
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop
Reviews & Community
- 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!