Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame $1,925.00
Shred for everyone.
If Santa Cruz had taken the low road and simply modified a current chassis to accept 27.5-inch wheels, the Bronson Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame would be little more than a blip on the radar. Think of it this way, by changing a wheel size, any vehicle's geometry is drastically upset, resulting in necessary corresponding chassis and suspension modifications.Take a quick moment and look at the numbers Santa Cruz settled on with the Bronson, and compare them to some of its stablemates, and it becomes clear they did their homework -- probably some extra credit, too. For example, a Nomad, theoretically, riding on 27.5in wheels would have a ridiculously high 14.75-inch bottom bracket and a stand-over height exceeding 30 inches. Unless you're all legs, you're going to have a bad time, not to mention that it'd handle like a double-decker bus.
The Bronson, on the other hand, has a 13.6-inch bottom-bracket height. That's lower than its current 26in stablemates, the carbon Nomad (14in) and the Blur LT (13.8in), while nearly matching the 29er Tallboy LT (13.4in). This means that the Bronson places you nicely situated in relation to the rolling stock's axle height, and for handling characteristics that're happily removed from the top-heavy feeling of 26ers.
All the while, this characteristic is encroaching on the inclusive sensation which put 29ers on the map. Also, at 28.8 inches, its stand-over height is lower than all of those bikes, and the sweetness doesn't stop there. Another key measurement is chainstay length, and the Bronson measures in at a highly respectable 17.3 inches -- slightly shorter than the Nomad, a half inch shorter than the Tallboy LT, and only a fraction of an inch longer than the Blur LT.
When all of these geometry values are accounted for, it's pretty obvious why the Bronson is the Syndicate's first choice for the Enduro World Series. Geometry, however, is only half of the Bronson's picture. In fact, pulling it all together is Santa Cruz's aluminum expertise and VPP suspension. Carbon fiber may hold onto the flagship spot, but aluminum remains the best choice for blending value with durability.
In the alloy version, Santa Cruz's decades of experience are on full display. Through the thoughtful selection of butted tubing and artfully machined bits, the Bronson's frame hovers around a very reasonable 6.8 pounds for a medium frame with a rear shock. And while it's roughly a pound and a half heavier than its carbon fiber counterpart, it gives up almost nothing in regard to strength and stiffness. That's thanks in part to the oversized 15mm collet-style hardware, and 12x142mm through axle and tapered head tube.
While the Bronson is decidedly aggressive in orientation, its exceptional pedaling efficiency is just as important. That's not a concern, however, with the latest version of VPP handling the terrain. Like always, two counter-rotating links 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, 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 PR on a favorite descent, or hammering up a lung-busting climb, the Bronson's 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 rear shock is FOX's FLOAT CTD unit featuring the ultra-durable Kashima coating, and FOX's CTD adjustment makes it easy to find the perfect setting. The Bronson utilizes a 44/56mm headset for compatibility with tapered forks. The rear dropouts accept a 12x142mm thru-axle rear hub, while a 73mm English threaded bottom bracket shell ensures a creak-free crankset and easy service. The frame requires a 30.9mm seatpost and a 34.9 front derailleur, and it's only compatible with 27.5-inch wheels.
The Santa Cruz Bronson Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Gloss Grey/Blue and Gloss Black/Blue.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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