Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson X01 AM Complete Mountain Bike $5,899.00
Quiver killer doesn't even start to describe it.
With buzzwords like Enduro and 27.5 floating around this year, we couldn't blame you if you're feeling a little bit cynical. But thankfully, we have the Santa Cruz Bronson X01 AM complete mountain bike to remind us that despite the hype, bikes are better than ever. With a durable aluminum frame and SRAM's new X01 drivetrain, you already know that it's up to the task, whether you're racing everyone's favorite newfangled event, or just chasing some post-work smiles. When you factor in the FOX suspension and RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, you're looking at a one-bike quiver that's ready for anything you can throw at it.
While the carbon fiber Bronson holds onto the flagship spot, aluminum remains the best choice for blending value with durability. And with the alloy version, Santa Cruz's decades of experience with the material are on full display. Through the thoughtful selection of butted tubing, and artfully sculpted machined bits, the Bronson's frame is kept to 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 it gets better with the 12x142mm through axle out back.
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 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 Solo 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 you probably guessed, the X01 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. The rear shock forgoes the Kashima coating, although in our experience, the tangible difference in performance is somewhere between negligible and non-existent. 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 X01 AM Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large, and in the colors Gloss Black/blue/yellow, and Gloss Grey/grey/blue
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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What community has to say
Pics show Race Face bars, not Easton as...
Pics show Race Face bars, not Easton as mentioned in the specs.
This bike is spec'd with the Easton Havoc 750mm handlebars contrary to the photo. It was a running change that Santa Cruz made to this model.