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Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 Carbon R AM Complete Mountain Bike

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Item # SNZ0358

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Item # SNZ0358


If you've recently perused Santa Cruz's Enve/XTR spec'd offerings, the experience most likely involved a bout of sticker shock. Thankfully, though, Santa Cruz isn't an exclusive manufacture for the world's elite. Instead, you'll find that the 5010 Carbon's R AM build kit creates an accessible entry to the 27.5-inch arena.

And, if the fear of a diminished experience due to inferior parts is going to haunt you, keep in mind that this 125mm trail bike features respected Shimano SLX components. Additionally,it retains front and rear FOX Racing Shox suspension. But, components aside, the big news with this bike are its mid-size wheels and dedicated geometry. Together, they take full advantage of the rolling stock.

A quick look at the geometry makes this perfectly clear. The 5010's chainstay length is only a quarter-of-an-inch longer than the Blur TRc, yet it's three-quarters-of-an-inch shorter than the Tallboy LT. Another key number is its bottom bracket height — the 5010 is .04-inches higher than the TRc and a quarter-inch lower than the Tallboy LT. This means that aboard the 5010, you'll enjoy that 'seated within' feeling of two-niners, while retaining the nimbleness that would otherwise be lost to long wheelbases, high-center of gravity, and flex'y wheels.

In fact, the 5010's wheelbase is a full-inch shorter than the Tallboy, and it has a trail-worthy 68 degree head tube angle. That should be enough numbers to expose the playful, yet composed nature of the 5010. But, just as essential to that balance is Santa Cruz's carbon mastery. The 5010Carbon uses a one-piece layup and curing process for the triangles, as opposed to assembling joints, which would require bonding, wrapping, or rivets. And, because this process allows continuous interlocking fibers to wrap between tubes, the resulting structure efficiently distributes loads and absorbs impact energy. All the while, this process eliminates any excess material. As you might imagine, each size's dedicated tooling makes this is a costly process. However, this allows Santa Cruz to control the outside shape, the inside shape, and to compact the fibers during the layup for the to each frame size.

From the Small to the X-large frame, structure is optimized for intended rider weight and forces. Additionally, placing material where it's needed most results in a strong and nimble chassis for the VPP suspension to work its magic. And speaking of the VPP suspension on the 5010, it's the second generation and features upper- and lower-links that flatten shock rate in order to provide active motion early in the axle path. This allows the rear wheel to easily move up and back as you ride over a bump. The link design also balances downward pedaling force with the pulling force of the chain. This effectively neutralizes them, while also preventing pedal-bob or squatting during acceleration. This keeps speed up, however, VPP also assists in keeping that speed in check. The VPP design also prevents brake-induced lock-out, effectively keeping the suspension supple over braking bumps.

And whether you're rolling over rock gardens, clawing up rooted and rocky climbs, or negotiating steep descents, VPP suspension remains active and responsive. Key to this are its linkages and hardware. A carbon fiber upper-link not only shaves weight, but it also enhances lateral stiffness. At the bottom end of things, an alloy lower-link features easily-serviceable grease ports that are positioned in order to avoid damage and to ensure a long bearing life.

The pivots are oversized, with 15mm locking axle-pins. Additionally, they run on intricately-sealed bearings with one-way purging seals that are intended to last the life of the frame. Even better, this design won't either creak or loosen. And for the people who want every lightweight feature addressed, Santa Cruz topped it off with anodized aluminum hardware where it's applicable. Managing the 5010's 125mm of travel is the lightweight and reliable FOX FLOAT CTD.

The easy-to-adjust three position lever provides platform options to maximize efficiency while either climbing, traversing, or descending. At the front of the 5010, a 130mm travel FOX FLOAT 32 Evolution has CTD dampening, as well, to keep tuning intuitive. For drivetrain duty, you'll find a Shimano M552 triple crankset, a 10-speed HG81 cassette, and an SLX rear derailleur and shifters.

Stopping a wheelset that consists of Shimano M678 hubs laced to WTB ST i23 TCS rims are a set of Shimano's Deore disc brakes. Santa Cruz mated them up to a 180mm front rotor and 160mm rear for an excellent balance of modulation and power. Mounted to the wheels are Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO tubeless tires. Finishing the 5010 R AM's build is a Race Face Ride seatpost, WTB Volt Race saddle, TruVativ AKA stem, and Race Face Ride handlebar.

The Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon R AM Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Gloss Orange/white and Matte Black/green.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
carbon fiber
Rear Shock:
Rear Travel:
125 mm
FOX 32 FLOAT 27.5 CTD Evolution
Front Travel:
130 mm
Cane Creek 10 Mixed Tapered
Shimano M670 SLX (10-speed)
Front Derailleur:
Shimano M611/610 Deore
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano M675 SLX Shadow Plus
ISCG Tabs:
yes, ISCG 05
24/32/42 t Shimano M610 Deore
Bottom Bracket:
11-36 t Shimano HG81
Shimano HG74
[front] 180 mm, [rear] 160 mm
Race Face Ride
Handlebar Width:
710 mm
Lizard Skin "494"
TruVativ AKA
WTB Volt Race
Race Face Ride
Seat Collar:
34.9 mm Santa Cruz QR
[front] SRAM MTH 716, [rear] SRAM MTH 746
Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO Tubeless
Tire Size:
27.5 in x 2.3 in
not included
Manufacturer Warranty:
5 years on frame

sizing chart

Bike size by rider height


Geometry chart

Santa Cruz Bicycles


Geometry Chart


 Seat Tube
Effective Top TubeStackReachStand OverHead Tube LengthHead Tube AngleSeat Tube AngleBottom Bracket HeightChainstayWheelbase
S 16.3in


22.9in 14.8in 28in 3.5in 68o 73o 13.1in 17.1in 42.6in
M 17in 23in 23.2in 15.9in 28.2in 3.9in 68o 73o 13.1in 17.1in 43.9in
L 18.5in 24in 23.6in 16.8in 28.5in 4.3in 68o 73o 13.1in 17.1in 44.9in
XL 20in 25in 24in 17.7in 29.4in 4.7in 68o 73o 13.1in 17.1in 45.9in

Geometry Chart

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The do-it-all bike!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I could write a huge review on this awesome bike but the bottom line is that this is the do-it-all go to bike in my stable. It pedals just as efficient as my XC 29ers, climbs like a 26er, and has just enough suspension to shred down black diamond rocky sections like a downhill bike. All at half the cost of a Pivot Mach 4! VPP is spot-on!

Love it!!!!!!!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought one of the last Large size ones from Backcountry and glad I did. I love this bike. My riding has improved thanks to its great fit and handling. I know this is the XL size posting and I have a L, but if you are contemplating buying an XL, this bike rocks! Arrived in box completely secure and in perfect condition. If you want to improve your Mt. Bike skills, I highly recommend this bike.

SOLO carbon...

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

Rode the fully loaded SOLO Carbon XX1, etc and the a similar loaded Bronson, SOLO or 5010 in the US is one sweet bike. It retailed at �8kish which is nuts for a bike, looking at a Ducatti for that money. If you got the cash then go for the 5010 / SOLO,will it make you ride any better, no, watched a kid on a clapped out Nukeproof do some crazy stuff... Get this, learn to ride it, upgrade as bits fall off...