Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike $9,796.00
The best of both worlds.
Not far from the surface of any 27.5-inch comment thread will float a rant about industry-overlords pushing this standard to shake up everything from backup-bills hidden away in the zipped-vortexes of riding shorts to the pockets of mountain bikers. Truth be told, capitalism is alive and kicking, and hard earned dollars demand innovation. That's why bikes like the 125mm-travel Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete mountain bike are finally showing up at trailheads.
Frugal riders are free to enjoy their current wheels and reserve their dollars for the hopeful trailside-hero sidewall fix or that rarer and rarer pay-phone distress call. However, if you're in the market for a bike to explore on one week, and follow up with an endurance or enduro event the next, then the application of mid-size wheels should influence you to vote 27.5 with your dollars.
It's hard to argue against enhanced surface area, approach angle, and volume. After all, that's what set the 29er apart. But sure, within the gravity/park sect, stiff, nimble, and strong 26in wheels will continue to shine. And when the trail favors high-speed, flowing singletrack, the 29er will continue to rule supreme. However, any riding in between these two extremes will find that the mid-wheel 5010 Carbon fits the, excuse the pun, bill.
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' felling 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's 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 5010 Carbon 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 with the smooth and durable Kashima coating.
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 Factory has CTD dampening, as well, to keep tuning intuitive. For drivetrain duty SRAM's XX1 reflects simplicity too with its clearance-maximizing solo 32t chainring and 11-42t 11-speed cassette. This not only adds clearance, but it also eliminates the front derailleur, its shifter, and those redundant chainrings.
This opens up plenty or real estate on the Easton Haven carbon handlebar for a remote to the RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost. Atop of the adjustable post is a WTB Volt SLT Ti saddle, and connecting the bar to the fork is a Thomson X4 stem. Stopping the 5010 Carbon ENVE are a set of Shimano XTR Trail brakes with a 180mm front and 160mm rear rotor. Completing this build is an ENVE Twenty7.5 AM wheelset with Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO Tubeless tires.
The Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Gloss Orange with Orange ENVE Decals and Matte Black with Green ENVE Decals.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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