Read almost any review of a recent 5010 and you’ll see words like “playful” and “agile”. After taking our house build 5010 out on the trails, I wholeheartedly agree. The combination of Santa Cruz’s beloved VPP suspension platform, 27.5” wheels, a snappy carbon frame, moderate geometry angles, and a medium amount of travel make for a bike that responds very directly to rider input.
In my opinion, GX Eagle is by far the best MTB group for the money. Having ridden both GX and X01 Eagle bikes, there is obviously a difference in weight and aesthetics, but I can’t tell the difference in actual shift performance. For my money, this group is right where you want to be.
I’m also all smiles with the fork, and love that we spec’d a 140 mm rather than a 130 that Santa Cruz does on its house builds. This slackens out the head tube angle, making descents at speed a little more composed, and raises the low bottom bracket Santa Cruz bikes are known for and helps you prevent some pedal strikes.
My favorite aspect of this bike is that it’s a build we at Competitive Cyclist put together, which allows the customer to change the componentry to his or her liking on a custom order placed through the Gearheads here. That brings me to the two things I would change about this bike, which are the dropper post and the tires.
The Pro Koryak dropper spec’d on the build has 120 mm travel, so tall riders like me (6’3”) will need something longer to keep that minimum insertion line hidden in the seat tube. On the other end of the spectrum, people riding a small frame will want to swap to a 100 mm dropper to ensure that the saddle height isn’t too high with the post at full extension.
The other change I would make would be the tires. The bike comes with a 27.5” x 2.2” tire in the rear, but the frame can easily clear a 2.4. The rear tire wandered a bit more than I would have liked on loose, rocky sections of trail. A selection from Maxxis matching up with your local trail conditions is the ideal solution, with my pick being a Minion DHF up front and probably a High Roller in the rear.
I am a hair under 6’3” and usually get away with riding size large Santa Cruz bikes for demo’ing, although an XL would be preferred. I rode the 5010 in size large and it felt smaller than any size modern bike I’ve ridden of the same size recently (SB5, Hightower, Ripley LS, etc.) so many riders will want to go up a size.
I’d give the bike a 3.5/5 as it sits now, with the potential of it being a 4.5/5 with the proposed changes I mentioned. So for now, 4 stars it is.
If you have any questions or would like to set up an order for the bike, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.