Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 2.0 Carbon CC XT Complete Mountain Bike - 2017 $6,199.00
Set aside your preconceived notions of all-mountain limitations and redefine your trail experience with the 2017 Santa Cruz 5010 2.0 Carbon CC XT Complete Mountain Bike. Carrying over 2016's revamped geometry, the 5010 2.0 is lower, longer, and slacker than its predecessor to manage bigger lines and steeper runs. This particular build is finished with Shimano's versatile XT M8000 drivetrain, Race Face ARC wheels, and a dropper post that quickly adapts to changing terrain.
The 2.0 redesign touches on virtually every important aspect of frame geometry. The biggest change is to the head tube, which drops one degree from 68 to 67 degrees. That's the same as the previous Bronson model, and it situates the 5010 2.0 just this side of a slacked-out enduro monster. The frame's reach and bottom bracket follow suit, with the former tacking on an additional 20-25mm, depending on size, and the latter dropping slightly. The combined result of these apparently minor tweaks is a longer, lower, more stable frame that eagerly attacks lines that the previous 5010 would have to think twice about.
While the 5010 2.0's front end and bottom bracket are about slack reclining, the changes out back tighten things up for more pedaling efficiency and cockpit versatility. The seat tube is steeper, longer, and wider, which benefits both the ups and downs of all-mountain riding. While torqueing over the crux of a climb or grinding speed on singletrack, the steeper angle puts the rider in a more efficient pedaling posture, making it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke. When descending or cleaning lines through rock gardens, the shorter, fatter seat tube allows for more dropper travel, which nets increased stability when increasing speed is the last thing on your mind.
The 5010 2.0's chainstays are stubbier, reduced from the previous 5010's already impressive 17.12in to an even stiffer, more agile 16.8in. On the trail, this translates to power transfer when dropping watts into the pedals and more nimble dexterity when gnarly terrain turns the tables.The frame's rear triangle terminates in a boosted 12 x 148mm rear axle, making for more rear clearance which in turn allows for those abbreviated chainstays.
Like the frame itself, Santa Cruz's Virtual Pivot Point suspension also sees some changes for its third generation. The most obvious, external changes to the 5010 2.0's suspension are an additional 5mm of travel and a relocation of the system's counter-rotating links. These updates make for a better standover height, ground clearance, and stiffer rear end; however, the new VPP's real pride is in its revised tuning. The altered suspension curve keeps this VPP riding higher than its predecessor, increasing small bump compliance and keeping the tires glued to the trail for more efficient traction across the successive impacts of lumpy courses and rooty climbs. The initial stroke's reliance on the upper link activating for a vertical wheel path remains unchanged, maintaining the firm feel during accelerations while jockeying for the hole shot in a mass start or finishing sprint.
As the suspension compresses deeper, the lower link takes over, letting the rear wheel back out of big hits, and the overall curve across travel is less dramatic with the new VPP. Where the old VPP's suspension curve describes a deep "U," the new model's curve resembles a flattened check mark—an appropriate shape considering that the design checks off many of the points on our pedal-platform wish list. When paired with FOX's Float CTD shock, this makes for a ramp-up arc that doesn't dramatically alter as the shock compresses, so the pedaling platform stays consistent across travel, with less wallowing, bob, and bottom-outs.
All of these changes are wrapped in a frame that's still built with Santa Cruz's top-end Carbon CC construction method and materials, which allow the engineers to use less carbon in order to hit stiffness targets. The frame is every bit as responsive as the less expensive Carbon C version, but its claimed weight is almost 300g less. Both triangles are constructed as whole, monocoque pieces, which also contributes to keeping weight low as the carbon can be wrapped through junctures and around joints. This eliminates the artificial weak points of bonded frames and actually requires less material in the process. While it's being cured, the frame is compacted from inside and out. This final step eliminates excess material and resin pooling, resulting in more structural integrity and, of course, additional weight savings.
Despite that extensive list of changes, most of the obsessive details that we've come to associate with the clean lines and understated aesthetics of Santa Cruz frames carry over. These include down tube and chainstay protectors, ISCG-05 tabs, and the glorious 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell. It's impossible for us to overstate how much we love threaded bottom brackets. As advanced as even Santa Cruz's Carbon CC construction has become, even it can't produce molded bottom bracket PressFit cups that rival the precision of CNC-machined threads. A threaded bottom bracket adds a touch of weight and the extra labor is reflected in the price, but we think the reduced creaking and greater durability are worth it.
- A versatile trail bike with industry-defining pedigree
- 5in of the third generation of VPP travel
- 2.0 geometry for expanded all-mountain versatility
- Top-tier CC carbon construction
- Boost thru-axles increase stiffness and improve tracking
- Lightweight and reliable Shimano XT M8000 components
- Internal cable routing maintains clean lines
- Santa Cruz Bicycles remains committed to threaded bottom brackets
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Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This bike has a potential much greater than its numbers say. As the go-to whip of the 50/01 shredders for their two-wheeled shenanigans, and the trials lunacy of Danny Macaskill, the 5010 can put up with whatever abuse you can dish out. Being a short travel 27.5 wheeled machine, it sits in a very interesting spot. Without the wagon 29 wheels, it does lose a little bit of efficiency, but it makes up for it in grin-inducing laugh out loud madness. If your local trails aren't super aggressive (and even if they were, this bike could take it) and you want to have a blast, here you go.
The most comparable bike I have ridden to this machine is the Evil Calling. The Evil does have a (very) slightly lower BB and slacker head tube angle than the 5010, but If I were to buy this bike I would stroke the front fork out a little to get that head angle slightly slacker. The steeper head angle does add to the fun factor of this bike, felling slightly more like my Dirt Jumper than a trail bike, and a super slack head angle would take away some of that liveliness. The VPP suspension does pedal better than Evils Delta link, but is not as progressive as the delta, so I would tune a little bit on that to make it a little more progressive so you don't run through the travel as fast.
With those things being said, the great thing about this bike is with its super efficient suspension and light weight, you can go on serious backcountry adventures with it and not be hating the weight or pedaling, and then have a blast on the way back down. For a perfect single track ripping machine, both up and down, this is a great option.
Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you have questions about this or any other mountain bikes or gear.