Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 2.0 Carbon R2 Complete Mountain Bike - 2017 $3,699.00
Bridge the gap.
Santa Cruz Bicycles' 5010 has long been a favorite an all-mountain favorite, bridging the gap between enduro and trail with a versatility not often found in the wild. For 2017, the 5010 2.0 Carbon R2 Complete Mountain Bike carries 2016's celebrated updates into a new year with new, typically imaginative colorways and kit. This particular build gets a double chainring and Shimano's workhorse SLX componentry—itself the beneficiary of a recent re-working—for a wide range of precise gearing.
2016's 2.0 updates touch on almost every important aspect of frame geometry. The biggest change is to the head tube, which drops one degree from 68 to 67. 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 recline, the changes out back tighten things up for more pedaling efficiency and cockpit versatility. The seat tube is steeper, longer, and wider, which benefits 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. On steep descents, the shorter, fatter seat tube allows for more dropper travel, which nets increased stability when gravity dictates your speed and unruly trail furniture impedes you.
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 increased power transfer when dropping watts into the pedals and nimbler 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 VPP suspension also sees some updates 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 today's version 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. This is similar to the old VPP, but the overall curve across travel is less dramatic with the newest iteration. VPP's suspension curve formerly described a deep "U"; now, it 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 Performance 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, bottoming-out.
The 5010 Carbon features a full carbon fiber frame boasting the same stiffness, durability, and strength as Santa Cruz's top-line Carbon CC frame. It's just made with a less costly carbon fiber that carries a tiny bit more weight and brings a big reduction in overall price. The frame's two carbon triangles are built as whole pieces rather than glued together from disparate bits, a method that saves weight and increases structural integrity by allowing Santa Cruz to wrap carbon continuously through and around key junctures. This process reinforces the frame with less material while eliminating the artificial stress points that result from bonded construction methods. Finally, the carbon is also compacted from the inside and the outside for a more even finish that avoids any structural defects, excess material build-up, and resin pooling for added weight savings.
Despite the extensive list of changes for the 2.0 models, 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 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 trail bike that overlaps with the enduro world
- 5in of travel feel deeper with Santa Cruz's VPP suspension design
- Aggressive 2.0 geometry expands all-mountain versatility
- Carbon construction process reduces weight and increases strength
- Boost thru-axles increase stiffness and improve tracking
- Lightweight and reliable Shimano SLX componentry
- Internal cable routing maintains clean lines
More 5010 builds
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Reviews & Community
5010 Fifty Ten but 100% Fun
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
So admittedly I'm a roadie, I just moved to Utah from FL. I own an aluminum hardtail that I used to ride on the mellow trails in FL, it was fine for there but not out here. The mecca, Park City.
I have demoed a few mountain bikes; researching, I have to figure out what I'm going to buy for next season. I race road bikes, but I just want to change it up and get on the mountains. Not too interested in racing mountain, just want to have fun for now. I get enough of that intense competitive vibe on the road bike. I just want to ride in the mountains. That being said, the 5010 is absolutely up there on my short list.
I have tried a couple of our cross country bikes and they are awesome; they climb like a dream, but I don't feel secure going down hill. I'm really bad at that. The 5010 was a great balance; sure, I didn't climb as fast as the cross country bikes but it held it's own. I could get up the mountain well enough, but going down hill is where I fell in love.
Confidence pointing down the trail is a big deal and the 5010 gave me that plus some. When I crested the climb and saw the signs to be careful and don't go too fast this bike came alive. Typically, no one needs to worry about me going too fast down hill. On this bike it was a different story, after descending for about 2 minutes I realized I could open it up.
I was searching for rougher sections of the trail, dropping the post and sitting back for the ride. Breezing over terrain I would have avoided on the other bikes, hitting turns and loading up the suspension into the banks. Pure fun! I even felt solid enough to hit a jump or two!
I would absolutely recommend this bike for anyone desiring fun on the trails! Who isn't?
- 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.
And really, at this price, it can't be beat.
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.
Will not be disappointed!!!!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The whole experience was incredible. Jeff was able to recommend the products that I was looking for. Then the bike was delivered to me. Wow, this bike is nimble and just flat out fun to ride. Now I know why all my buddies ride the 5010. The trails in East Texas are full of roots and ruts, the 5010 soaks it up and spits them out.