When confronted with the necessity of renaming its new trail bike, Santa Cruz Bicycles opted for the NumLock equivalent of the name it had originally chosen, converting "Solo" to "5010." But given the 5010 2.0 R2 Complete Mountain Bike's virtually limitless capabilities, SC could just as easily have named it the all-mountain-enduro-trail-machine-bot-XC. Of death. We're glad they didn't, though, because that would be… well, it'd be silly. And with a build kit comprising Shimano's newly reworked SLX M7000 drivetrain and SRAM brakes, the only room for silliness here is the comical abandon with which the 5010 2.0 can clean climbs and drop-in.
Despite the shared model name, the 5010 2.0 represents a marked departure from the original 5010, which SC first rolled out in 2013 and which was itself a marked departure from the Blur DNA from whence it sprang. The redesign is so pervasive that it touches on virtually every important frame dimension, with the biggest change coming in the head tube angle. The front end slacks out a full degree, dropping from 68 to 67 in a move that brings it in line with the previous Bronson model. The frame's reach and bottom bracket follow suit, with the former stretching out and the latter dropping slightly. Capping the whole thing off with a short stem helps preserve steering while taking advantage of that slack aggression.
The rear triangle enjoyed similarly thorough tweaks that tightened it 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 grunting over the crux of a climb or grinding speed on singletrack, the steeper angle nets a more efficient pedaling posture, making it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke. The new seat tube also accommodates a longer dropper post, giving more freedom for saddle height on descents. While climbing, stubbier chainstays contribute to transferring power more efficiently, and Boost axle spacing maintains a stiffer wheelset.
The third generation of Santa Cruz's VPP suspension is another returning feature that was first introduced on the 2016 5010. The most immediately obvious benefits here include an additional 5mm of travel and a relocation of the system's counter-rotating links. These changes make for a better standover height, ground clearance, and stiffer rear end; however, the latest VPP's real proof is in its revised tuning. The altered suspension curve keeps it riding even higher than the previous VPP, 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 position in a mass start or a finishing sprint.
As the suspension compresses deeper, the lower link takes over, letting the rear wheel back out of big hits. That's similar to the old VPP, but the new version's overall curve across travel is less dramatic. Where the old VPP's suspension curve describes a deep "U," this latest 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 Evol air can, 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.
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. In ascending order of importance, these include down tube and chainstay protectors, dual grease ports on the lower link for easy, at-home servicing, and the glorious 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell. It's impossible for us to overstate how much we love threaded bottom brackets. When it comes to reducing creaking and increasing longevity, the industry simply hasn't found a better solution than CNC-machined threads.
- A trail bike whose only limit is your imagination
- VPP suspension keeps all 5in responsive while pedaling
- Revised 2.0 geometry resembles the previous Bronson model
- Extended travel and relocated links push into all-mountain territory
- Boost thru-axles increases stiffness and improve tracking
- Shimano's SLX joins the fraternal order of 11 speeds
- Santa Cruz Bicycles' 5010 continues to set the standard for trail machines
More 5010 builds
View more All-Mountain & Trail
5010 size by rider height
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Height
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.
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.
What is the claimed weight.
Hey Mike, the claimed weight on the medium is 31.79lbs / 14.42kg. If you have any other questions or are interested in the bike, don't hesitate giving a shout to my direct line 801.204.4547 or you can email me at email@example.com. Cheers, Connor