Razor-sharp trail scalpel.
The Santa Cruz 5010 2.1 Mountain Bike Frame emphasizes quick directional changes and poppy-playful fun over the brute force of a longer-travel machine, making it a responsive bike for long days in the mountains and hot laps around the local forest network. This 5010 frame features Santa Cruz's aluminum construction for reliable strength without having to drop all your precious loot on a pricier carbon model. Budget-conscious riders will be happy to know that geometry stays congruent with all frames in the 5010 line-up, allowing those without stacked bank accounts to reap the same benefits of playfulness and agile handling on the trail.
Seeing the first generation 5010 drew inspiration from the nimble leanings of the Blur TR, it was inherently more playful than anything else in Santa Cruz's line-up when it was launched in 2013. Now that bikes have grown slacker, longer, and lower, it only makes sense the second generation 5010 has adapted to reflect the changes in modern trail geometry, with a longer reach and wheelbase in conjunction with a slacker head tube angle of 67 degrees. These changes create a roomier cockpit, so you're more comfortable and confident tackling descents littered with rocks and roots, as well as making it inherently more stable at high speeds. Best of all, the geometry changes don't alter the quick-turning nature of the bike or its stability around corners, as the 5010 features snappy 16.7-inch chainstays and low-slung 13.1-inch bottom bracket.
Looking to the 5010's VPP suspension, you'll be pleased to note it underwent a subtle redesign for 2017 for improved suspension performance, greater durability, enhanced stiffness, and better stand-over clearance. The lower link is neatly tucked above the bottom bracket to prevent flinging rocks from damaging the linkage and the upper link is now attached to the top tube in a configuration similar to the previous generation Nomad. The changes to the upper linkage make it more stiff while improving stand-over height for shorter riders, which is especially evident on the smaller frame.
Compared to the first generation 5010, the second generation gets the slightest increase in travel, bumping up from 125 to 130-millimeters of rear travel. However, the big story with the second generation 5010 lies in improved suspension performance, which results in better sensitivity off-the-top and increased mid-stroke support for a more consistent feel as you're tracking over root and rock impediments. To prevent you from bottoming out on bigger trail obstacles, the VPP suspension ramps up at the end-stroke to make it feel a bit deeper than its 130-millimeters of travel would suggest. This means you'll be able to ride the 5010 on burlier terrain where other mid-travel trail bikes would struggle, albeit you'll have to pick lines more carefully than on a longer-travel bike.
Please note, because the alloy version of the 5010 uses an integrated headset, the headtube measurement is 10 millimeters longer than what's indicated on the geometry chart, as to match the same headtube measurement as the carbon frame with its external lower cup and internal upper cup installed. Other than this headtube measurement, everything indicated on the geometry chart is accurate.
- Santa Cruz's quintessential trail bike with nimble handling
- Aluminum frame for reliable strength without lofty price tag
- 130mm of VPP suspension for a responsive pedaling platform
- Fox Float Performance DPS shock with EVOL for bump sensitivity
- Longer reach keeps you comfortable and confident on descents
- Short chainstays and low bottom bracket for cornering agility
- BSA threaded bottom bracket eliminates annoying creaks
- ISCG-05 tabs for running a chainguide