Take it to the Limit.
When we think of the quintessential trail-bike, Santa Cruz's 5010 always comes to mind. It is a fun, playful bike that is always up to whatever you and the trail can throw at it. The D build version of the 5010 we have here is constructed from aluminum tubing adding durability and allowing you to spend that extra money on some fun adventures with the bike. The VPP suspension and geometry is consistent to that of the carbon versions so you can rest assured that the intended ride quality and handling aspects will remain in effect.
Slacker, longer, and lower, has been the mantra for trail geometry over the past few years and the 5010 and the rest of the Santa Cruz stable is certainly not immune to these changes. The latest generation 5010 has a longer reach and wheelbase and the head tube angle has been relaxed to 67 degrees. The rear of the bike sees the chainstays hacked to 16.7 inches. The longer front end is both roomier and allows shorter stems for quick handling and a rearward weight bias.
These changes allow for that same fun, playful, poppy bike that we love but adds a little more credence on high speed steep sections or through demanding baby heads and roots. The sub 17-inch chainstays, allow for a super nimble demeanor and you will almost find yourself wanting to snake by your riding buddies or use the single-wide trail as your own personal slalom course.
The 5010's VPP suspension carries over the 2017 redesign and offers improved suspension performance and increased durability. The second generation 5010 is far more sensitive to small bumps making it much suppler off the top and more sensitive to small hits. The mid-stroke retains the nice linear VPP feel but is more supportive so it loses the mid-stroke wallow that plagued VPP bikes in the past. The end stroke is still quite progressive but lacks a heavy spike so ramping up to prevent bottoming out goes unnoticed. This is nice as the last thing we want to think about if we are putting our suspension to those limits is "how is my suspension working?" You might seriously consider if you need to own a Bronson or Nomad after testing the limits of the 5010. The lower linkage is tucked a little closer to the bottom bracket protecting it from rock strikes and flying trail debris. The upper linkage is attached to the top tube to improve stiffness, and add a little bit more room for stand over.
The D build consists of SRAM's NX1 drivetrain and offers a great gear range and putting the final nail in the front derailleur's coffin. The simplicity, weight savings, and reliability of a 1x is hard to argue. Other notable features of this build are the Rock Shox Recon fork with its reliably stiff chassis and consistent damping.
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 all-around trail bike with nimble handling
- Aluminum frame for reliable strength at attractive price
- 130mm of VPP suspension for a responsive pedaling platform
- 67-degree headtube balances stability with steering response
- Longer reach keeps you comfortable and confident on descents
- Short chainstays and low bottom bracket for confident handling
- SRAM NX1 1x11 drivetrain provides a wide gear range
- Rock Shox Recon fork with 130mm of travel