Lively handling for the trail.
Emphasizing playful handling over the brute force of an enduro sled, the Santa Cruz 5010 2.1 R Complete Mountain Bike is a razor-sharp trail scalpel that's efficient enough for epic rides in the mountains and responsive enough to challenge friends on hot laps around the local loop. This 5010 features Santa Cruz's aluminum construction for reliable strength without dropping 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 agility on the trail.
Seeing the first generation of 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-gen 5010 has adapted to reflect the push towards modernized 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 on the descent, as well as making it inherently more stable at high speeds. Best of all, these geometry changes don't alter the quick-handling nature of the 5010, as it features snappy 16.7-inch chainstays and a low-slung bottom bracket of 13.1 inches.
Looking at the 5010's VPP suspension, you'll be pleased to note it underwent a subtle redesign for 2017, which improves the suspension durability and overall performance. The upper link is now connected to the top tube for greater stiffness, as well as more stand-over clearance for shorter riders. The lower link resides above the bottom bracket, protecting it from damaging rock strikes and flinging trail debris. These changes extend to the suspension's performance as well, with the VPP suspension exhibiting heightened sensitivity to small bumps, as well as greater mid-stroke support. However, the suspension is still progressive at end-stroke, ramping up dramatically to prevent you from harshly bottoming out.
Delving into this particular "R" kit, you'll find it's equipped with a nice balance of reliable and smooth-performing components. Case in point, the SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain delivers crisp shifts over a wide range of usable gears, all without dealing with a pesky front derailleur. Plus, the Fox Rhythm 34 fork offers a stiff chassis with its 34-millimeter stanchions, meaning you'll reap the benefits of precise handling over rough terrain.
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 plaform
- 67-degree head tube balances stability with steering response
- Longer reach keeps you comfortable and confident on descents
- Short chainstays and low bottom bracket for cornering prowess
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain for wide range of usable gears
- Fox Rhythm 34 fork with 130mm of bump-smoothing travel