5010 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike
It's no surprise really how popular the 5010 bike is in Santa Cruz's lineup. After all, a refined mid travel suspension platform and 650b wheels is a recipe for a good time. Now in its third generation, the firm's made some subtle updates along the way that magically makes it more of an all-mountain assassin while at the same time, one of the better pedaling and climbing trail bikes out there. These latest updates see Santa Cruz pushing the 5010 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike into the slacker and longer reaches of the geometry spectrum for better composure at higher speeds on rougher trails while ensuring that it retained its responsive handling and pedaling efficiency. Bottom line, this is a bike that’s right at home on all-day epics while not giving up too much to all-out enduro bikes when the terrain gets rough.
This is the slackest 5010 yet receiving a 66.5-degree head tube angle in its high setting and a gravity-friendly 66.2-degree head tube angle in the lowest setting. The addition of a flip-chip makes this all possible, meaning you'll have the ability to adapt the bike's geometry for different terrain and riding styles, whether you're seeking a bit more balanced feel with greater efficiency and climbing competency or you'd like it to flat out rip on steep descents with imposing rocks and roots standing in your path, you can choose, even mid-ride if you wish.
Santa Cruz outfits this particular 5010 with 2.3-inch tires, which deliver plenty of traction and grip while still rolling quickly. This width gets the power to the ground on the rockiest stretches of trail, without the tire squirming under hard braking and cornering like a wider, lower pressure tire would. However, Santa Cruz did engineer the 5010 to accommodate up to a 2.8-inch tire if your riding style and local terrain call for it. Another major update to the design of the third generation 5010 lies in a slightly longer reach that's grown by 15 millimeters for a bit roomier feel in the cockpit, as well as increased composure at those higher speeds you'll be pushing this bike into. The seat tube is a full degree steeper to keep you in an optimal pedaling position when you're climbing for thousands of vertical feet or simply muscling up short, punchy climbs with rocks and roots standing in your way.
As you'd expect with the 5010, it retains a high degree of pedaling efficiency and bottom-out resistance like the previous version. This VPP configuration neatly tucks the lower link above the bottom bracket to prevent rock strikes and damage from flinging trail debris. The upper portion remains attached to the top tube with a stiffer box-section upper link. While others in the Santa Cruz line have moved to a lower-link mounted shock, the 5010 retains its upper link-mounted shock, seeing it's not as gravity-oriented as the Bronson, V10, or Nomad. It's spec'd with a FOX Float Performance DPS shock for a supple stroke and is easy to set up and adjust for conditions.
Santa Cruz realizes that carbon isn't for everyone, be it budget constraints or previous experience with the material, which is why it still builds with aluminum, great if you demand high-performance and value. It possesses plenty of stiffness for responsive handling and you won't sweat it when a rock pings off the downtube or you go to hoist it on your tailgate at the trailhead at the end of your ride. In case you're wondering, the aluminum frames are backed by Santa Cruz's lifetime warranty for added peace of mind on those technical trails, just as it does on its carbon offerings.
- Santa Cruz's all-around trail bike with nimble handling
- Aluminum frame offers reliable strength at an attractive price
- 130mm of VPP suspension provides a responsive pedaling platform
- 66.2-degree headtube balances stability with quick handling
- Longer reach keeps you comfortable and confident on descents
- Short chainstays and low bottom bracket for confident handling
- SRAM NX1 Eagle drivetrain provides a wide gear range
- FOX Rhythm fork smoothes the terrain with 130mm of plush travel