Hooting and hollering is optional.
Seeing the newest version of the Santa Cruz 5010 27.5+ S Complete Mountain Bike is more capable than ever with its longer, slacker geometry that begs you to ride faster than you ever thought possible and voluminous tires for plow-anything confidence, you'd be crazy to not let out a little of your inner-animal with a few screams of pure ecstasy as you dive into rock gardens, rip around berms, and open it up at higher speeds. Santa Cruz realized that a large contingent of 5010 fans liked the bike for its poppy and playful nature, so they retained the bike's low bottom bracket and short chainstays that made the original fun to carve around corners and rip around undulating flow trails.
The third generation 5010 is slacker than ever, dropping to a 66.5-degree head tube angle in its high setting and a more gravity-friendly 66.1-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 those steep descents with imposing rocks and roots threatening to derail your balance.
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 to. 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 a short, punchy climbs with rocks and roots standing in your way.
Santa Cruz now offers the 5010 in their "new" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires, which deliver all the traction and bump-smoothing benefits of traditional 2.8-inch plus tires, but without being overly vague in handling, prone to burping while cornering hard, and way too heavy for pedaling long distances on the trail. This higher volume 2.6-inch tire size really gives you the confidence to monster truck your way across the rockiest stretches of trail without worrying about the tire squirming while cornering and braking hard, which is something that's posed a problem for larger 2.8 and 3.0-inch tires in the past.
As you'd expect with the 5010, it retains the high degree of pedaling efficiency and bottom-out resistance of 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 say the Bronson or Nomad. However, it's spec'd with a FOX DPX2 Float Performance shock for a more supple feel with heightened traction while pedaling over bumpy trail sections, as well as greater resistance to heating up excessively on those long descents.
We'd be dropping the ball if we forgot to mention the exceptional quality of the 5010's alloy frame on this particular model. Although it's not as stiff as carbon, Santa Cruz does an excellent job in maintaining structural stiffness and strength with their alloy frames, especially seeing all their bikes use alloy for the test mules in the research and design process, before they're sent to the carbon factory for the more expensive Carbon C and CC versions. The biggest benefit to riding an alloy frame is the significant cost savings compared to carbon, which translates to more people riding on bikes they absolutely love, which is something we can all get behind here at Competitive Cyclist.
- Santa Cruz's flagship trail bike is more versatile than ever
- Slacker, longer geometry for increased composure at speed
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.1° head tube angles
- "New" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires for plow-anything confidence
- Retains low bottom bracket, short chainstays for quick cornering
- VPP suspension balances efficiency with bottom-out resistance
- Aluminum frame optimizes strength-to-weight at economical price
- GX Eagle drivetrain offers a massive range of usable gears