5010 Carbon 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike
If you were to take a survey across the Competitive Cyclist office, there's a good chance that the Santa Cruz 5010 would earn the spot as most fun bike. That's because it captures a purely playful demeanor that few other bikes come close to, with short chainstays and a low bottom bracket for quick whips around corners, and lively VPP suspension for soaking up drops, rocks, and square-edge bumps. And last year's V3 makeover brought the 5010 Carbon 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike even further into the future, with Santa Cruz's engineers packing in longer, slacker geometry that amps up the bike's confidence on rowdy descents, enabling it to hold on to the back wheel of bigger bikes on the downhill, and turn on a dime to blow right past them when you're pointing upward. Santa Cruz added flip-chip technology to this iteration, allowing you to tailor the angles to your particular riding style, and run a slew of tire sizes, from quick-rolling 2.3's, all the way up to lofty 2.8's for extra traction. For 2020 Santa Cruz sticks with a good thing with the V3's geometry and build, but with a fresh coat of paint to stand out on the trail.
The v3 5010's headtube is slacker than ever, kicking back to a 66.5-degree head tube angle in its high setting and a more DH-friendly 66.1-degree head tube angle in the lowest setting. The inclusion of the flip-chip allows for this subtle change giving you the ability to tune the bike's geometry for different terrain and riding styles. Looking to hit the lifts or shuttle and let gravity assist your day's riding? Go low. Planning on knocking out that 6-hour pedal fest deep into the woods you and your buddies have planned out for a bit? Go high, and you'll be treated with a bike that pedals well and doesn't flinch in the face of technical trail problems on steep, rowdy terrain.
As noted above, the flip-chip not only allows you to ride with a couple of geo options, it also provides the clearance needed to run wider tires up to 2.8 inches in width. Santa Cruz outfits this particular 5010 with their "new" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires, which deliver all the traction and bump-smoothing benefits of a traditional 2.8-inch tire, but without feeling bouncy, slow, or excessively heavy. This 2.6-inch tire really gives you the best of both worlds, traction and plushness over the rockiest stretches of trail, but without the rolling resistance or tire squirm under braking and hard-cornering like a larger 2.8-inch tire.
The other exciting news about this third generation 5010 is its slightly longer reach that's grown by around 15 millimeters across sizes for a bit roomier feel in the cockpit, as well as increased stability at higher speeds. To keep efficient pedaling in check, the seat tube is a full degree steeper placing you in an optimal pedaling position while you're climbing those thousands of vertical feet where the fun begins or simply muscling up a short, punchy climb with rocks and roots standing in your way.
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 platform neatly tucks the lower link above the bottom bracket to protect it from rock strikes and damage from flinging trail debris. The upper portion remains attached to the top tube with a new stiffer box-section upper link. While other DH-oriented frames in the Santa Cruz line have moved to a lower-link mounted shock, the 5010 retains its upper link-mounted shock, as to not lose the pedaling efficiency and bottom out resistance needed for the reduction in travel. That being said, it's spec'd with a FOX DPX2 Float Performance shock for a supple feel with improved traction while pedaling over bumpy trail sections, as well as greater resistance to heating up for more consistency on those long descents.
One thing that hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon layup. This particular frame benefits from the resounding stiffness and strength you've come to love from the Northern California brand's Carbon C layup. This high degree of stiffness translates to lightning-quick acceleration when you're accelerating out of a corner or hammering up a steep, punchy climb on the trail, as well as allowing you to hold your line over rugged stretches of trail, such as rock gardens and root-latticed singletrack. Additionally, you'll find the Carbon C frame pairs nicely with SRAM's new NX Eagle group, providing you with the range needed for all-day rides and a great value. The frame is backed by an amazing lifetime warranty, so you'll have peace of mind for riding hard and fast out on the trail.
- Santa Cruz's lively trail bike gets a boost in DH confidence
- Long-and-slack trends tweak geometry for increased speed composure
- Low bottom bracket and short chainstays build a corning monster
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.1° head tube angles
- "New" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires for plow-anything confidence
- 130mm of VPP travel for efficiency and bottom-out resistance
- Carbon C frame is resoundingly stiff and reliably strong
- SRAM NX Eagle group further delivers value