All of the changes Santa Cruz made to the 5010 Carbon 27.5+ S Reserve bike in 2019 are carrying over to 2020: slacker and longer for riders going ever deeper on the ragged edge. It's also returning with the flip chip—first introduced on the Hightower—which toggles the frame between 27.5+ and 29in wheels without negatively impacting geometry. With 27.5in Reserve wheels and 2.6in tires, this particular model is ready for grippy efficiency on loose climbs or while blasting through rooty rollers, so the addition of bigger tires and carbon hoops just play even more to the 5010's historical strengths.
The flip chip toggles between 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. In practice, that means the bike adapts to different wheel diameters, sure, but also leans toward different terrain and riding styles. You can indulge in the traditional 5010's balanced feel with greater efficiency and climbing competency or lay it out on steep descents full of rocks and roots threatening to derail your balance.
Not only does the flip-chip allow you to ride in a more slacked-out position, but it also gives you ample clearance 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 overly vague or excessively heavy. This 2.6-inch tire really gives you the confidence to monster-truck your way across the rockiest stretches of trail, but without worrying about the tire squirming under hard braking and cornering like a larger 2.8in tire.
Another major update carrying forward 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.
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.
One thing that hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon layup. This particular frame benefits from the 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 bursting 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 Santa Cruz's Reserve 27 Carbon Wheels for more precise handling and quicker acceleration, plus the unflappable confidence and strength afforded by these carbon hoops. Both the frame and wheels are backed by an amazing lifetime warranty, so you'll have peace of mind for riding hard and fast out on the trail.
- A quiver killer trail bike with enduro influences
- Slacker, longer geometry increases composure at speed
- Retains low bottom bracket and short chainstays for agility
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.1° head tube angles
- "New" plus-sized 2.6in tires for plow-anything confidence
- 130mm of VPP travel for efficiency and bottom-out resistance
- Carbon C frame is resoundingly stiff and reliably strong
- Santa Cruz Reserve 27 Carbon Wheels for precise handling and lightweight stiffness