Jack of all trails.
It's been five years since Santa Cruz first launched the 5010, which you might remember as being referred to as Solo at the time. The original 5010's design lineage was drawn from the 26-inch Blur to impart an energetic feel when you stomped on the gas, flickable precision around tight corners, and superior climbing abilities to bikes packing far more travel. Santa Cruz hasn't forgotten what made the original 5010 a success with a large contingent of trail riders, building on its strengths and updating some things along the way to make this third generation the best 5010 yet. For the 2019 model year, Santa Cruz pushes the 5010 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame into slacker and longer realms for increased competency at higher speeds demanded by modern trail bikes, yet it retains the original bike's agile handling and pedaling efficiency that cemented it as a versatile rig for everything from all-day epics in the mountains to spirited trail rides winding across the local forest network.
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.
Not only does the flip-chip allow you to ride in a more slacked-out position if you so choose, but it also gives you ample clearance to run wider tires up to 2.8 inches in width if you're seeking the massive traction and smoother ride quality of plus-sized rubber. We'd recommend going with tires in the range of 2.5 to 2.6 inches, as we feel these newly sized tires provide all the benefits of going to plus-size tires—namely monstrous traction and plow-anything confidence over loose rocks and rubble—all without the significantly heavier feel and tendency to squirm under hard cornering you'd experience with a larger 2.8-inch tire.
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.
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 Factory 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 luckily hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon lay-up. This particular frame enjoys the top-tier Carbon CC layup, which saves a good deal of weight while retaining all the stiffness and strength you've come to expect from a Santa Cruz carbon frame. While we don't have any particular figures on hand, the Carbon CC layup usually saves anywhere from 250 to 280 grams from its cheaper Carbon C brethren, making it a great choice for the more discerning rider looking for the lightest possible build. It's even backed by an outstanding lifetime warranty, so you'll have extra peace of mind while tackling long stretches of trail and putting this bike to the test across technical terrain.
- Santa Cruz's spirited 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
- Accepts wider tires up to 2.8 inches for plow-anything prowess
- Retains low bottom bracket and short chainstays for an agile feel
- 5in of VPP travel balances efficiency with bottom-out resistance
- Carbon CC frame saves weight without compromising stiffness
- Fox DPX2 Factory shock for optimal traction and sensitivity