Why We Like the 5010 Carbon XT Reserve Mountain Bike
The redesigned 5010 turns any stretch of trail or road into your playground. With 130mm of rear travel in a 27.5in wheel platform, the 5010 begs to pop off that trailside feature and take the most playful lines back to the trailhead. Santa Cruz updated the 5010 this season, changing the geometry and echoing changes to other frames with the lower-link VPP design for more efficient pedaling and more fun on the descents. Paired with Shimano's rugged and capable XT drivetrain and Santa Cruz's own Reserve Carbon Wheels, this model of the 5010 arrives ready for the feature-packed trails of your local mountain or park.
Santa Cruz’s updates to the geometry of the 5010 make it more playful than ever with slacker headtube and steeper seat tube angles, as well as size-specific chainstay lengths. The slacker front end provides confidence when descending and greater stability in technical terrain. With 15mm longer reach in this year’s model, Santa Cruz compensated to make the seat tube 2-degrees steeper, which means all those improvements at the front end don’t come at the cost of climbing efficiency. The short chainstays liven up the back end, so you can nimbly wind through the trees or hit features, while the proportional length ensures that rides of all heights get the same grin while coming down the mountain. While maintaining the 130mm rear travel, the 2021 model now comes spec’d with a 140mm fork for that extra pop when you need it. We all have our preferences for how a bike handles, so the flip chip in the rear linkage allows you to vary between high (steeper) and low (more slack) geometry settings with the turn of a hex key.
This year’s 5010 is only available in carbon, and this particular bike utilizes Santa Cruz's Carbon C layup, which makes for a resoundingly stiff frame for swift acceleration and unflappable poise when you're pointing it down lines that question your confidence. This layup adds a few grams but also saves some dollars relative to their Carbon CC construction. Santa Cruz specs this iteration of the 5010 with only the finest in trail-riding finery. Shimano’s XT drivetrain and brakes deliver precise shifting across a wide gear range, with the power to check speed, should you encounter a moose on the trail, for example. The redesigned 5010 edges away from the plus-sized tires of its predecessors and comes paired with Santa Cruz’s Reserve Carbon rims and Maxxis DHR 2.4in tires, ready to carry you access the most feature-laden trail sections and park laps.
- Santa Cruz's fun-loving 27.5in trail bike sees some updates
- Progressive geo with slacker head tube and longer reach
- Steep 77-degree seat tube for efficient pedaling
- Chainstay length varies with frame size for optimal handling
- Lower-link VPP suspension has a smoother, more predictable feel
- Carbon C frame offers legendary strength and stiffness
- Built with Shimano's newest XT 12-speed group
- Universal derailleur hanger makes it easier to find replacements