Why We Like The Bronson Carbon R Mountain Bike
When we’re unsure of our trail regimen for the day, we reach for the new Santa Cruz Bronson to get us through the big climbs and unfamiliar descents that wait for us up on the mountain. This 150mm travel trail bike features stable geometry and a 29in front wheel that helps us plow through bomb holes and stay upright over drops, while the 27.5in wheel out back allows for quick cornering and precise split-second moves. Having the best of both worlds sounds pretty good to us, especially knowing it comes with the legendary refinement and rugged reliability that Santa Cruz frames are known for.
The fourth-generation Bronson has a frame that’s purpose-built to work around a 27.5in and 29in wheel combo, offering a better ride than scrappy mullet conversions that can have undesirable effects on the bike’s geometry and handling. The revised wheels bring the mixed wheel size game into the park and enduro lineup, giving riders a bike that's nimble in the corners but rolls over the chunder all day long. The bike maintains the same 150mm of VPP rear travel as the previous generation, but the suspension has lower anti-squat values to help enhance the bike’s traction and overall smoothness.
This Bronson also sees longer and slacker geometry, but Santa Cruz didn’t go too crazy with it and the bike still has that agility that riders loved about the previous model. Our favorite change is the chainstay length that varies per size, ensuring every size of rider gets the same balanced geometry and fit. The reach and wheelbase are longer and the head tube is slacker, providing more stability during high-speed sections and technical descents. Santa Cruz knows that pedaling prowess matters, so they incorporated a steeper 77.1-degree seat tube angle on a size medium to balance the long and slack geo. Combined with the efficient VPP platform, the bike tackles tough climbs with ease. The geometry is also adjustable via a flip-chip in the linkage, allowing you to tune the handling to suit the trail at hand.
Lucky for all of us, one thing that hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon frames, which is a good thing if you're after the legendary strength and unwavering stiffness of their renowned carbon layups. This particular Bronson benefits from the Carbon C layup, which uses a bit more material than CC frames but still accelerates quickly and offers unflappable poise when pummeling through rough terrain. It's backed by Santa Cruz's excellent lifetime warranty, so you'll have extra peace of mind while riding particularly fast on your favorite stretch of trail and shuttling downhill laps on the mountain pass.
- Mixed-wheel trail bike for park rats and big mountain pedalers
- 29er up front rolls over obstacles with ease
- 27.5 rear wheel preserves the bike's playful handling
- 150mm of VPP rear travel paired with a 160mm Fox 36 fork
- Updated suspension kinematics for greater traction
- Slack head-angle and steep seat-angle for better pedaling & descending
- Included flip-chip for tunable geometry changes
- Carbon C frame offers excellent stiffness and durability