Why We Like The Bronson Carbon XT Mountain Bike
Designed to shake up the all-mountain category, the mixed-wheel Santa Cruz Bronson is our trusty steed of choice for riders who have their foot in each discipline. Its 150mm of supple VPP suspension is eager to conquer post-work spins on flowy trails, weekend bike park laps, or all-day excursions in the high-alpine. The 27.5in rear wheel provides the cornering precision that true 27.5in bikes are known for, while the 29in front wheel offers roll-over capabilities that will leave you plowing through perilous rock gardens with ease. 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.
*Due to unprecedented demand in the global supply chain and the bike industry over the last 18 months, material weight and exact components are subject to change. We are working diligently to keep tech specs updated, and any adjustments will be minor. If you have any questions, reach out to a Gearhead by chatting online or calling 1-888-276-7130.
- Mixed-wheel all-mountain rig for do-it-all shredders
- 29in wheel up front rolls over obstacles with ease
- 27.5in rear wheel preserves the bike's playful handling and cornering
- 150mm of VPP rear travel features SC’s updated leverage curve
- Updated suspension kinematics for greater traction
- Slack head-angle and steeper seat-angle for stability and efficiency
- Included flip-chip for tunable geometry changes
- Carbon C frame offers excellent stiffness and durability