Stigmata Carbon CC Force 1x 650b Gravel Bike
Santa Cruz pumped some fresh life into the beloved drop-bar Stigmata back in 2015, and it's been a favorite for racers and escapists ever since. The Stigmata takes the best traits of all disciplines to pack wide-reaching versatility into a racing performance soul. Couple with the SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x drive train and 650b wheels, the Stigmata Carbon CC Gravel Bike extends the drop-bar riding possibilities to satisfy even the most demanding racer and weekend warrior.
All of the new Stigmata frames sport Santa Cruz's top-shelf CC carbon lay-up, which delivers robust strength and stiffness alongside lightweight efficiency. The significantly revised carbon layup borrows knowledge gained from the mountain-going hardtail, the Highball, and knowledge gained when building Danny MacAskill's trials bike, to produce a ride yielding more compliance helping to smooth out the ride. Up front, the new Stigmata CC Fork uses the same high-end carbon for uncompromising stiffness and strength when you need it most and substitutes the old 15mm thru-axle for a more road and gravel appropriate 12mm one which also helps improve the ride quality.
It receives some modern geometry tweaks that place it solidly in contention with the herd of high-end all-road and gravel bike options, with a 71.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat angle (based on a 54cm model), and lower bottom bracket height that varies by frame size to account for the crank length spec. You'll also find two fork offsets to improve trail geo numbers at the extreme ends of the size spectrums as well as less toe overlap, and improved standover of 10-30mm depending on tire choice. These changes improve confidence and composure while grinding over gravel back roads or exploring light-duty singletrack, yet doesn't detract from its versatility on the 'cross course.
Speaking of 'cross, UCI pro races place limitations on tire width with a maximum of 33mm, however, when venturing off the course, that's hardly our idea of plush. Santa Cruz designed the new Stigmata to accept tires up to 45mm wide in this 700c guise and up to 2.1 inches in 27.5in guise (yep, it now does 700c and 650b!), allowing you to drop the pressure of the tubeless tires for a more comfortable ride through rougher terrain. Conversely, you can toss on a set of skinny road tires to throw down on the local group ride or noodle through the city on a Sunday social.
Thru-axles at the front and rear add poise and confidence for better tracking across rutted-out straightaway and gravel-strewn corners. The new flat-mount brake standard accommodates 140 and 160mm rotors with bikes coming spec'd with 160mm to slow you down in a hurry when you need to, no matter how mucky or wet the conditions. Internal cable routing cleans things up by running the brake and shift housing through the frame and fork, providing a bit of added cable protection and improved aesthetics over frames with external routing. And for riders worried about future compatibility, the Stigmata's ability to run both mechanical and electronic drivetrains keeps it relevant in today's ever-shifting landscape of technology.
The addition of SRAM's Force eTap AXS 1x drivetrain boasts the simplicity of searching for gears on only the cassette and the ease of swapping to a different chainring size to suit your preferred terrain. Although with an included 42t up front and the humongous Eagle 10-50 tooth cassette out back, you'll have plenty of room to enjoy pedaling road descents and punching it up monster off-road inclines. And with the power of the eTap derailleur, you'll be able to get into that bailout cog under significant torque if you begin to slip out at slow speeds on steeper ramps. The 650b wheelset sets you up with 27.5 x 2.0in tires for exceptional grip off-road and running lower pressures to smooth out untested terrain on backroad bikepacking quests. p>
Final new frame details extend to three water bottle cage mounts for really getting out there and staying hydrated and stealth routing should you decide to run a dropper post. The frame and fork also get fender mounts so you and the bike stay cleaner and a move away from the PressFit30 bottom bracket to the easier to install and maintain and less likely to creak and pop 68mm English threaded shell.
- Santa Cruz's go anywhere, ride anything, multi-surface drop-bar bike
- CC-grade carbon is ultra-light, stiff, and reliable
- SRAM Force 1x eTap AXS group shifts smooth, boosts chain retention
- Three bottle cage mounts keep you hydrated for longer
- Accommodates up to 27.5 x 2.1in or 700x45mm tires
- Improved frame and fork compliance keeps the ride smooth
- 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell eliminates creaks
- Fender mounts keep you and the bike clean in unfavorable weather