Why We Like The Stigmata Carbon CC GRX Gravel Bike
As Santa Cruz launches yet another iteration of the Stigmata Carbon CC GRX Gravel Bike, it proves the brand is dedicated to deepening adventure, or building the ultimate rallycat CX rig. While in 2015 Santa Cruz set the Stiggy apart from its competitors with technology that was new to the all-road scene, like internally routed cables and disc-brakes, these days you don't have to look hard to find other steeds that feature the same tech, so Santa Cruz looked to riders to see what else might be missing from the dream ride, and modernized the Stigmata to keep it at the top of the game regardless of whether that game is bikepacking adventures, cross season, or endless miles of gravel racing. This particular build marries the Stigmata's off-road versatility with the shifting comfort of Shimano's new off-road specific GRX groupset that's built to improve chain retention and shift feel through rowdy gravel rides.
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 improved fits for smaller riders with the introduction of a size 49cm, 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.
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.
- Santa Cruz's multi-surface drop-bar bike for tackling anything
- CC-grade carbon is ultra-light, stiff, and reliable
- Shimano's GRX gravel 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