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Time in the sun.
For 2017, the 5010 2.0 Carbon CC XX1 Complete Mountain Bike remains relatively unchanged from the previous model year. This restraint is rare from Santa Cruz Bicycles, as the CA-based brand tends to favor tinkering over just letting a multiple BOTY winning design enjoy its time in the sun. Ever since it first introduced the Blur, the predecessor to the 5010 and Bronson, SC has been reluctant to rest on its laurels; with the 2.0 geometry tweaks to the 5010, we think it's finally earned a year off.
SRAM sure hasn't taken the year off, though, as evidenced by the all-new Eagle XX1 drivetrain included here. Eagle takes one-by to its logical conclusion by tacking a 50t granny cog onto SRAM's top racing groupset, giving you range on par with a double while maintaining the simplicity and low weight of a one-by setup.
The 5010 2.0 represents a marked departure from the original 5010, which SC first rolled out in 2013 and which was itself a marked departure from the Blur DNA from whence it sprang. The redesign is so pervasive that it touches on virtually every important frame dimension, with the biggest change coming in the head tube angle. The front end slacks out a full degree, dropping from 68 to 67 in a move that brings it in line with the previous Bronson model. The frame's reach and bottom bracket follow suit, with the former stretching out and the latter dropping slightly. Capping the whole thing off with a short stem helps preserve steering while taking advantage of that slack aggression.
The rear triangle enjoyed similarly thorough tweaks that tightened it up for more pedaling efficiency and cockpit versatility. The seat tube is steeper, longer, and wider, which benefits both the ups and downs of all-mountain riding. While grunting over the crux of a climb or grinding speed on singletrack, the steeper angle nets a more efficient pedaling posture, making it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke. The new seat tube also accommodates a longer dropper post, giving more freedom for saddle height on descents. While climbing, stubbier chainstays contribute to transferring power more efficiently, and Boost axle spacing maintains a stiffer wheelset.
The third generation of Santa Cruz's VPP suspension is another returning feature that was first introduced on the 2016 5010. The most immediately obvious benefits here include an additional 5mm of travel and a relocation of the system's counter-rotating links. These changes make for a better standover height, ground clearance, and stiffer rear end; however, the latest VPP's real proof is in its revised tuning. The altered suspension curve keeps it riding even higher than the previous VPP, increasing small bump compliance and keeping the tires glued to the trail for more efficient traction across the successive impacts of lumpy courses and rooty climbs. The initial stroke's reliance on the upper link activating for a vertical wheel path remains unchanged, maintaining the firm feel during accelerations while jockeying for position in a mass start or a finishing sprint.
As the suspension compresses deeper, the lower link takes over, letting the rear wheel back out of big hits. That's similar to the old VPP, but the new version's overall curve across travel is less dramatic. Where the old VPP's suspension curve describes a deep "U," this latest model's curve resembles a flattened check mark — an appropriate shape considering that the design checks off many of the points on our pedal-platform wish list. When paired with FOX's Evol air can, this makes for a ramp-up arc that doesn't dramatically alter as the shock compresses, so the pedaling platform stays consistent across travel, with less wallowing, bob, and bottom-outs.
All of these changes are included in a frame that's still built with Santa Cruz's top-end Carbon CC construction method and materials, which allow the engineers to use less carbon but still hit stiffness targets. The frame is every bit as responsive as the less expensive Carbon C version, but its claimed weight is almost 300g less. Both triangles are constructed as whole, monocoque pieces, which also contributes to keeping weight low because the carbon can be wrapped through junctures and around joints. This eliminates the artificial weak points of bonded frames and actually requires less material in the process. While it's being cured, the frame is compacted from inside and out. This final step eliminates excess material and resin pooling, resulting in more structural integrity and, of course, additional weight savings.
Despite that extensive list of changes, most of the obsessive details that we've come to associate with the clean lines and understated aesthetics of Santa Cruz frames carry over. In ascending order of importance, these include down tube and chainstay protectors, ISCG-05 tabs, and the glorious 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell. It's impossible for us to overstate how much we love threaded bottom brackets. As advanced as even Santa Cruz's Carbon CC construction has become, even it can't produce molded bottom bracket PressFit cups that rival the precision of CNC-machined threads. A threaded bottom bracket adds a touch of weight and the extra labor is reflected in the price, but we think the reduced creaking and greater durability are worth it.
- A trail machine that drops in as eagerly as it climbs
- 5in of responsive VPP suspension travel
- Slacker, longer geometry for sending bigger lines
- Extended travel and relocated links push into all-mountain territory
- Boost thru-axles increases stiffness and improve tracking
- CC Carbon construction reduces weight and increases stiffness
- SRAM's Eagle drivetrains add the ultimate bailout cog to one-by setups
- Few brands know trail gnarliness as well as Santa Cruz Bicycles
- Item #SNZ00A5
- Q & A
Definitely a classic!
I just returned from Santa Cruz where I demo'd several of their new bikes. The new 2.0 version of the 5010 is amazing! Its everything you liked in the original only lighter better performing. I rode the bike for a couple of hours over a variety of terrain and found the bike handled extremely well-especially in tight, twisty singletrack. The geometry and inproved VPP made the bike feel as if it were cornering on rails so was extremely fast and really allowed you to do super quick accelerations without the squatting of the suspension. It also climbed extremely well and very smooth on the downhills. This bike is highly recommended.
Id be happy to answer any questions you may have with this awesome bike or need help configuring feel free to hit me up direct!
2017 models are expected to arrive in early August. Frames as well if you are interested in a custom build.
801-736-6396 x 4074
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Disclosure: I am usually an XC-race inspired, 29" wheel bike kind of guy.
Now that that is out of the way, I am extremely impressed with the 5010! One of the best parts about Santa Cruz's VPP 3 suspension is the fact that you really don't need a shock with the best compression damping, as they have achieved most of the efficiency gains with the suspension linkage design; you really could ride the rear shock completely open and only rely on the air pressure for control.
The 5010 climbs very well; it is a 130mm travel setup, so it isn't going to be your next XC race rocket, but it sure will take you to the top of the mountain in a hurry; hopefully to descend in the same fashion.
The facet of the ride of the 5010 that I was most impressed with was the nimbleness of handling; this really makes it an incredibly capable bike, as manipulating the bike under you is very easy, ensuring that you can hop over, or avoid whatever you need to.
On all of the rides I have done on this bike, I have gone flat out, both up and down, and was very impressed in both arenas.
If you are looking for a fun, playful bike, that will pedal well enough to let you drop your riding buddies going up; and then again going down, look no further!
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me directly.
Customer Account Manager
What size is the rear shock?