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When we're spec'ing our own bikes, we typically have two priorities: a rock-solid, all-mountain platform and a component group that balances price, reliability, and on-trail functionality. With its blend of Shimano's workhorse drivetrain kit, the industry-leading Carbon CC layup, and the all-new, more enduro-y 2.0 geometry, the Bronson 2.0 Carbon CC XT Complete Mountain Bike represents the entry-level option for Santa Cruz's top tier of racing Bronsons. While the components themselves aren't quite top-tier, they're still more than capable of letting the frame's qualities shine under a rider who recognizes that the engine is more important than the stickers on the build kit.
The 2.0's most impressive alteration to the old Bronson's all-mountain geometry is the head tube, which slacks out by an extra tick on the protractor to drop from 67 to 66 degrees. This change is complemented with a corresponding increase in top tube length, a lower bottom bracket, and a raised lower link — a combination that allows for short-stemmed, strike-free, point-and-click confidence while traversing lines and dropping steps that would cause even the previous Bronson to hesitate. It also effectively erases root lattices and moderate rock gutters, letting you mash across terrain that trail, XC, and even other all-mountain bikes have to pick through with delicate care.
Conversely, the Bronson 2.0's seat tube gets steeper by almost a full degree in order to better position the engine (read: your hips) up over the Race Face cranks. The revised geometry keeps you on top of the pedal stroke, and relocated links allow for a shorter chainstay, which makes for more power transferring efficiency. The back end is further stiffened with the new 12 x 148mm axle standard, ensuring that the extra watts produced by the improved pedaling position and shorter chainstays aren't lost to wheel flex. Despite its slacker head tube and longer geometry, the back end changes help the Bronson 2.0 pop over cruxes and maintain diesel speed across hardpack.
The Virtual Pivot Point 3 (VPP3) suspension system represents the latest update to Santa Cruz's classic VPP. Where the old suspension curve described a deep "U," VPP3's curve resembles a flattened check mark, with less dramatic ramping on either end of the arc. The results are that, during the initial stroke, VPP3 boasts increased small bump compliance to keep the tires glued to the trail for more traction while climbing across lumpy trails and root lattices. It also maintains its predecessor's firm feel during accelerations while jockeying for position in a mass start or a finishing sprint. The ramp-up arc doesn't dramatically alter as the shock compresses, so the pedaling platform stays consistent across travel, with less wallowing, bob, and bottom-outs — even when the bottom link activates and the axle's path turns rearward to absorb big hits in the deep end of the travel pool.
For all the changes listed above, the Bronson 2.0 Carbon CC's construction remains the same. As with previous Carbon CC frames, the Bronson 2.0 Carbon CC requires less material to hit Santa Cruz's stiffness targets without sacrificing any of the responsiveness of the less expensive, heavier Carbon C models. 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.
- The enduro kingdom's monarch returns to claim its hill
- Six inches of VPP suspension rule with an iron fist
- Slacker, longer geometry punches well above its weight
- Peerless Carbon CC construction is the royal treatment
- Shimano's race workhorse drivetrain
- Easy maintenance via lower link grease ports
- Item #SNZ007T
- Q & A
Buy it NOW
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Backstory, I haven't had a new bike since around 2005, so I was definitely due for an upgrade. With all the new tech in the bike world and so may different options it is super hard to make a decision. I started riding as many bikes as I could to figure out what I liked. Unfortunately I liked EVERYTHING! Pretty much all new bikes out there ride awesome so it is all about figuring out exactly what you want and where you'll be riding.
I ended up on the Bronson because I wanted something that could still climb with confidence, but crush the downhill. This bike really does it all. For it being a longer travel trail/enduro style bike it climbs really well. I was down to this or the Yeti SB5 and landed on this because I felt its ability to descend like a monster outweighed the slight climbing edge the SB5 has.
I was able to get some good milage done on this before winter hit and can't wait for more!
I had the chance to ride this for a few hours and I must say I was very impressed! Compared to the 1.0 version the 2.0 simply is better performing. I found it climbs much better than the 1.0 version largely due to the new fox Shock and tuned upgraded VPP suspension.The bike also corners amazingly and allows for hard,fast accelerations without squatting the suspension. Its very well rounded and definitely an all day-do it all rig. The new hot pink color is so cool! Very much highly recommended and my new favorite.
If you have specific questions or need help configuring the bike don't hesitate to contact me direct. We can do some limited parts swaps on these builds.
Wes Branham-Account Manager Bike
So far, really good
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I've had my Bronson CC for a couple months now, and am extremely pleased with my choice. Living here in UT, it's important to have a versitile mountain bike to handle the varrying terrain - so far, the Santa Cruz Bronson CC is up to the task and taking it all in stride. Yesterday, I decided to extend my cross-country loop and headed over to the terrain park - I rode up to the top of the park, and back down the freeride trail without having to even put a foot down, just a couple suspension/seat height adjustments mid-pedal, and I was good to go.
The Bronson II is the most capable bike I've had the pleasure of riding thus far. My previous bike was a Tallboy LTc for reference (a great bike, but I am really appreciating the 27.5 wheels on the Bronson). I am 6'2 and got the Large - the size chart says I could go L or XL - personally, I like the added flickability of the Large frame and haven't noticed any stability issues.
Zero to Hero!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
By pretty much every standard, the original Bronson was a rippin'ÂÂ bike. Capable, pedaled well, and fun. But this new Bronson... It puts it'Âs ancestor to shame. Lots of little tweaks and redesigns make this new bike even better.
While not the best rider out there, this bike makes me feel like an absolute hero. I feel confident in the bike (and myself) and it allows me to get a little bit more aggressive than I would otherwise. Whether going up or down the steering is predictive and the riding posture is balanced and comfortable. The harder I push the bike, the better it feels. Through berms, rock gardens, pumping rollers, or through the air, the thing is always stable, solid, and ready to punch it.
I used to like mountain biking and thought it was cool, but after buying this bike I literally can't get enough. I'm beating all of my uphills, all of my downhills, and have SO much more fun out there. I truly can't say enough about how incredible this bike is. It's quite the noble steed.
If you're looking for a ~150mm trail/AM/Enduro bike, this one will make you squeal with uncontrollably giggles. Hit me up directly and I'ÂÂll get you in the perfect build for what you want.
Feel free to contact me too with other question:
- What size do I need?
- Custom build or boxed bike?
- What other frames are you excited about?