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Description

Hero bike, not halo.

Yes, you're looking at a five-figure mountain bike, and no, that is not a mistake. When you take into account the no-holds-barred XX1/ENVE build, and the staggering amount of research and technology that Santa Cruz packs into a new product like the Bronson Carbon, this price actually presents itself as quite fair.

Part of the cost of admission is due to the Bronson being completely different from anything else in Santa Cruz's impressive stable. No, it's not a Blur LT or Nomad sitting on bigger biscuits, nor is it a Tallboy riding on laughable, disproportional doughnuts. In fact, just a quick glance at the Bronson's geometry is proof of this.

A 13.6in bottom bracket height sits between the Blur LT and Tallboy LT, while a 67 degree head tube angle complements its six-inches of wheel travel. Together, these attributes make it crystal clear that Santa Cruz destined this bike to please riders who use the whole trail. Adding to that lively nature is the Bronson's 17.3-inch long chainstays (0.6-inches longer than the Blur LT, 0.6-inches shorter than the Tallboy LT, and 0.4-inches shorter than the Nomad, respectively). This keeps the rear tire tucked under you while still rolling with the authority of its 29er brethren -- minus the inherent clumsiness.

So, when you contemplate those numbers, and take the Bronson's carbon construction into consideration, it comes as no surprise that the Syndicate chose this bike for the 2013 Enduro World Series. That carbon structure is a one-piece, continuous fiber lay-up, as opposed to assembling joints, which doesn't require bonding, wrapping, or rivets.

Because this process allows continuous interlocking fibers to wrap between tubes, the resulting structure distributes loads and absorbs impact energy better than its counterparts. As a result, Santa Cruz has eliminated any excess material from the frame. And as you might imagine, this is a costly process, because each frame size requires dedicated tooling.

However, this allows Santa Cruz to control the outside shape, the inside shape, and to compact the fibers during the lay-up for the individual requirements to each frame size. It's also important to point out, as stated before, that this isn't a chassis' shared with any other carbon Santa Cruz. Another obvious piece that's essential to the Bronson's trail-taming prowess is its suspension design.

The VPP rear-suspension on the Bronson utilizes patented, counter-rotating shock links to allow for a variable feel throughout the suspension travel. When sag is set correctly, the Bronson is extremely responsive to small- and medium-sized bumps. For larger hits that push it deeper into its travel, it becomes more stubborn, a necessity to avoid harsh bottom-out. It's also a crisp, efficient pedaler, even in the small chainring. Another big plus of VPP suspension is its durability. In fact, Santa Cruz guarantees the pivot bearings for life. Rear motion is handled by a lightweight and custom-tuned FOX FLOAT CTD Evolution. Its three-position Climb, Trail, and Descend lever lets you select an appropriate amount of platform damping for the terrain that you're riding

The front end of the Bronson complements that shock with a 150mm travel FOX 34 FLOAT CTD with Kashima as well. It's equipped with a 15mm through axle, and there's a 142 x 12mm axle at the rear. But, one of the biggest contributing factors to this bikes impressive price, and the drool factor, is ENVE's AM Wheelset.

The wheels are comprised of DT Swiss 240 hubs with the ultralight, and mega stiff, ENVE AM carbon rims. This combination, along with a slew of patented production processes, allows ENVE wheels to boast the highest strength-to-weight ratio on the market. And to case the wheels, Santa Cruz employed the fast-rolling Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO Tubeless Tires.

Turning the rear wheel is a SRAM XX1 GXP crankset with a 168mm Q-factor and a 34 tooth ring. This joins an XX1 11-42 tooth cassette through an 11-speed XX1 chain. Controlling the sole derailleur is an XX1 shifter. That shifter shares handlebar real estate with the powerful XTR trail brakes, which have been spec'd with a 180mm front and a 160mm rear IceTech rotors. The handlebar is a 685mm wide Easton EC70 XC, which is supported by a Thomson X4 stem.

Santa Cruz rightfully spec's a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper that has a WTB Volt SLT Ti perched atop of it. And in case you wish to make any future upgrades, the Bronson also has ISCG05 tabs.

The Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Matte Carbon/orange/blue and Gloss Yellow/black/blue with a variety of options for the ENVE graphics.

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Unanswered Question

Can a 160mm Pike be put on this bike?
If...

Posted on

Can a 160mm Pike be put on this bike?
If so what will the new head angle be.