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Lively handling for the trail.
Emphasizing playful handling over the brute force of an enduro sled, the Santa Cruz 5010 2.1 R Complete Mountain Bike is a razor-sharp trail scalpel that's efficient enough for epic rides in the mountains and responsive enough to challenge friends on hot laps around the local loop. This 5010 features Santa Cruz's aluminum construction for reliable strength without dropping all your precious loot on a pricier carbon model. Budget-conscious riders will be happy to know that geometry stays congruent with all frames in the 5010 line-up, allowing those without stacked bank accounts to reap the same benefits of playfulness and agility on the trail.
Seeing the first generation of 5010 drew inspiration from the nimble leanings of the Blur TR, it was inherently more playful than anything else in Santa Cruz's line-up when it was launched in 2013. Now that bikes have grown slacker, longer, and lower, it only makes sense the second-gen 5010 has adapted to reflect the push towards modernized trail geometry, with a longer reach and wheelbase in conjunction with a slacker head tube angle of 67 degrees. These changes create a roomier cockpit, so you're more comfortable and confident on the descent, as well as making it inherently more stable at high speeds. Best of all, these geometry changes don't alter the quick-handling nature of the 5010, as it features snappy 16.7-inch chainstays and a low-slung bottom bracket of 13.1 inches.
Looking at the 5010's VPP suspension, you'll be pleased to note it underwent a subtle redesign for 2017, which improves the suspension durability and overall performance. The upper link is now connected to the top tube for greater stiffness, as well as more stand-over clearance for shorter riders. The lower link resides above the bottom bracket, protecting it from damaging rock strikes and flinging trail debris. These changes extend to the suspension's performance as well, with the VPP suspension exhibiting heightened sensitivity to small bumps, as well as greater mid-stroke support. However, the suspension is still progressive at end-stroke, ramping up dramatically to prevent you from harshly bottoming out.
Delving into this particular "R" kit, you'll find it's equipped with a nice balance of reliable and smooth-performing components. Case in point, the SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain delivers crisp shifts over a wide range of usable gears, all without dealing with a pesky front derailleur. Plus, the Fox Rhythm 34 fork offers a stiff chassis with its 34-millimeter stanchions, meaning you'll reap the benefits of precise handling over rough terrain.
Please note, because the alloy version of the 5010 uses an integrated headset, the headtube measurement is 10 millimeters longer than what's indicated on the geometry chart, as to match the same headtube measurement as the carbon frame with its external lower cup and internal upper cup installed. Other than this headtube measurement, everything indicated on the geometry chart is accurate.
- Santa Cruz's quintessential trail bike with nimble handling
- Aluminum frame for reliable strength without lofty price tag
- 130mm of VPP suspension for a responsive pedaling plaform
- 67-degree head tube balances stability with steering response
- Longer reach keeps you comfortable and confident on descents
- Short chainstays and low bottom bracket for cornering prowess
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain for wide range of usable gears
- Fox Rhythm 34 fork with 130mm of bump-smoothing travel
- Item #SNZ00D7
- Q & A
5010 Be Nimble, 5010 Be Quick!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I'm 5'11" and 175lbs. I rode a large and it was spot on for sizing. I rode on mostly flow trails with some chunky bits and jumps. I did ride the carbon version but can give some good perspective if you're considering the bike!
What I liked about the bike:
- I had a Santa Cruz Blur LT (v2) back in the day that I absolutely loved and the 5010 2.0 reminds me of an upgraded & new version of it. This brings back nostalgic, awesome memories on a similar handling bike.
- I'm a fan of the geometry of this bike; its fast and snappy, but I wouldn't be nervous taking it on more technical descents either. Its slack enough with the 67 degree headtube angle and its 5" of travel can get you through most rowdy stuff. I'd also be pretty happy pulling a full day ride in - this is like the Bronson's little brother that can also pack a punch.
- Pedal all day on this bad boy. Its pretty much the only thing it won't be able to do for you! The VPP3 suspension is efficient and I left the rear shock open when pedaling.
-Components are a great bang for your buck. WTB wheels with Novatec hubs and Maxxis rubber, a 1x11 drivetrain, Fox suspension, and even a dropper post on their R build. Can't ask for anything that performs better than that.
What I didn't like about this bike:
- Not much that I didn't like. My riding style might get myself into some more technical terrain regularly, so might throw on a 140mm fork, but other than that there isn't much to change. The Level brakes are ok, if i were concerned on having a more aggressive bike I might consider bumping up to Guides or something heftier.
If you spend most days rippin' singletrack and are about pedaling (as opposed to shuttle days, etc) and like an aggressive, nimble bike, look no further. Overall just a fun trail bike! Let me know if you have any questions or would like help doing a custom build, reach me at 801.204.4547 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you dialed!
Carbon or Aluminium?
The 5010 R1 Complete is an alloy frame. The red photo'd bike is the allow frame. The lone photo of the Glass Ink/Black is a carbon frame, and is only there to show the other offered color variant.