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Sharp handling meets smash-anything traction.
Seeing modern trail bikes are moving into slacker realms to accommodate a new breed of riders pushing themselves harder and faster, the reinvigorated Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon 27.5+ S Reserve Complete Mountain Bike offers a thoroughly modern geometry that's longer and slacker than before with the addition of a flip-chip for a tailored feel to your particular riding style. However, Santa Cruz didn't forget what made the original 5010 a smashing success with a large contingent of trail riders, infusing the original bike's agile handling and snappy acceleration into the newest model, so you're not left out to pasture if you prefer a bike that feels like a nimble sports car out on the trail.
The third generation 5010 is slacker than ever, dropping to a 66.5-degree head tube angle in its high setting and a more gravity-friendly 66.1-degree head tube angle in the lowest setting. The addition of a flip-chip makes this all possible, meaning you'll have the ability to adapt the bike's geometry for different terrain and riding styles, whether you're seeking a bit more balanced feel with greater efficiency and climbing competency or you'd like it to flat out rip those steep descents with imposing rocks and roots threatening to derail your balance.
Not only does the flip-chip allow you to ride in a more slacked-out position if you so choose, but it also gives you ample clearance to run wider tires up to 2.8 inches in width. Santa Cruz outfits this particular 5010 with their "new" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires, which deliver all the traction and bump-smoothing benefits of a traditional 2.8-inch tire, but without feeling overly vague or excessively heavy. This 2.6-inch tire really gives you confidence to monster truck your way across the rockiest stretches of trail, but without worrying about the tire squirming under hard braking and cornering like a larger 2.8-inch tire.
Another major update to the design of the third generation 5010 lies in a slightly longer reach that's grown by 15 millimeters for a bit roomier feel in the cockpit, as well as increased composure at those higher speeds you'll be pushing this bike to. The seat tube is a full degree steeper to keep you in an optimal pedaling position when you're climbing for thousands of vertical feet or simply muscling up a short, punchy climbs with rocks and roots standing in your way.
As you'd expect with the 5010, it retains the high degree of pedaling efficiency and bottom-out resistance of the previous version. This VPP configuration neatly tucks the lower link above the bottom bracket to prevent rock strikes and damage from flinging trail debris. The upper portion remains attached to the top tube with a stiffer box-section upper link. While others in the Santa Cruz line have moved to a lower-link mounted shock, the 5010 retains its upper link-mounted shock, seeing it's not as gravity-oriented as say the Bronson or Nomad. However, it's spec'd with a FOX DPX2 Float Performance shock for a more supple feel with heightened traction while pedaling over bumpy trail sections, as well as greater resistance to heating up excessively on those long descents.
One thing that luckily hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon layup. This particular frame benefits from the resounding stiffness and strength you've come to love from the Northern California brand's Carbon C layup. This high degree of stiffness translates to lightning-quick acceleration when you're bursting out of a corner or hammering up a steep, punchy climb on the trail, as well as allowing you to hold your line over rugged stretches of trail, such as rock gardens and root-latticed singletrack. Additionally, you'll find the Carbon C frame pairs nicely with Santa Cruz's Reserve 27 Carbon Wheels for more precise handling and quicker acceleration, plus the unflappable confidence and strength afforded by these carbon hoops. Both the frame and wheels are backed by an amazing lifetime warranty, so you'll have peace of mind for riding hard and fast out on the trail.
- Santa Cruz's flagship trail bike is more versatile than ever
- Slacker, longer geometry for increased composure at speed
- Retains low bottom bracket and short chainstays for agility
- Flip-chip switches between 66.5° and 66.1° head tube angles
- "New" plus-sized 2.6-inch tires for plow-anything confidence
- 130mm of VPP travel for efficiency and bottom-out resistance
- Carbon C frame is resoundingly stiff and reliably strong
- Santa Cruz Reserve 27 Carbon Wheels for precise handling
- Item #SNZ00IF
California Proposition 65
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
For a mid travel bike, this one is an absolute blast. You'll definitely feel the chattery sections in your body more so than you would on one of Santa Cruz's bigger travel bikes, but the geo is so DIALED on this one that you're not going to care. With the flip chip in the low setting it's a bit more slack than other bikes in its class and it makes the bike so fun. I feel like a better rider on the 5010. It's agile, responsive to rider input, and just so snappy and nimble. You can pre-load the suspension just a bit and hop off any little bump or berm. Pedals really efficiently and climbs nicely. There's seriously not enough good things I can say. This is probably pretty close to a quiver killer if you mostly like trail riding with moderate downhill.
I'm 6'3 and I rode a Large and felt fine on it. Definitely probably could have rode an XL as well.
Making Biking Fun Again
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This bike so much fun! I know 29er's are all the rage these days, but don't you remember how nimble and quick 27.5 was on the downhills? How fast you could hit turns? Those jump lines felt so comfortable. Your confidence was at an all-time high with those fun 27.5 wheels. The 5010 is all this and so much more. There is a flip chip that allows you to slack the bike out a bit, this is my preferred set up. The bb gets a little low, pedal strikes are surprisingly easy but the slightly slacked out geo feels so great! Flow trails are a blast, rock gardens become playful. I shoud mention also that this bike climbs pretty great as well! It's not a Santa Cruz Blur or XC race bike on the way up, but with its mid travel and healthy weight, the uphills aren't bad. Plus you can lock the shock out for some extra efficiency.
Bottom line, one of my favorite bikes on the down for mid travel, its super fun and playful, quick and nimble. For the uphills, it's a bike! Going uphill, you're the motor, it'll do as good and go as fast as you can push it! I am 5'10" and ride the medium but could ride a large as well.