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Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson 2.0 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike - 2017


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    9 Reviews


    On par with epic.

    Pushing the design envelope with a more aggressive stance, the Santa Cruz Bronson 2.0 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike offers unflappable confidence when you're rallying across technical trails in a blur of gravity-assisted speed. Revised with an updated geometry and 150mm of VPP3 suspension, the Bronson 2.0 follows a progressive trajectory towards slacker head tube angles, lower bottom brackets, longer top tubes, and stiffer rear ends.

    More relaxed than ever, the head tube angle slackens to 66 degrees for high-speed composure. The longer top tube/shorter stem combo equates to stability on descents and a roomier cockpit, with shorter chainstays for quicker handling. Dropping the bike for a low-slung feel, the lowered bottom bracket is immediately noticeable when you're negotiating turns at speed. Add in a 148mm Boost thru-axle at the rear for uncompromising stiffness when you're holding a line through dicey rock gardens and accelerating out of corners.

    The Bronson 2.0 retains 150mm of travel for a well-balanced feel that's ready to attack widely varying terrain—from rolling singletrack in the foothills to slabby desert plateaus, no dirt is safe. The big story is the revised VPP3 suspension, which features a stiffer box-section upper link and a cleanly hidden lower link that reduces the likelihood of damage from rock strikes. The revised suspension also benefits from increased small-bump sensitivity for extra traction across rocks and roots.

    Santa Cruz's C-level carbon frame provides burly stiffness and uncompromising durability for riders pushing their bikes to the absolute limit. In fact, it's every bit as stiff and strong as the top-flight CC-level carbon, albeit with a claimed weight penalty of around 280g. The payoff comes in the parts spec equipped on this S build. Instead of tossing all your hard-earned cash into the lightest possible carbon frame, you get a nice blend of components that complement the bike's aggressive nature.

    Up front, the 150mm Pike RC soaks up small bumps with a satisfyingly supple feel while absorbing bigger hits with impressive control. The GX 1x11 drivetrain features a massive 10-42t cassette for a wide range of usable gears without the need for a pesky front derailleur. Adding to the bike's aggressive persona, the Reverb Stealth dropper offers on-the-fly seat adjustments with the simple push of a button. Add in the reliable stopping power of SRAM Guide R brakes for a well-rounded build that's ready for anything the trail throws your way.

    • An aggressive enduro bike with 150mm of VPP suspension
    • Updated geometry is slacker, lower, and longer
    • C-level carbon for high levels of stiffness and strength
    • RockShox Pike RC fork soaks up square-edged hits with composure
    • SRAM GX 1x11 drivetrain offers wide range of usable gears
    • Santa Cruz blends cutting-edge tech with timeless style
    • Item #SNZ00AE

    Tech Specs

    Frame Material
    Carbon C
    Rear Shock
    Rock Shox Monarch RT
    Rear Travel
    150 mm
    Rock Shox Pike RC 150 Solo Air
    Front Travel
    150 mm
    Cane Creek 40 series tapered, cartridge bearing
    Front Derailleur
    Rear Derailleur
    SRAM GX 1x11
    ISCG Tabs
    yes, ISCG 05
    32 t Race Face Aeffect AL
    Bottom Bracket
    included w/ crankset
    10 - 42 t SRAM XG1150
    SRAM PC1130
    SRAM Guide R
    Brake Type
    hydraulic disc
    180 mm Avid Centerline
    Race Face Chester, 785mm, 35mm clamp
    Handlebar Width
    785 mm
    Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-on
    Race Face Turbine Basic, 35mm clamp
    WTB Volt Race
    [small] Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 125mm travel, [medium, large] Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 150mm travel, [extra-large] Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 170mm travel
    Seatpost Diameter
    31.6 mm
    Race Face AR27
    [front] Novatec D541, [rear] Novatec D542
    Front Axle
    15 x 110m Boost
    Rear Axle
    12 x 148mm Boost
    [front] Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR, [rear] Maxxis Minion DHR2 TR
    Tire Size
    [front] 27.5 x 2.3 mm, [rear] 27.5 x 2.3 mm
    Recommended Use
    all-mountain, enduro
    Manufacturer Warranty
    lifetime on frame

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Ohhhhh Myyyyy

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I haven't had a good All mountain bike in quite awhile and the Bronson is blowing me away. So far I absolutely love it and it has the ability to tackle almost anything. (Except maybe World Cup DH Gnar Gnar.) I'm mainly a DH biker but got this over a full on DH due to coaching a local High School MTB team. I upgraded the pike by replacing the 150mm Air rod with the 160mm.

    Absolutely blown away with this bike!

    Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson (I did get the added benefit of the lightweight Carbon CC frame, ENVE M60 carbon wheels and Eagle 1x12 drivetrain). I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.

    I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:

    Plowability - 8.5

    Climbability - 7.5

    Maneuverability - 8.5

    Wheelie Rating - 9

    Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3

    Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would argue that this Carbon S build is the best value out there or I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.

    See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!

    Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - 801-736-4337

    Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas

    Its true love

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Like anyone else looking at bikes I got greatly overwhelmed at all the choices. Really the best thing you can do is get out and demo as many bikes as you can. That way you can really know which fits your riding style best.

    I was down to either the Bronson or the SB5. A lot of that had to do with the fact that they both fit my budget, but also both rode really well. I went with the Bronson because of its ability to descend. It still climbs superbly but on the downhill it really just wants to run. It is way too much fun. It is a better bike than I am a rider so I still haven't been able to find its limits yet.

    Comfy bike that can tackle uphill like a mountain goat and still descend like a crazy beast.

    Love it

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    The Santa Cruz Bronson is a capable, do all machine that is equally suited for uphill as it is the downs. The bike climbs great with the VPP Suspension and steep seat tube angle but with the slack head tube and low bottom bracket height it can really shred the downhill. The Rock Shox Fork and Rear shock pair nicely together and really give the bike a balanced feel. The 27.5” tires smooth out the bumps while remaining agile and playful. The Reverb seat post goes from fully extended to fully dropped so there is never any compromising on seat height while you are tearing up the single track. This package is a great balance between price and quality parts. If you are looking for a “one”bike solution, the Bronson is more than capable of handling whatever you throw at it.

    Holy smokes

      I've been wanting a Bronson for a few years now and I'm glad I waited for this one. They've dialed in the geometry and have put together a sick build with 1x11 drivetrain, Pike, etc. My previous bike wasn't cheap and I thought it was pretty nice, until I got this and anything else I've ever owned seems like junk. I feel so confident on it. It's so smooth and responsive

      Holy smokes

      Swiss Army Knife Of Bikes

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Like the title says, this is the Swiss Army Knife of bikes - its can pretty much ride anything and everything that you can throw at it. No qualms about crushing an all day epic or saddling up for some park laps.

      I'm 5'11" and rode a large. It fit me perfectly. I'm often in between a medium and large, but would not recommend going medium if you are my height or any taller. I hadn't had any real experience with the original Bronson, but this rides like an absolute champ. I rode the X01 Eagle CC version, but in terms of the ride itself should give some perspective.

      What I like:

      -This rips anything and everything, but we'll start by talking about the climbing capabilities. It straight up feels snappy, especially for how much travel and how slack it actually is (66 degree headtube angle). A big portion of this may be the VPP3 suspension gobbling up that pedal bob, but either way its noticeably nimble underfoot.

      - Absolutely traction. This may go hand in hand (or would it be pedal in pedal?) with the first point, but the combination of the Maxxis Minion DHR2's and open suspension made me feel like I constantly had traction up whatever. It climbed well enough that it would not be necessary to lock out unless on relatively smooth singletrack.

      - Last time I rode a Bronson, suspension wasn't quite dialed and in all honestly, I think I didn't have the Float X spot on. The suspension here (Pike & Monarch RT) was totally dialed and had a blast on it.

      -Descending is confidence inspiring due to 150mm of travel, a long reach, and slacked out bike. The shortened chainstays allow it to get railed around berms. The bike ripped and whipped its way down and with a bit more tinkering the suspension would be perfect. For as nimble as the bike feels, it also is pretty happy pointin'er down some rowdy lines without feeling like you're even remotely out of control.

      -Components as a whole on this are totally on point. Guide R, GX 1x11 Drivetrain, the RockShox Pike 150mm & Monarch RT combo is solid along with stiff 35mm Santa Cruz Bars.

      -Though the Reverb is usually not my favorite dropper post (issues with needing to be rebled often & not working in colder weather come to mind), this worked great and like that its 150mm of drop. The right hand version mounted upside down the left side makes it feel much more ergonomically correct. I was a fan in this case, but still would prefer the lever style action.

      What I Would Improve:

      -I might bump up to a 34t chainring. The 32t did fine, but a 34t allows for you to lay the hammer down a bit harder on the downhill, though uphills might be a bit of a sufferfest (what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?).

      For those riders who want to pedal efficiently up to the top in order to smash on back down some burly trails, the Bronson is here for you. It's just as happy spending all day on flowy singletrack as it is getting throw in the back of a shuttle, this ain't no one-trick-pony. If you have any questions about the Bronson, don't hesitate reaching out! I'm more than happy to talk shop with you and would be stoked to get you on a build spec'd exactly how you'd like! Reach me at 801.204.4547 or, cheers!

      Swiss Army Knife Of Bikes

      best all around bike

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      This is the best all around bike I have owned, it rips downhill and climbs like a goat. I am 6'0" 160 lbs and the medium frame fits me perfectly. If you mostly ride downhill I would personally get a bike with a coil shock in the rear but if you ride everywhere this is the bike for you.

      Love you all the Time

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      There is a reason may of us here at Competitive Cyclist have, or have had, the Bronson. It kicks ass. It is arguably the best all-around mountain bike on the market. It climbs without hesitation and it descends like it’s on rails. Honestly I have climbed faster on this than on XC bikes, which speaks volume to the VPP suspension design. I always though a slacker head tube and bigger tires meant slower climbing, well, that isn’t the case anymore.
      The frame does have a better stand over height over years past since they moved the shock link from the top tube to the seat tube. Speaking of the seat tube, that weird looking tab…that is intended for the front derailleur and I hope next year it goes away, it really doesn’t do any favors for me, and I really want to take a saw to it. Does anyone run 2X anymore anyways?…tisk tisk. Having a boost bike is definitely the way to go moving forward due to the industry. That said, I’m no Tony Gwinn so I really didn’t feel a difference from boost to non-boost, but whatever, you can tell all your friends how much stiffer it is in the rear because it’s boost bike brah.
      The frame does fit 2.4’s which should be standard but I have to mention it. I’m 5’10” saddle height 71.5cm and it fits perfect – weighed 28.486lbs give or take a few grams of mud and things.
      Please hit me up if you have any questions or need anything at all.
      Bill Sherman
      Customer Account Manager-Bike
      Office: 801-204-4545