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Bronson Carbon 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike
Whether we're taking a gander across the office here at Competitive, or scanning the trails at our local network, there's one thing we'll always be able to find: a Santa Cruz Bronson. And it's no wonder the bike is such a fan favorite — its 150mm of VPP suspension and capable geometry has become synonymous with all-mountain fun, cready to conquer backcountry adventures chasing your line down deer trails just to find out where they go, while still holding its own when its time for a game of BIKE at the park. This enduro-sled has been a longtime favorite of ours since its release in 2013, and this newest version (now in its third generation) receives a new lower-link VPP design inspired by the Nomad, longer and slacker geometry that's also adjustable, and compatibility with up to 2.8in wide "plus" tires in order to meet the increasing versatility riders demand from a modern mountain bike. With these changes, the Bronson Carbon 27.5 R Complete Mountain Bike is ready to tackle big terrain with even more speed, confidence, and of course, fun.
The most noticeable difference with the new Bronson is the transition to a lower-link VPP design like the one found on the Nomad and V10. The bike maintains the same 150mm rear travel as previous generations, but the lower-link VPP allows a more linear suspension curve for better sensitivity throughout the stroke, resulting in better small-bump absorption while retaining good mid-stroke support and smooth bottom out progression. The revised suspension maintains the same efficient pedaling and climbing performance of previous generations, but increases traction on rough trails and descents, letting you push your limits with more confidence than ever.
The Bronson also sees some significant changes to geometry that push it further into the enduro spectrum. The reach and wheelbase are longer and the head tube is slacker, providing more stability during high speed sections of trail and long, technical descents. The geometry is also adjustable via a flip chip in the linkage, allowing you to tune the handling to suit the trail at hand. Of course, Santa Cruz understands that pedaling prowess matters on an all-mountain bike, so they balanced the long and slack geo by steepening the seat tube angle to 75.3-degrees in the high geometry position and 75-degrees in the low position. This puts the rider in a better position for putting power down to the pedals and combined with the inherent efficiency of the VPP platform, the bike tackles tough climbs very well for a bike with six inches of travel.
The last major change is the increased tire clearance on the frame. The new Bronson can accept up to a 2.8in tire. This version comes with a 2.5 up front and 2.4 in the rear for more precision and lower rolling resistance, but if you want the extra rock-crawling capabilities and plushness of the high volume plus tires you have the freedom to do so. For 2.8in tires, it's advised that you run the geometry flip-chip in the high position.
Lucky for all of us, one thing that hasn't changed is the bombproof construction of Santa Cruz's carbon frames, which is a good thing if you're after the legendary strength and unwavering stiffness of their renowned carbon layups. This particular Bronson benefits from the Carbon C layup, which makes for a resoundingly stiff frame for swift acceleration and unflappable composure while sending it across rough terrain. It's backed by Santa Cruz's excellent lifetime warranty, so you'll have extra peace of mind while riding particularly fast on your favorite stretch of trail and shuttling downhill laps on the mountain pass.
- The redesigned fan-favorite is more capable than ever before
- Confidently slay any trail with 150mm of deep, efficient travel
- New lower-link VPP suspension improves plushness and sensitivity
- Power through descents with stability from longer, slacker geometry
- Steeper seat tube angle keeps things pedal-friendly on the climbs
- Adjustable geometry via flip chip suits a wide range of terrain
- Clearance for up to 27.5 x 2.8in "plus" tires
- Carbon C frame offers legendary strength and stiffness
- Item #SNZK16G
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What do you think about this product?
February 22, 2020
27.5's get it done
Right from the start let's get this straight, I'm going to be comparing the Bronson to my Ibis HD4. These two 27.5's crush the dowhills and work really well in the turns. The main difference in my opinion is the rear linkage. The VPP linkage for the Bronson is nice and subtle over the small bumps, but I feel when climbing it simply runs into a ledge then decides if it wants to climb up and over. The DW link on the HD4 feels like it will climb over the edges better. If you are to ride both bikes down the road and pedal over a bunch of 2x4's the Bronson will feel a bit smoother if you like to stay seated in the saddle and just smash over it. Overall this is a great ride, that you can spend the day pedaling around just keep in mind that it's more suited for pointing it down the mountain rather than up it. Version Ridden: 2019 Carbon 27.5+ R Size Large Pros: Lifetime frame warranty Crushes the downhill Sweet colors Cons: While standing in the climb it feels like it sacks out the rear end Limited aftermarket shock options Pedal efficiency climbing square edges and rocks Rider Details: 5'9"32" inseam / 172 lbs