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Bronson Carbon CC 27.5 X01 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike
The Bronson might be as close as it gets to the epitome of a modern all-mountain bike. The first generation that came out in 2013 helped solidify Santa Cruz's presence in the up and coming enduro segment once everyone realized how capable the bike was. Everything from epic backcountry missions to hot laps at the bike park, the bike was sure to elicit smiles on any trail. The newest version of the Bronson (now in its third generation) receives a new lower-link VPP design inspired by the Nomad, more aggressive geometry, and plus tire compatibility in order to meet the increasing capabilities demanded by riders. The Bronson Carbon CC 27.5 X01 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike is ready to tackle aggressive terrain with even more speed, fun, and confidence.
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 and overall bump absorption. The revised suspension maintains the same efficient pedaling and climbing performance of previous generations, but with increased traction on rough trails and descents, letting you ride harder if you please.
The Bronson also sees some significant changes to geometry, pushing it further into the gravity spectrum. The reach and wheelbase are longer and the head tube is slacker, providing more stability during high speed sections and technical descents. Santa Cruz knows that pedaling prowess matters, so they incorporated a steeper 75.3-degree seat tube angle to balance the long and slack geo. Combined with the efficient VPP platform, the bike tackles tough climbs with ease. The geometry is also adjustable via a flip chip in the linkage, allowing you to tune the handling to suit the trail at hand.
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 standard width tires, 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.
Fortunately for us, one thing that hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's reliable carbon frames. This frame uses their top-tier CC carbon, manufactured in their exclusive facility to protect the advanced carbon layup techniques they developed. A one-piece layup is used to eliminate overlapping joints, meaning less material is required because there is no need to bond or wrap those joints. This sheds unnecessary weight. Carbon is wrapped seamlessly between tubes for better distribution of loads and impact energy, resulting in a stronger frame. The layup also allows them to integrate full length carbon tubes for internal cable routing. Routing your cables is simple and quick, no need to fish for cable or use a guide line. Another benefit of Santa Cruz’s layup is that they can achieve maximum compaction of the carbon layers. This prevents resin migration, resulting in a strong frame that is almost as smooth on the inside as it is on the outside. The frame is backed by a lifetime warranty to the original owner.
This build kit is worthy of a few call outs. The Eagle XO1 drivetrain offers precise shifting and reliability, with a wide range cassette and the synonymous Eagle 50t bailout gear. Fox Performance Elite suspension paired with a Rockshox Super Deluxe RCT rear shock provide supple damping to help you ride faster, with Code RSC brakes than can arrest that momentum on a dime. Lastly, bombproof Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels keep you rolling true, and are backed by a lifetime warranty to the original owner.
- Santa Cruz refines their all-mountain masterpiece
- 6in of plush yet efficient VPP travel inspires confidence
- Lower-link VPP design improves plushness and sensitivity
- Aggressive geometry is longer and slacker than before
- Geometry is adjustable via flip-chip in the linkage
- Carbon CC frame is light, stiff, and strong
- Compatible with 2.6 and 2.8in "plus" tires
- Reserve Carbon wheels offer precise handling and strength
- Item #SNZ00IV
- Q & A
27.5's get it done
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
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 simple runs into a ledge then decides it wants 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.
Lifetime frame warranty
Crushes the downhill
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
5’9” 32” inseam / 172 lbs
Size Ridden Large