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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
A good bike for just about any trail
Have you ever found yourself lost in thought, staring directly into the sun because you can't decide whether to get a medium or large sized Castelli bib shorts? Me too.
By the time you realize they would probably both work out pretty well, you blink! By then it is too late and all you can see is sun spots. You can't keep carrying on like this for you'll cause permanent damage to your eyes!!!
You blink again and find yourself falling, and falling, and falling....
You hit the floor! Thank God it was only a dream! You purchased medium bibs and the sun still came up! You look about the room and your trusty Bronson is still leaned up in the corner where you left it. Better yet you can still see!
Yes, yes indeed, you can see but you can only have one bike as these velocipedes have the kind of technology on them that drives the price up; albeit worth it!
Luckily for you the Bronson is pretty darn fantastic every where. Smooth flow trails, big senders at the bike park, chunky square edge tech trails and for the occasional ride with that buddy whom everyone refers to as "the lung". The Bronson is there to do everything you ask of it without holding you back!
If you're struggling to narrow down your choice bike to just that one bike for every occasion, this is likely the bike of your dreams! Not the dreams where you're falling, the ones where you're flying! Cacaw! Cacaww!!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Bronson is an absolute beast. I immediately noticed how smooth it made bumpy descents. The bike ate up washboard and braking bumps like they weren't even there. This bike was designed for the down, so its no surprise that it feels a little sluggish on the up. That said, I did some big climbs on this bike and it seem to handle them well and not take to much out of me. I did find that the bike bops a little even with the rear shock locked out as you climb which means you are losing efficiency. But the reward at the top of a climb on this bike is well worth it as this bike is flat out FUN when it rolls down hill. The 27.5 wheels are playful and corner easily. The SRAM X01 drivetrain provides super fast smooth shifting.
For sizing: I'm 6'2", 33" inseam and was happy to be riding a XL.
Versatile and SCARY FAST
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Coming from a Yeti SB5 I was skeptical of the Bronson being a better bike, but woah... First lap on the Bronson I immediately felt at home. The all mountain classified enduro killer seems to accelerate off of any compression it encounters rather than getting bogged down. When the speed picks up this bike instills a feeling of confidence by being very planted and stable due to the wheel base along with a semi slack head angle compared to other bike in its class. The VPP suspension platform is one that is plush when it needs to be, but when putting the power down on the pedals you seem to loose no power to suspension bob. After becoming very confident on the wide open trails I decided to see if the Bronson would be up to the task of more technical and rocky trails. Needless to say it wanted to go faster than I did! This bike becomes very nimble when the turns get tight and when line choice becomes very important. I felt the bike gliding over a majority of the rock gardens and only getting hung up on square edges due to user error. After spending time on this rig I definitely have a new appreciation for what an "All Mountain" bike can do. The Bronson will climb all day and when the trail turns back downhill you're in for a stellar time!
As far as sizing goes I'm 6 feet tall and was riding a large which felt perfect. The only thing I would change from the stock set up would be a shorter stem other than that this thing come ready to impress.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This bike is a blast! The Bronson definitely finds its home on fast and technical descents, but it's super, super fun on a nice flow trail too. This bike will really do whatever you're skilled enough to allow it to. The more speed you're able to give it, the more capable the bike feels. The Bronson feels really supple and secure through choppy technical sections, and also really stable when the pace picks up. It really responds well to rider input and loves to be dropped down into berms. This bike isn't going to win any awards for climbing but it definitely gets the job done without too much suffering.
Final Takeaway: if you want a bike that descends like a dream and will get you up the hill when you need it to, this is a solid 27.5 option.
I am 6'3 with a 32in inseam and I felt really good on the size Large.
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'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