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Stigmata Carbon CC GRX Complete Bike
Back in 2015, we applauded Santa Cruz's revival of its Stigmata. With carbon fiber layups matching the brand's most elite mountain bikes, and beefy thru-axles that gave the bike more versatility when we reached the end of the tarmac and pushed out onto country roads, gravel, and dirt, the Stigmata symbolized all that freed us from restrictions that both road cycling and mountain biking put on us. And here we are once again with a bit of Déjà Vu, as Santa Cruz launches yet another iteration of the Stigmata Carbon CC GRX Complete Bike that proves the brand's commitment to deepening the adventure, or building the ultimate rallycat CX rig. While in 2015 Santa Cruz set the Stiggy apart from its competitors with technology that was new to the all-road scene, like internally routed cables and disc-brakes, these days you don't have to look hard to find other steeds that feature the same tech, so Santa Cruz looked to riders to see what else might be missing from the dream ride, and modernized the Stigmata to keep it at the top of the game — regardless of whether that game is bikepacking adventures, cross season, or endless miles of gravel racing. This particular build marries the Stigmata's off-road versatility with the shifting comfort of Shimano's new off-road specific GRX groupset that's built to improve chain retention and shift feel through rowdy gravel rides.
All of the new Stigmata frames sport Santa Cruz's top-shelf CC carbon lay-up, which delivers robust strength and stiffness alongside lightweight efficiency. The significantly revised carbon layup borrows knowledge gained from the mountain-going hardtail, the Highball, and knowledge gained when building Danny MacAskill’s trials bike, to produce a ride yielding more compliance helping to smooth out the ride. Up front, the new Stigmata CC Fork uses the same high-end carbon for uncompromising stiffness and strength when you need it most and substitutes the old 15mm thru-axle for a more road and gravel appropriate 12mm one which also helps improve the ride quality.
It receives some modern geometry tweaks that place it solidly in contention with the herd of high-end all-road and gravel bike options, with a 71.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat angle (based on a 54cm model), and lower bottom bracket height that varies by frame size to account for the crank length spec. You'll also find improved fits for smaller riders with the introduction of a size 49cm, two fork offsets to improve trail geo numbers at the extreme ends of the size spectrums as well as less toe overlap, and improved standover of 10-30mm depending on tire choice. These changes improve confidence and composure while grinding over gravel back roads or exploring light-duty singletrack, yet doesn't detract from its versatility on the 'cross course.
Speaking of 'cross, UCI pro races place limitations on tire width with a maximum of 33mm, however, when venturing off the course, that's hardly our idea of plush. Santa Cruz designed the new Stigmata to accept tires up to 45mm wide in this 700c guise and up to 2.1 inches in 27.5in guise (yep, it now does 700c and 650b!), allowing you to drop the pressure of the tubeless tires for a more comfortable ride through rougher terrain. Conversely, you can toss on a set of skinny road tires to throw down on the local group ride or noodle through the city on a Sunday social.
Thru-axles at the front and rear add poise and confidence for better tracking across rutted-out straightaway and gravel-strewn corners. The new flat-mount brake standard accommodates 140 and 160mm rotors with bikes coming spec'd with 160mm to slow you down in a hurry when you need to, no matter how mucky or wet the conditions. Internal cable routing cleans things up by running the brake and shift housing through the frame and fork, providing a bit of added cable protection and improved aesthetics over frames with external routing. And for riders worried about future compatibility, the Stigmata's ability to run both mechanical and electronic drivetrains keeps it relevant in today's ever-shifting landscape of technology.
Final new frame details extend to three water bottle cage mounts for really getting out there and staying hydrated and stealth routing should you decide to run a dropper post. The frame and fork also get fender mounts so you and the bike stay cleaner and a move away from the PressFit30 bottom bracket to the easier to install and maintain and less likely to creak and pop 68mm English threaded shell.
- Santa Cruz updates all-road geometry with the newest Stigmata
- CC-grade carbon is ultra light, stiff, and reliable
- Shimano's GRX gravel-specific group shifts smooth, boosts chain retention
- Internal cable routing, including stealth dropper, maintains clean lines
- Three bottle cage mounts keep you hydrated for longer
- Accommodates up to 27.5 x 2.1in or 700x45mm tires
- Improved frame and fork compliance keeps the ride smooth
- 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell eliminates creaks, pops, and groans
- Fender mounts keep you and the bike clean in unfavorable weather
- Item #SNZK14F
California Proposition 65
- Q & A
2020 Santa Cruz Stigmata
Had to add a gravel bike to the quiver. This bike delivers on the fire roads and smooth track. If nothing else this bike is pretty as all Santa Cruz bikes. Get more power delivered to the drive train as with a road bike but with the durability of an MTB. So much better than my road bike even with 32C tires when on trails. More fun than an MTB in some respects as you really need to pay attention on downhills for the right line and to not push limits too far. I can easily envision how swapping wheels and tires alone would make this road worthy.
Since will be kicking up rocks would have been nice to have some downtube protection. Like the Shimano GRX build and Easton bars. The 31/34 gearing takes care of most climbs. GRX front derailleur is the way to go in my opinion for the gearing range and field servicability. Brakes have wide grips for ease of downhill pulls as not like MTB finger braking.
Process is you order then Comp Cyclist figures when they can deliver, so be warned about that. What's nice is they practically complete the entire build before re-boxing and still send along all the manufacturer's included warranties, manuals and part bits, tube sealant, etc. They include the checklist of all the things they did. Still need to go to internet to download pdf's for some mechanicals. I checked all the torque settings and were done right. One nit is the bar tape at the end plugs was a bit sloppy. Otherwise Comp really has this process nailed and plus the warranty.