Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 2.0 Carbon CC X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

Trail royalty.

2016's 2.0 revamp saw some big changes for the 5010, and Santa Cruz is happy to continue with that lauded 2.0 geometry in the 2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 2.0 Carbon CC X01 Complete Mountain Bike. Building on its much-loved heritage, this 5010 shows up to the party longer, lower, and slacker than the 1.0 version for a more aggressive position that just begs to carry more speed over big, technical lines.

On the component side of things, SRAM's new X01 Eagle drivetrain breaks free of traditional industry norms with its revolutionary 12-speed cassette. Essentially, Eagle lets you have the standard 10-42 11-cog cassette you've grown to love in your old one-by 11-speed drivetrain and tacks on a massive 50-tooth bailout cog that'll save your legs on steep, grindy climbs that normally would have you praying for extra gears to apparate out of the sky. Add in a dropper post, SRAM hydraulic brakes, 130mm of front and rear travel, and you have a fast, responsive bike ready for almost any terrain.

The 5010 2.0's geometry represents a departure from the original 5010, which Santa Cruz first rolled out in 2013 and which was itself a marked departure from the Blur DNA from whence it sprang. The redesign is so pervasive that it touches on virtually every important frame dimension, with the biggest change coming in the head tube angle. The front end slacks out a full degree, dropping from 68 to 67 in a move that brings it in line with the previous Bronson model. The frame's reach and bottom bracket follow suit, with the former stretching out and the latter dropping slightly. Capping things off with a short stem helps preserve steering while taking advantage of that slack aggression.

The rear triangle tightens up for more pedaling efficiency and cockpit versatility with a steeper, longer, and wider seat tube, which benefits both the ups and downs of all-mountain riding. While grinding over the crux of a climb or crushing speed on singletrack, the steeper angle nets a more efficient pedaling posture, making it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke. The new seat tube also accommodates a longer dropper post, giving more freedom for saddle height on descents. While climbing, stubbier chainstays contribute to transferring power more efficiently, and Boost axle spacing maintains a stiffer wheelset.

The third generation of Santa Cruz's VPP suspension is another returning feature that was first introduced on the 2016 5010 2.0. The most immediately obvious benefits here include an additional 5mm of travel and a relocation of the system's counter-rotating links. These changes make for a better standover height, ground clearance, and stiffer rear end; however, the latest VPP's real proof is in its revised tuning. The altered suspension curve keeps it riding even higher than the previous VPP, increasing small bump compliance and keeping the tires glued to the trail for more efficient traction across the successive impacts of lumpy courses and rooty climbs. The initial stroke's reliance on the upper link activating for a vertical wheel path remains unchanged, maintaining the firm feel during accelerations while jockeying for position in a mass start or a finishing sprint.

As the suspension compresses deeper, the lower link takes over, letting the rear wheel back out of big hits. That's similar to the old VPP, but the new version's overall curve across travel is less dramatic. Where the old VPP's suspension curve describes a deep "U," this latest model's curve resembles a flattened check mark — an appropriate shape considering that the design checks off many of the points on our pedal-platform wish list. When paired with FOX's Evol air can, this makes for a ramp-up arc that doesn't dramatically alter as the shock compresses, so the pedaling platform stays consistent across travel, with less wallowing, bob, and bottoming-out.

All of these changes are included in a frame that's still built with Santa Cruz's top-end Carbon CC construction method and materials, which allow the engineers to use less carbon but still hit stiffness targets. The frame is every bit as responsive as the less expensive Carbon C version, but its claimed weight is almost 300g less. Both triangles are constructed as whole, monocoque pieces, which also contributes to keeping weight low because the carbon can be wrapped through junctures and around joints. This eliminates the artificial weak points of bonded frames and actually requires less material in the process. While it's being cured, the frame is compacted from inside and out. This final step eliminates excess material and resin pooling, resulting in more structural integrity and, of course, additional weight savings.

Despite that extensive list of changes, most of the obsessive details that we've come to associate with the clean lines and understated aesthetics of Santa Cruz frames carry over. In ascending order of importance, these include down tube and chainstay protectors, ISCG-05 tabs, and the glorious 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell. It's impossible for us to overstate how much we love threaded bottom brackets. As advanced as even Santa Cruz's Carbon CC construction has become, even it can't produce molded bottom bracket PressFit cups that rival the precision of CNC-machined threads. A threaded bottom bracket adds a touch of weight and the extra labor is reflected in the price, but we think the reduced creaking and greater durability are worth it.

  • A trail machine that drops in as eagerly as it climbs
  • 5in of responsive VPP suspension travel
  • Slacker, longer geometry for sending bigger lines
  • Extended travel and relocated links push into all-mountain territory
  • Boost thru-axles increases stiffness and improve tracking
  • CC Carbon construction reduces weight and increases stiffness
  • SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain adds the ultimate bailout cog to one-by setups
  • Few brands know trail rowdiness as well as Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Solo

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This bike has a potential much greater than its numbers say. As the go-to whip of the 50/01 shredders for their two-wheeled shenanigans, and the trials lunacy of Danny Macaskill, the 5010 can put up with whatever abuse you can dish out. Being a short travel 27.5 wheeled machine, it sits in a very interesting spot. Without the wagon 29 wheels, it does lose a little bit of efficiency, but it makes up for it in grin-inducing laugh out loud madness. If your local trails aren't super aggressive (and even if they were, this bike could take it) and you want to have a blast, here you go.

The most comparable bike I have ridden to this machine is the Evil Calling. The Evil does have a (very) slightly lower BB and slacker head tube angle than the 5010, but If I were to buy this bike I would stroke the front fork out a little to get that head angle slightly slacker. The steeper head angle does add to the fun factor of this bike, felling slightly more like my Dirt Jumper than a trail bike, and a super slack head angle would take away some of that liveliness. The VPP suspension does pedal better than Evils Delta link, but is not as progressive as the delta, so I would tune a little bit on that to make it a little more progressive so you don't run through the travel as fast.

With those things being said, the great thing about this bike is with its super efficient suspension and light weight, you can go on serious backcountry adventures with it and not be hating the weight or pedaling, and then have a blast on the way back down. For a perfect single track ripping machine, both up and down, this is a great option.

Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you have questions about this or any other mountain bikes or gear.

The sharpest tool in the shed

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'll start this review admitting that I don't own this bike. I ride a Santa Cruz Bronson, but I've ridden the 5010 a lot. Here is what I've noticed from my time on the 5010.

This is the most playful bike I have ridden from Santa Cruz. It begs the rider to pop off obstacles that litter the trail. The 130mm of VPP travel smooths out trail chatter, but still retains a firm pedaling platform. In fact, I compared times I recorded aboard a Hightower and the 5010 for the same trail, and though the Hightower was quicker up most climbs, the 5010 was actually quickest up punchy climbs. Where this bike shines though is on the way down. Rocking the lowest bottom bracket height in Santa Cruz's lineup, this bike corners better than any bike I've ridden. I found myself pushing through corners and launching out the other side with immense speed. I found myself pumping every feature on the trail, and popping off anything that resembled a jump. This bike feels like a pump track bike.

The trails here in Utah offer a variety of trail conditions from loose, rocky descents, to climbs littered with roots. The 5010 is an ideal bike for the trail conditions here in Utah. After riding this bike, I feel like my Bronson it too much bike for 95% off the trails I ride.

Positives:
Low weight
Efficient pedaling platform
Stiff CC frame
Playful attitude
Sram X01 Eagle drivetrain

Negatives:
More pedal strikes due to a lower bottom bracket height

If you have any questions about this bike, or any Santa Cruz model please shoot me an email. I've ridden most of them, and chances are I have ridden the bike you're looking at.

Email: dbennett@backcountry.com
Phone: 801-736-6396 ext. 4999

A Top Trail Bike

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you ever had the pleasure of riding this bike, then it was most likely love at first ride. The bike has a lot to offer and is a dream on the trail. Rider needs are constantly changing and Santa Cruz continues to give the people what they want.
The new 2017 version has a couple changes to the geometry which are good changes. In my opinion anyway. To me, they made it even better. It eats up the mountain and spits it out. No matter what terrain you come across, the 5010 is hungry and ready, giving you a fun but technical ride. Super responsive whether you're climbing or ripping down hill.
Jumping on the bike I was totally surprised it had 130mm of travel front and rear. Pedaling is so smooth! The pedaling platform is efficient with the suspension, which opens up really nicely on bigger hits and it often felt like it had much more suspension than 130 mm. Anyone who rides this bike says the same thing- It is poppy, nimble, snappy, fast and pretty much pops off everything and handles the techy descents like a champ.
Pros:
Light frame
Great up hill and down
Longer top tube
Thoughtful suspension
Lots of bike for your buck
Cons:
None
Verdict- The 5010 is definitely one of the best mountain bikes available on the market. It has been tailored to perfectly suit a large number of conditions. If you're looking for the ultimate experience, the 5010 will not disappoint.
I am 5'8", 156 lbs, 35.5 in. inseam. I rallied on a medium and it felt great all around.
For further questions, feel free to call or email me directly.
Karissa Lamb
KLamb@backcountry.com
801-204-4567

A Top Trail Bike

5010 Be Nimble, 5010 Be Quick!

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

I'm 5'11" and 175lbs. I rode a large and it was spot on for sizing. I rode on mostly flow trails with some chunky bits and jumps.



What I liked about the bike:

- I had a Santa Cruz Blur LT (v2) that I absolutely loved and the 5010 2.0 reminds me of an upgraded & new version of it. This brings back nostalgic, awesome memories on a similar handling bike.

- I'm a fan of the geometry of this bike; its fast and snappy, but I wouldn't be nervous taking it on more technical descents either. Its slack enough with the 67 degree headtube angle and its 5" of travel can get you through most rowdy stuff. I'd also be pretty happy pulling a full day ride in - this is like the Bronson's little brother that can also pack a punch.

- Pedal all day on this bad boy. Its pretty much the only thing it won't be able to do for you! The VPP3 suspension is efficient and I left the rear shock open when pedaling.

-Components are top notch; X01 Eagle drivetrain, solid suspension, and Guide RSC brakes. Can't ask for anything that performs better than that.



What I didn't like about this bike:

- Not much that I didn't like. My riding style might get myself into some more technical terrain regularly, so might throw on a 140mm fork, but other than that there isn't much to change.



If you spend most days rippin' singletrack and are about pedaling (as opposed to shuttle days, etc) and like an aggressive, nimble bike, look no further. Overall just a fun trail bike! Let me know if you have any questions or would like help doing a custom build, reach me at 801.204.4547 or cojohnson@backcountry.com and I'll get you dialed!

5010 Be Nimble, 5010 Be Quick!