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What dreams are made of.
The 2017 Santa Cruz 5010 2.0 Carbon CC XT ENVE Complete Mountain Bike takes all your preconceived definitions of what a trail bike can do, crumples them up in a ball, and laughs gleefully as it charges full throttle into all-mountain territory. Carrying over mid-2016's revamped geometry, the 5010 2.0 is slacker, longer, and lower than pre-2016 models, so it cleans steeper runs and ever bigger lines. This iteration gets a little dreamy with Shimano's versatile XT drivetrain, a dropper post, and eye-catchingly awesome ENVE 60 Forty carbon fiber wheels.
The 2.0 redesign touches on virtually every important aspect of frame geometry. The biggest change is to the head tube, which drops one degree from 68 to 67 degrees. That's the same as the previous Bronson model, and it situates the 5010 2.0 just this side of a slacked-out enduro monster. The frame's reach and bottom bracket follow suit, with the former tacking on an additional 20-25mm, depending on size, and the latter dropping slightly. The combined result of these apparently minor tweaks is a longer, lower, more stable frame that eagerly attacks lines that the previous 5010 would have to think twice about.
While the 5010 2.0's front end and bottom bracket are about slack reclining, the changes out back tighten things up for more pedaling efficiency and cockpit versatility. The seat tube is steeper, longer, and wider, which benefits both the ups and downs of all-mountain riding. While torqueing over the crux of a climb or grinding speed on singletrack, the steeper angle puts the rider in a more efficient pedaling posture, making it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke. When descending or cleaning lines through rock gardens, the shorter, fatter seat tube allows for more dropper travel, which nets increased stability when increasing speed is the last thing on your mind.
The 5010 2.0's chainstays are stubbier, reduced from the previous 5010's already impressive 17.12in to an even stiffer, more agile 16.8in. On the trail, this translates to power transfer when dropping watts into the pedals and more nimble dexterity when gnarly terrain turns the tables.The frame's rear triangle terminates in a boosted 12 x 148mm rear axle, making for more rear clearance which in turn allows for those abbreviated chainstays.
Like the frame itself, Santa Cruz's VPP suspension also sees some changes for its third generation. The most obvious, external changes are an additional 5mm of travel and a relocation of the system's counter-rotating links. These updates make for a better standover height, ground clearance, and stiffer rear end; however, the new VPP's real pride is in its revised tuning. The altered suspension curve keeps it riding higher, 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 the hole shot in a mass start or finishing sprint.
As the suspension compresses deeper, the lower link takes over, letting the rear wheel back out of big hits. The overall curve across travel is less dramatic with the new VPP. Where the previous generation's suspension curve describes a deep "U," the latest VPP'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 Float CTD shock, 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 bottom-outs.
All of these changes are wrapped 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 in order to 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 as 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. 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.
- 2.0 geometry pushes trail competence into all-mountain territory
- 5 inches of redesigned VPP travel smooths the bumps
- Slacker, longer, and lower geometry for cleaning bigger lines
- Top-tier Carbon CC construction cuts no corners
- Boost thru-axles increase efficiency and improve tracking
- ENVE 60 Forty wheels live up to the implications of the brand name
- Santa Cruz Bicycles brings it with cutting edge tech and eye-catching aesthetics
- Q & A
- 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.
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 descends like a champ.
Great up hill and down
Longer top tube
Lots of bike for your buck
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.
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. I did ride the X01 Eagle Version, but will the review on the bike itself gives good perspective.
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. Enve wheels, XT drivetrain, solid suspension, and XT brakes. For those who prefer a 2x drivetrain still, this is a great option for you!
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.
- I personally prefer a 1x drivetrain just to clean up the bars and simplify, but can completely understand the appeal of a 2x drivetrain.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you dialed!