Santa Cruz 5010

The 5010 is more capable and more playful now

27.5 Cross Country
The 5010 is slacker now with a 67 degree head angle and updated with a longer top tube and steeper seat tube. It's way more playful now too with 150mm dropper post capability.

The 5010 is slacker now with a 67 degree head angle and updated with a longer top tube and steeper seat tube. It’s way more playful now too with 150mm dropper post capability (click to enlarge). Photo by Gary Perkin

Update: Full review published here

But there’s no question in this reviewer’s opinion that the 5010 will suit more rounded riding preferences with impressively limited compromises in terms of riding ability in any condition. I say this bike will make you a better rider. It’s done so for me, anyway… more

What is it?

What may get lost in the slew of Santa Cruz announcements this September is this major revamp of the their 5010 trail bike. We took it on some shake down rides in Downieville, California, and it is worthy news indeed.

The 5010 is Santa Cruz’s 27.5 short travel, full suspension trail bike. It is slotted between the Tallboy and the Bronson. Introduced a couple years back with 125mm travel and 27.5 wheels, it was meant to be an all-purpose do-it-all machine.

The skies above Downieville, CA are unpolluted by city lights.

The skies above Downieville, CA are unpolluted by city lights (click to enlarge). Photo by Gary Perkin

The world of enduro racing and all the 150-160mm bikes took the spotlight and glory the past couple of years. Those bikes had downhill capability in a 27-30lb package that could climb all day, too. Folks tried them, loved them — and bought them.

Now the trail bike segment is getting a lot of attention, as bike designers and riders are discovering that shorter travel bikes can be a lot of fun, too, if given the right geometry and quality suspension. Such are the changes to the 5010 in a nutshell.

Switchbacks are easier with the 5010 since one can lower the position significantly.

Switchbacks are easier with the 5010 now that you can lower the position significantly (click to enlarge). Photo by Gary Perkin

What Changed?

The changes though subtle, are extensive. Travel has been bumped to 130mm and the quality of travel has been changed quite a bit. Geometry, cosmetics, routing and other details were changed as well.

Revised Suspension Tune

One of the great revelations in the latest crop of trail bikes is not just the amount of travel, but the quality of travel. Older 120-130mm bikes typically rode firmer/harsher than their higher travel peers. But it turns out it’s possible to give a shorter travel bike a smooth, plush ride, especially in the initial part of the travel. It doesn’t have as much of it so it can run out of talent of course on high speed rough segments, but for some this can be the ideal tool.

The 5010 is like a dirt jump bike at times when the 150mm post is dropped.

The 5010 is like a dirt jump bike at times when the 150mm post is dropped (click to enlarge). Photo by Gary Perkin

Key Suspension Changes
  • Higher Initial Leverage
  • Increased small-bump sensitivity + Better traction
  • Flatter Overall Curve
  • Consistent feel throughout travel + FOX EVOL air can for less wallow
  • Progressive Curve
  • Appropriately tuned to travel + Resists excessive bottom out
Continue to page 2 for more of what changed and a full photo gallery »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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