New Santa Cruz Bikes: The Nickel and the Butcher!




With a long top tube and snappy pedaling manners, it’s a climb-happy, nimble bike with sure-footed geometry that begs to go claim some tall peaks in the backcountry. And with five inches of sophisticated APP suspension travel designed to eat rocks and roots and jumps with all the ability of longer travel bikes, it also does a mighty fine job of whipping the descents into shape as well. Does that sound a little schizophrenic? Maybe so.
The Nickel’s a perfect bike for those days when you have to flip a coin to decide where you want to ride.



Way up in the Sierras near Downieville, California, is a trail that leads into more than 5,000 feet of descending during a sixteen-mile feast of singletrack. Along the way, riders encounter frenzied rock gardens, brake searing straights between tight switchbacks, jarring compressions, flowing turns, sphincter puckering transitions into cliffside traverses, and some of the fastest ripping, tree-lined singletrack anywhere in the world. Superb suspension, strong pedaling legs, a tough bike, and a relaxed grip all count for a lot here. The name of that trail is Butcher Ranch. We named this bike, with six inches of abuse-hungry APP suspension and a frame designed to be shown the meaning of tough love, in it’s honor.


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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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  • Nicholas Poetker says:

    These two frams are looking really good!
    The suspension rate as a VPP bike with the great quality price of a single pivot!
    Im liking the geomety on the butcher as a great all around FR DH sytle bike that can kill it in almost any situation.
    Awesome job SantaCruz!!!

  • r1Gel says:

    “Actual Pivot Point”! HA-HA! Hilarious! ;D
    Glad to see SC are still their jolly old selves despite their immense popularity.
    Interesting take on the single pivot (VPP-like). Let’s hope it rides as good as it sounds.

  • Drew says:

    There is good solid feel riding a Santa Cruz especially are you are going down rought terrain and their design in timeless and no nonsense. Enjoyed riding my Heckler a bit more than my Turner 5.

  • VppLover says:

    I had the pleasure of riding a Butcher at a demo day in Santa Barbara and have one on order. I found the ride to be very close to that of my vpp bike(Intense). I can’t wait to build my new Butcher and get some serious ride time on it.

  • Heckler1971 says:

    Been with Santa Cruz since day one, owning a series of Hecklers, love the ride and feel sounds like that may just change with the release of the Nickel, hope it doesn’t disappoint.

  • Henry says:

    The Butcher looks really nice especially the Swingarm,and had lots of good cooments to from my friends who do all mountain stuffs. BUT what makes this design so AWKWARD is the Location of the the water Cage screw holes!!!

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