Features of the Bronson are as follows:
- 27.5″ (650b) wheels
- 142 mm rear axle spacing.
- New molded rubber swingarm and downtube protectors.
- 2 x bottle cage mounts.
- Forged upper link.
- Forged aluminum lower link with angled grease ports: offset for chainguide clearance.
- Collet axle pivots: lock in place without pinch bolts.
- Angular contact bearings: all pivots.
- Direct mount rear derailleur hanger option: standard hanger comes as stock.
- Full carbon dropouts and disk mounts.
- Co-molded aluminum hardware on frame pivots: no bonding.
- Carbon ISCG-05 tabs.
- Routing for Reverb Stealth.
- 73mm threaded BB: creak-free riding and easy installation.
The BB height is not exactly low at 346 mm or 13.6 inches. So it won’t be a low-riding carver like the Blur TRc at 13.1 inches but it will be better suited for rocky trails in Arizona, the East Coast and Europe, and not just the loamy forests of Santa Cruz, CA. The head angle looks just right at the slack side of the field at 67 degrees. The seat angle is nice and steep at 73 degrees for pedaling but the seat will be neatly tucked away for descending with a Reverb Stealth dropper post.
First we’ve converted our Santa Cruz Blur TRc to 650b Blur TRc. This carbon bike has a 5 lb frame so it’s ultralight yet very stiff laterally. We got our test rig to 26 lbs with Enve carbon wheels and it is noticeably better than the the stock 26er version. It is agile and capable with the bigger wheels and the BB height only bumped up to 13.6 inches since it started out at a very low 13.1 inches. The only downsides were we couldn’t put really awesome and big tires on this 130mm converted bike since there was not enough room.
Second, we’ve been riding the Intense Tracer 275 and Carbine 275. Both these bikes license the VPP design from Santa Cruz so they really foreshadow what’s coming with the Bronson. What we have are six inch bikes that perform and fly downhill with confidence. They make the rider look good soaking up hits and drops with little drama. Yet, when it’s time to climb, these bikes will hammer up on or off the saddle. The Tracer is quite heavy though with the bike topping out over 30 lbs with about a frame well over 6 lbs. The Carbine was lighter but the geometry on it was a bit off since it seemed lika a retrofitted 26er and was a departure from the new Tracer 275 geometry.
So we expect the Santa Cruz Bronson to be a 27 lb climber and descent annihilator. Given what we’ve seen with the TRc and the Tallboy LTc, this bike is going to carve corners with its dialed geometry and lateral stiffness. But we shall see for ourselves this week as we give this bike the shakedown on April 2.