Santa Cruz brings back aluminum, kills single pivot models

Now you can get alloy versions of the Bronson, 5010, and Tallboy 3

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Carbon bikes tend to steal all the media attention, but the vast majority of use ride alloy bikes.

Carbon bikes tend to steal all the media attention, but the vast majority of us ride aluminum.

While carbon bikes get most of the media attention, lots of people are still riding alloy rigs. For some, it comes down to cost, while others cite apprehension about durability. Whatever your reasoning, it has become more difficult in recent years to source a high-end alloy frame since many small volume manufacturers have dropped alloy models entirely due to increased market demand for carbon — not to mention the better margins.

Nicer frame or better part spec? That’s the trade-off many budget conscious buyers face when deciding between carbon or alloy builds.

Nicer frame or better parts spec? That’s the trade-off many budget conscious buyers face when deciding between carbon or alloy builds.

One brand that made the leap to carbon only production for its premium offerings is Santa Cruz . They tried to ease this transition by offering a lower cost version of their carbon frames. These bikes offered the same strength/stiffness ratio of their top shelf carbon models for significantly less money, albeit with a small increase in weight.

These Carbon CC models offer solid value but were still out of reach for some. Instead, fans of Santa Cruz on a budget were limited to single pivot models such as the Heckler. These bikes shared the same geometry as the higher end VPP bikes, but used a different suspension platform.

The introduction of alloy frames is big news for fans of the Tallboy 3, which launched earlier this year with a base price of $6,500.

The introduction of alloy frames is big news for fans of the Tallboy 3, which launched earlier this year with a base price of $6500.

That’s all changed for 2017. The brand is now offerings their three most popular models — the Bronson, 5010, and Tallboy 3 — in alloy. Retail for complete bikes starts at $2599 and alloy framesets are available for $1899. The downside? Since Santa Cruz now has affordable versions of their VPP bikes, there’s no reason for the single pivot models to exist. May the Bantam, Superlight, and Heckler rest in peace.

Continue to page 2 for more on the 2017 Santa Cruz line-up »

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  • bsurg says:

    Sad to see the single pivots go. They’re such fun bikes to ride.

  • Chaz says:

    RIP Superlight 1999-2016

  • UncaJohn says:

    Such an arrogant statement (the… “Kill” thing). A well designed single pivot suspension system, works really good.
    It looks as a majority of testers are getting too familiar with the various multy pivot designs, to the point that they cannot ride anything else (and they are not bothered to send some time adjusting to)
    Pity.

  • professor says:

    This is really unfortunate news. The Heckler, Bantam and Superlight are great bikes. My hope was they would be coming back as plus bikes. Boo Santa Cruz!

    I would personally love to see carbon versions of the single pivots.

    What about the Chameleon?

  • Denis says:

    Jeez. You get a better suspension design for just about the same prize now don’t you? Good riddance single pivot, hello affordable vpp.

  • Highway Star says:

    I expect them to be bringing back 26″ later this year.

  • Jim says:

    One Benjamin shy of two grand for a frame isn’t exactly inexpensive. A Superlight 29 frame cost (correct me if I’m wrong) $1300. No doubt, VPP is worth some extra money but there is no longer a true entry-level frame from Santa Cruz.

  • mountain cruiser says:

    don’t blame companies, or their parent companies, for discontinuing great products that work well. most bike companies are fairly sophisticated demand optimization companies… they tend to create/market products that sell. No wants a warehouse of great products that no one is buying. If you need to blame anyone – blame all the barneys out there who rad too many blogs, forums, magazine and believe they need new tech to pretty up their garage. The bike companies are just chasing the money… they need to in order to survive. nostalgia does not keep a business afloat.

  • jeff says:

    $1899 for a Chinese made aluminum frame? Let us assume the manufacture sells the frames to the dealers for half that cost… so $950. Now let’s guesstimate the cost of manufacture. Let’s assume $20 for raw material, $3/hr Taiwan welder wages. Now let’s assume 7 hours to fab + 1 hour to weld a frame + 1 hour to PC + 0.5 hour to assemble + 0.5 hour to package = 10 hour build time. So, $30 in labor. $200 for a shock. $10 for shipping. $50 for overhead…Man, that’s still only like $310.

  • slava says:

    Both my wife and I have single pivot bikes from Santa. Yes, it is really bad news.
    Re pricing, I bought a frame of superlight on sell out at snatacruz web for 550$ only!!! compare it now to 1899$!
    yes, the breakeven point for manufacturing cost is lower than we can often see… Over last 5 years prices on SC bikes were gradually climbing up. It is not anymore – “affordable”

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