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 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.
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.
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