Santa Cruz is unveiling the latest edition of its short-travel 27.5 trail bike, the 5010, and the women’s version, the Furtado. Now in its fourth iteration, the new 5010 shares the lower-link shock design introduced over the past three seasons in the company’s enduro and trail bikes, and key geometry updates to keep it current with the competition.
Santa Cruz 5010 Highlights
- Lower-link shock design
- 27.5-inch wheels
- 130mm VPP rear suspension paired with a 140mm fork
- Coil shock-compatible
- Size-specific chainstay lengths across all five sizes
- Pricing: $4,099-$8,099 ($8,099 price as tested)
- Available now
- For more information visit: https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/
5010 Geometry and Suspension Updates
The new 5010 keeps the best aspects of version 3.0 with changes that keep it up to speed. Suspension travel remains pegged at 130mm in the back, but the new 5010 sports a 140mm fork at the front. Like the other trail bikes in the Santa Cruz line, the 5010 also uses a lower-link driven shock. This move keeps the weight of the shock lower in the frame and allows for a progressive leverage curve that allows riders to run air or coil shocks.
Santa Cruz introduced the last generation of the 5010 at a time when many riders were experimenting with plus-sized tires. As interest in 27.5×2.8 tires has faded, the company opted to focus on building the 5010 around more traditional mountain bike tires. While the bike can no longer accommodate plus-sized rubber, it can still fit up to 2.6-wide tires. The geometry-adjusting flip-chip was retained to let riders dial in the geometry that best suits their riding style and terrain.
Santa Cruz also added a rubberized shuttle pad to the downtube to protect the carbon frame when transporting the 5010 on tailgate pads. The 5010 is also the first Santa Cruz model to make the switch to SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger. According to Santa Cruz brand manager Seb Kemp, this isn’t a change the company takes lightly and was done to increase component compatibility in the future.
One of the most interesting revisions to the 5010 is the move to size-specific chainstay lengths as a means of keeping consistent weight distribution—and handling—across all five sizes. Rather than producing different rear triangles for each frame size, Santa Cruz adjusted the location of the pivots on the main frame to lengthen the rear center as frame sizes increase. Chainstay length grows from 423mm on extra-small and small frames to 432mm on the extra-large 5010. It’s very likely that we’ll see size-specific rear ends incorporated into other Santa Cruz models as they come up for a refresh.
Santa Cruz 5010 Review
The original 5010 was launched just about the time 29ers were getting back up to speed with improved geometry, sturdier wheel and tire options, and suspension forks that weren’t just an afterthought. As a result, the first generations of this sporty 27.5-wheeled bike were often overshadowed by its big-wheeled brethren.
Times are changing, and while 29ers still dominate the scene, there’s a new generation of riders rising through the ranks raised on 50to01 edits that care less about straight-line speed than turning trails into skateparks by boosting, whipping, and jibbing off rocks, roots, and jumps. That’s who the 5010 is for.
Full disclosure: I am not that rider. But in this time of stay-at-home orders, I found the 5010 was a great tool to reimagine the trails I ride on a daily basis. Downsizing wheels and suspension travel makes well-worn trails feel new and challenging. The VPP rear suspension provides ample support for sprinting out of turns and pumping through dips and berms.
Compared to its predecessors, the fourth-gen 5010 feels more capable on rough terrain. The combination of a slacker front end and the new lower-link-driven suspension are to thank for this. I found the lower of the two geometry positions suited my riding style best. This geometry adjustment is slight, but noticeable. Dropping the bottom bracket and slackening the head angle conjured up a bit of the corner-carving mystique of the beloved Blur 4X that inspired the 5010.
Despite the fun I had on this bike, for where and how I ride, I have a hard time thinking of a situation where I would choose the 5010 to a short-travel 29er, such as the Tallboy. Then again, my wheels rarely get more than three feet off of terra firma, and my riding style has never been described as “steezy.” If your formative years were spent digging jumps, hucking off picnic tables, and building stunts out of stacks of pallets, then you’re the target rider for this bike.
Santa Cruz 5010 Verdict
The 5010 retains the playful DNA of its predecessors in an updated package. As Santa Cruz will readily admit, it’s not designed to be the fastest bike down the mountain, but if you’re more interested in earning style points than KOMs, the 5010 is a hell of a lot of fun.