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.
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.
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.