Video: Neil Donoghue - Bronson Play

May 5, 2013
by Laurence Crossman-Emms  
Views: 131,570    Faves: 1,147    Comments: 70

World-class DH veteran and 2012 UK Gravity Enduro Champion, Neil Donoghue, is frothing at the mouth for this season of racing. Continuing with enduro based riding and looking to defend his UK Gravity Enduro title, Neil sets out to achieve some big personal goals and reach new heights with the all new World Enduro Series kicking off shortly. But its not all about racing, winning and competing for Neil; most of the time he just likes to get out on his bike... and just have a mess around!

Neil Donoghue giving the new Santa Cruz Bronson C 650B a thrashing in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
The innocent face of Neil Donoghue - www.laurence-ce.com
Neil Donoghue giving the new Santa Cruz Bronson C 650B a thrashing in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

I caught up with Neil recently so he could shed some light on his non-racer side, and we headed to his local woods in Shrewsbury, UK, for some good ol' fashioned trail bashing. Equipped with his brand new 650B Santa Cruz Bronson C, he was to set a new level for the "take it easy maiden voyage", as he thrashed the bats out of it. Local riding for Neil is really all about the grassroots, and having grown up in the area, he knows these woods like the back of his hand. Neil has done it all here, so it was great to head back, feet first, to scope out a few new lines and see if the Bronson has what it takes!

Neil Donoghue giving the new Santa Cruz Bronson C 650B a thrashing in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
The new 650B Santa Cruz Bronson is looking prime in this wild yellow - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
Neil Donoghue giving the new Santa Cruz Bronson C 650B a thrashing in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
Splashing in all the greatest this Bronson isnt one to be messed with - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

At first glance, you can't deny that the Bronson has all the lines, with the geometry to match; the numbers seems to just add up on this one. Have Santa Cruz hit the money with this 650B? This is very much a classy ride with a fiery attitude!

Shooting an old-school feature of Donny s tucked away in the woods of Nesscliffe - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
Neil Donoghue giving the new Santa Cruz Bronson C 650B a thrashing in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
Neil Donoghue scrubbing his Bronson in the woods - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com
Shooting an old-school feature of Donny s tucked away in the woods of Nesscliffe - Laurence CE - www.laurence-ce.com

But for Neil, this is all just playing in the woods. Going out and doing what he loves most, riding bikes!

With a full race calendar this year, along with his personal training programme to keep him up to speed, you can imagine he is a busy man, juggling bikes, relationships, moving house and the rest! But somehow, Neil has managed to find the time to do his bit for the cause and is partaking in one of the biggest fundraisers of his life. Neil and a team of fellow riders, led by Tim Morris, plan to ride from John o' Groats to Land's End for Cancer Research UK! 1000 gruelling miles across the British countryside over 9 days, all for a great cause.

If you are keen to get involved and help support the team, then please visit their John o' Groats to Land's End for Cancer Research UK page here, and help them give it some beans!

Photography & Videography: Laurence Crossman-Emms www.laurence-ce.com


148 Comments

  • + 95
 Wow, he sure couldn't do this on a 26" nor a 29" wheeled bike! Seriously, why the wheels size needs to be mentioned? It's a rad bike and that is some serious riding right there, but when they mention the wheel size like that, the whole thing looks like a desperate marketing move. Not about FUN.
  • + 39
 650B here, 650B there, 650B everywhere but not in our bikes at this moment and for me, 650B is just a crap... no ones really need them, manufacturers just need our money thats what its all about.
  • + 36
 Trolling. Just don't buy one, and they will go away.
  • + 31
 I'm sure the riding he did would have been easier on a 26" bike anyways
  • + 12
 It's all about money...
  • + 4
 wonder how many 650B evangelists actually know what the B means in 650B?
  • + 4
 it's marketing...
  • + 14
 there is an advantage but WE F*CKING GET IT. you don't need to jump at every single opportunity you have to get us to buy your bike. i assure you santa cruz, anyone on this site with $10k to spare would LOVE a bronson.
  • + 13
 This is the most popular MTB website on this planet. Of course it is about marketing.
  • + 17
 The B is the casing width of the original tire on the 584 bead seat rim that resulted in a nominal diameter of 650mm. As were narrowest, Cs were widest, Bs fell in the middle. There was 650A, 650B and 650C all the same diameter, and likewise 700A, 700B and 700C. This was also sixty some years ago.
  • + 6
 At least he wasn't on the 11000 dollar model
  • + 8
 You guys are all going to eat your words when by 2015 there isn't a main stream company running a 26" wheel anywhere but on their DH bikes. Not because 650 is better, but just because you're all consumers and that's the way it goes.
  • + 7
 Go and try to sell a 26 trailbike....good luck. The only xc bikes easy to sell are 29ers. Whether you like 650b or not it is going to make my uzzi worthless. I will buy a 650b bike because that is what all the sheep will want to buy when it is time to sell.
  • + 10
 I love how everyone bitches and moans about 650B, but I doubt many have actually ridden them.
  • + 3
 Great clip! but it almost ended in disaster at 0:52 when he could of been doing a superman instead of riding down that hill
  • + 5
 I want one!
Pros:Good for racing national and local DH tracks as well as climbs uphill (Sea Otter, Fontana, Wood Ward Etc..).
Cons: World Cup Courses and Hucks.
I believe this bike is not for everyone, but rather a perfect fit for most. With 6inch and 650b that is the perfect setup!
I don't believe so much as 4inch 650b or 5inch 650b or even a 8inch 650b and think its rather excessive options with little to small margin of benefits that may not be worth the investment.
It Climbs plus Descends the best vs. 26" or 29" with like travel.
Its not as much of a marketing vid but rather more importantly an evolution.
  • - 14
flag Bullitproof (May 5, 2013 at 22:47) (Below Threshold)
 why 650 B? cuz 29ers are gay, and 26ers are too mainstream :Pf*cking hipsters Wink
but in all entirety that bike looks like a nomad Razz
  • + 6
 Take a look at this article from Bikemag where SC engeneer itself talks about how the Bronson would have to be the natural evolution of the Blur LTc, but they have to re-develope the bike to adapt it to 27.5" because they were receiving daily tons of mails and phone calls of people asking for that wheel size. It's curious how people is strongly demanding something ever really tried and don't know if's good or not. Seriously, it well worths a read...

www.bikemag.com/gear/exclusive-video-bronson-santa-cruzs-new-650b-trail-bike

People must be more hitting the trails instead of hitting the keyboard in some discussion forums. That's the reason why 650B is so trending nowadays.
  • + 5
 As far as i could see no one mentioned wheel size in the video, was good riding and a good all round video. Classy riding donny!!
  • + 1
 ^Read before comment: "Have Santa Cruz hit the money with this 650B?"
  • + 4
 Everyone griping about 650B clearly hasn;t ridden one... They ARE awesome and it IS a good new size. They have rolling characteristics more like a 29 then a 26 but they still handle like a 26" wheel... That's Win WIn in my book. The Norco Range 650B I rode just might be THE fastest AM bike I've ever been on and if I was in the market for a complete bike right now it'd be in my barn. i you don't want one don't buy one, but they're possibly the best MA wheel size ever created. I'll likely never buy a 29R and I'll always have several 26" bikes, but a 650B bike WILL be in the barn by next year...
  • + 86
 Thanks for all the nice comments. To answer some of the more negative ones- the whole idea behind the video was actually to have a bit of fun riding a bike and just ride like I normally do. Ironically I actually wanted it not to be about the whole wheel size debate. It bores the hell out of me and I don't really understand why people get so angry about different wheels. Just ride what you like. A great bike is a great bike, no matter the wheel size, and the Bronson is great. Contrary to what you may believe, this video was filmed, produced and thought up by 2 people- myself and Laurence. We don't have the marketing dept at Santa Cruz giving us a cheque and a telling us what they would like. Maybe I do take my racing seriously but riding a bike is just that, nothing more.
  • + 12
 NIce riding man, I don't care how big or small your wheels are, just want to say thanks for the edit and to hell with all the tools who just want to be negative on here, I am over it. We all ride for fun at the end of the day, why so many haters all the time?????????????
If this sport makes you that angry and opinionated, just go away then and take up blanket weaving or something.
Think about what you post.
  • - 4
flag Matt-W (May 5, 2013 at 16:55) (Below Threshold)
 Firstly, it's 'more critical' not 'more negative'.

The video and the article are a little mismatched. The video looks like simple fun in local woods; the article reads as a bit of a sales pitch. If you don't want to make it about the wheels, why write them in as the defining point of the bike?

Anyway, best of luck with the charity cycle, have a couple friends who have done it and found it a good challenge.
  • + 3
 THANK YOU "whitevanman"! Now if the negative-nellys out there could read your post and try to comprehend it.
  • + 2
 It´s an ace vid, I was thinking about it when I was riding today! WGAF about wheel sizes or bar widths, or tyre compounds or anything else, being out on the bike is ace. Speaking as someone who has ridden a 29er and a 26er today and got to the bottom smiling like a tool both times.
  • + 6
 I don't think anyone was reacting negatively to the content of the vid, more the implication that we are supposed to be "surprised" that a talented rider such as yourself can still shred on a 650B. I sure hope that you can still shred on it, given that all any media outlet seems to want to write about lately is how 650B is the best thing ever invented for enduro/AM/trail and possibly even DH.

"Just ride what you like" is a good motto, but you've also got to consider non-pros.... those of us that shell out our hard-earned cash for frames and parts. The industry seems to be moving more and more towards a policy of "planned obsolescence", under the guise of "innovation".
  • + 1
 scriz who said you are supposed to be surprised? and why does he have to consider non-pros when he says "just ride what you like"? I'm a non pro, couldnt afford a new sc with 650b and i dont know (or really care) if it would ride better than a 26, but it still interests me to know what the pros are riding.
  • + 1
 Yeah man, awesome video and great riding. I think this bike looks awesome. People like what they own and new trends threaten their mojo. Cheers!
  • + 16
 I guess they left the scene out when he ran into the grandma who was out walking her dog in the woods.
  • + 13
 Amazing shredding but did we really need to see the same nosebonk 4 times in a row?
  • + 1
 Yeah i honestly thought the manual into the corner before it was more impressive.
  • + 21
 I honestly didn't mind. It made me want to get out and hit my local track this morning. He was rippin that thing up! Looks fun.
  • + 33
 because it was a 650B nosebonk!
  • - 3
 Yeah...a little overkill
  • + 8
 Wow who cares if they showed the nose bonk 4 times gawd lol
  • + 12
 "Bronson" = Raddest name for a bike in years. Their next one should be called the "Norris"
  • + 25
 I take it they don't show Coronation Street in Canada.
  • + 1
 Lol
  • - 5
flag deeeight (May 5, 2013 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 They do show it, they've shown it for fifty years plus now. Its playing behind me on the tele as I type this. But since Bronson was taken from actor Charles Bronson, it follows to take the Norris from Chuck Norris (who's real first name is Carlos as it happens).
  • + 13
 The name has nothing to do with Charles Bronson. It is named after Santa Cruz's former business address 104 Bronson St, Santa Cruz.
  • + 5
 I know that. Regardless, it's still a rad name.
  • - 3
 They can claim that all they want, given the likelihood of a lawsuit from the Bronson family heirs but nobody actually believes it. They knew full well that naming the bike Bronson, the majority of their customers would think of the actor. Same as when WTB named a tire that several years ago.
  • + 2
 Agree with deeeight.
  • + 5
 Chuck would be better name for the bike than Norris
  • + 4
 deeight is spot on.
their next bike should be named the "Cassius" if they wanted a real ass kicker set of bike names.
or the "Tyson" - they could paint some tribal tattoo graphics around the headtube. haha.
  • + 1
 Has everyone forgotten the WTB tire named after the same actor?
  • + 1
 Next SC bike - Bruce Lee
  • + 1
 deeeight, the WTB Bronson tire is actually named after Charles Bronson. The Bronson bike was named after the street. Perhaps their next bike will be called the "Mission".
  • + 0
 do you mean the prisoner Charles Bronson, not the actor? he's a true badass.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bronson_
  • + 2
 I think Diamondback might take issue with that. Wink
  • + 9
 How was he saying don't take it so seriously when he's on the back of nearly all the mtb uk's???????????????
  • + 14
 "I don't take riding seriously, which is why l polish my bike before every MBUK photoshoot, make advertising articles on pinkbike, plug all my sponsors in my lifestyle photos, have a full race calendar for 2013 and a personal training programme"

...seems legit Wink
  • + 31
 Obviously he was saying don't take it seriously because in the video he was just riding his bike for fun and for a laugh, not for racing or training purposes..he's just pointing out that sometimes people spend too much time riding under pressure and not enjoying it, he's not saying he NEVER rides under pressure or seriously or for magazines etc.
  • + 1
 And with that said, dan is going to rip him to shreds this season.
  • + 6
 Who care's what size wheel he's using,who or what the bike is named after or how they got the bike to stand up,there's some seriously stylish riding going on there
  • + 8
 Still not enough to convert me form 26 inches. Nice ripping though.
  • + 4
 Well that creeped me right out, I had Teddy Bear Picnic stuck in my head for whatever reason, and then I go on pinkbike and it's on the freaking front page. GET OUT OF MY HEAD
  • + 3
 650b commercials may be silly, but the little informal intense DH test had the 650b as faster than the 26 in tech DH sections. If that data holds up to repetition during the WC this year the wheel size will be sticking around. No point in complaining about it. Either it proves its self during the races or in five years they are cheap on PB cuz no one can get parts for them.
  • + 5
 Very nice riding. 650B wheels are nice too, only thing I'd change would be to make them a wee bit smaller.
  • + 2
 I personally own a 26,27.5 and a 29er since last fall I have no interest in the 26 or 29,I have to force myself to ride them out of guilt! No contest in IMO 650b is real and is a melding pot for all the best qualities that a Mtn bike can bring to the table if you are much,much more than a CC rider!
  • + 1
 I was huuuge, huuuge, hater on 650b until today. when I rode one. (KHS 5500, in case anyone cares) it was awesome. mostly because i hardly noticed it. it was like riding a nice fast rolling 26, but it had the grip of one with huge knobby slow rolling tires. I'm a believer, but i doubt i'm gonna buy one soon, because: the improvement isn't big enough to get me to spend early adopter money on it.
  • + 3
 Remember, 'Mr I'm too good and fast on my bike to say hello when I pass you', even Neil Donaghue says it's just dicking around on a bike!
  • + 3
 No business like show business...only thing missing in the vid is the half nacked chick! 650b not needed !!!!
  • + 4
 i suppose i have to buy a bronson to ride like that?
  • + 7
 Yes and it must be 650b. That is the only way.
  • + 4
 The. Only. Way.
  • + 3
 Bout time someone brings punk back into mountain biking... Iggy Pop all the way!
  • + 1
 Yeah, great song choice.
  • + 2
 Fast = Fun. If you can go faster and have more on 650's and can shell out the extra $$$, go for it. Marketing or not, the clock doesn't lie. My 26's are fine for now.
  • + 1
 Well said, "for now". There is nothing wrong with progression.
  • + 1
 So maybe this bike has inbuilt anti-theft features could be that it would smack a bike thief round the back of the head with a sock full of dimes?
  • + 1
 "2013... already better then 2012 because there's 90% LESS dub-step in riding videos" Beautiful pics and a great vid after wasting time with that Mercedes commercial.
  • - 1
 Just riding my local dh-track yesterday. Some consumer-clowns with Enduros on cart wheels and dummy suspension blocking the trail. The reality is - slow, dangerous, accidentprone. These things look and ride like a Freeridebike from 2001...
  • + 3
 This video is frickn' awesome, rock and roll and loose shredding!
  • + 1
 THATS what it is, a dope ass (video)clip: a hell of a ride on a great bike, down a dream of a trail. gorgeous. ..just one lil question, coexistence or fail?!: would it be ok to wear a fullface-(helmet) by sending it that divine, or do you guys hold on that 650B is all enduro?!... Big Grin
  • + 2
 he only just managed to not to faceplant @ 0:51 tut tut tut theres only one solution for that, Bigger wheels YEAH! hahahaha
  • + 3
 Oh, by the way. I forgot to sign off. Neil Donoghue.
  • + 1
 Now that is ripping! Fun looking trail, but his style makes it look a million times more fun. Damn I wish I could manual.
  • + 0
 Another 650b article featuring Santa Cruz... commenting but passing on watching the video.. go away 650b. Make some affordable bikes that we actually want to own/ride first then maybe we can talk 650b.
  • + 3
 wow. it rolls fast, and accelerates like a barge.
  • + 2
 They def sanded off the knobbies...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=na8oDCKp6AU
  • + 2
 best bike commercial ever
  • + 1
 whats the song ? makes me want to go out and ride, although I just finished an awesome ride Smile
  • + 3
 Raw Power by The Stooges
  • + 1
 Shrewsbury UK looks like a fun area to play with bikes! Sick bit of Shredding in this vid
  • + 1
 is the bronson slacked out or what makes it so special as opposed to the other enduro style bikes
  • + 3
 Stop dicking around lol
  • + 1
 Bikes are not fast. Cyclists are fast.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlJjbnrdjjw
  • + 1
 I like 650B. Hopefully it will kill the 29" wheel on full suspension bikes.
  • + 1
 The sound-track reminds me of the ridebmx cassette video from back in the day, Awsome vid......
  • + 2
 Dam son! Rippin that 650b
  • + 3
 Urge helmets = Fugly
  • + 1
 AWESOME filming/edit/music/riding/trail!

giv me giv me giv me,...giv me some morrrr!
  • + 1
 Ahh so that's why Santa Cruz gave him one and not me.
  • + 1
 When will tapered bottom brackets hit the scene? We really need those.
  • + 0
 Seems very a clumbersom bike when building speed up. I actually thought it was a 29er before I read the actual wheel size.
  • + 2
 reppin shrewsbury.
  • + 1
 fun video! really nice style. should be vod
  • + 1
 Meh...nothing in this inspires me...it is what it is: a Commercial.
  • + 1
 That's my local! I love those trails..
  • + 1
 Looks like a super fun trail. 650b hype is out of control.
  • + 1
 That video makes me want to go ride my bike!
  • + 1
 Should put Brosnan on a Bronson
  • + 1
 Nice bike though, I want one.
  • + 1
 That photo collage looks pretty classy, love it.
  • + 1
 Wow great place and pretty good looking bike!
  • + 0
 shame the write up had more pictures of the grinning fashion muppet than of the bike
  • + 1
 How do they get those bikes to balance upright?!
  • - 11
flag pruthillrider (May 5, 2013 at 0:24) (Below Threshold)
 I was just thinking the same... I guess they use a little stick. Otherwise they might have sanded off all the knobs to make the tire flat.. :-)
  • + 5
 Right, they ruin a pair of tires just to stand it up, SERIOUSLY ????.... They always use a stick
  • - 4
flag superbikes (May 5, 2013 at 5:29) (Below Threshold)
 If you zoooooom in look hard you will see how they make it stand up useing sticks each side if the rear wheel just L@@@@@@K
  • + 6
 Sticks are the lame way. Usually they hold the bike, let it go, and take a picture very quickly before it falls. But yeah here I can see them using a stick.
  • + 1
 If it is a studio shoot it is usual to hook it up with a very thin Nylon line, and then photoshop it out.
  • + 1
 26" & 650B is where it's at we should of went there along time ago..
  • + 2
 No no no... you do.
  • + 1
 That video makes me want to ride my bike!
  • + 1
 Totally thought he was going to eat it a couple times there haha
  • + 1
 Thats how you have fun on your bike ! holy f*ck , im so happy right now ^^
  • + 1
 Hoo very pro
  • + 0
 wow my comment was removed. Fashion muppets must be protected it seems
  • + 1
 Pretty sweet video Smile
  • + 1
 What pedals are those?
  • + 1
 120£
  • + 1
 Thanks. I scrolled a long way down to find out what those were. they look pimp. I like the pins too.
  • + 1
 I too only care about the pedals. Thanks for the answer Hilleye. Are the pedals better than Twenty6's Predator pedal?
www.pinkbike.com/news/twenty6-Predator-Pedal-Tested-2011.html
  • + 1
 I assure you the pins will last longer than the Twenty6 pins. Those things snap if you look at them wrong. Get steel pins if you get those.
I've been running the Canfield Crampon Ultimates, and they're sweet. They just came out with some with a magnesium body that's in the 280g neighborhood, which is pretty impressive. MG ones are not cheap.

canfieldbrothers.com/components/pedals
  • + 1
 Iggy makes it Perfect
  • + 0
 Is this all in nesscliffe?
  • + 0
 I rode my 26" bike today an it felt like a bmx!
  • - 1
 Only bike without 26 inch wheels I would ride.
  • - 3
 Does anyone know where these trails are? They look too good
  • + 2
 Two different places within around 6 miles either side of Shrewsbury
  • + 1
 ...and at least one of them is somewhat 'off-piste' so probably not a good idea post exactly where it is Big Grin
  • + 1
 Hence why I didn't..
  • + 1
 but usually anyone that is half competent at using strava's explore function will probably be able to find it.
  • + 2
 Google maps tells me that the trails are in Upton Magna. Go and do some roof hucks off St Lucias School while you are there.
  • + 1
 The first set are yeah but its not what the place is called, thats just the area
  • + 1
 Yeah. the exact place is the old blacksmiths shed opposite the Corbet Arms...
  • + 1
 That bike looks like its painted with mountain dew -Such a crowd pleaser,embrace the change,whats gonna happen to all the other existing bikes,flood the market with used bikes.
  • + 1
 It wasn't but ok.. And thanks for that slightly random comment there wheeldrop
  • + 1
 Bikes are not fast. Cyclist's are fast.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlJjbnrdjjw
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