Field Test: Santa Cruz Bronson

Nov 30, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

SANTA CRUZ BRONSON

"Heels down, plow through all the things..."



Words by Mike Kazimer, photography by Trevor Lyden



Whistler, BC, is full of challenging descents, descents that often require a good bit of steep climbing to reach them. That's where a bike like the Santa Cruz Bronson comes in handy, which is how this versatile all-rounder with an appetite for the technical made its way into the Pinkbike Field Test.

The third generation of the Bronson underwent the expected longer and slacker treatment, but its suspension design also received a substantial revision. It now bears a strong resemblance the Nomad, with the shock situated low in the frame, just above the bottom bracket. The goal behind this change was to increase the small bump sensitivity and mid-stroke support while still having a controlled ramp up to prevent any harshness at the end of the travel.
Bronson X01 Carbon CC Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Frame construction: carbon fiber
• 65.1° or 65.4° head angle
• Chainstay length: 430mm
• Sizes: XS-XL
• Weight: 29.4 lb (13.3 kg) size large, w/o pedals
• Price: $8199 USD as tested
• Colors: Industry Blue, Primer Grey
• Lifetime frame warranty
www.santacruzbicycles.com

Just like the previous version, the Bronson rolls on 27.5” wheels and has 150mm of rear squish, but it's now spec'd with a 160mm fork. The amount of tire clearance has also been increased, and you can run up to a 2.8” tire if you'd like. A flip chip allows for two different geometry positions, but we put it in the slackest setting and left it there for entirety of our time on the bike.

Highlights of the bike's build kit include the Fox GRIP 2 fork, Reserve carbon wheels with Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II tires, and SRAM Code RSC brakes. All of those niceties do add up, and the Bronson X01 Carbon CC retails for $8,199. Keep in mind that there are aluminum models available for a much lower price.



Santa Cruz Bronson
Santa Cruz Bronson

Climbing

“Efficient” was the word that kept coming up when discussing the Bronson's climbing performance. Testers were impressed by the lack of rear suspension movement with the shock in the full open position. Even on long, sustained fireroad climbs there was never any need to flip that low speed compression lever, and when things got really technical there was plenty of rear wheel traction.

Mike Levy thought that it felt like the bike was sitting a bit deep in its travel on the climbs, but I didn't find that to be the case; different rider heights and weights could the be reason behind the two opinions on that aspect of the Bronson's ride feel.

Overall, the updated Bronson hasn't lost anything in the climbing department compared to prior versions – it's very well mannered, especially considering how well it descends.


Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson
Santa Cruz Bronson

Descending

We subjected the Bronson to plenty of rowdy trails, full of all possible configurations of rocks, roots, dust, and mud, and it took it all in stride. This is a bike that can plow through all the things, but it's still peppy enough to remain enjoyable on mellower, less steep terrain. It's on the plusher side of the spectrum, but even when we used every millimeter of travel there were never any jarring bottom outs.

There are longer and slacker bikes out there, but the Bronson's numbers make it enjoyable on much more than just the steepest trails. It's certainly capable of holding its own in an enduro race, but it's also just as useable as a trail bike with plenty of travel for the technical stuff. When it comes to cornering performance, the Bronson's low center of gravity makes it feel extremely stable and planted, and testers were unanimous in their praise about the grey machine's tenacity in the turns.


Santa Cruz Bronson


Pros

+ Ideal all-rounder, as long as you have the proper terrain
+ Efficient, calm and composed climber
+ Excellent cornering performance
Cons

- Not the bike for riders looking for the absolute longest and slackest option
- There's no 29" version...



Must Read This Week

465 Comments

  • + 179
 If doesn't say it climbs like a _____, descends like a ____ is it even a bike review?
  • + 126
 Yes.
  • + 17
 @mikekazimer: Wink Great review!
  • + 10
 it kinda does though if you read carefully in between the lines
  • + 93
 If the bike costs less than $8k, is it even a bike review?
  • + 5
 I mean, don't you want to know how it climbs and descends? I feel like it is hardly a bike review without some comparison on those two things....
  • - 13
flag Boardlife69 (Nov 29, 2018 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 @cycleco: no, we just want to know how good looks for instagram. Every bike nowadays climbs like a ____ and descends like a ____, but the real question is, WTF is a ____?
And this aint no review, its a field test in the forest.
  • + 5
 It climbs as a ***** and descends like a &%*^!, so there.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: great review, I've had that exact same bike (apart from the wheels)on order for a month, it's not showing up till the end of January though ,grrrrr!
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: maybe review a hero 7 at the same time? that pov footage is shit
  • + 50
 Over 8k and you can’t even put the Fox factory up front?? Bro....
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: any comments on the rear shock mounting? I have the Bronson. Pulled the rear shock off and it looks proprietary to me.
  • + 4
 @ghorse: Note: this was shot just after Crankworx, before the Hero 7 was released. We also had access to gimbals, which we chose not to use after deciding we liked the ease-of-use, considering how many bikes were being tested at once.
  • + 10
 @Ryanrobinson1984: My thoughts exactly! For 8k I expect to see top of the line everything.
  • + 6
 @cmoney23: Santa Cruz has the most marked up prices.... gotta pay for that DH team.
  • + 6
 @Ryanrobinson1984: performance elite is the same. They wanted full black instead of the bling Kashima coating that’s all.
  • + 2
 @PeterWojnar: Thanks for the update, if you are still editing these, I'd recommend sticking to the non-POV footage which is great, especially as the rider has great style, but the POV quality is rather poor. A bit more variety to the shots would be nice too, I could be wrong but I think we saw the same 4-5 sections multiple times. (I get that this is a review rather than an edit). Great review format though.
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: Think Yeti takes that cake... But I still love em.
  • + 2
 @TheLittleFox: full black is where its at!
  • + 2
 This comment is so tired Frown
  • + 2
 @PeterWojnar: Who is "we"? Somebody was whining. WE want names! We're revving the bus up waiting for you to toss some Mike, er, poor schmuck our direction. . .
  • + 1
 @jaydawg69: ahem.. Trek ?
  • - 3
 If anyone is looking to pick up a nearly new 2019 Bronson CC XX1 with Reserves (this one has the Factory 36) check out the link to my PB ad below

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2482222
  • + 0
 @Ryanrobinson1984: If anyone is looking to pick up a nearly new 2019 Bronson CC XX1 with Reserves (this one has the Factory 36) check out the link to my PB ad below

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2482222
  • - 8
flag gorgefreerider (Nov 30, 2018 at 10:47) (Below Threshold)
 It climbs like a @YTIndustries Jeffsy, and descends like a @YTIndustries Jeffsy, at THREE times the price! No thanks! I'll stick with the Jeffsy.
  • + 1
 @paulbalegend: no not yet.. We got another 10 years plus of it so buckle in.
  • + 2
 @PeterWojnar: alright alright, but there are youtubers who have less resources than Pink mfing Bike that make it work. ease-of-use i get but was it too much to strap on a gimbal for a run, half a run? no hate tho, surprised y'all reply, cheers
  • + 1
 @dgeahry: Why would you sell such an amazing bike ?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Would you pick this or a Kona Process 153 speced comparably as your do everything?
Literally about to buy a bike and I'm dead serious.
  • + 121
 " There's no 29" version..." Yes, there is. It's called the Hightower or Hightower/LT (my be is the new linkage trickles to them soon). The Bronson isn't meant to be a 29" bike. Nothing against them but. Lame 'con' in my opinion.
I will wait for the down votes.
  • + 67
 Watch the video and that con is explained a little further...
  • + 230
 I'm guessing it won't be listed as a con for 29ers that don't offer a 27.5 version.
  • - 3
 @Piersurf: good..
  • + 41
 Not an accurate comparison. HT/LT are based on the upper link driven shock platform, creating a slightly regressive/slightly progressive (but essentially very linear in its function). Bronson is based off lower link driven shock creating a true progressive rate that makes its 150mm feel much more capable. SCB will certainly have a 29er based on this platform coming next year, but the review is accurate in that currently there isn't a 29" version of this layout.
  • + 29
 Agreed, its a 27.5, always has been, the hightower is the 29er version which hopefully gets the suspension update for the next model year.. Lame con
  • + 12
 This was my comment, and it was also down-voted. They address it in the video -- they're right, technically. It's not exactly the same thing, in part because it's a 29er. But come on, if there were a 29er version of this bike, it would BASICALLY be the Hightower.
  • + 5
 But whatever. Great video -- nice job, guys!
  • + 2
 @slickwilly1: they are hardly comparable bikes... Even the HT LT is not built around being a bike with longer travel. It is just a longer travel version. They really should make a 29 version of this bike, built around longer travel, slack, longer, etc from the beginning, and for god's sake a piggyback shock.
  • + 22
 @Piersurf: Bingo, not all bikes need 29. I found it interesting that Levy said he likes smaller volume tires because the bigger volume mute the trail more than he typically likes but he wants a 29r. In my experience this is exactly what 29r's do. More clarification would be appreciated as to why you think this bike should have a 29 option other than you think it would perform well.
  • + 1
 @hypermoto: Therefore my clarification that the linkage or similar will be migrating that was soon most likely.
  • - 3
 @hypermoto: exactly. Lower link driven shock VPP is far superior than upper link.

Santa Cruz needs to hurry up and get that bike out ASAP. Between the writing being on the wall for 27.5 and the HTLT being a generation behind in geometry they need to act fast.
  • + 5
 26", my guy
  • + 4
 They are right. If SC would make alu bikes, they would have it already, but since they have to start with carbon premium, we will have to wait one more year... I would like an SC since there is a great distributor in Poland, but they simply do not have what I am looking for, Nomad is cool, but I just want a 29er (with a water bottle mount, so no Capra for me).
  • + 15
 Upvoted. I'm fed up with all this 29" hype. Get out and ride, whatever the (wheel) size!
  • + 13
 @Piersurf: Remember... if you tell people 27.5 is still any good people might want to actually consider still buying them, and we can't have that. All must ride 29. Shun the 27.5. Shuuuuuun. =D
  • + 2
 @wibblywobbly: The writings on the wall for 650b?
  • + 6
 @thenotoriousmic: Yeah, meaning it's still maintains better trail handling characteristics and wins more EWS and UCI races. The honest truth is, 29er axle to bb height just isn't right for racing tight dynamic tracks.
  • + 53
 "There's no 29er version" -- I say WHO THE f*ck CARES!!!

For f*cks sake, stop trying to push 29ers into everything, it's the same story as with boost, superboost, etc. Pinkvilla, stop the nonsense please.
  • - 1
 @southoftheborder: well they obviously care, that's why they mentioned it,
  • + 8
 @arrowheadrush: lobbying in a MTB website. What a jolly good time to be there.
  • + 9
 Just put a 29" wheel on the front. We are all going to be doing that in a few years anyway.
  • + 30
 All I can say is every bike that is only a 29 better have a Con for not having it in 27.5.
  • + 0
 Well the HTLT sucks and the Bronson does not.
  • + 12
 @Soilsledding: It’s not all roses in the 29 camp. I’m hearing people starting to grumble about them and even go back to 27.5 and people who absolutely love them. Jury’s still out. I can’t see one wheel size killing the other at this point. Can’t really say the writings on the wall for 650b though looking at sales and race results.
  • + 6
 @thenotoriousmic: "We don't need no edukation. We don't need no, thought kontrol!"

Just another 27er in the wall. Wink
  • + 1
 @daugherd: good point!
  • + 2
 Holy crap, over 10 years after the intro of 29er's and we're still debating.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: yes. Just look at the numbers of 27.5 vs 29 are in this test.
  • + 0
 @Soilsledding: What wheelsize won the men's DH World Cup, Women's EWS, Women's and men's XCO World Cup and World Champs again? The extra BB drop is a big part of the reason those bikes won those races.
  • + 9
 @jclnv: You sure it's the "BB drop" and not the riders? Cecile will crush it on a tricycle.
  • + 4
 @jclnv: is it though?
  • - 1
 @sospeedy: That and rolling resistance is why they pick-em. Even if they don't realise it.
  • + 5
 @jclnv: Lots of the top DH riders are still on 27.5 (even when they have the choice). Loic Bruni (World Champ), Danny Hart (former World Champ), Troy Brosnan methinks, Brook MacDonald, and Laurie Greenland to name a few.

Cecile also won everything when she was on the 27.5 Meta too.
  • + 2
 I find the first "Pro" even more lame! "Ideal all-rounder, as long as you have the proper terrain". Which basically means it's not an all rounder as it would be at ease on any terrain Big Grin
  • - 3
 @rezrov: Surprise, You just listed a bunch of dwarfs!
  • + 5
 @thenotoriousmic: I loved the 29er but went back to 27.5. The roll over is what I loved, it is like a drug, that’s the only reason they are gaining traction (har har). The geometry of the bike around bigger wheels still isn’t ideal for more general riding imo. I can see why it would work in DH, maybe even how some could make it work in Enduro but as @Soilsledding said - I don’t think they work when you’re trying to race a tight, dynamic track especially one you don’t know too well. For that same reason they’re just not as easy to dick about on, something I spend a lot of time doing.
It’s funny at one point everyone complained 29ers were shit because they were just shoe horning the wagon wheels into 26/27.5 geometry. Now you’d be hard pushed to find the difference between many brands 29 and 27.5 options besides BB height. And I’d argue they could make the BB’s higher. We just made em slacker and suddenly everything works? Don’t believe the hype.
  • + 3
 @EnduroManiac: it means don't buy it if your trails are mellow.
  • + 2
 @daugherd: the way in which a 2.8" 27.5 tyre mutes the trail is different from the way a 29er rolls over stuff. A bigger volume, squishier tyre will absorb things more but also give a more "vague" feeling when steering/changing direction. A 29er with 2.3-2.5 tyres will not "absorb" as much but will roll over things better, retaining precision and giving less tyre damping, allowing the suspension to do its job in a more precise way.
  • + 3
 @brianpark: Sure but I guess you could say it from any terrain. If you only ride DH tracks you wouldn't buy this one neither would you? Obviously a versatile bike will be at ease on a variety of terrain. But if your terrain is "specialized" I mean of an exclusive type, then you'll be better off with a bike which works bet with the given terrain. Then the con of the given bike will be it's exclusivity with the pro being it's perfectly suited to a given application.
This whole thing doesn't have a lot of importance, I think the formulation is just a little clumsy and that's dangerous because you know we just read the conclusion prior to jumping to the comment section Wink
  • + 6
 @UtahBrent: this can only mean one thing; there is no clear advantage but tons of commercial interests. Nobody debates about disk brakes...
  • + 1
 @Nacholq: fair point
  • + 6
 @jclnv: Ok, let's play. What wheelsize won the Women's DH World Cup, Men's EWS, and Men's and Women's DH World Champs? There is a complete lack of credible evidence for 29ers being significantly faster in professional race results. If the claims in the media were true, these bikes should be winning by seconds every time. The results at any single race, or for overall season categories are still split (very roughly) 50/50.
  • + 1
 @cycleco: and a steeper seat angle!
  • + 0
 @DonkeyTeeth: Aren't you guys all dead yet?
  • - 3
 @NickB01: That's exactly it.. Gotta be 29.
  • - 3
 @southoftheborder: Fark that shite! Damn straight I need 29 on everything.. I'm 6'3 and then some for God sake.. Bring on the wagon wheels boy zzz!
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: yes, clearly, all the reviews show that.. ????
  • + 1
 @UtahBrent: Hahah no shit... Like get over it.. They're here to stay. End story
  • - 2
 @iqbal-achieve: Bs! I'm the yeti sb130 and they knocked that thing clean out the park.. It feels like ur on smaller wheels.. The geo is dialed.. Sounds like ur still stuck in 2012.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: strange ? I quite like mine.....
  • + 1
 @bohns1: try a bike with a steep STA like a Sentinel or SB150 and you'll see what I mean. Maybe it doesn't suck outright but there are most certainly much better bikes out there.
  • + 4
 At this point there’s no evidence to suggest 29ers are better. I’m sticking to 27.5 mainly because I ride very steep technical trails and I sit on the back tyre by accident a lot and obviously this is going to be worse on a 29er also you still can’t get decent tyres for 29ers yet.
  • + 4
 @Golden-G: I'm on a sb130... I've ridden nothing better yet.. Especially with the fit 2 dampener... The steep seat angle is one of the best improvements bar none.. Especially for us tall folk.. Please don't be one of those that tell me that YT makes better bikes! Ha
  • + 1
 @bohns1: Doc Brown ain’t got shit
  • + 6
 They are just copying Bike Magazine reviews where every review for a 27.5 bike started or ended with "I wish it were a 29er". They should realize that most people reading a review for a 27.5 bike want that wheel size.
  • + 10
 @digitalsoul: basically any review. Is it on trend? Yes = good review. No = bad review. Don’t forget that Sam Hill won the EWS twice on flat pedals, 750 bars, 650b and a size small frame.
  • + 5
 oh and he doesn’t run volume spacers... apparently.
  • - 2
 If anyone is looking to pick up a nearly new 2019 Bronson CC XX1 with Reserves (this one has the Factory 36) check out the link to my PB ad below

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2482222
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: Shhhhhhh! Blasphemy! You're account will be deleted in no time! :-)

I wish your summary of all recent reviews wasn't so obnoxiously accurate...
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: seriously? Does he just run a ton of pressure? Any article or anything talking about this?
  • + 2
 @bohns1: OK, you're a Clydesdale. Is that enough to market 29ers as the best-of-it-all for every other human in the world?
  • + 4
 Let's review a 27.5 and blame it for not being a 29'er. By the way, I ditched my LT in favour of a Bronson because of the 29'er wheels. It hasn't slowed me down and I'm having more fun on the trails again.
  • + 0
 @southoftheborder: No, but pretty damn close.. I have a buddy 5'8 152lb. Got used to the wagon wheels after swearing them off for years.. Says he'll never go back to the small wheels
  • + 3
 @bohns1: Good for the two of you. Now, again, that amounts just to anecdotal data.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: I'm a yeti guy myself. Rode a Sentinel this year. SB 150 on the way!
  • + 1
 @Agleck7: I don’t run volume spacers ether. You don’t need to if you get your set up right. Personally felt like the end stroke felt so disgusting with volume spacers in. I just run them hard and fast and it works way better for me. I don’t know why Sam Hill does it but I think it might have been his gmbn day of the dead bike check.
  • + 6
 @bohns1: yeah typical mountain biker shit. Get used to something and swear never to go back until the latest fad comes out where they won’t like that until they get used to it then they swear never to go back and the cycle repeats.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: everyone’s different bro, you might have you setup right sag, compression rebound etc but if you are an aggressive rider you still will most likely bottom out your suspension more than you want. This is where volume spacers come in and you just keep adding until you don’t bottom out.
  • + 1
 @Prh: adding spacers actually make it easier to find the end stroke but harder to bottom out. Eventually you’re just pinging off the end stroke. Maybe you’re not ‘bottoming’ out but it still gets quite harsh. Better to find a way to use the support given by more volume imo. Larger negative chambers make this easier these days.
  • + 1
 @Prh: Do that and you’re ether never going to use all your travel effectively or to get full travel your going to have a super wallowy midstroke where you smash into the progression in the end which feels almost as gross bottoming out but it happens all the time.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: you are pretty far of reality with that. If it was that horrible why do the majority of EWS/DH riders use them? They aren't bump stops, they are fine tuning tools
  • - 2
 I’m not though am I? It’s physics. Cram your suspension with volume spacers and it’s ether going to be harsh over repeated big hits because of the progression or it’s going to fly through the midstroke. I’d rather have a liner spring rate and just run them hard. Works for me might not work for everyone. I’ve still got three volume spacers in my pikes on my hardtail which works because I can run them with less air pressure which is nicer for lower speeds but on my fs I’d rather run everything hard and fast.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: he runs a M Frame, not small...
  • + 1
 @bman33: he’s right. My bet is with the latest air springs people are running fewer tokens. For super aggro riders I think they’ve been more a means to an end kind of tuning but ‘fine tuning’? Not so sure.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: elaborate?
  • + 2
 @aushred: it’s a very small medium then 430mm reach.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic:

It’s 435 reach and since when was that really small?

JP
  • + 1
 @Jprestidge: 450mm is the new normal for a M.
  • + 1
 @Jprestidge: that like the same as most companies small these days. Sam Hill preference. That’s why there’s such a jump between medium 430mm and large 470mm on the mega. Bikes are exceeding 510mm in XL’s.
  • + 1
 @dgeahry: If only it was 29!haha
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: great! But really, who cares man! Ride whatever the fark u want.. At the end of the day it's all about what works for the individual.. For me that will always be 29…
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: sweet loved the 150 on demo but went with the 130 as it suits the trails I'll be riding more frequently.. After watching outdoor Gold smash Sedona, fruit a and such on his 130 I no its more than capable.. Enjoy the 150..Sickk sick bikes!
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: weird.. I went to 29 when they sucked strictly due to my height.. 2011 were talking here.. Semi trucks back then.. But they just fit me.. Nothing to do with fad for me bro.. And now, finally.. The geo is dialed and I'm super stoked on my sb130..
  • + 1
 @bohns1: I’m obviously not talking about you just how Mountain bikers are full of shit and generally just like the stuff they’re used to.
  • + 2
 Next year Hightower will have the new rear suspension but we'll still hear the same boring ''not a 29er'' comment over and over.... It was ''funny'' 2 years ago but come on... like someone said, if we read this review it's because we are interrested in a 27.5 bike. It should not be that hard to find someone who likes 27.5 to do a good review?!?!
  • - 1
 It's very, very simple - guys who have ridden much more bikes than you an me simply give you a hint - a 29er can be a better allmountain bike than a 27.5. If you don't want this advise - ignore it. Anyway, it is up to you to decide which pros and cons matter for you in any review, this one is no different.
  • + 5
 @lkubica: the fact there’s no 29er is irrelevant. This bike is a 27.5” wheeled bike, the fact it cannot accept 29” wheels is both obvious and meaningless. That bullshit snippet of stinky bias takes a place that could have been filled by an informative downside of the bike.
May as well have said “Pros: it’s not an e-bike”
  • + 42
 $8,200 and no Kashima? Really?
  • + 16
 bean counters man...

tbh the suspension combo they have here is as good as kashima, its the wheelset that makes it $$$$

but still they shouldve at least put a black fox x2 for that price
  • + 6
 @housem8d: nothing more than rebound.
  • + 22
 @housem8d:

Yeah exactly. Its just for that price, I want the nicest suspension. Shows how overpriced SC is as a whole.
  • + 12
 @zachinblack: That's the price due to the Reserve wheel upgrade. Normally that build kit is a bit cheaper, which explains the lack of Kashima.
  • + 9
 @seraph: Sans Reserve its still +$6000, and thus Kashima definitely a reasonable request. I paid $6000 for my Orbea Rallon with Kashima X2 and 36. But the Reserve definitely upps its desirability IMO.
  • + 1
 @zachinblack: Sure, if you like broken carbon.

Guys in my admittedly rocky area are smashing those SC Reserves to bits. So many warranties.
  • + 4
 @housem8d: The X2 doesn't fit in this frame. The air can is a little too large, and to make the frame function as intended, the X2 and CC-DBA just won't work. No issues on the Nomad V4 though!
  • + 3
 Seriously, I got Kashmina on my Nukeproof at less than half the price.
  • + 4
 Not to worry! It will creak and you have more than 50% chance of them rebuilding it with Kashima. For me, they were out of low offset anodized CSUs, gave me a Kashima. Mind you there isn't much price difference at all between the Elite and Factory.
  • + 5
 @housem8d: Sorry I'm making stuff so expensive these days
  • + 1
 There expensive because they kick ass and your not buying it online if you don't wanna buy it plenty of others will. This bike is hard to get your hands on at the moment @zachinblack:
  • + 1
 @scvkurt03: Cushcore...
  • + 1
 @Beez177: I broke 3 Nobls with CC in. There are other reasons I love CC, and who knows, maybe I would have broken them sooner, but they've failed as protection in at least those cases. A few of said broken SC wheels were broken with CC, too.
  • + 1
 @scvkurt03: Oh ok must be riding some rocky ass stuff! lol
  • + 6
 @Beez177: And/or like a total hack. Both likely.
  • + 6
 Kashima is a joke to con the gullible. It offers zero performance benefit. Friction, stiction, durability are no better that Elite forks.
  • + 4
 @jclnv: me and my buddies started calling it Krashima due to their tendency for easily scratching when crashed. Get the black stantions and save yourselves the mental breakdown caused by scratched gold stantions.
  • + 1
 @ZootownRider: beefier ran an X2 during the trans Provence.
  • + 1
 Sorry to burst your bubbles but Kashima is just marketing. The black stanchions work exactly the same and the adjusters are the same as well. Stop drinking the FOX KoolAid and get a proper suspension that wont stop working when you sneeze at it.
BTW this week I was told by official FOX mechanic from the distributing company here that it is too cold outside and that LockOut on the FOX 32 SC Factory may be a bit sluggish, the owner should ride when it is warmer. Mind you it was around +10°C.. FOX customer support and service is a joke and super lame one really..
  • + 1
 @ZootownRider: loris vernier was running X2 on this bike when he won the trans cascadia enduro
  • + 4
 @lp130i: hate to break it to you, but Kashima is legit. Its just not the reason Fox forks got super slick as around that time they picked up SKF seals which made a bigger difference for friction. There absolutely is a difference in friction between black and whats essentially an impregnated surface w kashima. We have used kashima products elsewhere and the testing proves the reduction in friction vs an anodized surface of the same Ra and rpk values.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: kashima isn't just a marking thing look it up it's been around since the late 70s
  • + 0
 @atrokz: Let me rephrase, I don't bash Kashima in itself. What I wanted to communicate is that even FOX technicians themselves admit that the friction on black stanchions is as "good" as their shiny golden counterparts.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: Fox's website pretty much says that. Performance Elite, same as Factory but in black and cheaper.
  • + 3
 Who's paying full price for a bike this trick anyway? SC may be a bit pricey at MSRP, but the nice thing is they produce enough volume that you can always find end of season deals. Maybe not on the low-end specs, but on these high-end models I see 30%+ markdowns pretty much year-round. Certainly never seen a deal like that on a Yeti or Evil.

Plus...when was the last time you heard of someone not loving their SC, or saw one poorly reviewed? People focus so much on the kit when evaluating the supposed "value" of a bike. Don't geo/build quality/engineering count for something, too?
  • + 1
 Where do you hear that? It clearly states it's better even on their website@lp130i:
  • - 9
flag dgeahry (Nov 30, 2018 at 9:22) (Below Threshold)
 If anyone is looking to pick up a nearly new 2019 Bronson CC XX1 with Reserves (this one has the Factory 36) check out the link to my PB ad below

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2482222
  • + 1
 @mpcremata: "when was the last time you heard of someone not loving their SC, or saw one poorly reviewed?"

I lasted a year with a 2017, 5010 CC X01, hated it until the day I finally got rid of it. I now ride a 2018 Process 153 CR/DL and cannot be happier. Yes I know, 2 very different bikes, but even at 5lbs heavier, it's a much better trail rider for me.
  • + 1
 @mdupuy: I knew that comment was begging for people to chime in and tell me how much they hated their SCs haha. Obviously, no bike is going to be perfect for everyone. My point is they make quality bikes that the vast majority of people who ride them seem to love.

I do have to wonder, though, if you're so much happier on the Process which, you admit, is a completely different bike, then did you hate the 5010 because you just bought the wrong type of bike? In other words, if the reality is you would have hated any bike in the 5010's "class," then it's probably not fair to call that a knock on the 5010.
  • + 1
 @ZootownRider: would be a good question for Santa Cruz to answer why if a nomad can take the x2 and CC DBA that they didn’t ensure the Bronson could as well. Clearly states they aren’t compatible on their website and is a limiting factor when weighing up the purchase of an expensive high end bike.
  • + 3
 @Prh: The Nomad has a single strut between the seat stays and chain stays, so it opens up more room for the pass-thru for the shock. Because the Bronson is running with the double struts, to keep the that portion of the frame tighter, they had to make the pass-thru a little smaller, making it very difficult to accommodate for all available shocks. Additionally, the original design on the Push shock was not compatible with the Nomad, so they redesigned the shock to allow for that option. Changed up some valving paths I believe.
  • + 2
 @mdupuy: this is exactly why bike reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. What works for you may not work for someone else; my buddy tried out a process 153 29 and thought it was pretty dull, but you very much enjoy yours. Test rides are so important, and I mean REAL tests, not parking lot bounce tests. Demo days are where you find your new bike
  • + 2
 @mpcremata: plus you get a legit warranty compared to some bikes that cost just as much!
  • + 40
 So are you saying there are no real cons? Because if I wanted a longer slacker bike I'd get the Nomad. If I wanted a 29" version I'd get the HTLT.
  • + 38
 The HTLT is a hacked Hightower. I want 65HA, 75-76SA, 150 rear travel and 160 front travel with the new lower linkage. That would be a 29" bronson and I hope that's what the new Hightower looks exactly like, 10/10 would buy!
  • + 9
 @gumbytex: take note of Santa Cruz's virtual vs actual seat tube angles. The actual angles on a number of their bikes - particularly the hightower are far slacker than the claimed virtual number. Likely matters mainly to those that have a longer than average inseam, and/or are very tall.
  • + 3
 @gumbytex:

I'm betting it's coming summer 2019 for sure. Exactly as you specified. Gonna be sick AF.
  • + 2
 @powderturns: Or who didn't size up on their new SC, as riders have been doing for many years due to less than ideal reach and seat angles. SC is the only bike my not quite 6' frame requires an XL, but that has worked very well on my 5010 and HTLT
  • + 2
 @powderturns: yeah i mean effective
  • + 6
 @codypup: I had a Mk 1 Bronson in Medium and sized down to a small for my 5010 as that was broadly the same as the medium bronson geo of old. I dont like these long bikes - I am too short although I do have a high Ape index.
  • + 1
 double post. sorry.
  • + 4
 @powderturns: Someone needs to standardize this STA thing. Where do different manus measure to? Current set of numbers are meaningless.
  • + 2
 @powderturns: Whoops - not a double post. As you note, the the angle might be 74 when the seat is lowered, but when you're climbing and the post is fully extended, that angle is going to be 70 deg - exactly when you don't want it to be slack. The hightower is terrible in this regard. The redesigned Nomad and Bronson is better but sitll not great. This is one of the reasons I bought a Pole.
  • + 2
 @scvkurt03: some manufacturers list both. Usually the worst offenders are the ones who don't mention the actual angle - I think they're trying to hide the fact that the seat post is parallel to the fork - brutal. As for the virtual seatpost angle, I believe it's the angle between horizontal and a line from the BB to the seatpost centre when the seat is at the same height as the top of the headtube (which is also the position when measuring effective top tube).
  • + 2
 @shredddr: Yep. Patrol, for me.
  • + 4
 @codypup: I am 5'11" and I have ridden:
Medium Hightower LT
Medium Hightower
Large 5010
Medium Bronson (2016)

The Hightowers felt spot on, the Bronson felt small and the 5010 felt big.

How the hell can you fit on an XL?
  • + 2
 @scvkurt03: yup - Transition are one of the best in this regard - especially the Sentinel. Guerilla Gravity also good.
  • + 2
 Well one con for sure is eight thousand dollars!!! When are you people going to wake up?
  • + 2
 @NYShred: That's just this model, with all the goodies on it. You can get them a lot cheaper. Also: if you're looking at Santa Cruz for a super budget bike, then you're going to be sorely disappointed.
  • + 4
 @MTBSPEC: I'm a bee's dick under 6'0 and am on a L 5010 V2. Feels perfect with a 50mm stem. Agree XL seems big though for 6'0!
  • + 1
 @gumbytex: yep. They rushed that bike. Ridiculously slack STA, probably why it ships with a 150mm fork. Not sure how SC can market the HTLT as an enduro bike when its specced with a 150 in lieu of a 170 which is what most are using nowadays.
  • + 1
 @shredddr: Hah... my previous bike was an OG Megatrail.
  • + 1
 @PierreVonHuck: 6,2" and mainly rode L until my recent Bronson v2 XL.. absolutley love it and now all bike seems too small. Not sure I like that they extended the reach though as the XL will now be longer and the L shorter...
  • + 0
 @MTBSPEC: Rode a large and an XL and the XL felt better. I'm 6' 1/"2 in shoes.
  • + 1
 @PierreVonHuck: V1 5010 may explain it...
  • + 1
 @MTBSPEC: I am 5'11" and ride an xl Bronson 2 as well. Look at the geometry charts and the reasons become pretty clear. 475mm reach is a size large for the majority of manufacturers these days, with even some medium frames being in the 460's and large frames in the 480s.
The seat tube is 495mm but it has lots of seatpost insertion so with a slammed 150 or 170mm dropper, it fits like a large.
  • + 1
 @KennyWatson: I'm 6ft with 6ft3 arm span. Have demoed both the large and XL Bronson V3. I could ride both without any issues. The XL didn't feel big at all and was very composed with my 85kg of lard falling down a local black run. Large was a tad more lively but the XL looked after my lack of skill much better.
  • + 1
 @MTBSPEC: I’m 6’ tall, 32” inseam, and ride an XL Nomad 3 and it is for me, and I run a 50mm stem as well. Having the extra space on climbs and length for coming back down the mountain feels much better than the large Transition Scout I rode prior. That bike felt all kinds of weird.
  • + 3
 Love my new HTLT, what a bike.
  • + 6
 @gumbytex: I'm amazed at how many are just fixated on this type of bike and nothing else. 150 fork? Nope, gotta be 160mm or its not perfect for my riding, they'll say. How is this the sweet spot for so many locales, so many kinds of riders? I just don't get it. Instead I say that they've drunk the same marketing coolaid and can't think of anything else.

The 160mm aggressive 29er is one type of bike, yup. The international yardstick for all bikes to measure up to? Not so much.
  • + 1
 @gumbytex: ya the current HT is in need of an update.. Especially those seat angles. Don't be surprised when they do however that it runs superboost... Then the crying and complaining will start about that..
  • + 0
 @shredddr: Actually the seat angle never changes regardless of up or down. The distance away from the bars/stem will grow in the extended position. Angle is free from seat extension. #geometry
  • + 2
 STA does change at different saddle heights, if the seat post extends at a different angle from the line between BB and Saddle, which is 90% of frames these days.
  • - 3
 @aushred: but it doesn't extend at a different angle. This seat post is a smaller diameter, but the angle is exactly the same as it is at the line/ imaginary line from the bottom bracket
  • + 7
 @bman33: Bman, I'll resist the urge to make fun of your comment and your hashtag and instead suggest you sort out the difference between actual seat angle and effective seat angle. It seems loads of people don't get this, including our esteemed PB reviewers. As Aushred rightly points out, there are very few bikes where the seat tube actually runs straight down to the BB center. Maybe Guerilla Gravity and some Yetis. For those bikes, the actual seat angle matches the virtual. For 90% of bikes, this is not the case, and the virtual seat angle will only get worse as you extend the seat higher. I'll spare you the effort: Virtual Seat Angle (the angle all manufacturers claim and brag about) is the angle between the center of the seatpost when level with the top of head tube and the bb.
For this bike, sure, the virtual seat angle is 75.3%, which sounds great. but just looking at it, you can tell the seat tube is nearly parallel with head tube. The actual seat angle is probably in the high 60s.
Look at SCs own geometry page for the bike and you'll see the difference:
www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/bronson
#actualgeometry
ETA: bman, not sure what you're looking at, but the seat tube on this bike hits the downtube well in front of the BB.
  • - 1
 @shredddr: I appreciate vyiur candor. That said. The point of virtual/actually wasn't vaguely assumed inthus thread at best. aushred's comments allude to it above, although his point isn't justified directly in any xkear fashion by anyone..

Yes, most interrupted seat tubes on modern fs bikes are slacker than a straight geometric tube extending from the bb. And yes, as the dropper extend, the 'virtual' seat angle changes to a degree depending on the frame model. However, the actual line of extension (and actual angle relationship to the point that is the bb) never changes .

Point is, the argument points above are valid. I fully agree that they need to be steeper in modern bikes. However, onrs argument needs to be backed up with logic and clearly defined points. I think wust you failed to understand is you are the first one to lay this out with concise details... albeit with a fare serving of snark
  • + 0
 @shredddr: apologize for the grammar/spelling mistakes. I was using voice to text.
  • + 3
 @bman33: there are so many dicks on the internet. today I'm one of them - I apologize for the snark. No ill will intended.
  • + 0
 @shredddr: all good
  • + 0
 @shredddr: Hey folks.......just slide your butt an inch or so farther forward on/off the saddle and you have the steeper STA.

And guess what.....it's FREE! :-)

Ride on!
  • + 1
 @MTBSPEC: at 5'11 you should be riding a large.
  • + 27
 Ley me get this straight.. The Bronson is an "all rounder", but only if you take it on the right terrain". For f*cks sake already. And enough with "Con"- no 29er. Test a f*cking 29er than.
  • + 5
 I came here looking for this. "This bike handles really well, as long as you intend you ride it straight."
  • + 1
 It makes sense to me, they just mean it's a fairly long travel bike and you need more difficult trails to get the most out of it compared to something like a Scout.
  • + 6
 It's an amazing all-rounder if you have access to aggressive terrain. But in the prairies it's probably a bit over-biked to be called an all-rounder.

The 29er con is really just a tongue in cheek way to say "we wish they'd hurry up an make a new HTLT."
  • + 10
 @brianpark: I'm the only true all-rounder. Bikes will never be as round as I am.
  • + 23
 for $8k plus I expect a bike to be painted like a custom crankworx steed. This just looks like a home depot paint swatch.
  • + 33
 Idk i dig the matte more subtle color schemes.
  • + 2
 the matte paint is terrible. i bought a htlt two days ago and i haven’t ridden it until i have vinyl on it but it gets marks from a literally anything that rubs on it.
  • + 42
 @NWuntilirest: Oh no, marks on a mountain bike! How ever will you survive?
  • + 2
 @bridgermurray: matte painting, and these particular palette SC has chosen for their roster, look like they went into the bargain section of Home Depot and grabbed as many cans of paint as they could.
  • + 4
 @southoftheborder: I think a lot of the teals and greens they’re using on this years hightower and tallboy are ugly. But I like the dust, bone-grey and Matt black finishes. Most high end sports cars from BMW, Mercedes and Porsche are not dripping with lightning bolts and neon logos. Most owners get them in a more muted matte-color way.
  • + 2
 @bridgermurray: My own rule of thumb: there are just two possible bike colors: black, and non-black. When in doubt, choose black ;-).
  • + 1
 @bridgermurray: that's because the flashy guys buy a Lamborghini
  • + 4
 At least it's not speed beige.
  • + 1
 @preach Good thing they offer two colors then.
  • + 1
 @NWuntilirest: A good paint job on a frame like this is around 600-700 grams vs a thin ‘matte’ job at maybe 150-250 grams.
  • + 1
 @seraph wow got me there gonna cry myself to sleep now sorry i don’t like having a nice looking bike
  • - 6
flag dgeahry (Nov 30, 2018 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 @bridgermurray: If anyone is looking to pick up a nearly new 2019 Bronson CC XX1 with Reserves (this one has the Factory 36) check out the link to my PB ad below

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2482222
  • + 3
 @dgeahry: A good way to get your bike NOT sold is to pester people in the comment section about it. If anyone wants to buy your used bike for over 7k, they’ll email you dude.
  • + 21
 How is not having a 29er available a con!
  • + 15
 - There's no 29" version... - that's con as f*ck ROTFL. Not every one wants to ride 29er.
  • + 14
 Wait for the 50% sale. 8.2k USD no thanks. Just stupid the cost. Its a bike.
  • + 3
 Whenever the paint schemes are changed the used bikes in the "old" colors tank in value almost immediately.
  • + 13
 Got mine in August and it's an awesome machine, perfect replacement for Nomad 3 if you think the Nomad 4 is too much of a bike.
  • + 3
 I’m on a nomad 3 at the moment and I’m thinking one of these will be a little bit better everywhere
  • + 3
 @Turboute: demo them both if you can! Both bikes are sick
  • + 10
 Is it me, or did you also get distracted by the distinctly fun looking PNW trails and forgot this was a bike review?

To Bellingham we go!
  • + 18
 We did the Field Test in Whistler, BC this year. It was so good we're probably going to have to do it in the same place next year... Good times!
  • + 1
 @brianpark: Ahh, the image I opened was tagged at Bellingham, but that's probably where it was uploaded at. Dark Crystal then!
  • + 1
 @brianpark: LOL sounds like he’ll on earth! Are you hiring? ????????
  • + 10
 If those cons are the only thing they could find wrong with the Bronson, then I am definitely sold.
  • + 6
 Thanks for a great new format, I love redaing reviews as well but I could stuff my face and deal with the kids while watching/listening to the vid so thanks. But please stop tarting 29ers so much. They are fast in many situations but remember we ride for FUN. So even though I race enduro a few times a year and chase Strava KOMs (yes, loathsome I know but it keeps me fit and honest) I still choose 27.5 because it is more fun for me. Plus I am 5'8" so 29ers always make me feel like a gnat humping a watermelon.

So many complaints about the price and I get it, but the lifetime warranty and lifetime bearing replacement is amazing and you get it on the Sub-$4k bikes as well. The Reserve wheels are what really blow the price out of the water. I can't speak to the other brands in terms of warranty, but as far as Santa Cruz goes warranty has been incredible and the parts spec on the lower end models seems to tick all the boxes.

No I don't work for Santa Cruz and only one of four bikes I own is currently a Santa Cruz.
  • + 6
 bin con of a designed_as_27,5 bike -> not being a 29er WUAHAHHA. PB you made my day.

more cons:
- does not maintain highway speed as good as tesla model 3
- compared with lenovo keyboard, fast typing emails on this bike is not as efficient
- a cat can climb trees faster!
  • + 5
 As many readers may be familiar with the test area (Whistler and corridor), I'd like to know the trails used for these Field Tests, including the climbs. In this example, the loam and roots look like Lord of the Squirrels, but the rocks look more like Microclimate. Also, were all bikes tested on the exact same climb/descent circuit?
  • + 1
 They had a map up on their previous article, pretty sure they have a "loop" that everything was tested on.
  • + 4
 It looks like they were on Dark Crystal for most of it.
  • + 2
 We rode Dark Crystal for the more aggressive trail bikes, as well as a bunch of other stuff. The super enduro bikes we went lift-accessed to get the most efficient amount of time on the bikes, and rode Creekside a lot. And the smaller trail bikes we defined a pedally loop near the house in Alpine Meadows.
  • + 5
 Rad bike. 27.5 inch wheels, bottle mount, good amount of travel, nice angles. Perfect. I’d ride the living shit out of this thing.
If you don’t know how to have fun with a bike like this you just don’t know how to ride a bike..
  • + 5
 I am really curious as to why this thing keeps coming up that a bike should pedal well without needing the lockout, as if that was cheating. I think I partially understand the benefits of that, and also just the simplicity of not having to reach down for the lever, but I also think that suspension lock outs make a lot of sense and especially if making a bike that pedals well without them, means sacfrificing downhill performance. I´m probably missing something big and obvious so excuse my ignorance but would really appreciatte some enlightenment, I mean, surely all that R&D in suspension lock out is wasted.
  • + 2
 Great video review btw, really nice to watch.
  • + 5
 It's mainly a preference on one's overall bike design philosophy. Some people would welcome any modification to a bike that makes it more capable on the downs regardless of reduced performance on the climbs (for example). Others may want more balanced performance depending on how much you have to give up for whatever gain you get. Everything has a trade off. In the case of lockouts, I think a lot comes down to the terrain you ride. If you ride uphill for 1-2 hours, then smash a long descent, I think they could work well. If your terrain is very rolling, I can't see flipping another lever every 2 minutes. (But maybe others would be ok with that?)

There are "smart" linkage designs (that try to balance both) and "dumber" designs that are really supple but bob more significantly and thus need the climb mode. R&D in suspension design aims to give you the best of both worlds, but there are inevitable trade-offs. Some companies don't try as hard to balance the performance (or to counter pedal bob) and instead implement a lockout to do that job. Some people claim that this is a "cop out" and expect that on a multiple thousand dollar bike that suspension R&D should have overcome this issue. I think some of that accusation was from bikes in the past where lockouts were used as a cheap way to cover up poor suspension kinematics. Today, I think that is much less often the case, and likely it is a matter of prioritizing downhill performance as you prefer. How much better the downhill performance of these suspension designs than the balanced designs (VPP, DW-link, etc.) is part of what we are argue about in reviews.
  • + 1
 Remember, lockouts were basically designed as band-aids for bad suspension designs... Now, shocks have gotten better, designers have a better idea of how suspension designs work and how to tweak things... I love the fact that I almost never have to reach for a lockout lever anymore.
  • + 1
 @Climbtech: if I had read your whole post, I wouldn't have posted....
  • + 6
 Cons: There's no 29" version...

Get f?@kt Pinkbike. Not everyone wants to ride wagon wheels. I’m tired of the bike industry shoving 29” wheels down everyone’s throats. Buncha shite!
  • + 4
 SC has an AMAZING warranty. I have 2 friends that have had Bronsons that peeled paint on the frame because they left them on the back of pickup trucks from morning to night (take them to work) for years and SC replaced both guys bikes, with the latest generation, under warranty.

To top it off, one of them, he was the 3rd owner of the bike. I know because I sold it to him and I bought it used myself.

I'm shocked that SC covers 'finish' problems but, they are always on my very short list in large part because of the quality of their warranty.

I expect the updated HT LT to be 'all that' and more.
  • + 4
 I have the new Nomad, it climbs really well i gotta say living in Ashland, OR we have long steep climbs for our descents. I'd say go for more travel! This new suspension design climbs better than the previous style. Somehow the XC bro inside you will be stoked, and you can rage a DH machine when you finish the pain fest up the mountain.
  • + 6
 Wonder what the metal one rides like? I reckon it would be just as good as this plastic one for a lot less money.
  • + 10
 Exactly like how you described, I'd assume.
  • + 4
 NSMB did a head to head with the carbon and Al Knolly Wardens that could give some insight.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Where do I find that? Don't suppose you got a link? Be interesting to see.
  • + 1
 @Matt76: it’s actually a series but I’m pretty sure they’re all linked from the final piece. nsmb.com/articles/duelling-knolly-wardens-final-verdicts
  • + 2
 @DrPete: Thanks for that. Not read all of it yet but what I have done is very interesting. Cheers.
  • + 5
 Alloy one is awesome also and can be had for around 3k in the U.S. that’s the beauty of Santa Cruz, all these wankers saying they are boutique bikes but apparently they haven’t looked at Santa Cruz’s website. Do you all piss and moan about the price of Pivot’s, Yeti’s etc? Yet I don’t think they make any “affordable” bikes. And what about their warranty?
There’s a reason Santa Cruz is popular, killer warranty, killer ride and they have bikes that are reasonably priced if you look.
  • + 7
 Pros:
- There's no 29" version...
  • + 1
 But that does not stop you fitting a 29er front wheel?
  • + 6
 It's easy to bash on an $8k bike; but the aluminum frame is pretty reasonable at $2k.
  • + 3
 As a heavier rider the one thing i like about the prior nomad /bronson was leverage curve. Has anyone seen one for this new bronson? I trying to figure out its climbing ability and Mike Levy comment has me a bit worried on this one . the nomad3 with its curve climbed pretty well. Pivot mach 5.5 bob's your uncle
  • + 2
 I'm not light at 210lbs all geared up, and I had the Bronson 2, and now the Bronson 3. The bike climbs super well in my opinion. It descends A LOT better than the last Bronson, and I would argue the Nomad 3. I have yet to try the Nomad 4, but Geometry is almost the same (Nomad 4 HI VS Bronson 3 LO). Nomad will be better on the really steep and really rough, but I think too much bike for 80% of trails you would encounter. The Bronson is great for the 80% and manageable on the rest.
  • + 1
 @leon-forfar: im more like 235+ all geared up. what rear shock do you have and how much psi in it. I went from bronson 1 to nomad 2 both climbed well . except when i got real heavy even the nomad suffered i think i had the monarch over 300si .
  • + 1
 That's crazy, DW link bikes are typically thought of as some of the best climbers. My Hightower bobbed like it was going out of style. My Mach 6, much firmer when I'm hammering on the pedals.
  • + 1
 @Trouterspace: SC's are NOT DW bikes.
  • + 4
 @IamZOSO: Uhhhh, yeah, I know.

I'm surprised they're saying the DW Link Pivot Mach 5.5 bobbed a lot, and their VPP Nomad did not. I found the opposite for my VPP and DW Link bikes.

Hopefully that's more clear?
  • + 2
 @Trouterspace: I have a Mach 5.5, used to be on a gen two Bronson. The Pivot smokes my Bronson on climbs. I haven't ridden the new Bronson, but it looks good.
  • + 1
 @Trouterspace: Heh. My bad for not reading the whole thread.
  • + 1
 @bman33: Ah, ok. Thought you were saying the Pivot bobbed a lot. Was confused!
  • + 1
 @AmericaOnline: I have the stock Super Deluxe RC3 at the moment at 220psi (recommended on Santa Cruz's website). I do have . Fox DPX2 on the way for it though.
  • + 2
 Pedals just as well, a friend rode a climb on a 2019 Bronson and did exactly the same time as his personal best on his 2018 Bronson
  • + 1
 @Trouterspace: if your Hightower bobbed something was wrong with the shock or the setup, they are known for how well they climb.
  • + 1
 @Dogbite14: I probably could have done with a better shock than the Monarch. Basically, for the rear end to feel planted, I had to run lower pressure and less volume spacers than I really wanted to. It was hard to strike a good balance for downhill and uphill performance.
  • + 3
 I've ridden this bike and it's incredible... I have a HTLT myself and I do wish it had the new, lower linkage driven suspension. I guess I'll have to shell out another fortune next year.

IMHO, the biggest "negative" with any SC bike is the cost... but that doesn't seem to stop people from buying them. I swear that 1/3 bikes I see in Albertan/Eastern BC regions are SCs.
  • + 5
 I’m confused. Did they say a Bronson is a good climber, both the new one and old one?
  • + 1
 Only if you can keep your cadence up
  • + 2
 The format of these field tests is testing individual bikes and providing qualitative impressions and feedback. This is great, especially combined with great photography and writing. However, I am secretly hoping for some data, baseline comparisons to the other models in the field test within the group!
Take every bike down one or a set of the same trails. Use strava or alike against inidivifusl riders baseline to reasonable offset weather or other variables. Get some insights into things like dollar value performance and segment (trail vs super enduro) really provides advantageous for specific trail types. Not looking for bible of bikes , but looking forward to wrap up. Heck a wild idea ... run the hot lap !! Anyway, great stuff... look forward to new content each day. I'm hoping to isolate the travel and fro choice for my next all purpose bike having closed the door on having a dedicated gravity race bike ! Cheers
  • + 2
 Sounds like a ton (more) of work for free content, but maybe they could do a pay-per-view version with all that stuff, to make it worth their while.
  • + 3
 For that you need to go over to Outdoorgearlabs. They do exactly what you just described and then have a big rating system for a bunch of metrics with about 30 bikes. Its not perfect but its a MASSIVE step up in usable information. They even go into maintenance reviews etc. All for free btw. They are literally a lifesaver if you are into mountaineering equipment as they test everything a lot, not just a couple of days but a couple of months..
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: thank you, I did not know about this resource. Much appreciated
  • + 1
 @spudreau yeah we've talked a lot about doing some fun brosciencey stuff in the future. We'd need a lot more time and do a lot less bikes in order to get useable data, but it's something we'd love to do more of!
  • + 1
 @brianpark: Very cool. Let me know if I can help in any way.
  • + 5
 I never thought Id want another bike after getting my Bronson v2...until now. shit
  • + 4
 I went from the Bronson 2 to the 3, and I didn't expect it to be that much better, than the last one, but is really is. I think it climbs better, and descends a lot better than the last Bronson.
  • + 2
 @leon-forfar: i wish they had kept the rear brake hose routed on the outside. also currently on a v2 bronson. still deciding if going v3 bronson or 5010 for next frame? is the bronson3 still as playful as the v2? dont want a pig for most of the flatter trails like the nomad3 was.
  • + 2
 @leon-forfar: Ive had my v2 since April and it climbs better than my last bike with more travel... I figured the v3 wouldnt climb as well as its more progressive but happy to hear its the opposite. Ill get a v3 when they come out a black model... muahaha
  • + 2
 @melodymaker I got my V2 two months before the V3 came out. For me I preferred a steeper head angle so I wasn't too worried, but @leon-forfar makes me think I may not have as good a bike as I could have had. Mind you, I got a great deal on my V2 and there would have been no deals on the V3. I guess I'll go to V3 in 2020.

I do bloody-well love my Bronson V2. So I am happy. Maybe that's all I should care about.
  • + 1
 @leon-forfar: I have the V2, been thinking about the V3 since it came out. I like a really playful bike and I find that the v2 is just that and wheelies and manuals really easily. From your experience, how does the v3 compare in terms of playfulness and loves-back-wheel-ness?
  • + 1
 @ddandanb: v2 is a really good balance. playful and can handle gnar. i also prefer a headangle around 66. the nomad with 65 was too sluggish for my liking on tamer trails. i think the v3 bronson now is what the v3 nomad was handling wise and i didnt like that bike. with all the hype for the bronson i wonder why 50to01 never use it? all they ride is the new 5010 in the recent videos.
  • + 2
 @funkzander: I'm a dirt jumper at heart, so having a playful bike is my number 1 priority. I find the V3 more playful because the rear suspension curve is much better. The V2 would wallow when you tried to manual pump things or give a last second bunny hop.

@iamamodel the V2 is still a great bike. I think it is the second best trail bike I've tried (to the V3).
  • + 2
 Nice quick review. Maybe I missed it in the intro of this series yesterday (and I haven't watched the video yet) but will there be a wrap up of each tested segment where the bikes are compared somewhat directly against each other at the end?
  • + 2
 Thank you for specifically saying that it doesn't pedal like an XC bike!!! I'm glad we seem to have gotten past saying that 150 mm bikes pedal like XC bikes, because none of them do. Also, @mikelevy I too wonder what a 29er with this suspension layout would be like, and I'm hesitant to buy a Hightower LT in hopes that it gets that update for Sea Donkey.
  • + 4
 Stoked on this review format.. really well done! That said the 29er bias in the bike selection and reviewers comments is a little much. Not everyone prefers 29ers.
  • + 5
 Sold my nomad v3 frame in replace for one of these bronson v3 frames, but in aluminum..
  • + 2
 how's the chainslap noise on these bikes? my nomad used to sound like a damn machine gun in the rough stuff and a lot of times i had to make sure the clutch was actually turned on!
  • + 2
 I think it's enough for santa cruz, specialized, trek, or other popular brands. It's time for pinkbike to get some underrated bikes, test them in the track and write in depth review..
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Watched the video & still think should try Bronson with a 29er front wheel?
or do you think it would handle like a shopping cart with 63deg head angle?
Would try it my self if had a Bronson handy!
But do have a 5010 maybe will try that?
  • + 1
 Hi! I test a lot of bikes this year. I test the Nomad but not the Bronson. I want to talk about the "excellent cornering performance" you said your test.

When I test the Nomad, I feel exactly the opposite. It's the first time I felt something like this, very difficult to turn, much hard than 29" like Sentinel, Foxy 29, or Orbea Rallon.

My girlfriend was lucky to try the Bronson and the Nomad, and she felt the same characters in turns, he is hard to take.

So why do you say this in your test ?
If I choose a fork with reduce offset, the comportement in turns will be better ?
Is it others options to have better performance in turns?

Thank you, and sorry for my bad English.
Gilles
  • + 5
 Love this review format, more like this please!
  • + 1
 Cool review overall. Video had way more data than the write-up. I usually don't watch the vids but I did this time, due to lack of write-up. Thanks for not reviewing the components. We all know how shocks, drivetrain, brakes, bars, etc. work. No need to gush about stock parts, especially since we'll change out the ones we don't like anyway.

Funny how SC forces the RockShox rear shock on the new Bronson and Nomad, not even an option to go Fox. I have the N4 and found the DHX2 was more tune-able and rode significantly better overall. I asked a SC rep about this last summer and he said the Fox shocks have too many tuning options. Sound like BS to me.

I would be interested in hearing more about how it compares to an N3 and N4. I rode the N3 for 3+ years and it was the best bike I've owned. I feel the N4 is a big upgrade all around to the N3. Peddles slightly better but WAY better on the DH. I'm thinking the B3 is a more "centered" upgrade to the N3.

Agree with the others on the 29'r crap. It's not for everyone. I'll be soooo pissed if I'm forced into a 29'r for my next bike.

Agree with others on bikes are WAY too expensive now. WTF!!!
  • + 1
 I think we will see Fox DPX2 on the 2020 version of the Bronson. From what I've experienced, it's purely availability in volume. Rock Shox brought the metric size to the table, and Fox is catching up still and just don't have the shocks available in the quantities needed for OEM spec. I've had a DPX2 for my new Bronson on back order since summer, and it looks like I won't get it until the new year when Fox has fully changed Canadian distributor.
  • + 2
 every time i see the kaki/beige/tan SC bikes, i see jeremy clarkson standing in some hardware store with some hearing aid and asking the salesclerk if the colormixing machine can match the color of it.
  • + 1
 the vibe and the action shots all lead to a Nomad consumer. why is the Bronson different than that now.?
more relevant terrain and application for a "all mountain" "trail bike" would be better info for us than B.C. gnar that could be ridden on anything on an enduro 170mm to Dh rig.
  • + 1
 If the lack of 29" version is the only "con" (which is absolutely irrelevant) then I can live with that.
Had the chance to ride the very same spec. you had in the test and I loved that bike! Only issue I have for me, would be the sizing. I rode the L but with mine 182cm I am really thinking about XL just to make the pedaling the bit more comfortable and efficient.

Are you guys gonna do test of the new Sight C1. I'd love the see how it compares to the bunch!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy I really like how you highlighted that for some people prefer a bike that sits high in their travel vs. lower in their travel. I've been noticing that I really don't want a bike that sits deep in its travel... not that it's a bad thing but I prefer to be more nimble and as you said... playful. What bikes fit this category, be it Santa Cruz or any other bike companies.
  • + 3
 I like this format and both of you did a great job in front of the camera. It is almost like more relatable compared to just text alone.
  • + 5
 That guy can corner, was it Alex Evans?
  • + 4
 Sure was. He's a beast on a bike.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: not a bad show in general, a pity only mainstream companies have sent you stuff. Would be great to see something crazy like something from Sick or Unno or Nicolai or plain simple like Merida. I know it’s not your fault by any means. Cheers!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no, I have to say it's probably my fault on that front. We limited the number of bikes so the team would have enough time on each bike, and then when push came to shove I chose the ones most relevant to a broader audience. Often the crazier bikes take more setup and getting used to, and the garage brands don't have the resources to have a product manager sort shock tunes and things...

This year most of the bikes were quite good, and a lot of the differences were fairly nuanced. That said, we'll definitely be trying to get some more divergent bikes next year.
  • + 1
 @brianpark: just invite a drunk uncle into golf club annual party
  • + 3
 All that ching A Ling for a brand name Boutique bike. I think there's a lot better bang for your buck options out there sorry Santa Cruz
  • + 1
 Good review, thanks guys. It's good to have something to watch as the weather is craptacular. But really would love to have heard comparisons between this and other similar bikes :-(
  • + 2
 Can we please take a moment to appreciate the great production of the videos and the field test overall? So done with all the bragging here...
  • + 4
 Those are some longgg cables
  • + 12
 Gotta leave room for those mid-trail double bar spins...
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: haha i noticed that in the vid. Just a pet peeve of mine with my personal bike, but its not something id give a damn about on a demo steed
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: ...classic double bar spin at 0:08...
  • + 9
 @oneillst: my half bar spin into a face plant no-hander is dialed.
  • + 1
 @oneillst: If they made a 29er Bronson he wouldn't have wrecked...
  • + 3
 So is 27.5 dead? Seems like it would not be smart to buy own now since lack of 29 is a con...
  • + 1
 LOL. as funny as it is to joke about, I think just the opposite is true....29" will fade back from Long travel enduros once everyone figures out why they did in DH last year. That being that long travel+a wagonwheel rear wheel is a bad combo, and it's really bloody hard to make a well balanced bike out of the setup. I have ridden most every new 29" enduro with 150+ rear travel and they all suck for one reason or another. The only viable long travel niner you could make would blow the porportions out so far that it's kind of reserved for people 6'6" and taller. pretty small market!
  • + 2
 @conoat: lol come on man...its not like no one can win a race on a 29er. GWin said he likes a little of both 29 or 27.5 depending on how tight it is but 29 for his bike on his home trails.
  • + 1
 @wibblywobbly just ide what you like. Other wheel sizes don’t make it any less awesome! Wink
  • + 5
 Looks like a Nomad.
  • + 3
 It’s a Bromad
  • + 1
 BTW... For anyone considering getting this version of the Bronson and you're a fan of the FOX FLOAT X2 like myself, then embrace disappointment in the frame design... a FLOAT X2 shock will not fit through this frame.
  • + 3
 Dude loris vergier ran an X2 on this bike during the trans cascadia. Which he won.
  • + 2
 X2 fits on some frames with the slimmest of margins, although it does void the warranty...
  • + 0
 Question for you guys - I have this exact bike and actually find that despite being an efficient climber, the front end wanders more than my ‘16 Bronson and it isn’t quite as good on the tech climbs. Do you agree? How many spacers are you running under the bars?
  • + 2
 I find it pedals much better on tech climbs than the last bronson. I have one 5mm spacer under the stem, so pretty low bars, and I did have to trim the bars down a bit to compensate for the longer reach.
  • + 1
 @leon-forfar: I think I just need to lower the bars more. The shop I bought from had 20mm under the bars. I am slowly moving them all on top.
  • + 0
 I just want to say that I owned a Gen1 Bronson and it was a terrible climbing bike.

Then it's mentioned the V3 is as good as the first 2 at climbing. So does that ,mean it's still real bad at climbing? I dunno.

I guess the climbing abilities of all bikes are a curiosity to me.

Anyways doesn't matter, I'm 29er for life.
  • + 1
 I felt that V1 & 2 bronsons just felt odd overall, and climbing wasn't a strongpoint. I can say that the New Nomad is soo good over the previous nomad, so I'm eager to try the v3 bronson now.
  • + 2
 What part of climbing gave it trouble for you? I still have a first gen (with a DVO Topaz replacing the stupid Fox CTD) and I overall like its climbing manners. I'm on the nose of the seat for really steep stuff, but that's really my only complaint.
  • + 2
 I have a Gen 2 Bronson. I also have a 2018 Scott Spark SC. Of course, the Bronson is heavier and slower on the climbs, so it more sapping on a long climb, but in terms of what I can get up without dabbing (tech climbs are my bag, baby), they are the same, which surprised the hell out of me. And with more meat on the Bronson, I don't have to fight so hard for grip.
  • + 1
 @MarcusBrody: I'm going to patent a movable seat tube that goes from 68-75 degrees. You can modulate it with an electric drive on the handlebar that also reads out in 1/10 of a degree.

OR......you can just slide your body backwards and forwards an inch or so and do the same thing.

Want to invest in my patent? :-)
  • + 1
 @jddallager: Ha! The problem isn't needing to slide up on the seat tube, it's that when I do, my legs aren't getting to full extension/power anymore right at the point when I need it most. Then if I stand from that position to gain more power, I lose traction in the rear as I'm a bit far forward. It's why a lot of successor bikes have gone to steeper STAs.

That being said, I'm generally impressed by what my Bronson can crawl up. I've cleaned multiple sections that I never did on my older Fuel Ex just because of it's greater ability to maintain traction.
  • + 4
 The SC Reserve 37's have a 37mm ID, not 35mm.
  • + 2
 Excellent work gentlemen. It was informative, honest, just the right amount of info. I can't wait to watch the rest of the reviews. Thank you for making this video.
  • + 4
 I just want to know where he puts his removal chin guard for climbing
  • + 2
 You mention the feel may be down to rider weight/height. Looks like from the weighing you were using a size large bike. What is the height/weight of the testers?
  • + 3
 Yep, we tested a size large. I'm 5'11" / 160 lb, and Levy is 5'10" / 170 lb (depending on how many donuts he's eaten). I'm taller, but Levy has a longer inseam (32 vs. 33.5"), and as a result runs his seat a fair bit higher than me.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Why did you choose to test a size L, it seems like according to santa cruz´s chart, you should have been riding a smaller bike. Personal taste, or just the one you got sent?
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh: I'm 5'9 and the Santa Cruz website says I should be on a Large.
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh, I typically ride a size large from most brands. I tend to look more at the reach number than the sizing chart. 455mm is comfortable for me, but it's actually a little shorter than other bikes I've been riding lately.
  • + 2
 I actually had to rewind the video...”did he actually say $8k USD for the second tier model?” F-me,, yes he did....
  • + 1
 So next up your want too try it with a 29er front wheel which will slacken the headangle a bit, will it be too slack or not is what we want too know?
  • + 3
 god damn $8k.. great bike tho.
  • - 2
 Hard to find one from any brand with the same spec for cheaper.
  • + 1
 @tgent: You're right, YT and Canyon are considerably nicer for less money.

SCB what are those DT350 doing on a $8,200 bike. And a Aeffect stem? I could build this bike on Jensonusa for 2k less.

And why is it that no one who pays less than $7k gets more than just rebound on their shock? I get aligning skus to make it easier to stock stuff, but rebound only? $7k!
  • + 3
 @tgent: I was looking up the geo of the trek slash and saw that’s selling as a $4100 frame and shock...

Props to SC for having lower-grade carbon and alloy models too.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: There's an alloy frameset of the slash for $2200...
  • + 9
 @raditude: YT and Canyon have no physical dealer presence. SC trumps them for warranty and tech support.
  • + 6
 How is this price not a con?
  • - 2
 @seraph: Perhaps. But for 2k of savings, i'd take that extra week of hassle.

Just saying. Buying a product with the expectation it is going to break is pretty f*cked. And anticipating that they're going to give you a hand out when it does, is also f*cked.

We aren't dealing with internal combustion or electronics here, disassemble in the order you re-assemble and a lot of those pivots will take care of themselves.

What it really boils down to is how much downtime you are willing to accept between the time you case the shit out of a jump, break the bike, and when you expect to be riding again.
  • + 6
 @raditude: there were things I didn’t like about my Nomad 3, but durability was definitely not a problem. Lame comment to say that picking a company with good CS means that you’re expecting something to break.
  • + 7
 @raditude: I also bet if you scoured the interwebs you’d find a lot more stories of broken YTs and Canyons than SCs.
  • + 3
 @raditude: resale value is also a big one to consider. YTs and CAnyons lose all their value very quick. Look at the CF pro versions in the buy sell..decked out bikes but selling for 2K because the new ones are so cheap. I know its all relative, but painful to sell a 'top of the line' bike for so little. SC holds its value way better thant he DTC brands IMO.
  • - 1
 @DrPete: That is simply not factually accurate. I've worked in a lot of levels of the industry and there are a lot of warranties from everyone. Just because your dad isn't on the forums, doesn't mean his santa cruz didn't break.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: Far too many people lack the understanding of what is and is not a warranty. People buy bikes and then trash companies for instances that should never be considered as warranty. When people say things like, "SC has a better warranty" they're banking on the fact that they've had something covered, or have heard of someone having something covered, that frankly shouldn't have been. That's f*cked. I think we should just do what we do for vehicles and have things covered under insurance. I mean if you send it in your pinto, come up short and smash the front axle off, is that a warranty?
  • + 4
 @raditude: a quick search on here would certainly suggest that YT and Canyon have been questioned on the durability of their frames far more than Santa Cruz.

As for smashing the pinto on a jump, I’m pretty sure if you check most car warranties they are void racing, off-roading, etc. Any company that made a bike like the Bronson and said it’s not covered for use on jumps would be hung out to dry, and rightly so. But most companies have some form of crash replacement discount too. Is that a handout?

I almost bought a Canyon cross bike last winter until I read horror stories about their customer service. Went with a Santa Cruz Stigmata instead and have needed CS zero times. Having owned a Nomad previously I assure you I wasn’t “expecting it to break.”
  • + 1
 @raditude: All bikes break. DTC has proven to be more challenging to work with when it comes to warranty stuff. There is just no argument here
  • + 4
 @raditude: I was considering putting "find a non direct to consumer bike of the same spec for cheaper" but even with canyon and YT, the prices are similar. A Captra CF pro race is $5200, with an E13 TRS Race wheelset, and E13 11 spd groupo. Upgrade to X01 and SC Reserve wheels with lifetime warranty and you'll be pretty close to $8k. Canyon Strive is a bit closer $6k with an X01 drivetrain but doesn't have the carbon wheels. Yes you can find a cheaper bike than this, especially if you go direct to consumer, but it's not a huge difference. SC also makes the C and Aluminum frames.
  • + 1
 @tgent: And this is why I ended up going the Trek Slash 9.8

Yes, 7k AUD but with a good wheel set and bars. Looking at DTC mainly YT, the Capra Pro 29 would be about the same money but without the availability. Also was nice to take it back to the shop and get them to deal with tubeless conversion (the rim strips can be a chore) and suspension servicing (ubing the fork seals and adding volume spacers etc).

It's also a fun bike to ride.
  • + 0
 @wako29: ....which was the approximate pricepoint for the first gen carbon frame. Why are prices climbing on carbon bikes when the tech becomes more prevalent and refined. It works in the opposite direction for most industries/products.
  • + 1
 @bvd453: the “refined” part is in molding, resins, and the modulus of the carbon, all of which cost more.
  • + 1
 @bvd453: also keep in mind that the whole process is still done by hand.. Usually it's refinements in manufacturing processes that bring down prices... Not much has changed there...
  • + 1
 Thanks for the awesome review! I want to buy this bike now but your gonna have more reviews like this so I'll have to wait and see what I buy!
  • + 2
 I smell a 29" BRONSON on the horizon and 29" NOMAD... please don't kill off 27.5 like the bike industry killed 26.
  • + 0
 Test rode this and thought it felt super twitchy and sketchy at high speed. Turned me off immediately. Longer and slacker would probably help with that haha. Will agree it's cornering was amazing
  • + 2
 Nomad is your bike then (if you want to go Santa Cruz)
  • + 3
 That string reminds me of Thunderbirds....
  • + 2
 Badass looking bike. Drooling for a Nomad. Looking forward to demoing. Love me them Santa Cruzies.
  • + 0
 So far no one appears to have commented on something that the guys at Santa Cruz must have spent a long time arguing over - finally all the cables are routed inside the frame !
  • + 0
 Not quite. Check out the lower down tube by the shock..
  • - 3
 @cycleco: Fair enough - but nevertheless a big improvement on their one lonely exposed brake line frame design.
  • + 8
 @Hoogle: actually, an exposed brake line is pretty nice. especially if you ever need to replace the hose. no brake fluid mess inside your frame. that's about the only reason i can think of to leave that routed outside. aesthetically, it does look better inside the frame.
  • + 1
 @novajustin: This is part of the reason I ordered an aluminum frame (still waiting for that to show up...) vs the carbon frame reviewed. Rear brake line is routed external atleast on the seat stay, but still unconfirmed if it's routed external on the downtube or not.. From a maintenance viewpoint, external cable routing is always a plus. Oh, and that "cool" matte paint finish on the carbon frames won't last unless you wrap that thing in ten layers of protective tape... hoping the aluminum frames have more of a satin finish with an actual clearcoat.
  • + 3
 @nrb251: even if it's not external on the downtube you can just use stick on c-clips. I've done that for a few frames now.
  • + 1
 Full internal tunnels are easier and cleaner than external routing. Agree that early generations of internal routing were a huge PITA but virtually all of these high end frames have dedicated internal channels. Makes it super easy.
  • + 3
 Full internal tunnels are not easier than external. With external routing I can pull the brake off and gravity bleed it easily. I can also swap a brake between bikes if one goes down. Derailleur cables sure, but hydraulic lines shouldn't be internally routed.
  • + 1
 Tested the Bronson V2 in the Lake District against a Hope HB160. I preferred the Hb160, so will be interested to find out how V3 stacks up.
  • + 3
 Nice job guys - super informative and honest. Haters gonna hate
  • + 3
 Santa Cruz=Expensive. $8200!!
  • + 1
 Same as Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Yeti, Ibis, and basically anyone else’s high-end build with a top of the line frame.
  • + 1
 It's not the brand, it's the frame material. For comparison; $2k for alu that will last decades and can be recycled vs. $8k for plastic that will last 6-10yrs before the resin breaks down then it ends up in a landfill or on the bottom of the ocean.
  • + 1
 @NYShred: Interesting. I know a couple people who still own and ride carbon Treks and Calfees from the 90s. They'll be disappointed to learn that their frames have disintegrated without their knowledge.
  • + 1
 “Composites do not behave like metals,” explained Chuck Texiera. “In fact, they don’t actually fatigue like metals in the same classic sense of the word. The fatigue life of the fibre itself is just about infinite.”

cyclingtips.com/2015/08/what-is-the-lifespan-of-a-carbon-frame

That said, they also do talk about the importance of resin, but that there are many options out there that will last far longer than the 6-10 years you cite.
  • + 3
 that color combination. jeez
  • + 2
 thank you, these are the reviews we always wanted
  • + 2
 “No 29er” is a pro, not a con.
  • + 2
 I love the fact that "there's no 29in version" is a CONS.
  • + 3
 Heels down, sack out.
  • + 2
 Since when "- There's no 29" version..." is CON?!
  • + 1
 Not an editor in sight. Too busy gawking over 12 speed captain shredfinder chariots.
  • + 2
 There's no 29" version... - is a positive
  • + 2
 489mm reach is pretty long.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer Did you just call @mikelevy fat? Wink
  • + 1
 Thought of something that might be useful for bike tests/comparisons...Google "pugh matrix".
  • + 2
 With such a similar geo. I wonder how that bike compares to the Nomad V4.
  • + 10
 I found that the Bronson felt livelier and quicker in more rolling terrain, and was more enjoyable to pilot it through techy climbs than the Nomad. A more comprehensive long-term review is on the way - look for that before the end of the year.
  • - 8
flag gumbytex (Nov 29, 2018 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: do you really need to ride a bike for months on end to have a comprehensive review put together? seems like 1-2 weeks of 5 day/wk riding would be sufficient, and might keep other models' characteristics in your head a little easier. would also mean less waiting for the Pinkbike faithful for reviews, and more bikes reviewed, and a better job keeping up with new releases.
  • + 15
 @gumbytex, the longer we have a bike in for testing the more thorough the review can be, especially when it comes to durability. And I typically have several bikes in rotation at the same time in order to do back-to-back comparisons.

There's also the fact that I had emergency spinal fusion surgery in the middle of the summer - that slowed down testing for a little bit.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: cool, thanks. forgot about the durability aspect.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Hope you’re feeling better! So, is this bike so much better than v2 that it’s worth upgrading? For reference I have a 2017 frame with 2018 Grip2 fork and X2 shock... thx.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: how would you compare this new Bronson to the Nomad 3? obviously it has less travel but I bet they may feel awfully similiar. I dont really have any plans to get rid of my Nomad but I think this would be a great option if I did especially considering the Nomad is a bit much on my weekday outings.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: love this format. more please.
  • + 3
 @gumbytex: durability aspect of his spine or the bike? @mikekazimer hope all is well. I have way less serious back issues, but still know how challenging it can be in day-to-day life....
  • + 3
 Thanks @sospeedy, I'm pretty much fully recovered. There's some new titanium hardware inside of me, but otherwise things are back to normal, and I've been riding a ton to make up for lost time.

@sbh071, it sounds like your 2017 Bronson is pretty dialed. I wouldn't rush out to buy V3 if I already had V2 in my garage, but I'd also recommend trying to arrange a test ride. There's definitely a noticeable difference in how they ride, and who knows, it might be enough for you to start thinking about upgrading.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Many thanks. Will do - but it's a better bike than I am a rider, so probably best just to keep riding!
  • + 1
 I have been riding both and they are surprisingly different, Nomad is definitely plusher and a bit more work to pedal especially on tight single track. Bronson is more nimble and lighter feeling especially when your in the air! Nomad if you go big a lot and Bronson if you pedal a lot but still can rip on the downs.
  • + 1
 OK. How do you guys get the bikes to stand up for the static photos?
  • + 2
 Magnets. Nah, just kidding - look close and I bet you can figure this one out. In other cases we do the 'hold the bike, let go, and someone quickly takes a picture' trick.
  • + 1
 Fishing line
  • + 1
 Love the format, and great insights. Looking forward to more reviews
  • + 1
 Why go away from the external brake routing... I liked that.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Any idea how this compares to the Ibis HD4?
  • + 0
 The updated Brony is swell, but everyone is waiting for the Hightower LT to be Nomadized.
  • + 5
 V10'd first of all. And second, no, not all of us.
  • + 1
 Hi, where can I find the other field test?
  • + 1
 Is this bike suitable for down-country?
  • + 1
 But there is a 29" version -- they call it the Hightower.
  • + 6
 The HT LT needs the Nomad (revised VPP, lower shock position, etc) treatment that the Brony here benefited from.
  • + 1
 26 ain't dead, she just grew up.
  • + 2
 Needed more craft beer
  • + 1
 Own it.. nothing else to see. Start the advent calendar.
  • + 1
 This would be my pick if I was shopping for a high end trail/enduro bike.
  • + 1
 It now bears a strong resemblance the Nomad.

?
  • + 1
 can you guys relase the pivot asap im about to buy onnnnne
  • + 1
 These are fantastic Pinkbike.......keep it up!
  • + 1
 so how do i decide between a nomad and a bronson now?
  • + 1
 I had that same quandary a little while ago, so I bought one of each.... Different enough to justify in my opinion.
  • + 4
 I think it’s just a matter of being honest about what you ride the most and where you’re willing to give up a little. I had a Nomad 3 but it was way too much bike for what I was riding. Switched it for an Evil Insurgent which had almost all the monster truck capability but was more fun on more XC stuff. Now I’m on a Yeti SB130. I think it’s really been a matter of building my skills and feeling more confident on more terrain that I don’t feel like I need the confidence of a big mountain/EWS bike anymore and instead can buy a bike that plays to my weaknesses, I.e. climbing, and is more fun on the stuff I actually ride, knowing I may be a little slower on the real gnar the few times I ride something that big.

The Nomad and the Insurgent are unbelievable bikes for the trails I WISH I rode all the time, but the SB130 covers more of my riding reality. I think with the same thought process the Nomad vs Bronson decision would be an easy one, and you may even take a look at the 5010.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: I basically only ride climbs to get to the decents which is why im stuck between the two. Plus i may be racing a couple EWS races this year as well as an occasional Pro GRT
  • + 3
 @straightshreddersOC: if you’re looking to do that on one bike then I’d say Nomad wins.
  • + 2
 If you are worried about the climbing, I'd say stay away from the Nomad. I have great cardio and normally put huge leads on my buddies during long climbs when we are on similar bikes, when I'm on the Nomad I'm borderline holding people up. If it's the only bike you have, and haven't had other very good-climbing bikes it's fine, but when you compare it to something that is really designed to climb then in my opinion there is no comparison. I love my Nomad, but I'll only take it for lift/shuttle rides.
  • + 1
 Yeah this great stuff! Compelling bike.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy you just described a Pyga Hyrax as a bike you like to ride...
  • + 2
 $11,000 CAD. Damn.
  • + 1
 well done. looking forward to more.
  • + 1
 Well done Boys!
  • + 0
 If a Large was 10-15mm longer reach I’d have one.
  • + 1
 Change the stem
  • + 2
 @freeridejerk888:
Lol. Sorry but that is very very different...
  • + 1
 It's moderately different. You'd get used it in 1 ride and forget all about it@Richt2000:
  • + 2
 @freeridejerk888:
Disagree - i speak from experience. One of my current bikes is 455 reeach, another is 468 reach. I have a 10mm longer stem on the 455. Both at 65 degree HA. The 468 reach is way more confident on the steeps and more responsive steering.
  • + 1
 @Richt2000: well then just size up...
  • + 1
 Is it the exact same bike? Cause if not there's a lot more @Richt2000:
  • + 1
 YETI SB150
  • - 2
 I have a really nice Bronson Gen 2 up for sale. Check out my add on PB! I am open to offers. Thanks for looking!!!
  • + 0
 Looks like a Session.
  • - 3
 Yawn... tired of endless "safe" bike designs. Could more co's please start innovating just a little?
#pole, #nicholai, #mondraker, #deviate, #zerode
  • + 0
 Is it "innovative" to just have massively long reach and 64* HTAs on trail bikes?
  • + 0
 29" version needed.
  • - 2
 Basically it's a Nomad 4 front triangle, with narrower shock tunnel to accommodate the new double-sided rear triangle...
  • - 3
 I hope you guys don’t test DH bikes, you are not qualified to evaluate them! You guys have enough trouble with these bikes!
  • + 0
 Care to elaborate? Also, I think a downhill bike is much more simple to evaluate than an enduro bike. Enduro bikes have to be efficient and still be 80%+ what a downhill bike is on the descents. I think they have done a fine job here. Also, just be thankful for the content. If you are so upset over free journalism, why are you even on pinkbike?
  • + 0
 pinkbike has definitely never tested or reviewed a DH bike. definitely. not never.
  • - 3
 Is it just me or does it not seem like every other day Santa Cruz is posting a newly designed bike?
  • + 2
 ummmm, Just you I think? Smile

Bronson and the 5010 update are the only 2019 models I know of? Course we all know the new NomaBronTower 29er will be released as soon as they've milked every last dollar out of the hack HTLT... Smile
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