First Ride: Santa Cruz's New Bronson Gets a Mullet for 2022

Jun 8, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  


There's a new version of the Santa Cruz Bronson for 2022, and this time around it's sporting a mullet. That's right, eight years after debuting as Santa Cruz's first bike to roll on 27.5” wheels, the newest iteration has joined the mixed wheel party with a 29” wheel up front and updated geometry to go along with it. Rear travel remains at 150mm, which is paired with a 160mm fork.

At the moment, the Bronson is only available with a full carbon frame, in either the less expensive and slightly heavier C option, or the lighter and pricier CC layup.

Santa Cruz aren't exactly known for their bargain basement prices, and that trend continues with the new Bronson. Completes start at $5,049 USD for the Bronson C R model, which has a RockShox Lyrik Select fork, a Fox Float X Performance shock, and a SRAM NX drivetrain.
Santa Cruz Bronson Details

• Wheel size: 27.5" rear / 29" front
• Travel: 150 (r) / 160mm (f)
• C or CC carbon frame
• 64.5 or 64.7-degree head tube angle
• Size specific chainstays
• Sizes: XS - XL
• MSRP: $5,059 - $11,389 USD
• Frame + shock: $3,699 USD
• Weight (as shown, size L): 31 lb / 14.1kg
santacruzbicycles.com

The highest end model is priced at $11,399 USD, with a no-expenses-spared list of parts that includes SRAM's XX1 AXS wireless drivetrain, Fox Factory 36 fork, and Reserve Carbon wheels. The frame with a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock goes for $3,699.

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson
There's frame protection in the important places...
Santa Cruz Bronson
...and the new Bronson has room to fit any 230 x 60mm coil or air shock.

Frame Details

Not surprisingly, the Bronson's look falls in line with its other longer-travel stable mates - from a distance it's difficult to tell the different models apart. A 230 x 60mm shock is situated low in the frame, where it's driven by an aluminum link that connects to the swingarm. There's enough room run any coil or air shock with those dimensions, and the frame's kinematics make it possible to run either type of shock without issues. A flip chip at the rear shock mount can be used to make subtle geometry tweaks – the BB height changes by 3mm, and the head angle by .2-degrees.

There's clearance for up to a 2.6” rear tire, molded frame protection in key places, and SRAM's Universal Derailleur hanger to help make it easier to find a spare if necessary. Other details include a threaded bottom bracket, ISCG 05 tabs for running a chain guide, and plenty of room for a water bottle inside the front triangle.

Frame color options for the Bronson are gold or green, and there's also a new light blue Juliana Roubion. For those who aren't familiar, the Roubion is the exact same frame as the Bronson, but complete bikes have different grips and saddles.

Santa Cruz Bronson

Geometry

Along with the larger front wheel, the Bronson has undergone the expected longer and slacker treatment, although Santa Cruz didn't go totally wild with the updated numbers. After all, the goal was to retain the quick and easy handling of the previous version rather than turn it into something that would tread on the Nomad's territory.

The head angle now sits at 64.5-degrees in the low setting, a number that's paired with a 76.5-degree seat tube angle and 439mm chainstays. Those seat tube angle and chainstay numbers vary slightly depending on the size, a trend that's becoming increasingly common in order to help preserve a similar front / rear center balance throughout the size range. Reach numbers range from 402mm for an XS (which has two 27.5" wheels) to 500mm for the XL.

Santa Cruz Bronson

Prices

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson
Santa Cruz's VPP suspension design handles the Bronson's 150mm of rear travel.

Ride Impressions

Bike categories are blurrier than ever (no pun intended), but after a few rides I'd say the Bronson still comfortably retains its place in the longer travel, all-rounder category. It has a compact feel to it, the type of bike you can stuff into tight corners, or wriggle up through a tricky, chunky climb without too much effort, all while having enough travel to take the edge off rough descents.

Santa Cruz reduced the amount of anti-squat on the new Bronson, but that doesn't seemed to have hampered its climbing abilities. Where the first couple generations of this model had an almost-locked-out feeling under power, the new versions (the previous model included) have toned that sensation down, which means there's more traction, and an overall smoother rider.

The Bronson is quick in the corners, but I did find myself needing to pay a little more attention to avoid getting too far over the back of the bike while pushing through flatter corners. We'll see if that changes once I get in some more ride time and experiment with different cockpit positions and suspension settings – it may be that I've gotten lazy from riding so many longer and slacker 29” bikes lately, and that the sweet spot is a little smaller on the Bronson. The shorter back end does make it an easy bike to get airborne, and there's a nice, even ramp up that keeps it from using its travel up too quickly.

Look for a full review later this summer once I rack up enough ground and air mileage on this mixed-wheel machine.








385 Comments

  • 355 99
 I might be alone in this but even as an ex Megatower owner I’m getting kind of bored of all these same looking Santa Cruz bikes. Is it a bronson, a nomad, a 5010, a Hightower? Or is it a megatower?
  • 27 23
 this
  • 33 26
 Couldn’t agree more. I get the whole of it ain’t broke don’t fix it but it’s losing appeal to me personally as a nomad owner.
  • 50 4
 its a 10oz gold bar approximately, but this one has wheels and will lose value over time Smile
  • 341 7
 they've found a shape that gives them the suspension layout they want, room to use slightly longer (and non trunnion) shocks, a relatively low Centre of gravity with the shock down low, and plenty of space inside the front triangle for proper water bottles. Why mess with that when it's a good collection of traits for trail and enduro bikes? They don't seem to be dogmatic about it, as seen on the blur which uses a different design for a bike with different intentions.
  • 53 0
 Yeah I get that, but if it works and they are delivering frames that sit in each category then fair play to them. If nothing else the colours distinguish each frame. They have clearly invested a lot of $ into getting the new VPP to work really well, and thennjust tweeking it for each frame category.
  • 17 166
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jun 8, 2021 at 0:32) (Below Threshold)
 Absent gearboxes or motors, I wonder if old timey bikes have evolved as far as they are likely to and now the only real progress happens in the E-xciting world?
  • 13 4
 Agreed, it would be awesome if they could make just one really adjustable version of this frame design that could take different shocks and/linkages and get all/most of the different combinations in one...
  • 21 17
 Kind've a bit pointless when you could just mullet a Hightower. I'm all for mullet set-ups but what was a 27.5 wheeled bike getting turned into a 29/27.5 wheeled bike seems kinda futile. I was considering a Bronson as a future purchase but now the 5010 looks even more appealing.
  • 3 6
 @Bobadeebob: why whoy they run away from trunnion mount?
  • 2 0
 @SonofBovril: bullit comes into mind, still got my 2010
  • 33 0
 There are other brands out there which look different (and also more and more looking quite similar because of the shock placement) so I doubt you're actually "bored". Or well, I hope for you that it takes more than some roughly similar looking bikes for you to feel bored! Either way, I actually appreciate it when a brand sticks with a design (and interface standards!) until they really feel something else would work better. Maybe you won't be able to impress others when you've just bought the latest bike but on the other hand, a couple of years down the line it also won't look as dated. And I thought Santa Cruz doesn't even do model years, do they? They just design a bike and when they update it whenever they feel a need for it. Similar with different bikes of the brand looking alike, if people like the looks of your bike all they need to know is which brand it is. They can then figure out which model suits their purposes and riding style. I've never heard this complaint about Orange or Ragley bikes and it doesn't seem like an issue.
  • 23 1
 @vinay: I've heard that complaint about Orange bikes quite a lot, but made in the same lazy way as the OP above.
Both companies have a very strong visual identity where the bike brand is more important than the individual model - and both are known for owner loyalty, longevity and retaining their value well.
OK, they're also both overpriced and have had periods of being the fashionable choice - but they do arguably offer something more than other brands.
  • 22 5
 It's called family feeling. Like Audis. Try to differentiate between A4 and A6, I dare you
  • 18 30
flag conoat (Jun 8, 2021 at 2:43) (Below Threshold)
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: that's just because the 27.5 wheel is on life support, and it's fully deceased as a front wheel on MTB's.
  • 14 14
 @downhiller900sl: because it is rubbish ? Trunion tend to unscrew the bolt holding them, bearings quickly go cruchy because they are designed to spin and not to do 1/4 turns contrary to bushings that are the right answer for this application, bushings will also be more stiff but either are bad in this regard since you don't want to transfer torsion forces to your shock. While we are at it, bearings for suspension pivots are inherently the wrong component and bushings should be used but for some reason pretty much no one in the industry seem to care.
  • 15 15
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: you can’t mullet 29ers because bottom bracket being off centre it lowers the bottom bracket to much, you can only really mullet 27.5.
  • 7 3
 @Bobadeebob: it’s not so much how they look more the fact they keep making slightly different versions of the same bike. Bronson, Hightower, Nomad, Megatower and even 5010 could all be successfully raced at an EWS.
  • 4 0
 @pakleni: You are right they will both end up in the garage for repairs , but one will cost more.
  • 1 1
 @Balgaroth: I couldn't agree more, bushings have worked in forks for decades.
  • 5 5
 @Bobadeebob: you’re very correct sir! I agree with “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. At first I was stoked on how the gen 4 Nomad looked cause it was so different from all the other SC bikes but by now it’s just meh, for me they blend into one another and that is what makes me lose interest. I want a bike that not only works well but also is special and SC bikes have lost that appeal for me.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Jesus I must be a magician because I managed to turn my Force 29 into a mullet and absolutely love it.
  • 11 0
 This is true of so many brands though. When a newish model Transition, Evil, or Giant rolls by I have no idea which specific model it is. Someone I ride with bought a Giant Trance a few months ago... or so I thought, found out a few days ago it's actually an Anthem. Me and wife have owned 4 Giants between us and she currently has a Trance 29 so it's not like I'm not familiar with their line up. Santa Cruz's are designed around the suspension layout so how would you make them visually different? Add some unnecessary bend in the top tube or some fake gussets?
  • 5 1
 @Balgaroth: I would strongly disagree, but because you've generalized bearings when your point is only valid for ball bearings. Needle bearings are the answer to laterally stable, durable, low friction and strong suspension pivots. Why more manufacturers haven't tried to use them is totally beyond me.
  • 2 0
 @techride: needle bearings are pretty much only used by Nicolai, I had some and it was rather better than ball bearings. I think the main problem is that needle bearings are more expensive than ball bearings. As for shocks, the ideal solution would probably be spherical bearings, once again no idea why they are not used. Both those solutions are those chosen in the moto world. Not too sure what the partial rotation does to needle/spherical but I can imagine it isn't ideal but if sized accordingly you probably can get away with it.
  • 2 9
flag crepsausucre (Jun 8, 2021 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 it's a specialized Smile
  • 11 2
 (Laughs in Evil Bicycles)
  • 3 3
 They could keep the geo/kinematic but do a different design language. An "easy" one is to use hexagonal tubes, that would surely not be exactly new but this could look good on SC bikes.
Transition have done a good job with a "tense" kind of style

Now I think SC is a bit like Audi in that SC has a similar design language over all "tiers", refined, rather minimalistic (no useless shapes, single colors or pretty much), constant or pretty much tube width, etc, and overall a form follows function design, but like Audi at some points you go round in circles.
Audi got at that point a few years ago. They had a great line-up with the A5, A7, TT, R8, even the SUVs were great, but after that they started to struggle to evolve their design, overdoing it with over-aggressive shapes for no reason.
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: well obviously you can do it but it has a pretty significant effect on bottom bracket hight so something to consider when mulleting a 29er. I don’t understand why they’re more than happy to add bullshit flip chips that nobody uses when they could just do the same thing to allow you to run any wheelsize you want within reason.
  • 2 4
 You're not alone. Anytime we're riding and someone has a new Santa Cruz that looks like the pictures above, everyone has to ask the same question. "Which one is that? They all look the same". I hear it literally 2-3 times per week and nobody in my group owns a Santa Cruz. Just in-passing it's constant. They aren't alone though. Pivot is starting to do this, Evil bikes all look the same. Probably some others. Its unappealing to me, personally.
  • 2 2
 @pakleni: you dont want to be Audiyou wan to be Mercedes-Benzor at least BMW
  • 1 0
 @haardvarkh: Back when I raced my team was sponsored by Sinister, so I got an R9 for pennies on the dollar. After 4 races I sold it and went back to my Bullit, which I was wayyyy faster on.

Frank the welder had weird ideas about DH bikes. The headtube was BMX/trails steep.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Not true friend. Not true. You just need shorter cranks and 27.5+ in the rear (if your frame accommodates).
  • 4 1
 Sausages of different lengths.
  • 1 2
 Yeah, but the Juliana bikes look like completely different frames from the Santa Cruz frames.
  • 3 3
 Bored - or just the fact the new layout is so ugly to look at. The V10 is super nice aesthetically (IMO) and has similar suspension layout, so it's surprising to me how SC came up with this design (not talking about the mullet part)- even considering they needed (apparently) to accommodate a water bottle.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: it does help when the 29 frame has high/low chip.
  • 1 0
 This...
  • 2 1
 To me bushings make most sense for small rotations. Much better load distribution and why have so many balls/needles when you're loading only a few of them? Not sure how many brands use bushing now. I recall Turner swears by them, maybe some others use them for some pivots in the linkage too?
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: The font on the number 6 looks different than the number 4.
  • 4 0
 @CDT77: what's the point of mulleting with a 27.5+ , most 27.5+ in 2.8 will have the same diameter as a 29x2.4 no ? so you're not really gaining in term of geo changes and handling right ?
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic:

I’ve got a friend who rides quite well, and runs f&r 27.5s on his 29 Enduro.
  • 2 0
 And still one of the worst bikes to clean Smile
  • 2 0
 NOPE! It’s a Tallboy…
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: GT bikes often get middling reviews because of their high bb bottom brackets. So, perhaps the Force 29 is a good mullet candidate as far as 29ers go. If enduro mags numbers are correct, you would only be -4mm from similar bikes after you mullet it.
  • 4 3
 The bikes do all look pretty much exactly the same. At this point, SC should just sell one model and give you choices to configure the bike in terms of travel, geometry, wheel size, etc that represents their current line up. Kind of like how you can get a basic Civic to a Civic Type R.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: yes they help and so does using adjustable headsets and offset bushings.
  • 4 0
 I mean I wouldn't see the point in putting the full lineup in a museum, but you're supposed to ride the bikes not just look at them.
  • 4 0
 @pakleni: A6 is longer and wider. I think the A6, especially the S6 look superb compared to the A4 line.
  • 1 0
 The difference in weight from a tallboy to the V10 is like 3lbs. In the past, I DH bike was way heavier than a cross country.
  • 2 0
 Don't all bikes by the same manufacturer look the same (except the really short travel or DH models)?
  • 1 0
 Same goes for Evil.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: you mean like Guerilla Gravity?
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: you mean like Guerilla Gravity?
  • 1 0
 @Elgaucher:

No. 27.5 is nominally 1.5” lager in diameter than 29, so running a tire .4” larger will not result in almost the same diameter
  • 1 1
 The remaining bro-appeal went directly to Cannondale some time ago.
  • 9 9
 It's insane how many people are on Santa Cruz bikes in Northern CA, literally 60-75% of the bikes I see out on the trails. They're like the Honda civics of mtb, just everywhere. They've lost all appeal to me just because of how common they are. Not that you need some totally obscure brand, but it gets boring when every one is riding the exact same thing haha.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: Not sure how the Force 29 is high BB, for instance in the high position it is lower than a SB150. I doubt that mag number are right unless they actually took the time to measure the bike, which I would bet they didn't. If they did, like I did, they would have found out that what GT advertise as the Low setting is actually the High setting and that Low is slacker/lower than the number you can find. Before doing the Mullet thing I used those number to ensure that the bike would be rideable once the flip chip in the high setting, once I started to ride I thought it was very slack and decided to do some quick measure and came to that conclusion. Also not sure which media said it was too high, I don't recall reading this when I did my research about the bike.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I own a sensor and considered the force so I looked at lots of reviews, there's a handful that mention the bb heights. BikeMag, BikeRadar, and MBR were 3 that noticed and didn't particularily like the high bb. Personally, I think it's not a big deal and had considered trying the sensor in mullet form.
  • 3 0
 @conoat: No. Obviously you have bought into this weeks hype without offering any evidence, or at the least a credible explanation.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: ah, Santa Cruz themselves have said you can mullet a Hightower (SC website Hightower Q&A). Propains Spindrift mullet is based on the 29'er version. Much easier to mullet a 29'er by requiring only a 27.5 rear wheel, as opposed to mulleting a 27.5. Requiring a front wheel and a new fork or at the least adjusting its travel/A to C height to avoid riding a chopper which only works on downhills. Even then your BB is still higher than normal.

Apples and Oranges, swings and roundabouts.
  • 3 2
 Very true. I'm surprised that they are getting away with selling like 4 trail bike models that basically do the same thing. 5010, Bronson, Megatower, Nomad. It's redundant to me, but I guess people are buying them.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Fair...ish. If you maintain your bike properly including pivot rebuilds annually and occasional rotating of bearings, you can avoid the pitfall you describe.
  • 2 1
 I've had many, many Santa Cruz bikes over the past 2 decades, and loved them all, but even I have completely given up trying to identify any of them that aren't the V10 or Blur
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: Same! I used to be interested in them, now it's "Oh, there's a Santa Cruz..." SC owners also never really have that much to say about their bikes either. It's usually just "I like it" or "It pedals well." When I talk to Evil or transition owners on the other hand, they always have so much to say and always tell me about the sick trails they've been shredding on their steeds
  • 2 0
 @mikedk: I mean if you want to faf around a 1/4 rotating your bearings every other months good for you but there is a technical solution that could solve this while being more rigid than the bearings commonly used and probably cheaper to change too.
  • 5 1
 Let's find a way to justify my hatred of the new Santa Cruz.... Frames of the same brand that look similar? Good choice... hahahahaha Go under the bridge and then you won't have to suffer looking at the new Santa Cruz bikes. The Nomad 1, 2 and 3 are almost the same... let's not go crazy....
  • 3 6
 Santa Cruz colors today are old people color....flat, bland! In the late 90's, people got into Santa Cruz Bikes because they appealed to the youth, raw and unfiltered that offered colors! Now, they just seem bored, unmotivated every year re-hashing same models!
  • 1 0
 @redman17: Yeah, GG does that and I think it is a great modular approach. Other brands do this too. The Liteville 301 can be built as a short or long travel bike. Doesn't it also go for the Evolink? Nicolai bikes used to come with a million mounting holes so it appeared like they could be morphed into anything. The thing is, will people actually go through the hassle of changing the bike from one guise to the other depending on what they're planning to ride? If it involves a change in suspension travel, you also need to tune the rear suspension (so be organized and write down these different settings). If you're going to swap out suspension links you either need to remove hose and cable or be very very careful to not damage them in the process. Obviously if you're switching rear wheel sizes then you're going through the hassle anyway. I don't know. Technically you can save a lot of money if you just have one bike and use parts to go from one purpose to the other. But in practice it could get annoying and cut into your valuable riding time. Personally I usually don't get much further than swap out wheels and fork. Where I could see this become more useful is for the odd longer trip to different terrain. To turn it into a mini-DH bike instead of own a complete DH bike for those few weeks a year. Or change it in a bikepacking bike instead of getting one of those. But similar to this article about flip-chips etc recently, there are only few who're going to actually utilize the versatility if it were offered.

As for the looks, the main thing I look for is a low top tube so with the lower shock they've improved in my eyes.
  • 6 1
 @drivereight: Santa Cruz has plenty of bright colors in gloss in their lineup. Bright yellow Megatower, the electric watermelon thing on the new Nomad, the fire orange Hightower, etc. Really people just like to complain about SC's colors...they're too boring, too wild, too flat, too glossy, etc.
  • 1 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: it’s not a case not having to change the forks. It’s because the bottom bracket is a lot closer to the rear axel than it is to the front so it has a bigger effect on bottom bracket hight than it does when you mullet a 27.5. You can make a 29 mullet to low to when your beaching when you bottom out or clipping pedals everywhere.
  • 4 2
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: Why on earth would this be downvoted? The same people that were hardcore 26, 27.5, have now drunk the Kool aid for 29 as the new norm? I have a 2019 Nomad and 2021 5010 and I couldn't agree with you more. You can long-stroke the 5010 to roughly 145mm of travel and then you have your 27.5 Bronson but you likely void the warranty. A flip-chip on the Bronson that allowed the option for Mullet or full 27.5 would have been a better option than the HI/LO that nobody uses. I am 5'8" and 27.5 doesn't slow me down a smidge. My builds are always nearly a pound of rotating weight lighter than all of my buddies' 29er bikes and when they ride mine, they say it feels more fun...go figure.
  • 4 0
 Transition, Trek, Giant, Evil, Knolly, etc, I can name more if I have to, all make nice bikes, and they have very similar looking frames among different models/categories, oh even Mercedes Benz lool don't know why people keep hating on SC for doing this. Not saying this comment here, I've seen the same complain in a lot places, and people making it the "reason" to say, oh yeah I'm not buying one. Oh well....
  • 4 0
 @DK00: If a persons reason for not buying one is because just about everyone has one then it's safe to say the company has done a pretty good job lol
  • 3 0
 Seems like people have different reasons to choose for one bike over the other. I think most of us started out on something that allowed us to get this stupid grin on our face. Would you ride a first generation Stumpjumper now as your only mtb? Ok, but do you think that you're actually having more fun than those people were having back then? To me this is one of the most pure reasons to get an mtb, to have fun. You will run into trouble (breaking stuff or running into the limitations of your current gear) which may lead you to replace parts when they're available. But primarily it is about having, preserving or expanding the fun. Then, as said, there could be other reasons. One would be to ride faster than someone else. The other would be to use gear that's different from what others use. Both seem like frustrating goals as whether you'll reach them doesn't rely on yourself exclusively. There is no upper limit. Or you can be happy with what you have until your buddies buy the same gear (or a different bike from the same brand that looks exactly the same). Nothing changed for you, but if this is something that can make you sad it seems like an issue worth solving for yourself.

So my advice, get the bike that you'd love to ride. Then ride it and love doing that. Regardless of what others are riding.
  • 1 0
 @silvbullit: yeah, you're not wrong on this one. The mind boggles when someone says you cannot mullet a 29'er because, because BB height, because, because pedal strikes, when mullet-ing a 27.5 effectively raises the BB height. Then you end up with that weird, vague feeling when it's too high. An official SC mullet version of the Hightower LT would've been more applicable. Instead we just get a 'new' version of the Bronson with a 29'er front triangle and 27.5 rear triangle. I'm 189cm/92kg or 6.2/202lbs in old money so some bike companies always imply that 29'er is best for my size etc etc. Good choices are your current rides by the way.
  • 177 32
 Honestly would have preferred if stayed full 27.5. The industry push toward 29 is annoying. 99% of us aren’t racing. I don’t care about racing to beat Strava times, I just wanna have fun on rides.
  • 13 1
 They could have it as an option. It would make sense. But I assume that 90% of the sales would be 79ers anyway.
  • 48 2
 I don't race, never have, and no intent on racing. The mixed wheel size is appealing to me. Running mixed wheels currently on the 5010 and I love it. Climbs really well and goes downhill better than anything I have ridden before. Huge smile on my face with the mixed wheel size.
  • 7 2
 Fact is my muleted Force29 is more fun (willing to manual, bunny hop, and so on) than my full 27.5 hardtail. Despite the fact that it has lower BB, slacker HA, longer chainstays and identical reach than my hardtail. The only thing my hardtail have on my Force is how you feel the front wheel digging and carving in turns but this might be due to the HA getting steeper as you corner since there is no back suspension and hardtails inherently change geos as they go. How is a MX wheel bike more fun than a full 27.5 despite similar geo and bigger (boring) front wheel ? Potentially the different relative BB height between F an R wheel. Also the article about bar height relative to BB from a few days ago may be onto something. One thing is for sure, I am having a blast and likely won't go back to equal size wheels, definitely not full 29 anyway.
  • 9 0
 I guess you gotta look at the 27.5“ spectral or the Trek Remedy.
  • 10 2
 You can still fit a 27.5 wheel up front, but will steepen the head angle a bit!
Is that a bad thing?
  • 15 0
 Could put a 650b wheel on the front and then run a 170mm fork if you're super bothered by it. I personally think mullet is great and wouldn't change it, but that is an option at least.
  • 9 3
 I have more fun on my 29er than on my previous 650b bikes- but my Stumpjumper isnt long/slack thought

But I agree- SC should of went 650b f/r- as they could have make the Hightower a mullet
  • 38 7
 fun riding is you not the wheel size
  • 5 0
 considered the new bronson as next bike. Will put some more km (miles in freedom units) on to the 5010...
  • 15 1
 yeap mate! I have 27 Bronson and this is so amazing bike and I don't want to use 29 wheels just because I don't like it. Seems to me the industry drives us and decides for us what we need.
  • 10 0
 It's nuts. I've got the current one and wouldn't have bought it if it was 29.
  • 4 0
 @tom666: 27.5 wheel in the 29fork and up the travel by 20mm would give you almost exactly the same geometry, swap to a 27.5 fork and you could run a 200mm downhill dual crown fork with 27.5 wheel and it will be the same floor to headtube height as the stock 29er 160mm setup.
  • 12 5
 try a better bike then. As you assume 29ers are not-fun bikes, I must assume as well that the last time you tried a 29er was early 2000s. Wink
  • 12 0
 the anger towards mullet bikes amuses me. have you ridden one? I just mullet'ed my Remedy. It's better in every way and isn't less fun.
  • 2 0
 @abzillah: which model 5010 and which fork are you running? I'm considering throwing a 29er up from of my v4
  • 8 0
 Every modern bike I ride is fun. Don't sweat the numbers too much!
  • 10 1
 Ah yes. My favorite comment. Because it’s absolutely impossible to have fun on a 29er.
  • 6 1
 The industry is 29", the push is towards mullets now because everybody already has a 29r or a 27.5
  • 5 1
 You can get a Nomad... still 27.5 F/R
  • 3 0
 I was you til I got my hightower. The thing jumps great. I would have never believed that 29” wheels could feel so poppy off jumps.
  • 12 1
 @rockyflowtbay: Pop off jumps is never about wheel size. It's about you loading the bike into the lip. Or for flat takeoffs then it's about front- to -rear center balance and how easily you can shift weight back and forth, again not wheel size.

How about maneuverability, "whippiness", "flickability"? Smaller wheel (given same tire and wheel build) is always going to be easier to move around, and for some people that's more important than rollover.
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil: I’ve ridden a lot of bikes, DJ, slope, trail, freeride and the hightower feels great. Sure it’s not a 26” DJer. But I’ve done everything on this bike including bike park dirt jumps and pump tracks. I wouldn’t believe a 29er could feel poppy and flickable, but it does. It’s really changed my perception.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: true. The smaller the wheels, the bigger the smile,all the way down to children. People on big wheels always look so serious..
  • 2 1
 For those that can't really decide if they go 29 or 27.5, this allows biwheelxuals to have it their way.
  • 1 0
 @lenniDK: You don’t have to tell me, man. That’s why I’m on a 12-inch.
  • 4 0
 Also wondering what happened to bikes being fun to ride instead of just going fast. Hopefully they considered the grin factor when testing.
  • 2 1
 @enduroFactory: size and strength matters. I just could not manual or bunny hop my full 29" bike, and while I'm not great at it yet with the mullet setup, I'm so much further ahead, I practice it more and will get there faster by having the mullet. It fits my body type, and the additional leverage I get makes riding more fun.
  • 3 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: @rickybobby1320

I added some photos of the mullet 5010 for you guys.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/20757238
  • 1 0
 @rickybobby1320: I'm running a 29er Lyrik Ultimate 150mm travel.
  • 1 0
 I have a Revel Rail that I built as a full 27.5, but now run as a mullet. I knocked 10 mm off the travel in front to compensate a little. It is SPECTACULAR as a mullet. And I can change it back in about 10 minutes.
  • 2 0
 The 27.5 is pretty enduro, but the 27.5/29 mullet is super enduro bro.
  • 2 0
 @abzillah: looks rad man.
  • 1 0
 @YakuT: Cookies & computer algorithms decides, plus pinkbike comments have some affect on what questions to ask, but yes people no longer get what they really want!
Just told what they want!
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: Yeah but maybe a fork in 27.5 with more travel than 160mm.
I ordered the Bronson 4 and it's the 3rd I will have (had the bronson 2 and 3) Love that bike! Don't need much travel and don't need 29er wheels... and I'm racing. (for fun sure but that's why I don't need 29er). I think the mullet can be a really good solution for all the compromise you have between both size of wheel. But I think that you still can but 27.5 on this bike.
  • 94 1
 Has complaining about a $5k NX built jumped the shark?

I remember, back when I was a kid, $5k = GX (and sometimes: XT). How I long for 2020!
  • 65 1
 5k for a Sram NX bike, what a time to be alive.
  • 17 10
 They had that carefully cherry picked story the other day to show bikes aren’t more expensive.

It’s obvious the editorial staff has never ridden an NX bike and experienced how bad it is, otherwise they would be making a bigger deal about it.
  • 9 0
 @Whipperman: At least the US and Europe have it way better than NZ (comparing rrp prices on reviews). A C R spec is $9450 nzd which after a rough conversion is $6800 usd and the CC Xx1 Rsv is $20450nzd/$14800 usd, making them like untouchable bikes.
  • 11 4
 Before the carbon treks that came out a few years ago you couldn’t even by a bike for over 5k. Ten years ago 4K got you a xo1, Fox 40, magic deemax wheels trek session and now look. They’re completely taking advantage. Every year they give you less and ask for more and now we’ve got 5k NX builds.
  • 5 0
 @AustinNZ5: I know it's in NZ dollars, but I just LOVE seeing bikes > $20K! #tearsforKiwis
  • 9 0
 How about a $4.6K XO1 build on the Stumpjumper with Fox Performance Elite suspension? January last year was an amazing time to be a bike buyer.
  • 3 2
 @salespunk: If I had a time machine I'd go back and buy a bike shop.
  • 2 0
 it really do be like that Frown
  • 1 0
 @Whipperman: came here to say this. I mean: wow...
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: isn’t there a pinkbike article (last week) that shows prices arnt up as much as people think.
  • 7 0
 @chakaping: ha. I know multiple owners. Small and big shops. None of them are rich.
  • 2 0
 @rockyflowtbay: It's still all relative though, no? Santa Cruz is relatively a lot more expensive than other brands now. Unless you just look at the drivetrain and ignore the rest of the buildkit.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: ya. I’d say they are 10% more for similar builds.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: One near me went bankrupt and was forced to sell out to its distributor. No idea how.
  • 1 0
 @rockyflowtbay: I think more like 15-20%
  • 2 0
 @wibblywobbly: I dunno, I love my nx bike, except for the cassette coming loose every ride haha. As far as actual performance, It shifts good, and cranks are cranks.
  • 1 0
 @boozed: Some shops are finding it hard to find stock right now.
  • 3 0
 @smartyiak: then you'll love Argentine pesos
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: dude prices before the pandemic were so nice. Bought my bike Feb 2020 and it had a slight sale going. Now the price is 39% higher lol, and if anything the spec went down very slightly too. So lucky I bought when I did.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: what bike did you buy?
  • 1 0
 @rockyflowtbay: This was in 2019
  • 2 0
 @boozed: ya. It’s not a very profitable business. Margins are shit.
  • 4 0
 No one should make a carbon bike paired with an NX drivetrain.
  • 1 0
 @iridedj torque spec for the cassette is 40 n/m maybe you just dont have it tight enough? 40n/m is a whole heck of a lot
  • 1 0
 @SpencerBaum: Yea the shop does it, the spacer inside either makes it crooked when i put power down or its a little loose .Pretty annoying.
  • 1 0
 @AustinNZ5: that's your government's fault. Not SC. complaints are most effective when directed in the correct direction....
  • 2 0
 @rockyflowtbay: Vitus Mythique! Been loving it.
  • 30 0
 I really hope the industry isn’t fazing out 27.5… some people who don’t ride competitively and just like having fun out on the trail, especially us smaller guys, really enjoy 27.5. I’m going to be very unhappy if in the coming years it is not an option anymore.
  • 12 0
 Yup, 2020 Transition Scout is the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden
  • 3 0
 @Richt2000: nice man those are sweet bikes. I feel very fortunate I bought one the last 2020 Capra Pro Race 27.5 that they had because the new models are 29 or mullet only, as is near every other brand for 2022
  • 1 0
 @Richt2000: Been considering a Scout (along with SB140 and 5010), but I’m worried about the really long wheelbase at 1248 for a Large. Makes me want to size down to a Medium, but that top tube looks cramped at 593. IDK... doesn’t seem like a good bike for tweeners.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: how tall are you?
  • 1 0
 @speedy-toast: 5’11... closer to 6’ with shoes.
  • 8 6
 Why do people who ride 27.5 think that 29" wheels are only for racing?
  • 11 0
 @warmerdamj: because that’s usually the argument people use, that 29 is faster. Not everyone cares that it is faster
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: I’d probably go large if it were me, but of course its preference.
  • 2 0
 I think it might get rare for a hot minute, especially on sizes larger than Small, but then they'll realize that, just like with kids bikes (which have always had a range of wheel sizes), adults come in many different sizes and different wheels will work better for different people.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: Medium appears comparable to your SB165. 'Cramped' is so dependent on max saddle height, stem length, handlebar roll, hip angle, dropper length and pedal type it's hardly worth discussing. At 6', using Brnsn.3 and 5010.4, both Medium--tall risers, no headset spacers--new Bronson looks roomy enough, if one still wishes to actively contribute to high finance
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: I dunno if you've sat on one, but it doesnt feel as big as you'd think. Though I havent ridden one around, Just sat on it.
  • 1 2
 oh one hundred percent they are.
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: Thanks for the input folks. @ceecee... sharp eye on the SB165 comparison. I did size down on the SB165 and I was able to adjust the cockpit to nearly the same feel as my Large TR Spur while minimizing the wheelbase length to 1235ish.

In general... for a 27.5 bike, Id like to keep WB at or under 1235... but I still need a rooming cockpit.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756:
I did worry about that too, but need not have. Its still incredibly poppy and playful in its 150/140 configuration. I went from a 1225mm nukeproof reactor 275 to the scout and didn’t really notice the increased wheelbase.

Demoed both the 5010 and sb140 before buying, the lates 5010 doesn’t pedal anywhere near as well as the scout and was less confident. Lose - lose. The sb140 is much much smaller than the number suggest, 480mm reach is down to a very low stack. Again scout climbed better and descended more confidently for me.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: there's more toptube length in the Yeti: ditch headset spacers, bar with more rise & width rolled a hair more forwards, saddle with longer rails. Turned up saddle nose is slowing you for all seated pedaling at topout. Why is it already being sold? BBH? HTA at 29" a-c?
  • 58 29
 I'm looking at this the same way I look at a new McLaren or Porsche launch on Pistonheads.

Yes it's amazing, yes it's subtly different to the 1,000 other variants on the same recipe, but it just feels... pointless?

Sorry to be a Negative Nancy... but have Santa Cruz got really super boring recently?
  • 34 5
 I don't compare bikes by how boring they look on pictures (rather if they actually ride boring). The reason why they are boring to you is that they are common and share a common design with other models. And they share it because it seems it works well.
  • 39 39
 They’ve been boring for a while now. Relatively conservative geo, bland looking frames, colorways are either a variation of red or some shade of puke and they’re overpriced as hell for what you get.

Doesn’t matter though because flowtrail dads will keep buying them for the simple reason that it says Santa Cruz on the downtube.
  • 12 18
flag h20-50 (Jun 8, 2021 at 1:33) (Below Threshold)
 @IluvRIDING: @IluvRIDING: When the last time you rode a Santa Cruz? They are quite numb, blah, and boring for my riding style. Not enough pop and play. I've felt that way with most VPP linakges. DW linkages are more of what I prefer and are perfect for my riding style
  • 3 0
 @IluvRIDING: yeah they do it because it works but should every bike in the lineup ride relatively the same with few changes here and there?
  • 3 1
 @Upduro: what’s a flow trail dad?
  • 12 2
 @h20-50: sounds like someone has never used the rebound adjusters/ a shock pump
  • 19 13
 @Upduro: flow trail dads will act like this bike is the most incredible and innovative thing ever when it’s really a pretty conservative bike geo wise with a mixed wheel size gimmick.

But it’s so good for full day 5.2 mile trail rides…
  • 5 5
 @wibblywobbly:

Nailed it.
  • 4 7
 @TannerValhouli: Ain't my first rodeo son.....
  • 3 1
 @Turboute: me maybe? I'm a dad and those flow trails are easier on my old joints. Don't own a SC bike though...
  • 5 1
 @plyawn: I’m unsure where I fit into this. I’m a dad but I hate flow trails and ride a Santa Cruz. I’m kinda lost.
  • 2 1
 @Turboute: Me too mate. Time to start a movement…?
  • 1 1
 @Beersandbikes: might just be an aussie thing mate
  • 38 8
 F**k Santa Cruz. Over 5k with NX…
  • 8 4
 Same. At this point they are just price gouging ignorant customers or people who have enough money to not give a shit.
  • 5 0
 It’s definitely ridiculous, but they will sell out the day the go for sale regardless
  • 10 4
 @HB208: Tough to price-gouge on something that isn't a commodity. If you think the price is too high, just don't f*cking buy it, there are plenty of other options for this definitively luxury item.
  • 10 3
 @speedy-toast: Then that's proof that it's not ridiculous. Ferrari and Lambo sell out most of their new model supercars before a single one has been delivered. I don't hear everyone shouting that a $300,000 luxury car is a "ridiculously priced dentist car". There is a market demand, and they (both Santa Cruz and Ferrari) supply products for that demand. Simple economics. If this pricing was truly "ridiculous", Santa Cruz wouldn't survive because there is no market for ridiculous prices.* But the fact remain that people can afford them and do buy them at those prices.

If you want to talk ridiculous, talk about the wealth gap that makes it easy for a relatively small market like $11K bicycles to survive, even thrive. Most everyone on here saying the prices are ridiculous is just jealous that they can't afford it That includes me. The affording part, not the jealousy: I'm super happy with my moderately customized $4K bicycle, but spending 2.5 times that much just wouldn't be possible for me.

*(We can get into what the perceived values of these expensive products is later, because yes, there surely is some value ascribed to the name, the cachet, the simple fact that it is expensive.)
  • 5 2
 @justinfoil: Its easy to sell bikes in a market where there are no bikes. I remember seeing SC bikes sitting unsold and discounted two years ago when I was shopping for previous bike. And this was before the 20% price increases.
  • 7 2
 @HB208: Whatever you remember seeing obviously didn't reflect what SC was seeing. Their top-end builds have been pushing $10Gs for several years now, and they keep making them, so it must be working from their point of view.
  • 2 2
 @justinfoil: I imagine the vast majority of the bikes they sell are the NX and GX builds though. Those are the builds that have really pushed up.
  • 4 4
 @HB208: again with the blind speculation. good job!
  • 2 1
 @justinfoil: You think it is that hard to believe that most of the bikes they sell are low and mid specced? Look at the Whistler data pinkbike put out last week. It aligns with this.
  • 2 4
 @justinfoil: honestly I don’t care enough to read everything you wrote sorry
  • 2 1
 @HB208: one location with a fairly limited range of bikes. Park bikes often run to the cheaper side of build spectrum because they get the shit beat out of them. Look around here and every SC you see is a CC build with Fox Factory and XT or XX1 if not XTR or AXS. Still anecdotal evidence, but then I'm not speculating about shit I don't know.

Maybe they are selling more low-end builds, and the price increase (I still think it's exaggerated in your story) could be to grow margins on the volume products as costs rise (tariffs, shortages, etc). To keep the same margins on the (presumed) low volume stuff would send the prices crazy high and likely further reduce the sales volume.

There is always a reason and it's usually not just to f*ck over the customers.
  • 41 15
 I get the feeling mixed wheel sizes is the new fad and will go the same way plus bikes did. Seems like we also have a new dentist bike brand at these prices.
  • 32 2
 The biggest difference is we’ve never seen a DH WC won on a plus bike! I’m keen to try a mixed wheel setup. If bike-marketing-hating Chris Porter is interested then I suspect it’s not pure hype.

I think Kaz is too tall to review these bikes though. Leg shortening surgery or a shorter reviewer please!
  • 24 1
 Having tried different bikes both with 29er setup and mullet, I can definitely say this mullet thing is not a fad. I’d go as far as to say that there’s no real benefit to having a 29er wheel in the back. 27,5 front and rear works great for shorter riders, while mullet is the way to go for taller ones. That is just my opinion but if you look at World Cup racing bikes nowadays, half of them are mullets. On the other hand I’ve never seen plus wheels on a racing bike
  • 2 0
 Oh yeah it might be great for certain bikes like bigger travel ones I guess. But for general trail riders, xc guys, I can’t see it being the go to wheel size.
  • 5 0
 I have never ridden a mullet bike, but the motorcycle world has been using different wheel sizes forever. Maybe there is something to it?
  • 7 1
 @robholland pretty sure Santa Cruz has been a dentist brand for the last, I don’t know... 6 or 7 years. Their prices actually came down a good bit pre-covid from where they were at in 2015/2016. I remember looking at their website when I was too poor to buy any kind of nice bike and being shocked that a gen 3 nomad could cost upwards of $12000 if it had xx1 11 speed, enve wheels and a Fox 36.
  • 1 1
 @Altron5000: I thought Kaz was 5'11/180cm. That's pretty spot-on average isn't it? Otherwise you're point still stands. There does seem to be something more to 79ers.

I'd actually like to get some testing done between people across a range of rider heights though. I keep hearing that taller people are better off with full 29ers, but since it's a geometry and handling impact as much as it is a size impact, I'd imagine there's more to it than that.
  • 7 0
 Been on a mullet for 18 months now in honestly wouldn't but anything else in the future. I'm 5'7" owned 27.5 and 29. I think for shorter riders it makes a lot of sense. You get the 29 roll over up front where you really need it and have the room to move about in the bike without risking contacting the rear wheel. I actually think they are more fun than 27.5, they turn incredibly well and the rear always breaks loose well before the front. Drifting turns all day.
The only disadvantage I feel over the 29er is the rear wheel hangs up easier in rocks/roots. I don't notice any disadvantage over 27.5.
I ride longer travel bikes, for xc and light trail I think the 29er is still king unless you are tiny.
Aggressive trail to DH depends on your height, tiny people 27.5, short folks mullet, giants 29. Those in the middle can chose what they like.
  • 2 0
 @ghirox85: "no real benefit" from the angle of racing, as it seems you're coming from. But certainly someone who isn't racing and who can easily fit a 29er rear would also appreciate the benefits of the big wheel on both ends.

Note, this person is not me. I'm not getting a rear wheel bigger than 27.5 on trail bike (150ish travel in my book) ever, if I can help it. I greatly dislike knobs in my ass and simply don't require the benefits of a big wheel in the back for the riding I like to do, and in fact do like the benefits of a smaller wheel for the skills I possess.
  • 1 0
 @axleworthington: A decent chunk of that is suspension travel & the fact that motorcycle have more stuff behind the rider, and traction. They want the fatter tire for grip, so the rim starts smaller, but they also need to save room for all the stuff above the rear wheel, so the overall outside diameter is often also bit smaller than the front as well.
  • 4 0
 @big-red: Thing is, you can make the same geo for a XXL no matter the wheel size. There will be plenty of room for 29 or 27 inside a chain-stay length that is balanced with a XXL's front-center. And there will be plenty of room above the rear-wheel for 27 or 29, owing to the longer legs of a person requiring a XXL. Just going with smaller wheels doesn't mean anything has to gets slacker or shorter or anything.

The tough sells are jamming 29ers into a XS or S. Chain-stays that fit a 29er can only get so short but still need to remain balanced with the shorter front-center of a small size. And with a shorter seat height, at some point wheel size and travel are going to add up and cause interference, either with the rider or the seat, to that adds some more limitations, including seat-tube angle, which, yes, can be too steep.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: That's a great way of putting it. Makes sense. Still though, I wonder if there's something else to it as wellsince there a number of people that seem to love mullet setups on traditionally 29er bikes or 29ers with modified linkages (a la Forbiddin's Druid).
  • 3 0
 If it’s the new fad it’s coming in hot! Evil with a mullet release today, too! Though this comment is about as much of the release as you’ll see on here!!
  • 2 0
 @big-red: are those people on super large frames? I'd bet not, because taller folks don't have the same potential rear wheel clearance issues; or, if they are on a mullet XXL, that they prioritize doing whips and such over getting the fastest race time.
  • 13 0
 This was the obvious route for them to go with the bike. Once the heckler came out I knew the bronson was going to be a mullet.

Crazy how my gen 4 nomad has the same 230x60 shock as this .

I like the look of Santa Cruz lower link bikes, they look stout and clean. Beats the hell out of something like a Jekyll with all the braces it looks ridiculous and dated to me.

I do wish they would throw some better color ways into the mix but I’m a function over form guy at the end of the day. A color would never STOP me from getting a bike I wanted, if I don’t like either color I’ll just pick the one I like more. It literally doesn’t have any effect on anything
  • 14 1
 It like SRAM released SX so bike companies like Santa Cruz (already slightly overpriced) could improve profit margins on NX & GX. They’ve normalized NX at previous GX prices…bummer.
  • 4 1
 Yeah, it is kind of absurd to be a "top quality" bike company and then insist on increasing margins by putting a crap drivetrain on your bikes. I had an NX cassette and GX on the rest of the drivetrain on my first bike and I would need to replace it every year. I have a XT drivetrain on my new bike and it is soooooo much better.
  • 4 0
 Agree and I wonder if it's really helping Sram's reputation having those sub-par groupsets on expensive bikes.
  • 7 0
 @HB208: Agreed, Santa Cruz bikes were never really a great value, now they are a terrible value. This is coming from someone who is willing to pay 6k+ for a bike, I just want my money’s worth. I’ll end up finding a mid to upper level spec bike where one of the local high volume shops (there’s quite a few around Socal) is willing to take a hit to get it to an acceptable price, It won’t be a Santa Cruz.
  • 6 0
 @Broso: No kidding. For $6k I can get a Transition Sentinel or Spire or Evil with top tier brakes and RS suspension or a poorly specced Santa Cruz. Evil might actually be a bit better value than TR since you get hydra hubs, but I don't want to buy superboost. Not to mention the values to be had with direct brands. Although, I am willing to spend a bit more to support small companies (which SC is not, as it is owned by a PE company). I actually wonder if the PE company is the one forcing them to raise prices during the shortage.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I don’t think so, it ends up falling on the bike companies for the spec and price point which may be a bit unfair but both are trying to make more profit and provide less it seems.
  • 2 0
 @Broso: I agree with you that us bike nerds can happily blame SC or whoever, but I wonder whether newbies might end up disappointed and confused that the nice-looking SX or NX kit on their expensive new bike is so heavy and flimsy?
Perhaps I'm over-thinking it, but it's not a good first experience of a brand IMO.
  • 3 0
 @HB208: I would be willing to bet that 50%+ of the entry level builds never get ridden enough to wear out the drivetrain. Many people buying them are new riders that walk in the shop, recognize the name, buy, ride a few times and it sits.
  • 2 0
 @carym: The issue is if you do start riding enough, you blow through cassettes - leaving you with a bad taste.

I think SC is basically operating on people's ignorance of pricing and components. Rich people in silicon valley don't necessarily care.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: This, clearly we are not their target customer, knowledgeable customer's who want some value for their hard earned money. Don’t get me wrong I think their bikes look and function fantastic. I just know I can get more for my money and let’s be honest most companies have really great bikes now.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: so true but I guess Rob knew that when he sold it to pon. I don’t blame him for doing that
  • 3 1
 @HB208: agreed. And also the sx and nx cassette use a different driver body then gx and up. So if you want to upgrade, you now have to upgrade your rear hub as well. Makes it a big pain in the ass
  • 1 0
 @speedy-toast: I don't think there is an sx cassette, it's just nx. Same with the chain. An sx groupset is technically a mix.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: ya I actually think you are right on that one
  • 2 0
 @CM999: Having people bootlick SC for donating money to trails when all of the profits go to a $7bn conglomerate is rich.
  • 12 2
 expensive as f*ck but its a very interesting bike .. 230 x60 for 150mm is very good LR.. hope it can handle 230 65m stroke.. you could use 27.5 180mm.. potentially a cascade link will come around.. very future proof and cutomizable with healthy LR ( i am repeating this cause its very relevant ihmo)
  • 3 2
 Lol this. People be complaining about ebike prices but the top build of this cost as much as my ebike and my car (Nissan Versa hatchback) combined.
  • 2 0
 @piratetrails: but which cost more, your ebike or your car? Wink
  • 6 0
 They literally make the same bike but bigger in the nomad, seems pointless to overshock.
  • 2 1
 @iridedj: I hear you but.. some people might have money invested in nice italian aftermarket suspension.. and 230x65 is a very common size..
  • 10 0
 Ooooh spicy. Evil oneup'd them allowing for both 27.5 or mullet on the v2 Insurgent in any size. Same day debut...
ca.evil-bikes.com/a/bikes/insurgent?fbclid=IwAR2Ha4L8yZ0GdXTdpCcv5t7JONV4ix6Fj4YrxgIKulHNkGAJGJ9Qs7DyHY0
  • 19 3
 Yuck, Superboost.
  • 3 1
 And Pinkbike not even giving AF to post an article about it. Lol
  • 9 0
 Intresting that the only model with a RockShox fork has a Fox rear shox, so whatever the assembly you choose, you have a mix between FOx and RockShox.
I thought this platform was performed to wirk better with a RS shock, so why putting a DPX on the first model ?
  • 4 0
 Noticed the same. Somewhere a product manager was thinking "Mullet bike is so 2020. we're going full Mutt." You'll know I'm right when they add SRAM front brake and Shimano rear for 2023...
  • 13 1
 NX drivetrain on a $5k bike is laughable.
  • 2 1
 I got SLX and FOX on a 2300 bike
  • 1 0
 @panchocampbell: so how's that polygon treating you? That isn't sarcasm, I'm genuinely interested in the siskiu.
  • 2 0
 @grannygear91: the geometry is on point, the bike feels really solid, very comfortable going up on the steeps and very comfortable going down too, I feel like my body is very well placed, no need to get back, just stay low i'd say the fork could use maybe 2 tokens to ramp it up, but the bike just feels great, i'd recommend it with my eyes closed!!!
  • 14 2
 RIP Bronson
  • 10 1
 I ride a V3 Bronson and agree with you. Too bad SC had to mess with the best bike in their lineup. Throw in the price increases and SC are no longer on my radar. Looks like I’ll be changing brands for my next bike.
  • 6 1
 @CircusMaximus: Apart from the bike looking ugly, the colors schemes not appealing, and the price increase it hurts to say after owning a v1 Bronson and v3 Nomad that I don't see anything in SCs lineup besides a Hightower that would interest me.
  • 3 2
 @CircusMaximus: I've had the Bronson V3 for 3 years now, and have a new Nomad on the way. While I too would have preferred to see a full 27.5 Bronson, I actually agree with what they did here. The 5010 got more capable, and the new Nomad pedals circles around the V3 Bronson, and is equally, if not, more playful. I was truly shocked at how much better the Nomad pedaled than my Bronson, and by how dam poppy it is. With the 5010 and Nomad squeezing out the need for a 27.5 Bronson, the MX makes sense.
  • 11 0
 Refuse to pick a wheel size and be a dick about it.
  • 8 0
 The only think I like santacruz for is the fact they're using cast links with grease channels and a port for a grease pump. I wish that was standard on all bikes.
  • 3 0
 From where do you know that the links are casted ?
  • 7 0
 So why get a hightower now? This does all the same things but turns better and its close enough in travle as makes no differance. Also gets fancier new frame features and scaled CSs.
  • 7 0
 I don’t think anybody would get a new Hightower right now - Santa Cruz might reposition the Hightower in the next iteration, maybe as a successor to the Megatower, while the next Megatower might be an Ultratower with a 190mm Zeb in front…

Or they are going to put every bike out there in two versions, one in 29/29 and one in 29/27.5…
  • 1 1
 If you want a 145mm travel 29er, you get a hightower. It's not that complicated.
  • 11 0
 I’ll stick with my v3
  • 1 0
 Me too.
  • 7 2
 Only have to spend $8k to get the one with the $499 shock, what a deal! In 2017 a Bronson C S build was $4599, now it’s $5949 for a cheap carbon GX build? I congratulate Santa Cruz for keeping the mail order brands relevant…
  • 5 0
 Yeah, this has been a boon to Transition, Evil, and the mail order brands. I have zero reason to buy a SC when I can get top level suspension and brakes on a Transition or Evil for the same price as a meh GX build on a SC.
  • 4 0
 Fortunately not everyone buys bikes based on how they look, witness the continued existence of Ibis. Nothing boring about this bike, interesting that they are getting on the anti-squat and mullet bandwagons and still going slacker. Kaz' ride report does not indicate that this is massively changing the ride, so it makes you wonder how big is the sweet spot for good geo?
  • 11 4
 Seriously went with a MX on the Bronson??? It has been a stand alone 27.5 from the beginning of time. WTF SCB???????????
  • 2 0
 The new Nomad pedals/ climbs MUCH better than the V3 Bronson and descends just as playfully and poppy. I've had my V3 Bronson for 3 years, and as soon as I started riding a new Nomad, I knew what my next bike was. The 5010 also got a bump towards the capabilities of a V3 Bronson too.
  • 1 0
 @leon-forfar: Thank you for the heads up bro! Been eyeballing the 5010, will wait for newer colorways to come.
  • 1 2
 @leon-forfar: the 5010 can take the bronsons place if you really wanted it to, put a cascade link on it and a longer stroke shock and your at 150 rear travel on the 5010.

Obviously that has nothing to do with Santa Cruz, but the bronson doesn’t really fit well in between the 5010 and nomad anymore. Why would anyone own a bronson and nomad? They are way too close .... until now because it’s mx.

I’m interested what the megatower update will hold
  • 1 0
 @Solorider13: Exactly. That is why Santa Cruz decided to mullet the Bronson. At least that is what our SC rep said.
  • 4 0
 "Santa Cruz reduced the amount of anti-squat on the new Bronson, but that doesn't seemed to have hampered its climbing abilities."

Why is the assumption that less anti-squat equals less "climbing ability"? It's stuck in the old thinking that a stiff suspension always climbs better. This completely ignores the potential of an active suspension's ability to add traction and how traction can actually be more efficient: you can just keep pedaling smoothly and not have to worry as much about what the rear wheel is going over or about to go over.

Santa Cruz has obviously come around to this thinking that adding traction and comfort is a worthy tradeoff for some (perceived) loss of "pedaling efficiency", as evidenced by the same claim on the Blur, and it's great!
  • 2 0
 I think it's a great trade-off. I love leaving my bike fully active on trail climbs with varied terrain. It climbs like a mountain goat. It's not as nice on the smoother gravel and fire road climbs, but those are the environments were it's easy to reach the lockout switch anyway.
  • 2 0
 @big-red: Yup, traction is king for real-world variable terrain riding.

You've got some nice fire roads, it seems. Around here, even on fire roads lockout just makes for a bouncy ride and tires skipping around under power. On some "carriage trails" near me I can out sprint my gravel/all-road bike with my 150mm trail bike because the tires grip and I don't spin out.
  • 7 1
 Is it just me - or have SC bikes sort of "lost their soul"? Honestly, the look - the colours - the bike offerings. They just seem so unexciting these days...
  • 6 3
 I've never ridden a mullet but I do notice that the front end of my 29'er feels heavier than my 27,5" hardtail. Both with simular wheels, forks and tires. The roll over of 29 is definely better but I trade that for more playfullness. Imo you choose 27,5 for playfullness which will be muted by the 29 front. Too bad the went mullet, because it also makes it harder to buy a frame and build it up with parts you already have. Especially with the high prices we are now facing. Sorry SC and Transition, I will now be looking at a Banshee Rune instead.
  • 12 1
 "i've never ridden a mullet bike but I'm 100% sure they suck."

don't knock it until you've tried it.
  • 7 1
 Banshees are great bikes. I have a spitfire v3 which is capable of a mullet setup. $2000 for sick aluminum frame and Fox DPX2
  • 1 1
 It's so easy to put a 27.5 wheel up front and a fork with slightly more travel. Doesn't look like a problem to me.
  • 4 1
 @dennis72: "I do notice that the front end of my 29'er feels heavier than my 27,5" hardtail"

Well, yeah, no shit. Even if it's the same wheel and tire, there is more of it on the 29er. Not to mention the hardtail likely is shorter overall. So obviously the front end is going to feel relatively heavier since it's at the end of a longer lever. This is likely part of the reason that the Bronson has a high-ish stack and not a stupid long reach. Both those combine to add leverage and make it a bit easier to lift the front, despite the overall length. So you get both bonuses of longer chain-stays for stability _and_ leverage to lift the front when needed. Win Win!
  • 2 1
 Frames selling for $3700 makes it harder to build something up with what you already have. I
  • 2 0
 Good idea. Can mullet that with a 160 fork if you want. Plus the v3 is a really good looking bike. I have a v2 spitfire and it's awesome but I do watch the buy/sell for a v3 rune frame. Rides like a big bmx bike and doesn't cost $3700!!! For a frame. That's crazy.
  • 6 0
 Being follically challenged, I find the term mullet to be incredibly offensive.
  • 3 0
 I find it stupid because mullet haircuts are short in the front and long in the back, where as the 29 f / 27.5 r is more like the 80s skater cuts with the long bangs (which were rad btw)...
  • 8 3
 I don´t know why but I never get exited about SC bikes. 5000 for NX. ..No way bros & sisters.
  • 3 1
 Don‘t understand - when you mullet a 27.5“ it gets heavy like a 29“ and everything needs to be changed to fit the bigger fork and the bigger wheel size. The original 27.5“ frame is dead.

When you mullet a 29“ bike, something like a flip chip might be the only thing you need. Adding mixed wheels to an existing 29“ is easy. So adding mixed wheels as an option to the hightower is the way to go.
  • 1 0
 Maybe I'm mistaken but mulleting 29'ers puts the bottom bracket dangerously low even with a flip chip. I can mullet a 27.5 Spitfire V3 and have 140mm travel front and 135mm rear while still maintaining a good bottom bracket height and stack height equivalent to a 160mm 27.5 fork on the front. The weight issue is irrelevant- my 160mm 27.5 pike with a ACS-3 coil will be heavier than any air 29er fork.
  • 6 2
 I am saddened to see no Shimano base Deore or SLX at the low price offered with the Scam parts. I will not mix and match my bike parts I am 100% Shimano
  • 7 2
 The end of the 27.5" era? The Mullet era begins..
  • 6 1
 yeah that's great thanks mike but where the hell is fantasy DH ?!?!
  • 3 0
 I may (probably) be in the minority hear but I'm not a fan of all the size specific chainstay lengths. Tall people like short chainstays too! Just me? Anyone else?
  • 4 0
 @pinkbike I whats the inflation adjusted price for this one?
  • 7 4
 CC frameset cost about as much as I paid for a complete YT Jeffsy Blaze. Ouch.
  • 13 5
 Just wait until you need a warranty claim. Hopefully you won't, but thr direct sales guys have a reputation of keeping you off the trails for months. Santa Cruz generally gets you rolling again in a couple of weeks. I had to make a warranty claim on a link and i had the new version 2 days later.
  • 4 1
 @drjonnywonderboy: you'd have to fully warranty the whole bike twice though, since you can buy 2 YT's lol.

But then again, it's not a good comparison, the YT's are more expensive too now.
  • 1 0
 @p1nkbike: nah, I wouldn't say the Yt's got more expensive. For example the cheapest new capra has much better components than a comparable santa at that price point. I think the rule of thumb of half the price with really comparable bikes still stands for direct bikes.
  • 4 0
 @drjonnywonderboy: Oh well, I'll just buy another one.
  • 2 0
 @p1nkbike: Sadly I thought the direct brands getting more popular would force the store brands to compete more on price. But its just done the opposite, direct brands have slowly crept up in price and store brands are taking giant leaps in price.
  • 2 1
 @drjonnywonderboy: So do other companies that aren't price gouging customers though. Transition and Evil will both get you back on the trails and don't try and f*ck you over on pricing.
  • 3 0
 @drjonnywonderboy: YT CS/warranty is fine in the USA. Sucks elsewhere, I hear.
  • 2 0
 @WY228: I hope some of it is Covid related. The new SJ Evo was a great deal before the most recent price bump. Hopefully things will stabilize.... sometime?
  • 1 0
 @streetfighter848: if you pick a day they actually have it in stock, and then hope it doesn’t get lost on the boat carrying it across the ocean...
  • 1 0
 @p1nkbike: The warranty thing is relevant as to how long it takes. Theoretically, the direct to consumer brands should have a leg up on that front - all distribution is centralized, all service is centralized, so if they process a warranty claim, there's no reason they can't direct ship you a frame (worst case), and then you can build it up yourself with your old parts or take it to an LBS (or, if they were to go that route, a contracted "service center"). Problem is, the direct sellers have a history of not keeping warranty stock on hand, so warranty replacements take months. Unless you have more than one bike, that means you're not riding.
  • 3 0
 @TypicalCanadian: That's what worries me, I'm scared the inflated prices will stay even after supply/demand have leveled off. I don't see the bike brands being like "hey here's that bike we've been selling for $5k for a year or so, now only $4k!"
  • 1 0
 @WY228: for real! That’s definitely a worry.
  • 1 0
 @WY228: there's not a chance prices are coming down. If anything they'll go up even further. We might look back at this time as far better haha.
  • 5 0
 geometry is spot on!
  • 4 0
 Do I want a Nomad or a Hightower?!? Oh, hold on...
  • 4 0
 Can I get a medium with the small chain stays?
  • 1 0
 It's not about the look of the bike, it is about the ride. At least it is for me. Most likely the driver behind me on the freeway probably doesn't care how it looks on my bike rack either.
  • 1 1
 To me one of the main things that makes a mullet set up interesting is the ability to have mini chainstays. I know that the industry is trending towards longer chainstays right now but allot of us still like shorter stays. For those of us that aren’t racers and really just rude for the fun of it, I think the idea of a properly built factory goon bike with short chainstays and a mullet set up sounds rad!
  • 4 1
 I can't wait for mullet bikes to go the same way as the 27.5/+ craze from a couple years ago.
  • 3 0
 They reused the leftover paint from last years Megatower for this years Juliana.
  • 3 0
 Do I need to pay $7k to get the bike with Grip2 damper?
  • 5 0
 Ya gotta pay 7k for 370 hubs.... just stupid.
  • 2 0
 @CamTakacs: at least they should be a new ratchet ln with 18 tooths
  • 3 0
 Cool to see an offering from SC for the smaller geos!
  • 3 2
 Imo - 27.5 was an unnecessary "comfort zone" standard, why are we not doing 26"/29" mullets? Surely it's more of a good thing?
  • 10 0
 I don't know why the industry is so opposed to 69
  • 1 0
 Already been done, a la Trek 96er
  • 1 0
 It's been done before but on XC bikes. There's certainly some logic to having a large front wheel for roll-over, and a 26 in the rear that you can smash the shit out of, land your badly executed whips sideways etc and have loads of room for going off drops and the like.
  • 3 0
 Megatower V2 please! And thank you
  • 4 1
 This is dentist industry level pricing.
  • 2 2
 @sparkinson: Must be a lot of dentists out there, because I'm pretty sure SC is having zero problems selling _all_ of the bikes they put on the market.
  • 1 0
 Cardio-thoracic surgeon more like it.
  • 3 1
 Built in the name of fun, 443mm stays in XL sound not fun. It’s a 27.5 wheel back there after all.
  • 3 7
flag justinfoil (Jun 8, 2021 at 8:33) (Below Threshold)
 @chrismac: A couple mm of chainstay completely destroys your ability to manual or bunny hop? Sad.
  • 2 0
 I like how they increased the actual seat tube angle by hanging it off the back of the shock tunnel.
  • 2 1
 I just don’t seem to have have the upgrade-itous with this generation from my Bronson 3. Sure they made the tweaks I wanted to see, just not feeling it.
  • 3 1
 Can someone outside of the marketing dept tell me what the point of the flipchip is
  • 3 0
 Santa Cruz has lost their base at this point!
  • 3 1
 No ALU again? IMHo mullets are new 27+,willjefor few years and then disappears in favor of 29' and bikes
  • 3 0
 *crying into a pillow* #27.5'snotdead
  • 2 2
 Well at least I can get a Hightower frame that fits a coil...I don’t get all the hand wringing about $5,000-plus nx. Don’t we all buy frames and outfits our bikes with the components we want? Who buys a complete bike?
  • 2 0
 The frame is also ridiculously expensive. I'd bet the vast majority of people buy complete bikes. If you're immediately planning what parts to change out on a new bike, you made the wrong choice.
  • 1 0
 Such a dumb price point for a junk spec. I have the new arktos with fox factory front and back, full gx and i9 hydra for $5600. #shwing
  • 1 0
 If I had 50 Bronsons for every 10 Megatowers I'd be a Nomad on Reserve ready to slam a Tallboy and make my V10 speed off in a Blur.
  • 1 0
 “Santa Cruz’s are boring and all look the same.” Corvette fans say the same thing about Porsches. Good thing there are brands to suit everyone’s tastes.
  • 3 1
 It ain't black and $3700 for a frame only. Nope.
  • 7 5
 Mullet bikes: the 27.5+ of 2021.
  • 1 0
 Seems like an ideal bike for a rider on a medium. But large lanky people are better served on a full 29er imo.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer any thing coming out in the new evil? I guess it’s only a short ride to their offices
  • 7 5
 $11.4k much wow
  • 3 0
 Next barrier to break is 20k, maybe in 5 years?
  • 4 1
 @p1nkbike: Spez E-Bikes already there...
  • 6 5
 @p1nkbike: with inflation gaining steam, I would say it's more like 2 years. lol. by my memory, the top spec SC bike with full AXS was only 10.5k 2 years ago. now it's up almost 10%. next year another 10%.....but sure, everyone keep taking the government's word as gospel that inflation is only 3%. lmfao
  • 8 0
 @conoat: sure, the basket for calculating price indexes contains 10k bicycles instead of stuff like milk, electricity, rent etc
  • 4 0
 @grlivewire you could buy a Bronson v1 from Santa Cruz around 2015 and have it cost close to $12K USD. These prices aren’t anything new, they were actually decreasing a bit before covid happened and everyone and their dog decided they wanted to be a mountain biker.
  • 4 0
 @TannerValhouli: Yes, the top of the line spec prices are relatively the same as back then, but that's not the problem. Entry level spec is the problem. Used to could get on a base build alu model for ~$3k, now so many bikes have a starting MSRP upwards of dream bike budget territory for most people.
  • 1 0
 @WY228: fair, but all explained by the massive material and parts shortage going on right now. And if they can’t even keep the bikes in stock can you blame them for raising prices? Clearly people are still buying them.
  • 3 0
 @TannerValhouli: No I totally understand the "why" behind it and don't blame brands like SC for just doing business. I just think we're in a sad place in the market right now and that these kind of prices are here to stay even after the supply shortages are sorted and demand levels out again.
  • 2 0
 Long in front, short in the back isn't a Mullet anyway, it's a Tellum - or at least a Skinhead Girl.

This misnaming must end. @mikekazimer:
  • 1 0
 Wow tup that looks awesome!!!!!
  • 1 0
 SC's $11399 makes the S-Works Stumpjumper Evo look like a bargain.
  • 1 0
 Mountain bikes are solved. This is it. Now talk about something else.
  • 1 0
 Glad I decided to go with the Nomad.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer any initial views on a comparison with a Hightower?
  • 1 0
 They're trying to keep up with specialized 6 month design changes
  • 1 0
 Everyone's favorite color! dehydrated piss yellow.
  • 1 2
 A 29er front is always better in my book and being short with short legs, a 27.5 rear wheel is better as well.
  • 4 5
 It amazes me no-one comments on MX bikes that you now need to carry two different sized spare tubes?!
  • 6 0
 You can stretch a 27.5 tube into a 29 tire or stuff a 29 tube into a 27.5 tire, you definitely don't need to carry two different spares. Or just carry a 26" tube because it is the smallest/lightest (except for options like Tubolito or similar) and can be stretched into any size to help out any rider who may need a tube. Not to mention the fact that since tubeless tires became a thing and now that we have great tire inserts, I know people who haven't flatted in years and only carry a tube for the sake of preparedness or to give to someone else who is a newbie or is facing a bout of bad luck.
  • 2 0
 @Jakesmith32: same. I ride a 29, but carry a 26 tube so I can help just about anyone else on the trail since it will fit the larger wheels too.
  • 1 1
 2024 bike predictions - all bikes will be 29/27.5 mullets.
  • 3 0
 I'm not so sure about that.
  • 5 8
 So they have basically put a 29" fork and wheel on the front and called it the new bronson
  • 5 8
 Yawn
  • 3 6
 Yawn..
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