Santa Cruz Driver 8

Jan 29, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
Source: Santa Cruz Bikes

Here's our new bike. We call it the Driver 8.

It has 8 inches of next-generation VPP rear wheel travel. It also has enough room to raise or lower the seat through a 7-inch range. It's got a 1.5" head tube, an 83mm wide bb with ISCG05 mounts and 150mm rear spacing with a Maxle thru-axle. So, just what kind of bike is it supposed to be?We designed the Driver 8 to be a general duty, daily driver gravity hauler. It is a super tough, super versatile bike that is ideal for life at Whistler. It's a damn good long travel high speed trail bike (Wait, is that freeriding, or all-mountain high speed trail riding? What about low speed, sphincter pinching gnarl? Does it speak with a Canadian accent? Man, this gets confusing...)

12mm Maxle rear thru-axle

12mm Maxle rear thru-axle

12mm Maxle rear thru-axle

12mm Maxle rear thru-axle

83mm bottom bracket with ISCG 05 mounts

83mm bottom bracket with ISCG 05 mounts


Anyway, it's a kickass park bike, more lively and poppable and jumpable than the V-10. And it is also a very handy downhill race bike, probably a better race choice for most riders who aren't World Cup pros on most courses that aren't World Cup courses. But it can still plow through big rocks and huge drops with the best of them. 8 inches of travel is still a whole lot of cushion for the pushin'...

8

8" of next-generation VPP travel

Mud flap shock cover

Mud flap shock cover

Mud flap shock cover

Mud flap shock cover


When the seat is slammed all the way down (7 inches of up and down adjustability, remember?), it is in a similar fore/aft location to the seat on a V-10, but can be run even lower. However, due to the angle of the seat mast, when the seat is raised up as far as it will go, the pedaling position is about the same as that of the Nomad, which is a pretty good location to kick at the cranks and point a bike uphill.

7 inches of up and down seat adjustability

7 inches of up and down seat adjustability


With regard to that "general duty, daily driver" comment, we've gone heavy duty with the VPP links. The upper link is carbon fiber, insanely strong, and pivots on four beefy radial contact sealed cartridge bearings. The lower link gets grease ports for easy service, huge 15mm pivot axles with the same trick locking collet head feature as the Blur LT, Nomad and new Blur XC, and it swings on EIGHT angular contact bearings. All bearing sets, top and bottom, are encased in a further set of lip seals and labyrinth washers to further combat the ingress of dirt. The bike comes with its own grease gun, and you won't need a personal mechanic to deal with any of that.

Carbon fiber upper link with 4 radial contact sealed bearings

Carbon fiber upper link with 4 radial contact sealed bearings

Easy service grease ports

Easy service grease ports


You can call it a freeride bike, if you're into that. You can call it a park bike. You can call it a downhill bike. It can do all that, and more. We're sticking to our guns. We call it the Driver 8.


-$2399 US MSRP, powdercoat frame w/RockShox Vivid 5.1
-$2561 US MSRP w/Fox DHX RC4
-(add $200 for anodized finish)

Click here for full geometry details

Available to customers mid-May, 2009, in all the usual powder coat colors as well as an anodized, as yet to be named, sort of golden color.

*Accepting orders for FRAMESETS now

*Accepting complete bike orders April 1st, 2009

For more info including sizing and geometry, please visit www.santacruzmtb.com.


213 Comments

  • 21 8
 looks good!!
  • 89 11
 no, it looks sex Smile
  • 24 2
 super sick i'd love to ride one but looks exspensive
  • 26 1
 exspensive like most Santa Cruz bikes,but built well like Santa Cruz bikes
  • 14 0
 Simply amazing if you ask me! Would have to think about maybe making money for this Razz
  • 8 0
 hmm this makes my bike choice verry verry hard now
  • 13 46
flag nouser (Jan 29, 2009 at 17:14) (Below Threshold)
 No dj-jon I would say it looks a bit like a bike.
  • 4 1
 this just about perfects the freeriding catagorey, slack, long travel, single crowns bikes.
  • 6 1
 so it fox putting that DHX RC4 into production?
  • 7 0
 and im not a fan of the color and look of that one... this build though is the shit
dirtmag.co.uk/news/category/dirt-team/exclusivedriver-8-photos/dirt-1234474.html
  • 4 33
flag allenrotstein (Jan 29, 2009 at 18:16) (Below Threshold)
 the head angle is 67 degrees... not much of a "race" bike.. should be around 63 or 64.
  • 19 0
 So are you saying the V10 isn't much of a 'race' bike either? The V10 also has a 67 deg head tube angle.
  • 6 1
 too bad it's so expensive. but i guess you get what you pay for. top quality bike for sure.
  • 4 17
flag stevehayes (Jan 29, 2009 at 21:25) (Below Threshold)
 "dj-jon (5 hours ago)"
no, it looks sex

then i wanna get laid!
  • 11 0
 what the f*ck?!?!? i just bought a brand new 2009 santa cruz v10 for like 3300!!! this sucks. i could have had this one which would suit me alot better, and for a lot less
  • 2 2
 MINE!!!!
  • 4 3
 jvsomething for this sexy of a bike its not that expensive look at a V10 or Bullit. now thats really expensive. im not saying this is cheap but its better then alot of other 8in travel bikes with this setup
  • 3 0
 that price is for just the frame. not the whole setup
  • 3 0
 fatsir, the price is for the just the frame. the bullit is like 1300 for the frame or something like that. its way cheaper
  • 2 2
 really nice however there are a few things that i dont like about the bike, the seatpost tube sticking out from the frame i thing it makes it look tackie if that bit was missing you could still have your seatpost lower down. And also the plate which conects the swing arm to the frame above the shock i think needs to be slightly further back giving it a slightly higher bb if it had those things corrected then this bike really would be a nice mini v10. otherwise its a sick bike!
  • 3 4
 looks like the perfect bike for uk downhill (bar fort william)
  • 2 1
 didnt know
  • 1 5
flag m-c-soul-kid (Jan 31, 2009 at 8:57) (Below Threshold)
 "super 8" would have better suited this bike
  • 7 1
 "Super 8" was the first good downhill bike from Sta Cruz (1998 circa).. they wouldn't use the same name again
  • 1 5
flag m-c-soul-kid (Feb 1, 2009 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 y the f*ck not?
  • 2 0
 Well lets puts it this way. Why don't they name the h3 the h1? They don't produce the h1s anymore... Well theres your answer... Its not the same thing and it would be dumb using the same name twice.
  • 2 0
 say it wasn't used twice, wouldn't u rather say "i own a super 8" appose to a driver 8?
  • 1 0
 "graphxxx" is right.. it's like dating 3 or 4 girls with the same name, bad luck :-(
  • 2 0
 I know that name Convo was over ages ago but they named it after a dog that was called driver and belonged to the company but died
  • 1 0
 That bike looks rather Amazing. The way the frame is built, kinda reminds me of a Foes. The way it looks, like a V-10 and a Foes had a kid. But im not a fan of how the seat post is. Its probably strong, but id bet that is gonna be the first broken part on the frame.
  • 0 0
 That's what I thought. Like they were trying to get into the same realm as the Fly, though I don't think anything is as versatile as that bike.
  • 1 0
 sngltrkmnd - I agree!~ NO FD...Hard work bringing a bike like this to the top of a trail in a 36T in Mammoth CA. As old as my Highline is getting at least they can run a front der and really, really do what this bike claims to be able to do. At least they gave you a 30.9 diam seat tube so you could run telescopic post to really get leg extension. Guess I'm a hater.
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or is this anticlimactic after all the anticipation waiting for the next bike to replace the VP Free? This bike just doesn’t have the sex appeal that I expected. I’ll keep my old VP Free for now and when it dies I’ll probably end up getting one of these, but luckily my old rig still has lots of life in it.
  • 2 0
 This bike is so sick. Props to santa cruz for designing it. The v10 is just too much of a bike so to have 8 inches on the same platform is awesome
  • 1 1
 is is me, or does this frame look different from this one:

http://dirtmag.co.uk/news/category/dirt-team/exclusivedriver-8-photos/dirt-1234474.html

maybe the black one is more of a prototype and this ano orange is more of a production? idk... but i like the looks ofthis one much better
  • 0 0
 nope frames the same just gloss black
  • 0 0
 So, it seems like you could throw a dual crown fork on there and have a sick race bike. It looks to me like they headed in the same direction as Trek did with their top DH bike. Session 10 was huge so they needed a lighter race bike with less travel so they made the Session 88. Although Trek changed the rear suspension design and Santa Cruz didn't really, the though is the same, make a smaller travel bike that is lighter and more versatile.
  • 0 0
 i think freeride bikes are just fake
many riders talk about freeride a way off life,
but is fk=&%· expensive,
so is not FREEride
why instead of making expencive bikes,create something more economic with the same stuff?
is just my opinion so dont talk shit to me
  • 0 0
 The fact it is "freeride" what you are talking about, does not necesarily mean you get it for free (this is all stuf you gotta pay for dude). Now what? You are saying have them make different bikes out of the same stuff. If I charge you £1 for 1 kilo of bread, you can either make stars, baguettes or turn the dough into other shape like forms, but you still be getting £1 for each kilo. I know this is just your opinion, but do not worry as I am not talking shit to you.
  • 0 0
 i like it. it meets a lot of dh racers and freeriders needs. a jumpier and livlier v10? that sounds just right.
but my race season starts in april and this thing aint ready till mid may.... darn it, back to the bigger bikes.
i think sc could have timed release better, but the bike is just rad.
  • 0 0
 I have been waiting for this bike to be released ever since the announcement of the end of the VP Free. I think this bike will be an amazing ride. I'm glad they lowered the BB from 15.4in to a respectable 14.5in (even though I think it should be lower still). I'm skeptical of the 67 degree head tube. Seems a little steep to me. Aesthetics play no part whatsoever in my bike buying decisions, but I do think this bike looks pretty cool.

On another note: Dazem: if you want a nomad that's built for DH and slopestyle, check out the intense SS. Pretty similar to what you're looking for...
  • 0 0
 For those that are upset with the name, it was named the Driver 8 for sentimental reasons. It is named after the SC mascot. A malamute/wolf cross that has been with the company for over 10 years. He passed away a couple weeks before this press release.
  • 0 0
 pretty damn sexy bike,but stuck to the past......ok v10 rocks but they just put a Totem solo in front and some changes and we have a new bike..???? I think it belongs to last years aesthetics...that was put out now....
Totem takes the credit...!
would love to ride it though...
  • 2 0
 i wouldnt mind getting my hands on one of those,but that price is a bit to high
  • 2 1
 If they wanted a truely versatile big bike, they would have made a front derailer possible as well. Looks like a fun bike though.
  • 0 0
 i dunno, it seems like its being labeled a park bike/light DH. not really much cause for a granny gear when you've got a chairlift or shuttle.

In any case, this bike looks beautiful, and I might just have to upgrade my frame this summer. tup
  • 0 0
 could you still do a hammerschmidt though? I don't remember how the cabling worked on those things...
  • 0 0
 On their site they say you can, but that it might adversely affect suspension performance when in the low gears.
  • 1 0
 The Bullit is their versatile big bike. This is a light DH bike. Intense has the M6/Socom, now SC has the V10/Driver 8
  • 0 4
flag seraph (Jan 31, 2009 at 0:09) (Below Threshold)
 The Bullit is a sad excuse for a "versatile big bike." You can only be so versatile with a single pivot.
  • 0 0
 what a great idea, thats a great free ride bike for santa cruz, the only thing i dont on the frame is where the linkage meats by the seat post, it makes the seat look like it sticks way out the back
  • 1 0
 you know if they can drop off 2 inches of travel from the v-10 they should drop off $2000 from the price of the full bike hehe but thats just me
  • 0 1
 Great looking bike, but not much of a daily driver. Single drive up front with no derailleur guide in sight. I'd hate to pedal that hulking beast up hill! With a shuttle or lift is how you'd get to the top. It is intended to bomb descents. Santa Cruz is almost a boutique bike company; if it wasn't for the Syndicate would anyone realy know them?
  • 0 0
 dh bikes keep getting less and less travel maybe they'll soon be back on hardtails again - I personally don't like the look of this, although it does look nicer than Intense's offerings - Gimme the Foes RS7 any day!
  • 0 0
 personally, i think it looks terrible and bulky. santa cruz bikes always looked very thought out and refined, this one looks sloppy and thrown together. i'm sure it gets the job done though
  • 0 0
 for ne one thats interested the actul price after going and doin some research is about 5700 as a complete look 4 urself at this site: dirtmag.co.uk/news/category/dirt-team/exclusivedriver-8-photos/dirt-1234474.html
  • 2 1
 For some reason I'd go with this over the V-10 for racing. Something about having 8-8 makes it seem a much better platform.
  • 2 2
 Kind of a steep headtube for a full fledged race bike... 67 degrees
  • 1 0
 Same head tube angle as the V-10.
  • 4 0
 On paper the head angles are the same, but remember the V-10 is designed for a HUGE amount of sag. When you sit on either of those, the V-10 will be slacker.
  • 0 0
 Santa Cruz needs to loosen up, the head angle on the V-10 is way too steep and slightly too steep on the D-8 IMHFO
  • 0 0
 yes but, the steeper the head tube angle,the better the braking and handling,But the looser headtube angle the better extreme high speed stability (85 KPH+)..but all these things can be counter acted by suspention design..the VPP gives the V-10 very good high speed stablitily, with a steep head tube angle,why wouldnt the Driver 8 be as good or better?
  • 2 0
 I think they designed this bike specifically for me.
  • 2 0
 I got my credit card ready! LOL
  • 0 0
 Looks nice but the article doesn't mention the geometry or weight of the frame. Would be nice to test ride one of these for sure.
  • 1 0
 Geo on medium sized frame:
tt=22.8
st=17.5
HA=67
wb=44.3
cs=17.4
bb height = 14.5
Built around 560mm A2C fork
  • 1 0
 Looks like it's time to upgrade. I have a VP-free and can't wait to check this one out..
  • 0 2
 Seat mast looks ridiculous to me. This bike is not something that you'd really want to pedal anywhere too far. This is how it should have been done:
http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/2943610/
  • 2 0
 So sick!!! My credit card just jumped out of my wallet!
  • 0 0
 The straight-up seatpost really kills it. I'm sure it rides like a dream, but they could have designed it to be a bit more badass-looking.
  • 1 0
 looks good but with 17.4 chainstays i have to say thanks but no thanks. give me a 16.9 option and I'm right on board
  • 0 0
 the frame is only 500 dollars less then the V10..i wonder if the price will drop on it next year or something it seems like it should be cheaper
  • 2 3
 i have had 4 v10 over the last few years but this is the bike that i have been waiting for the hole time the vp free was a big bunch of crap to tall and to weak santa cruz finally got it
  • 0 0
 That has to be one of the nicest bikes i have ever seen.Its a V10 turned into a freeride bike plus a few other features added to make it better.
  • 1 0
 My pants are no longer clean... I want one. That could be the sickest bike I've ever seen.
  • 0 0
 nice looking but i don't like the untidy gussets, should be integrated in hydroformed tubes / monocoque.

the rearend looks sick though... nice design.
  • 2 0
 where did my wife hide my credit card????
lol

think its worth a devorce!
  • 3 1
 i want one
  • 2 1
 Oh damn that thing is hottt
  • 2 1
 this is my dream dh bike!
  • 2 0
 omfg thats a ride
  • 1 0
 kinda looks like a v 10 with single crown
  • 1 0
 cant find it on their site. any suggestions?
  • 1 0
 ya i cant find it anyone have more pics?
  • 1 0
 wow, i just found my next bike! Smile
  • 0 0
 ive just bought a commencal supreme 2. Wish i would had seen this sooner, this bike looks the bolx.
  • 0 0
 I'm so jealous of that mud-flap for the shock, I've been trying to engineer one for my vp-free but no success yet.
  • 1 0
 That, is a god among bikes.
  • 1 0
 bad ass bike man. my search for a new ride is over!
  • 0 0
 to the guy who made a pic of it but shorter..yes it looks better but i guarenttee that there is a reason they didnt
  • 0 0
 whats the difference between that and the v10 its got the same specs... besides the head tube and bb
  • 0 0
 Um...the Driver 8 has 8 inches of travel, hence the name.
  • 0 0
 I liek this ....a shorter travel V10

Its very nice Smile I f I had the cash id buy one
  • 2 0
 VP-Free replacement?
  • 0 0
 The VP Free has been out of production for many years now.
  • 0 0
 I know, but I was told it was because they couldn't keep up with the demand and were exporting the production to Taiwan(?) like the rest of their frames... Same with the V10...

Although its about time they re-juvenate the VP-free...

In any case it's always nice to see new frames with already efficient and proven suspension designs.
  • 0 0
 bout time they replaced the vp-free. looks great. how long have they been without an 8 inch park bike?
  • 1 0
 Since the Super 8.
  • 0 1
 the super 8 was gone way before the vp-free. i'm wondering when the vp-free was canceled
  • 1 0
 Santa Cruz hasn't made an 8 inch travel bike since the Super 8. The VP Free has 7.5" of travel.
  • 0 1
 what you said right there... ughghghg... i'm gonna leave this one alone...
  • 0 0
 Whatever, I was just answering your question. "how long have they been without an 8 inch park bike?" I'd say about 10 years.
  • 0 0
 i think i have to work really really hard now... earn some cash.. and buy this bike!
  • 0 0
 when do they come out??
ive been waiting for santa cruz to build a nice DH/Freeride bike
looks super sick
  • 0 0
 May 2009.
  • 0 0
 I heard it is the same geometry as the VP Free. But It is still a sick Bike!!!! Looks Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0 0
 the welds are very clean on that bike. nice craftsmanship and extra steeze for the anodizing.
  • 1 0
 looks like il b robbing a bank in may !!
  • 0 0
 First new bike in a while that i genuinly want to own. My next DH frame i think.
  • 1 0
 looks like a "baby" V10.. not my cup of tea, but nice bike though..
  • 1 0
 wow thats a sexzy santa cruz.
  • 0 0
 thats nice! bikes are getting more versatile now... How much does that weigh?
  • 2 1
 Looks so dope
  • 1 1
 No information on the shock size?
  • 0 0
 driver 8 or a session 88, the decisions just keep getting harder.
  • 0 0
 the driver 8! of course lol
  • 1 1
 I will steal, plunder, whatever I have to do to get that bike.
  • 0 1
 Just don't steal any vans that belong to bike shops.
  • 0 0
 veryyyyyyy niceeeeeeeeeeeee........................................
  • 0 0
 So freakin nice...I think I found my next bike...
  • 0 0
 Its got a 8.75"x2.75" shock
  • 0 0
 like a v10 but freeride....NICE...i used to freeride a v10:P
  • 1 0
 how'd that go for ya?
  • 0 0
 watch the videos on my sdegment....and well it felt great freeriding....:P
  • 0 0
 Awesome bike but i will stick to the v-10
  • 0 0
 It looks very simliar to a v-10 frame. Its very good looking.
  • 0 1
 seems like the same technology of the v10 just in a smaller slightly more affordable package
  • 1 0
 The frame costs $2400, how is that affordable?
  • 0 0
 not affordable in that sense but still cheaper than the v10 frame
  • 0 0
 this is much better looking than all the other photos previously listed
  • 1 1
 reminds me of the old BIGHIT with a vpp rear end
  • 0 0
 well i just found my next bike
  • 0 0
 :OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Woah
  • 0 0
 i just fucking jizzed in my pants
  • 0 0
 well you can count me out of 2200 bucks. I'm gonna have to buy it.
  • 0 0
 pure sex, too bad its 2,500 for just the frame
  • 0 0
 HOW DID THEY KNOW!!!!!???????????? there is a god
  • 0 0
 Dam! I just bought a Nomad! Nice Ride!
  • 0 0
 oh god!
it looks great!
oh my god i want one
ahhhhhhh!

Smile
  • 0 0
 Yeah, I wan one too.
Now! :-)
Love it! (except the colour!)
  • 0 0
 Nice Nice Nice but color is suck
  • 0 0
 turn my screen off !! i cant stop watching at it !
  • 0 0
 grease fittings? its about time someone thought of that!
  • 0 0
 It's called Campagnolo. They've been putting grease port fittings on their components since the 70s.
  • 0 0
 Another reason to work mon-fri from 7am to 16pm Big Grin
  • 0 0
 Driver 8? Silly name. They should have named it the V8.
  • 0 0
 I like curves in other kind of babys
  • 0 0
 and i like the colour
  • 0 0
 id pick a v10 over this anyday
  • 1 1
 it should be called santa cruz V8 Big Grin
  • 0 0
 id be to scared to damage it its no nice Frown
  • 0 0
 I'm more an Intense fan but this bike rocks!!!
  • 0 1
 wikid bike, but y they put carbon blumin fibre on it :S, snaps n craks well easy...
  • 0 0
 Is this a complete bike for $2561 USD?
  • 0 0
 So nice, I want to ride thats bike just for fun...
  • 2 2
 looks sweet
  • 0 0
 Sick bike!
  • 0 0
 nice ride
  • 0 0
 sick ride
  • 0 0
 dual crown?
  • 0 0
 sick
  • 0 0
 I like it, seems dialied
  • 0 0
 sexxy bike there
  • 0 0
 where do i sign?
  • 0 0
 no me gusta
  • 0 0
 how does it look weak
  • 0 1
 almost as cool as a giant glory dh...
  • 0 0
 huge! I like!!
  • 0 0
 sick bike man
  • 0 0
 sex on wheels
  • 0 0
 lovely bike Big Grin
  • 0 1
 i think its pretty ugly tbh
  • 0 0
 RAD!!!!!
  • 0 0
 Looks very stunning!
  • 0 1
 awesom bike... Price ? Date ?
  • 0 0
 $2400 USD for the frame, taking orders now, available sometime in May.
  • 1 1
 there is my next fully.
  • 0 1
 will someones buy it for me :p pwease
  • 0 0
 cool bike
  • 1 2
 id sell my car for that bike ! Smile
  • 2 2
 man that thing is ugly
  • 0 1
 yes my future bike.............santa cruz the reference.
  • 0 0
 that bike looks sweet
  • 0 0
 not a bad looking bike
  • 0 0
 no frame only.
  • 0 0
 soooooooo sick
  • 0 3
 sock, mini v10
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