The Evolution of the Santa Cruz V10

Jan 17, 2019
by Paul Aston  


Words by Paul Aston


The V10 is Santa Cruz's flagship racing weapon, and a staple of World Cup downhill history up to this day. After seventeen years and seven iterations, the storied chassis has numerous World Cup race wins under its belt and four World Championships, thanks to Minnaar in 2012 and 2013, Peaty in 2009 and Bryceland as a junior in 2008. Along with an incalculable palmares worldwide, the V10 has been between the legs of a mass of legendary pinners: Crawford Carrick Anderson, Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland. More recently, Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier have taken the latest V10 to the forefront of the race circuit, with lots of time left in their careers to achieve much more.


An Icon is Born:

The original V10 caused an absolute storm when it was first released in 2002. In a collaboration between Intense and Santa Cruz, the original virtual pivot patent was licensed from Outland, coined Virtual Pivot Point (VPP), and bikes were launched that would change the industry. Intense launched their M3 with a ridiculous – at the time – 9.5" / 241mm of travel, while Santa Cruz went for the full 10" / 255mm travel, receiving the historic V10 moniker.

Not only was the all-new suspension system crazy at the time, but it also had progressive geometry, a

V10 Mk1, 2002-2004 Details

Designer: Neal Saiki
Frame material: 6000 series aluminum
Wheelsize: 26"
Fork travel: 150 - 200 mm
Rear wheel travel: 255mm
Head angle: 67°
Wheelbase (Large): 1199mm
Fun fact: Rob Roskopp broke his collarbone testing one.

floating brake arm, and probably weighed an imperial and metric shit-tonne.

You think the industry is pushing new standards on us all the time? Well, looking back at the original V10 it's a bit easier to understand: the original V10 has a tiny little 1-1/8th head tube, a custom-sized Hadley 140 x 15mm rear hubs, and 26" wheels. The geometry looks dated as well, but back then it was cutting edge: 67° head angle, 15.7″ / 399mm BB height (albeit with 40% of the 255mm travel recommended as sag), a 47.2″ / 1199mm wheelbase (Large), and 17.5″ / 445mm chainstays.

Notable pinners upon the bike in this era were Crawford Carrick Anderson, and Radek Burkat, our very own Pinkbike founder.


Charge of the Race Brigade:

2005 saw the second mark of the V10 land with a much sleeker silhouette. Peaty joined in 2006 and the Syndicate was born - arguably the most important step in the V10's history and possibly a turning point in the entire Santa Cruz tale.

The geometry was updated slightly, most importantly losing an inch off the bottom bracket height and the wheelbase. Recommended fork travel back then was 160-200mm but can you imagine running 160mm at the helm of your downhill rig?

V10 Mk2, 2005-2007 Details

Designers: Joe Graney and Dave Allen
Frame material: 6000 series aluminum, monocoque front triangle
Wheelsize: 26"
Fork travel: 160 - 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 255mm
Head angle: 67°
Wheelbase (Large): 1176mm
Fun fact: The chainstay was longer than the reach.

The formative years of the Syndicate included legends like Nathan Rennie, Jamie Goldman, and John Waddell alongside Steve Peat.



The Gold Years:

To the untrained eye, the Mk2 and Mk3 bikes were very similar, and this step probably saw the least change between any versions. Kinematics were updated, a more modern 25-30% sag was suggested and the travel was reduced by 1mm to 254mm.

The three-piece alloy upper link became a one-piece carbon affair, marking the start of a transition to the black stuff. The bottom bracket got lower again, the head angle was now a serious 66.5º and the rear hub was an 'industry standard' 150mm x 12mm.

2008 saw Greg Minnaar being welcomed to the Syndicate and immediately winning the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup overall. A young Rat was now on board too, and he won the UCI Junior

V10 Mk3, 2007-2010 Details

Designer: Dave Allen
Frame material: 6000 series aluminum, monocoque front triangle, carbon linkage
Wheelsize: 26"
Fork travel: 180 - 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 254mm
Head angle: 66.5°
Wheelbase (Large): 1184mm
Fun facts: Made at Sapa in Portland Oregon. The monocoque front triangle is responsible for Dave Allen's missing hair. Longer reach front triangles were welded up for Peaty at the factory in Santa Cruz.

Downhill World Championships and gave Santa Cruz their first taste of gold. The following year saw one of the most iconic race wins in history, with Steve Peat finally won that dammed gold medal in Canberra, 2009. This was a race that he was never expected to win, with a smooth pedal BMX-like track where racers were doing everything they could for speed: riding trail and enduro bikes, slick tires, cutting off parts of their pedals to save weight and not wearing knee pads for the final. Peaty just rode the big-rig in full knee and shin pads to take the win.



Black Beauty:

The Mk4 used an all carbon fiber front triangle which produced a svelte and sleek racing machine. This bike was a sight to behold, and one of the first modern DH bikes to have a reliable carbon structure.

The Mk4 also made a huge bound in terms of geometry: the head angle could be set a full 3.5º slacker than its predecessor at a now-normal 63º, the bottom bracket could also be lowered to 14", there was an XL size added and the bike could now be run with 216mm or 254mm travel.

Despite the revolution that had taken place with the bike, the 2011 season was very quiet for the Syndicate with Minnaar bagging wins in La Bresse and Fort William in 2011, a solid achievement but not what was expected from the powerhouse team.
V10 Mk4, 2011-2012 Details

Designer: Nick Anderson
Frame material: Carbon front and aluminum rear triangles
Wheelsize: 26"
Fork travel: 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 216 - 254mm
Head angle: 63 - 67°
Wheelbase (Large): 1184 - 1217mm
Fun facts: One of the first production carbon DH bikes. Partnered with Enve to make prototype carbon swingarms for the 2010 race season. The tooling was machined at the Santa Cruz factory and Enve molded the swingarms.

2012 was also fairly quiet, except when Minnaar took victory on home soil in Pietermaritzburg in March, but then added another chunk of gold to the V10 vault when he won another World Championship in Leogang.

Santa Cruz V10 carbon


Makeover Time:

I don't think many will argue when I say that some of the early incarnations of the V10 verged heavily on the side of the beast rather than beauty. The 2013 model was a complete carbon-fiber affair and Santa Cruz really used this material to their advantage to create a sleek bike that had a form that flowed almost seamlessly whichever way you looked at it. It was almost organic in nature, where the original was clearly a human-made monster.

Nothing much had changed from the Mk4, just a sleeker silhouette and attention to details cared for.

2013 saw the Syndicate back to a full charge, with Minnaar taking another World Championship gold and another home victory, along with the World Cup Series overall. 2014 saw Minnaar continue at the top of his game, and the talented Bryceland finally
V10 Mk5, 2013-2014 Details

Designer: Nick Anderson
Frame material: Carbon
Wheelsize: 26"
Fork travel: 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 216 - 254mm
Head angle: 64 - 65°
Wheelbase (Large): 1196 - 1222mm
Fun facts: Josh Bryceland was the last person on 26-inch wheels to win a DH world cup with this bike at Leogang in 2014. Same front end as Mk4 but lighter lay-up and a production carbon swingarm. Probably the lightest production DH bike ever made. Better tires, bigger wheels, better shocks and forks have all increased speed and added weight and strength since then.

come into his element. Josh took to the podium multiple times, managing a 3rd, two 2nd places and two 1st places at the UCI World Cup and took home the overall series win. Many of us remember what happened next on that fateful day in Hafjell. Clearly up on time with a flow nobody else took to that track, Josh headed for a World Championship win. Pressing the full send button over the last bridge jump saw a huge flat landing and a blown-off foot that was barely attached to his leg as he crossed the finish line 0.47 seconds from the win – this unfortunate day marked the pinnacle of his career and ultimately the start of his retreat from downhill racing.

2013 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon - Check out the V10 at
2013 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon - Check out the V10 at


Wheelie Bigger:

Bryceland was the last man to win a World Cup on 26" wheels, but the big wheel ball had started rolling and Santa Cruz had to jump on the bandwagon. The Mk6 came with 27.5" wheels and the adjustable travel option was removed, with it being set at 216mm.

The frame was beefed up and the tube profiles were much bigger all around, which is the direction the wheels also quickly went in. The Syndicate rode the 27.5" bike in '15 and '16 but the following off-season saw some major changes. Greg Minnaar and his mechanic had been pushing for those few seasons to get bigger frames for the tall South African. It was
V10 Mk6, 2015 - 2018 Details

Designer: Nick Anderson
Frame material: Carbon C or CC
Wheelsize: 27.5"
Fork travel: 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 216mm
Head angle: 63.5°
Wheelbase (Large): 1220mm
Fun facts: Josh Bryceland finished 2014 season on this bike and won the Overall the World Cup title. He also broke his ankle overshooting a jump at the 2014 World Championships.

around this time that we finally had 29er trail bikes that handled well, instead of bikes that had been squashed to hit the magical number on geometry charts. With that faff over and done with, and much stronger wheels and tires available, the Syndicate set about a secret mission to bring a real big-rig to the start line in Lourdes, 2017.

A winter of confidence-building testing with swingarm mules added to existing front triangles ensued. The team, now consisting of Minnaar, Vergier, and Shaw was ready for battle. A few carbon swingarms landed just in time for Lourdes, and the pits were mostly s***ing themselves when the freshly-formed team qualified 1st, 3rd and 6th. Rain adjusted the true course of that race, but enough had been done to cause mass-panic for other teams as the scramble started to bodge big-wheelers together ready for Fort William five weeks later.

Santa Cruz V10C review test

Santa Cruz V10 29

Mk7 Stunner:

2019. The seventh edition of the V10 popped up in Fort William during 2018. An all-new bike dedicated to 29" wheels. We weren't really sure of any numbers, but it looked the part, even if some people didn't like the curved underbelly of the bike.

Recently, we were treated to the full details of the V10 that aims to be the best yet. With a total of six frame sizes across 27.5" and 29" versions, separate molds and layups for the wheel sizes respectively, and changing chainstay lengths to give a better balance for each size. The sizing is also the widest to date and should be able to accommodate nearly all sizes of rider, with 410mm to 492mm of reach. The details have also been accounted for, with integrated fork bumpers, downtube protection
V10 Mk7 2019+ Details

Designers: Nick Anderson and Jack Russell
Frame material: Carbon
Wheelsize: 27.5 and 29"
Fork travel: 200mm
Rear wheel travel: 215mm
Head angle: 63.3°
Wheelbase (Large 29"): 1289mm
Fun facts: 2017 prototype was the first 29" DH bike raced at a World Cup. This project wasn't actually that fun. The bike was mostly designed over the Christmas break by Jack and Nick almost exactly a year ago in order to have it ready for the 2018 WC season.

for rocks and shuttle truck damage, an integrated shock mudguard and ribbed chainstay protector.

Minnaar put himself out of contention to prove the new V10 after breaking his arm, but Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier stepped up to the task. The Qualifying King, Luca, never sealed any deals, but teammate Vergier managed to give the prototype its maiden win in Vallnord.

The 27.5" version of the Mk7

2019 sees the Mk7 in full production, and we're eager to see how Santa Cruz, and the Syndicate, continue to develop and take titles with this legendary platform.


  • 87 2
 Need the Super 8 to really give perspective.
  • 5 1
 I remember mine fondly, great bike.
  • 24 1
 It inspired many of designers at Orange and filing cabinet manufacturers
  • 7 1
Except the rear end would constantly crack Frown went through like 3 of em before they were out of stock and i was SOL.
warranty was poop.
Ha ha.
Still bitter about that .
  • 15 16
 There you go everybody! All lined up for you,just so you can see gawd-awful ,fugly the new bike is! Neg away! I'm impervious to your peer based slights!
  • 4 0
 @scary1: I actually prefer the Mk5 being honest
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: absolutely!
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: True, but I raced it and loved it, ended up selling it to Rob Jarman back in the day
  • 2 0
 @Gavalar66: top lad and rider he is
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: we should get a poll option on this article. Seriously. I bet the MK5 would take the win for favorite.
  • 67 0
  • 8 0
 Back when you needed all 10'' of travel
  • 12 1
 Yes the true Pioneer of freeride. The man who showed the world that it was in fact possible to land huge drops!
  • 6 0
 Was looking for this. His kranked part on the green one was insane.
  • 3 1
 Now that was a man.
  • 2 0
 Klausen sent it big on all the santa cruz bikes!
  • 81 39
 Heya Paul! A few correction here and there.

First of all, I find it disappointing that you only mention Johnny Waddell as a footnote on the initial Syndicate team, but you do mention Crawford Carrick-Anderson and... Radek Burkat, because he is a founder of Pinkbike??? I know you're a Brit and I love Crawford, and although he raced World Cups he was mostly known in the UK scene, but not worldwide and not on a V10, since he rode for Giant UK most of his life, so rather ATX-DH's and DH-Team's for him. And how the hell is Radek Burkat relevant for the V10.1, because I have no clue?

Johnny is worth more than a mention, though. He was on Derin Stockton Intense Tire Systems team together with fellow aussie Joel Panozzo, a team that was the first to race (and probably develop) the first iteration of the V10. He was an up and coming rider, had great result, got a Red Bull sponsorship, but unfortunately was taken out but that horrific crash in Mont Sainte Anne in 2004. Not only that he teleported himself into a coma and ended his DH racing career abruptly, but dude had to learn how to freaking walk again! Santa Cruz were luckily c̶o̶o̶l̶ human enough to fully support him while he was recovering (which also says a lot about their character as a company) and even offered him an XC spot on the initial Syndicate team. As far as I know, Johnny rode XC back in Australia to some success and is a great comeback story.

Long story short: Waddell and Panozzo are much more relevant to the V10 than good guy Crawford and the founder of this site.

Also, the first V10 was rather contemporary with the last incarnation of the M1, not the M3. The M3 became available for customers in 2005, but it was raced to World Champ stripes by Vanessa Quin in Les Gets 2004. So there's a good 2-3 year gap between the V10.1 and the M3.

Have a good day, cheers!
  • 1 28
flag Richt2000 (Jan 17, 2019 at 2:58) (Below Threshold)
 Move over Randy, we have a new unsung hero!
(Unless Jonny spawned Randy?!?!?)
  • 78 15
 I think complaining about the minutiae of the relevance of certain riders from 15-20 years ago isn't something to argue over. They are all legends in their own right and all got a mention, I never saw Waddel ride, ever, but did see Anderson around many times, on video parts in my youth, so maybe I am biased.

I can't find any results from Waddel racing for Syndicate, I could only find that he was injured in MSA in 2003, the Syndicate formed in 2006 and I believe he was on the team but not competing? I don't know when CCA joined Santa Cruz, but if he joined in 2002 when the first V10 was made, he would have raced 11x WC/Champs on a V10. If Waddel also had the V10 from 2002, he would have raced four times, his fifth was the day he got injured, unfortunately.

Waddel and CCA raced against each other 8-times, Waddel was the victor of 5 of these, but the total race time showed only six seconds between them - basically equal.

CCA raced 38 World Cup and some Championships with three top tens.
Waddel raced 15, best results being 5x top tens with 2x 5th places.

Waddel's career cut short by a terrible injury, Anderson was deaf. - Overall, I would say they are equally legendary.

I mentioned Radek because it was funny to click the link to see Radek the giant riding such a tiny bike, it was one of the first pictures on PB and they actually had a small race team back then. Radek is also the dude that means you get to read all of this stuff for free!
  • 19 0
 Luna Chicks. Marla Streb & Kathy Pruitt were onboard the mark one. Strong presence on the WC back in the day.
  • 14 1
 I witnessed Waddells crash in person right there. The jump was pretty massive and a lot of people crashed HARD on it through the day. Such a poorly thought out feature (a massive jump you would overshoot because it basically had a massive run in for it). Was a pretty scary thing to witness.

Waddell was a top 20 guy at the time. He was known to everyone in racing then and now. He only lost relevance in racing due to that accident. At any rate, welcome to the sport, apparently....
  • 22 12
 @paulaston: Paul Johnny and Joel WERE the Santa Cruz team back then, first as SunRace/Santa Cruz, then as the Intense Tire Systems of Derin Stockton, along the Houseman brothers, although I can't recall precisely if Joel was onboard this team too. Johnny was also featured in Kranked 5 with Eric Peters and I think Jordie Lunn was on SunRace/Santa Cruz too. Here's the Kranked 5 part:

This was as close as possible to a factory squad, before the Syndicate was even an idea. CCA is awesome in his own respect, but a local sponsored rider who did World Cups too, not a factory rider by any chance. Johnny was seen as a big hope back then, validated by Red Bull, as I mentioned, but everything changed with that crash. So he definitely is worth mentioning in full light.

Maybe you don't like my comment, but I think that the passion for MTB and correct info is what we have or should have in common, so you shouldn't mind discussions on such details. Wink

Otherwise, I respect what Radek did with Pinkbike, but he still shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as professional DH racers, probably more as a ”BTW, fun fact”. Or is the color commentator of the Chicago Bulls on the same level as Michael Jordan?

Anyway, thanks for the reply! I will look into a stash of mags to dig up some info about the SunRace/Santa Cruz team and the ITS team, because I am just a bit curious about them and I guess few remember them. Oh, BTW, you mentioned WC results, probably compared on Roots & Rain, but bear in mind that back then NORBA was important too and some racing was done on those shores.

  • 4 3
 @deadbeat: Yesss, of course! Those awesome girls too! I vividly remember them in 2002 in Kaprun. Smile
  • 8 25
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 17, 2019 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 @paulaston: luckily most websites are still free but for home longer? I hate when people are like o you should be thankful people provide us peasants with a free bike website? You kidding me I mean thanks but he’s not saving the world and I’m sure reddick or whatever makes bank off all this shit
  • 6 1
 @atrokz: lmao, used to come to the comments for satire... i guess now i gotta check the comments for the true story! good work people of PB. v10 mk3 is still my dream bikeSmile
  • 11 7
 @paulaston: Oh shhh Paul, you made a mistake own it and move on.
  • 20 3
 @mkotowski1: you must be a kid. That was a ridiculous and entitled little whining rant. For years our mtb media was only magazines. Magazines you had to pay good money for. And they were still full of ads. I loved my old MBAs back in the day and still have a stack of Decline that I thumb through for nostalgia. That said, having a site like Pinkbike, or any of the other bikes sites is a treat, and we are spoiled for it. Give your head a shake.
  • 9 9
 @paulaston: This article was awesome. I would read one for every bike that had more than 2 versions. Don't listen to these virgins about who is more important than who. Keep up the good work.
  • 4 26
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 17, 2019 at 6:54) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: not spoiled, we would be spoiled if we got free bikes but pinkbike exists and continues to do so because of advertising revenue not out of the goodness of their hearts
  • 3 22
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 17, 2019 at 6:56) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: and Aston basically said other mtb pioneers weren’t as important because they didn’t start this website? If course he’s going to give preference to his employer
  • 2 16
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 17, 2019 at 6:58) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: I still read mba....
  • 4 24
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 17, 2019 at 7:00) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: you must be an old geezer beat down by a life of subservience
  • 1 0
 @deadbeat: Yeah Kathy P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 11 4
 @paulaston: I agree with and support your shout-out to Radek. Without him and his friends, there would be no Pinkbike and hence no sweet videos like

So, show some respect, kids. Also, relax. We're talking about mountain bikes here.
  • 3 0
 @paulaston: I think you missed the biggest nae tallest legend of them all @BenCathro who kicked of his biking life riding mighty heavy V10 MK1
  • 15 1
 @paulaston Shame on you for writing a FREE ARTICLE and not specifically mentioning things that I think should have been included, and/or mentioning things I wouldn't have included. I am also offended that this article was biased because it didn't do ride comparisons against all other competing bikes from the same time period. I would also like a detailed list of all the WC mechanics for all teams as well. Maybe include XC mechanics too.
  • 5 2
 "A few correction here and there"
Eh, no.
You've not made any corrections here. You've expressed a different opinion.
  • 6 1
 @mkotowski1: Hahahaha! I must be an old geezer. I haven’t heard the term geezer in ages. Maybe I was wrong and your aren’t a child, just an intellectually stunted adult.

Sorry for my delayed response btw, I went for a ride after cashing my old age pension cheque and then got lost in Matlock reruns.
  • 1 2
 @VwHarman: well that’s just downright ignorant
  • 32 0
 Assuming that final animation is to scale, it nicely shows how bikes have become longer, lower and slacker.
  • 13 0
 The animation shows it getting sleeker through MK6, right before it started to melt.
  • 29 4
 Hey Paul. How the hell did you forget to mention Nathan Rennie when talking about the V10. I have no problem with CCA but would argue the Rennie was a far better known rider by us MTB tragics.
  • 10 11
 Oh yes, that too! But he missed on the initial World Cup riders of the V10.1 too, so no wonder there. I'm still amazed by how the founder of this site gets a mention here, but it must be some staff joke I don't get...
  • 11 2
 "The formative years of the Syndicate included legends like Nathan Rennie, Jamie Goldman, and John Waddell alongside Steve Peat."

Did you read all the text?
  • 5 1
 @Joelrider: yes I did but mentioning CCA in the introduction and not Rennie. Give me a break, most people outside of the UK wouldn’t know who CCA is. But they sure as hell know Rennie and Waddell.
  • 1 2
 @Joelrider: This is about precision here and, as old MTB fans and WC enthusiasts, we are talking about details, no biggie. Before having Peat and Minnaar, Rennie was the main DH racer on the Syndicate. Johnny Waddell was on a honorary deal, I assume, riding XC and being an ambassador (again this proves the character and huge heart of Roskopp, who was by his side even when injured), and Jamie Goldman was a freerider with some exposure, but main man was still Rennie.

And Stumpy is right about CCA. If you don't follow the British scene, you have no clue about him. This is an international site. These talks are good because we exchange information and learn things. For instance, I learned today that after riding for Giant in his younger years, CCA then switched to Santa Cruz and kept riding their bikes to this day, which is pretty awesome. So I guess it's all positive. Smile
  • 22 1
 More of this please. Good article.
  • 11 0
 Still riding my Mk4, will be for a couple more years still. It's brought me tremendous joy and I use it more than my modern trail bike.
  • 7 0
 Love my MK4. Still riding and maintaining it on a regular basis. My buddies are always saying my new trail bike is more capable, even in the bike park. Not even close. 26" wheel DH bikes make great park bikes IMO. I'm tempted by the new v10 but doubt I'll let the old one go.
  • 2 0
 I have my Mk 4 and Mk 3 still. The Mk 3 is for the neighborhood kids to use at Snowshoe. Getting the kids of West Virginia on DH bikes is more important to me than still winning races on the MK 4!
  • 13 0
 No love for Cedric Gracia, @paulaston?
  • 10 1
 The Elle Macpherson of DH bikes.
  • 4 0
 Elle still has has a flat belly Smile
  • 4 0
 Still loving my V10.5 If it ain't broke Smile

I think the current V10 with its bent down tube just looks a little broken.
I am not saying that I would not love to have one (well, that is if its better than the V10.5)
  • 3 0
 It's super cool to see the progression! Personally I'd still be shredding anything Mk4 and newer, which highlights how progressive those bikes were in the day. The 2011 Mk4 is shockingly modern in terms of geo and materials, which is something that would be hard to say about many bikes from 5 years ago much less almost 10. Once you get to the Mk3 and back, you'd gain a lot from upgrading.
  • 7 1
 Mk3 was one of the most beautiful bikes ever.
  • 4 1
 Probably one of the most iconic DH bike in my eyes. And definitely the best looking
  • 6 0
 That blue v10 is still my dream bike! Hate being poor haha
  • 4 2
 Pinkbike, mistake spotted.

Under Mk6 2015-2018 you say:
"Fun facts: Josh Bryceland finished 2014 season on this bike and won the Overall the World Cup title. He also broke his ankle overshooting a jump at the 2014 World Championships."
I think it was ment to be under Mk5.
  • 2 0
 @paulaston How does the dynamic geometry of the various bikes compare. I suspect the 40% sag puts head angle and BB height of the Mk1 not too far from the latest versions?

Interesting article, good to see how tech progresses.
  • 1 0
 According to my guesstimation it would put it at 65deg with 30% 200mm fork sag.
  • 4 1
 Wow. Starting with the mk3, the v10 just looks better and better. What a terrific looking bike and what a great article. Thanks Pinkbike for the great read!
  • 4 0
 Quick shout out to the Thomson seat post! Except for the MK7, banging for years and years.
  • 7 3
 Anyone else feel like Rat's career peaked when he sent that bridge? Me Neither.
  • 1 0
 I had the green one. Best bike I ever had. Sold it once I realized santa cruz stopped selling some parts for it. Had it 10 years. Was ridden northstar all summer long the first 4 years of its life. I think once they added grease ports to the next generation it tremendously improved the life of the bearings!
  • 5 0
 The Mk5 is the best looking version, prove me wrong.
  • 3 0
 I'd go Mk6, but they're so similar, I'll give it to you!
  • 4 0
 What no Nathan Rennie love in the "golden years" of the MK3?!?! Dude even had his own signature 5.10 shoes.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know what he's up to these days?
  • 1 0
 Does someone know the technical reason behind the stopper? On the first few generation bikes there's a little nub on the swingarm just behind where the upper linkage connects which physically prevents the rear suspension from extending. Later editions eventually abandoned this feature. Anyone know what it was for and then why they were able to go on without it?
  • 3 0
 I believe it prevents the linkage from being driven the wrong way (back-driving). With certain linkage geometries, it's possible to rotate the wrong way, leading to frame interference or tension force on an already-extended rear shock. They probably modified the linkage config on later models so the geometry itself prevented back driving.
  • 1 0
 It looks to me like a floating brake. Company's would put this on in an effort to get rid of brake jack. Look up "brake therapy" they used to make one everyone would use.
  • 1 0
 @qman11: I don't believe that's what alexsin is referring to, as the floating brake only appeared on the Mark I bike.
  • 1 0
 @mammal: yah my bad haha
  • 1 0
 By my working it’s 20 WC victories in Elite Male, the Sunn Rad+/ Vprocess is next, the Demo name features on a few as does the Trek Session style bike and the Iron Horse Sunday.
I then counted some Cannondale / Intense M1 / and GT’s under winners

Weirdly trying to find a definitive list of all WC winners is almost impossible
  • 1 0
 Oni wykastrowali fajną Freeride'ową ramę Frown
Ciekawe dokąd to będzie dalej zmierzało. Niemniej jednak zmiany są zrozumiałe - rama przeszła z Freeride'u na Downhill i to tu ma się przede wszystkim sprawdzić. Cóż. Odczucia ambiwalentne są Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Serious question: This is a long shot.... Does anyone have a floating caliper adapter and dropout assembly for a first generation SC V10 available? I have the frame but it has the 135mm dropouts without the floating caliper. The brake mount flexes enough to make the brakes honk.
  • 3 0
 Can't believe trail bikes now have 66 head angle and they said it's not good for enduro.
  • 5 1
 "Fun fact: Rob Roskopp broke his collarbone testing one." much fun
  • 2 0
 I had a first V10 15 years ago, too. . . just the weight of the frame is 6.1 kg. The spring of the rear shock absorber was titanium at the time. Basically...
  • 4 0
 Steve smith won the 2013 World Cup overall! Cool article though????
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 It'd be interesting to put a wide bar, decent brakes and tires on all of them and compare times. Probably a logistical nightmare though!
  • 1 0
 Fun fact: the chainstays in most size small bikes these days are longer than the reach. I've struggled with this for a while. I wish I could find a bike with a shorter chainstay than the reach I need...
  • 2 1
 Norco offers size-specific chain stay length on their whole lineup of suspension bikes, I believe. That would be a good place to start. Not sure if there are any other large companies that do this. My GF's size small Trance has the same chain stay length as my size large Trance... Makes no sense.
  • 2 0
 I have a 2006 v10....great bike ! Been in storage for 10 years...oh how time flys I still have it and not sure what to do with it...someone wants one hit me up
  • 1 0
 What size frame?
  • 1 0
 Anger want large v10 badly no matter condition
  • 3 0
 Jordie, Joel, and Johnny raced the first prototypes of the bike. John Waddell was/is the man.
  • 1 1
 Not a funny word about a certain Greg Minnaar who broke his V10 carbon frame in two during a training last year?

Except this, I loved that report. I would really like to see one about the evolution of the Rocky Mountain Slayer...
  • 4 0
 love my MKV, 26" wheels and all
  • 1 0
 Mk5 is still the best bike I have ridden,the only bike I could hop on and ride faster than my own bike straightaway on the 1st run.just seemed to power forward when compressed
  • 1 0
 Love every single model. The evolution of the v10 is incredible! Every year it just keeps getting better!!! I used to have the MK5 and it was a beast of a bike. I wish I could purchase the new MK7 Drool
  • 3 0
 I miss my first gen v10, loved that bike!
  • 3 0
 And just to predate the V10 I have both type Super 8's
  • 2 0
 Anyone know why travel has decreased on DH bikes over the last decade or so?

  • 2 0
 Because none needs more than 200mm of well controlled travel?
  • 2 0
 I believe the super saggy rear ate up too much speed, and with a 29er there's no place to lean back.
  • 2 3
 How anybody can think that the new bike is a nice looking thing is beyond me. It is easily one of the ugliest bikes ever created with those horrible bent lines and shit colours. Sure it's probably very functional but there are so many other bikes out there built around 29" wheels that look way better AND have had more success... I hate to say it but the current crop of 29er VPP DH race bikes are some of the ugliest machines to ever be pointed down a hill - this makes me sad. Santa Cruz have turned what is arguably the sexiest DH bike ever (Mk5/Mk6) and turned it into a steamer.
  • 1 0
 The original V10 ran a 160mm rear hub, that only Hadley made. I remember it fondly. I had a yellow mk1 and one of the first prototypes in white.
  • 2 0
 5th element rear shock for Mk1-Mk2 was far from its time! Nostalgia..
  • 1 0
 If I saw one of those green 2009 v-10s for sale I would snatch it up and ride the piss out of it. The one pictured here with the white Fox Forties. Sexy as fu.k!
  • 3 1
 What a history for a bike! Love it!
  • 2 0
 Awesome to see CCA get a mention!
  • 3 1
 Is this a lead in to team announcement???
  • 3 1
 MK7 looks like its melted in the middle...
  • 5 4
 My 1st generation V10 was the biggest hunk of crap ever!!!! Talk bout a nightmare with loose linkage and bolts!
  • 2 0
 Because of the problem, I removed the axle of the pivot and made a dedicated bolt to match its size. Smile
  • 1 0
 @fsr-dh: I DID TOO!!!!! Home Depot!
  • 1 0
 Always thought the Mk1 looked like a prototype. It's like some meccano was strapped on to a Super 8 front triangle.
  • 4 2
  • 1 1
 I remember shearing the pivot bolts clean off while practicing for a race on the original V10. A friend ended up letting me ride his Iron Horse for my race run.
  • 2 0
 Love this article......keep it up Pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Thank god for modern bikes.
  • 2 4
 @Maxipedia: whats your obsession about the founder being mentioned?
He explained that it was funny to see the photo in the link.

"Otherwise, I respect what Radek did with Pinkbike, but he still shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as professional DH racers"

Exactly why shouldnt he be mentioned in the same breath? Says who? A ridiculous thing to say.

"but I think that the passion for MTB and correct info is what we have or should have in common"

Theres not really any incorrect info in the article?
Maybe you should use your passion and start writing articles for pinkbike? Instead of arguing about racers from nearly 20 years ago getting shout outs in articles.
Lets see you write your own unbiased article.
  • 2 2
 Hello there, I notice you are a little upset. Let me explain things to you a little bit.

1. Whoever writes articles which are accessible to the public on the internet must take responsibility for what they write. It is not forbidden for the audience to criticize or to point out mistakes and authors should probably not be upset when this happens. As you may have noticed, Paul replied to my comment and we basically talked things out. It's what normal people do. I wrote my comment because I have read Paul's pieces throughout the years, I think he does a good job and I hold him to a high(er) journalistic standard. To me, knowing the history of MTB racing very well since the early 90's until now, this article is insufficiently researched and I still believe he could've done a better job regarding the early years of the V10, but we made this a bigger problem than it actually is.

2. It is not a ”different opinion”, like you state in a comment above, that the initial SunRace/Santa Cruz team respectively the ITS team were what they were. Those are historic FACTS, easy to prove by rankings, photos, articles and other media and not mentioning them is a mistake by omission. However, it IS a personal opinion that the founder of this site doesn't belong to the group of important individuals who rode said bike, other than an inner joke, which I understood after explained by Paul. No, I have no obsession about this what-so-ever, but I also don't consider that if Pinkbike is free and nice and we have accounts here we also owe the founders of this site virtual statues and eternal gratitude. In fact, I believe they don't think about us this way either. It is my opinion that WC racers are one and media people another and I stand by it. If you don't agree, no problem.

3. I am actually using my passion to document MTB and the racing scene since many years now, it just happens that I don't do it in English. Below you will find links to the only three articles I have published in English. They happen to be from the most recent World Championships and we did them in English to experiment with a broader audience. Please keep in mind that I have been volunteering as a World Cup journalist for our local scene since 2002 and I have always done it on my own expense and never had someone financing me in this regard. All the costs for the editorial work I have done have been covered by my own private pockets. Since you mentioned ”passion”... It has never crossed my mind to write for Pinkbike and I believe trying would be futile, since they already have a good staff who does an excellent job. I could do a piece about the V10.1 and the SC teams that I mentioned, after I finish my research on them, but it would be pretty useless, as I don't think there is a big enough audience for that a.k.a. no one would care and I won't do it just to prove a point in a comment here. Here are the links; bear in mind that English is not my native tongue, so there could be some mistakes here and there, as they were written in the media room at Lenzerheide on a rather tight schedule:

If you have any other questions and/or criticism, feel free to write to me. Cheers! Smile
  • 1 3
 @Maxipedia: dude, you're a moronic pedant
  • 2 0
 The first v10 looks like a car that's had a rear end collision
  • 1 3
 What happened to the Super 8?

Neale1978: I know, you’re gonna make some juvenile, asinine comment about my comment. Spare yourself the embarrassment and just not do it (to other pinkbikians: Neal doesn’t like me and has trolled all of my posts for the last few days and throws a hissy for because I continue to humiliate him in addition to humiliating himself. Pay no mind.
  • 2 0
 You're a weirdo. Stop lying.
  • 1 0
 Wtf is he doing? Typing s*** like that, on pages I've not even been on, and when the other stuff is all there, in black and white. "I continue to humiliate him" Poor bastard. He wishes. I can't respect a f*cking drama queen, that's absolutely full of it.
  • 1 0
 My old santa V10 gold edition Best bike ever!!!
  • 1 0
 In 2020 we'll probably see 36" wheels DH rig in the start gate.
"Monster-trucking over everything"
  • 1 0
 I still have a pair of those Intense tyres, barely used
  • 2 2
 I bet there aren’t many Inte se Mag30 noodles left around...
  • 1 0
 Real dh tires with 4 ply casing. You could run those with 12 psi and the red latex tubes no problem.
  • 1 0
 @brassinne: totally! I remember when I the postman handed me the box. I nearly dropped it was so heavy Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: i think i recall them being somewhere around 1900gr a tire. Plus something like a 600gr tube. That was for the 26x2.7 dh version. I also still have a 24x3.0 dh. But that one was only available in a 2 ply casing.
  • 4 4
 And you’ll down vote when someone saids. Who cares about Santacruz!! PB need to stop slurping on that D!
  • 2 1
 This only proves 29ers are hideous abominations.
  • 2 2
 Don't know why but I have always hated the look of the V10. Looks even worse now!
  • 1 0
 Had an '02 ...67* HA? No.
  • 1 0
 What if GWIN piloted one of these?
  • 1 0
 The first one still the best
  • 1 0
 All arguments aside. I’ll take the Mk.5 V10 please! Gorgeous bike.
  • 1 0
 mk3 is the gold years...yet i can't find a lower link to save 15 kittens.
  • 1 0
 I’d jump off anything on my black MK1.
  • 2 1
 Maybe they could make bikes for turner? Turner>sc
  • 2 0
 Looks like M16.
  • 1 0
 The first generation still looks badass in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 Anyone remember the Driver 8 That wasn't around long
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or do all of them after 2005 look the same?
  • 1 2
 They make a hell of noise compared to other DH rigs when you see/hear them on the WC live streams - just sayin!
  • 2 1
 Yup, that's the sonic boom for ya!
  • 1 0
 I had the MK1
  • 4 4
 Ugly as fck
  • 3 0
 The new one looks like sasquatch landed hard on the model before and squashed it
  • 4 1
 Yep ugly as.
  • 9 11
 Does not look like Session.
  • 2 0
 noisest bike made
  • 1 0
 @andydhteam: I thought Scott Gambler was the noisiest.
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