The original Santa Cruz 5010 debuted in 2013, accompanied by a video of Steve Peat pedalling away
in the hills of Scotland. Back then it was touted as a bike for backcountry adventures, a quick, snappy machine for those all-day missions. In the years since it's morphed into something a little different, in part due to the antics of riders like Josh 'Loosedog' Lewis.
The fourth generation is now aimed more at riders who regularly find themselves searching for bonus doubles and little trailside features to goof around on rather than trying to snag KOMs or crush the local enduro race series.
Santa Cruz 5010 Details
• Wheelsize: 27.5"
• Carbon C or CC frame
• Travel: 130mm (r) / 140mm fork
• 65.4 or 65.7-degree head angle
• 429mm chainstays (size L)
• Colors: Loosely Blue, Raspberry Sorbet
• Price: $4,099 - $8,099 USD
The 5010 still has 130mm of travel and 27.5” wheels, but rather than having the shock fixed to the underside of the top tube the new version uses a lower link driven VPP suspension layout. It's the same design that's found on every full suspension bike in Santa Cruz's lineup, with the exception of the Blur. All the complete bikes are spec'd with an air shock, but it's entirely possible to run a coil shock.
Along with the new frame design, the 5010 also underwent the expected longer and slacker treatment, and the chainstay lengths now vary depending on frame size. There are five sizes, from XS up to XL, with Loosely Blue or Raspberry Sorbet as the color options. The Juliana Furtado is the women's version, which shares the same frame but gets a women's specfic seat and different grips than the 5010. That model is available in sizes XS – M.
At the moment the 5010 is only available with a carbon C or CC frame. Complete bikes starting at $4,099 and going all the way up to $8,099 USD for the version shown here, which has a SRAM X01 drivetrain with an Eagle 52 cassette, Reserve carbon wheels, SRAM G2 brakes, and Maxxis Minion DHR II tires. Frame Details
One new feature on the 5010 is SRAM's universal derailleur hanger. The design's not that different from what Santa Cruz used in the past, but with the UDH the idea is that shops, even ones that aren't Santa Cruz dealers, will have an inexpensive replacement available in a pinch.
The 5010 has internal cable routing, downtube protection in two spots to protect the frame from flying rocks and shuttle rub, and a ribbed chainstay protector to keep chainslap noise to a minimum. There's also a threaded bottom bracket, a feature that's been in place ever since the original version.
The 5010 is spec'd with 2.4" tires front and rear, but there's enough clearance to run up to a 2.6" width if you're a fan of extra meaty tires.Geometry
It'll be strange the day when a new bike comes out that isn't longer and slacker than its predecessor... We're not there yet, and the new 5010 has a slightly slacker head angle than before at 65.4-degrees with a 140mm fork. The reach has increased by 15 millimeters on the size large, and now measures 472mm in the low geometry setting. There's a steeper seat tube angle of 77.2 degrees to accompany that longer reach, which means that the top tube length is actually 5mm shorter than before.
The chainstay length now increases by 3mm per size. In keeping with the bike's intended nature they're still relatively short, even on the largest frame size, but it's nice to see another company heading down the proportional chainstay length route.Suspension Design
Santa Cruz like to keep their suspension numbers close to their chest, which means I don't have any fancy graphs to include in this article. However, Dan Roberts' analysis of the Megatower
is a good place to start for more insight into how the lower link driven VPP suspension layout works.
The main difference between the kinematics of the new vs. old 5010 is the shape of the leverage ratio curve. Previously it had a slight hump in the curve where the leverage ratio increased before decreasing. On the new model, that curve is now a diagonal line without any sudden dips or dives. That should mean that the suspension ramps up smoothly through its travel, with a consistent feel from beginning to end.Build Kits & PricingRide Impressions
I have a couple of rides in on the 5010 so far, and despite the geometry and suspension changes its playful nature still shines through. Yes, it's longer and slacker than before, but that short back end and smaller wheels do make it easy to manual, pump, and jump.
I will say it doesn't quite have the same level of snappiness as its predecessors – some of that sharpness had been dulled a bit, but that does make it feel better in rougher terrain. It's become more versatile, even though the amount of travel hasn't increased. It's essentially a Hightower with smaller wheels and a little less travel, and for some riders that's going to be exactly what they've been looking for.
Sarah Moore is going to be putting a Furtado through its paces over the next few months – stay tuned for a long term review later this summer.