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Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon R

Even Santa Cruz’s ‘affordable’ bikes have always carried a premium, but higher prices from other brands and an improved spec mean this tautly-muscular mid-travel machine now punches hard on price as well as on the trail.

The frame

Santa Cruz introduced the ‘Carbon’ (aka ‘C’) range of complete bikes a few years ago. They use the same colours, shape, geometry and DIY-adjustable collet bearings as the premium Carbon C (aka ‘CC’) frames, but are made from cheaper, lower-modulus carbon. You can’t tell that from the stiffness levels though, and 320g more mass isn’t bad considering that the CC chassis costs $4500 on its own. The C frame is still 410g lighter than the alloy version (all weights based on size large), and while 3,150g is chunky for a full-carbon, 130mm-travel frame, you get a lifetime warranty (including bearings), a screw-in BB, greaseinjected bearings on the lower linkage and moulded protective sections.

The kit

Although the 5010 is the priciest bike on test, well-chosen kit k…

Danny Macaskill's Santa Cruz 5010 CC

WHY'S IT SUPER?
- The 5010 was Danny's co-star in his Wee Day Out film, which has been viewed by over 8 million people. He's got a new one for 2017 but it's set up just the same
- It doesn't get much cooler than having your own signature kit, and that's just what Danny's brakes and grips are
- With some unique set-up tweaks, Danny has taken a normal trail bike way beyond its intended use

The Scottish star's hike of choice for taking his trials skills into the hills

Danny MacAskill's rise to fame has been quick and impressive. Hopping onto our screens back in 2009, the viral video sensation soon became a superstar thanks to his ability to ride the seemingly impossible. He's used several different bikes over the years, but in last year's Wee Day Out he opted to ride a Santa Cruz 5010. We wanted to know more about why he choose this model, so he agreed to let us have a fiddle with his 2017 bike, which is identical save for the colour.

Short trave…

Rachael Walker’s Juliana Furtado

This doodle-covered ride tells a story worth hearing

8 things to know about the new Santa Cruz Hightower

1. TALLBOY 2
The Hightower is the replacement for Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LT, which broke the 29er mould when it was launched back in 2012 but had begun to show its age in terms of geometry.

Santa Cruz Hightower C S AM 27+

Adaptable to suit both 29in and 650b+ wheels, it’s the 29er Hightower that’s stolen the limelight under Santa Cruz’s top racers, but we think the fat-tyre version is a real cracker.

Cruz Missiles

Santa Cruz’s mid-travel bikes are now longer, slacker and faster

Santa Cruz 5010 C

Santa Cruz have over 20 years of bike building expertise, and are one of many US bike brands based on the West Coast in sunny California. There must be something about having big mountains that tumble into the sea, and a very favourable environment. California is home to some well-known high performance bike brands – perhaps being able to test in your own backyard, and be inspired by it has something to do with it.

Santa Cruz Highballs

Santa Cruz have redesigned their Highball hardtail for 2015, introducing a new 650b model, updating the geometry of the original 29er bike and adding a cheaper carbon frame option.

Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon C R AM bike

Possibly the biggest surprise of the test is that our cost no object bike choice from last year is now available in a version that qualifies for our top 10.

SANTA CRUZ NOMAD

Santa Cruz’s new enduro focused dream bike

While the Santa Cruz Bronson has been causing a commotion on the enduro scene as one of the lighter and more capable bikes, the Californian company have been working on something better suited to the more gravity orientated courses.