Santa Cruz 5010 CC

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Nic Hall / Drew Rohde

Over the last few months we’ve had three different riders put miles on our purple 2019 Santa Cruz 5010 CC. This snappy trail bike sees several revisions in its latest incarnation, V3, and they are definitely changes that are noticed on trail. As is the case with contemporary bikes, the 5010 V3 gets a longer reach, slacker head angle, a steeper seat tube and increased stiffness. Where the 5010 holds fast however is the matched 130mm travel front and rear, bucking the over-forked trend many shorter travel trail rigs have adopted over the years. During our test period we took the 5010 to all our usual trails in the Bend, Oregon area and familiarized ourselves with the bike’s strengths and weaknesses.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

The Lab

Our 5010 CC is Santa Cruz’s top-tier carbon and came with the X01 build. Santa Cruz offers the 5010 in several price points. Customers can pick up a 5010 as frame only or choose one of their alloy or price-conscious carbon completes, or if you choose, spare no expense on a fully carbon XX1 or Shimano XTR build.

Our test bike retails for $7,999 and comes with Fox Elite suspension, SRAM X01 Eagle, Santa Cruz’s Reserve Carbon wheels and bar, Race Face Aeffect stem and Maxxis Minion 2.6” tires.

Geometry on the 2019 5010 has been updated and the full chart can be seen here.

Each frame size has grown 15mm in length, giving our size large a 460mm reach. Santa Cruz gave the 5010 an adjustable flip chip at the rear shock mount, which moves the BB about 4mm and changes head tube and seat tube angles less than half a degree. We will be giving all measurements of the bike in ‘Hi’ mode since that’s the setting we primarily used.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

The updated seat tube angle is 75.2 degrees and the head tube angle sits at 66.5 degrees. A 334mm bottom bracket height, 425mm chainstays and 46.85-inch wheelbase make the bike a precision machine.

Two short, counter-rotating links are still the heart of the 5010’s VPP suspension design. Santa Cruz has employed the system for over a decade and has been making some major improvements as of late. New frame updates work in conjunction with the VPP design to increase stiffness. Dual uprights are found on the rear triangle and have boosted the frames overall feel. Another highlight is the beefy bottom bracket/downtube junction box. It certainly looks overkill for a 130mm bike, but if you watch Ratboy or Loosedog’s videos then it’s easy to see why Santa Cruz has erred on the side of send as opposed to safe.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

The Dirt

Our first tester is a local bike shop mechanic and loves jumping. He used the bike for some trail rides, sessions at the local jump spot and commuting to his bike shop via some urban fun zones. He enjoyed the bike, loved the stiffness and playful nature. It easily passed the wheelie and manual tests, which are two good indicators in his mind.

The next two testers, myself and Nic Hall, both spent significantly more time on the bike and took it to several test trails that we’ve amassed quite a bit of data on over the years. We’ll begin with the characteristics that were less than stellar before moving on to the many strengths of the 5010 CC.

I’ll try not to beat the dead horse here as I’ve become known as a #hater when it comes to VPP bikes. I guess you either love ‘em or you don’t. Full disclosure, I don’t, with the exception of the V10, which is one of my favorite DH bikes of all time.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

While I could never argue with the impressive pedaling performance of many VPP bikes, I base my impressions on the desired performance of square-edge hits and rear wheel movement when hitting rocks or roots at higher speeds. Despite my inherent bias, I love being proved wrong and the updated VPP design has made substantial improvements that I was paying close attention to.

The dreaded pedal feedback was substantially reduced in the V3 5010. While it was a pleasant surprise, when comparing the bike’s rear wheel movement under quick impact, it still doesn’t quite perform as well as some bikes on the market, however it’s better than others, like the YT Jeffsy for example.

My only other real issue with the suspension was its basic feeling when landing big drops or jumps. You’ll often hear reviewers saying, “This is a XXmm travel bike that rides like it has way more…” I can’t say I ever felt this from the 5010. I frequently found myself reaching full travel, and while it didn’t buck me or cause any concern for safety, it did make the bike feel like it had a definite bottom in those instances. Perhaps a bit more progressivity would be the ticket, however the downside to that would be an even greater loss of suppleness on the fast chatter.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

Before I ruffle too many Santa Cruz lover’s feathers, I better get into the attributes I liked and even loved about the 5010. It’s hard to reminisce of my time aboard this bike and not think about corners. I rode everything from jump trails, to rocky singletrack to rut tracks. Without a doubt I can say my favorite place to ride this bike was in rolling, compression filled sweepers. Trails with tons of turns and little rollers were all pegging the fun meter.

One look at the massive bottom bracket area and stoutly built dual uprights on the rear triangle should signify this bike is ready to brawl. Santa Cruz offers a lifetime warranty if that doesn’t solidify just how sturdy this thing is. Somehow stiffness and strength don’t equal weight when it comes to the CC. This pocket rocket weighs in at 27 pounds and some change, another feature I truly liked about this bike.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

The weight, stiff-ish suspension platform and frame encouraged me to flick the bike in any number of ways I could dream of after watching Josh Bryceland videos. Nose taps, freeride flicks, manuals and a combination of all the above are easily executed thanks to the light weight and sensitive geometry. Some riders who are more XC biased may take issue with the longer front end and low BB on techy climbs, but it’s plenty good for us evolved downhillers. As expected, climb times were among the fastest we’ve seen from our lazy legs and we believe the VPP platform and weight had a lot to do with that. It makes us wonder what a 29er version would do.

On the slower stuff the 5010 was still fun to ride. Trails with awkward turns into steep rock chutes were made easy. Despite my initial feedback of VPP drawbacks, I felt that at slower speeds and with more deliberate impacts, the rear end was quite efficient at handling the hits and impressed even my jaded self.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

The Wolf’s Last Word

Over the last 25 years mountain bikes have gone from being your one-and-only ‘do-it-all’ bike to segmented performance machines with disciplines in 10mm travel increments. Santa Cruz’s 5010 is most certainly one of those machines and it has a specific buyer who will absolutely love it for the many strengths it has. For those who ride chattery trails where speeds are high, square-edge hits are many and drops are plentiful, you probably won’t find your dream ride here. Maybe the Bronson is more your speed?

So who’s the ideal 5010 buyer in my opinion? Two sets of riders: the first is aggressive shredders who know what they want. The second group is those who typically ride trails with more flow and corners than rocks. If you’re looking for an efficient, strong pedaling bike that has geometry capable of letting you get rowdy on some of the steeper trails in your area, the 5010 is a sweet rig. It excels beyond many bikes I’ve ridden when it comes to slashing corners and feeling fast on twisty trails. Also, if you love to pop, play and manual everything on the trail, the 5010’s light weight and incredible stiffness will make you howl with laughter.

Price: $7,999 As Tested ($6799 w/Race Face Wheels);
Weight: 27.96;
Website: santacruzbicycles.com

BUY NOW @ COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

Santa Cruz 5010 CC

CHASSIS
Frame: Carbon CC; 130mm
Fork: Fox 34 Float Performance; 130mm
Shock: Fox Performance DPX2

COCKPIT
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Handlebar: Santa Cuz AM Carbon; 760mm
Headset: Cane Creek 40 IS
Saddle: WTB Silverado Team
Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb; 150mm
Shifter: SRAM X01 Eagle; 12s
Stem: Race Face Aeffect; 50mm

WHEELS
Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Rims: Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon
Tires: Maxxis Minion; 2.3”

DRIVETRAIN
Bottom Bracket: Threaded
Cassette: SRAM XG-1295; 10-50t
Cranks: SRAM X1 Eagle; 175mm, 32t
Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle; 12s

We Dig

Stiff & Light
Corners, Corners, Corners
Lifetime Warranty
Purple
Geo
Beyond Playful
Pedaling Efficiency

We Don’t

Suspension During High Speed Hits

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