SANTA CRUZ 5010 CC XO1
MOUNTAIN BIKE REVIEW
Words by Nic Hall & Drew Rohde
Chances are if you saw our first ride video of the new Santa Cruz 5010 mountain bike, then you know we were pretty hooked right away. Heck, even our review of the last generation 5010 back in 2018 had us stoked on how fun this bike is and the type of riding it inspires. The changes from that bike to the new, 4th generation 5010 are significant and notable on the trail, but we’d say that the overall fun factor of Santa Cruz’s play bike, the 5010 remains the same.
The new 5010 is still designed around the 27.5in wheel and is meant to pop, pump, and jump over every nub or bump you can find. For 2020, Santa Cruz updated the 5010 with their lower link VPP suspension platform. The bike offers 130mm of rear wheel travel and 140mm up front. The new, lower link VPP system is optimized for fun on the 5010 and sought to improve some of the criticisms we have had regarding VPP bikes in the past. They keep making us eat our words year after year. Looks like we’re starting to become VPP fans after all that smack talk over the last decade, all it took was moving that link!
Santa Cruz also gives the new 5010 a slacker head tube angle of 65.7 degrees, brought the reach out to 500mm on our XL (475mm on L), and a pedal friendly seat tube angle of 77 degrees. Chainstay, reach, and wheelbase all are size dependent, which is new for the Santa Cruz 5010. It gives each size rider the optimal wheelbase and rear-end length for fun and center of gravity optimization. You will notice the geo charts show both high and low settings for and integrated flip chip, which we rode almost exclusively in high. But if you want that extra bit of wheelbase and ground hugging bottom bracket height, you have the option.
These geometry changes coupled with the new VPP leverage ratio and custom shock tune show that Santa Cruz is looking to push the 5010 as their everyday play bike of trail rippers. The 130mm of rear travel acts like more and can run a wide variety of rear shocks depending on the rider’s preference. The rising rate linkage even allows for a rear coil shock if desired.
Another new change is the rear axle sizing of 173.7×12 which allowed the engineers to incorporate more lateral stiffness in the rear triangle while allowing space for the monster 52t cassette. Along with the axle, Santa Cruz has incorporated the SRAM universal derailleur hanger which is cross compatible and available at almost every bike shop.
Santa Cruz has always been about longevity and rider-based design and it still shows in their latest offering. The 5010 comes standard with ISCG-05 tabs for a chain guide or bash guard, a threaded bottom bracket, and custom molded frame protection and a small mudguard to protect the shock; these are the touches we are looking for in a top shelf trail bike. The carbon frame, linkages, and Reserve wheels all come with a lifetime warranty as well, so feel free to send it as deep as you want. Maintenance is also an important factor to Santa Cruz and they have placed bearings in the linkage not the frame, so you won’t have to worry about scratching that pretty paint when it comes time to clean or replace bearings.