If a drop bar bike is going to leave its mark in this day and age, it better be able to handle more than one surface. And that’s exactly what the new Santa Cruz Stigmata does. What used to be easily defined as the brand’s cyclocross bike, the new Stigmata is a littler harder to classify. But if we had to pick something, we’d say it leans more toward gravel and all-road riding than pure ‘cross. Thankfully, it hasn’t forgotten its roots…

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tech details and actual weights

Let’s start with what makes it a cyclocross bike. The new frame gets a revised layup that’s tougher than ever thanks to sharing some carbon strategies with their Highball hardtail mountain bike. They also say they borrowed a few tricks from the construction of Danny MacAskill’s bikes to be sure it wouldn’t crack under the pressure of a CX race.

The headtube is plenty stout to provide a sharp steering response…

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tech details and actual weights

…and a 27.2 seatpost with dropped seatstays helps keep things comfortable over patchy grass and frozen ruts.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tech details and actual weights

Lastly, a big bottom bracket section helps deliver all your power to the rear wheel, and there’s decent ground clearance, too. Everything runs internal, and there are virtually no sharp angles anywhere on the bike to hold grass or mud or snow. But the rest seems designed with gravel in mind.

So what makes it a gravel bike?

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tech details and actual weights

Double chainring compatibility for one. No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur, but the new Stigmata offers the ability to run a 2x setup with a clamp-on FD mount. And, their top level stock build is a SRAM Red eTAP AXS bike with 2×12, with this Ultegra 2×11 mechanical build underneath it. Of course, 1x options will be offered, also.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike fender mounts

Other all-road/commuter/gravel friendly touches include barely-there fender mounts near the dropouts, behind the fork crown and behind the BB shell.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike fender mounts

12mm thru axles keep front and rear stiff, and flat mount brakes slow you down.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tire clearance

Tire clearance is up to par for modern gravel racers with the ability to run 700×45 or 650B x 2.1″ wheel and tires. No, that’s not the biggest clearance around, which (along with other design cues) suggests this one’s meant a little more for the racer than the ultra-endurance adventurer.

The frame holds three water bottle cages – two inside the front triangle, one underneath, just above the BB. They sit low, leaving room for strapping a frame bag into place above them. But there are no fixed mounting points for any bags, including a top-tube bento box.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike with easton cockpit

The build kit for our test bike used Easton’s excellent gravel parts, with their flared handlebars. For ‘cross, they might be just a bit too flared out, but for gravel and rough roads, they’re one of our favorites.

The stem has 0º bend, so it keeps you more upright…also good for long distance gravel riding.

Words are great, but is there a video?

Yep, and you can get more of our killer tech videos and first looks by subscribing to Bikerumor’s YouTube channel here.

What about the geometry?

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike has see through logo with carbon fiber showing

The bike comes in Mustard Yellow and Olive Green, the latter having a slick masked logo that lets the carbon’s layers show through. But that’s not geometry…this is:

Here’s another area where the bike becomes decidedly more gravel than cyclocross. While the wheel base matches up with some other popular CX bikes we’ve tested, it’s the front end that skews towards stability over razor sharp handling. The head angle is just a fraction slacker, and the fork’s rake gets a little shorter to create more trail on most sizes. At 45mm rake (aka “offset”), that’s shorter even than aftermarket options like ENVE. The result is a bike that’s going to be more stable at speed, which is great for faster dirt road miles. Keep reading for a little more on the geo…

Full pricing and build options are available on their website, link at bottom of post. Bikes will also have the option to upgrade to their new 700c and 650b carbon Reserve wheels that launched at NAHBS.

Is there a women’s version?

juliana quincy cyclocross and gravel bike for women

juliana quincy womens cyclocross gravel bike by santa cruz bicycles

Why yes, it’s called the Juliana Quincy. Like other Santa Cruz-to-Juliana conversions, this one shares the same frames but gets different colors and uses smaller/narrower cockpit parts and a women’s specific saddle to help it fit smaller, lighter riders better.

It also adds a smaller size. Where the Stigmata runs from 52 to 60, the Quincy gets a 49 on the low end to fit riders 5’0″ tall and possibly just a bit shorter, too. The geo charts have a typo, both models use a longer 50mm fork offset on the smallest sizes, up to 54cm frames, then switch to the 45mm offset.

Stigmata first rides & actual weight

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike tech details and actual weights

Our size 58 came with DT Swiss wheels, Maxxis Ramber tires set up tubeless, and an Ultegra 2×11 mechanical group with hydraulic disc brakes and their clutched RX rear derailleur. Out of the box (without pedals), it came in at 18.83lb (8.54kg). We imagine it’d be pretty easy to drop a pound off this by going to a 1x system.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike first ride review

I’ve only got a few rides in before this story went live, with most of the miles on a mix of pavement and fine gravel. Here, the bike was great. Fast, stable and easy to ride. The layup wasn’t just revised to be tough…they also tuned it to be “all day comfortable” so it could live up their billing as “a road bike for mountain bikers.”

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike first ride review

Powering through grass and up casual slopes proved no problem for the bike. While it might improve aesthetics to put a negative rise stem on it, I’m digging the position it put me in without having to use a giant stack of spacers. For ‘cross, I might move one of those spacers above the stem, but for longer rides off the race course, it came set up very nice.

2019-2020 santa cruz stigmata cyclocross and gravel bike first ride review

First impressions are good. I was able to cut through the trails behind our usual ‘cross training grounds and pop around corners pretty well, but I haven’t really put it through the paces of a cyclocross race…simulated or otherwise. I’m curious to see how the changes to its geometry affect the race-ability. But with more people gravitating toward dirt roads than hopping barriers, it seems the Stigmata probably made a turn down the right path. Stay tuned for a long term review later this summer.

SantaCruzBicycles.com

51 COMMENTS

  1. ” No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur” unless you were,you know called Wout van Aert or Sanne Cant…….but hey,what do they know. AmIright?

  2. ” No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur”

    Yeah, you can do something with that attitude SRAM fanboi, and it’s not ride a bike!

    Beyond that, nice bike, but not nice enough to warrant that price. FTR, I have a Bronson so I expect pricey from SC. But just WOW!

  3. “No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur” really? i think the top 10 to 15 racers in the world including both Eilte and U23 men’s and women’s World champs ride double front rings. Wout Van Aert, who was sponsored by SRAM, still ran a double even though they make a CX specific single set up.

  4. Nice to see stealth fender mounts — that makes the bike a lot more useful to those of us in rainy places when cross season is over. Seems like the race day only Stigmata has given way to the do-it-all Stigmata. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you want to sell more bikes.

    • The most important change that seems to have been done quietly is the return of the 68mm threaded bottom bracket from the previous frame’s PF30 fitting. Good thing too.

  5. It would seem that the “self-respecting cx” line got others fired up too…MVDP runs 2x…. so does Katie Compton, and everyone mentioned above, and numerous others…Sorry man, I think 1x is much more cx marketing hype than tech actually being used by pros.

  6. Ouch you pissed off the Shimano fans. KFC comment was she liked the FD so she could drop multiple gears in one click when she hit a sudden climb, so there’s still a place for them in cross.

    I don’t see a chain suck plate on the chainstay, not a good idea to omit that.

  7. I’ve been waiting for this bike for several years now. The geometry is the same in the 54, except for more BB drop. What is the frame and fork weight now? Did it put on weight with all the ‘toughening up’ talk? I must say, the Juilana frame looks way cooler since the Santa cruz options presented here are meh at best. Are guys allowed to ride a Juliana?!

  8. “No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur”
    Except for KfC and the entire Telent-Fidea team.

  9. I’m so glad they made all these updates, including a version for women around 5ft tall, without actually making one that will fit men under 5’6″.

      • I think their naming for the sizing is throwing things off. If you compare the geos to other gravel bikes, the Stigmata has fairly short reach and top tube numbers. Compared to all the previous gravel bikes I’ve ridden recently, I would be between a 54 and 56cm on this frame at 5’8″, and I typically ride a 49-52cm depending on the model. That 52cm frame is pretty tiny – it has a shorter top tube than the smallest size of many comparable bikes.

        • Zach, how do you think shorten fork offset affects toe rub issues for small and medium frames? Shortening everything up front sounds like this could be a major problem especially with a big tyre on 700C rims. Did you get any toe rub on the 54?

          • I haven’t ridden this bike so I can’t say. Just saying based on the geometry that seems like the size that would be comparable to other gravel bikes I’ve ridden recently.

      • You could just get the Juliana frame then, could you not? It’s the exact same frame but with a better paint job.

        • Call it snobbish if you want but the colors don’t do it for me and I don’t want to be riding around on a frame with Juliana on the downtube that is marketed as a woman’s frame. Why not go like Specialized on some models and just remove gender marketing.

          • I’ve been debating the issue with myself; could I deal with riding a Juliana, because I hate SC color choices so intensely. About $600 to $800 for a new paint job from Black Magic or whomever. Obviously having to consider a repaint makes the frame less attractive off the bat.

          • I don’t think it’s snobbish, per se. If you have upgrade-itis, “women’s specific” bikes are harder to re-sell in most locations. And Juliana has never been shy about their brand being about, well, the brand. They are aiming squarely at hardcore women riders (note they jettisoned all entry-level AL models a while back), which is the reason SC doesn’t just make bigger size ranges like a Pivot does.

  10. WTF on the colors? Gravel riders enjoy lame colors so we must paint is puke yellow and pea/puke green? I have the black CC prior version and might be interested in this for larger tire clearance but those colors are terrible.

      • When people whine about colors, it just means they don’t have anything substantive to say, but they have to whine about something.

        • When people whine about people whining about colors, it just means they don’t have anything substantive to say, but they have to whine about something.

        • Really? Someone is going to spend $2,300 on a frame set in a color they don’t like and then spend hours and hours riding it around? Because……it’s not substantive to comment on color?

          • No, it isn’t, because frankly most cyclists have terrible taste in design, which is why 50% of specialized’s lineup is black and red.

          • Yes, of course it is substantive. It’s not even up for debate. Bullying others over their natural reluctance to buy and use something deemed butt-ugly is more an indication of some sort of neuroses or such by the poster than anything else.

  11. Don’t gravel bikes and cross bikes have competing geometry requirements? like low BB vs high BB and short wheelbase vs longer wheel base and steeper angles vs more relaxed angles? so if a bike is trying to be both it wont be great at either one?

    Also those colors are shit. like literally they look like different types of baby shit.

  12. “No self-respecting modern cyclocross bike would run a front derailleur” millennial writing at its best.

  13. Not sure that green is related to any olives, which is good because I don’t care for olive green but I like this one. I prefer the Juliana colors the best though.

  14. I’ll say it. Rack mounts. For a CX racer, no. But as soon as you try to go “gravel” they should be there. There are just so many well done examples of sleek/hidden rack mounts for them to be omitted in a bike meant for anything beyond a pure CX race bike.

  15. Another great gravel bike that eschews proprietary gimmicks to focus on features that add value to the ride experience without compromising durability. For those lusting after a similarly high-end road/gravel bike at an accessible price, our Thesis OB1 comes with a carbon frameset, graphene-reinforced carbon rims, DT350 hubs with Star Ratchet engagement, and an obsessively curated component spec for $3299. A shifter-actuated dropper brings it to $3498, while the dropper and both 650B and 700C carbon wheelsets bring it to $4897. They are also customizable at no extra charge to ensure they’re dialed to the riders’ unique body and riding style.

    • Think about what drives good fit again.
      Overall height has little to do with stack height needs, which are driven more by inseam length, flexibility, and desired position on the bike.

      Think of it this way. Two same height people. They will need the same nominal size bike. One has an inseam 2” longer than the other. Given similar flexibility and position desires, the one with the longer legs will prefer a taller stack and shorter reach.

      This is actually the basis for women’s geometry or component selection. General for the same height they will have longer inseams and shorter torsos than males.

  16. I don’t get why anyone would build a gravel bike without rack mounts. CX racer, sure, but this is supposed to be a bike to get you out into the wild. Seat bags suck. Guess I’ll have to look at the warbird or Viathon or some other. Too bad. I like that lifetime warranty.

  17. I really like the idea of a do-it-all bike but I struggle to find many bikes able to tackle CX, road, gravel, bikepacking properly. This bike seems to fit the bill really well but the price tag is too heavy for me.

    Do you know any other bike of the sort that you would recommend?

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