Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon gets Mullet mountain bike update, teases an alloy trail bike

Santa Cruz has been giving their 27.5″ mountain bikes mixed-wheel size Mullet upgrades in recent years, and the 5010 is the latest to join the “business up front, party in the back” mentality. The popular, playful carbon trail bike sports the same 130mm VPP/140mm fork travel as before, but with slightly tweaked geometry and suspension kinematics to better suit the 29er front/27.5 rear balance, both up and down hills. There are also matching Juliana Furtado versions as always, too.

Plus, it looks like a more affordable alloy 5010 is on the horizon, as well!

Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon Mullet trail bike

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, complete

all c. Santa Cruz

The new mullet version of the 5th generation Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon looks almost exactly the same as the old bike if you don’t notice that bigger front wheel. And that seems intentional. Santa Cruz seems to have worked hard to keep the new bike’s “jump-happy, slalom-turn loving” character pretty much the same, even down to maintaining the same bottom bracket height – don’t mess with success, amirite?!

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, detail

But the bigger front wheel brings improved grip & rollover down rougher trails, so the bike did deserve some tweaks too.

Mullet Trail Bike geometry & suspension updates

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, playful ride

To keep that playful trail bike ride the new 5010 gets ever so slightly 0.5° slacker, more or less a few mm longer Reach up front, and ~7mm longer chainstays out back to balance the almost 2cm taller front end that comes with the 29er front wheel. As introduced in v4, front & rear center lengths are size specific, as is the stiffness of the carbon layup of each size, so every rider gets the same balanced trail feel. Plus, there’s even one larger size now, too (XS-XXL)!

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, geometry

You still get the Hi/Lo flip chip at the lower shock mount that offers a tiny 0.3° impact to head/seat angles while raising/lowering BB height a correspondingly small 3-4mm.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, big mountain riding

Suspension-wise, Santa Cruz describes the 5010’s kinematics updates as mix of less anti-squat – which will let the bike squat a bit as you pedal, staying hooked to the ground for improved traction & reduced pedal kickback – and a slightly flatter leverage curve (but a bit higher rates than v4) that’s even straighter for a progressive suspension feel & predictable support from sag to full-squish.

Check out the new Furtado if you want to ogle those suspension curves…

What else is new?

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, Glovebox detail

The new carbon mullet 5010 gets a slightly revised downtube shape to clear taller forks with bigger crowns, and to make more room inside the front triangle around the shock and for water bottles. And underneath that bottle, it gets a Glovebox. Open up the door into the downtube and there’s room for an included Tool Wallet & Tube Purse to always be prepared with spares… or maybe a pair of gloves?

Tech details

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, rear end

The Santa Cruz 5010 has room for a max 27.5 x 2.5″ tire out back, with Boost spacing, 180mm post mount brake, ISCG05 chain guide tabs, a good ol’ threaded bottom bracket, and a SRAM UDH (future-proofed!) It still gets internal cable routing with entry ports that move a bit further out the side of the tapered steerer headtube & IS headset – plus lower downtube, shuttle guard, and chainstay protectors.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon – Options

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, C R

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 C R

Like the new Furtado, the new 5010 has standard C carbon & lighter CC carbon frame layups. But the 5010 comes in a wider 6-size range. Four C carbon builds start with R & NX Eagle and climb to GX AXS RSV with SRAM’s wireless drivetrain & Reserve carbon wheels on i9 hubs.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, CC X01 AXS RSV

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01 AXS RSV

The two premium carbon CC builds get X01 in either mechanical or AXS Eagle & RaceFace or Reserve carbon wheels.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, frame only

It looks like there might be a frame-only option at some point too?

Pricing and real availability in your local shop are both still TBD… to be determined.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Alloy – Options

Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon Mullet 130mm trail bike teases alloy frame option

Hidden in plain sight in the MY23 Santa Cruz 5010 build kit chart, but without any other supporting info are two AL D & AL R builds with an Aluminum VPP MX Mullet frame and entry-level SRAM Eagle build kits.

2023 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon MX 130mm VPP mullet trail bike, actually Handy MacAskill

actually this isn’t the new alloy 5010, but the return of Handy MacAskill

We haven’t seen a lot of alloy Santa Cruz bikes as of late (except maybe the Tallboy)… But apparently “Every single Santa Cruz model begins life in aluminum“, even though that looks like a pretty out-of-date landing page (anyone remember the Bantam?) And it looks like the 5010 will be bringing VPP trail bikes down in price soon with an aluminum frame option, too!

We’ll see if the new alloy bike actually shows up today, as well.

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Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
2 months ago

I love most of the changes SC has been making to their frames lately, but the single bottle boss on frames over 120 travel is just dumb. They put a second set of bosses on the Tallboy, why not here?

2 months ago

The 29″ front wheel was an unnecessary change to this bike. No one wanted a bigger front wheel on the 5010.