It’s been nearly 3 years since Santa Cruz introduced the Bronson. Launched on April Fools’ Day, the Bronson was no joke and was the company’s first stab at a bike specifically built around 27.5″ wheels. Built as an extremely capable enduro racer, a lot has changed since Bronson first came on the scene.
Top tubes are longer, geometry is more slack, and bikes are being raced even faster down unbelievably technical trails. If you pay attention to the message boards and the comment sections, riders were asking for an updated version of the beloved Bronson and 5010. As always, Santa Cruz was listening…
Of all of the changes to the new frames, one of the biggest would have to be in the VPP linkage itself. Compared to the older frame (on the left), the newer VPP linkage has been moved up and forward including a fairly big change to the lower link. Essentially flipped upside down, the new lower link will allow for shorter chain stays and more clearance under the bottom bracket to prevent the link from hanging up on obstacles. The upper link has been moved as well providing better stand over and a stronger interface with the frame. The revised links will be seen on both the Bronson and 5010 as well as the new Juliana models and we wouldn’t be too surprised to see the changes rollover in other models as well.
The other story pivoting around the suspension linkage is a revised suspension tune to continue the performance evolution of VPP. The linkage now provides higher initial leverage for improved small bump compliance as well as a flatter overall suspension curve with a Fox Evol can for more consistent feel and performance. The suspension still uses a progressive curve that ramps up towards the end of travel to provide the necessary bottom out resistance.
Building a better Bronson was not an easy task which is why the bike remains true to its original roots. To adapt to modern geometry wants, Bronson sees a one degree slacker 66° head tube angle along with a 20 to 25 mm longer reach depending on size. Chain stays are 6 mm shorter and the bike receives a shorter and 0.8 degree steeper sseat tube angle for more sizing and seatpost options.
A long time hold out for 30.9mm seat posts, the new frames will run a 31.6mm post. The frame also sees new internal cable routing with a tunnel system like the Nomad with compatibility for a side swing front derailleur. A big change for the spacing at the rear is the adaptation of Boost 148×12.
The 5010 sees all the same changes as the Bronson with the tweaks in geometry resulting in a 67° Head tube angle, 20 to 25 mm longer reach, and 8mm shorter chain stays. The 5010 also get a 5 mm bump in travel bringing the total to 130 mm for the frame.
Both the Bronson carbon and the 5010 carbon carry forward 73 mm threaded bottom brackets, standard shock mounts, ISCG05 mounts, and molded down tube and chain stay protectors.
Both bikes will be available in framesets starting at $2999 with a Float X F shock, and complete builds which start at $3599 for the R AM kit up to the top end $8099 XX1 AM kit. Previously mentioned frames and builds will be available starting September 14th, while a few additional builds will become available April 1 of next year which is when we’re likely to see aluminum versions of the same bikes.