The standard lead for any industry write up of Santa Cruz's new 5010 2. 0 Carbon S Complete Mountain Bike might be something along the lines of Santa Cruz shocked us when it announced a complete overhaul of one of the most beloved, versatile trail bikes in the world. We can't help but be not surprised, though after all, when has the California based manufacturer ever been satisfied with its own designs and models For we denizens of the trail, the changes behind the 5010 2. 0 translate to a longer, lower, and slacker geometry combined with a more aggressive pedaling posture that does surprise us. The bike exhibits better handling and more speed over everything from root latticed descents to rocky climbs and all the fast and techy singletrack in between. The 5010 2. 0's big geometry changes are in the head and seat tubes. They're slacker and steeper, respectively, with the head tube losing a whole degree, from 68 to 67, bringing it in line with the previous Bronson model. As you can imagine, the change is a drastic one, completely blowing up our own expectations for how much crunch a trail bike is equipped to handle. The steeper seat tube is equally drastic, though in a different way, since it puts the rider's hips closer to the bottom bracket and makes it easier to stay on top of the pedal stroke while climbing or burning worms across fast flats. The 5010 2. 0 also has a longer reach, lower bottom bracket, 5mm more travel, increased dropper range, stubbier chainstays, and a wider rear axle. That pile of alterations means that it pedals harder, takes bigger bites out of terrain, and provides a wider range of saddle upsaddle down dropper goodness for aggressively tackling grades in both directions. The Virtual Pivot Point 3 VPP3 also got hit by the redesign hammer. Where the old suspension curve described a deep U, VPP3's curve resembles a flattened check mark, with less dramatic ramping at either end of the travel arc. The results are that, during the...
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