On paper, 27. 5 inch wheels make lots of sense, but it took a few seasons for them to find their place in the mountain biking landscape. We've mused plenty on their ideal blend of characteristics, relative to their 26 and 29 siblings, but here, in the Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Mountain Bike Frame, is arguably where this balance finds its finest manifestation, evidenced by the repeated success of the Bronson under the Santa Cruz Syndicate race team and countless other racers topping podiums in multiple disciplines. Now, for 2015, the Bronson gets some new colors, but it's otherwise an identical machine to the 2014 version. At the heart of the Bronson is a highly refined VPP suspension platform that's been optimized for mid sized wheels. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved among riders in the know for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter rotating links to achieve this balance. But, you may be wondering how it works Well, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts. So, the ride remains smooth, not jarring. You'll also find the same collet style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are easily serviceable at home if ever necessary. Certainly, the carbon fiber version of the Bronson delivers the model's purest performance, but the alloy version here showcases the latest and greatest of Santa Cruz's expertise in the manipulation of aluminum, delivering a frame that's only slightly heavier than its fibrous friend. Butted and hydroformed tubes take optimized shapes that came to be as t...