Santa Cruz

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    • #219646

      I’we been wanting to buy a new bike and my top pick at the moment is the Santa Cruz Bronson. But I’we been thinking if it is to much of a brawler for me since I have only been riding for 2 years and I’m maybe not that aggressive. So I started looking at the Hightower or even the 5010. I’m looking for bike that climbs like a homesick angel but is capable on the descents as well.  All mountain- bike to explore Icelandic mountain trails and to use on my local trails. Unfortunately there is no way for me to demo any Santa Cruz bikes where I´m at. Attached is a link to a video someone shot on the trail that I ride the most – just to give some idea on what I’m talking about.

      Cheers, Bjarni

    • #219647

      forgot the link


    • #219648

      Cant go wrong !! Great bike

    • #219651

      If you are sold on a Santa Cruz, then get the Hightower. It is the most versatile of the three you mentioned and will allow you to handle that stuff with aplomb. There are tons of other excellent options though.

    • #219657

      I was sold on the Santa Cruz partly because of the price tag for the c versions of frames and then I just really like the looks of their bikes. Then again, I´m open for suggestions. Was just looking at a review of the Ibis Mojo 3 with +tires. Looks good.

    • #219660

      The Hightower C is a killer bike. I demoed that one and was unduly impressed considering that I had not cared for any of Santa Cruz’s bikes in quite awhile. Over the last four years the bikes that have impressed me (demoed* or owned**) the most are as follows:

      • Santa Cruz Hightower* I demoed it in both the 29er and plus set ups and liked the 29er better, but I’d get it with a 150-160mm fork.
      • Ibis Ripley LS* Ripper of a trail bike and is way more capable than it would seem.
      • Evil the Calling* Flat out one of the fastest and most aggressive shred machines I’ve ever ridden (and I’ve ridden everything). This bike with only 130mm or travel will handle pretty much anything outside of WC DH track. Cockpit is tight and I liked a large better than a medium that I would normally ride. Check your numbers.
      • Banshee Rune V2** This was my whip for nearly three years and in that time nothing touched it for all around performance. Banshees in addition are a screaming deal and bombproof. The suspension pedals better than just about anything out there with the most similar in feel to it being a DW-link (Ibis, Pivot, Turner). I really have nothing bad to say about it and would have simply switched to a Prime for a 29er version of it, but…
      • Evil the Wreckoning** My current ride. This bike takes the flat out shred-ability of the Calling and turns it up to 11 and then breaks the knob off. There is no way I’ll ever find the end of that bike and yeah it could handle many WC DH tracks as well as any local trail.

      Do your research and demo any and everything you can.

    • #219676

      Thanks for your reply these all seem to be nice bikes. I’we decided to buy a high end bike but I´m still a bit unsure how aggressive and in what travel range- considering the trails we ride here, and my skill level. But I’ll guess something in the 130 and 150 range should be fine. Unfortunately we don’t have the chance here to demo any of these bikes so will have to take my changes when the times comes.

    • #219678

      To me that looks like a mellow xc trail. Get a 29er with no more than 140mm of travel if you want to climb decently and have an option for aggressive. There’s enough people on Enduro bikes that can “climb” in the back of shuttles and on snack breaks. A modern 140mm 29er wouldn’t even get warmed up on that trail. People are too obsessed with ever larger suspension mm’s.

    • #219681

      <p style=”text-align: right;”>Thanks @l3eaudacious I’m leaning towards something like your talking about. I see so many guys here riding these big heavy long travel bikes and it got me thinking what they were really made for. I currently ride an entry level Camber 29 but would love to try the Hightower 29 and 27,5.</p>

      • #244931

        What did you end up getting?

        I went with a 2018 Bronson c and it’s sick.  However, I think I now want a bigger size frame and possibly 29er wheels lol.

    • #220707


      I have ridden this bike, and it is an absolute dream on the trail. If live in the area, you can go and trail ride any santa cruz bike in Santa Cruz… a GREAT experience…

    • #244936

      Trust Dr Sweets,,,!!! I demo’d the Bronson, Giant Trance Advanced, Giant Reign, Salsa Red Point, and the Pivot Mach 6.

      The Mach 6 just didn’t cut it for me, all the others were great, I liked the Reign handling the best but it wasn’t that good climbing or flat cruising. The Bronson, Trance and Red Point all were good at both, I like the Trance a little better than the others, but they were close enough I was going to get which ever I could get the best deal on.

      After some info from Dr Sweets, even though I couldn’t demo it, I bought an Evil Insurgent and have been happy as a clam. For me it handles like the Reign, but still climbs and cruises as well as the Bronson or Trance.

      • #244939

        Niiiiice!  I ended up going with a 2018 Bronson (large) and am now looking for a larger bike.  The Bronson is amazingly fun and peppy on the trails, but I truly feel like I’m riding a bmx bike that can somehow handle the mountains (which is what I think many people want).  As I’m looking to do longer enduro type races I think I’m going to sell this and get the Capra 29er.  I know I may lose some of the playfulness but I’m hoping to make it up in the comfort factor and slightly better sizing for my 6’2” tallness.

    • #244946

      I demoed a hightower 29er and did not really care for it. Ended up on the new 2019 stumpjumper though interestingly enough the 27.5. I am just under 6 foot so “height issues” was not a factor.

    • #244951

      I’m 6’2”.  I demo’ed the Hightower on two separate occasions and I just wasn’t feeling it.  I did, however, really enjoy riding the Bronson.   FWIW I found it much more fun for my taste.

    • #244952

      If you get a chance to. ride a Pivot Switchblade.  I just recently got one and I’m blown away by how well it climbs, and makes descents get behind me way sooner than I want them to (almost).  People will knock the 157mm spacing as not fitting their old wheels, etc… but I have had problems on bikes for DECADES with hitting my heels on the stays.  Not on this bike…  Massive tire clearance, it climbs, rolls, descends, is comfortable, overall just feels great.  I’ve ridden lots of Pivots, Treks, Scotts, Salsas, Ibis, Santa Cruz, Giant, and this bike is my fave – I am a trail rider.  I like to go at a good clip, but don’t have illusions of winning an Enduro race or DH.  My ride yesterday was in tight, twisty, root-infested single track and the bike performed well at 5-6 mph.  They day before was open, fast trail with speeds in the mid-20’s and it felt great there too (any good bike should…)  There are a ton of good bikes out there these days, but try to find a Pivot demo and check this out.  135 rear, 150 front and feels like more.  I went with the 27.5+ build, but rode a couple of them with 29″ and it was a hard choice…

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