2012 DH Bike Dream Build: Santa Cruz V-10 Carbon

Can you think of anything more exotic than Carbon? Neither can I. Introducing the gorgeous 2012 Santa Cruz V-10 Carbon!

I seem to recall that Gordon Murry, a well-known engineer in motorsports, once said, “If it looks fast, it probably is.” Well, it turns out he’s right.

It all started back at Interbike while chatting a bit with the boys from the Syndicate and asking their feelings about the bike. Seeing that they were all smiles, I had to put one together. Besides, at the show this bike just looked so hot! After talking with a few other manufacturers I put together my own wish list of parts that I, and I am sure others, would like to see tested on the slopes. The actual build that comes with the V-10 Carbon is already a great build… I just wanted to see how far I could go. A few emails to Easton, Fulcrum, SRAM, Schwable, and Spank, and I was on my way.

But I still had a few hours of sweat equity to put in. Unfortunately, when it comes to custom bikes, you have to do one of two things: either build it yourself or pay someone else to do it. Of course I chose to do the former and over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing some how-to articles about my build.

First Impressions of the Santa Cruz V-10 Carbon

So far I’ve already managed to get in a few rides aboard the V-10. The first thing I noticed was how incredibly light the bike felt. Every pedal stroke going into the trailhead at the slopes was pure acceleration! I managed to get the last DH bike I built down to 36.4lbs; the V-10 Carbon first came in at 32.42lbs. That’s a massive difference in weight! I also found that even after I removed half a degree of head angle to slacken up the steering (more on that in a later article), the bike was still very nimble at speed. And speed is the big key here.

The V-10 feels like it was meant to be in the air. When the bike leaves the ground, the light weight makes for a very flickable ride. On the ground the bike is lightning fast and can change direction with minimal steering input. You would think that the light weight would mean that the bike is fragile. So far, I have had no issues: tossing the bike into rock gardens was not an issue. The 14.5″ high bottom bracket helped at keeping the cranks and pedals away from stray rocks and boulders. I kept the bike in 10.5″ mode seeing that I preferred the slightly plusher ride, and the added travel didn’t hurt anything either.

I didn’t have a chance to tune the bike much after going a bit too fast over a road gap early in my test, which cut the day short. But up until then the bike was getting more and more comfortable with every tweak of the compression and rebound settings. I will not divulge the settings a this time, but will wait until I give a full review of the bike itself.

In short, if you have a chance to give this beast a ride: do it! This is an amazing bit of technology from the folks at Santa Cruz.

Price

So what kind of price are you looking at when assembling a dream bike like this one?

Here’s a quick cost break-down:

Frame: $3250
Headset: Included
Fork: $1700
Wheels: $960
Tires: $89 x2
Cassette: $350
Cranks: $395
Chainguide: $200
Pedals: $125
Handlebar: $110
Brakes: $245 x2
Shifter: $100
Rear Derailleur: $235
Seatpost: $135
Saddle: $174
Ti bolts: $175
Chain: $75
Grips: $20
Total: $8672 (give or take a few dollars)

I would like to thank the folks at SRAM, Santa Cruz, Fulcrum, Schwalbe, Spank, WTB, and Easton for sending down the gear for this build.

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