Santa Cruz 5010 Vs Bronson

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Last Updated on June 29, 2021

The Santa Cruz bikes have in the recent past seen new updates in some categories of bikes. Two models that are closely competing between themselves are the 5010 and Bronson. 

Choosing between the two can be a little of an uphill task. Coming from an acclaimed company, they both tend to perform comparatively well. Besides, they also come at a price that calls a little more investment than other bikes.

Here is a detailed comparison of the two bikes to help you assess the one with better value for different riding situations. 


Here’s What You Need to Know About Santa Cruz 5010

Santa Cruz 5010

Santa Cruz 5010 is known as the "all-terrain machine."  Although more composed than its previous make, it is still as capable as it has always been. 

Its 27.7" wheels and 140 mm up front paired with 130 mm of rear- travel helps the 5010 to convert every terrain into a playground. You can trust it to deliver when it comes to having fun uphill or downhill with a high level of predictability. 

It's essential to understand the features that make the Santa Cruz 5010 bike what it is. This will help you make an informed decision if you decide to buy it. 

The Frame

In updating the features of the Cruz 5010, the manufacturers ignored the lower-link-mounted rear shock. This configuration comes with progressivity that is not easy to notice. The designers found that the bike’s performance was just right without the extra weight. 

The new design of the 5010 provides enough room for 2.8-inch tires, which is part of the recent shift from plus-bikes. The front triangle has some extra reinforcement around the main pivot.

The rear triangle adds drive-side upright support between the seat and chain. The dual uprights make for more direct translation from wheel impacts to shock response. 


5010 is equipped with SRAM Guide T 180/180 brakes to provide a lot of braking force to enable you to stop when you should. They have maximum responsiveness in all terrains and road conditions. If you ride at really high speeds and need to break many times as you cycle, these are the types of brakes you want to have on your bike. 

Build Kits

Santa Cruz 5010 is still available with a C or CC carbon construction. You can also get it in its aluminum version. All these models arrive with Fox DPX2 shocks.

Each frame material has a few build kits, and higher-end configurations offer a wheel upgrade in the 27 mm or 37 mm internal widths. This is one factor that has put the Santa Cruz wheels on an easier-to-reach shelf. 

Ride Impressions

Thanks to the geometry of the 5010, the bike leaves you with a ripping good ride impression in plenty of scenarios. The upgrade saw the bike acquire 15 extra millimeters and become 0.5 degrees slacker.

The high position has a 66.5-degree head angle and 334 mm bottom bracket that complements the bike in flatter terrains. Overall, the bike is best suited for more refined users, given its high precision levels. 

Who Should Invest in Santa Cruz 5010?

The Santa Cruz 5010 is designed with the intermediate to advanced user in mind. All its features work together to provide a memorable experience over a wide range of terrain types.

The wide tires are the default configuration to allow you to breeze over obstacles without worrying about tire damage. The bike is highly lightweight yet packs a lot of power and capabilities for an optimized riding experience. 

5010 is perfect for professional downhill racing. The top seat features a long-framed design, and the head angle is fabricated for perfect compatibility with the top seat tube. The bike is approved for over-forking to give riders the freedom of movement. 

Advantages of Santa Cruz 5010

  • The brakes are high-quality and provide astonishing braking power
  • The SRAM NX Eagle shifters deliver the ability to change your speed quickly and efficiently
  • The tires have a wide tread pattern to help you take on a wide range of terrains and conditions
  • The Silverado Race saddle is designed for ultimate comfort and performance
  • Lightweight design and overall frame model for ease of movement and performance
  • Available in multiple sizes and configurations to meet your needs and preferences 

Disadvantages of Santa Cruz 5010

  • Santa Cruz 5010 has a stiff tail-end design that makes it intense to take high-impact hits in certain conditions. 

Here’s What You Need to Know About Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

The Santa Cruz Bronson model features a carbon frame made from Carbon C metal composition. It ensures that you have a stable and reliable bike that you can use without fear that it will break.

It also has a VPP suspension design to enhance its responsiveness and fast-acting performance. This allows you to quickly and easily adapt to a variety of terrains and trails. 

The Frame

The frame of the updated Bronson underwent drastic changes. The designers mounted the shocks to the lower link instead of the upper, a change that saw the bike mimic the design of the V10 downhill bike.

This offers a progressive leverage curve for small-bump performance, a bottomless feel, and supportive mid-stroke. 

Build Kits

Just like the 5010 bike category, the Bronson frame is available in CC, C, and alloy carbon materials. However, the bike underwent a mismatched travel design, leaving it at 150 mm outback and bumping it up to 160 mm of front travel.

The 160 mm come in the form of some level of Fox 36. The 150 mm outback comes in the form of RockShox Super Deluxe R on the C builds and RCT on the CC builds. 

Ride Impressions

Upon its release, Bronson was an apt climber, with supportive suspensions and a steeper seat angle. It has relatively few compromises on climbs and nearly none on the descents.

These qualities make sudden and short climbs quicker and less painful. The bike offers a more updated 75.3 or 75.0 degrees depending on the ego settings. Paired with the predictably progressive leverage curve, you can easily reach for the pedal mode on long-fire roads. 

Who Should Invest in Santa Cruz Bronson?

The design of Bronson makes it ideal for someone whose riding style and trail are rowdier than for its 5010 model counterpart. Since the model came into the market, most professional downhill bikers highly praise the bike. 

If you regularly find yourself biking on steep terrains, Santa Cruz Bronson is one of the best options you want to look into. It gives you a complete command over it even when riding through rocky or mussy parts of the trail. 

Advantages of Santa Cruz Bronson 

  • The bike has high performance on descents, better than previous Bronson versions
  • Attractive suspension design 
  • Well-thought-out details of the frame, including a replaceable downtube protector 
  • The internal routing makes for a very clean-looking bike
  • The bike has a strong reputation and design quality, which is why many top riders choose the brand

Disadvantages of Santa Cruz Bronson 

  •  A good climber on technical terrains, but not the best
  • The rear shock lacks a compression adjustment or lockout lever
  • The rear hub engages very slowly, which is disappointing for such a high-end bike
  • Too expensive compared to other brands 

Final Thoughts: Choosing between 5010 and Bronson

In comparing the 5010 and the Bronson bikes, it’s clear that they both have excellent and desirable features. They both make for great options for mountain biking, especially for professional users.

The brake types in both models are excellent and reliable. However, Santa Cruz Bronson has a slightly higher customer attraction and delivers an incredible balance of playful movements.

 Its ascent and decent capabilities explain the slightly higher price, which serves as the ultimate differentiator between the two bikes. 

Harold Whitford

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About the Author

My name is Harold Whitford, a husband, father, and avid cyclist with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Delaware. Having been in the industry for more than 15 years, I have a number of the road race and national time trial championships in my bag.

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