Santa Cruz has debuted their 2009 Driver 8 freeride downhill mountain bike.  Intended as a general use at gravity parks, Santa Cruz says it can be used for pretty much any downhill course up to World Cup level tracks.  Frame weight is 10.6 lbs for a Medium and it has 8″ (200mm) rear wheel travel.  Up front, the frame is designed to handle a 180mm to 203mm travel fork with its beefy 1.5″ headtube.  They claim it’ll handle pretty much any 2.7 inch tire.

Read “more” for lots of pics and details…

The 1.5″ headtube and oversized, shaped tubes give the bike big-hit strength.  Head angle is a stable 67° across all three frame sizes.

The upper link (gray) is carbon fiber…presumably for strength since you’re looking at a bike that’ll blow past 30 lbs built.

On the bottom linkage, there are eight (8) bearings to keep things tight and laterally stiff.  The Driver 8 uses a next-generation VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) design.  The bottom bracket is 83mm wide and has ISCG05 chainguard mounts.  You can mount Truvativ’s HammerSchmidt, but the suspension is designed to operate best with a 36-40 tooth chainring (single, there is no mount for a front derailleur).  The bottom bracket is pretty low, so they recommend 165 or 170 crank arms.

Underneath is a grease port to keep things running smooth.

The 8″ of rear travel is achieved via a long 70mm stroke RockShox Vivid 5.1 coil shock with remote reservoir.

Above and below, the rear end uses a 150mm axle with a RockShox 12mm Maxle.  The Maxle gives the quick release convenience of standard QR’s with the stiffness of a bolt-on axle.  Chainstay length is 17.4″ (442mm).

Available as framesets in May.  Orders are now being accepted for framesets, full bike orders will commence in April.  Pricing is:

  • $2,399 USD – Powdercoated w/ RS Vivid 5.1 shock
  • $2,599 USD – Powdercoated w/ Fox DHX RC4 shock
  • $200 USD – Anodization upcharge


What do you think?