2015 Santa Cruz 5010 Carbon S

Santa Cruz Bicycles has heard the cry and went back to the drawing board to create lower priced carbon fiber frames on three of their most popular models.

“We’re well aware that bikes have been going up in price the last few years,” says Joe Graney, who headed-up the project at Santa Cruz. “So we made it a priority to get the radness of our carbon technology to “trickle down” within reach of more riders.”

For 2015, the Bronson, 5010 and Tallboy will be available with two different frames. The original frames become the premium, retaining the best carbon fibers in their layup and staying as light as possible. The new ones, which will be available in “R” and “S” builds, use a lower grade carbon to bring the cost down.

“Working with our exclusive manufacturing partner, we used the same proprietary processes to create lower cost carbon frames that retained the same legendary strength and stiffness Santa Cruz are known for,” Graney said. “We achieved this by using a different grade of carbon material that results in a minimal weight gain of approximately 250-280 grams (0.6 lbs)!”

The new frames will simply be called Carbon (ex. Bronson Carbon) and the premium frames will get the Carbon C designation. They’ll be available on XT/XO1 builds and up.

2015 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon R
2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon S




The new Santa Cruz carbon handlebars mark the brand’s first foray into their own cockpit parts. What started as a project to make downhill bars quickly became more:

“It’s been impossible to keep our engineers away from bars,” admits Rob Roskopp, owner of Santa Cruz Bicycles. “Having mastered complex projects such as the carbon V10 swingarm, it was inevitable we started looking at where carbon know-how could improve other areas of our products. The key thing for me was that if it was going to carry the Santa Cruz name then everything had to be designed, tested and made by us to the same high standards as our bicycles.”


The riser bars were originally meant to be a DH product, so they’re strong, but when they achieved weights that are impressive even for trail bikes, they expanded to make a couple sizes and added flat bars. They’ll be spec’d on Carbon C builds with XT/XO1 and up…and initially that’s the only way you’ll be able to get them.


To go with the bars, they created the Palmdale grips, a single lock-on they say has the staying power of a dual clamp. Beyond the wide clamp band, the inside shell narrows slightly for the last 38mm, squeezing onto the end of the handlebar to further prevent twisting.

The outside ends have an extra 8mm of rubber with a slight flare, helping keep your hands on board and protecting against inevitable run ins with trees. The grip length is a healthy 125mm plus lock on section, giving you plenty of room, yet it has a slim diameter. It’ll get spec on complete bikes first, followed by aftermarket availability in a smattering of colors.



  1. “Working with our exclusive manufacturing partner”

    OK. I’ll bite. Who is your exclusive manufacturing partner? If you’re gonna brag about them why not give some name recognition?

  2. So they are raising the price of the existing carbon frames and adding another carbon frame SKU that weighs ~250g more at a somewhat lower price (but otherwise identical?)…

    Let me guess:

    This means SC is about to start EOL’ing their Aluminum frame options.

  3. this mean cheap alu frames from sc soon – in fact i already found some at a discount around (and out of stock already too lol)
    which is cool for now.

  4. First off, i am a fan of santa cruz and intense. I jumped on the original VPP blur classic when it first hit the market and have for the most part ridden VPP frames. But this seems ridiculous.

    yah, so price hike on the original carbon, to make way for cheaper carbon. so price difference “looks more dramatic” santa cruz, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

  5. Santa Cruz use VIP (GEEFENG SPORTING GOODS CO.) in Guang Dong China for all their carbon frames. Lots of other bike brands use the same factory. There shouldn’t be any shame in that, VIP are very good.

    They use Apro (http://www.apro-tek.com/) in Taiwan for there aluminium frames . Apro also make frames for Yeti, Cannondale, KTM etc, etc, etc. Again they make good quality frames.

  6. @DUSTY, Apro also does carbon, in TW.

    I think the idea that because it’s carbon it’s going to be expensive that has been perpetuated is one of the best jobs pulled in the market yet. SC now saying that they are going to offer cheaper carbon frames just proves they have lots of room to move and still put a smile on the bean counters dial.

  7. @dusty. i understand where you are coming from. That said, an americans patriotic duty is to support american craftsmen/manufacturing when possible. example-if buying an VPP frame in aluminum, buy and support intense bikes, their alloy is american made.

    it’s sad that the US can’t create a carbon mega plant here, not just for bikes, but other products and industries. (think aluminum and thomson, which does much more than bike industry manufacturing) that’s my rant for today.

  8. Somehow, they keep making righteous colours. I’m not arguing. Still can’t/won’t afford one, but they’ll look nice on the racks of a dentist’s A4 or an Enve bro’s 4Runner. This stuff doesn’t hit the inexpensive button yet.

  9. “Everything had to be designed, tested and made by us.”

    That’s pretty funny coming from a company that doesn’t make anything themselves anymore.

  10. I don’t get it, why bother with carbon if you are not gaining any benefits from it. Aluminum is a pretty sweet material choice… I don’t know why people now scoff at it like it is a low end material. I am of the understanding that carbon molds represent the highest cost. Once the molds are paid for, carbon bikes are cheaper to produce than aluminum. Could this be smart business sense? Make people believe they are getting something better while increasing you revenue and getting maximum life out of old molds?

  11. That minimum weight gain of 0.6lb for the lower grade carbon is the difference between an aluminum frame and a high end carbon frame.

What do you think?