santa cruz 5010
16 Jun 2020

Whoever said 27.5in wheels were dead? Santa Cruz throws caution to the wind with its newest full suspension trail bike - the 5010

That’s right folks – there’s a new Santa Cruz 5010 in town, and this one looks a whole lot different to the last model! Unlike every other bike launch this year though, the 5010 hasn’t jumped up a category. It still features 130mm of rear wheel travel, and it’s still built around 27.5in wheels. That keeps it squarely within the full suspension trail bike bracket – a category that is increasingly being deserted by 27.5in wheels, while mid-travel 29ers (like Santa Cruz’s own Tallboy) continue to assert their dominance.

santa cruz 5010 mitch ropelato
Ooh, that looks rather like fun!

But not everyone wants a big wheeler. As good as modern 29ers are, there’s no denying the agility and playfulness of a smaller 27.5in wheel. Indeed Santa Cruz claims the 5010 loves “being thrown around on the tightest of trails and popping out of corners” and that it’s ideally suited for “riders who seek out the playful lines and love getting airborne“. That sounds fun right?

Whatever your thoughts are on 27.5in vs 29in wheels though, it’s clear that Santa Cruz has seen enough benefits (and enough of a market) with 27.5in wheels to develop and produce a whole new 5010, along with a new women’s specific Juliana Furtardo too, which surely isn’t an inexpensive exercise. And as you’ll see, this isn’t just a slight update – this is a proper overhaul, with a load of interesting changes.

santa cruz 5010
BIG change for the new Santa Cruz 5010, which gets new suspension kinematics thanks to the lower link VPP design.

New Frame & Lower Link VPP Suspension

The most obvious change is the reworked suspension layout, with the 5010’s carbon frame moving to the new-school lower link VPP suspension design – just like the Bronson, Hightower and Tallboy. Rather than hanging underneath the top tube, the shock now sits within a tunnel at the base of the seat tube. The layout improves standover height, lowers the overall centre of gravity, and allows for a water bottle inside the main frame. That ain’t the half of it though.

The big difference is in the improved kinematics. With the lower VPP link driving the shock, you get a less wobbly spring curve that offers more progression. This means the 5010 is both air and coil spring compatible, and it’ll take a piggyback shock too. On the trail, we’ve generally found the new lower link VPP bikes to offer smoother and more traction-rich suspension performance, with better bottom-out support to boot. It’s a big improvement for Santa Cruz.

santa cruz 5010
There’s room for an in-line or piggyback shock, and the 5010 is also supposedly coil-friendly too.

Adjustable Geo

While the 5010 does keep 130mm out back, it bumps up to a 140mm fork on the front. The reach has grown, and it’s actually a bit longer than a Hightower. Each frame size is also now built around a 40mm stem length.

The head angle has been slackened off a touch and sits at 65.4° in the Low setting. There’s a two-position chip in the lower shock mount, and flipping that into the High setting will steepen the angles by 0.3° and lift the BB by 4mm.

Perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser though is the size-specific chainstay length.

Size Specific Chainstays

Perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser though is the size-specific chainstay length. This is something that Santa Cruz has partially touched on with the Megatower and Tallboy, which feature a two-position chip at the rear dropout that offers two specific chainstay lengths. It’s a cool adjustment for riders to play around with, and the general idea is that taller riders on larger frames with longer front centres can also benefit from having a longer rear centre too.

On the new 5010, Santa Cruz has gone one step further by creating a specific rear centre length for almost each frame size. Rear centre length varies from 423mm on the X-Small and goes up to 432mm on the X-Large. The swingarm itself doesn’t get longer – that’s identical between all sizes. Instead, Santa Cruz has been able to tweak the rear centre length by shifting the two main VPP pivot points on the mainframe. We’re told this doesn’t effect travel or the kinematics, because the link orientation, and the the links themselves, are unchanged throughout the sizes.

It’s a very clever way of altering the rear centre length, and it’s a positive step towards fine-tuning the geometry, especially for the larger frame sizes. If we were betting folk, we’d say it’s very likely we’ll see this same method used on other Santa Cruz models in the future.

santa cruz 5010 geometry
2020 Santa Cruz 5010 Frame Geometry

The 5010 is also the first Santa Cruz frame to utilise the new SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) standard.

Body Armour & The UDH

As we’ve come to expect from Santa Cruz, there’s lots of nice touches to be found on the new 5010 frame, including guided internal cable routing, downtube belly armour, a shuttle guard, a mud-flap for the rear shock, and the new ribbed chainstay protector.

The 5010 is also the first Santa Cruz frame to utilise the new SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) standard. We first saw this hanger on the latest Trek Fuel EX, though more brands have since picked it up. According to Santa Cruz, the UDH is a simple and solid design that really isn’t that different to its own hanger design, it just has the potential to be way more common in the future, which can only be a good thing in our opinion.

santa cruz 5010
As well as the new SRAM UDH hanger, complete 5010’s will also get the new 10-52T cassette and matching derailleur.

Frame & Build Options

The new 5010 will only be available in carbon fibre, though Santa Cruz will offer two carbon levels (C & CC) across four different spec levels. Pricing kicks off at $7,599 AUD for the ‘R’ build, and goes up to $11,399 AUD for the X01 build.

All complete 5010s will be equipped with 2.4in Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres, and we’re digging that there’s a softer 3C MaxxGrip tyre up front and a firmer 3C MaxxTerra out back. Quad-piston brakes and 180mm rotors are stock on all models, along with long-stroke stealth dropper posts and 1×12 drivetrains. Also new is the Reserve 30 wheelset, which features a new carbon fibre layup and a reworked profile that is said to be stronger than before. While stock bikes will come with alloy wheels, the Reserve (or ‘RSV’) wheelset will be available as a separate upgrade option.

You’ll also be able to get a standalone 5010 CC frameset with a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock for $5,799 AUD. Colours are ‘Loosely Blue’ or ‘Raspberry Sorbet’.

santa cruz 5010 cc x01
The top-end X01 model features Ultimate suspension from RockShox, carbon cranks and DT Swiss 350 hubs.

Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01

  • Frame | Carbon CC, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Ultimate, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Race Face ARC 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM X01 Eagle 1Ă—12 w/X1 Carbon 32T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 RSC w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Burgtec Enduro MK2 Stem & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • RRP | $11,399 AUD
santa cruz 5010 c xt 27.5
Santa Cruz has also introduced a new XT spec option, which features the 1×12 drivetrain and 4-piston disc brakes.

Santa Cruz 5010 C XT

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Select+, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Race Face ARC 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT M8100 1Ă—12 w/XT 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano Deore XT M8120 w/180mm Ice Tech Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Burgtec Enduro MK2 Stem & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • RRP | $10,499 AUD
santa cruz 5010 c s 27.5
SRAM’s new GX Eagle groupset only launched last week, but it’s already an option on the new 5010.

Santa Cruz 5010 C S

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Series, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 370 Hubs & Race Face AR 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1Ă—12 w/GX Alloy 32T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 R w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Burgtec Alloy Bars, Enduro MK2 Stem & WTB Silverado Pro Saddle
  • RRP | $8,999 AUD
santa cruz 5010 c r 27.5
Same C carbon frame, geometry and suspension design as the top-end models, albeit with a cheaper SRAM NX Eagle groupset to bring the price down.

Santa Cruz 5010 C R

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox Rhythm 34, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPS, Performance Series, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | SRAM MTH Hubs & WTB ST i30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX Eagle 1Ă—12 w/NX Alloy 32T Crankset & 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM Guide T w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | SDG Tellis, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Race Face Ride Bars, Chester Stem & WTB Silverado Race Saddle
  • RRP | $7,599 AUD

The two bikes share exactly the same carbon frame, but the Juliana builds feature women’s specific touch points, along with a lighter suspension tune for lighter pilots.

There’s A Juliana Version Too

Alongside the Santa Cruz 5010, there’s also a brand new Juliana Furtado too. The two bikes share exactly the same carbon frame, so the Furtado also gets the lower-link VPP suspension layout, variable chainstay length, and adjustable geometry. However, the Furtado complete bikes feature women’s specific touch points, along with a lighter suspension tune for lighter pilots.

Whereas the 5010 comes in two colour options and sizes from XS-XL, the Furtado is limited to a tighter XS-M size range, and just the single colour. That said, we reckon the ‘Spicy Redwood’ finish is an absolute zinger!

juliana furtado cc x01
The top-end Juliana Furtado is the only complete bike to get the lighter CC carbon frame.

Juliana Furtado CC X01

  • Frame | Carbon CC, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Ultimate, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Race Face ARC 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM X01 Eagle 1Ă—12 w/X1 Carbon 32T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 RSC w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Burgtec Enduro MK2 Stem & Juliana Primiero Saddle
  • RRP | $11,399 AUD
juliana furtado c xt
Using the same low-slung chassis as the 5010, the Furtado offers a lighter suspension tune and women’s specific touch points.

Juliana Furtado C XT

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Select+, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Race Face ARC 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT M8100 1Ă—12 w/XT 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano Deore XT M8120 w/180mm Ice Tech Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Burgtec Enduro MK2 Stem & Juliana Primiero Saddle
  • RRP | $10,499 AUD
juliana furtado c s
The Furtado C S is equipped with a SRAM GX Eagle groupset and Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres.

Juliana Furtado C S

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Series, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | DT Swiss 370 Hubs & Race Face AR 30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1Ă—12 w/GX Alloy 32T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 R w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Burgtec Alloy Bars, Enduro MK2 Stem & Juliana Segundo Saddle
  • RRP | $8,999 AUD
juliana furtado c r
The ‘R’ build is the entry point into the Juliana Furtado range. Same geometry and suspension design as the top-end models, with a Fox fork and shock, 1×12 drivetrain and dropper post.

Juliana Furtado C R

  • Frame | Carbon C, VPP Suspension Design, 130mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox Rhythm 34, 140mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPS, Performance Series, 210x50mm
  • Wheels | SRAM MTH Hubs & WTB ST i30 Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C MaxxGrip 2.4in Front & 3C MaxxTerra 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX Eagle 1Ă—12 w/NX Alloy 32T Crankset & 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM Guide T w/180mm Centerline Rotors
  • Seatpost | SDG Tellis, 31.6mm, 1X Lever
  • Cockpit | Race Face Ride Bars, Chester Stem & Juliana Segundo Saddle
  • RRP | $7,599 AUD

Last, but certainly not least – there’s of course a video to go with it. We certainly don’t make a habit of embedding brand’s videos here at Flow, but we had to make an exception for the 5010 launch video, which is just a tonne of fun – see if you can’t crack a smile watching this!


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