Along with Shimano’s new XTR groupset, the new Santa Cruz Bronson’s release this year was always going to be a definite, and much anticipated event. It wasn’t a case of ‘if’ but of ‘when’. What Santa Cruz fans wanted to know, though, was whether the company’s ‘none-more-enduro’ flagship model would be an enhancement of the current design, or whether it would borrow the low-slung shock look of the bigger Nomad.
Well, here’s your answer. Santa Cruz has taken a chunk of influence from the Nomad and made a bike that’s as up to the minute as possible. As you’d expect, and probably want, it’s that little bit longer, slacker and lower too, with room for bigger tyres too.
Travel on the Bronson remains at 150mm at the rear, though the fork travel has now been beefed up to 160mm forks – still on 27.5in wheels. The ‘fun size’, according to Santa Cruz. The frame’s ‘chunnel’ has room for piggyback air shocks and, while you can fit a coil in there (just), the suspension is optimised for air shocks. While every frame is gaining around 15mm in reach from the previous Mk2 Bronson, the standover has also been increased to either allow for longer dropper posts, or in order to allow riders to size up (or down) if they feel they need more reach.
And when we say ‘Santa Cruz Bronson’, then please also read that as ‘Juliana Roubion’ too. The Juliana range has had a similar mix-up, with new Roubion and Furtado models, some bold (no really) new graphics that are a lot less girly-looking and a little more gender neutral. There’s the same mix of sizes for the Roubion as with the Bronson, from XS to Medium, with Juliana-specific ‘touch points’ of bars, grips and saddle, and a lighter rider shock tune all round.
The frame still uses the counter-rotating pivots of the VPP system to give 150mm of travel. The lower link is hidden behind the (threaded) BB shell, with the shock protected from spray by a plastic guard. And talking of guards, there’s a ‘shuttle’ guard on the downtube to protect the frame from ‘over the tailgate’ shuttling on pickup trucks. Something that is also borrowed from the Nomad.
Santa Cruz has learned some lessons from the Nomad, though and has passed this knowledge on to the Bronson. The top swing link is now back against the seat tube, rather than the divisive-looking link of the Nomad that is more floating in space. The cable ports too, are now smaller and neater, without the sealing grommets of the Nomad. This makes cable swapping easier and the fully-channelled cables in the front triangle make re-cabling a breeze.
There will be two colours – Industry Blue and Primer Grey (photo at top) and the sizing will come in XS all the way up to XL. There will be several build kits available and the bike will be available in aluminium as well as two different carbon frame layups – C and CC (which we think of as ‘Classy Carbon’ to remind us that it’s the lighter/more expensive option).
The bikes will come with a number of build kits, from the ‘R’ build at £3399 for the Alloy frame (and £4399 for the Carbon C) up to the XX1 Reserve at £8299 with the XTR Reserve a hundred quid more. Frames will be available separately at £1899 for the alloy frame and £3299 for the CC carbon frame)
Bikes will be available to view and demo at select dealers from today, with carbon bikes (both C and CC) arriving within days and Alloy bikes available in October. Get ordering if you’re keen. We can’t see these staying around for long.
Watch the new Bronson in action with Ratboy in the video below;