Santa Cruz 5010

New Santa Cruz 5010: first ride review of mid-travel mullet

by and 13

The latest version of the Santa Cruz 5010 sees a move to mullet but the travel resolutely remains the same: 130mm at the rear, 140mm fork up front. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s changed and our initial impressions.

  • Brand: Santa Cruz
  • Product: 5010 GX AXS RSV MX
  • Price: £8,899
  • From: Santa Cruz Bikes
  • Review by: Amanda for 1 weekend

We only got this particular test bike last Friday but thankfully it arrived in Amanda-size and she had a busy weekend of riding already planned. You can read her initial thoughts below.

A full review will be published once we’ve put more miles into the bike and passed it around a few different testers.

Santa Cruz 5050 in a nutshell

  • C & CC carbon frames
  • MX wheel size
  • XS-XXl frame sizes
  • 130mm VPP rear travel
  • 140mm fork
  • Matte Grey or Gloss Red
  • Low(?) BB height
  • Glovebox downtube storage with Tool Wallet and Tube Purse
  • Chainstay lengths and seat angle change with frame size
  • “Significantly less” anti-squat than previous 5010
  • Straight, progressive leverage curve (3.1 to 2.3 ish)
  • Longer reach
  • Size-specific layup stiffness
  • ISCG05 chain guide mount
  • Threaded BB
  • IS headset
  • Santa Cruz’s UDH
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Prices from £5,299 to £9,599

First Ride Review

First ride impressions are based on a brief explore around Llanfyllin followed by 65km in Elan Valley. Due to the time restraint, I haven’t had chance to make the adjustments I need that were brought to light on the first ride. This is also the first mullet I have ever ridden.

My initial thoughts before riding the Santa Cruz 5010 were that the front end looks high, so I dropped the stem 20mm before even saddling up. I set the suspension to the recommended settings and set the high and low speed compression a few clicks from fully open as a starting point. I’m riding a size medium which is specced with a 150mm seat post, and this needed bringing out the frame an inch once I fit my SPDs.

On the first climb I found one major pro and one con. The pro is that there is limited/barely any pedal bob, even when stomping up a 15% grade hill. The con is that the front end feels even higher than it looks – I was having to get my elbows right out to keep the front wheel weighted. Having not ridden a mullet before I’m not sure if this is exaggerated by the smaller back wheel, but dropping the stem down as low as it will go is on my to do list before the next ride.

The first trail I rode on this bike was steep, very dusty and had some tight switchbacks in it. In my mind, that is a trail this bike should excel on. For the most part, it absolutely did. The switchbacks were a quick lesson in why everyone is banging on about mullets these days. I’ve recently got really confident at cornering, so high entry and leaning the bike around the berm I almost felt it accelerate out of each corner. The back wheel didn’t loose traction unless I chose for it to, which obviously I did, because how long are these dusty trails going to last?

The steep sections were tricky to get comfortable on, not due to a lack of confidence for a change. I just felt awkward with the modest travel dropper resulting in the saddle being a bit (actually, a lot) too high, and it became immediately obvious that for my type of riding, I’d need a longer drop post. I’m not sure why Santa Cruz have designed the ultimate Party Bike and stuck a conservative 150mm seat post on it.

It was the 65km in Elan Valley that really made me fall for this bike. Based on the fast flowy descents with rocky hip jumps, big banked corners and no end of optional jumps and drops, I see no limit to the speed I can carry on the 5010 whilst still feeling fully in control. If I made a bad line choice, I could unweight the back so effortlessly that I could jump out of trouble without needing a take off. You can pump an insane amount of speed out, which I suspect is partly due to the proved VPP suspension platform, but I’m sure there must be some physics going on with the smaller back wheel having more ground contact. Or something.

In short, the Santa Cruz 5010 is somehow an unbelievable trail toy despite having a terribly specced seatpost and a notably high front end. I look forward to making some minor tweaks and seeing if steep trails make more sense.

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Model details

santacruzbikes.co.uk

Santa Cruz 5010

Specification

  • Frame // Carbon C, 130mm travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe, 210×50
  • Fork // RockShox Pike Select+, 140mm
  • Wheels // Reserve 30HD 28H
  • Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x.24in 3C MaxxGrip EXO TR
  • Rear Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5×2.4in 3C MaxxTerra EXO TR
  • Chainset // SRAM GX Eagle 148 DUB, 32T
  • Shifter // SRAM GX Eagle AXS Controller
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX AXS Eagel 12sp
  • Cassette // SRAM XG1275 10-50T
  • Brakes // SRAM G2 RS
  • Stem // Burgtecd Enduro MK3 42mm
  • Bars // Santa Cruz 35 Carbon Bar 800mm
  • Grips // Santa Cruz Bicycles House Grips
  • Seatpost // RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6mm 150mm
  • BB // SRAM DUB
  • Size Tested // M
  • Sizes Available // XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight // 14.2kg

Geometry of our size M test bike:

  • Head angle // 64.9° (LO)
  • Effective seat angle // 77.1° (LO)
  • Seat tube length // 405mm
  • Head tube length // 115mm
  • Chainstay // 434mm (LO)
  • Wheelbase // 1,213mm (LO)
  • Effective top tube // 599mm (LO)
  • BB height // 334mm (LO)
  • Reach // 456mm (LO)
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Review Info

Brand: Santa Cruz
Product: 5010 GX AXS RSV MX
From: santacruzbikes.co.uk
Price: £8,899
Tested: by Amanda for 1 weekend
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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • New Santa Cruz 5010: first ride review of mid-travel mullet
  • Amanda Wishart
    Full Member

    I’ve just had Ross tell me I’m ‘So XC!’ for complaining about a high front end on a 140mm fork. So to clarify – yes, I am XCAF, but it still feels like a high front end for a trail bike. Time may correct me, I best go out for a ride…

    P20
    Full Member

    I really like the look and the sound of this. It sounds ideal for me. However no Shimano option and the cost! Frame only is fancy CC at £3599, so not really an option either.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    I’ve just had Ross tell me I’m ‘So XC!’ for complaining about a high front end on a 140mm fork. So to clarify – yes, I am XCAF, but it still feels like a high front end for a trail bike.

    They do have long head tubes (or at least, my 2021 does).

    Assuming all the photos are as you rode it, it loooks perfectly normal. Only moan is for the santa cruz review bike manager who left that steerer tube ridiculously long.

    Fahzure Freeride
    Full Member

    That’s a good first review. I think you’ll find the stack likable on steeper bits.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    Long steerer tubes are great when you buy a bike. It means you can play around with bar height until you’re perfectly happy and it only takes 5 minutes to shorten it when you have settled on your final length.

    I totally agree about companies specking short droppers all the time. What’s the point of a shirt seat tube/standover if you have to run 50mm of seatpost out of your frame? Surely it’s better to spec the longest you can sensibly get away with (for the rider height you expect) and if there’s the odd person who might want a short one it’s cheaper for them to swap it.

    Looking at the geo I’d want the Large with a 200mm dropper for my size.

    Apart from that it looks ideal for most of the riding I’d ever do (including the odd trip to the Alps)

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    I totally agree about companies specking short droppers all the time. What’s the point of a shirt seat tube/standover if you have to run 50mm of seatpost out of your frame? Surely it’s better to spec the longest you can sensibly get away with (for the rider height you expect) and if there’s the odd person who might want a short one it’s cheaper for them to swap it.

    On my 2021 5010, Large, I’ve probably got 80-90mm of my 170mm dropper out of the frame.

    Yes I could fit 170mm dropper to full insertion, but could I fit a theoretical 250 at full insertion with the tunnel for the shock?

    However I’m going to mainly blame aesthetics. One of my rules for pretty bikes is that top tube should be 90 degrees to the fork. For any given head angle and fork length this sets where the top tube will end up – with a bit of a seat mast/brace added on top for stiffness.

    Ozak42
    Full Member

    9 grand for that bike is insane. You can get a good ebike with better spec for less than that. I know prices are going up, but that is mental.

    Del
    Full Member

    And so it begins…

    socalmtnbiker
    Free Member

    3.5 lbs. heavier (27.8 lbs. (12.6kg) with pedals) than my large 5010 vintage 2015.


    @Ozak42
    This is a real bike, not an e-bike.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    It’s more than my KTM.

    Well, someone had to!

    Flieslikearock
    Full Member

    I ride an old style 2017 5010 in a small because I’m 5’2″, I struggle enough hefting the front wheel about because I weigh 50kg and I’m a weakling, can’t imagine the trouble I’d have lifting an even higher and heavier front end!

    Does look pretty and of course I’d not it out of the shed though!

    ravingdave
    Full Member

    What’s wrong with having a high front end?

    Flieslikearock
    Full Member

    Well, from a personal point of view it means I have to be really careful if the bike stops at speed. I’d need platform shoes to be able to stand over with clearance!
    The other thing is unweighting the front end, going uphill the front wanders a bit unless I’m right down low, a higher front is likely to wander more.
    I’d still like to test ride one to see what it’s like to loft for manuals and wheelies as I’m rubbish at it on my current one.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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