- Tested: Santa Cruz SRAM RED AXS (with Reserve carbon wheel upgrade)
- From: Jungle Products
- Duration: One ride!
- Price: £8,999
Just a few days before the its launch date, the first few Santa Cruz Stigmata(s?) and Juliana Quincys landed at UK distributors, Jungle. The guys in the workshop were still putting the finishing touches to my test bike when I arrived on a filthy wet morning. It was the kind of day that despite the stunning looking new bikes waiting to be played on, we poured another coffee and delayed the inevitable.
I wasn’t just the first journalist to see a Stigmata on UK soil, I was one of the first in the UK warehouse. As I caught up with head honcho (and ride partner) Dickon, the rest of the team would stick their necks round the door for a quick shufty. Noises were made. All of them positive. In a warehouse that is jam-packed with some of the most desirable mountain bikes on the market, all eyes were on the simple lines of the Stig.
Those simple lines don’t tell the whole truth. The Stigmata has had a ground up redesign. With it comes improved clearance, clever carbon lay-up and of course, the women’s model.
In at the deep end
If you are going to review a premium frame, you may as well hang the best kit off it right? Well, I’m inclined to agree while I’m not paying. The top-of-the-range SRAM RED AXS build, with Santa Cruz carbon Reserve 700c wheels was to be mine for the day.
Dickon would be taking out the similarly drool-worthy SRAM Force AXS (as mentioned in our launch news story, this is actually a mash-up between Force and Eagle. The mech and cassette are taken from SRAM’s mountain bike groupset) build, again with Reserve wheels, this time in 650b and with chunky 2.1in tyres.
We had a bike in each colour – Dickon’s a matt green, with the “Santa Cruz” down tube logo actually being a mask, revealing raw carbon beneath. My bike was a shiny mustard – much nicer than it sounds. One of those colours that I’d almost certainly not pick from a catalogue, but loved in the flesh.
Time to go
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