Retail Price: $9,499.00
Current Price: $9,499.00
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Picking out a new trail bike can be a pretty daunting task. There are so many good bikes these days, including multiple options from the same brand. We've always had a soft spot for Santa Cruz's Bronson as its simply easier to pedal and climb than its bigger brother the Nomad while offering up a bit more all-mountain aggression than its smaller sibling, the 5010. So naturally we were a little apprehensive when Santa Cruz announced a complete redesign of the Bronson Carbon CC 27. 5+ XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike and we were worried it might somehow detract from its amazing versatility. Its arrival revealed its "new" plus-sized tires, longer, more aggressive geometry, and a lower-link driven shock inspired by the latest Nomad. Sure, this all looks good on paper, but how would it ride' In a word: amazing. Nothing was lost on this latest version, however, it's more capable than ever, helping to progress the modern trail rider and allow this bike and its rider to simply attack technical trails with more speed and confidence than ever before without sacrificing the weight and pedaling efficiency that's appreciated while getting to them. One of the biggest changes to the third-gen Bronson lies in its longer, slacker geometry that pushes it deeper into the gravity end of the riding spectrum. However, this redesign doesn't significantly alter its all-around versatility, meaning it's still great for the rider that desires the trophy truck plushness of a slack, long-travel rig on rugged trails while still remaining nimble and playful on buffer trails with big climbs and more pedaling. Santa Cruz lengthened the reach by approximately 15 millimeters across the sizes for a more confident, comfortable position at higher speeds. Additionally, it whacked a centimeter from the standover height for better clearance for shorter riders and the opportunity to run a dropper post with more travel. The head tube slackens from the previous generation's already slack 66 degrees...

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