Santa Cruz Bronson vs Santa Cruz 5010

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Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010 – which one of the two Santa Cruz bikes is perfect for you?

I understand how it feels to be in a dilemma. You have a hard time deciding between the best Santa Cruz bikes like the 5010 and Santa Cruz Bronson, which one is worth spending a dollar on.

Some pro cyclists think the Bronson is so amazing that it might kill its sibling, the 5010. Others have a contrary opinion and believe that 5010 is the real deal and most suitable for a ride any day.

This Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010 may never end.

Let me pour my experience with the two bikes and perhaps help you decide which one is more suitable for you.

Individual Features of Every Bike

Before we check out the similarities and differences between these two-wheelers, we must unbox every bike by itself.

The Santa Cruz 5010

If you are looking for fun on the trails, then you deserve a good bike. The adventure cannot be as fun without the Santa Cruz 5010.

All the challenges you encounter on the trails will be as enjoyable as they should be, thanks to the fantastic 5010. Are you curious about the specs?

  • Frame- carbon cc 130mm
  • Fork- Fox 34 float performance 130mm
  • Shock- Fox Performance DPX2
  • Brakes- SRAM Guide RSC
  • Handlebar- Santa Cruz AM Carbon 760mm
  • Headset- Cane Creek 40 IS
  • Saddle- WTB Silverado Team
  • Seatpost- Rock Shox Reverb 150mm
  • Shifter- SRAM X01 Eagle 12s
  • Stem- Race Face Aeffect 50mm
  • Hubs- ST Swiss 350
  • Rims- Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon
  • Tires- Maxxis Minion 2.3”
  • Bottom Bracket- Threaded Bottom Bracket
  • Cassette- SRAM XG-1295 10-50t
  • Cranks- SRAM X1 Eagle 175mm 32ft
  • Derailleur- SRAM X01 Eagle 12s

The Santa Cruz 5010 is Santa Cruz’s gift to riders who want to set a mark on the trails confidently.

It’s a bike that dusts the vegetation on the sides of the track, pops off rocks, flies through trees, etc., and makes your life more exciting.

How lightweight is the bike? Super light, and there’s more to the latest model.


The latest Santa Cruz 5010 comes with a carbon frame, and the 2022 model had an aluminum option, but Santa Cruz is a manufacturer with an expansive vision.

The frame provides every ride with the comfort, mobility, and performance they expected from the flagship.

If you are looking for versatility, the 5010 is just the bike that will get you out of your house all day.

Jump over the roots, hit the soft rocks, climb the larger ones, and the frame will take every form of punishment you throw at it. The frame will, in fact, last for years.


The fork is an integral part of a mountain bike. You expect a Santa Crux 5010 to have a high-quality fork to compensate for the two large or more you’ll spend on it.

Jokes aside! The Fox Rhythm 34 130mm that comes with the 5010 is a big deal.

The bike is built with high-quality material and will never break while you are deep in the woods cruising faster than the winds.

The fork is built to conquer the toughest of the most challenging terrains and provides exceptional support to the rider.


I have nothing against heavy bikes, but I’d need a featherweight bike riding uphill. Millions of other riders would want that also, and that’s why Santa Crux built a very light 5010.

The bike weighs 28.5 lbs. That’s just the right and manageable weight for you to remain on the move.

Compared to other bikes in that category, the 5010 is reasonably light, and catching your breath will not be as much.

The weight will offer stability, and versatility, and you get to ride faster on a more lightweight bike.

Other Components

The bike features a 12-speed SRAM groupset. The shifters work perfectly without interfering with your mobility.

The SRAM Guide brakes provide a fast and effective braking force. If you want to stop instantly just before hitting a tree or a rock, you can count on the responsiveness of these brakes.

To complete the wheelset, the bike is equipped with Maxxis DHF 650×2.6 to help the bike roll over any terrain.

The width of these tires prevents the occurrence of punctures and is best suited for the most unforgiving terrains.

The Lower-Link VPP Update

One of the most noticeable changes to the 5010 must be the VVP suspension.

In the older models, the VPP suspension was on the upper link, but all the recent 5010s are coming with the lower-link system.

The advantage of this new system is that the rider can change to whatever rear shock they wish, whether coil or air shock, thus making shock tuning a more straightforward step.

The bike also feels a lot smoother on the terrain.

The Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

The Bronson is another Santa Cruz finest and the 5010 siblings. The bikes are so identical that I can’t help imagining the confusion on your face.

Bronson is one of the best downhill bikes you will get your hands on. I unboxed this bike, and this is the package you get when you purchase a Santa Cruz Bronson.

  • Frame- aluminum, carbon C/CC 130mm
  • Fork- RockShox Yari Motion Control RC/RockShox Lyric Ultimate 160mm travel
  • Shock- RockShox Super Deluxe R rear shock
  • Brakes- SRAM Guide T
  • Handlebar- Santa Cruz AM Carbon 760mm
  • Headset- Cane Creek 40 IS
  • Saddle- WTB Silverado Race
  • Seatpost- Race Face Aeffect
  • Shifter- SRAM X01 Eagle 12s
  • Stem- Race Face Aeffect 50mm
  • Hubs- ST Swiss 350
  • Rims- Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon
  • Tires- Maxxis Minion 2.3”
  • Bottom Bracket- Threaded Bottom Bracket
  • Cassette- SRAM XG-1295 10-50t
  • Cranks- SRAM X1 Eagle 175mm 32ft
  • Derailleur- SRAM X01 Eagle 12s

By far, Bronson is one of the best downhill bikes, though some critics believe it’s not the best option for long climbs.

However, as a rider, you don’t expect the bike to climb by itself—your effort matters too.

The weight of the wheels also plays a significant role, and so without further ado, let’s see whether the engineers of this model did a good job.


Why do we always have to start with the frame? It’s the most critical part of the bike, followed by the fork and shock.

Santa Cruz frames are six-figure worth due to their incredible attention to detail. Bronson’s frame was not a disappointment, either. It lived up to the company’s greatness.

All frames come in either aluminum, carbon C, or carbon CC. Let your money decide which frame material you’ll be taking home.

The frames also have internal tubing for your brake and gear cables.


Forks differ from one model to another, and Bronson comes with two RockShox options.

They all have the same fork travel of 160mm for a smooth ride on whatever kind of terrain mother nature lays down for you.

You can also upgrade to a Fox 36 Float. It all streams down to your personal preference.

It’s going to be your bike, and your comfort matters a lot.


As you already know, the bike frame comes in three frame choices, and there’s weight variation involved.

You cannot describe the Santa Cruz Bronson as lightweight because it varies with the model.

The wheels also weigh in on the weight.

The carbon frame weighs about 30 lbs, while the aluminum option weighs about 35 lbs at most. Let’s put it this way, the more you are willing to spend on a Santa Cruz Bronson, the lighter bike you get.

Other Features

Another critical component of a bike is the wheels. When it comes to tires, you can choose the Minion DHR II 2.4” or the Minion DHF 2.5,” both from Maxxis.

You can also opt for the 2.6” sizes though they are heavier. The maximum width you can use is 2.8.”

For the brakes, the Bronson comes with an SRAM code RSC version with Avid Centerline 180mm brake rotors for an earth-scratching braking effect.

There’s a model graced by the XTR M9120 brakes. Both brakes will stop your bike effortlessly, whether you were descending downhill at high speed or not.

Bronson has the same groupset as the 5010.

The Rear Suspension

Not only have the manufacturer upgraded the rear suspension, but they also recognized that their earlier models had flaws, and the latest models now use a powerful RockShox Super Deluxe.

The shocks are capable of absorbing the pressure and the stress that comes from the rough terrains. It’s flexible enough to offer you total control of the bike.

You also have the option of changing the shocks to whatever seems fancy to you.

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: The Similarities and Differences

Santa Cruz Bronson bike
Santa Cruz Bronson

Now we have come to the part where the two bulls will lock horns.

Which bike takes the top spot? Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010 are bikes of a kind, and they look similar to someone who doesn’t have any idea about bikes.

If you know what makes a biker more incredible and you are a firm believer that components make a badass bike, then you might find yourself falling in love with both of these bikes.

Both have top-quality components, and it’s pretty much confusing trying to pick one bike among them.

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: Geometry

You thought that the Bronson looks like the 5010? Think again!

The Bronson actually looks like a copy-and-paste job for the Nomad model.

However, you can notice a few similarities between the 5010 and Bronson, but many differences if you go into detail, especially with the geometry.

In fact, it’s geometry that draws a thicker line between these two models. One comes with a slacker head tube, a steeper seat tube, but neither tries to outshine the other.

Bronson is still classifieds as a trail bike even though I prefer riding it as an Enduro bike judging by its slightly steep head tube and seat angle.

Here, both bikes feel almost the same though 5010 would feel better for flat riding.

However, if you are the king or queen of climbs and drops, Bronson should be your weapon of choice, but what does your budget suggest?

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: Fork

As mentioned earlier, the Bronson is a full-suspension bike, and you already have an idea of how it feels to ride it through the trails.

Packed with a 160mm front travel fork, a RockShox Lyric, or Yari, according to your unique taste, the bike is a beat on the trails, but when it comes to tight turns, it doesn’t perform stunningly.

The 5010 is fitted with a Fox Float 36 130mm underneath and through the headtube. The bike handles well and is better than the Bronson on tight corners. It’s my bike of choice for general trails, but every bike has its shortcomings.

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: Weight

Bronson weighs about 30-35 lbs depending on the frame material, while the 5010 weighs about 29 lbs. That’s quite a considerable difference, which you can only feel when cycling uphill.

Bronson is heavier, no doubt, but there’s some advantage to that. A heavier bike has more traction, while a lighter one tends to accelerate quicker, fast, and swiftly.

If you understand how Enduro racing works, then you will see the advantage of riding the Bronson in such an event.

The weight of the bike turns into an advantage. So, here, you will be compelled to buy a bike that is best suited for your discipline of choice. If you are into trail biking, 5010 would be the best choice.

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: Suspension Type

Hardtail mountain bikes only have the front suspension, and there are a selected few with rigid forks.

Full-sus mountain bikes have forks for the front and a shock in the rear. That single addition is enough to propel the bike’s price up.

Bronson is an excellent example of a full suspension. It accelerates quickly and smoother on trails and obstacles than a hardtail bike.

There’s another technology, the VPP suspension. The 5010 features this kind of suspension, and most riders say it feels better on the trails than a dual suspension.

I wonder if hardtail riders say a word in that conversation.

Santa Cruz Bronson vs 5010: The Similarities

Santa Cruz 5010
Santa Cruz 5010

Both the 5010 and the Bronson have a set of 27.5-inch wheels. They all have the same size and brand of tires.

They also have the same handlebars and almost the same level of groupset by SRAM. The saddle and seat post are also of the same brand and quality.

For a rider who can’t spot the difference between the set of components, only the model name on the right side of the frame just through the rear wheel will let them know what bike they are looking at.

All in all, both are great bikes, so which one should you buy?

Which one is Worth the Penny?

The 5010 is more affordable than Bronson, starting at $2,699 and $3,499, respectively. The prices may go up to over $10,000 for each model for the best of these bikes.

At the end of the day, you’ll buy the bike you can comfortably afford, but if you have extra thousands to spend, you may decide to purchase the most expensive 5010 or Bronson or take both.

Comparing the two bikes must be quite a headache. Both bikes have terrific features, hands down, and Santa Cruz was not playing with designing these bikes and manufacturing them.

They are both worth every dollar you spend on them. That said, the 5010 is for you if you are on a budget. It seems to be more affordable, even though it seems to take more credits than Bronson.


Are Santa Cruz bikes worth the money?

Yes, Santa Cruz bikes are definitely worth the money. They are very versatile and adaptable bikes that can run a geared or single-speed drive train.  Santa Cruz bikes are also designed as high-performance models to ensure that true cycling enthusiasts and pros get an enjoyable experience. They come with wide wheels to help you navigate even in the most technical trails, climbs, and descents.

What kind of bike is Santa Cruz 5010?

The Santa Cruz 5010 is a mountain bike designed for trail riding and cross-country riding. Its versatility makes it perfect for riders who want balanced handling, efficient suspension, and a playful ride. Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced XC race or an all-day backcountry adventure, the 5010 is a high-performance machine that will be a fun partner on the trail.

What is the difference between carbon C and carbon CC frames used in Santa Cruz bikes?

While both Carbon C and Carbon CC are robust and durable frames, carbon C is cheaper than carbon CC, but there isn’t any significant difference in their strength. Carbon CC’s frame is also lighter than carbon C. The extra bucks you pay on the Carbon CC essentially reduce the weight without compromising strength and durability.

Is the Santa Cruz Bronson a trail bike?

Yes, Santa Cruz Bronson is a trail bike, though it’s built like an Enduro bike. It’s one of the most refined Santa Cruz trail bikes that guarantees reliability, durability, great value, and easy maintenance. Bronson is also well-designed for excellent performance in a wide range of terrains found on cycling trails. 

My Last Remarks

Let your budget and your bike needs dictate which bike you should buy. While at it, also check the Santa Cruz Nomad. It might be the bike that you need. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Written By

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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