Thursday, May 06, 2010

Santa Cruz Carbon V10

Visually it’s very different, loads lower than previous. Sleeker and no doubt faster. The weight difference is obviously up there on the list of changes.

It can be swapped between 8.5″ and 10″ and a range of settings and geometry. Headtube in 10″ setting can go between 64 and 66 degrees and IN half degree increments. IN THE 8.5″ setting 63 and 65 degrees. It’s a full degree slacker. But you can do whatever you want.
“The front triangle has 125mm headtube with 1.5″, about the same as last year’s custom frames for the Syndicate. The team have very unique set ups, each thought they were on frames totally different but really they were the same. Production wise large is longer. Reach and stack is what people discuss mostly – about 20mm longer on large than it was, and the medium is longer as well” says Joe Graney"

Why with adjustability? “People have difficulty knowing the advantage of a ten–inch bike. Different people have different preferences depending on where they ride. You need the adjustability of adjustable travel.”
Bottom bracket has stayed the same between last years. 14.75″ in long travel, and in 8.5″ mode its 14" 
Top link. BMC (bulk moulding compound) carbon link. The previous had a foam centre, this process is now the same on other bikes. Directional material inside. Solid carbon link now.
Lower link. Bearing is now housed inside lower link. Rubber lip seal, double seal bearing and larger diameter axle. Same style as all VPP bikes now.

Tweaked shock rate slightly, now running 9.5″ x 3.0″ shock, which was what they were racing on aluminium bikes last year. Things might change on testing but they will be pretty invisible. Major difference is that in the 8.5″ setting it now feels like there’s not as much suppleness on the beginning of the stroke compared to the longer bike."

900g less than what they raced on last year. Production weights to be determined.
Standover way lower. “Way the hell down”.


Half inch of carbon up front. “We couldn’t break it in test lab. Casing a jump? Forget it, the jump will break first!”

The swingarm is identical to the Driver 8. Maxle rear end. The crucial point is that it’s made of aluminium."

"Santa Cruz are keen to point out that this is not an official bike launch as such. Joe Graney continues the story before we head off up the hill. “We’ve still got some way to go. It’s not signed off yet. If it was all done the guys would just go and be racing it. That’s why we are all here to work through things and get some quality testing done. Everyone seems pretty stoked though even after just a day.”
This is an important bike for Santa Cruz. It comes at a key time when a few other companies have been lowering the weight. It’s crazy how many new bikes have been coming out of Santa Cruz recently. Just before we head onto hill I grabbed Roskopp again and asked him how the riders were feeling. “Changing direction appears to be different, it’s quicker. The bike is more predictable at the front end. The guys have been commenting on how much easier it feels to be manualling through sections, changing lines quickly. Stiffness and weight. Some of the guys said I was like a kid in a candy shop when they first arrived. We’ve launched a lot of stuff in last six weeks, but it is great to be here going through performance stuff with the riders.”
Finally how come the move to carbon? “We are all impatient and want to improve stuff. The learning curve in carbon has become extremely quick. Carbon wheels, weight and stiffness improvements. I’m all into performance. I can’t see myself riding aluminium again. But I’m lucky and can choose, the carbon is just that much better.”


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