The new Santa Cruz Bronson is as lively and playful as ever with a whole new degree of capability. For the newest iteration, the Bronson gets a 64.5-degree head tube angle, a big ol’ wagon wheel up front, and the tried and true lower-link VPP suspension platform.
Santa Cruz Bronson Geometry
There are some huge changes to the Bronson this year. Let’s start with the elephant in the room. The Bronson has gone mullet mode. The mixed wheel size offers a ton of benefits without a ton of drawbacks. You get the big stable front end with a quick and nimble back end. If you want to learn more about mullet bikes we did a mullet conversion and tested it back to back with a full 27.5” bike. The Bronson now comes with a 29” front wheel and a smaller 27.5” rear wheel. It gets the added capability that comes with big wheels while staying true to the Bronson name by being fun and lively.
Next up, the Bronson goes slack. For this year Santa Cruz has gone with a 64.5-degree head tube angle. Two years ago, that would have been one of the slacker head tubes out there. Now it falls somewhere in the middle of bikes with 150mm of rear travel. Combined with the big front wheel, I think this is where the bike gets most of the added capability.
Lastly, the Bronson grew an entire size. In most sizes, the reach grew by about 15mm. The wheelbase also increased with the longer reach and slacker front end. Most sizes saw a 30mm increase in overall wheelbase. Part of this growth in wheelbase comes from the chainstays. For the newest version, chainstays start at 432mm (2mm longer than the previous generation) and top out at 443mm. Size-specific chainstays seem to be the new norm, especially for Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz Bronson Builds
The new Bronson comes in seven builds, all of them carbon. The kits range from $5,049 to $11,399 for the blingiest XX1 AXV Reserve kit for those looking to get fancy. It comes in five sizes (XS-XL) with the XS frame being 27.5” front and back rather than mullet. It also comes in two fresh colors — Paydirt Gold and Gloss Moss. I must say the gold is something else. You’ve got to see this thing.
Watch the video linked above. Brock did the testing and filming for this one. I asked him for a one-liner. Here’s his reply –
“Playful and nimble like a short travel bike, but capable and fast like a big bike. Mullet is noticeable in all the right ways.”
Who is The Santa Cruz Bronson for?
The newest Bronson keeps true to the name and remains extremely lively and playful. It’s a good option for someone on a short-travel bike looking for a bigger rig that doesn’t feel like a pig. On the other hand, It’s also great for the person looking to downsize from their big bike but doesn’t want to be outgunned when it comes time to put your heels down and smash some rocks.
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