The 2014 Santa Cruz Bronson 650b Carbon is the first model from Santa Cruz with mid-size wheels, but it was initially conceived as a 26" update to the Blur LT trail bike.
Many mountain bikers suddenly began demanding 27.5 wheels in the form of thousands of phone calls and e-mails asking when the company would release a bike with the wheel size. The model name refers to Bronson Street in Santa Cruz, where the company's offices have been located for 20 years. Carbon frames cost $2,700 and complete carbon bikes start at $4,150; aluminum frames run $1,925, with completes starting at $3,400.
The frame will be available in carbon and aluminum versions, both of which use the company's VPP dual-link suspension system. Santa Cruz claims the medium carbon frame weighs 5.3 pounds and complete bikes can be built as light as 26.2 pounds.
Santa Cruz claims this bike is aimed at all-mountain and enduro racers. Here are some of the best specs on the 2014 Bronson Carbon 650B
• Forged upper and lower links
• Threaded bottom bracket cups
• Double-sealed pivots with grease ports for easy maintenance
• Collet axle pivots and angular contact bearings that maximize stiffness
• Standard or direct-mount rear derailleur hanger option
• ISCG-05 chainguide tabs
• Cable routing for a Stealth-style dropper post
• 142mm rear-axle spacing
• Molded rubber frame protection
• 2 bottled cage mounts
The Bronson is everything a proper mountain bike should be — beautiful, well made, well thought out, great to ride, stiff in all the right ways, playful and yet ready to rumble. It is fast, athletic, fun loving. It turns great, pedals well, goes in a straight line fast, eases the burden of climbs and makes the downhills worth sweating for. This, simply, is a very good bike.