(article originally on Competitive Cyclist)
The Superlight 29 rolls and pedals with such efficiency you’ll have gone the extra mile before you even know it. The addition of 29er wheels opens up another chapter in the Santa Cruz's Superlight's long history. Before VPP bikes, there was SC's line of dialed single-pivot bikes like the Superlight, Heckler, and Bullet. And, they didn't get phased out once SC introduced the VPP platform for a simple reason. They offered unrivaled performance vs. cost -- just like this Superlight 29 R XC Complete Bike.
But, that strength isn't going to hamper your climb to the top, because of the hydroforming, Santa Cruz eliminated any excess weight to keep the Superlight, well superlight. With big wheels, stiffness is paramount, which is why you'll find that the rear triangle has an asymmetric shape. This prevents flex and ensures suspension motion is directed to the rear shock and not into flexing the frame, causing it to dog trot around switchbacks or across rock gardens.
The Superlight relies on SC's proven suspension pivot location. It's placed slightly above and forward of the middle chainring, to offer responsive pedaling when seated. One drawback of single pivot designs has always been out-of-the-saddle sprinting, because the suspension will compress under rider loads -- losing energy to moving parts. Luckily, shock technology has rendered that point moot. The Fox Float CTD found on this Superlight has three distinct damping settings, and one of them is designed to counter those stand-up pedaling forces.
The CTD, or Climb, Trail, Descend, setting on the rear shock offers damping for any trail situation. If you’re going to sprint up a fire road, the Climb setting will essentially lock out the rear shock -- but remain compliant over water bars or sharp edge bumps. The trail setting provides a more active motion to assist with traction when climbing punchy root-laden hills, and flowy sections of trail. And the descend setting offers unrestrictive motion for technical downhill sections of trail.
The Superlight R XC kit consists primarily of SLX drivetrain components; including the front and rear derailleur, shifters, cassette, and crank. Race Face competes the R XC package with a Ride handlebar, seatpost, and stem.
The Santa Cruz Superlight R XC Complete Bike comes in sizes Small though X-Large and two colors, Black or Green.