The most successful downhill bike of all time—now available in 27.5 and 29-inch. The New V10 is here.
Santa Cruz’s V10 chassis has been through many iterations since it launched in 2002, but one thing that hasn’t changed is how often it claims podium places. The original machine had 26″ wheels, a ridiculous 255mm of travel, a 67º head angle, a floating brake arm, and the first version of the Virtual Pivot Point suspension platform. 17 years later, the 2019 model of the V10 offers 27.5″ or 29″ wheel versions, a ‘meager’ 215mm of travel, a wide range of sizes and adjustable geometry via flip-chips at the lower shock eyelet and rear axle.
27.5″ wheeled bikes are available in S, M and L sizes, while the 29er offers M, L, and XL, this gives a total range of reach from 410mm up to 492mm. Suitably, the chainstay lengths also increase between some sizes and are also adjustable to tune the balance of the bike. After riding a bunch of 29″ downhill bikes this year and using different sized test riders on the bikes this makes complete sense; I’m convinced that if you have enough range to ride 29″ it’s simply more stable, smooth, and easier to ride fast. If you aren’t tall enough, it will hold you back, making me question the existence of size Small downhill bikes with huge wheels. Santa Cruz also agree with this, and found that the taller riders gained more benefit from the big wheels in terms of seconds at the race track.
Santa Cruz developed the new V10 as an out-and-out race bike with 29″ wheels, that suited all of their current team but also developed the 27.5″ version at the same time to suit smaller riders. This is not one frame adapted to fit both sizes, but two separate frames with kinematics adjusted for each wheel size.
Santa Cruz are also launching a 29″ downhill version of the Reserve wheelset. These will only be available aftermarket, laced with Syndicate-spec Chris King hubs and carry a lifetime warranty like all of their frames and wheels. Both products should be available to buy in February 2019