Introducing the 2021 Santa Cruz 5010

Introducing the 2021 Santa Cruz 5010

Written by Contender Bicycles, on March 03, 2021

The 5010 is synonymous with some of the cycling’s favorite marketing terms, including, “poppy,” “playful,” and “agile.” Here’s the thing: while just about everyone uses these words as positive descriptors, the 5010 is the one that does it better than anyone else. Think of it as a do-all bike that happens to be better at goofing off on the trail than anyone else. This newest version of the Santa Cruz 5010 is more competent than ever, taking the attributes people like from the brand’s 29er bikes and putting them in a poppy, playful, and agile package. 2021 Santa Cruz 5010 Action What is 5010?

5010 has stayed true to itself for years, and as a result, the bike has a devout group of riders who savor making every lip, every berm, and every feature more fun than the last. This new version stays true to the formula, with 27.5” wheels, 130mm rear VPP suspension, and a fun-loving demeanor. Outside of that, the 5010 features updated geometry, increased shock capability, and size-specific features to set the bike apart.


Despite the 5010 being last updated just two years ago, the new 5010 receives Santa Cruz’s lower-link VPP suspension. Santa Cruz says that riders preferred the geometry of the 5010 but wanted the shock performance of lower VPP. Santa Cruz calls the suspension performance “much improved,” with a progressive shock curve reminiscent of the Hightower. The result is better small bump compliance, more predictable feel, and the ability to run both air and coil shocks, the latter new to the 5010. 2021 Santa Cruz 5010 VPP Suspension Compatibility with coil AND air shocks isn’t necessarily new to bikes, but it is certainly difficult - and noteworthy - to achieve on a bike with just 130mm travel without sacrificing stiffness, a narrow BB profile, or chainring clearance. This included moving the shock tunnel farther forward, moving the upright farther back by placing them on the same plane. All the more remarkable is that Santa Cruz achieved this on the 5010 while introducing size-specific chainstay lengths. While a 423mm chainstay on a size XS and 432mm chainstay on a size XL may not sound impressive, the added maneuverability on smaller bikes and increased stability on larger bikes means that each bike can be truly proportional to the rider. 2021 Santa Cruz 5010 Chainstays Overall frame geometry was updated despite the previous 5010 being introduced just two years ago. All models receive a 140mm fork (rather than a 130mm fork) as well as slightly slacker head angles than the previous 5010, slightly higher bottom bracket heights, and longer reach than before. But as always, the 5010 is known for a short rear end and low bottom bracket for stable cornering, and that continues here. 2021 Santa Cruz 5010 Riding If there is anything Santa Cruz masters, it is parts spec for the money. Each bike receives outside of the R-Kit bikes receive a Rockshox Super Deluxe shock, a combination of Fox 34 and Rockshox Pike forks, and Maxxis tires with MaxxGrip front/MaxxTerra rear wheels.

Also new this year is a Shimano XT 12-speed kit (aptly named 5010 C XT) with the option of the updated Santa Cruz Reserve Wheels. This is Santa Cruz’s build of choice; the C grade carbon, XT drivetrain, Race Face to DT Swiss 350 wheels stock, and excellent suspension make this the “rider’s pick.”

How do the 5010 ride?

Great question. We’ll know soon enough, and we will be sure to pass on our findings. Stay tuned. 2021 Santa Cruz 5010 The Santa Cruz 5010 will be in our shop in Salt Lake City and Park City soon. Be sure to reach out to us to grab one for yourself, or for any questions regarding Santa Cruz bikes by email at or by phone during business hours.


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