While Santa Cruz holds steady to their dedication to single pivot swingarm design on their full suspension mountain bikes, their calling card is their Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension design. VPP uses two short links rotating in opposite directions, one below the top tube, and one just behind the bottom bracket. Not only does this unique suspension design allow for a more active rear suspension early in the suspension travel, but it allows for finely-tuned shock rates and kinematics for a whole range of mountain bikes. The result? Because Santa Cruz has used the VPP design since 1999, the company has a deep well of knowledge on how to tune VPP into all the various shock, drivetrain, wheel size and travel configurations to create the perfect balance. In addition, Santa Cruz offers easy serviceability on each VPP-equipped model they offer, along with lifetime bearing replacement available, it is an incredibly stout suspension design. Instead of designing a new suspension every year, they’ve refined it into one of the most efficient, responsive, and strongest rear shock designs on the market today.
Those at all familiar with how Santa Cruz develops their carbon fiber mountain bikes know the lengths they go to ensure strength and longevity in their bikes. While all companies stress test their frames, Santa Cruz takes it up another notch. They famously drop 75lb gym weights onto frames for impact assessment, and use conduct 800lb shear tests on various parts of their frames to give them one of the best carbon fiber strength-to-weight ratios on the market. Each grade of their carbon fiber frames use a one-piece carbon layup of the front triangle which allows fibers to be used that continuously wrap between tubes. This allows the frame to distribute loads and absorb impact energy more effectively, and able to absorb impact better than any other frames they’ve tested. They didn’t just limit this to their top-end bikes; Santa Cruz use the same proprietary processes to create lower-cost carbon frames that retain the same legendary strength and stiffness that makes Santa Cruz unique.
This carbon fiber design prowess isn’t just limited to their framesets; Santa Cruz now offers carbon fiber wheelsets. The Santa Cruz Reserve line of mountain bike wheels is relatively new to the carbon wheel scene, but they come with a promise: a lifetime warranty. They’ll replace any rim broken from riding for free, with a rim sent out within 48 hours. How are they this confident in their wheels and rims? After plenty of testing far above that of UCI standard regulation, Santa Cruz found that rims needed to be strong around the spoke nipples, as well as around the rim bead. By making their rims as light as possible, they were able to add material exactly where it was needed. The result of their testing and development is a rim that Youtube-famous trials rider Danny MacAskill thrashed – without a rear tire – and still impressed with its durability. Add that to the high quality DT Swiss and Industry Nine hub choices available, and the Santa Cruz Reserve mountain bike wheel is an extremely reliable wheel packaged by an impressive technologically-advanced wrapper.
Santa Cruz Bikes are on the bleeding edge of design, refinement, and durability in not just their frames, but their components as well. They offer strongest carbon fiber mountain bike wheels on the market, as well as some of the most capable bikes on the market, as tested by the likes of Danny MacAskill and their Enduro World Series team. Regardless of what it is, a bicycle or part with the Santa Cruz name is sure to be a top-level product.