We always want what we can’t have. It’s a terrible cycle, particularly in the cycling world when there’s a glut of high end carbon fiber bikes everywhere. For all the value we put into having the latest and greatest in a bike, the fact of the matter is that we can save ourselves a good chunk of grief and cash if those ultra-lux options has a C-grade model, like this 2019 Santa Cruz Bronson C all-mountain bike found here.
What does the C mean? In Santa Cruz terminology, it is the lesser of their two carbon models. It’s just 250g heavier than the pricy Bronson CC, but no less strong or stout. That’s it; it offers the same suspension, ride stiffness, and durability as the bike that costs considerably more. It features their revised lower-link mounted shock placement and Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension kinematics. Shock rate has been refined to deliver greater small bump sensitivity and a more progressive mid-stroke, a complaint of previous generation VPP designs. They’ve also added a one-degree slacker 65.1 degree head tube angle, and a 10-15mm greater reach and shorter chainstay length. The revised linkage is now a one-piece design to make it much stiffer as well. Combined, these changes makes the bike feel much more confidence inspiring through bumpy corners, without the kind of bobbing one might feel in other full suspension bikes while climbing. Other features include a threaded bottom bracket, Boost hub spacing front and rear, a direct mount front derailleur tab, and cable routing for both an external or internal dropper seatpost.
For many people, a 160mm/150mm travel all mountain bike might seem like “too much bike”. It’s definitely more capable than a normal trail bike; it’s slack head tube angle means it requires a bit more weight on the front wheel in corners to make it grip. What’s surprising about the Bronson is how well it rides over a myriad of terrain. It’s VPP suspension means the bike floats over techy terrain without feeling disconnected. The rear shock is tuned for greater linearity (like a coil shock) over big hits, and it’s 27.5” wheels means it is more nimble than it’s long travel intentions insist. The Bronson C won’t easily keep up with it’s short-travel siblings on climbs, but the bike pedals well enough to keep the rear shock completely open without feeling sapped of energy.
The Santa Cruz Bronson C all mountain bike leads riders to ride faster and harder. It’s plenty light and feels great launching off of jumps, whether on the trail or at the bike park. Looking for serious bang for the buck in all mountain bikes? This is the ticket.
The 2019 Santa Cruz Bronson C is available in five sizes (XS-XL), two colorways ( and ), and two build kits, with a choice of 27.5″ (2.5″/2.4″ tires) or 27.5”+ (2.6″ tires) wheels:
- Santa Cruz Bronson R/Santa Cruz Bronson R+ – RockShox Yari MotionControl RC 160mm fork, RockShox Super Deluxe R 150mm shock, SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain with a 10/50t cassette, SRAM Code RSC brakes, Santa Cruz AM Carbon flat bars, Rock Shox Reverb dropper seatpost. The R model comes with a WTB i29 TCS to SRAM MTH 746 hubs, while the R+ model comes with a WTB i35 TCS rim to SRAM MTH 746 hubs. It retails for $4,399.99.
- Santa Cruz Bronson S/Santa Cruz Bronson S+ – Fox 36 Float Performance 160mm fork, RockShox Super Deluxe R 150mm shock, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with a 10/50t cassette, SRAM Stylo 7k crankset, SRAM Code R brakes, Race Face Aeffect R flat bars, and a Rock Shox Reverb dropper seatpost. It retails for $5,199.99 , or $6,399.99 with Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels.
27.5″ S models receive Race Face AR 30 rims to DT Swiss 370 hubs, and Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″/Minion DHR tires 2.4″, while the Bronson S Reserve receives Santa Cruz Reserve 30 rims laced to DT Swiss 370 hubs. 27.5” S+ models receive Race Face AR 35 rims and Maxxis Minion DHF/Minion DHR 2.6″ tires, while the Bronson S+ Reserve receives Santa Cruz Reserve 37 rims laced to DT Swiss 370 hubs. Santa Cruz offers a lifetime warranty for each frameset they sell.
Have any questions about the 2019 Santa Cruz Bronson C? Give us a call during shop hours, or send us an email anytime at email@example.com.