The 2021 Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force AXS 1x 650b combines mountain bike details with a road bike vibe to send you on roads and trails you’ve been aching to try out. Lightweight and extra comfy, the Stigmata is made for long rides with unexplored destinations in mind.
Built around Santa Cruz’s super strong and lightweight CC carbon frame with a SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x12 speed drivetrain, this Stigmata rolls with 700c DT Swiss XR rims and Maxxis Rambler 40c tires that can handle the constant buzz of a gravel road while still handling a paved highway with ease.
Also at home in a cyclocross race, the Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force AXS 650b checks in at just a hair more than 20 pounds to be one of the lightest and better climbing all-road bikes on the market. Ample tire clearance allows up to 2.1 inch tires so you are able to hit trails and roads of your choice to a different set of shoes depending on the occasion. The smaller 650b wheels allow for better handling on rougher terrain.
When the Stigmata was resurrected in 2015, Santa Cruz fused a number of MTB standards and design features to create our spin on the modern CX bike. Something must have clicked, because within months of launch it raced to victory at the legendary Three Peaks, and has continued to contend at elite cyclocross races around the world.
Nowadays, the internally routed disc brakes, generous tire clearance and thru-axles approach that made the Stigmata famous have become more of a norm, so we took a fresh look at which standards the riders of tomorrow wanted access to today.
Threaded bottom brackets remain a perennial favourite across our entire line thanks to their proven robust, cost-effective and compatible design. “If it ain’t broke…” ...and it never is. Fender mounts add a bit of CYA, and highlight the Stigmata’s ever-widening scope of purpose. Santa Cruz added to that with three bottle cage mounts so that the frame can still hold at least one normal bottle even when running a front triangle bag.
Deeper adventures, bigger tires perhaps? The frame now clears up to a 45mm 700c or a 2.1 inch 650b tire. Marry the latter to our Force/X01 AXS mashup kit and you’ve got yourself the kind of drop-bar singletrack rallycat we can all get onboard with.
And when it comes to good old-fashioned off-road etiquette, the Stigmata’s had some coaching at the Highball school of stiffness, handling, and offroad feel. The carbon layup borrows knowledge gained from not just the Highball, but also Danny MacAskill’s trials bike, to produce a ride so law-abiding you’d think HR had sent it on a compliance training course.
Geometry plays a big part here too, so Santa Cruz made tweaks to improve handling for smaller riders and reduce toe overlap. The reworking of the 52/54cm frames means the Stigmata now comfortably suits riders from 5’3” and up. Meanwhile different fork offsets—50mm for the 52-54cm sizes, and 45mm for the 56-61cm sizes—help ensure your little piggies don’t go to market on the front wheel.
Topped off with tidy details like 12mm front axle, flat mount brakes and build-specific Reserve wheel packages, the Stigmata is designed to let you decide whatever the heck you want this category to be.
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