Bronson 2.1 Carbon XE Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 by Santa Cruz Bicycles
With all the excitement surrounding the new Nomad and Hightower LT geometries, some riders may be excused for overlooking the Bronson 2. 1 Carbon XE Complete Mountain Bike. But not by us. From Trans Provence to The Ridge, the Bronson has proven repeatedly that it's one of the most capable steeds in the all-mountain category, and the latest generation pushes the envelope a bit farther in all the areas that first made us fall in love with the Bronson. It's longer, slacker, and has a bit more travel than its predecessor, so there are even fewer excuses now for overlooking it. A large part of the winning formula is, of course, the Bronson's 6in of VPP suspension. As with all VPP bikes, the Bronson's counter-rotating links are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces, all but eliminating unwanted bobbing under power. This being the latest iteration of VPP, it's tuned to provide more midstroke support than previous generations of the VPP platform, giving the rider a better feel for the terrain, and a livelier ride feel. It's a balance that Santa Cruz has mastered, allowing for the requisite efficiency for all-day rides, while still taking advantage of sufficient travel to tackle the hardest trails you could possibly hope to find. When comparing the Bronson's geometry to some of its noteworthy competitors, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Bronson appears conservative on paper. But again, not by us. As is the case with much of Santa Cruz's lineup, the goal with the Bronson is excellence, not extremity. The 66-degree head angle provides the necessary stability for charging full-bore into enduro race stages, while remaining quick enough to change direction to be forgiving should you mistakenly find yourself on a poorly-chosen line. At 17 inches, the chainstays strike a nice balance between being short enough to turn quickly, and long enough to maintain weight on the front wheel, especially when hanging off the back in steep chutes. At 13. 4 i...
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