You can say you enjoy the climb all you want, but if you're being honest, you came for the downhill. The Santa Cruz Butcher with the D All Mountain build Kit knows exactly how you feel. The climb is almost always first (you have to pay before you can play) and the Butcher will get you there. Once you top out it's time for the Butcher to shine. 150mm of super plush travel and a progressive spring rate mean you can charge hard into super-nasty terrain and keep the wheels firmly planted. The super-reliable Shimano Deore/SLX drivetrain chugs along quietly all the way up into the big ring. The Rock Shox Sektor R fork bears the brunt of the hits and the Fox Float Shock backs it up smoothly, while Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes keep everything under control.
Strengths: Easy to dial in, climbs awesome descends even better. It takes the hits and keeps moving forward.
Weaknesses: None found so far.
I can’t say enough good things about this bike. I have been a loyal SC rider for almost 20 years and this bike is their performing AM bike to date. Prior to this I was riding a Nomad and Prior to that a combination of Blur LT and Bullit. While all stellar bikes each always had something lacking about them. The Blur had a lot of travel but it’s head tube angle made it a sketchy decenter. The Bullit was a an indestructible tank of a bike but it’s weight and geometry made it a bear on long XC rides. It shined in the rock gardens and feature landed trails and I loved the simple single pivot design. The Nomad made up for the deficiencies in both those bikes except I kept going through bearings fast than a race car driver wears out tires. I almost gave up on SC after that until I saw the Butcher. For a lot less than my Nomad I got a frame that was every bit as capable but with the simplicity of the single pivot I enjoyed so much with my Bullit. This thing rocks, I can ride on it all day without any issue. I’ve pushed it hard on feature laden trails and it keeps coming back for more. It takes dicey looking rollers with ease. If you have nasty drops with even nastier landings this will take them without making you wonder it the ting will break in half. If you want to go riding with you 29er spandex clad buddies all day it will chug along fine without overly fatiguing you (though you probably will be in the back of the line). All in all this is a solid well thought out bike that delivers way more than its price point suggests. Too bad SC has walked away from this design had they really tried to market it better it would probably still be around. Nobody I know who has bought one has anything negative to say so far.
Strengths: from the looks to the riding quality... I always arrive with a smile on my face. Just a fun bike to ride, and for me, that is what's important.
Coming from a Trek Fuel Ex, this climbs better, and descends like something else....
Weaknesses: so far, it's major weakness is the rider...
Couldn't be happier with the bike.
Coming from a mor XC bike, I initially thought that I would be in some kind of trouble with climbing those steeper hills, I was wrong... On the downhills, I'm still getting to know the bike, and alreaady doing things I never dreamed about with the Fuel...
It also as the "sex appeal" factor... It's one of the best looking bikes I know, and it's exclusive as well, and that, it's just cool...
Bike Setup: 2012 SC Butcher frama (tic tac orange), Fox Float32 RLC FIT 150
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2012
Strengths: great bike! uphill and downhill and pedaling
Weaknesses: fork angle too much closed (for me)
i ride it from 5 months with a fox 36 talas 150, rs monarc, mavic crossmax xl wheels ,
kenda nevegal tubless 2.1, avid juicy 7 brakes and 780mm handlebar..and for me is perfect!
i tested it on the italian alps: climb well and descent wery fast!
wery good bike!
a Weekend Warrior
from Breinigsville PA
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2011
Santa Cruz homerunned on this bike! I've ridden many bikes over the last 10 years riding in the rocky rooty trails of the Northeast and I can honestly say that this is the best bike I've ever ridden! The frame and suspension track so well and the new APP design has a feel of bike with a virtual pivot but at a fraction of the price. It gobbels up technical sections with the greatest of ease. In the air it has a nice neutral feel and is very flickable.
Santa Cruz did a great job outfitting the bike. The XT drivetrain 10 speed is top notch and the Elixer brakes have all the stopping power you will ever need. Nice work!
Initially I was bummed that it came with a Rock Shox Revelation fork. Coming from a Fox TALAS on my Titus Motolite I expected a lot (I know, I've become a real suspension snob). But Rock Shox delivered! The Revelation fork is so laterally stiff and has a bottomless feel that I can say nothing but good things about it, in fact I prefer it to my fox.
My only complaint with the bike (and I know I'm being nit-picky) but Santa Cruz speced the bike with the long cage XT rear derailleur. The XT is great, the long cage however is not made for the northeast. Every rock and root seem to scrape the bottom jockey wheel. If it was speced with a mid cage model this could be avoided.
None-the-less it is a fantastic bike; well built and well thought out. If your in the market for a new All Mountain ride, you can't go wrong with the Butcher! Thank you Santa Cruz!
Similar Products Used: Kona one20 primo, Scott Genius 40 etc
Bike Setup: SLX Groupo, Rockshox Revelation 150mm
a Weekend Warrior
from Kirkland, WA
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2011
Strengths: Plush, pedals well, looks really good
Weaknesses: rear not as stiff as my carbon Blur LT
Really nice bike, especially for the money. It pedals incredibly well, takes bumps well and looks really good. It's not as stiff laterally as my carbon Blur LT, but it's not like it's a noodle. Like all single pivot bikes, it stiffens a little under hard braking and there is a small amount of pedal feedback, but again, overall, it's a really nice bike. It's not perfect, but no bike is. I've ridden about every bike out there and for the price, this is a really nice bike.
Bike Setup: Lyrik fork, PUSH'd RP 23, XO shifters and rear derailleur, XTR front derailleur, XTR cranks, XTR pedals, Formula One brakes, Thomson stem and post
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 27, 2011
Strengths: -plush travel, great geo for everyday riding, solid, stiff, tracks very well down the trail, surprisingly decent climber, its got a bottler opener.
Weaknesses: A little heavy
This is a very versatile bike, It can be built up as sub 30 trail bike or a burly light freeride bike. If you only way to deal with one bike, this is it. I'll be using this for trail riding, lift assisted DHing, freeriding, jumping and everything in between.
Similar Products Used: Similar bikes from Transition, Specialized, Trek, Blur LT
Bike Setup: RP23 shock, Domain 318, Sram X9, Thomson stem and bar, SLX cranks, 8"/6" Hayes brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from Norfuct, VA US of A
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2011
Strengths: It is uber-plush yet pedals like a short travel bike. The geometry is spot on for me and it looks cool too.
Weaknesses: I have not found any yet, but I have only just begun to ride it.
I usually wait at least six months before I say anything in print about a bike. However, I must make an exception. This is the 5th Santa Cruz bike I have owned. I have been on assorted full suspension bikes since '98 and this one is the first where I felt like I had been riding it for years. Dialing it in was a snap. It's pedaling is very similar in feel to my old Nomad. It scoots up climbs without a peep. It also feels more plush over the small to medium stuff and takes larger hits in stride. I did not notice any flex issues as it tracked pristine. I was totally floored by its almost supernatural handling. I did everything I asked of it and it really gave me the feeling of riding "in" the bike as opposed to atop it. Seriously, the best way I can describe it that the Butcher has the tight geometry and trail crushing mannerisms of my version 2 Heckler, with the sweet pedaling and incredible suspension feel of the Nomad. All at a lower price point too. I will update this later this year. You know its good when you just want to keep riding and riding.
Bike Setup: 2011 Medium black Butcher, SRAM X-9 drivetrain, Code brakes, Xenduro wheels, Nevegals 2.5/2.35, Lyrik SA, Pushed Fox FLOAT with the Big hit kit, Gravity Dropper, Cane Creek 110 purple headset...clocks in at around 33 lbs.
SC & Da Butch
a Weekend Warrior
from costa mesa, ca usa
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2011
Strengths: climbs good to great, tracks great, descends crazy great, looks mean, plush all day ride. buy it
Weaknesses: none yet
I've gone through a lot of bikes and I think this one will stick around for a while. It has the feel ive been looking for and the name that commands respect to boot. no brainer
Similar Products Used: yeti 575, trek remedy, specialized enduro
Bike Setup: xt drive, talas 150 fork, joplin lever (a must)
a Weekend Warrior
from Concord, California,USA
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2011
Strengths: Excels on the downhill yet still climbs all but the most super steep stuff. Holds a line very well! The harder you push it on the downhill the better it handles. A pleasure to ride up, down, and to the mountain.
Weaknesses: Haven't found any yet, but its barely been a week since I got it.
Took the Chili to Austin this weekend for a little XC mixed with some nice TX free riding, i.e. drops to flat and loose chunky limestone.
Zee kicks ass. Upgraded from 9 speed X9 and an e13 LG1 guide. The zee rear d. combined with the Straightline guide is almost completely silent and shifts bett ... Read More »
Hey guys -
Switching things up. I've been on Conti Trail kings (2.4 front/2.2 rear) for the past 2 seasons here in Northern Utah (loose over hard, moon dust, tons of rocks) and have been pretty happy with them. I've been getting into the enduro and super d scene a bit. Ever since I've been pushing ... Read More »
I'm currently running the Control casing up front w/tube on Flow EX rims due to tear at bead that won't seal with sealant with an Ardent UST in the rear with no tube or sealant for that matter that has been holding up great amidst hard, rugged riding. Does anyone know if there is a big enough diffe ... Read More »
(Cross posted from suspension)
Looking to upgrade my S/C butcher's rear shock as the stock float is just not cutting it. I considered sending it to PUSH, but feel like it would just be a waste to spend any money on that shock. I found a really good price on a Marzocchi Roco RC World Cup that wou ... Read More »
recently got a new to me butcher and was thinking of upgrading the standard float R shock. Its marked up with a L rebound tune and a L compression tune. The shock im looking @ is a fox RP23 BV Kashima shock with a M rebound tune and a L velocity tune. The rebound will prob be about the same due to t ... Read More »