Santa Cruz VP-Free Freeride Full Suspension

4.87/5 (97 Reviews)
MSRP : $4199.00

Product Description

  • 215mm of rear wheel travel
  • Annodized or powdercoat
  • 150mm thru axle
  • Overbuilt chassis
  • Replaceable dropout
  • VPP suspension

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    Reviews 1 - 15 (97 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Steven Cornforth a Weekend Warrior

    Date Reviewed: February 26, 2014

    Strengths:    Do it all frame

    Weaknesses:    Cable guides, lack of chain guide tabs

    Bottom Line:   
    Just really happy with this frame, I moved from my (well respected) Specialised Pitch with Fox forks which I owned for three years, to buying a 2nd hand 2006 large VP free frame and 2nd hand 2011 Rock Shox Boxxer RC forks, I knew this bike would be a big improvemnt on the down hills, but I could not believe that it climbed just as well on the uphills (I was just as fast with the lads I ride with) just dont expect it to climb while standing on the pedals. My hardtail is faster at XC (obviously) but this is my first choice ride for most days in the saddle,

    Makes jumping safer but I can still crash if I want to :o) I am happy doing down hill days and tail rides, handling and comfort is just lovely, and the 2nd hand value is so low it makes a great buy.

    Managed to fit a reverb stealth seatpost by drilling a hole near the head tube, really happy with this mod.

    Strip and rebuild the DHX5 shock takes less than an hour and is easy to do. Old oil hurts the perfromnace of this shock

    Bottom bracket is a little high, bearings do wear, it is heavy, no ISCG tabs, head angle is a little steep, but the ride is incredible, still an awesome bike for the money, reccomended

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 year

    Price Paid:    $300.00

    Purchased At:   Pinkbike classifieds

    Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Jeckle, Specialised Pitch, Giant ReignX

    Bike Setup:   Boxxer coil forks, Zee 10spd mech, SLX cranks, reverb seatpost

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by DHGallot a Downhiller

    Date Reviewed: June 3, 2013

    Strengths:    +Able to take a beating
    +Can handle huge drops and jumps
    +Vpp linkage nearly eliminates all pedal bob
    +Vpp linkage and 8.5" rear suspension creates endless travel feel
    +Durable/lasts a lifetime
    +Can shred going UP
    +Riding style can go from AM to DH depending on components and setup

    Weaknesses:    -No ISCG mount (can be solved with a ISCG-BB adapter)
    -High BB makes DH a smidgen harder for some
    -Advanced VPP makes having the perfect drivetrain setup a little harder to achieve

    Bottom Line:   
    I have owned my VP Free for 1 year now and its by far the best bike i have ever rode. I have ridden GT Fury's, Specialized Status's, Kona's, Trek Sessions and none of them have come close to the feel of the VP Free. With the BB 319 millimeters of the ground you can easily roll over anything without worrying about scratching the frame or damaging your gears. With the right shock setup in the rear you can have the feeling of Endless suspension and even bottoming out is not that noticeable. The cool thing about the VP-Free is that it operates like a AM bike if you put low-suspension travel on it but then if you max out the 8.5 in the rear and put a 203mm fork on it operates just like a DH rig. No matter what setup you have on the VP Free, they can seriously climb and you will be coming down the mountain before your friends are halfway up. These frames are also bombproof (don't blow one up) Ive never seen a picture of a broken VP Free frame and they WILL NOT break unless it's horribly horribly misused. Bottom line, if you can get your hands on a VP-Frame buy it, people do not realize the potential in them, the one i bought was on the market for months. This of course means resale is difficult but if you can get somebody to test-ride it that can afford your price and is looking for a bike you will have no problem selling it, which you should never have to unless you want to upgrade and have some $$$ for your new bike because you could ride this bike to the end of time as long as you keep the parts on it in good shape and don't do 50FT drops none of your other "smart" friends do, every other weekend. Just remember, this is a BIG bike made for BIG hits, if your only going to do 8ft drops, go with something with less travel such as the Santacruz Nomad it will be better suited for your type of riding.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Exitwelve, Highland MTB park

    Duration Product Used:   1 year

    Price Paid:    $1800.00

    Purchased At:   3rd party

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Downhill1231 a Downhiller from england

    Date Reviewed: February 23, 2011

    Strengths:    Stong, versatile and just a great frame.

    Weaknesses:    Weight, does weigh quite abit.

    Bottom Line:   
    nothing can fault this frame apart from the weight and looks.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   forest of dean!

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $1000.00

    Purchased At:   off a mate

    Similar Products Used:   None

    Bike Setup:   Boxxer race 2008, avid juicy 7, saint cranks,e13 lg1, mavic 721, hope pro2

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jim Zimmerman a Racer from Anacortes, Wa, USA

    Date Reviewed: September 16, 2010

    Strengths:    unbreakabe frame, dependable, just as good on the ups as it is on the downs. Great all around bike.

    Weaknesses:    bearings. Bridge behind the bottom bracket collects dirt and rocks.

    Bottom Line:   
    You can't go wrong with this bike. So far it has been the best bike I have ever owned. I've been riding it for 5 years now and it is the best all around bike. Sometimes a little over kill on the XC trails but why not ride in comfort it climbs just as well as my hardtail just a little slower.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   North Way

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $4500.00

    Purchased At:   Don't remember

    Similar Products Used:   GT Zaskar, Schwinn straight 6

    Bike Setup:   888, roco rear, xt, juicy sevens.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Cheytac a Weekend Warrior from Madrid, Spain

    Date Reviewed: August 12, 2010

    I think the best thing of this frame is the geometry, and specially the angle of the seat tube, that allows you to use it as a freeride-downhill bike, and at the same time you can ride as if it was (almost) an enduro bike, by simply extending the seatpost.

    Construction is very very robust. As I see it, must be difficult breaking it.

    On the other hand you can get this SC frame at a very "low" price as the model is discontinued since two years ago, but then again, an incredible frame, it is very polyvalent.

    And 215 rear travel that can use 2 chainrings... can you ask for more ?

    Perhaps a bit older look if you compare the style with more modern frames.

    The cable guide on the sides of the top tube are very simple, extremly simple, and you will have to use some kind of gadget or plastic bridle to keep them in place.

    Some part of the tubes are factory "crushed" in the rear triangle so that the tires have enough space, this is just a look issue than other thing, but at first sight you could think the frame is broken or similar.

    The rear hub works well, but be carefull with your 12 mm axle, if you loose it or if it was broken, the replacements are really expensive

    Bottom Line:   
    A great frame, I consider it can be used as a frame for everything, enduro, trail, downhill and of course freeride, even we could say Xc with limitations, as uphilling could be difficult depending on the suspension settings.

    The frame provides a virtual point pivot system, this is really important, since if you combine it with some kind of stable platform like SPV or Propedal, you can pedal really comfortably.

    Regarding the replacemnets, my local dealer told me that Santa Cruz has in stock all the replacements, bearings and rear mech hangers.

    If you are looking for a "all use" frame, reliable, with long, long, front and rear travel, and do not mind the weight excessively, this is your (and mine) frame.

    See you on the trail !

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   La Molina Bike Park

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $1200.00

    Purchased At:   Ltmracing Madrid

    Bike Setup:   Saint, Hayes Stroker Trail, Rock Shox Boxxer Team, Fox DHX 5 coil, Nuke Proof hubs, Sunringle rims, Husselfet handlebar and stem,

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Pete a Weekend Warrior from New Haven, CT USA

    Date Reviewed: July 16, 2010

    Strengths:    Nice Balance in Air, Takes as many rocks, roots, ans whoops you can throw at it...........

    Weaknesses:    It is a Big Bike and Stunts now a days are so smooth you can rock them on a hard tail........ It is only Pulled out when I go to Highland

    Bottom Line:   
    Great Bike Resort Machine........ Great Bike to learn how to go big on!!!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Maiden Voyage

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $3500.00

    Purchased At:   EBAY

    Similar Products Used:   Intense Uzzi VPX

    Bike Setup:   888 6 swinger

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by dh12345 a Downhiller from auckland

    Date Reviewed: March 3, 2010

    Strengths:    every thing the bike is so great !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Weaknesses:    none at all!

    Bottom Line:   
    this bike is by far the best bike ive ever had after coming off a kona stinky i was amazed! everything is such a big step up awsome bike!!!!!!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   heaps

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $2050.00

    Purchased At:   trade me

    Similar Products Used:   kona stinky but no where near as good

    Bike Setup:   rock shox boxxer teams elment 5 rear shock

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Kiwi in UK a Weekend Warrior from Reading, UK

    Date Reviewed: June 13, 2009

    Strengths:    Swallows the terrain with amazing ease

    Weaknesses:    Nothing so far....

    Bottom Line:   
    With the above 36 pound build this 8.5inch travel frame hoovers up the terrain whether you are going down or up. Okay it isn't as quick as my Nomad uphill but downhill it is more stable and takes the bigger hits much better.

    Bottom line - Yes, I know this isn't 'The latest and greatest' frame and I know the bearing life is limited (although I haven't had any problems yet) this is the best Freeride frame I have had ridden so far. If the Driver 8 is better than this then it will be the next frame on my shopping list for sure!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Morzine, Les Gets

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $650.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay ( 2006 1.125 fr

    Similar Products Used:   Intense Socom, Trek session 88, 2008 Bullit, 2007 Nomad

    Bike Setup:   SRAM XO, 2009 Deemax, Hayes Stroker Ace, XTR 960 crank with 38, 22 dual ring set up with Blackspire Ring god X bashguard and Stinger chain tensioner, Easton CNT bars, Kindshock i900 seatpost, SDG Ti seatpost, Chris King headset, rockshox Totem Coils, Maxxis 2.5 single ply running tubeless with Stans No Tube sealant.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Kenny Gavin a Downhiller from Las Vegas, NV USA

    Date Reviewed: February 7, 2009

    Strengths:    Bike is AWESOME... Great feel in corners.. for being 42pds it pedals uphill pretty 40 forks are great.. Santa Cruz quality is TOP SHELF

    Weaknesses:    Have not been shown one

    Bottom Line:   
    Best Bike I have ever ridden .. I cant wait to try out 2009 Santa Cruz BULLIT

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $4700.00

    Purchased At:   Escape Adventures

    Similar Products Used:   GT i-drive, Kona Stinky Dee-Lux, Kona Stinky Nine, Santa cruz Heckler, Santa Cruz VP FREE>>>>>>>>

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by jayjay05385 a Racer from Hong Kong

    Date Reviewed: February 6, 2009

    Strengths:    plush, very strong and stable. also light weight!
    really worth to buy if ya a freeride or downhiller~

    Weaknesses:    head angle is too steep. if that has a tunable position, just like orange 224 will be perfect.

    Bottom Line:   
    before i changed the 8.5" rear shock. this bike was both good at up and downhill. but the cornering sucks. but now, i put a 8.5" shock on~ the whole world had been changed. more stable, perfect in cornering, and also lighter! a lot! now my bike's still using inner tube tires and steel spring. the weight is 36lb. it's not a really light weight frame. but this can reduce the frame weight from 9.3lb to 8.7lb. and my expected final weight is 33.5-34.5lb.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Similar Products Used:   Gemini, GT DHi.

    Bike Setup:   Boxxer team, with e-13 stem 45mm tune. cane creek S-8 headset, en321 for front and EX 721 for rear. both are using nuke proof hubs. 8.5" Fox DHX 5.0 to provide a less steep head angle. thomson elite seatpost, funn saddle, MRP sys.3, e-13 chain ring, RF altas AM crankset. saint rear der. XT chain, Hope M4 Break w/ floating disc, F/8" R/7".

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by danno a Weekend Warrior from exeter, ca. USA

    Date Reviewed: December 13, 2008

    Strengths:    VPP design and all that travel!

    Weaknesses:    no IS chainguide mounts

    Bottom Line:   
    This bike is phenomenal. 8" of travel is incredible forgiving when taking gnarly lines. It pedals like a dream, ya, it's heavy and 38lbs but it's not wasting your energy. Great build quality (not as good as Intense, forged vs, CNC) big bearings hold up well. Geometry is fast and flickable. The best freeride frame period. (too bad they don't make it anymore)

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Nelson

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $550.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   03 norco DH and Aline, Specialized Demo 8 and 9.

    Bike Setup:   03 Super T, Fox DHX 5.0, SUN MTX green camo rims, lx hollowtech II cranks, hayes HFX 8" brakes, Intense 2.7 sticky tires, thomson post.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by kech88 a Downhiller from toronto, ontario, cananda

    Date Reviewed: July 25, 2008

    Strengths:    everything

    Weaknesses:    non yet

    Bottom Line:   
    Great bike, amazing handling, reliable, best bike I have ever purchased.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $1400.00

    Purchased At:   cycle solutions

    Similar Products Used:   banshee scream, brodie demon

    Bike Setup:   codes, 66 rc3, dhx fox 5

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by ryan a Downhiller from

    Date Reviewed: July 1, 2008

    Strengths:    built solid, looks awesome, rides great

    Weaknesses:    i can't marry it

    Bottom Line:   
    after coming off of a couple of konas i couldn't believe the difference between suspension designs. i never thought i would be able to tell, but i was wrong. the vp-free is way smoother and soaks up way more than my konas ever did.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   dirt merchant

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Purchased At:   used

    Similar Products Used:   stinky, coiler, heckler

    Bike Setup:   some cool stuff

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by ghettocruiser a Cross Country Rider from Toronto

    Date Reviewed: June 21, 2008

    Strengths:    Pretty much does everything as advertised.

    Weaknesses:    High BB....with the seat up for XC I feel like I need a stepladder to get on the thing.

    Arguably way more bike than I can handle.

    Bottom Line:   
    Happy customer.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   The Highway 48 Extension (RIP)

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $1650.00

    Purchased At:   silent sports

    Similar Products Used:   Turn-of-the-century Rocky Mountain.

    Bike Setup:   7" fork and DHX5

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by VERT from Wellington, New Zealand

    Date Reviewed: October 22, 2007

    Strengths:    Pedals amazingly well, climbs like a XC bike, strong, very plush suspension feels bottomless.

    Weaknesses:    Pivot bearings short life

    Bottom Line:   
    I stuck a shorter shock in mine a 2.5" x 7.5" Fox DHX, this has lowered my Bottom bracket together with 180mm forks. With the smaller shock I get just under 8" of travel. This bike is very plush and takes the hits and rails the downhills like nothing I have ever ridden. And then this bike climbs steep stuff like I can't imagine. Just spent the weekend on this bike riding 7 1/2 hours worth of XC tracks on one day then the next shuttling jump tracks and the Nats DH track. This bike is truely amazing. It does everything, best bike I have ridden ever and I have ridden and owned a lot of bikes. Its just a shame the bearing wearing quickly let it down and I think mine might be on their way out :(

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Similar Products Used:   SnataCruz Heckler, Intense Socom, Giant AC, Kona coiler etc

    Bike Setup:   2.5" x 7.5" Fox DHX, Rockshox Domains 318's 180mm, Saint, Hope, Holzfella, Thomson etc

    Reviews 1 - 15 (97 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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