Santa Cruz Superlight 29 29er Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

The Santa Cruz Superlight29 D XC Complete Bike proves that you don't have to go all-in with your life savings to get a trustworthy and high-performing big-wheeled rocket. The 100mm-travel Superlight29 uses the same refined single-pivot design that appears on the 26in Superlight and the Heckler. These Santa Cruz models have long been touted for their reliable, confidence-inspiring ride quality and value. Now you can get that workmanlike performance along with the fast-rolling advantages that 29er wheels provide.There are many reasons why good single-pivot designs are still relevant, and the Superlight29 highlights them. The suspension action is predictableAAAyou know what this bike is going to do in any situation. The Superlight29 frame is lighter than the VPP Tallboy Aluminum frame while sharing nearly identical geometry. The 15mm collet axle pivots that link up the Superlight29 are bombproof. And, of course, there is only one main pivot to collect mud and grime. Throw in a wallet-friendly price tag and a custom-tuned Fox Float RL shock, and it all adds up to near-unbeatable value for a trail-dominating steed.Lest you think the Superlight29 is just a bigger copy of the 26in Superlight, check out the tapered headtube, added to withstand the deflection forces applied by the larger front hoop. Additionally, Santa Cruz added cable/hose guides so you can upgrade to a dropper seatpost on the Superlight29. The length/stroke of the Fox Float RL shock differs based on the frame size. Large and X-Large sizes come with a 7.875 x 2in shock, while the shock on Small and Medium sizes is 6.5 x 1.5in. The smaller shock provides additional standover clearance for the smaller bikes. The component package for this complete bike offers great bang for the buck. You'll be squishing a RockShox Recon Silver TK 29 100mm fork that is plush and easy to service. The hoops are WTB Laserdisc XC rims laced to Shimano hubs, wrapped in Maxxis Crossmark 2.1in tires.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 22  
[May 05, 2019]
rocksane


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Extremely light, climbs fast, perfect geometry, good suspension & frame geometry. Why carbon when this aluminum is so light!

Weakness:

None so far

Price Paid:
2500
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2017
[Nov 07, 2014]
Eric Barile

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

- Simple / effective suspension
- Good geometry
- Inexpensive frame
- Great overall bike, up or down.

Weakness:

- Pivot bearning life is short. Replace in the first year. It should last a lot longer
- Rear end flexy
- A "superlight" frame shouldn't be that heavy
- Need a 12X142 rear axle

The bike was bought late in 2013 as a custom build: Fox 32 TALAS 120 CTD+ fork, Full Shimano SLX, Arch EX, FSA Afterburner 70mm stem and post, Chromag seat and 725 flat bars. Paid 3800$ CDN which is a bit high for a single pivot SLX bike. Now it's a 1 X 10 with a 30T RF NW.

Superb geometry. Matched to 29inch wheels it never cease to amaze me what this bike can do especialy DH. Remember, it only has 100mm of rear Wheel travel. With the right shock set up and tire pressure, traction is enormous. The bike size being S i don't have much issue in terms of manoevrability but it can't hide the fact it's a 29er. Tight turns must be handled with precision. The bike is surprisingly playfull and efficient: I have gon up stepier stuff than ever and never been so confident in DH technical trails. The CTD Fox shock must stay at D to get the most out of the bike up or down. Very underated bike. If only it was lighter...

Summer 2014: Custom tune on the shock and fork makes a huge differance especialy to the rear shock/suspension. It's now way more progressive, it will only bottom out on very large impact but will eat out all small to medium hits. It's truly Worth considering for a single pivot bike.

Looking for a simple efficient not too expensive bike ? SL29 ! And SC sells it as a frame alone. Built it the way you like

[Jun 13, 2014]
Peter Boogaard
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

simple single pivot design

Weakness:

simple single pivot design

I just built a custom superlight and I could not be more pleased with the bike I got for the money. I have been riding both a single speed hardtail, and fully rigid single speed 29er for the last 7 years. I never thought I would ride a full squish bike again, but lower back problems, and a move to rougher and rockier terrain left me wanting something that would be easier on me.

I built it with a 120mm Fox FLOAT CTD fork, and the fox RP2 rear
Easton EA70 XL wheelset
Conti Trail King
Full XT 2x10 group, shifters, cassette, cranks, brakes, and rotors.
Easton EA70 stem and seatpost
Easton EC70 710mm wide flat handlebar
Fizik Tundra 2 Saddle
ODI foam grips

So far it has been exactly what I wanted it to be, a comfortable xc bike with decent downhill capabilites. Obviously coming from a fully rigid 29er it is a world of difference in the rough stuff. I haven't even ridden with the shock in descend yet. I have typically just left it in trail unless I need to be able to stand up and push hard, then I will flip it over to climb.

I have noticed a tad bit of flex in the rear, but nothing that bothers me. I bought this to be the fun do anything bike, but I took it up my favorite 2500' climb in the tetons yesterday and ended up setting PR's the whole way up and down which surprised me. I always thought my single speed forced me to go faster. Now that my fitness is decent I don't think this is the case.

the XT group is perfect. I hated hydro brakes before these new XT's. Now I am switching all my bikes to be the same. I never could seem to modulate any other brakes to feel right, but these are a breeze to set up. I was even able to shorten the lines without bleeding.

The only real problem with the frame is the fact that the rear compliance is not what it would be on a VPP, DW link, or four bar linkage. The fact that I paid about half of what all my friends paid to get their bikes built at similar specs, (tallboy C and Ibis Ripley) makes me feel just fine about that. Maybe someday I will want to get a full blown race bike, but for someone like me who likes to ride up and down, likes an efficient bike, and doesn't really race other than to say that I did it, the SL 29 is perfect. I have not had any pedal kickback that I could feel like others have mentioned, and the stiffness level of the rear has been just fine. I have noticed the front end wander a tad on climbs, but that is probably more because I am not used to riding the correct cadence, or distributing my weight with a suspension fork. Not the bikes fault.

Similar Products Used:

Moots Rigormootis 29er
Vassago Jabberwocky
Surly Pugsley Necromancer
Salsa Fargo
2005 Specialized Stumpjumper
2004 Specialized Demo 9

[Jan 15, 2014]
Eric
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Value, geometry, Fox CTD 120, efficient climber, very confidence inspiring on descents and corners, between the wagon wheels and Fox suspension can roll over anything, solid on tight single track. Crossmarks hook up surprisingly well. ( if we get significant rain will want a more open tread front)

Weakness:

CTD dampener cartridge came defective, though warrantied, overall build a bit heavy - though to be expected at this price point ( a number of hardtails close to this price point not much lighter). Elixer 5 brake set up a little tricky.

Got this thing slightly used for significantly below list. Coming off a very stiff 26 hardtail with old school geometry
this thing is as close to a lounge chair on wheels as I've ridden. Having said that once I got the set up dialed in, this thing is a blast. Sure a little sluggish on the uphills, but I'm the one who needs to lose the weight more than the bike. As some one with back issues, between the fox in the rear as well as up right seating position, absolutely no problems after 3hrs saddle time with my back. As some one who has been riding 20 years,with a few years of almost no off road cycling, thank you back issues, the superlight makes riding fun again. Great trail bike.

Similar Products Used:

04 hardtail stumpjumper pro. Considered Giant Anthem, Scott scale, Carve expert, Airborn Goblin

[Nov 11, 2013]
David Utah
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Terrific Handling
Climbs and descends well, Looks very nice love orange, The frame has been great, Like the rockshox Reba dual air always works great, Fox rear shock is very nice.

Weakness:

The Avid Elixir 5 brakes are junk my bike only has four months of riding and i have paid a bike shop to bleed and replace rear pads once .I have had to replace the pad four times this summer alone have to do it myself can't keep paying bike shop to do something this often . My LBS said after Avid redesigned these brakes they went to crap. Also my head set went bad Santa Cruz warranted it and i replaced it. Now my bottom bracket is bad and they say it is not covered under their life time bearing warranty wish they could make up their mind on what is a life time warranty they claim on their bike bearings. This is not a bottom of line bike and should not have so much problems for $2500 plus tax .I can more than afford to keep fixing this bike but feel it should not of had so many problems in four months of riding .

The Avid Elixir 5 brakes, Cane Creak head set, And now Bottom Bracket ,Hope i don't have anything else Santa Cruz doesn't seem to care about you after you buy .I do ride this bike three to four times a week ten to fifteen miles a time maybe these parts are not suppose to last that long but it's really only been four month. I would bet that when you buy their bike with pre selected build kits they are just built in China and shipped to Santa Cruz and shipped to bike store they don't lay a hand on them to know the quality their self's. I ride with others that have built their own Santa Cruz bikes and they love them so if you want to build yourself use good parts and you will have a great bike. Might look to Niner for my next bike.

[Aug 31, 2013]
Flash
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Fantastic rear suspension. CTD shock is awesome although it is overkill. I mostly leave it in open setting and it sprints and climbs with the best. Nice geometry.

Weakness:

On large frame water bottle doesn't fit unless you flip the shock. ???

I built up a frame. At first I thought I made a mistake. Lately I've ridden a Spearfish (love!), Epic 29, Camber 29. Love all of those bikes so the bar was high. Had Heckler which I loved as well so I thought I have to give this bike a chance.At first it didn't feel right and I was bummed. I lowered pressure on shock, mounted a 90mm stem vs my standby 105. After fiddling I liked the ride alot but didn't feel fast. Then I started racking up PRs on Strava. I was shocked. The suspension just feels great and keeps the bike under control. My28 yr old son rode it today for the first time today and he has ridden alot of bikes over the years. He said it was the funnest and coolest bike he's ever ridden! Wow. I love it, I just wish they had designed a bit more room for the water bottle.

Similar Products Used:

Salsa Spearfish, Specialied Epic 29, Specialized Camber 29, many hardtail 29ers and a really long list of 26ers.

[Aug 12, 2013]
Paul
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great Value
Terrific Handling
Climbs and descends equally well
The WTB saddle is really comfortable, and I'm especially picky when it comes to saddles
The black and green color scheme looks nice

Weakness:

The Avid Elixer 5 brakes squeak a lot

I demoed a number of brands and models before pulling the trigger on this one and don't think there's a better mountain bike out there for the money. Several that cost more than the Superlight 29er felt sluggish in comparison and didn't corner or climb as well, much to my surprise.

While this bike isn't especially light - my size XL comes in at around 31 pounds according to my bathroom scale, which may or may not be accurate - it doesn't feel heavy on the trail. In fact, it climbs amazingly well.

Some of the competing models I tried felt like they weighed about the same when I picked them up, but they felt really heavy and slow on long climbs. I'm not sure why, but the difference was really noticeable.

The day after I bought the Superlight 29er, I did two laps on Moab's Slickrock trail, which is my all-time favorite trail and has some really steep sections. I had been on it a number of times but had never ridden it as well. Getting behind the saddle for some of those steep descents, and then moving to the front of the saddle for the steep climbs, was easier and more fluid than I've experienced in the past.

I was not only able to make it up a few sections that always stumped me previously, but I also had more confidence descending, and successfully rode one or two sections I had walked in the past.

My subsequent rides - mostly on singletrack - have been an absolute joy. This bike just happily eats up the miles and cruises over ruts, roots, rocks, etc.

The geometry of this bike feels perfect. This is the only bike I've owned where I've felt "in" the bike as apposed to "on" the bike. I've gone over the handlebars of previous mountain bikes before, and I was pleased to discover that my center of gravity feels lower on this bike. That's a real confidence booster!

The suspension on the Superlight 29er very good. I will note, however, that I've read others say they don't feel a difference between this single-pivot suspension and the VPP suspension on the higher end Santa Cruz bikes. I completely disagree. That VPP is amazing! I demoed that system on the carbon Tallboy, and was blown away! It will be worth the extra money for many people. But not for me. Not now, anyway.

I chose to go with this single-pivot design, because it comes at a better price point and is still very good. Once my student loans are paid off, I'll probably buy a bike with the VPP system, but until then, this suspension system is one I can be very happy with.

The only thing I really don't like about the bike is the Avid Elixer 5 brakes. They stop the bike just fine but make a lot of noise. I would have happily paid a few more dollars for SLX or XT brakes.

By the way, I got the "R" build, which includes the Fox Float front fork with 120 mm of travel, SLX hubs, Deore crankset, etc. While I'd prefer full XT components, this kit performs just fine for a great price. The difference in weight is apparently only a couple of pounds.

The way I see it, I can spend $1,500 for the upgraded components or make up the difference by cutting my body fat by just 1%. I've already done the latter, which for me was the better way to go.

The bottom line is that I'm very pleased with this purchase. The Santa Cruz Superlight 29er is simply a terrific all-around cross-country bike for a fantastic price!



[Aug 04, 2013]
Shannon

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Large wheels get you over stuff so much easier!
Great geometry.
Great suspension system.
Super responsive.
I could go on all day!

Weakness:

If I had to choose something I'd say MAYBE it's a little heavy due to the larger wheels. Maybe. Not a deal breaker for me though.

I just bought this bike used from a rental fleet in Moab, UT. It is AMAZING!
I am a 5' 6" female and when the 29ers started coming out thought they were only for people like my husband, 6' 2" tall . I was so wrong. I have never felt so safe or so balanced on a mountain bike before.
The day after picking up the bike we rode Slickrock in Moab. (If you're even a little familiar with the trail you know that it is a great place to get a good feel for your new bike's capabilities. :) ) Well, I was taking stuff I never would have dreamed of on my 26er. Drops I would normally dismount and walk through I was riding with no fear. I feel so good on this bike!
It is so easy to get in front of or behind the saddle in a split second and still be totally balanced. The geometry of this thing is spot on! I just can't rave enough about it!
Ladies, if you're contemplating a 29er but wondering if it's just going to be too big for you, lay your worries to rest. If nothing else, rent one for a day. If you're not sold within the first 10 minutes of riding...well, I'll eat my helmet. :)

[Jul 16, 2013]
Rick
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great bike. upgraded to R XC version which is a much better value.

Weakness:

Maxis Crossmark tires are subpar.

Great bike. Tested many different full suspension 29ers and this was definitely the best bang for my buck. Upgraded from a single suspension 26er and could tell the difference right away. I was about to buy a Specialized Camber but this bike is nicer and the components are better. Got a good deal at $2500. Bike didn't climb very well initially but I changed the front tire to a gripper XKing tire and it came alive. No other complaints.

Similar Products Used:

Trek Superfly, specialized Camber, Niner RIP

[Jun 11, 2013]
thegweed
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Love everything about the bike

Weakness:

Maybe the front tire and the saddle

I purchased the Superlight R Xc version (Gloss Black) because I thought the components that came with it were worth the extra dough, and I see that most others feel the same.This is my first 29er and I've ridden the bike 4 times on 2 different trails and really like it. I came from a Trek with the RockerLink suspension but I don't feel that this Single Pivot suspension is inferior in any way; Santa Cruz really have it dialed in, I'm about 180 pounds and have noticed no pedal bob issues. I'm 5' 5" and riding the size small; the bike shop where I bought it is very particular about getting the right size bike (as any shop should be) and I think they did a great job, including putting an 80mm stem instead of the 70mm or 90mm that comes with the bike, everything feels perfect. Of course I noticed a difference with the 29" wheels right from the get go but did not feel that they made it harder to take off from a stop or anything like I've seen some folks say. The bike definitely makes it easier to get up hills for sure: I had a few obstacles in mind from my most local trail that usually give me some trouble and I took them no problem now. There are also some really tight, flat swtichbacks on my local trail and I got thru those without issue, including no toe overlap on the front wheel at all. As stated I've only ridden 4 times on 2 different trails but haven't noticed any of the issues that others have had with the brakes or the front fork yet. I've ridden over a good mix of stair drops, switchbacks, man-made hills and have no complaints with the bike at all, I feel like it can handle anything I'd want to throw at it. The bike made me realize how hard I was working with the 26" wheels, it's hard to describe because I loved going riding before, but this bike and the 29" wheels make it like a whole 'nother level of fun. The Shadow Plus rear derailleur shifts like a dream as well. I'm running it with the stock tires, but tubeless setup. I had the same Maxxis Crossmark on the back of my old bike and I'm fine with it there, but will definitely look at something a little more grippy for the front. One other thing is the saddle may be a bit small for my sit bones but I'm going to ride it a few more times and if needed I'll put my old Specialized Rival 143 SL on. I highly recommend this bike after 4 rides and will update if any issues come up.

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