Santa Cruz Butcher All Mountain Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

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.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 15  
[Aug 14, 2018]
isitjustified


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Smoothest terrain leveling progressive shock curve I’ve felt in a bike to date. This makes other riders around me on other frames jealous with how easily it wants to be thrown around, how snappy and nimble it is, how willing it is to fly, how easily it can glide over rock gardens and baby heads but still keeps the Lance’s at bay as long as you have the legs to let it climb. No one believes me. No one likes the bike because according to the media it’s suposed to be a dumpster fire in comparison to other SCB frames. People give me side eye on this bike as if I’m riding a target bike because “oh that’s the bike they discontinued right away, right?” As a matter of a fact I convinced a friend into a butcher. They loved it so much they kept it for many years and later upgraded to a brand new 2016 Bronson. They hated that bike in comparison to what they were used to. This is not an exaggeration. They sold the Bronson just months after building it. Still, to this day buying and selling frames every year trying to find something that compares. I’ve ridden this bike since 2012. I have the year appropriate components on it, crossmax sl wheels, kashima 32 150/120 TALAS, kashima RP23, short stem, brand x dropper post, 2x11 and very wide bars. I’ve set it up geared mostly towards all mountain and it still climbs like a goat. I’ve ridden every comparable bike over the years from specialized, trek, Rocky Mountain, transition, Scott, ibis, Santa Cruz and cannondale between 2013 and 2018 on every bike demo day I can find. I have yet to find a single frame worth considering compared to this. The only thing that ALMOST felt as good was an ibis HD carbon from 2014. If I broke this frame and couldn’t source another to replace it I would go buy one of those and cope with the short fallings. I’m a cross country race veteran from 2009 and have ridden some interesting bikes in some interesting terrain. Keep in mind my build as it sits as listed above weighs in at 28lbs. sure, the frames not light on paper but can you tell? I can’t. With the right build and an open mind this bike will not disappoint. If I ever found a nickel for sale in my size within reasonable shipping distance I’ll buy it immediately. Even if I’m in a bad spot and have to borrow for it. So far the best setup I’ve found is about 15mm sag in the rear shock and about 20% sag for the front. It doesn’t need a lot of rebound control. Bearings never fail.

Weakness:

QR rear end needed to be upgraded to the bolt on 12mm solid axle conversion. After that, this thing is unstoppable. Just don’t forget your 15mm wrench for flats on the trail!

Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2012
[Sep 14, 2015]
Bandit
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Simple design; flowing lines; sturdy build; real do-it-all-bike; slack headangle; pedals well; initially fluffy, but progressive feel downhill

Weakness:

a bit on the heavier side; no through axle dropout (mostly "cured" by the use of a Hope Pro2 wheelset with 10 mm axle)

After 8,5 years on a very solid 4-link frame with 150 mm rear travel it was time for something new. The Nomad frames were either overpriced even used, or abused and in bad shape when affordable. Stumbled across this L-frame from 2012 without a nick: Simple suspension design, lower bottom bracket (a main critic with my old frame at 375 mm BB height), a bit shorter top tube, 26" - perfect.
I built the frame with what I had: Sram X.0 2x9 with Shaman chain roller, XT 755 brakes, solid Hope wheelset with Sun Equalizer 29 rims and a heavy, but fluffy Marzocchi 55 R (2009) with open bath-tuning. The bike is not a weight-weenie´s choice at 15 kg/33 lbs (incl. pedals, bottlecage and speedo).
The Marzocchi features an old 1 1/8" headtube and the deep Hope lower headset in conjunction with the 160 mm fork slackens the head angle even more. The suspension-setup is easy, set the rear sag to 30%, 2 clicks rebound from fully open, pro pedal 1 - set and forget. The Butcher provides a stable, but potentially playful ride, pedals up well as long a you remain seated and delivers a secure and solidly planted feel downhill. The bike really inspires confidence to a point you have to stop yourself sometimes.
My former bike was really set up well (Suntour Durolux RC shock) and I had feared the "simpler" one-pivot-design could be inferior - NO WAY! Riding the Butcher immediately provides the sensation that you have always been on that bike. Being a bit (1/2") shorter than usual L sizes, the Butcher does not feel cramped, but invites to play around and choose jump-lines wherever possible. And you don´t have to pay a price for this character - on the rocky or rooty stuff the suspension just absorbs the big hits.

I think it is a shame the Butcher was discontinued. It is a reall do it all bike without major setbacks and a solid base for years to come. I was looking for exactly this in 26" and the bike suits me spot-on.

Similar Products Used:

Kraftstoff E1, Giant Reign

[Mar 12, 2015]
dedmann
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

do all bike. the raised chainstay quiet and doesn't collect mud like most. fits giant tires. solid suspension hardware. pretty dang stiff for single pivot. it can run 27.5 wheels with no issues. i like the exterior cable/hose routing. threaded bb is a must. common shock length. THE TOUGHEST DERAILLEUR HANGER IN THE BUSINESS

Weakness:

not thru axle.... and discontinued :(

I have ridden this bike for 3 years solid. I bought this bike just before they went extinct. Main reason I chose a Butcher was the ability to fit 27.5 wheels. more on this later.... The Nomad top tube and raised chainstays make the bike beautiful and smart. It has all the ability to set the trail afire. Descents can be overwhelming to the mild with a bike of this capability; however, it pedals well enough to be an all day bike or set that KOM you were after. The bike begs for a 160 fork. After the last 3 years the bike has lost lots of weight; making it super nimble. I mean carve a corner like no other bike I have ridden or demo'd. The bike really came into its own once the 27.5 conversion happened. A carbon wheelset, '15 fox 36, 1x xtr, fat Conti TK 27.5x2.4 tires, a dropper make for a incredible riding package. The wheel conversion brought the BB up higher than I would normally like, BUT I live in the rockiest of deserts and have grown to appreciate it. The bike has had some nasty flipping and flopping off the trail with out me and barely shows any sign of it. After 1000's and 1000s of miles and endless amounts of elevation it is squeak free and as solid as day one. I want a new frame to replace her, but other bikes barely cut it. I always find something missing from the equation that MRS CLEAVER (the bikes name) has. If you are new to the sport or just looking to have a solid life partner: consider a Butcher. Just don't ask for mine!

Similar Products Used:

SC Heckler Bronson VP FREE Nomad2 Mojo hd2 & hd3, Pivot Mack 5.7, Cannondale Jeckyl RZ 120, Kona Process Dawg, Ellsworth Epiphany, BigS stumpy EVO Big Hit.............

[Sep 07, 2012]
Ron Hollis
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Easy to dial in, climbs awesome descends even better. It takes the hits and keeps moving forward.

Weakness:

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.

Similar Products Used:

Blur LT, Nomad, Bullit

[Jun 07, 2012]
4747lynch

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Love this bike!!! The harder you ride it the better it feels.

Weakness:

Avid breaks are noisey and grab low.

It fit perfectly in my budget. I feel like I got a tremendous bike for the $..

[May 29, 2012]
tonebiclas
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

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....

Weakness:

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...

[May 24, 2012]
carletto

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

great bike! uphill and downhill and pedaling

Weakness:

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!

[Dec 10, 2011]
elbikobandito
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5

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!

[Nov 28, 2011]
Rahmad
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Stability, rear suspension and geometry

Weakness:

So far I have not found its weaknessess

Great when takes bumps especially when down steep trail. Great also when climbing just do not forget to set front fork to lower travel. It is great all mountain bike.

Similar Products Used:

Kona Caldera (hard tail), Kona Howler

[Jul 09, 2011]
Felix
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, strong, price, everything

Awesome for all mountain riding and lite freeride. It feels amazingly light and responsive when you hop on. Would highly recommend to anyone wanting just one 'do everything' bike and as a first bike.

Similar Products Used:

Kona one20 primo, Scott Genius 40 etc

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