At noon of June first, Santa Cruz unleashed the second volley in their 27.5 bike assault. The first bike was the Santa Cruz Bronson Which featured 150 mm of travel front and rear. The bike was burly and was aimed squarly at the six-inch All Mountain travel bike crowd and the growing Enduro Racing scene.


But in a recent visit, Director of Engineering, Joe Graney asked me what I wanted to see next and I said the obvious choice is a a lighter bike with about 125mm or 5 inches of travel. Such a bike could would be fully capable, raceable and could come in under 25 lbs complete. The Bronson came in at 27+ lbs even with a carbon frame and wheels because the spec fork and tires were pretty burly. Joe just smiled and changed the subject as I suspected that he did not want to give away his next hand.



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Well less than two months later, Santa Cruz delivers the combination blow with the Santa Cruz Solo. The highlights are 125 mm of travel, 5 lb. carbon frame and a 13.1 inch bottom bracket. Other details include a 68 degree head tube, a 73 degree seat angle and 17.1 inch stays.



In short, it is the 27.5 version of the Blur TRc. We rode the TRc a ton and loved it with its slack head angle and low 13.1 inch BB. In fact, we saw its potential as we bought our test bike and converted it to 27.5 wheels. It was awesome but the wheelbase was a little short and the BB height went up to 13.6 inches and it couldn't fit big tires. So that changed the personality slightly. But we could definitely see the potential of this combination.



This bike is supposed to deliver better pedaling performance than TRc with improved rear shock valving rates. Other improvements are compatibility with 2x and 1x gearing by keeping the suspension neutral while in a 36 or 38 front ring. We also noticed shorter seat tubes for smaller frame sizes to allow 125mm dropper post compatibility in all sizes.

So Santa Cruz delivers again with the next generation of 27.5 bikes that take advantage of the new Fox 130mm travel fork. These bikes will be lighter duty than the Bronson but will be sufficient for a wider array of trails and riding needs.

The Upside:
The promise here is we now have the 27.5 bike that most people need. It will be plenty stiff and can be ultralight with the 5 lb. carbon frame. It will have only 5 inches of travel but with a big 27.5 tire, that can be a very capable and lively machine. And with the new school of Blur TRc style geometry, it will be just slack enough, be a good climber and a superb carver with its 13.1 BB.

The Downside:
The main color here is Rescue Orange and although attractive, it will be polarizing to some. Another polarizing attribute will be the 13.1 BB height. West coast carvers will love it but East Coast obstacle trekkers may consider it a non-starter. And finally, why oh why is it so expensive?

Bottom Line:
Instead of debating the merits and demerits of the new 275 platform, Santa Cruz once again delivers a polished 275 bike that hits the market at the right time before the onset of heavy competition. They listened to the consumer as they built the next evolution of the Blur TRc.

Geometry


Solo Specs
125mm VPP suspension
27.5" wheels
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Frame Weight: 2295g (5.06lbs) for size M, carbon
142mm rear axle spacing
2x bottle cage mounts
Forged upper and lower links
Double sealed pivots with grease ports for low maintenance
Collet axle pivots and angular contact bearings maximize stiffness
Standard or Direct mount rear derailleur option
ISCG-05 tabs for chainguide compatibility
Stealth and external seatpost cable routing
73mm threaded bb: creak-free riding and easy installation
Molded rubber frame protection

Colors
Carbon: Matte Carbon/Grey or Gloss Orange/White
Aluminum: Gloss white/grey or gloss orange/blue
12 ENVE decal choices

Fork Options
Standard:32 Float 130 CTD Evolution
Upgrade: 32 Float 130 CTD Adjust Kashima

Shock Options
Standard: Custom tuned Fox Float CTD Evolution
Upgrade: Custom tuned Float CTD Adjust Boost Valve Kashima

Carbon Frame Pricing


Aluminum Pricing