Fresh on the heels of its new Blur XC carbon fiber cross-country racer, Santa Cruz has now released pictures and information on an upcoming long-travel model called the Driver 8.
As the name suggests, the Driver 8 sports 8in (200mm) of rear wheel travel via a long 70mm-stroke (2.75in) shock and Santa Cruz intends it as a “general duty, daily driver gravity hauler [that is] more lively and poppable and jumpable than the V-10.” Also in keeping with that theme are the 1.5in head tube, 150mm rear hub and 83mm-wide bottom bracket shell spacing, 12mm Maxle rear thru-axle, integrated ISCG05 tabs and relatively low 383mm (14.5in) bottom bracket height optimized for 165-170mm crankarms.
The frame geometry is based around a 180-203mm fork and according to
Though clearly meant to hold its own at the bike park, Santa Cruz says the Driver 8 can also serve double-duty as a full-on downhill race bike for anything short of a World Cup course. Claimed frame weight is approximately 4.8kg (10.6lb) for a medium anodized frame equipped with a RockShox Vivid 5.1 rear shock.
Still, the Driver 8 is also meant to be pedaled uphill when necessary – albeit slowly – but Santa Cruz PR man Mike Ferrentino is quick to point out that it is not intended as a replacement for the now-defunct VP-Free but rather more of a dedicated gravity machine.
The abbreviated seat tube still offers nearly 18cm (7in) of height adjustment – allowing it to go nearly as high as a comparable Nomad yet even lower than the current V-10 – but there is no provision for a front derailleur. And while the Driver 8 will work with Truvativ’s new HammerSchmidt drivetrain, it probably won’t pedal that well if you fit a Hammerschmidt as the suspension is designed around a 36-40T chainring.
As with all of
Production frames will not be available until mid-May but Santa Cruz will accept frameset orders immediately and complete bike orders as of April 1. Official pricing stands at US$2399 for a powdercoated frame equipped with a RockShox Vivid 5.1 or US$2561 with a Fox Racing Shox DHX RC4. Anodized finish options will cost an additional US$200.