Santa Cruz V-10 Carbon - First look

The final piece in Santa Cruz’s short-to-long-travel carbon infusion

Carbon wheels on a Santa Cruz downhill bike? Not so surprising – the Syndicate team announced in February that they'd be running Edge rims. Wait, a carbon frame? Is that a Santa Cruz V-10? Yep, it is.

Santa Cruz have followed the recent launch of their carbon Nomad and alloy APP Butcher and Nickel bikes with news of a full carbon fibre V-10. However, you won't be able to get your hands on one any time soon as the new bike isn’t expected to go into production until this autumn's Interbike trade show at the earliest.

“We’re proto-hyping,” Mike Ferrentino, Santa Cruz’s marketing manager, told BikeRadar. “The bikes just showed up. Those things arrived last week and we built the bikes, boxed them up and sent them to Portugal.” The team will ride the bikes for the first time at the Nissan Lisboa Downtown race in Lisbon this weekend and then continue with them on the 2010 World Cup circuit.

Carbon, carbon everywhere

It seems that when they figure something out over at Santa Cruz they go ahead and run with it. In this case it’s carbon fibre, which is now used throughout the line. The new V-10 Carbon mates a carbon front end with the Driver 8’s alloy swingarm.

The rear end of the new V-10 Carbon is straight from the Driver 8

The bike takes a 9.5x3in shock and has adjustable travel, from 10in down to 8.5in. It uses Santa Cruz’s collet pivot axle system with double sealed lower link bearings that sport hidden grease ports. There's a 50x12mm Maxle through-axle at the rear and an 83mm bottom bracket. The carbon front triangle has integrated carbon ISCG05 tabs and a 1.5in head tube.

The new adjustable travel link has inset grease ports

The geometry is said to be adjustable, though Santa Cruz were tight lipped about how the 1/2-degree adjustments are achieved. Each degree of adjustment changes wheelbase and stack height by 10mm and bottom bracket height by 3mm. Changing travel changes the head angle from 64 to 65 degrees.

Compared to the current V-10, the new carbon model has an inch longer wheelbase and its seat angle is around one degree steeper. Chainstay length, head tube length and bottom bracket height remain roughly the same. The new frame features a higher shock rate that's slightly more linear than the previous V-10 in 10in-travel mode but more progressive in 8.5in mode.

The bike’s look, shock rate and geometry are pretty well set, according to Ferrentino. Weights and pricing, however, aren’t. “Weights may change,” he said. “They may get lighter, they may get heavier; I don’t know. But this is how the production ones will look unless something really catastrophic happens during the season.” Santa Cruz will offer a lifetime crash replacement plan with the V-10 Carbon plus a two-year design and manufacturing guarantee.

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