2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion get the mullet treatment

Californian brand upgrades 27.5in all-mountain platform with new geometry and 29in front wheels

Santa Cruz Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike

The 2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion – which share the same frame and technology – both make the shift away from 27.5in hoops front and rear to a mixed mullet wheel setup in a bid to blend the “whippable character” the Bronson is known for with the traction and stability sometimes associated with 29in wheels.

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At the time of launch, the eight-bike 2022 Bronson range is only available in C- and CC-level carbon fibre, so no more aluminium Bronson, with prices ranging from £4,999 / $5,049 to £9,499 / $11,399, up on the £3,599 to £8,999 outgoing model’s span.

It’s a similar story in the Juliana Rubion camp, where five C- and CC-framed models along with a frame-only option are now being offered, costing between £4,999 / $5,049 and £8,599 / $9,849 – seeing their RRP increase by up to £2,500 for the most expensive model compared to the outgoing bikes.

Juliana Roubion CC X01 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The Roubion is Juliana’s do anything, go-anywhere bike.
Santa Cruz

The rear suspension’s travel remains the same with 150mm of virtual pivot point (VPP) wheel squish, and so does the range of sizes, spanning from extra-small to medium for the Roubion and extra-small to extra-large for the Bronson.

The extra-small bike in both ranges retains the 27.5in front and rear wheels of the old model but gets the latest bike’s geometry updates.

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion frame details

Santa Cruz Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The Bronson and Roubion use Santa Cruz’s C and CC carbon fibre.

Both models retain and build on Santa Cruz’s current range-wide (except the Blur cross-country bike that’s moved to a single pivot flex stay system) low-slung rear shock aesthetic, where it’s mounted to the down tube and pierces the seat tube before connecting the lower of the two VPP linkages.

Offered in Santa Cruz’s lower-cost C and range-topping CC carbon fibre, both material types are claimed to deliver the same ride quality and strength, with the CC-level construction shedding approximately 250g per frame depending on size.

The 2022 bikes, like all carbon Santa Cruz models since 2015, are offered with a lifetime warranty against defective materials or workmanship.

Similarly, the frame’s pivot bearings are covered under their own lifetime warranty. If a Bronson or Juliana original owner’s bearings have failed, they need to fill in an online warranty form to receive replacements within 48 hours.

Elsewhere, the 2022 bikes get internally routed cables from front to back – and the frame has internal cable guides to help make routing them easier.

There are two down-tube protectors; one to limit frame damage from rock strikes around the bottom bracket area and a second further up the down tube to protect the frame from damage while being transported on the tailgate of a pickup truck.

There’s also in-built seatstay and chainstay chain slap protection and a small mudguard that protects the shock from mud and debris getting thrown from the rear tyre.

According to Santa Cruz, the Bronson and Roubion are compatible with all current coil- and air-sprung rear shocks.

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion suspension characteristics

Santa Cruz Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The Bronson and Roubion both have Santa Cruz’s VPP suspension system that uses a twin link design with a virtual pivot that moves as the suspension compresses.

The Bronson and Roubion’s 150mm of VPP rear-wheel travel – that’s actuated using two counter-rotating short links – has been tuned to give lower levels of anti-squat and even less pedal feedback compared to the old model, making it, Santa Cruz claims, closer to the way the Hightower works.

We didn’t think the old Bronson pedalled badly, though, praising the 2019 bike for its neutral characteristics. Arguably, a reduction in anti-squat and pedal feedback should make the new 2022 Bronson and Roubion even more descent-focused but might hinder swift uphill progress unless the shock is fitted with a climb lever.

Santa Cruz and Juliana also claim they’ve made the leverage rate lower and linearly progressive throughout its travel. This should make it well-suited to coil shocks or air shocks without volume spacers.

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion geometry

Over the outgoing model, the new Bronson and Roubion models get a 15mm longer reach figure with a 20mm higher stack.

But it’s the step to mullet wheels – where the front wheel is 29in and the rear 27.5in – that marks one of the biggest changes to the Bronson and Roubion, as the two bikes have historically flown the flag for 27.5in hoops despite the traction in popularity of 29ers.

The other significant change and improvement sees the range of sizes getting proportional chainstay lengths, which increase as the frames get bigger.

Taller riders will be particularly pleased with this; for years they’ve been stuck with the same chainstay lengths as smaller bikes, which make the ratio between the front centre (the distance between the bottom bracket and front axle) and rear centre (also known as the chainstay length) become unbalanced because the rear centre doesn’t grow in relation to the front centre.

This can be the cause of some unwanted riding characteristics and places taller riders further back on the bike compared to people on smaller sizes.

SizeExtra-small (low/high)Small (low/high)Medium (low/high)Large (low/high)Extra-large (low/high)
Reach (mm)402/405427/430452/455472/475497/500
Stack (mm)595/594619/617628/626637/635651/649
Head tube angle (degrees)64.5/64.764.5/64.764.5/64.764.5/64.764.5/64.7
Seat tube length (mm)370380405430460
Front centre (mm)722757786810/811842
BB height (mm)341/344341/344341/344341/344341/344
Wheelbase (mm)1154/11491189/11881222/122112491285/1284
Chainstay length (mm)432/427432/431436/435439/438443/442
Head tube length (mm)110100110120135
Top tube length (mm)542/536575/570604/599627/623675/653
Seat tube angle (degrees)76.9/77.676.7/77.276.6/77.176.5/76.976.4/76.7
Standover (mm)698/701706/709727/731726/729725/728

The geometry is adjustable between a high and a low setting, too. The adjustment changes the head angle by 0.2 degrees, bottom bracket height by 3mm, and chainstay lengths and wheelbases by 1mm for the small to extra-large sizes, and 5mm for the extra small frame.

Headline figures include a 64.5-degree head tube angle in the low setting across the range, between a 76.5- and 77.6-degree seat tube angle depending on frame size, and wheelbases ranging from 1,154mm through to 1,284mm.

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson and Juliana Roubion models and specifications

­Despite dropping the aluminium version of the Bronson, Santa Cruz has managed to increase the number of models on offer from six to eight, now including a frame-only option.

It’s the same story in the Juliana camp where there are now six options of Roubion, up from the previous model’s four.

More choice is a great thing for consumers and the increased spec options mean there should be a stock bike out there for every prospective Bronson or Roubion customer.

Prices start at £4,999 / $5,049 for the Bronson C R and rise to £9,499 / $11,399 for the Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV.

Roubions start at the same £4,999 / $5,049 for the C R model but only lift to £8,599 / $9,849 for the Roubion CC X01 AXS RSV, missing out on the lighter SRAM XX1 AXS kit.

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson C R

Santa Cruz Bronson C R all-mountain mountain bike
The most affordable Bronson costs £4,999 / $5,049.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Price: £4,999 / $5,049

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson C S

Santa Cruz Bronson C S Gold all-mountain mountain bike
The S bike represents good value for money at £5,799 / $5,949.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Price: £5,799 / $5,949

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson C XT

Santa Cruz Bronson C XT all-mountain mountain bike
The XT version is built on Santa Cruz’s marginally heavier C carbon frame.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance Elite, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100
  • Price: £6,599 / $6,949

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson C XT RSV

Santa Cruz Bronson C XT RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The Shimano XT version is available with Reserve wheels.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance Elite, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100
  • Price: £7,599 / $8,249

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01

Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 all-mountain mountain bike
The X01 has plenty of top-spec kit from SRAM and Fox’s 36 Factory fork.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Price: £7,199 / $8,049

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS RSV

Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The X01 AXS version of the Bronson is marginally more affordable.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Price: £8,599 / $9,849

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV

Santa Cruz Bronson CC XX1 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The halo bike has SRAM’s AXS gears and seatpost and Santa Cruz’s Reserve 30 V2 carbon wheels.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Price: £9,499 / $11,399

2022 Santa Cruz Bronson CC frame only

  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Price: £3,499

2022 Juliana Roubion C R

Juliana Roubion C R all-mountain mountain bike
The most affordable Roubion retails for £4,999 / $5,049.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Price: £4,999 / $5,049

2022 Juliana Roubion C S

Juliana Roubion C S all-mountain mountain bike
All the Roubion models (except the extra-small size) use mixed wheel sizes.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Price: £5,799 / $5,949

2022 Juliana Roubion C XT

Juliana Roubion C XT all-mountain mountain bike
The mid-range Roubion is fitted with Shimano’s XT drivetrain.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance Elite, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100
  • Price: £6,599 / $6,949

2022 Juliana Roubion CC X01

Juliana Roubion CC X01 all-mountain mountain bike
The CC X01 retails for £7,199 / $8,049.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Price: £7,199 / $8,049

2022 Juliana Roubion CC X01 AXS RSV

Juliana Roubion CC X01 AXS RSV all-mountain mountain bike
The Roubion CC X01 AXS RSV is the top-of-the-line bike.
Santa Cruz
  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory, 160mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Price: £8,599 / $9,849
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2022 Juliana Roubion CC frame only

  • Frame: Carbon C MX, 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Price: £3,499