Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01 first ride review

Newly big-wheeled downhill speed king

GBP £8,199.00 RRP | USD $8,199.00 | AUD $12,499.00
Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01

Our review

A highly-efficient downhill bike that sucks up bumps with ease and maintains its composure
Pros: Low weight makes the V10 29 an easy bike to ride; ready to line up in a World Cup start gate; years of refinement have chiselled out a stable yet lively machine
Cons: This level of performance doesn’t come cheap
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The Santa Cruz V10 must surely be one of the longest-running bikes on the downhill scene that hasn’t had a complete overhaul of its linkage layout. Perhaps this is a testament to its original design. It has, however, seen many refinements and iterations over its lengthy lifespan.

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All of this experience has been poured into the new 29er version, which was prototyped and tested under the Santa Cruz Syndicate – with great race results to back up its performance. But can this thoroughbred work so well for those not on a factory team?

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01 frame

The V10 29 is an all-new frame, available in sizes M, L and XL, and made from Santa Cruz’s highest-quality CC-grade carbon fibre.

Updates include changes to the reach, leverage rate and cable protection. The former has been extended, as is the norm on modern bikes, and now ranges from 437mm on the medium to 492mm on the XL (‘high’ setting).

You also get 5mm longer chainstays on the XL, to help keep a good weight distribution between the wheels.

Each frame comes with a chainstay flip-chip that can be used to extend the rear end by 10mm (445 to 455mm on most sizes, 450 to 460mm on the XL).

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01
A flip-chip lets you adjust the geometry, slackening the head angle and dropping the BB.
Steve Behr

Santa Cruz has lowered the leverage rate, to get better performance from the frame’s 215mm of travel. New internal routing for the rear mech cable should mean it’s better protected from chain slap.

The frame also boasts a geometry flip-chip. In the ‘low’ setting, the bottom bracket drops 5mm, from 356mm to 351mm, the head angle slackens by 0.5 degrees, to 63.3 degrees, and the reach reduces by 2mm.

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01 kit

The V10 29 tested here is the more expensive X01 build. As such, it’s World Cup race-ready straight out of the box.

Fox sorts out the suspension with its 49 Factory fork and DHX2 Factory SLS coil shock. A SRAM X01 DH drivetrain is paired with Race Face SIXc cranks. SRAM also provides its most powerful Code RSC brakes.

Santa Cruz looks after the cockpit with its AM carbon bar, Palmdale grips and direct-mount stem. Its Reserve wheels are reserved (sorry) for aftermarket sales only, meaning the V10 rolls on Race Face ARC HD 30 wheels – no bad thing – fitted with team rider Greg Minnaar’s signature tyre, the Maxxis Assegai.

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01 ride impressions

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01
I never found the low weight compromised its stability.
Steve Behr

You can tell instantly that the V10 29 has years of refinement and development behind it, by the efficiency with which it covers ground. That’s something that stood out to me, which I put down to a combination of its excellent pedalling characteristics, well-supported rear end and sub-16kg weight.

All of this combines to make it feel much lighter to ride than its 215mm of bump-swallowing travel might suggest.

While the V10 29 doesn’t carry speed over flatter, rougher terrain as well as a high-pivot bike such as the Norco Aurum HSP, it’s certainly no slouch – and it’s easy to get back up to full throttle without much rider input, unlike the Aurum.

There’s no denying the continued development of the V10 plays a big part in what makes this bike so good

The geometry is very intuitive, and I found it an easy bike to get comfortable on, allowing me to push pretty hard from the get-go. I never found the low weight compromised its stability, and I thought the bike was slack enough in its high setting for the tight, twisty UK tracks I tested on.

However, it’s nice to have the option to ever-so-subtly change the geometry for steeper, faster courses, even though I feel many riders won’t tell the difference between the two settings.

The rear end offered great composure over bigger hits and repeated bumps, where the Fox DHX2 shock was well-matched to the 49 fork, giving the bike a balanced, composed ride.

There’s no denying the continued development of the V10 plays a big part in what makes this bike so good. I found it strikes a great balance between offering a light-and-lively ride, yet being able to swallow up bumps with ease and keep its composure, allowing you to concentrate on ripping as fast as possible – which this bike certainly loves to do.

Santa Cruz V10 CC 29 X01 geometry

Based on Medium with ‘High’ setting:

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  • Head tube angle: 63.7 degrees
  • Chainstay: 17.52in / 44.5cm
  • Seat tube: 17.52in / 44.5cm
  • Head tube: 3.94in / 10cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 0.63in / 1.6cm
  • Bottom bracket height: 14.02in / 35.6cm
  • Wheelbase: 49.25in / 1,251mm
  • Stack: 24.88in / 63.2cm
  • Reach: 17.2in / 43.7cm

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $12499.00GBP £8199.00USD $8199.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 15.97kg (M) – excluding pedals, Array, kg
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Santa cruz


Available sizes br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, M, L, XL (29in) / S, M, L (27.5in)
Brakes br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
Cassette br_cassette, 11, 0, Cassette, SRAM X01 DH
Chain br_chain, 11, 0, Chain, SRAM XX1
Cranks br_cranks, 11, 0, Cranks, Race Face SIXc carbon cranks
Fork br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, Fox 49 Float Factory FIT GRIP2, 203mm (8in) travel
Frame br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, CC carbon fibre, 215mm (8.5in) travel
Grips/Tape br_gripsTape, 11, 0, Grips/Tape, Santa Cruz Palmdale Grips
Handlebar br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, Santa Cruz AM carbon, 800mm
Headset br_headset, 11, 0, Headset, Cane Creek 49 ZS Integrated Headset
Rear derailleur br_rearDerailleur, 11, 0, Rear derailleur, SRAM X01 DH (1x7)
Rear shock br_rearShock, 11, 0, Rear shock, Fox DHX2 Factory SLS
Saddle br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Ergon SMD2 Pro Ti
Seatpost br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, Burgtec Xpress carbon rigid
Shifter br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, SRAM X01 DH
Stem br_stem, 11, 0, Stem, Santa Cruz direct-mount, 45-50mm
Tyres br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip 2.5x29in
Wheels br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, Race Face ARC HD 30 rims on DT Swiss 350 hubs