Santa Cruz Bicycles was founded by a skateboard legend, and designs with a rebellious spirit. The first Santa Cruz bike was full-suspension, and it’s grown to a full, drool-worthy line of MTBs.
Santa Cruz Bicycles has a deserved reputation as a company that makes smart, light, strong, and reactive frames, and builds them into smartly-curated complete bikes. These whips are for people who like to ride with a minimum of fuss and ostentation The people at Santa Cruz MTB have mastered both carbon-fiber and aluminum, taking those materials and turning them in to aesthetically clean designs that answer Occam’s razor. For many of the models, there are three ranges, the aluminum-frame version is more economical, Carbon C is the middle-ground, while Santa Cruz Carbon CC is the top level. Santa Cruz also has a women’s-specific brand, Juliana, named for Juliana Furtado, the first-ever women’s world champion in MTB, and a killer on two wheels. The geometries on Juliana’s are largely identical, with the naming, paint, and component spec changed.
Santa Cruz debuted in 1993 with a rare, for the time, full-suspension design. While they also make hardtails, their rear suspension stands out for Santa Cruz’ embrace of Virtual Pivot Point, VPP, design. VPP’s are found on all their rear suspension, including their Bronson, Hightower, Nomad, and Tallboy, all of which we have for sale. In case you’re wondering, VPP is a series of linkages that allow the rear end to pivot off a theoretical point above the bottom bracket, making it harder for the bike to squat under pedaling pressure or stand under heavy braking. The benefit for pedaling is greater efficiency, the benefit in braking is greater control and better traction.
Santa Cruz has bikes for whatever kind of dirt-oriented adventure you’re looking to ride. Whether it’s an XC bike, a trail bike, an enduro bike, a downhill bike, even a gravel or an e-bike, they build it and The Pro’s Closet sells it. We even have Santa Cruz frames in their bare form, ready to build. For all the focus on suspension, Santa Cruz builds impressive hardtails. Their Highball is a thoroughbred xc bike that has enough give in the rear end to smooth out chatter. But the real kicker is the Santa Cruz Chameleon, which despite being an aluminum hardtail, is a great trail bike, can take different wheel sizes, and can even be set-up as a single-speed, if that floats your boat.
One of the great things about Santa Cruz bikes is they hold their value. Santa Cruz doesn’t rush to update models to have the latest colorway and trim in a new model year. They see their bikes as timeless, both aesthetically and practically, and step away from competing with designs of the week. There are many reasons to seriously consider a used Santa Cruz. They’re built very well, with welds on the aluminum frames and lay-up on the carbon that are designed to last and last. The pivots and linkages move on oversized bearings, so they, too, have long lives. If there’s an odd case of worn parts, we’ve replaced them before putting the bike up for sale. Another plus is that they use very few proprietary parts, so commonly-available shocks and seatposts will help you tune the ride to your needs.
Santa Cruz got into the gravel game with the Stigmata back in 2015, which itself was a rebirth of their cyclocross bike. They designed it as a mating of cyclocross and gravel, with clearance for both 45mm 700c tires and 2.1” 650b tires. They were interested in joining the fun, quick-handling of ‘cross with adventure manners of a hardtail mountain bike. As such, the Stigmata can be built up around 33m cyclocross tubulars for racing, 40mm smooth treads for mixed surfaces, or 2.1” knobbies for adventure, bikepacking, even old-school drop-bar mountain biking.