When the time came to examine whether to give the V10 27.5-inch wheels, Santa Cruz turned to the Syndicate, who rode the prototypes, gave them feedback, and ultimately raced the bike on the World Cup circuit. By the time the season was over, the new bike had garnered the 2014 World Cup title, and a World Champs medal. Those accolades speak for themselves, but they were eager to improve.
Drawing on feedback from Peat, Minnaar and Bryceland on their personal settings, the 6th generation of the flagship model now offers 216mm / 8.5” of travel in two adjustable geometry positions:
High: 64° headtube angle / 360mm bottom bracket height.
Low: 63.5° headtube angle / 353mm bottom bracket height.
The shock rate has been tuned to be more linear and deliver consistent damping throughout the travel. Carbon lay-up analysis and frame shape optimization allowed for more efficient use of material, and the savings were then reinvested into other areas to ensure the bike withstands Ratboy’s huge flat landings. The front triangle and swingarm sport larger-diameter sections, but we’ll refrain from the usual drone about the positive effect that has on strength and stiffness. The new frame benefits from a slightly longer reach to suit evolving rider preferences. However, our athletes felt we always struck a good balance with our chainstay length, so we focused on maintaining this dimension when accommodating larger wheels.
This CC-level carbon frame is every bit as stiff and strong as the C-level frame, but weighs about 280 grams less, due to the use of some lighter, stronger, and more expensive carbon fiber. Using this material in key places allowed them to use less material overall, which is what shaves nearly a pound from the frame.
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