Santa Cruz 29"er Project In The Works

It was revealed yesterday in a post from Santa Cruz’s blog that the long time 29″er hold out is working on a 29″er project due to be unveiled “before Interbike”. This would become a 29″er that most mountain bikers not into big wheelers will look to as a litmus test on the format. Santa Cruz has long been highly regarded as one of the premeir trail bike companies with models from the Bullet to the new carbon Blur XC all raising the bar along the way in the eyes of many mountain bikers.

Citing the lack of suitable trail worthy components, Santa Cruz says 29″ers have been on their radar but considered not up to snuff for them to make one. Now they claim since the materials technology, component design, and ride performance are all at a high level for 29″ers, they are going to jump in the 29″er market with a bike that will not only get them on the bandwagon but one that will be “hijacking the damn bandwagon“, in their words.

Not many details are available at this time, but the indications are that the bike will be a full suspension model with VPP suspension. Squeezing out much more than 4 inches of travel with a VPP 29″er will require some trickery not seen before, so I do not look for anything beyond that travel for the rear. Santa Cruz states that “… the challenge of packaging some decent suspension into a bike and still having a manageable chainstay and wheelbase length” is important, so getting these attributes from a VPP design is going to limit travel expectations.

Some rumors are floating about also that Santa Cruz will offer the 29″er in aluminum and carbon. This would be a big surprise if true, and it is doubtfull that going into the 29″er market for the first time that they would commit to a carbon 29″er out of the box. This is pure conjecture though, so don’t take that as gospel. It’s just my opinion on the matter.

At any rate, this will be a big development in 29″ers and will bear watching closely as the summer months set in. Stay tuned!


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No Responses to “Santa Cruz 29"er Project In The Works”

  1. SlipperyPete Says:

    Wonder how much they’ll draw from Intense’s 29er in designing their own? That one uses 4 inches of travel and VPP technology, and the two companies have worked together in the past.

  2. mtbboy2000 Says:

    This is the bike I have been waiting for. I had a blur, Blur Lt, Nomad, Bullit and VP-Fee. Great bikes, but got bite by the 29er rage due to my height, etc. I am riding an XL Jet 9, which is awesome, but weighs 6.5lbs, frame and shock, I know the Blur XC Carbon is just under 4.5lbs in a Large, so give me a Carbon 29er VPP and 5lbs should be realistic for an XL frame. That would be sick. I would be riding an Intense, but they really screwed up that head angle and made it way to steep. Twitchy to say the least in my opinon. BRING ON THE SC 29er and I shall rejoice!

  3. Oderus Says:

    “Citing the lack of suitable trail worthy components, Santa Cruz says 29″ers have been on their radar but considered not up to snuff for them to make one.”

    That line makes me want to slap someone at Santa Cruz. What a load of horse poo poo. We all know damn well that whatever they release will have the same wheels, fork, drivetrain, etc of all the other folks that committed something original to 29ers years ago. They are showing up late to the dance and they know it. Santa Cruz makes good bikes, but that statement tells me that they are either lazy or so full of themselves that their egos are now over-inflated.

  4. Yourdaguy Says:

    Santa Cruz could have been doing what Niner has done the last 3 years which is make the best bikes they could make with the available parts. To me it is hard to argue that there were not sufficiently good parts to make great XC 29ers and to make a really good enduro bike and passable All Mountain bikes. It is probably true that until this year and the stouter forks coming out that it was probably not possible to make a good downhill bike out of available 29er parts. It is also probably true that SC’s first 29er won’t be a downhill bike.

  5. Davidcopperfield Says:

    Well the discussion what bike they should make is held here as well. Superlight, Blur LT and Nomad ought to be done properly. It is possible to make a 160mm travel 29er with 18.3 chainstays. Fingers crossed.

  6. t0m Says:

    In addition to the blog post, by Mike Ferrentino- recognize that name anywhere?- Bike Radar in the UK seem to talk to SC head Rob Roskopp quite a bit, and it’ll be carbon:

    SC has been developing this bike for quite a while, random blog comments about components notwithstanding. They claim to be focusing on chassis stiffness and mention that the 29er app took a lot more time to optimize the VPP in R&D.

  7. prphoto Says:

    Maybe the growing market share of 29ers (I’ve heard 15% of all MTB’s sold) has convinced the fine folks at SC bikes it’s time to get in the game. The same could be said about Specialized who seem to be making more of an effort lately. The market still seems dominated by Trek/Fisher in terms of model offerings and units sold.
    I think although it is true that 29er components are getting better all the time (especially wheels and shocks) “good enough” is always going to be a relative term.

  8. UnitedWeRide Says:

    Interesting, I loved my Heckler to death! I would definitely go for a 29er FS from them if it was as good as my Heckler.

  9. singlespeeder Says:

    would love to see a SC superlite 29er.

  10. SinnerSpinner Says:

    Who cares? Why does the 29 in. wheel need validation from SC Bikes anyway? The company “nailed it” with the Heckler and Superlight before eventually hitting the jackpot with the Bullit, but have done nothing for the sport since. They started out as a “by the riders – for the riders” style of company, but seem to have switched teams over to the “by the engineers – for the engineers” philosophy. The current 26″ VPP linkage is a maintenance nightmare and still just goes back and forth through its travel like every other design. Why should we speculate that the same linkage will somehow magically perform better with an even larger wheel? Why not “test the waters” with a big wheeled Chameleon first?

    Thanks GT, for keeping us all in the loop, …and also for providing a venue for my rants.
    SC Bikes was such an important player in the mainstream “freeride” and trail bike movement, but they have clearly lost their course. They used to make bikes that were, well, genuinely important.

  11. Dork On Wheels Says:

    Amen Sinner!

  12. Dirt McGirt Says:

    I like that bike when it first came out and they called it an Intense SPIDER!!!

    Pay attention, people, that’s all I’m sayin….

  13. Dirt McGirt Says:

    9 singlespeeder on May 18th, 2009 at 2:07 am

    would love to see a SC superlite 29er.

    And I originally like this one when it was called a Fisher Supercaliber.

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