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Santa Cruz Bikes Guide

Santa Cruz bicycles amplify the skills of professional athletes and amateur riders across the globe thanks to their industry leading designs. 

The MTB-specific brand is renowned for its innovation and creative flair, consistently sticking to a relatively small catalog where only the best models make the cut. 

From XC bikes to long-travel enduro machines and gravel setups, there’s a model for every kind of mountain biker and off-road rider out there. 

Keep reading to discover the finer details of the entire Santa Cruz range and find out which bike is right for you.

How to choose a Santa Cruz bike

The extensive Santa Cruz range runs the gamut of mountain and gravel models. 

With so many options to choose from, identifying your ideal riding style, wheel size, and suspension specs are the best ways to narrow down your search. 

Check out the helpful breakdown of the brand’s offerings across XC, trail, enduro, downhill, and eMTB disciplines. Click on a style or a bike to be taken to that section of the guide.

Santa Cruz XC Bikes

Santa Cruz's cross-country (XC) mountain bikes are designed to be super efficient climbers while still being capable enough for chunky terrain and fast descents. If you race XC courses or your rides involve lots of ups and downs and tons of pedaling on moderately rough singletrack, XC mountain bikes are a good choice.

Santa Cruz Trail Bikes

Santa Cruz's trail bikes are super versatile do-it-all machines that cover a wide range of riding styles. If you're looking for a bike that climbs efficiently and can take on super steep and technical trails, these models are a good way to go.

Santa Cruz Enduro Bikes

Santa Cruz's enduro bikes are designed for extra heavy-hitting downhill riding while still having the necessary gearing to get back up to the top. They're perfect for enduro racing and throwing down huge lines in the bike park or on the trail.

Santa Cruz Downhill Bikes

The Santa Cruz V10 is a world cup winning downhill mountain bike that's no stranger to the podium. This bike is all about speed and control on the steepest, most gnarliest courses in the world.

  • Santa Cruz V10: Professional-spec downhill MTB with 200mm/215mm travel

Santa Cruz Electric Mountain Bikes

Santa Cruz now has a couple electric mountain bikes that are perfect for fast and fun descending on wild trails, but have the added bonus of a pedal assist motor that'll help you power back up to the top for another lap in no time.

Santa Cruz Gravel Bikes

Santa Cruz's gravel bike, the Stigmata, is great for everything from gravel racing to off-road exploring to bikepacking adventures.

Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Size Chart
Frame sizeSMLXLXXL
Rider height5’1”-5’5”
155-165cm
5’5”-5’9”
165-175cm
5’9”-6’1”
175-185cm
6’1”-6’5”
185-196cm
6’4”+
193+cm
Santa Cruz Gravel Bike Size Chart
Frame size (cm)5254565860
Rider height5’3”-5’6”
160-168cm
5’6”-5’9”
168-175cm
5’9”-6’0”
175-183cm
6’0”-6’2”
183-188cm
6’2”-6’5”
188-196cm

Santa Cruz XC Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. There are both hardtail and full suspension models to choose from, giving you options for your specific trails and riding style. This category is best suited to XC riders and racers, and anyone with a need for speed who traverses lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz Highball

Santa Cruz Highball

Style: XC

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: 29 inch

Travel: 100mm fork

Perfect for: Cross-country racers and riders who prioritize speed and efficiency


The Highball is a Santa Cruz hardtail mountain bike that hits all the right notes. This model is a favorite among XC purists thanks to the traditional specs including the 100mm travel, 29er rims, and gram-saving setup. The Santa Cruz Highball snatches the title of the lightest mountain bike in the brand’s range and features unmatched climbing prowess. 

The frame’s carbon layup and dropped seat stays are designed to boost compliance and comfort over bumpy trails, ideal for riders who spend a lot of time in the saddle. The 100mm suspension fork soaks up light terrain and can be locked-out quickly when the route starts to point uphill. There’s room for three water bottles so you can stay hydrated during hard training sessions and long XC outings.

Santa Cruz Blur

Santa Cruz Blur

Style: XC

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: 29 inch

Travel: 100mm or 110mm front / 100mm or 115mm rear (TR)

Perfect for: Dedicated XC racers who need a bit more suspension and gram-saving trail enthusiasts

The recently updated Blur is the brand’s designated full-suspension XC race bike that’s as light and efficient as possible while providing compliance where you need it. The 29” hoops float over big obstacles and increase pace on the flats so you can complete XC circuit laps in record time. The featherweight setup is ideal for climbing-orienting riders and the full-sus build conquers tougher terrain that’s typically beyond the reach of standard XC models. 

Santa Cruz specially engineered their Superlight suspension system to reduce weight and increase traction, shaving 289g off of the previous generation of the Blur. Their in-house carbon layup allows the rear triangle to flex slightly and reduce anti-squat. Keeping up with MTB trends, the new Blur has a slacker head tube, longer reach, and dropper post. XC racers can scratch their trail-riding itch with the Blur TR, the trail version with a longer 120mm fork and 115mm rear shock.

Santa Cruz Trail Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. These bikes often bypass rear suspension to optimize climbing efficiency, but competitive models like the Santa Cruz Blur are purpose-built for rougher XC terrain. This category is best suited to XC racers and riders with a need for speed who traverse lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz Chameleon

Santa Cruz Chameleon

Style: Trail

Frame: Aluminum

Wheel size: 29 inch or Mixed

Travel: 130mm fork

Perfect for: Riders on the hunt for a versatile hardtail to have fun out on the trails and take on adventures

The Chameleon is a hardtail trail bike with high levels of customizability that allows it to adapt to any environment. Aluminum is the only frame option but everything else is up to you— riders choose between mixed or dual 29” wheels and the interchangeable dropouts let you run a geared or single-speed setup. The triple-bolt cargo cage mount holds water bottles or larger gear. 

The 130mm front fork is perfect for trail enthusiasts who don’t require rear suspension and that pared-down design makes the Chameleon one of the brand’s most affordable trail bikes. The low top tube and highly progressive geometry inspire confident handling and a comfortable ride no matter the route. This model whips around on the trails and can be taken on longer expeditions, too.

Santa Cruz 5010

Santa Cruz 5010

Style: Trail

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: Mixed (29” front & 27.5” rear)

Travel: 140mm front / 130mm rear

Perfect for: Riders who prioritize playful, nimble handling and are all about having a good time and getting air on the trails

The 5010 stands out among full-suspension trail bikes due to its mixed wheelset and unprecedented playful handling. With less travel than the Bronson (also MX wheels), it’s ready to whip around trail features and climb efficiently, too. 

There’s 140mm up front and 130mm at the back outfitted with Santa Cruz’s VPP suspension technology and useful rear shock sag window. The carbon frame features slack and long geometry for control on the technical stuff and each model has a handy Glovebox compartment inside the downtube to store ride essentials. The 5010 is designed for fun riding across the whole mountain.

Santa Cruz Tallboy

Santa Cruz Tallboy

Style: Trail

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: 29 inch

Travel: 130mm front / 120mm rear

Perfect for: Riders who climb just as much as they descend and want to split the difference between XC and trail setups

The Santa Cruz Tallboy has a foot in both camps with its XC-inspired efficiency and medium-length travel that’s typical of trail bikes. This full-suspension machine is a true all-rounder that skews towards faster paced riding thanks to the large 29” hoops. The aluminum and Carbon C & CC frame options means there’s a Tallboy out there for everyone and the size-specific geometry achieves a perfect fit. 

Known as “the downhiller’s XC bike”, there’s 130mm of travel up front and 120mm in the rear that utilizes Santa Cruz’s patented VPP suspension. The revamped Tallboy features reduced anti-squat and produces a more responsive, snappy feel over technical terrain.

Santa Cruz Hightower

Santa Cruz Hightower

Style: Trail

Frame: Carbon C / Corabon CC

Wheel size: 29er

Travel: 150mm front / 145mm rear

Perfect for: MTBers searching for a versatile 29er that dominates steeper terrain

The Santa Cruz Hightower just received a huge redesign that solidifies its status as one of the best trail bikes out there that’s truly an all-terrain beast. As the Tallboy’s bigger sibling, this model feels at home in the steep and chunky sections of the mountain that require a bit more travel. The previous generation had two suspension offerings, but the new Hightower hits the sweet spot with a 150mm fork and 145mm rear end equipped with VPP technology.


The new updates are well worth geeking out over— there’s reduced anti-squat in the first 40% of travel to improve suspension sensitivity and there’s a handy storage compartment inside the downtube to keep your ride essentials tucked away. Aggressive trail and enduro riders can use the flip chip to switch between Low and High positions and adjust the progressivity on the fly.

Santa Cruz Bronson

Santa Cruz Bronson

Style: Trail

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: Mixed (29" front / 27.5" rear)

Travel: 160mm front / 150mm rear

Perfect for: Aggressive trail riders who are looking for a balance between agility and downhill capability

The Bronson combines a downhill-ready suspension package with playful handling that guarantees fun all across the mountain. The mixed wheelset runs a 29er at the front for traction and stability while the 27.5” rear wheel offers tighter steering in technical spots. Technically a trail bike, the Bronson is fully capable on fast downhill routes and jump trails while preserving an agile ride feel. 

Santa Cruz outfits this hard-hitting bike with their VPP suspension system, opting for 160mm of travel up front and 150mm at the rear. All that cushion means steep trails and big stunts are all fair game; it can accommodate both shock types— coil or air— so you can achieve your preferred settings. For a balanced geometry and bike fit across all rider heights, chainstay lengths are customized to each frame size.

Santa Cruz Enduro Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. These bikes often bypass rear suspension to optimize climbing efficiency, but competitive models like the Santa Cruz Blur are purpose-built for rougher XC terrain. This category is best suited to XC racers and riders with a need for speed who traverse lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz Megatower

Santa Cruz Megatower

Style: Enduro

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: 29er

Travel: 170mm front / 165mm rear

Perfect for: Riders who want a brawny 29er designed to smash descents at race pace

The Megatower is a purebred enduro racing machine and the newest iteration rocks even longer suspension. As the bigger sibling of the Hightower, there’s a 170mm fork and 165mm of travel in the rear to handle technical enduro courses at top speeds. This is the go-to model for the professional racers on Santa Cruz’s factory team at the Enduro World Series.

The downhill-capable specs like the big 29er wheels and robust carbon fiber frame handle hard-hitting routes. The steep seat tube angle and chainstay length that’s adjusted for each frame size encourage an efficient pedaling position so you can speed through the untimed climbing sections in enduro circuits and continue smashing those gnarly descents.  

Santa Cruz Nomad

Santa Cruz Nomad

Style: Enduro

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: Mixed (29" front / 27.5" rear)

Travel: 170mm front / 170mm rear

Perfect for: Gravity riders and adrenaline junkies who feel at home pointing down the mountain

The Nomad boasts a double-170mm setup with mixed wheels that’s ready for virtually any trail out there. This model feels at home in steep and chunky downhill terrain and shoots big jumps and drops with ease. There are rubberized covers and a mud flap to keep your rear shock protected from strikes. In Santa Cruz’s lineup, the Nomad’s long-travel suspension is second only to the downhill-specific V10.

The mixed wheelset delivers nimble handling in the tighter technical stuff and dominates the gnarlier sections. Dedicated MTBers will enjoy the super-slack head tube angle and the long reach that increase stability on the steepest routes. If sending bike park jumps and tackling big trails is your thing, the Nomad is the perfect companion. 

Santa Cruz Downhill Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. These bikes often bypass rear suspension to optimize climbing efficiency, but competitive models like the Santa Cruz Blur are purpose-built for rougher XC terrain. This category is best suited to XC racers and riders with a need for speed who traverse lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz V10

Santa Cruz V10

Style: Downhill

Frame: Carbon CC

Wheel size: 27.5" or 29" or Mixed

Travel: 200mm front / 215mm rear

Perfect for: Dedicated downhill racers

The V10 is the most successful bike in downhill history and continues to have a firm grasp on the title. It’s the go-to choice for professional downhill athletes, enabling them to ride to their greatest potential down some of the gnarliest courses in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup calendar. 

This top-of-the-range model is constantly evolving and the latest edition rocks a 200mm front fork and plush 215mm rear coil shock to give the V10 superpowers. It’s available in 27.5”, MX, or 29” wheel options to match your build and feel at one with the bike and terrain below.

Santa Cruz Electric Mountain Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. These bikes often bypass rear suspension to optimize climbing efficiency, but competitive models like the Santa Cruz Blur are purpose-built for rougher XC terrain. This category is best suited to XC racers and riders with a need for speed who traverse lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz Heckler

Santa Cruz Heckler

Style: trail eMTB

Frame: Carbon C / Carbon CC

Wheel size: Mixed and full 29er

Travel: 160mm front / 150mm rear

Perfect for: Mountain bikers who want extra watts to get up the climbs or keep up with stronger riders

The Heckler is Santa Cruz’s electrified trail bike designed to flatten the climbs and bring riders to remote sections of the mountain. This Shimano STEPS EP8-equipped model recently received a facelift is now available in both Carbon C or CC frame options. The battery has also increased from 504wh up to an impressive 720wh so you can explore all day long.

The full-sus package has 160mm of travel up front and 150mm in the rear with the brand's legendary VPP technology.  Riders can choose between a mixed wheelset or trail-chomping 29ers. The Heckler is loved (and heavily used by) MTB legend Danny MacAskill and well, if it's good enough for him, it’ll be great for us mere mortals.

Santa Cruz Bullit

Santa Cruz Bullit

Style: enduro eMTB

Frame: Carbon CC

Wheel size: Mixed (29" front / 27.5" rear)

Travel: 170mm front / 170mm rear

Perfect for: Riders who want to reach remote summits or skip the shuttle queue before big descents

The Santa Cruz Bullit is the brand’s longest-travel eMTB designed for the steepest trails you don't even know about yet. The powerful Shimano STEPS EP8 drive unit carries you up to summits that were previously out of reach meaning you skip the queue for the shuttle or chairlift if you want. The 630wh battery has a range that’s fully prepared for long, extended climbs.

The double-170mm suspension setup is as long as the Nomad, but the added watts send this bike into the stratosphere. The mixed 29” front and 27.5” rear wheels are inspired by successful downhill mullet bikes for the best of both worlds, outfitted with grippy DoubleDown tires.

Santa Cruz Gravel Bikes

Cross-country mountain bikes are built for speed and prioritize low weight and responsive handling. XC models maximize pace with fast-rolling 29” wheels and a short-travel front fork. These bikes often bypass rear suspension to optimize climbing efficiency, but competitive models like the Santa Cruz Blur are purpose-built for rougher XC terrain. This category is best suited to XC racers and riders with a need for speed who traverse lighter trails or long-distance routes.

Santa Cruz Stigmata

Santa Cruz Stigmata

Style: Gravel

Frame: Carbon CC

Wheel size: 700c or 650b

Tire clearance: 700x45mm or 650x2.1

Perfect for: Gravel riders and cyclocross racers or bikers who love to wander and compete off piste 

Santa Cruz leveraged their MTB expertise to create an exemplar gravel bike: the Stigmata. Able to double as a cyclocross bike, the Stigmata rocks internally routes disc brakes and has room for 45mm-wide rubber. The 1x drivetrain complements the ultra-stiff Carbon CC frame built for speed.

Riders can dart off the beaten path and explore gravel roads and dirt paths all while staying comfortable on the relaxed geometry. There are three bottle cage positions and fender mounts that can transform this bike into the ultimate training machine or extended adventurer that can fit a front triangle bag.