Santa Cruz V10 650B – Bike Check!
Way before carbon age came, in 2009 World Championships, Steve Peat took a win on one of a kind, custom made, alloy Santa Cruz V10. Back then it was commonplace for bike manufactures to make one-off custom bikes for their pro riders. Now days with brands investing big money into carbon frame moulds it’s much more pricier to ‘adjust angles’ to suit specific requirements of single pro rider. Then came bigger wheels which gave engineers more room to play. Bikes started to get longer but not long enough for Steve and his team mate Greg Minnaar, who wasn’t satisfied with his XL V10 even with the help of few mm, reach adjustment headset. In 2015 Santa Cruz decided to build XXL frame for them and made it available to end user as well. In 2015 World Championship, Greg claimed 5 WC podiums out of seven races. How much his new bike contributed to this impressive performance can be open to another discussion but developed for over 10 years, V10 is arguably the most wanted bike on our planet.
Today we had a closer look at one of those super rides. White frame in size Large with red decals finished up with some red bits from Hope and golden tints of Kashima stations and Ohlin suspension. Someone has put a lot of love into building this beast.
In 2002, Santa Cruz bikes purchased and refined the suspension system which came to be known as “VPP”, Virtual Pivot Point. They attached it to a heavy, still frame with 10″ of travel and called it V10. Since then lots has changed, but the name V10 stuck with the bike, even though travel was later reduced to 8.5″.
Bigger rims need more rubber. Grip is delivered by Continental der Kaiser 2.4, hand made in Germany. The manufacturers claim that these tires, made for the hardest World Cups, have better puncture resistance and better handling in corners.
Shocks fit neatly on the frame. Ohlins still spring adds to the overall weight of the bike, but with 7 sp cassette, carbon seat post, bars and Ti bolts throughout, this machine holds weight at 34.9lbs (15.8kg); quite low for a DH bike of such calibre.
Power is delivered through super thin, flat pedals from HT’s EVO line. HT, short for Hsing Ta Industrial, has been developing bike components since 1954. At just 11mm thick, these flats provide a great way of lowering your position on the bike, better clearance and are less likely to roll under your feet.
Hope Tech has been developing their brakes since mid ninties and had a lot of success, right from the start with their first design C2 Hydros. Most of their products, not just brakes are machined out of single piece of aluminium. Hope Tech 3 lever ( Shimano I-Spec compatible) paired up with V4 caliper it’s not just pretty set up. Very easy to maintain and with lots of adjustment Tech3 V4 delivers ultimate power with smooth control.
One piece caliper is more complicated to manufacture but stiffnes of chunky block of aluminnum improves the feel of the brakes through the lever .
SDG I-Beam Saddle refined for over 20 years and designed for power and performance. One of the lightest and strongest saddles on the WC tracks.
Renthal Carbon Fatbar at 780mm lenght is around 120g lighter then it’s alloy version. It’s a great way to shred some weight off the bike but carbon also improves comfort of the ride by abosrbing vibrations while at the same time being as stiff as alloy bars.
Building on rich heritage in moto bikes Renthal has quickly become one of mountain biking’s most sought after brands. They clearly understand material distribution in high stress environments and know where you can remove weight where it isn’t needed. When you combine Fatbar with Renthal Integra stem you’ll get one of the stiffest and lightest set up out there.
Many decades of bike industry development brings together ultimate World Cup winning weapon and super fun bike to ride over the weekend in your local bike park.
Now unless you’ve been a good boy Santa may suprize you at Christmas otherwise this build will drain your wallet so much you may not be able to afford new riding kit…
…But owner of this beautiful machine, Nick Lumb only cares about epic rides, good times and occasionally loosing a dangerous bet chasing his mates at the races.
Words and pics by Marcin Bialas.