Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Santa Cruz 5010 launches as MX only

Posted by Matt | September 8, 2022 | 13 comments so far

Santa Cruz 5010 MX 2022
Santa Cruz have launched their latest trail bike, the 5010 as a mixed wheels (MX) size.

I’ve posted this for Lloyd’s benefit really. He rivals Pedal & Spoke in Peaslake for his turnover of Santa Cruz bikes and this looks like a model that may well appeal as a Goldilocks model.

The 5010 gets it’s name from a lenticular galaxy (NGC 5010) about 140 million light years away in the constellation of Virgo according to Santa Cruz. It was adopted as the model name about 2013 as a name change from the Santa Cruz Solo. Which was often confused with… all sorts of things.

For the past few years, this has been Santa Cruz’s trail bike option sporting 27.5″ wheels in a range that is increasingly 29ers or mixed 29F/27.5R. Travel increments are now so narrow you can have a 115mm travel Blur TR 29er, a 120mm travel Tallboy 29er, a 145mm travel Hightower 29er and on up the range from there. You can see the gap, even if it is just on paper and the 5010 slots in at 130mm but with a mixed wheelset to shake things up.

The previous 5010 was well rated in the conventional 27.5″ arrangement. I remain strongly of the opinion that Santa Cruz make the best carbon frames, full stop. Coupled with the VPP suspension they seem to nail every model they produce and 130mm travel trail bikes are becoming very popular, being a very nice sweet spot if my Bird Aether 9 is anything to go by.

This time around Santa Cruz have offered the 5010 in a mixed (MX) size as 27.5 slowly fades from bike model ranges (this makes me question the wisdom of buying my Pace RC627…). In theory, all the benefits of both wheel sizes.

Time will tell if MX is the way to go or another passing fad. I am agnostic, partly because I just feel wheels should be the same size but also because a 27.5″ wheel with a big tyre is virtually the same size as a 29er wheel anyway. It has to be said, I haven’t ridden one but I am prepared to be converted. As it is, I love the look of the machine, particularly in the Matte Nickel finish – brighter finishes are also available, along with a ‘Stormbringer purple’ option (which actually looks black to me!).

Expect to see a few of these around the Surrey Hills soon.

Filed under 2022, News in September 2022


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 13 comments on ‘Santa Cruz 5010 launches as MX only’

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  1. Lloyd says:

    Interesting as the 5010 was always the 27.5 version of the Tallboy, with the MX wonder how they will differentiate the Tallboy other then just being ‘not MX’. I expect they will announce soon now 5010 is out

    • Matt says:

      I thought the Tallboy 4 has only just moved to 120mm travel this year, so suspect this differentiation is intentional.

      Somewhere around 120-130mm out back feels about right for most of our riding now that geometry is so settled. I found it hard to believe your Tallboy 3 has ‘only’ 110mm, most likely helped by that amazing rear shock.

  2. Tony says:

    It’s interesting to see how many different travel bikes with essentially the same suspension platform the Santa Cruz are producing. I wonder how many people go for the shorter travel option since “more is better” is sorta a mantra for many. Having said that I still like 110-120mm rear travel bikes.

    Also now that Pedal and Spoke have moved from the centre of Peaslake, are they still “Peaslake”?

  3. Jez says:

    Quite like the idea of MX. Off road motorbikes have always as far as I can remember have a larger diameter front wheel for getting over obstacles and better rolling capacity into/ over rough terrain.
    The rear wheel being smaller gives it less gyroscopic effect and becomes more manoeuvrable and tends to roll over anything as it follows the front wheel / more agile?

    A larger volume tyre helps with absorption. The overall diameter may not be that different ( rear being smaller) but volume helps with keeping the speed more constant.

    I realise that bikes are a lot lighter, but surely there must be a slight advantage with agility with a smaller rear wheel.Although overall speed with probably be less.

    I guess it’s the next thing in selling you a new bike. I don’t think that I’d notice the difference that much, but worth a try.

  4. Elliot says:

    I could see myself with one of these. Might be nice to claw back some ‘nimbility’ and acceleration with the small rear wheel without loosing the rollover of the larger front.

    Also note the sag window. Something Lloyd has been complaining about on the Hightower.

  5. Related: Santa Cruz Tallboy V5 launched - 2022, News - Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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