First Look with a Twist

2019 Santa Cruz V10 29er

Words Tim Coleman
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Jun 27, 2019

When Mt Ste Anne was announced as the venue for the 2019 MTB World Championships, Tim Coleman started feeling the pull of gravity, and couldn't resist the opportunity to chase a rainbow jersey (Masters 35-39 category) on Canadian soil. Over the course of the summer, he's going to keep us updated as he prepares his body and mind for the ordeal. And, of course, he'll also get nerdy about the Santa Cruz V10 he'll be riding as he chases glory on August 22nd. Today's article is the first instalment in the series.

The year was 2003. I had been mountain biking for a year. Kranked 5* was released and blows my mind. That segment of Johnny Waddell flowing Groovula and tearing the Sun Peaks DH track to pieces on a candy apple red V10 with the red Dorados released so much dopamine into my brain I still get the shakes every time I see one. The green one in the Super T segment was bad ass too. I NEEDED that bike. I saved all my pennies that summer and there was no question what I was buying. A candy apple red V10 with a set of red Dorados. I don't think the impact the original V10 had on the downhill scene in 2002 can be overstated. The V10 was meteoric. Fast forward to 2017. Santa Cruz shows up to a World Cup with a prototype 29" wheel V10 and breaks the internet. The bike polarizes the pits, and then proceeds to set the timing sheets alight. Keyboard warriors the world over were so riled up, they didn't sleep for weeks. The subsequent anticipation has been palpable, and now it's here in all it's glory. The seventh generation of the Santa Cruz V10.

*Kranked 5 still holds up by the way, I got distracted watching it more than once while writing this piece.


The 29er Santa Cruz V10 in size XL. Drooly emoji goes here.

You can't say Santa Cruz has rushed the latest V10 to market. They've painstakingly developed this bike through international competition since 2017. In that time everyone else has been scrambling to get a 29er downhill bike to join the party. It took until December 2018 before Santa Cruz was happy with the details and launched both a 27.5" and 29" wheel variant. Both V10s sport 215 mm of rear travel and available in carbon fibre only.


I can't stop taking photos of this bike.

Coleman's Notes on the V10:

Rear travel: 215 mm

Frame material: Carbon fibre

Sizing 27.5" wheels: Small, Medium, Large

Sizing 29" wheels: Medium, Large, Extra Large

Rear center adjustable by 10 mm

Bottom bracket height adjustable by 5 mm

Head angle; 63.3° in Low and 63.7° in High

Wheel base range; 1199 mm for the 27.5" Small to 1316 mm for the 29" XL (Long setting adds 10 mm)

Reach range; 412 mm for the Small to 492 mm for the XL

Weight; 34.8 lbs for the 27.5" and 35.5 lbs for the 29er

Colours; black or grey

All the details you could possibly want on the Santa Cruz's website here.


The V10 has all the integrated features you'd come to expect on a top tier frame. The dual function fork bump stops double as cable guides, and perfectly executed.


Linkage porn.


The smoothest shock mount in the west.


Hi and Low setting is handled by the flip chip in the lower link.


The upper link and pivot hardware integrate so cleanly.


Adjustable rear center is handled by this flip chip, and some custom brake mount adapters.

I'm going to be testing and reviewing the top end X01 build. There is also an "S" build from Santa Cruz for a bit less money. Retail on the S build is $7,949 CDN and the X01 build will set you back $10,799 CDN. The V10 is available as a frame only for $5049 CDN.

XO1 Build Kit Highlights:

  • Fork; FOX 40 / 49 Factory
  • Shock; FOX DHX2 Factory SLS Coil
  • Drivetrain; SRAM X01 DH 7sp
  • Cranks; Race Face SIXC
  • Brakes; SRAM Code RSC
  • Cockpit; Santa Cruz Bicycles AM Carbon Bar, Santa Cruz Direct Mount Stem, and Santa Cruz Palmdale Grips
  • Wheels; Race Face ARC HD 30 Rims on DT 350 Hubs
  • Tires; Maxxis Assegai MaxxGRIP 3C
  • Chain Guide; E13 LG1+
  • Butt Support; Burgtec Xpress Carbon Post with Ergon SMD2 Pro Ti

The Santa Cruz website has all the build kit details.


No complaints with a Fox 49 Factory sitting up front.


Damping duties on the rear are handled by a Fox DHX2 Coil with a 550 lb spring on the XL.


Maxxis Assegai DH tires front and back. Meaty.


Power is pushed through a set of Race Face SixC cranks and SRAM XO1 DH drivetrain.


Bar, stem and grips are Santa Cruz in house components. Stopping duties are handled by a set of SRAM Code RSCs.


The V10 CC was beautifully wrapped by Ride Wrap in Whistler.

Review with a Twist

So this is where a standard review takes a detour. I'm planning on racing Downhill Masters World Championships in Mount St. Anne this year. I haven't raced downhill in 5 years, and after I heard Worlds was in Canada for 2019, I started putting together a plan to race it. I plan to write and detail my preparation to the big race on August 23rd. This will include suspension setup, tire selection, inserts or not, some preparation races and all of this will be done aboard the Santa Cruz V10 29er. My primary goal is to have fun, and learn along the way. Hopefully it'll be a good read for you too.


World Champs training North Shore style with heaps of skinnies.


Maybe we'll test out the V10 on some ladder bridges as well.

The seventh generation Santa Cruz V10 has been hotly anticipated, and I don't think it's disappointed. From where I'm sitting the most successful bike in downhill history shows no signs of slowing down. Its an absolutely gorgeous bike, with very little to critique. The attention to detail on the V10 is almost manic. While the V10 isn't cheap, the pedigree, performance, quality and top shelf build kits go a long way to justify the price. Keep an eye out for updates as I detail my journey trying to get the most out of myself, and this Santa Cruz V10.

Trending on NSMB


+3 Tim Coleman grambo Brett Watkins
sospeedy  - June 27, 2019, 4:35 a.m.

This sounds great. Can’t wait to read more about your prep for World Champs Tim! And the bike is neat too.


+2 capnron Garrett Thibault
RNAYEL  - June 27, 2019, 8:16 a.m.

Head angle; 63.3° in Low, that's almost as slack as some Enduro bikes.


+4 AJ Barlas grambo Andrew Major Ac
Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 8:20 a.m.

It is a touch misleading though. As you get on the bike the head angle will reduce. So with the 215 mm of rear travel the head angle when you're on it will be slacker relative to other bikes with less travel.


+1 Tim Coleman
Brett Watkins  - June 27, 2019, 10:34 a.m.

Get this thing out to BC CUPS!


+1 Garrett Thibault
Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 11:36 a.m.

YES! This thing was out at BC Cup #1 in Whistler!

+4 AJ Barlas Tim Coleman sospeedy Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - June 27, 2019, 12:51 p.m.

Not only that, I think I saw an image of the jockey on the top step of the podium ;)


Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 2:20 p.m.



+1 Tim Coleman
AJ Barlas  - June 27, 2019, 2:14 p.m.

Did the skinny training work in your favour at round one, mate?


+1 AJ Barlas
Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 2:20 p.m.

AJ without a doubt. I could hold a razor line anywhere on that track!


+3 Tim Coleman Andrew Major AJ Barlas
Perry Schebel  - June 27, 2019, 2:21 p.m.

shhhhh. immonator training laps on the dh sled are a sure fire secret to success. 

looking forward to hearing about your experience @ msa, tim. sure to be rubbing elbows with some quick elders out there (granted, you're a relative whippersnapper).


+1 Tim Coleman
grambo  - June 27, 2019, 12:52 p.m.

Nice, looking forward to following this. Kinda hilarious the first riding picture :)


+1 Andrew Major
Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 3:35 p.m.

Me too! Glad you enjoyed the riding pic, we thought some self deprecating humour was a good fit!

+3 Mammal Tim Coleman Timer
Pete Roggeman  - June 27, 2019, 12:52 p.m.

Damn you, Tim, I just spent 10 minutes speed-watching Kranked 5.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 2:19 p.m.

Ha! How good is that movie though? Just about every segment in that movie holds up today!


+1 Tim Coleman
WalterWhite  - June 27, 2019, 2:33 p.m.

That V10 you had was a major upgrade from the Brodie hard tail that left you in a crumpled mess on the Hemlock BC Cup course and the Cheeta Proline that didn't hold together for you (it was fine when I sold it to you).


Tim Coleman  - June 27, 2019, 3:37 p.m.

What a mess I was! I can only imagine how fun that must have been for you guys to watch me find my way through downhill racing in the early 2000s.


+1 Tim Coleman
WalterWhite  - June 27, 2019, 4:20 p.m.

It went from you chasing me to me chasing you so I'd say it worked out just fine for you.


+2 Tim Coleman Pete Roggeman
fezz  - June 28, 2019, 1:12 p.m.

Tim, for good measure, here is pic of my V10 circa 2006. I think you had the same one around the same time. This bike was a riot and a half. I never managed to put together a clean race run but I sure felt faast :) 

Looking forward to the rest of your review. Good luck with the the Masters prep and race. I'm sure you're going to light it up like a Lazer!


Tim Coleman  - June 29, 2019, 9:55 a.m.

"Light it up like a LAZER!" Hahahaha ... well played. Pic works now, what a beauty!


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