Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wcsting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79

    Bronson and Solo

    Has anyone done a comparative report/review/testride comparing the Bronson and Solo?

    I'm looking seriously at buying one of these two and can't make up my mind, but I don't have enough experience to know what to look for and we don't have dealers near enough for me to test one.

    I have read what SC says on their web site but "Trail" vs "All mountain" doesn't necessarily answer what I am trying to understand. I don't want a bike that demands a race-bred riding position but rather a more comfortable riding posture that I can sit in for 5-7 hours of cross country, climbing, downhill, single track, technical and farm roads all mixed in. Does that help?

    I have tested a Scott Genius 700 and really like it, but I like SC and want to give it a try.

    Any comments or suggestions on these two bikes will be helpful.

    Thanks.
    2014 TallBoy2 C XX1

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Yama Arashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    127
    In my opinion, your quest can mainly be narrowed down to the amount of travel with the two bikes, although the geo varies a little of course.

    I think there's plenty of overlap between the two models, with the Bronson leaning toward more of the tech/DH stuff, while the Solo leans the other direction toward single track/XC/climbing.

    That being said, both are perfectly capable to do what you need and cover all of the aforementioned bases, but from your explanation, I think the Solo would be the overall better fit.

  3. #3
    rdb
    rdb is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    Has anyone done a comparative report/review/testride comparing the Bronson and Solo?

    I'm looking seriously at buying one of these two and can't make up my mind, but I don't have enough experience to know what to look for and we don't have dealers near enough for me to test one.

    I have read what SC says on their web site but "Trail" vs "All mountain" doesn't necessarily answer what I am trying to understand. I don't want a bike that demands a race-bred riding position but rather a more comfortable riding posture that I can sit in for 5-7 hours of cross country, climbing, downhill, single track, technical and farm roads all mixed in. Does that help?

    I have tested a Scott Genius 700 and really like it, but I like SC and want to give it a try.

    Any comments or suggestions on these two bikes will be helpful.

    Thanks.
    If you haven't already, search for posts by sandyeggo. He has done some good ride reports on the Solo. Santa Cruz has two demo tours going on. See if you can make it to one. The east coast tour has Bronsons. No Solos, but they have Blur TRs, which would be similar to a Solo. I agree with Yama Arashi, Solo sounds like the bike for you, esp. if you ride for 5 to 7 hours, Solo is targeted towards that type of riding. Bronson is more the get me to the top of the mountain so I can descend type of ride, not that you couldn't ride it for 5 to 7 hours.

    If possible, post the area of the country where you ride.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wcsting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79
    I ride in Florida, almost exclusively, but once or twice a year I make it up to New Hampshire and Maine, and in April next year I am taking part in the Joberg2c event which is a 9 day 900km ride from Johannesburg to Scottburgh in South Africa, and I am going to need something comfortable that I can comfortably cover 60+ miles per day on.

    HERE is the event web page
    2014 TallBoy2 C XX1

  5. #5
    rdb
    rdb is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    I ride in Florida, almost exclusively, but once or twice a year I make it up to New Hampshire and Maine, and in April next year I am taking part in the Joberg2c event which is a 9 day 900km ride from Johannesburg to Scottburgh in South Africa, and I am going to need something comfortable that I can comfortably cover 60+ miles per day on.

    HERE is the event web page
    I'm impressed, that is what I would call an epic ride. I live in Boston and ride a Superlight 29er, may purchase a Tallboy or Solo in the Spring. You may want to contact SC customer support about the Johannesburg ride and see if they will make a recommendation. I would check out 29er's for that ride, if you haven't already. Whatever you purchase, please post after you complete the 900 km, I would like to hear about it.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wcsting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79
    I have definitely thought about the TBc, and have not ruled it out. Any suggestions on that would also be welcomed.
    2014 TallBoy2 C XX1

  7. #7
    rdb
    rdb is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    I have definitely thought about the TBc, and have not ruled it out. Any suggestions on that would also be welcomed.
    You may want to start a new thread with title "900 km, nine day ride, which SC bike". Seriously, that is a long ride and the link you posted provides a good overview. You will get more responses with the new thread.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    53
    My fiancee had her bike stolen last month (a 10 month old full XX Ibis Mojo SLR) and we narrowed her replacement to the Bronson or Solo.

    After reading every online review available and calling and talking to Santa Cruz a couple of times, she decided on the Bronson. Seeing as the seat angle is the same on both, an XC oriented 73, the only difference between the two is 1 of head angle (slacker on the Bronson) and about 1/3 of a pound more frame weight. Even less since she's getting the black Bronson whereas she'd have bought the orange Solo. The rest is up to build choices. In her case, it was more travel with a very minimal penalty.

    FWIW, her background is: Rides local So-Cal trails, coaches a state championship high school mountain bike race team, and makes yearly trips to Mammoth, Moab, and St. George.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    568
    I have a Solo and test rode the Bronson. The Bronson ride was short, but long enough to know that the Bronson was more bike than I need or wanted.

    I am coming from more of an XC/Trail background, so I tend to have long rides with lots of climbing, descending and some technical. I found that both the Solo and the Bronson like to be ridden hard and that both are outstanding bikes. However, there is no question in my mind that the Bronson falls decidedly in the AM category.

    On the other hand, I find that the Solo which is billed as a trail bike covers everything from XC to AM (though not as AM capable as the Bronson of course). The Solo also climbs better, turns quicker and accelerates faster, which makes sense given the difference in travel and geometry between the two. I should note that my Solo is set up with lighter wheels and tires than the stock builds.

    If I had to describe the Solo with one word, it would be "fun". It is a very agile, playful and did I say incredibly fun bike to ride. The Bronson is fun in a different way - it is more of a plow-thru-anything, damn-the-torpedoes kind of bike. If I rode primarily chunky AM trails, no question I would get the Bronson. However, I ride a mix of XC/Trail with a few AM sections thrown in and the Solo is perfect for that kind of riding.

    Both are great bikes, so I think it really boils down to the trails you ride. I can tell you that my other bikes will be gathering dust now that I have the Solo, and that was certainly not my intention when I bought it. If you are looking for an all day, do-it-all bike, then the Solo should definitely be on your short list. Good luck with your decision!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    48
    I've had my BronsonC for a few weeks now. It's an XT kit with a XX1 upgrade. I'm coming off an Ibis SL with a 150 fork. My Bronson is 1lb lighter than my Ibis. I would bet most people would consider the Ibis more of a XC bike(including me until I started riding the Bronson). I'm faster on my Bronson. I rode the Laramie Enduro with the Bronson this weekend. Around 68 miles and over 7k of climbing. Yes, it took me 8.5 hrs. But thats my lungs for you. I loved it. For me it's just a super stiff, efficient bike. Up and down. Easier to climb with than my Ibis. And more confident on the down hill. But that's just my opinion. I guess my point is the Bronson isn't so much of a downhill/enduro/trail only bike as much as it seems on paper. Mine is about 27 lbs. I chose the Bronson over the Ripley, TBc, HDR, and Altitude. I demoed them all. Just felt better for me. Would the Solo been in the mix? Prob not. Wanted at least the travel I had in the back on my ibis if I was gonna go 27.5. But who knows. I never got to ride one. Plus, I love the 34-150 fork over a 32 that's for sure. I'm in CO and can ride some steep/rocky up and down and it just seems perfect for me. Its not about times as much for me as much as i love getting better on technical things, up and down. This bike does it. Anyway, just another opion to confuse you i guess. Next stop is Oakridge in a couple weeks!!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wcsting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by rdb View Post
    You may want to start a new thread with title "900 km, nine day ride, which SC bike". Seriously, that is a long ride and the link you posted provides a good overview. You will get more responses with the new thread.
    This is a good suggestion however, that's not the only ride I'm ever going to do with the bike I buy (ideally). Anyway, chances are someone over there is going to offer me some good money for the bike and I'll leave it there and I'll buy something else when I get back. South Africa still has some stiff luxury goods taxes (115% on some items) and people over there will pay good dollars imported products if they can escape paying the inflated taxes.

    Bottom line is, I will need something from mid August till then and it'll probably have a very light build kit, maybe XX1 and ENVE, etc., and I'll be taking some spare parts with me as well for the event. And like i said earlier, I'm not ruling out the TBc. Its something I'm used to (29er) but I'm going from a HT to a FS for the first time ever so I need some guidance. Problem is my nearest SC dealer is like 200 miles away in Gainesville, FL, and they don't even have either a Bronson or Solo on Carbon in stock...

    Feel like i need to take a long weekend vacation to CO or CA
    2014 TallBoy2 C XX1

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wcsting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79
    By the way, I appreciate the reviews and comments from all. It really does help hearing your opinions.
    2014 TallBoy2 C XX1

  13. #13
    007
    007 is offline
    b a n n e d
    Reputation: 007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,394
    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    . . . my nearest SC dealer is like 200 miles away in Gainesville, FL, and they don't even have either a Bronson or Solo on Carbon in stock . . .

    Theres a reason for that . . . you may very well be the only person living in Florida who would even consider a Bronson (maybe even the Solo for that matter). Isn't Florida the FLATTEST state in the nation? If I were in your shoes, I would undoubtedly get a Tallboy. Its a proven XC design that can handle some light to moderate trail riding (I ride with a guy who has taken his Tallboy to Mammoth and rides almost everything there with it - its a VERY capable bike). It can handle SoCal just fine and I'm certain it can handle the East Coast as well. And it would be a pretty comfortable ride for 9 days, thats for sure.

    If you are TOTALLY set on 27.5, the Solo would probably be better, but I'd be looking at another brand for a 4" travel XC rig.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    If you are TOTALLY set on 27.5, the Solo would probably be better, but I'd be looking at another brand for a 4" travel XC rig.
    I disagree. I rode a few 4" travel 29ers, including Tallboys. I think there's a point where they just aren't fun - for me.
    So what if its flat, you can still shred corners in quarries, pump tracks, jump lines and travel to places to ride. There's no reason to get a short travel skinny tired flexmobile (due to 29" XC wheels mostly) just cuz you live in America's drainpipe.

    I demoed a Solo and Bronson in Downieville. I rode a few trails. The Solo gives up a little to the Bronson on the downhill rough rocky stuff, but it rips on any climbs, and any DH that isn't really rough feels great on the Solo. not faster, but "as fast".

    The Solo I rode had a 130 fork on it, that was probably the most noticeable difference to the bronson, a lower front end and less fork travel.

    can't go wrong either way, but similar to a Blur TR, I think the Solo is really versatile, you could XC race or ride big mountain epic stuff in style. The real issue is which color to get.
    here we go again

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,380
    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    I have definitely thought about the TBc, and have not ruled it out. Any suggestions on that would also be welcomed.
    I have a TBc, and I also had a TRc converted to 650b. I ride a variety of east coast trails, from flowy singletrack to non-stop rock gardens, but most of it is fairly technical with logs, rocks, roots, stream crossings, and short but steep technical climbs. I also ride a 29er hardtail sometimes.

    For me, the TBc just does everything well. It's not quite as playful and tossable as the TRc, but is still a playful bike. It's pretty easy to manual and handles well in both the fast twisty stuff and slow technical stuff. The TBc climbs better than the TRc, and the front end stays planted better and it wanders less on really steep climbs. I also think the TBc is faster overall, and it rolls better through rock gardens. Where the TRc is better is on downhills and really fast twisty trails. It absolutely rails high-speed turns. It's also easier to manual.

    I'm 5'7" and I felt like the 650b TRc just fit me better than the TBc, even though the top tube length and geometry are pretty similar. The TRc just felt better balanced and more confident going over obstacles. However, if I could only own one bike it would be the TBc. It just works well for everything from technical trail riding to XC racing. And it's even better after I got the RP23 shock custom tuned by PUSH.

    For the riding that you are describing, the TBc sounds perfect to me.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GnarBrahWyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,078
    Will the 1 inch in travel be a totally different riding experience? Not long ago the Stumpjumper 26ers had 120 mm of travel and that was pretty long-legged. I sometimes wonder how much travel any of us REALLY needs. I see advanced cyclists riding fully rigid bikes on some surprisingly technical trails.
    The solo has ~5 inches of travel the Bronson has ~6. Anyone know the weight penalty of the Bronson on comparable build kits? I would like a bike that pedals well, but don't want a heavy bike that is not good for long, all day rides.

  17. #17
    dwt
    dwt is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dwt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4,024

    Bronson and Solo

    Quote Originally Posted by Wcsting View Post
    I have definitely thought about the TBc, and have not ruled it out. Any suggestions on that would also be welcomed.
    I bought one about a month before the Solo came out. Nothing at all "wrong" with the TBc - gorgeous bike. I lightened mine up with Crest rim/Hope hub wheels and it is an awesome 25lbs XC- trail machine. Unfortunately I just don't cotton to wagon wheels. Too big for me personally. So I have a huge case of buyer's remorse and wish like hell I had waited for the Solo. I just like the tweener wheel best, already owning. a 2010 Jamis.

    Demo them all if you can. They're all top self bikes. Which one is right is totally subjective and personal. YMMV.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Will the 1 inch in travel be a totally different riding experience? Not long ago the Stumpjumper 26ers had 120 mm of travel and that was pretty long-legged. I sometimes wonder how much travel any of us REALLY needs. I see advanced cyclists riding fully rigid bikes on some surprisingly technical trails.
    The solo has ~5 inches of travel the Bronson has ~6. Anyone know the weight penalty of the Bronson on comparable build kits? I would like a bike that pedals well, but don't want a heavy bike that is not good for long, all day rides.
    The weight penalty is slightly over one pound, and yes the travel difference is only one inch. The Bronson is also slacker, has a higher bottom bracket and a longer wheelbase. Not big differences on paper. However, put that all together and ride the two, the differences become clear.

    I agree with eleven-yo. The Solo gives up very little to the Bronson on the downs, but the Solo is more snappy, agile and climber friendly. With a lower stance, it also rails corners better. Demo both if you can, then decide. They're both great bikes.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mestapho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,719
    A Bronson med. frame is 5.3 lbs and a med Solo is 5.06 lbs per the SC website.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jazzanova's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,446

    Re: Bronson and Solo

    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    A Bronson med. frame is 5.3 lbs and a med Solo is 5.06 lbs per the SC website.
    + the fork and most likely rubber weight difference

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,217
    I agree with the others. Given your described use for the bike I'd lean towards the Solo if you're set on 27.5 but a 4" 29er sounds like the perfect bike for your South African adventure. While you're considering the Tallboy you should also look at the Turner Czar. Check out LeeL's comparisons of both. He owns the TB and recently picked up a Czar.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GnarBrahWyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,078
    So the Bronson bottom bracket is .5 inches higher than the Solo. It seems like not long ago 13.1 inches of bb clearance was pretty dang good. Could you still get by doing AM-type trails on the Solo? I remember when I bought my 2008 Stumpmy 26er with 120 mm of travel and being impressed by it's long legs! Times are a changin'.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    So the Bronson bottom bracket is .5 inches higher than the Solo. It seems like not long ago 13.1 inches of bb clearance was pretty dang good. Could you still get by doing AM-type trails on the Solo? I remember when I bought my 2008 Stumpmy 26er with 120 mm of travel and being impressed by it's long legs! Times are a changin'.
    Been doing AM trails for years with sub 13" bottom brackets. You quickly adjust. Bikeradar's review said it best, referring to the bottom bracket height: "We see this as a trait rather than a problem, as it's simply the price to pay once you realise the agility and handling potential of the Solo."

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GnarBrahWyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,078
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendbear View Post
    Been doing AM trails for years with sub 13" bottom brackets. You quickly adjust. Bikeradar's review said it best, referring to the bottom bracket height: "We see this as a trait rather than a problem, as it's simply the price to pay once you realise the agility and handling potential of the Solo."
    The Solo's BB is greater than 13 in. Since when is that considered low? I have had much lower on my 26 in bikes in the past. On a full squish your BB is as low as your sag is set also. Just curious is all.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,294
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendbear View Post
    "We see this as a trait rather than a problem, as it's simply the price to pay once you realise the agility and handling potential of the Solo."
    I'd agree it's just a characteristic of the bike, but an important one depending on where you live. I can work my pedals around rocks/roots when I need to, but with a low enough BB it's more hassle than it's worth. So I pick bikes with a higher BB for my riding.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

Similar Threads

  1. Solo or Bronson
    By jet fixer in forum Santa Cruz
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: 06-17-2014, 10:52 PM
  2. Anyone get their Bronson yet?
    By Mark194 in forum Santa Cruz
    Replies: 97
    Last Post: 06-28-2013, 03:24 PM
  3. WTB Bronson 29 vs. WTB Bronson 29 Race
    By teachndad in forum 29er Components
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-13-2012, 10:28 AM
  4. Where is 104 Bronson?
    By oldcabin in forum Santa Cruz
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-15-2011, 04:01 AM
  5. WTB Bronson
    By mcstumpy in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-12-2011, 08:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •