First Full Suspension MTB... Santa Cruz or Evil?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    First Full Suspension MTB... Santa Cruz or Evil?


    I'm new to the forum and new to serious mountain biking. I found some nice trails around me in eastern PA, Nockamixon, Ralph Stover, Trexler. I'm looking for a nice full suspension trail bike I can take my riding to the next level on.

    I decided to get a full suspension bike and am not sure what would be best for me. I used to ride BMX A LOT, though it's been years since I rode regularly. I would like to get a bike I can tackle pretty much anything with. I want to be able to jump, as there are some really awesome BMX trails around me as well, POSH being the most popular. I'm not sure if a mountain bike is capable of hitting jumps like that, but I don't see why it wouldn't be able to in the right hands. Anyway, my local bike shop has a Santa Cruz Bronson C for $4k right now, I'm thinking about getting it tomorrow. But I'm also very, very interested in Evil bikes, I've never ridden one, but I read a lot about them and hear a lot of people saying they are their favorite bike. I'm not sure how similar they are to a Bronson, but I was considering a Calling. One of the biggest issues for me is the warranty on the Calling, which is only 3 years, whereas the Bronson's is lifetime. I know for sure that both these bikes are way more than I need at the moment, but I plan to start riding a lot more and want something that I'll be happy on once I get better and start really hitting the trails hard. I don't have a lot of money, so the fact that the Calling is $5k and doesn't come with a lifetime warranty is making me feel like I should stick with the Bronson. Does anyone here have experience with both bikes, and be able to give me some pros and cons of the two? I think, I would really love an Evil bike, but that's entirely based on what I've read. I was able to take the Bronson out for a short test ride, but it was around the block basically, so I don't really know what either will feel like on the trails. Basically, I'm just looking for some help on which to choose. Would the Bronson and Calling be the best bikes for what I want to do? As I said, I used to ride BMX, so I want to hit pretty much everything the trails have, once I'm up to the skill level. That's why I think 27.5 would be the best size for me. I'm just starting out, so I can use all the help I can get, if I'm missing any pertinent details about what I plan to do with the bike or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask. I loved BMX, still have a late 90's GT Mach One, but never really got into mountain biking until fairly recently. I'm currently riding a Trek 4300 I got at a flea market for $75 n spent $200 fixing up.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I personally wouldn't consider spending that sort of coin on an MTB until you have the experience to know what you actually need/like/want. Also, FS trail bikes don't really work very well for DJs.

    Best bet IMO: Ssend somewhere well under $2k on a mountain bike and also pick up a nice BMX or DJ bike for a few hundred to complement it.
    Sinister Bikes
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  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    What size is the Bronson? How tall are you? Ask the shop to set it up for you and go on a long test ride. I'd you're blown away get it. If it's not that fun then don't.

    Do make sure it's the proper size, shops aren't always honest if they want to sell a bike.
    83 Ritchey Everest
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  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AF2NR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Is it a 2019 Carbon C R model? The R has NX and the S has GX among some other pieces changing also. I've never ridden a Evil so I can't really compare the two. I did ride the Bronson along with the 5010 when I was looking and found the 5010 more "poppy and playful". I rode the Bronson first and it was much more playful than my Blur, but the 5010 seemed even more so and it fits my riding and trails well.

    It was also mentioned in one of the Santa Cruz threads that they are actually giving a 10% discount on the 19 colors. If the one you looked at was the R then that may be the reason for the 4k price, still better than full price.
    So many trails, so little time.

    21 SJ Expert

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Hey. Also from the same area as you and I just bought my first full suspension bike. I feel like our area is more XC oriented. I also agree that bike shops are more likely to talk you into buying things to get them off the floor. FS bikes like the ones you mentioned don't sell as often as road bikes. Definitely make sure you get the sizing correct. Also, know your design revisions. You could be reading about the "new" bronson while the shop has the two versions old model.

    First, i found that stuff I read did not translate. Frame size and body proportions change so much from person to person. The bike I "knew" I wanted felt mediocre to bad when I demoed it and I was very thankful I tried it on trail first. You need to at least demo something with that much travel and see if you can deal with riding it on the flats and uphill.

    The bronson or anything with F/R travel of 160/150 will kill it going down hill and drops will be much more fun then me on my 130/115 setup.

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