2007 Santa Cruz Bullit to 2014 Santa Cruz Bronson
So a little back story… I’ve been riding for years but the game changed for me when I spent over a $grand$ for a quality bike. I bought my Bullit on craigslist back in 2011 and had been riding it almost indefinitely. Sometimes I would ride my rigid (no suspension) bike here and there to drag the kids around in the bike trailer but usually rode my Bullit for everything else. I love my Bullit and since buying the Bronson, I use it as my bike park bike. It’s worth more to me than what the current market value is. The Bullit opened up my world to dh and my love for going fast evolved.
Having ridden dirt bikes in the past, this was a natural transition and loved challenging myself via Strava. Only part that sucked was climbing with it. The geometry throws you way back (great for dh!) and weighed in at a total 42 lbs / 19Kilos. I was able to keep up with my friends for the most part but always struggled to do so on all climbs. It was the dh that I was able to unleash and fly. My love for biking and bombing hills continued to grow. It wasn’t just a hobby to ride anymore. It has become my life.
I bought my 2014 Santa Cruz Bronson right at the turn of the year and had a couple of upgrades. Most important upgrade was my dropper post. DAAAAAMN, where’s that been all my riding life?! For those of you who don’t have one and are still manually dropping or lifting your saddle… Treat yourself and get a dropper post for your bike! You deserve it and will pay itself back over and over each time you use it.
Prior to getting my Bronson, I did a lot of research on various bikes to see which ones best fit my criteria… basically a bike that I can bomb down and mash over what is thrown at me BUUUUT, a bike that wasn’t gonna gas me out riding it to the top of the drop-in point. I looked at Trek (used to have a Trek 8000 hard tail and thought it was solid), specialized ( a lot of my friends/family have one/two..), and others. Overall, I have loved my Santa Cruz Bullit, watched the World Cup Syndicate to see Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar, Gee Atherton, Aaron Gwin, Stevie Smith and noticed Santa Cruz has made the podium I believe, the most? For that and having my own great experience with my Bullit, I decided to get a new Santa Cruz… but still not quite sure which one. Blur? Nomad? Heckler? Having read the Bronson is built off the Heckler’s geometry but with the VPP instead of the single pivot, I was curious. So I test rode my brothers new 2013 Santa Cruz Heckler and was amazed how well it handled.
The Heckler was super snappy and responsive. Easily maneuverable and fast. Those 27.5″ wheels spin quick and smooth! My Bullit is a bit more heavy to throw around on switchbacks and tight turns. I did a little more research and bought an Alloy 2014 Bronson. I’m so happy I did. It’s an amazing bike and am still pushing it to new levels of riding. I am fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where I have been riding it in the Santa Cruz mountains, the east bay area and other areas here and there. If interested in seeing where I ride, you can follow me on Strava, username: r Mp.
Summary; the Bronson has been a bike I can scale up hill. It’s VPP is very noticeable compared to my Bullit which has the single pivot point. There is virtually no “bob” or “pedal bobbing” when pedaling up hill. The suspension settings are very nice to choose from Climb/Trail/Descent. My Bullit only had firm-+ option for my Rock Shox Totems and the rear Fox dhx didn’t have the CTD feature. I must say… the Bullit is still a Cadillac for bombing down. Smooth and built like a tank. However, I think I will be able to go faster on my Bronson in the big picture even though it has less suspension travel. The larger wheels spin faster than the 26″ wheels and also roll over obstacles with more ease as they are larger and don’t drop into nooks and crannies like a smaller 26″ wheel can do. I’m still playing with the settings on the Bronson to get it dialed in and have already beaten two DH segments I had places with on my Bullit.