I believe that Santacruz Bicycles deliver a good product, with quality in the detail that justifies the perceived higher price tag. They are slower to adopt new ‘standards’, questioning the “why?” of any change, testing it and not being afraid to take a slightly harder path (manufacturing) in order to deliver excellence and reliability. Added to this is an ethos of gradual development for the sake of progress rather than annual re-evolution for the sake of more sales.
Like Santacruz I do not believe in replacing something just for the sake of having something newer. I will ruthlessly upgrade if there is something significantly better which makes my riding either easier or more enjoyable.
My Current Bikes:
The Trail bike: Nomad CC 27.5″. I was an early adopter of this bike, I knew it was being released and I ordered one before they were even available, I had not seen one and I certainly had not been able to ride one. However the advance reviews from testers and riders that I trust, who had also long term tested my previous trail bike (SCB Blur TRc), led me to believe that it was just the bike I was looking for riding the crazy trails we have in our valley and local region. It is awesome and has, in many way, transformed the way I ride certain trails. It has been developed with the addition of many amazing components such as; Shimano XTR Di2 with a Stages Cycling Power meter, a custom tuned PUSH Elevensix rear shock, FAST Suspension Charger Cartridge, absoluteBLACK oval chain ring, 9point8 Fall Line dropper post and NOBL TR38 race wheel set.
The Downhill bike: I still have my 2013 V-10.5 (I know! How can I ride anything given I am so limited by those 26″ wheels?!?!), this category of bike does see a lot of use and generally I would replace it after two years of use (my two years is 220-250 days of guiding), however a skiing injury prevented me from riding this summer and I am not completely sold on the 27.5″ is better argument so I will hold off on changing this bike for a while. It has a great set of components such as a Shimano Saint drive train, DT Swiss/ ENVE DH wheels and BOS suspension.
The Pump track bike: My Jackal 2012. This really is a pump track and farting around bike. I do not dirt jump (other than the kiddy line at the Riverside jumps) so it gets a fairly easy life. So many days in our riding year are spent on either my trail or DH bikes that this little gem might only get used for 30 days. It is well built (probably overly well built but it benefits from parts changes and consequent trickle down from my other bikes), reliable and there is no sensible reason to replace it. There is something fun about having a “big kid’s” BMX bike (with gears and good brakes) that these little bikes deliver so well.
Note: I am not sponsored, I choose to use Santacruz Bicycles because I believe that they make quality bikes and truly contribute the mountain bike community and experience world wide. I do receive some support from Santacruz Bicycles.