When we dropped the Bronson on the world in 2013 we caught many people with their pants around their ankles. 27.5-inch wheels were the new kid on the block and people weren’t ready for a disruptive little middle child to muscle it’s way into the household. The Bronson was among the first of its kind to adopt the in-betweener wheel size and the timing was just right to make it infamous.
Words / Photos: Santa Cruz
Eight years later, the fourth generation Bronson comes in swinging with mixed wheels. It’s something that our other naughty kids, the Syndicate, have been playing with for a while on the V10s and Bullit eBikes. The big wheel up front gives the Bronson more traction (bigger contact patch and more rollover) which results in more confidence for the rider, while the BB to axle drop of the smaller, 27.5 rear wheel makes it easier to drop a shoulder into a late turn or lift the front wheel up and over obstacles.
Our demo crew have a saying, ‘If in doubt, take a Bronson out.’ It’s not that it’s the most versatile or anything cliché like that, it just has always had the biggest personality of any bike we build. Now the mid-travel and MX wheels mean it’s up for anything and urges a wider array of riders to get into more trouble. The good kind of trouble. With 150mm of travel and a leverage curve similar to the Hightower, it has enough to go deep on any landing and the VPP™ suspension design makes sure that there’s no wasted energy when heading back up for another go.
Proportional chainstays set the Bronson up for a wide range of rider sizes (we offer five sizes from XS to XL), while protective armour (downtube and shuttle pad), internal cables, and a bottle cage inside the front triangle mean that this wild child does have table manners.
A bike like the Bronson is meant to play rough-and-tumble, and as a result should also be ready to rumble. We build our bikes to last while most brands aim to just pass basic testing. But if a rider was really going to put their bike to the test in the real world over and over again it means building something beyond the standards. While the Bronson might not win any awards for ‘lightest on test’ it will be the bike that’s stiff enough for real mountain biking on today’s trails and is a bike that will outlast the rest. That’s why we proudly wave the flag of our lifetime warranty and have done so long before it became a box for a marketer to check. For the life of the bike we provide legendary rider support, which means all the human help and tech details are right at a rider’s fingertips. Fun fact: we also offer lifetime bearing replacement (if you’re too forgetful to take 15 minutes to service them).