First Rides
Santa Cruz
£950 (frame only)
FRAME: 6061 aluminium
RP23 rear shock
COLOURS: Black, white,
orange, liquid blue,
gangrene (Powdercoat).
Blue, slate, gold, gunmetal
(anodised, £200).
FINISH: Powdercoat
or anodised
(Juliana XS, S, M).
CONTACT: Santa Cruz UK
01423 780088
f you speak to the guys at Santa Cruz they’ll tell you the
Superlight is still a popular bike, so when it comes out with a
number of changes for 2007 you know they’re going to be
worthwhile, because why mess with a proven recipe?
Few redesigned frames are heavier than the original and that’s the
case here — the 2007 Superlight is a quarter pound lighter than the old
model. A medium-sized Superlight with Float R rear shock weighs
5.2lb. Most of the weight has been lost due to a switch to oversized,
thinner wall tubing, which Santa Cruz claims makes the frame three
times stiffer laterally than the old model. On our brief test ride it felt
noticeably stiffer, but we think a lot of this has to do with the new
‘through-axle’ main pivot. It uses a 20mm axle instead of the old
threaded bolt and this is clamped in place by the swingarm. Santa
Cruz has moved the main pivot bearings from the swingarm onto the
main frame, which it says: “offers better protection and shielding,
while allowing us to use a much larger bearing diameter to enhance
stiffness and durability.” It’s reciprocal, but reducing the size of the
clamps on the end of the swingarm actually saves weight too. These
in-board bearings now come with a lifetime warranty. A noticeable
feature of the new swingarm is the heavily-formed uprights and
asymmetric chainstays, plus the
lack of a bolt-on brace and
cantilever mounts, which were
familiar features on the old
frame. Cable routing is neat and
the right-hand dropout sports a
new double-bolt derailleur
hanger. Our demo came with
2.1in tyres but Santa Cruz says
the frame will take 2.35in, the
elevated swingarm also offering
fantastic mud clearance and
eliminating chain suck.
Having tested a number of
Superlights over the years we
always thought the sizing was
a bit off. Our testers tended to
fall between a medium and
large mainly because the top
tube on the former was on the
short side at 22.5in.
Sizing up
Santa Cruz has added half an
inch to the medium-sized
frame and, targeting XC racers,
chopped about a centimetre off
the head tube. Overall the new
bike is a lot more roomy. It’s
slightly more compact but the
bottom bracket height,
standover and frame angles (71
head and 73.5 degrees at the
seat) all remain the same.
Like most Santa Cruz
frames, various powdercoat
colour options are available
including black, white, orange,
“Good news:
the 2007
Superlight is a
quarter pound
lighter than
the old model”
The new through-axle main pivot
It may be lighter, but it still rides great
The heavily-formed swingarm
The double-bolt rear derailleur hanger
liquid blue and this cool
gangrene shown. Anodised
blue or slate are available for a
£200 up-charge and the two
women’s specific Juliana
frames come in anodised
gunmetal or gold. Santa Cruz
UK is offering ‘off the peg’
bikes starting at £1,749 for a
white-only, Deore-specced,
Juicy 3, Reba Team and Float R
shock equipped bike. For
£1,999 you get a black frame
with Fox Float RP23 shock,
SRAM X9 drivetrain, Avid
Juicy 5 brakes, Hope hubs,
Thomson and Race Face parts.
The Superlight was the
original trail bike long before
we coined a name for them, and
while the new bike may be
more an XC race bike, it’s still
reliable, lightweight and great
in mud. You’re also getting the
kudos that comes with owning
a Santa Cruz. Contact
www.santacruzbikes.co.uk or
01423 780088.
The new Superlight in all its glory

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