The latest version of Santa Cruz's legendary V10 downhill bike has an insanely adjustable frame

Jackson Goldstone holding the new V10
(Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)

Santa Cruz's V10 has to be one of the most iconic downhill bikes of all time. Since its introduction in 2002, the V10 has been ever-present in top-level downhill racing. The V10 is now on its eighth iteration and hasn't lost any of its winning ways having been piloted to multiple World Cup wins and a Team Overall title for the Santa Cruz Syndicate.

It doesn't look like a whole lot has been updated on Santa Cruz's best downhill bike, however, there is a lot more going on than first meets the eye. Santa Cruz says the new V10 is the most adjustable bike they have made. 

Downhill courses can vary massively, especially if you are traveling all over the world to race, and different riding styles can greatly influence how a rider chooses to set up their own bike. Fore-aft weight balance can be adjusted using a three-position (+5mm / 0 / -5mm) rear axle flip-chip. There is also a three-way lower link flip-chip that influences how stable a bike feels on rough terrain by fine-tuning bottom bracket height and head tube angle. Finally, the reach can be adjusted by -8mm / 0 / +8mm as well.

Jackson Goldstone racing the new V10

The new V10 has a huge amount of adjustability to tune the ride feel based on the track and riding conditions (Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)

The geometry has been tweaked, a slacker headtube now sits at 62.7 in the low MX configuration. A medium-sized frame sports a 452mm (+8mm and -8mm) reach and a 450mm (+5mm and -5mm) chainstay length. The frame will be available in 29er and MX (mullet) configurations and small to large frame sizes, with an additional XL size that's 29er only. There is no longer a 27.5-wheeled option though.

It's not just geometry and adjustment that has been changed, Santa Cruz says that have made some other key changes that affect how the bike rides. The suspension kinematics has been changed to give a smoother, more supportive, and traction-filled ride and the carbon construction has been fine-tuned stiffness to improve traction and provide a similar experience for riders across all sizes.

Santa Cruz Syndicate race team

Santa Cruz Syndicate race team know a thing or two about riding bikes fast (Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)

Santa Cruz leveraged the knowledge and experience of the Santa Cruz Syndicate downhill team which includes the most experienced DH racer on the circuit, Greg Minaar, on its roster in the development of the V10. Alloy mule bikes were created for testing in-house and their own composites lab in California was used to test and retest carbon frames. On top of that, the frame has also already got a year of successful World Cup downhill racing under its belt.

Santa Cruz is still using their premium CC-grade carbon fiber for the V10's frame. To deliver the 208mm of travel, Santa Cruz will continue to use their VPP suspension system, which features on all their mountain bikes other than the Blur cross-country race bike. The system connects the rear end to the front triangle using two links which gives Santa Cruz more control of suspension characteristics.

Santa Cruz V10 being raced

Santa Cruz says they have tweaked the suspension kinematics and frame construction for better traction (Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)

Availability, pricing and specification

The new V10 is available as a frameset-only option ($3,799 / £3,999) or you can choose from two complete builds, all options are available now. The Santa Cruz V10 CC DH S retails for $6,799 / £6,999 and the V10 CC DH X01 costs $8,599 / £8,999. For more details, check out Santacruzbicycles.com.

Santa Cruz V10 CC DH S

Santa Cruz V10 CC DH S

The off the shelf bikes come equipped with RSV 6069 AL 30|HD / Industry Nine 1/1 wheels (Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)
  • Frame: CC Carbon 208mm VPP
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 Performance Elite
  • Fork: Fox 40 Performance, 203mm
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX DH, 7spd
  • Shifters: SRAM GX
  • Bar / Stem: Burgtec RideWide DH AL 35x800mm / Santa Cruz Direct Mount Stem
  • Seatpost: RaceFace Chester 
  • Saddle: SDG Bell Air 3
  • Brakes: SRAM Code Bronze Stealth
  • Wheels: RSV 6069 AL 30|HD / Industry Nine 1/1
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5 3C MaxxGRIP / Maxxis Assegai 27.5x2.5 3C MaxxGRIP
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Price: $TBC / £6,999 / €TBC

Santa Cruz V10 CC DH X01

Santa Cruz V10 CC DH X01

Santa Cruz V10 CC DH X01 gets Fox Factory suspension (Image credit: Santa Cruz Bicycles)
  • Frame: CC Carbon 208mm VPP
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 Factory
  • Fork: Fox 40 Factory, 203mm
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH, 7spd
  • Shifters: SRAM X01
  • Bar / Stem: OneUp Alloy Bar 35x800mm / OneUp Direct Mount Stem
  • Seatpost: Burgtec Xpress Carbon Seatpost 
  • Saddle: SDG Bell Air 3
  • Brakes: SRAM Code Silver Stealth
  • Wheels: RSV 6069 AL 30|HD / Industry Nine 1/1
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5 3C MaxxGRIP / Maxxis Assegai 27.5x2.5 3C MaxxGRIP
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Price: $TBC / £8,999 / €TBC
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg