Santa Cruz manufacturers amazing mountain bikes and they are known for being quite expensive, but how much are they actually worth?
Santa Cruz has been building world-class mountain bikes since ‘93 and has now proven itself as one of the biggest names in the cycling industry. When researching bikes from Santa Cruz, you will find that their prices can vary greatly, which can make determining how much one is worth rather challenging.
Santa Cruz makes a range of different mountain bikes but you will find that most of them are worth between $4,000 and $5,000. However, they do have expensive models that are considerably more than this. In addition, Santa Cruz offers customizations that can greatly increase prices.
When Santa Cruz took on the challenge to start manufacturing mountain bikes in the ‘90s, they had a lot to live up to. The sport of mountain biking was born in the region and Santa Cruz knew that they had to deliver top-notch bikes to prove themselves within the industry. They did just that by releasing new and innovative designs, which have made their bike selection incredibly dynamic. After decades of designing and manufacturing bikes, Santa Cruz has successfully created a very impressive lineup of hardtail bikes and suspension bikes. They now have a huge selection of different options to consider, as they aimed to make bikes that would fit a variety of different riders. With that being said, Santa Cruz is by no means considered to be a ‘cheap’ bike brand. You will find that the majority of their bikes are going to be pricey, but not all is lost if you are on a tighter budget. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at how much a Santa Cruz bike is worth in more detail.
After extensively researching Santa Cruz bikes, I have been able to gather enough information to determine how much they are worth. My research has taught me that the price of a Santa Cruz bike is greatly influenced by the specs that you choose based on the different kits options that are available for each bike.
Why Are Santa Cruz Bikes So Expensive
The bottom line is that if you do not have a few thousand dollars to spend on a bike, Santa Cruz is probably not going to be a manufacturer that you will want to consider. Most of the bikes that Santa Cruz releases are around $5,000 on average but this figure can be considerably higher for some models - with $10,000 not being an uncommon price point.
When Santa Cruz launches a bike, they generally give customers options for how the bike is going to be built. For example, there will be a standard option that hovers in the $4,000 to $5,000 range, which you can then customize with better parts to increase the performance of the bike. This is when some of Santa Cruz’s bikes become insanely expensive.
Santa Cruz prides itself in releasing high-end bikes that will let you shred mountain biking trails with top performance. This is a manufacturer that you can rely on to give you a premium quality mountain bike, which can only be described as world-class. Santa Cruz does not skimp when it comes to parts and materials - they use state-of-the-art technology, sophisticated designs, and rely on the newest innovations in mountain biking.
Given that Santa Cruz has built this reputation over the years, they aim to hold onto it by continuing to release amazing mountain bikes. This can be a bit defeating for people out there who are on a very tight budget. However, Santa Cruz does also have a number of mountain bike options that are a bit cheaper - with some costing just a few thousand dollars. Although this is still quite pricey, it is a lot cheaper than their high-end options. If you are having trouble finding an affordable bike from Santa Cruz, don’t give up hope and always check your local bike shop for any sales and deals.
Cost of Santa Cruz Bikes
Since mountain biking became popular in the 1980s, we have seen a lot of changes in the sport. The technology used to make bikes more advanced and increase their performance is constantly getting pushed to new horizons - with innovative designs and parts being implemented on a regular basis.
Santa Cruz aims to stay ahead of the curve of its competition by seeking out ways to make its bikes stand out. And they have done so quite successfully. But at the price of having some of the most expensive mountain bikes on the market. If you are committed to quality and have the budget to afford it, you really can’t go wrong with a Santa Cruz mountain bike.
With that being said, Santa Cruz also understands that their prices can make a lot of their bikes out of reach for a lot of riders out there. Although compromising quality is out of the question, Santa Cruz also strives to release some bikes that are within a more reasonable price range for people who don’t have $5,000 or $10,000 to spend. We are going to break down some of Santa Cruz’s best mountain bikes and their price ranges.
Bronson ($5,000 - $11,300)
When it comes to expensive mountain bikes from Santa Cruz, the Bronson is at the top of the list. However, for the staggering price point, Santa Cruz ensures that you get what you pay for by delivering a bike that is the best of its class.
This is one of the most dynamic mountain bikes that Santa Cruz has ever released and given that it costs about as much as a car - it performs phenomenally. It is a lightweight bike, suitable for a variety of different terrains, and is made with either a C or CC frame.
What is incredible about the Bronson is that it is not only a versatile mountain bike but also priced differently based on specs. You certainly cannot buy a Bronson on a budget but Santa Cruz does start it off at $5,000, which is considerably more affordable than the $11,300 kit. You can choose a kit based on specs, budget, and the performance that you want your Bronson to have. Here is a price breakdown of the different kits:
- R Kit - $5,045
- XT Kit - $7,000
- X01 - $8,049
- XX1 AXS - $11,399
The fork of the lower-end R Kit features a RockShox Lyrik Select. However, as you move up the ladder in kit options, Santa Cruz throws in an upgraded Fox 36 Float Performance Elite fork.
You can expect only the best SRAM and Shimano parts for a lot of the components of the Bronson and they only get better the more that you are willing to spend. All in all, this is an expensive mountain bike, but you get what you pay for.
Nomad ($5,000 -$8,500)
The Nomad is one of the most popular models from Santa Cruz’s line up and it is a perfect example of how much the price can range when considering them as a bike brand.
The Nomad starts at just over $5,000 which is already considerably more than what you would pay for a lot of mountain bikes out there, however, you can take this much further, as you can choose different kits that significantly increase the price. Let’s take a look at the different kits for the Nomad.
- R Kit - $5,149
- XT - $7,049
- X01 - $8,500
Santa Cruz mountain bikes like the nomad feature a similar type of design across all of the different kits that are available. However, you can customize the kind of parts that your bike has to increase its performance.
You can expect the crankset, shifter, chain, and rear derailleur to have to use SRAM parts for lower-end models. Whereas high-end models will all be built with Shimano parts for these components - with some top-tier SRAM parts for the most expensive mountain bikes.
The customizations for the nomad are remarkable and you will find that you can choose a kit based on your ride preferences to the most intimate detail.
Megatower ($3,500 - $10,200)
If you are on the market for an affordable Santa Cruz mountain bike, you are going to find that your options are going to be quite slim, as just about everything that you look at will be at least $5,000.
However, one bike from Santa Cruz that you may be able to find on a budget from some shops is the Megatower. You can find the Santa Cruz Megatower for as little as $3,500, which is still pricey but more affordable than the most high-end bikes from Santa Cruz.
With that being said, this is the price for the most basic kit for the Megatower. If you were to start making serious customizations by getting more advanced kits, you can expect the price of the bike to be as much as the most expensive mountain bikes on Santa Cruz’s lineup. Let’s take a look at your options:
- R Kit - $3,500 to $5,150
- XT Kit - $7,000
- X01 AXS RSV - $10,200
With the low-end options from the Megatower, Santa Cruz offers a Carbon C frame but if you opt for the more expensive kits, they upgrade this to a CC. Similar to a lot of the other bikes on Santa Cruz’s line-up, you get a RockShox Lyrik Select fork for the R Kit and then a FOX Float Performance Elite for more expensive kits, which only get better the more that you pay.
You get a wide range of high-end SRAM and Shimano parts across the board for the Megatower and improvements in virtually every category - with high-end parts used for all components in the design. Although the Megatower is available at a slightly cheaper price than some Santa Cruz bikes, the quality of the bike and its performance capabilities are not compromised.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson