When Santa Cruz introduced Bronson, it took the market by storm, redefining what people expected from a 150mm trail bike. Equally at home in the Trans-Provence as it was on The Ridge, updating and improving it was going to be no small feat.
The most visible upgrade is the completely new VPP link arrangement. The lower link tucks neatly above the bottom bracket, fully-recessed and protected from impacts. Meanwhile the box-section upper link now mounts cleanly to the top tube and enhances lateral stiffness as a result. The shock rate has been refined in the process too, delivering greater small bump sensitivity and a more progressive mid-stroke.
Geometry has evolved subtly to meet demand from riders for a bike of this ilk. The seat tube angle has been steepened, placing the rider right above the cranks and perfectly in position to lay down the power. Meanwhile a slacker 66 degree head tube angle combines with a 20-25mm longer top tube and shorter chainstay length to create an evermore rally-ready geometry than its predecessor.