The 4th generation of the Santa Cruz 5010 has just been released, and with it a new suspension layout. Santa Cruz stick with their VPP platform, but the shock now sits lower down in the frame, in line with the rest of the Santa Cruz range.

2020 V4 Santa Cruz Solo. photo -

This isn't a real world ride test, just all about the paper numbers to nerd out on.

First off lets look at the V3 Solo so we can see whats new in the V4.

Leverage Ratio - V3

V3 Solo leverage ratio

As you can see, the V3 Solo has quite an interesting curve. Overall slightly regressive, but it starts off regressive up until 30mm, so around the sag point. After that it then becomes progressive before finally becoming linear in the last 5mm or so. It can be assumed that the initial regression is to help make the bike feel smooth on small chatter, before ramping up as the bike goes deeper into its travel. The final linear section is quite short, but would help negate some of the ramp up in small volume shocks.

Anti Rise - V3

Anti rise is fairly low in comparison to other bikes, meaning that the suspension should remain nice and active when braking or being pitched forward down steep trails. The downside of this is that the bike may have a tendency to dive more.

Anti Squat - V3

Anti squat is impressively high, as you'd expect on a bike designed to pedal well and be lively when sprinting.

Now onto the V4.

Leverage Ratio - V4

The leverage ration on the V4 Solo is quite different to the V3. Here we can see an almost straight progressive ratio. This means the V4 Santa Cruz should work well with coil shocks, and give a nice firm platform for pumping and taking big hits.

Anti Rise - V4

The V4 has more anti-rise than the V3, especially deeper into the travel.

Anti Squat - V4

Early in the travel, the Solo has high anti squat, well over 100%. This should mean there is minimal pedal bob and climbing should be efficeint. Interestingly however, the anti-squat drops off into the negative in the last few mm of travel.

Suspension kinematics in action.


The biggest difference between the V3 and V4 Santa Cruz Solo is that the V4 has a more progressive and straight leverage ratio. This might make the bike easier to setup, and give a wider range of usable sag numbers. It also opens up the option for a coil shock, which is becoming increasingly popular. Along with the linkage changes, the standard 'longer - lower -slacker" geometry updates were applied to the new model.