Santa Cruz Driver 8 - Bike Magic

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Santa Cruz Driver 8

As if the release of the, frankly beautiful, all-carbon Blur XC 2 only last week wasn’t enough, the Californian company has just issued news of its newest bike, the Santa Cruz Driver 8.

At first glance you might mistake it for the company’s V-10, but look a little closer and the subtle differences become apparent. SC has pitched this bike as a “general duty, daily driver gravity hauler”, and with 8in of travel from the redesigned VPP linkages, slots nicely between the Nomad and V-10. It looks about perfect for the UK’s freeriders and downhillers to our eyes.

In a slight nod towards pedalling back up hills, there’s a vast 7in range of seatpost adjustment which allows Nomad-height saddle action should you need to pedal, while it’ll also run lower than on the V-10 – vital for clearance when hucking off large immovable objects.

SC says it has gone “heavy duty with the VVP links” – the upper link is made from carbon fibre and rolls on four radial contact sealed cartridge bearings, while there’re 15mm axles for the lower link pivots. All bearings should last longer thanks to new bearing seals and grease ports on the lower bearings – a grease gun is supplied with each frame. The lower axles also feature expanding collett heads at one end to lock them in to the frame.

The frames styling borrows heavily from the V-10, and it also borrows the same 1.5in headtube, 150mm rear spacing, ISCG05 mounts and 83mm wide bottom bracket shell. A 12mm Maxle thru-axle features too, and there’s an integrated mud flap covering the rear shock.

SC doesn’t specify which forks to run but we’d hazard a guess at forks in the region of 180 to 200mm will suit the purpose. Three sizes (S, M and L) are available, with a medium measuring 22.8in along the top tube with 67° head angle and 69° seat angles.

Availability is expected mid-May. All the usual colour options will be available as well as the new, yet to be named, golden colour on the bike in the photos above.

No UK prices yet, but in the US you’re looking at $2,399 for a powdercoat frame with RockShox Vivid 5.1 shock, $2,561 with Fox DHX RC4 shock and $200 extra for an anodised finish.

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