Santa Cruz grew its large bike stack by two this week with the introduction of the new Santa Cruz Butcher and Santa Cruz Nickel bikes. The Butcher now sits alongside the Nomad and Bullit in the “All-Mountain” category while the Nickel sits alongside the Blur LT, LTc and Heckler in the “Trailbike” category.

With the introduction, a new suspension design, Actual Pivot Point (APP), is also being unveiled. Essentially, these new bikes feature a single-pivot design, but with an extra linkage to better control the compression rate and help the suspension feel more active and controlled throughout the stroke. Indeed (according to Santa Cruz), the new APP suspension mimics the Virtual Pivot Point (VPP), used throughout their line, very well (read the details).

Santa Cruz has maintained two separate suspension technologies for quite some time (single-pivot and VPP) and now adds a third to the mix with the APP. It makes me wonder if they will eventually phase out the standard single-pivot altogether, but we’ll see. Both the Heckler and Bullit are still quite popular for their simplicity and killer prices, but should be on notice at this point. The APP adds a little complexity and weight, but both are negligible since the performance should be heads and tails above a standard single-pivot design.

Time will tell if the Butcher and Nickel push the Heckler and Bullit into oblivion. Both bikes are available now. See below for a few specs and photos of each design.

Santa Cruz Butcher

This affordable all-mountain machine will sit alongside the Nomad and Bullit with 150mm of rear travel that will be best-suited for a 140-160mm single-crown fork. Tapered head-tube and the new APP suspension round out the package.

  • Travel: 6 inches (152 mm)
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Shock: Fox RP2 (RP23 adds $115)
  • Weight: 6.73 lbs
  • Price: $1350

Santa Cruz Nickel

A 5 inch travel trail slayer that can do it all with a tapered head-tube and the new APP suspension. This looks to be a great all-day, do-it-all steed. If I was the Heckler, I’d be looking for a place to hide.

  • Travel: 5 inches (125 mm)
  • Material: Aluminim
  • Shock: Fox RP2 (RP23 adds $115)
  • Recommended Fork: 120-140 mm
  • Weight: 6.65 lbs (frame-only)
  • Price: $1350 (frame-only)

More Info: Visit SantaCruzBicycles.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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