Welcome to our latest bike check! Today we're looking at Loic's customised Santa Cruz Bronson 4. Loic is one of our service shop mechanics, and so he's taken the time to swap some of his favourite parts onto his new Bronson build. While the build isn't completely finished, he's mega stoked on the way the bike is riding right now and is proud to show off his new beauty to everyone!
Loic picked up his new Bronson shortly after launch a couple of months ago after a long wait for a new bike. Loic knew he wanted a Santa Cruz but wasn't quite sure which one, but the news of the new Bronson coming as a mixed-wheel package sealed the deal for him. With the perfect amount of travel to be a killer all-round trail bike, big front wheel to monster truck over the rough stuff and small rear wheel for manoeuvrability the Bronson 4 is fast and fun.
Loic came from a full 29er VPP bike and swapped a bunch of parts over and he's already feeling comfortable on his new Bronson and says it feels way faster and easy to ride. One of the most important parts of his new Bronson build is the Fox DHX2 coil shock. Loic has run coil shocks before and loves how supple and planted they make the bike feel. While modern air shocks are amazing, there's nothing that quite feels like the magic carpet ride of a coil shock with their amazing small bump sensitivity and smooth ride. The Bronson 4 is the perfect candidate for a coil shock with its new wider shock tunnel and progressive leverage ratio and Loic says it suits the bike amazingly.
Loic opted for a Factory Fox DHX2 coil shock on the back end of his Bronson and says it feels amazing
Fox's DHX2 shock is their top of the line downhill coil shock. Redesigned for 2021 with a high-flow piston, lower friction internals and a durable chrome damper shaft finish, the DHX2 is the cream of the crop when it comes to coil shocks. If you're the type to want to get your suspension super dialled in, the DHX2 has all the adjustments you could want with high and low speed rebound and compression adjustment and a lockout lever. If you want to unlock the potential of a coil shock upgrade on your bike, just contact us and we'll see how we can help!
Up front is a different story - coming stock with a Rockshox Lyrik, Loic really likes this fork. The Charger damper is amazingly well controlled and the Lyrik is one of his favourite forks, and so Loic chose to just upgrade the damper to the Charger RC2 found in the Lyrik Ultimate. To reflect the changes, Loic obviously had to make the fork look the part, and so sourced some of the foil graphic Lyrik Ultimate decals, and they look awesome.
Loic added the Lyrik Ultimate decals to make his fork look the part
Rockshox's Lyrik is a staff favourite here at Steed - coming as the stock fork on many different bikes including the Specialized Turbo Levo, Santa Cruz Hightower and more, the Lyrik is an amazing performer for the money and is one of the best-rounded all mountain/enduro forks. Rocking the latest iteration of Rockshox's tried, tested and perfected Charger 2.1 damper, we love that whether it's a Lyrik Select or a Lyrik Ultimate, there's some version of that sublimely supple charger damper in there and the same DebonAir spring across the whole range. Not only this, but they're really easy to tune with Rockshox's Bottomless Tokens and easy to service and upgrade. We love the Lyrik!
To carry over the silver theme, Loic got hold of some chrome foil frame decals from Etsy to match the fork decals and the silver coil spring on the shock. We love seeing people customise their bikes and the silver decals on his Bronson really look great - we think it really suits the look of the bike. Looks aren't everything, but you've gotta like the way your bike looks and we appreciate when people make a bike their own. Good job Loic!
Silver frame decals look great and the Olive Green Steed water bottle is a nice touch.
We love the little touches Loic has made to this bike, including his Shimano XT 4-piston brakes. They're not the latest and greatest, but they're certainly massively powerful and still feel amazing. Easy to service and bleed with a really solid feeling bite point, there's a lot to like about Shimano brakes. In this case Loic is running 180mm rotors since he feels the brakes are plenty powerful for his needs without going for bigger rotors.
You can't go wrong with 4-piston Shimano XT brakes.
To finish his build off, Loic has personalised a few other parts of the build, including Crank Bros Candy pedals for that solid clipped in feel with plenty of float. On the back end of the bike Loic has fitted his trusty Sram GX Eagle derailleur. Though it's not the latest and greatest, going strong for two seasons now GX Eagle is a dependable workhorse drivetrain that just keeps going. Loic has kept the Burgtec bar and stem combo that come specced on the R build since they're great quality for the money and with a 35mm clamp and 9-degrees of sweep they're perfect for an enduro/trail bike build like this.
In his own words, the new Bronson is Loic's favourite bike that he's owned so far, next to his old coil shock Nomad 4. He says that it feels safe thanks to the 29er wheel on the front yet still playful. With predictable handling it's an easy and fun bike to ride and an awesome choice of bike for any level of rider, novice to pro. Thanks Loic for letting us take a look at your bike!