Bike Check: Jake Ebdon's custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC

Jake Ebdon with his custom Bronson CC

Former BASE student, local instagram legend, all round pinner and EDR racer, Jake is one of the faster and more stylish riders you’ll ever see on our Tweed Valley tracks. With his calendar this year including the first two EDR races in Italy and Poland, the British National Enduro series and film projects, his bike needs to handle everything from monster pedalling days to DH race stages and everything in between.

Jake riding the Bronson down Greg Joliffes on the Golfie

Having spent the last year racing and riding a Santa Cruz Nomad, this year he switched back down a travel bracket onto the 150mm Bronson in a move that might surprise a few people given the speed he moves at. Now he’s getting settled into the bike, we caught up with Jake to chat about why he made the switch, what the main differences are and get all the details on the custom build and setup of his bike. 

Why the Bronson?

While many might think of the Nomad and Bronson as very different bikes, Jake feels they both actually have a really similar feel downhill. He was keen to point out that the Bronson only has 10mm less fork travel and at least on UK tracks, he doesn’t feel he’s losing much capability at all compared to his old Nomad. He did briefly try the Bronson with a 170mm fork to narrow the gap even further but felt it negatively affected the balance and cornering so stayed with 160mm in the end.

Jake riding the Santa Cruz Bronson on the Golfie

Compared to the Nomad, he likes the shorter wheelbase and quicker reacting nature of the Bronson in the technical and awkward sections so many Enduro races feature, finding the smaller bike easier to make quick direction changes and corrections with. The shorter front end helps generate front wheel traction in the corners and he slightly prefers the weight balance, as he can maintain a more constant position in the middle of the bike, where longer bikes require larger weight shifts to adjust them.

The Bronson is also a little lighter and better to pedal than the bigger Enduro bikes which helps not just for the transitions and big days, but also in stages with flatter sections or climbs. Overall, it seems like he just finds it to be slightly more well rounded for the varied terrain the races include, without having to sacrifice too much comfort in the roughest sections. 

Jake's Build

At 5,8’ Jake has always ridden size Medium Santa Cruz bikes and he’s stayed with a Medium again on this CC Bronson. His flip chip is set in the Low / Progressive mode, both to complement the coil shock and slightly shorten the reach. 

His fork is a 160mm RockShox Lyrik, which he’s had custom tuned to a lighter tune to increase suppleness. As a smaller rider he actively prefers the 35mm stanchions finding them a little bit more compliant and less harsh on the body compared to the 38mm Zeb. Right now he’s using just 1 token, preferring the more linear feel given by fewer tokens when pumping and working the bike.

Rock Shox Super Deluxe Coil on Santa Cruz Bronson

Jake is a big fan of coil shocks, and has stuck with his usual choice of a RockShox Super Deluxe for this Bronson build. Compared to air shocks, he finds them to have more grip, giving the bike a more planted feel and better traction. As with his fork, the shock has been re-tuned to a lighter setting. A 350lb SAR spring saves weight and two clicks of hydraulic bottom out provide some extra support deep in the travel for cases and big compressions. A set of HighTideFasteners Ti shock bolts add a touch of bling.

Wheels are a custom built set of Reserve rims on Hope Pro 5 hubs, chosen for their excellent combination of reasonably light weight paired with bulletproof reliability. Unusually for an enduro racer, he uses the lighter weight Reserve SL rim out front to add compliance and save a little more weight. Despite the SL not officially being designed for enduro use, he’s yet to break even one of them. Out back, the super dependable Reserve HD provides a robust rear wheel for peace of mind. 

Reserve Wheel on Jakes Bronson

Jake doesn’t use inserts, just a tough set of tires in the shape of Michelin Wild Enduro MS, inflated to 20 and 23psi, while a full size Mudhugger stops them flinging too much muck at him or the bike.

A 42.5mm One Up stem and their Alloy bar cut to 750mm provide his cockpit and stay consistent between all his bikes. 

Now a well established Hope athlete, Jake uses their Tech4 E4 brake, paired with their 2.3mm rotors in 200mm front and rear. As a slightly smaller rider, he prefers the E4 caliper to the more powerful V4, finding them easier to control with a more instant bite. He sets his levers quite close to the bars and likes as little lever throw as possible, which the 2.3mm rotors help to reduce further still. He’ll generally use the Red (Organic) pads unless it’s incredibly muddy, at which point he’ll swap to the Gold (sintered) versions.

Hope Tech4 E4 brakes on Jakes Bronson

A set of Hope Evo cranks drive the bike, with Jake using the new shorter 155mm option, paired with a 34T chainring. He’s liking the short cranks, both for the descending stance and extra clearance and isn’t noticing any loss of power pedalling. The 34T ring makes for a tougher granny gear on steep pitches, but he’s happy to live with that and have a higher top end for in-stage sprints and pedals. 

Pedals are the Hope Union TC, which he rides with the higher float cleat installed and fairly low clip tension, as he prefers being able to move around on the pedal. A full set of pins are installed to provide both some extra retention and backup for the odd foot out moment.

Hope trail pedal on Evo crank

He’s using a full SRAM XO T-Type drivetrain, which he’s been finding to be effective and tough with both mech and chains standing up well to the rigours of race days and sprint efforts. After trying out both options, he’s gone with the older style AXS shifter, preferring the ergonomics to the new style POD design as it feels more like a cable shifter.

Dropper is a One Up V3 180mm, shimmed down to 160mm travel (Jake has quite short legs), and saddle and grips are from SDG.

One Up V3 Dropper on Jakes Bronson

Finally, his frame Glovebox is also put to good use, being used to carry most of his race essentials. A spare tube sits low, with the smaller One Up pump and toolset tucked in for mid race mechanical tweaks and repairs. 

Full Bike Spec

Frame: Santa Cruz Bronson CC, Size Medium 

Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, Charger 3, 160mm travel

Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil, 230 x 60mm, 350lb SAR Spring. 

Wheelset: Rims:  Reserve SL30, 29’ Front, HD30 27.5’ Rear. Hubs: Hope Pro 5.

Tyres: Michelin Wild Enduro MS, 20 psi Front, 23 psi Rear.

Brakes: Hope Tech4 E4

Rotors: Hope 2.3mm Universal Disc, 200mm Front and Rear

Cranks: Hope Evo Crankset, 155mm

Chain: SRAM XO T-Type

Cassette: SRAM X0 T-Type

Rear mech: SRAM XO T-Type

Shifter: SRAM AXS w paddle upgrade.

Chain device: One Up V2

Seatpost: One Up V3 Dropper, 180mm drop 

Saddle: Burgtec Cloud

Handlebar: One Up Alloy, cut to 750mm

Stem: One up, 42mm, 35mm Clamp

Suspension Settings

Rock Shox Lyrik. 160mm travel, custom light rebound and compression tune: 75psi, 0 HSC, 8 clicks LSC (from open) 9 clicks rebound (from closed). 0 tokens.

Rock Shox Super Deluxe Coil. 230mm x 60mm. 350lb SAR spring, 6 clicks rebound (from closed). 2 clicks Hydraulic bottom out. 

Jake riding Splash and Dash at the Golfie on the Santa Cruz Bronson

Ride a bit of everything and wondering if a Bronson might be for you? We’ve got C S builds at a mega sale price right now, sizes in CC T-Type builds and demo bikes inbound so plenty of choice on these brilliant all rounders..

☎️ 01896 831429


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.