The Santa Cruz Bronson is truly a bike that can take you anywhere — up technical trails, back down them, and on long, mountain-ranging days. The bike performs so consistently that it's challenging to cite faults or to find places where the Bronson truly excels, which belies its biggest strength, versatility. This 150mm bike just gets it. Never out of its element on any trail, it's an all-arounder that will get you wherever you want to go. But, its strength is also its weakness. That excellent rear shock can take too much out of the trail without rewarding us with enough suspension for a totally buffed out ride. You really need to take the reins on big, fast descents. Aggressive handling gets you through, but the Bronson can't just hand you glory like a modern enduro or big-wheeled rides do. This middle ground tendency is what keeps the Bronson up for anything but keeps it from excelling anywhere.
Buy the Bronson if you want an all-arounder that can regularly tackle bigger descents and you enjoy the lighter feel and precision of 27.5-inch wheels. Consider the 2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude if you'd like a slightly more playful, less aggressive 27.5-inch bike at a lower price point. The hard-charging 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower is a great choice for those that prefer the added speed and roll-over abilities of 29-inch wheels. The Canyon Spectral is an all-mountain bike with 27.5 wheels and 140mm of travel. Best of all, the Spectral provides an outstanding value starting at $2399.