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Santa Cruz Stigmata (2019) Review

Santa Cruz Stigmata (2019) Review

Santa Cruz has designed an updated version of its Stigmata CX bike for 2019, with some interesting new additions. Most notably, the inclusion of fender mounts and optional extras like a double chainring, give it certain ‘gravel bike’ characteristics.

RATING: Great performance

BEST FOR: Off-road riders

FEATURES: Available in Carbon CC, wheel sizes comes in 650b or 700c, Gravel/CX

Santa Cruz Stigmata Key Specifications

All versions of the Santa Cruz Stigmata include a full carbon frame, SRAM groupset, and 700c wheels except the GRX version which comes with a Shimano GRX groupset. There is also a ‘Force AXS’ version that offers 650b wheels.

KitRIVALGRXFORCE AXS 27.5FORCE AXSRED AXS RESERVE
Price$3599USD$4599USD$5899USD$5899USD$9899USD
Weight8.73kg / 19.25lbs8.26kg / 18.2lbs8.69kg / 19.16lbs8.52kg / 18.77lbs7.81kg / 17.22lbs
Wheel Size700c700c650b700c700c
Rear DerailleurSRAM Rival 22 Long Cage, 11spdShimano GRX 11spdSRAM X01 Eagle AXS 12spdSRAM X01 Eagle AXS 12spdSRAM Red eTap AXS 12spd
ShiftersSRAM Rival 1Shimano GRX 810SRAM Force eTap AXSSRAM Force eTap AXSSRAM Red eTap AXS
CranksetEaston EA90, 40t – 170mm (52), 172.5mm (54-56), 175mm (58-60)Shimano GRX 11spd 48/31 – 170mm (52), 172.5mm (54-56), 175mm (58-60)SRAM Force 1 42t – 170mm (52), 172.5mm (54-56), 175mm (58-60)SRAM Force 1 42t – 170mm (52), 172.5mm (54-56), 175mm (58-60)SRAM Red 1 46x33t – 170mm (52), 172.5mm (54-56), 175mm (58-60)
CassetteSRAM PG1150, 11spd, 10-42tShimano Ultegra HG800 11-34tSRAM XG1295 Eagle 10-50TSRAM XG1295 Eagle 10-50TSRAM Red XG1290 12spd 10-33t
Front DerailleurShimano GRX Braze-On 11spdSRAM Red eTap AXS Braze-on 12spd
ChainSRAM PC1170Shimano SLX M7000 11spdSRAM XX1 Eagle 12spdSRAM XX1 Eagle 12spdSRAM Red 12spd
Bottom BracketEaston BSA BBShimano Ultegra BBSRAM DUBSRAM DUBSRAM DUB
BrakesSRAM Rival 1 Flat MountShimano GRX Flat Mount BrakesSRAM ForceSRAM ForceSRAM Red
Brake RotorsAvid Centerline 160mmShimano RT80 Ice Tech Centerlock 160mmSRAM CLX R Centerlock 160mmSRAM CLX R Centerlock 160mmSRAM CLX R Centerlock 160mm
HeadsetCane Creek 40 IS Integrated HeadsetCane Creek 40 IS Integrated HeadsetCane Creek 40 IS Integrated HeadsetCane Creek 40 IS Integrated HeadsetCane Creek 110 IS Integrated Headset
BarsEaston EA50 AX flare barEaston EA70 AX flare barEaston EA70 AX flare barEaston EA70 AX flare barEaston EC70 AX flare bar
StemEaston EA50 StemEaston EA90 StemEaston EA90 StemEaston EA90 StemEaston EA90 Stem
GripsVelo Bar TapeVelo Bar TapeVelo Bar TapeVelo Bar TapeVelo Bar Tape
Front HubDT 370 12×100 28hDT 350 12×100 Centerlock 28hDT 350 12×100 Centerlock 28hDT 350 12×100 Centerlock 28hI9 Torch 100×12 Centerlock 24h
Rear HubDT 370 12×142 28hDT 350 12×142 11spd Centerlock 28hDT 350 12×142 XD Centerlock 28hDT 350 12×142 XD Centerlock 28hI9 Torch 12×142 XDR Centerlock 24h
RimsWTB Asym i23p 700c RimsDT XR 361 Asym 29″ 28hRaceFace ARC Offset 25 27.5″ RimsDT XR 361 Asym 29″ 28hSanta Cruz Reserve 22 700c Carbon Rims
Rim OptionsSanta Cruz Reserve 25 650b Carbon RimSanta Cruz Reserve 22 700c Carbon Rim
SpokesDT Competition (28)DT Competition Race (28)DT Competition Race (28)DT Competition Race (28)Sapim CX-Ray
Front TireMaxxis Ravager EXO, 700x40cMaxxis Rambler 700x40cWTB Ranger TCS 27.5×2.0Maxxis Rambler 700x40cMaxxis Rambler 700x40c
Rear TireMaxxis Ravager EXO, 700x40cMaxxis Rambler 700x40cWTB Ranger TCS 27.5×2.0Maxxis Rambler 700x40cMaxxis Rambler 700x40c
TubesStans Sealant 2ozStans Sealant 2ozStans Sealant 2ozStans Sealant 2ozStans Sealant 2oz
Seat PostEaston EA50, 27.2, 12mm offset, 350mmEaston EC70 27.2 Zero Offset 350mmEaston EC70 27.2 Zero Offset 350mmEaston EC70 27.2 Zero Offset 350mmEaston EC90 27.2 Zero Offset 350mm
SaddleWTB Silverado ProWTB Silverado Team SaddleWTB Silverado Team SaddleWTB Silverado Team SaddleWTB Silverado Carbon Saddle
Frame Size – Height
52 – 5’3″ — 5’6″
54 – 5’6″ — 5’9″
56 – 5’9″ — 6’0″
58 – 6’0″ — 6’2″
60 – 6’2″ — 6’5″
Positives:
  • Great design  
  • Handles off-road well
  • Lightweight
Negatives:
  • Chain drop prone
  • A bit expensive

Full Review

Santa Cruz has designed an updated version of its Stigmata CX bike for 2019, with some interesting new additions. Most notably, the inclusion of fender mounts and optional extras like a double chainring, give it certain ‘gravel bike’ characteristics.

However, the classic aspects that make the Stigmata a winning cyclocross bike remain intact, including an even stronger carbon frame inspired by some of Danny MacAskill’s design elements. The full internal routing, disc brakes and thru-axles that made Stigmata famous are still present, with the 2019 model offering even more tire clearance than before.

When Santa Cruz re-released the new Stigmata in 2015, Hope Technology’s Paul Oldham won the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks cyclocross race on the upgraded version. That winning style has carried through to today, with some modern tweaks that continue to make the Stigmata a winning cyclocross bike.

Santa Cruz Stigmata Main Features

 

The Stigmata is by no means your standard cyclocross bike.  When paying premium prices, you’ll be expecting premium features. On this front, the Stigmata doesn’t disappoint.

The 2019 edition has morphed together CX features with MTB features to create an enhanced off-road machine that can race singletrack or take you bickpacking in equal measure.

From the frame to the rims to the drivechain, Santa Cruz has paid attention to even the smallest details ensuring the entire package works together to provide a unique gravel, dirt or road cycling experience.

Frame and fork

Santa Cruz Bicycles - Stigmata CC Rival Complete Bike 2020

asym i23 rims are strong and lightweight

​The full carbon frame comes in a somewhat natural looking Olive Green or Mustard Yellow color, with perfectly rounded edges on each and every curve. The head angle on the new Stigmata tends to be more focused on stability rather than handling which is uncommon on CX bikes. While the wheelbase reflects a distance usually found on CX bikes, the shorter rake on the fork will provide greater stability when racing on dirt or singletrack.

On the 56, 58 and 60 sizes the head tube angle is 72 degrees and seat tube angle 73.5 degrees. As mentioned, the fork offset is unusually short at 45mm except on the size 52 which is 50mm. There is also a smaller size 49 available from the Juliana Quincy range, which is the female version of the Stigmata.

A nice addition is eyelets to attach a third water bottle cage above the bottom bracket, meaning there was certainly some focus towards this bike being used as a possible bikepacking bike. There are no front or back eyelets for pannier racks but with a triangular frame bag, top tube bag, and large saddelbag you could certainly go far on this.

Groupset and Drivetrain

Unlike most cyclocross bikes these days, the Stigmata features two styles with a double chainring and front derailleur but its standard Rival and Force AXS versions come with only a single chainring.

The Rival comes with an SRAM PG1150 11-speed rear cassette (10-42t), with the Force AXS featuring an SRAM XG1295 Eagle (10-50t) and the GRX a Shimano Ultegra HG800 (11-34t). Santa Cruz has also included a top of the range version of the Stigmata featuring a Red AXS groupset, with a 12 speed 10-33t cassette and SRAM Red eTap shifters and derailleurs.

As you can see, there are several options that go from pure cyclocross style over to a far more MTB-focused setup. This makes the Stigmata far more versatile than most CX bikes but might deter some professional racers who are looking for a highly specific cyclocross bike.

Tires

Santa Cruz Stigmata tires

Maxxis or WTB tires are used

The Stigmata comes with Maxxis Rambler 700cx40c tires on its GRX and AXS versions and the Maxxis Ravager EVO 700x40c on the Rival.
The 650b wheel size version of the Force AXS features WTB Ranger TCS 27.5×2.0 tires. It’s unfortunate that this is the only version that offers 27.5 size wheels because it’s considerably more expensive than the standard Rival.

Brakes

The SRAM Rival 1 featured on the standard Stigmata have somewhat ‘chunky’ levers but offer very stable grip in bumpy conditions. The hydraulic rims are highly responsive, pushing almost to the point of locking if you’re not careful. With well-managed reflexes, these brakes will handle well both on-road and offroad.

The Stigmata GRX comes with Shimano GRX Flat Mount brakes which tend to have a more gravel-focused response and less fade. The AXS versions come with upgraded SRAM Force brakes, offering slightly improved performance over the Rival.

Saddle

The Stigmata comes standard with WTB Silverado saddles across the board, with the pricey Red AXS version featuring an upgraded carbon saddle.

Mustard Santa Cruz Stigmata

The “mustard” is also available

For a standard saddle, the WTB Silverado is certainly a decent edition. It’s light, slim and tapered towards a racing design. However, it doesn’t quite have the padding some riders might want over a long distance. For short, quick bouts along singletrack, this saddle may suffice but bikepackers or long-distance riders will probably want to upgrade to a touring saddle.

Santa Cruz Stigmata Considerations

Thumb upThe high-quality build and attention to detail are hard to find fault with on the Stigmata, especially considering the near-perfect geometry of the carbon frame. If you’re looking for an all-round, all-road bike carbon bike then the Stigmata is an excellent choice. However, if you are looking for something specific you may be able to find a more exact fit for the same price.

While the Stigmata is an excellent cyclocross bike that has proven itself in the field, it might not fit all the requirements of a single track, gravel or bikepacking bike. However, if you’re looking for a fast on-and-off-road commuter that you can also take out for the occasional bikepacking weekend, it might just be ideal.

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