Words and Bike Photos: Brett Rothmeyer
Action Photos: Ian Collins
Santa Cruz Bicycles has released the latest version of the Stigmata out into the wild. Along with the Stigmata, sister company Juliana has released the all-new Quincy to their line up. Building upon where the 2015 revamped Stigmata left off there are some great new features on the Quincy and Stigmata. Myself, along with an ensemble of elite bike industry journalist got to take a fleet of the new bikes out into the mountains surrounding Santa Cruz to see how the new rigs ride.
Sometimes subtle changes make all the difference and with the new Stigmata and Quincy that is most certainly the case. The latest version of the bikes adds extra room for bigger tires. Both the Quincy and Stigmata will clear 700×45 and 2.1″ 650b, leaving terrain options up to you. Gone is the press fit bottom bracket and in is a traditional threaded English bottom bracket. Last but certainly not least is the addition of fender mounts. To me, a bike like the Stigmata and Quincy takes on that “I can do anything” attitude, and I prefer a bike that can do everything while not saturating my feet and arse when the weather turns wet.
To make the bikes more accommodating for all size riders, the smaller frame models, 52 and 54 have been given a 50mm offset fork, while the larger frames will have a 45mm fork to alleviate toe overlap. The carbon layup got a little bit of an overhaul taking a nod from the cross-country Highball frame and even a little bit of influence from Danny MacAskill’s trials bike, creating a bike as tough as it is compliant.
For my time on the Stigmata, I was set up with the Sram Red AXS model with Santa Cruz’s own Reserve wheels and the 700×45 tire option. I should probably mention that I own last years model of the Stigmata so I was really curious to see how the bike had changed. With an honest to goodness mixed surface ride through the hills of Santa Cruz and into Big Basin National Forest for some gravel, jeep track and a bit of cutty double track we were definitely going to see how these bikes handled.
It was relieving to find that the Stigmata hadn’t lost any of its racing pedigree with the redesign. Still responsive and snappy when putting power into the pedals out of corners and over climbs. Handling through tight corners on soft terrain still feels as predictable and steady as last years model. Bikes that try to do too much often lose direction and end up doing a lot just ok, but the Stigmata and Quincy have somehow solved the riddle on how to be versatile without being lackluster. The bikes are as capable on all day forays into the forest as they will tackling World Cup Cyclocross courses this coming fall.
If you’re the type rider who likes big rides off the beaten path, attacking ‘cross courses on the weekend and sneaking some singletrack into your gravel or road rides, say hello to the Stigmata and Quincy. As for myself, do I regret buying a Stigmata last year? Yes, a little bit. As mentioned above the fender option on the new version is extremely appealing when living in a city that is wet more than dry.
Both the Stigmata and Quincy will be starting at $2,299 for framesets and going up to $9,899 in the Sram Red AXS Reserve Model shown here. Stay tuned for a long term review of the Julianna Quincy which we now have in our possession but until then check out all the stats, specs, builds and options on Santa Cruz Bicycles.