Santa Cruz Driver 8

driver 8The folks at Santa Cruz have been busy. Just days after the bike-maker introduced their first carbon fiber bike via a re-designed Blur XC frame, comes the unveiling of Driver 8—an all-new platform with 8 inches of next-generation VPP rear wheel travel. Named after the much missed former head canine at Santa Cruz, the Driver 8 fills a long-travel niche between Santa Cruz’s Nomad and V-10 offerings.

According to Santa Cruz: “We designed the Driver 8 to be a general duty, daily driver gravity hauler. It is a super tough, super versatile bike that is ideal for a life at Whistler. It’s a damn good long travel high speed trail bike (Wait, is that freeriding, or all-mountain high speed trail riding? What about low speed, sphincter pinching gnarl? Does it speak with a Canadian accent? Man, this gets confusing…)”

Admittedly, it’s getting more and more difficult to find convenient categories in which to pigeonhole mountain bikes, so allow me to run through a few of the Driver 8’s features, so you can make up your own mind about this beastie. Santa Cruz designed the Driver 8’s solidly built chassis to allow 7 inches of up and down seat adjustment. The heavy duty theme continues with the VPP links. The upper link is carbon fiber (for added strength), and it pivots on four beefy radial contact sealed cartridge bearings. The lower link gets grease ports for easy service, huge 15mm pivot axles, and it swings on eight angular contact bearings. All bearing sets, top and bottom, are encased in a further set of lip seals and labyrinth washers to further combat the ingress of dirt. The bike comes with its own grease gun, to keep the bearings running smoothly. It’s got a 1.5″ head tube, an 83mm wide BB with ISCG05 mounts, and 150mm rear spacing with a Maxle thru-axle.

The Drive 8 framesest runs $2399 (MSRP, powdercoat w/RockShox Vivid 5.1) or $2561 (MSRP w/Fox DHX RC4). Add $200 for anodized finish. Framesets will be available to customers mid-May, 2009, and Santa Cruz is accepting orders for framesets now. They’ll be accepting complete bike orders on April 1st, 2009.

Visit the Santa Cruz website for more information on the Driver 8. Click on the thumbs below for larger images.

maxle upper grease iscg


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