Weight: 16.7 pounds (56cm)
Overall Star Rating: 4/5
We Like: Exceptionally light frame
We Don’t Like: Cockpit is a bit too wide
Light and agile, the Stigmata pairs well with riders who appreciate a technical course. Sprinters, however, are likely to be disappointed with its acceleration. Santa Cruz has created a bike that threads the needle in tight turns, while remaining light on the shoulder for run-up comfort. It does miss the mark with an exceptionally flexy seat tube, but overall the Stigmata is a top performer.
SRAM’s Red drivetrain and brakes represent the best in the brand’s lineup. If SRAM’s your preference, you’ll have no problem shelling out the cash for this light bike, but we would have preferred Dura-Ace Di2 for the build. Shimano’s top-of-the-line group provides smoother, more reliable shifts with almost no hand movement, which is ideal for especially cold or muddy days.
A tall head tube and wide cockpit translate into an upright riding position that may not be preferable. It’s comfortable, sure, but it sacrifices some quickness in sprints and lacks a race-oriented feel. On the other hand, if you’re riding gravel roads all day, that cockpit, combined with the 160mm head tube (size 56cm) could be ideal.
The Stigmata excels on technical courses. Tight, point-and-go steering was confidence-inspiring in tight switchbacks. The frame can accommodate tires up to 41mm in width, adding to the bike’s versatility across disciplines and conditions.
While not exactly sluggish, the Stigmata isn’t incredibly responsive in the sprints. A smart wheel upgrade would make a significant difference — the included aluminum wheels are heavy and somewhat flexy. If you’ve got the coin, Santa Cruz offers an Enve wheel upgrade for an extra $2,000.