Here’s our new bike. We call it the Driver 8.
It has 8 inches of next-generation VPP rear wheel travel. It also has enough room to raise or lower the seat through a 7-inch range. It’s got a 1.5″ head tube, an 83mm wide bb with ISCG05 mounts and 150mm rear spacing with a Maxle thru-axle. So, just what kind of bike is it supposed to be?
8″ of next-generation VPP travel
Mud flap shock cover.
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…)
12mm Maxle rear thru-axle
83mm bottom bracket with ISCG 05 mounts
Anyway, it’s a kickass park bike, more lively and poppable and jumpable than the V-10. And it is also a very handy downhill race bike, probably a better race choice for most riders who aren’t World Cup pros on most courses that aren’t World Cup courses. But it can still plow through big rocks and huge drops with the best of them. 8 inches of travel is still a whole lot of cushion for the pushin’…
When the seat is slammed all the way down (7 inches of up and down adjustability, remember?), it is in a similar fore/aft location to the seat on a V-10, but can be run even lower. However, due to the angle of the seat mast, when the seat is raised up as far as it will go, the pedaling position is about the same as that of the Nomad, which is a pretty good location to kick at the cranks and point a bike uphill.
7 inches of up and down seat adjustability
With regard to that “general duty, daily driver” comment, we’ve gone heavy duty with the VPP links. The upper link is carbon fiber, insanely strong, and pivots on four beefy radial contact sealed cartridge bearings. The lower link gets grease ports for easy service, huge 15mm pivot axles with the same trick locking collet head feature as the Blur LT, Nomad and new Blur XC, 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, and you won’t need a personal mechanic to deal with any of that.
Carbon fiber upper link with 4 radial contact sealed bearings
The Driver 8 showing it off shamelessly.
You can call it a freeride bike, if you’re into that. You can call it a park bike. You can call it a downhill bike. It can do all that, and more. We’re sticking to our guns. We call it the Driver 8.
$2399 US MSRP, powdercoat frame w/RockShox Vivid 5.1
$2561 US MSRP w/Fox DHX RC4
(add $200 for anodized finish)
And one more just for fun.
Available to customers mid-May, 2009, in all the usual powdercoat colors as well as an anodized, as yet to be named, sort of golden color
Accepting orders for FRAMESETS now
Accepting complete bike orders April 1st, 2009
For more info including sizing and geometry, please click here
What do you think of the Driver? A step up from the VPP, a better name? What is your verdict?
Why Driver 8?
Driver 8 Farewell
Driver 8 – a lunch stealing, belly offering Malamute/Wolf cross that was a fixture at Santa Cruz for eleven years.
Defining the character of a bike company isn’t easy. There are engineers, assemblers, sales guys and marketing stooges, people who talk in numbers and people who speak of wheels in motion with the blazing eyes of zealots. In the case of Santa Cruz, there’s a pretty broad clash of cultures and ideas and lifestyles that collide in the same space on a daily basis. And, for almost as long as this company has been in existence, every single one of those widely diverse people have stopped every day to scratch the offered belly of Driver 8.
Driver 8 – 130 pounds of fur-shedding, food stealing, dead thing rolling, fire engine howling Malamut/wolf – came into the Santa Cruz cannery as a rescue pup at the age of 8 months when his person, Willie K Bullion, was still working for Bontrager Cycles and SCB was just a one shed operation at the cannery entrance (Willie would like to point out that he got Driver 8 the day that Adri Van Der Poel won the World Cyclocross Championship – February 3rd, 1996). He (Driver 8, not Willie) became known as the Mascot of the then Bontrager race team, and fast developed a reputation for his ability to shed fur and vomit massive piles of dog food. But the girls all loved him…
He has been an icon of this neighborhood, and of this company, for eleven years. If you’ve ever shown up here, you’ve probably pet him. Or had him steal your lunch. If you’ve ever found some dog hair in your Santa Cruz soft goods, or stuck to your new frame, it came from Driver.
Every single one of us lost a good friend when Driver 8 passed away two weeks ago. Dogspeed, Driver 8, may there be plentiful dead seals to roll in, and lots of red meat, wherever you are.