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Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon CC 27.5 XT Complete Mountain Bike - 2016

Sale $3,079.30 $4,399.00 30% off

Item # SNZ005J

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Item # SNZ005J


With mid-sized wheels, Shimano's durable, race-ready XT drivetrain, and Santa Cruz's peerless Carbon CC construction, the Highball Carbon CC 27.5 XT Complete Mountain Bike boasts a versatility equal to the brutal climbs and twisting, techy descents of XC courses like Albstadt, but at a price point that's more palatable to the self-sponsored racer. After all, we don't all get to tour the Euro pro scene, but that doesn't mean that the trails and courses in our backyards — and our own efforts on them — are any less worthy of the same level of world class racing platform.

The latest Highball Carbon CC frame is built with the same Carbon CC construction as its predecessor. It features a higher modulus carbon than the Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to a lighter chassis that needs fewer watts to propel, and the watts that you do pour into it are transferred with greater efficiency courtesy of the increased stiffness.

The whole frame is also a single piece instead of a jigsaw puzzle of individually-cured carbon tubes. This allows Santa Cruz to wrap the fibers continuously around structurally important junctures like the head tube and bottom bracket, buttressing the frame and dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load. Translated into trail talk, this means it hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals and dampens high-speed chatter — all with a low-weight that makes any full-suspension bike's climbing and sprinting feel as sharp as an overripe banana.

Santa Cruz justifies retaining the 69-degree head tube angle for the new model year by citing the line-holding benefits of high rake combined with mid-sized wheels. Compared to the original 29er Highball, the 27.5-inch model has a lower, longer geometry, so it's tethered to lines both on the way up and the way down. Despite its long wheelbase, the Highball 27.5 has shorter chainstays then the 29er, so it capitalizes on the stiff, carbon hardtail and 12x142mm rear axle for efficient power transfer that lends itself to pushing through grades and carrying speed out of switchbacks.

The Highball XT's new Shimano XT M8000 drivetrain isn't just a cosmetic makeover. Of the group's new updates, most notable may be the side-swing action of the front derailleur, which is classic Shimano in that it addresses an issue that we all though was just part of riding a double. The derailleur's actuation moves with the chain's motion, swinging forward and out as it pulls the chain up into the big ring for shifting that's as sharp as the rear derailleur. The build is finished with some standby kit: WTB rims mated to DT Swiss's legendary hubs.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Carbon CC
FOX Racing Shox 32 Float Factory
Front Travel:
100 mm
Cane Creek 40
Shimano XT M8000 SL
Front Derailleur:
Shimano XT M8025
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano XT M8000 GS
ISCG Tabs:
yes, ISCG 05
26 / 36 t Shimano XT M8000
Bottom Bracket:
BSA threaded
Crank Arm Length:
175 mm
11 - 40 t Shimano XT M8000
Shimano HG700
Shimano XT
Brake Type:
hydraulic disc
160 mm Shimano RT86 Ice-Tech
Santa Cruz Carbon
Handlebar Width:
720 mm
Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-On
Race Face Turbine Basic
WTB Silverado Team
Easton EC70
[rims] WTB Asym i19
DT Swiss 350
Front Axle:
Rear Axle:
Maxxis Ikon
Tire Size:
29 x 2.2 in
not included
Recommended Use:
Manufacturer Warranty:
lifetime on frame

sizing chart

Highball size by rider height


Geometry chart

Santa Cruz

Geometry Chart


Highball 27.5

Seat Tube


Effective Top Tube






Stand Over

Head Tube


Head Tube Angle


Seat Tube Angle


Bottom Bracket Drop




S 16in 22.6in 22.7in 15.5in 28.3in 3.9in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 42.1in
M 17in 23.6in 23in 16.3in 28.9in 4.3in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 43.1in
L 19in 24.6in 23.4in 17.2in 29.9in 4.7in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 44.1in
XL 21in 25.6in 23.8in 18.1in 31.3in 5.1in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 45.2in

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No long-term relationship with customer

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I purchased a complete bike and have it shipped to my home country at my own costs. It was well packed and the bike arrived in almost perfect condition. Five stars for this. This is the first time I have patronized this online retailer.

However, this company does not care about cultivating long-term relationship with customers. When the shipment arrived, the price of the bike was discounted by a further 5%, even though I had initially and sincerely asked for some discounts or waiving local shipping fees but had been turned down. That was just 1.5 week time in between.

I wrote to their customer service and expressed my disappointment. How could I tell my fellow overseas buyers that competitive cyclist had a good reputation of servicing customers? I was told that their price protection does not apply to my case because the model is already out of stock (well, your company just stocks one model each. I bought one and therefore, it ran out of stock). There was nothing they could and would do. Not even $10 or $20 coupon as a token of appreciation for my patronage of over US$3000.

So, my conclusion is that I will not buy from this online retailer again and will not recommend it to any of my friend. It does not care about long-term customer relationship.