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Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon / SRAM X9 Complete Bike

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Item # SNZ0344

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Item # SNZ0344


Manufacturers' complete bike packages are often constrained by requirements for mass-market appeal. The Featured Bike program is an alternative option that uses our collective experience, knowledge, and resources to provide a bicycle out of the box that we'd proudly flog, ourselves. Take a look at the component mix on this race-ready Highball Carbon Complete Bike; SRAM X9, Easton EA70, and Fox Racing team up to unleash the pure speed of Santa Cruz's heady carbon hardtail.

SRAM's X9 line has continually evolved as new technology is trickled down from X0 and XX, making it one of the best drivetrain values on the market. We went with a 2x10 setup to cut down on excess while providing ratios that complement a 29er's sweet spot. X9 shifters guide X9 front and rear derailleurs over an 11-36t PG-1050 cassette, and X9 crank for fast and positive shifts.

For rolling stock, Easton's EA70 XCT tubeless ready XCT wheels with Geax Saguaros offer the right mix of light weight and durability. We've found the Saguaros to strike a perfect balance between semi-slicks and knobbies for low rolling resistance with stability on loose and rocky terrain. The Highball will ship with presta tubes installed for obvious ready-to-ride reasons, but we've had good luck running this wheel/tire combination with sealant.

The components are respectable performance-oriented pieces with a dose of durability. The Highball frame, however, is a racer's rig that provides excellent handling dynamics, lively response, and energy-conserving damping. The secret to those appealing traits is the Highball's one-piece carbon lay-up and curing process -- as opposed to assembling joints that require bonding or wrapping.

In structurally important locations like the tapered headtube, and 73mm bottom bracket, continuous fibers flow around the junctions and spread throughout the frame. The layers are compacted from the inside as they’re applied, which eliminates voids, prevents delamination, and creates a smooth, stress-free interior with no waste -- in short, it cuts excess material while making the frame stronger.

The resulting construction distributes lateral, vertical, and torsional loads throughout the frame to boost the Highball’s performance. This design absorbs impact energy, while efficiently and accurately transferring bio-inputs like steering and propulsion. Translated into trail talk, this means the Highball loses nothing to flex when you stomp on the pedals, dampens high-speed trail chatter, and stays true to its line.

To complement those frame characteristics, a 100mm Fox 32 Float CTD with a tapered steerer tube and the 15QR thru-axle mitigates steering deflection. The CTD damper offers three distinct settings: climb, trail, and descend, for a simplified experience and optimal performance without a degree in suspension dynamics.

Speed is kept in check with powerful Avid Elixir 9 hydraulic disc brakes and 160mm rotors. Finishing off the build are Easton EA70 parts including the stem, bar, and seatpost, which is topped with a Sella Italia SL Kit Carbonio. The Santa Cruz Highball Carbon SRAM X9 Complete Bike is available in Medium through XX-Large sizes and comes in Black/Green, Black/Black, Matte Carbon/Gray or Gloss Carbon/Red.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
carbon fiber
Front Derailleur:
Rear Derailleur:
SRAM PC-1031
Easton EA70
Easton EA70
Sella Italia SL Kit Carbonio
Easton EA70
Easton EA70 XCT
Geax Saguaro
Recommended Use:

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