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Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Mountain Bike Frame - 2013

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Item # SNZ000Z

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If you're privateering your way around the XC race circuit, and need a durable go-fast machine, the aluminum Highball is the answer. Santa Cruz's renowned expertise with hydroformed aluminum has created a frame that mimics the ride quality of the carbon version, only at a friendlier price point. In addition, the geometry of the Highball Aluminum is identical to that of its carbon brother. 

Its short, 17.3in chainstays put your center of gravity more over the rear wheel. This position provides a surprising amount of flickability that separates the Highball from the typical, lumbering feel of some 29ers. It pops out of corners and navigates tight, technical lines with glee. For this reason, if you've been considering moving up to a big wheeler, but you've been wary of some the common objections like reduced maneuverability and slower accelerations, this bike will make you question the validity of claims about what a 29er can't do.

To be clear, this is a race-oriented machine. You'll be responsible for absorbing most of the bumps when you're in the saddle as you roll over technical terrain. For a cushier ride, you may want to look at a bike with longer chainstays. Adding to the aggressive, race-oriented feel of the Highball is a short head tube -- only 3.9 inches in the Medium and Large frame sizes. This gives you a compact front end that allows you to get into a powerful cross-country position.

In addition to dialing in the geometry, Santa Cruz incorporated several worthwhile finishing touches. A strut reinforces the brake-side rear dropout to provide confident, vibration-free braking. This is a feature that you'll appreciate, considering that with a larger wheel diameter and rolling mass, 29ers require more stopping power. Look down near the bottom bracket of the Highball, and you'll discover an asymmetric, forged chainstay yoke that provides maximum strength and stiffness, while ensuring adequate tire and chainring clearance.

The Highball comes standard with fixed dropouts for geared use, but they are removable for swinger-style dropouts if you want a single-speed conversion.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Rear Axle:
135 mm QR
Head Tube Diameter:
ZS44/EC49 mixed tapered
Bottom Bracket Type:
73 mm
Seatpost Diameter:
30.9 mm
Replaceable Rear Derailleur Hanger:

Geometry chart

Santa Cruz

Geometry Chart



Seat Tube

Effective Top Tube




Stand Over

Head Tube

Head Tube Angle

Seat Tube Angle

Bottom Bracket Height


S 16in 22.6in 24.1in 15in 28.8in 3.5in 70o 72.5o 12.4in 16.9in 41.7in
M 17in 23.6in 24.2n 15.4in 29.5in 3.5in 70o 72.5o 12.4in 16.9in 42.5in
L 19in 24.6in 24.5in 16.4in 30.9in 3.9in 70o 72.5o 12.4in 16.9in 43.3in
XL 21in 25.6in 24.9in 17.3in 32.4in 4.3in 70o 72.5o 12.4in 16.9in 44.5in

Santa Cruz Highball Geometry Chart

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Amazingly Dialed XC Frame

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Highball is one fun and fast frames!
Simple, pure and some might say the perfect climbing frame.
It tackles climbs I was unable to do on a heavier full suspension bike.
Perhaps not the easiest frame to descend with, however riding the Highball has forced me to improve my descending skills and dial in those perfect lines.
I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for an inexpensive, amazingly fun climbing XC bike.
I am 5’5 and ride a small but could fit comfortably on a medium.

Amazingly Dialed XC Frame

is this frame included headset? what's type of headset ?

Responded on

It doesn't look like a headset is included from what I can tell

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