Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy LT Carbon Mountain Bike Frame - 2013 $2,899.00
Big on strength, low on weight.
Santa Cruz's Tallboy LT Carbon Mountain Bike Frame keeps the momentum rolling with 135mm of travel in an insanely light and strong package. And, without Santa Cruz's proprietary carbon processes, the Tallboy LT Carbon's combination of low weight and strength wouldn't be possible.
The front triangle of the Tallboy LT Carbon is constructed as one piece, rather than having components produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped. Additionally, the carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions — to distribute load and absorb impact energy better. Looking at geometry, the Tallboy LT Carbon's actually slightly longer (we're talking a fraction of an inch here) than the original Tallboy with a slacker, 69.5 degree, head angle.
Surprisingly, the 35mm of added travel has not adversely affected standover height; it's a few millimeters shorter than the standard Tallboy Carbon. Keeping in perspective the Tallboy's short chainstays, this could be one of the most nimble and competent full-suspension 29ers out there. This is also due to Santa Cruz's lauded, patented VPP suspension system.
It features counter-rotating links that allow a variable feel throughout the suspension travel. When sag is set correctly, the Tallboy LT Carbon is extremely responsive to small- and medium-sized bumps. On larger hits that push it deeper into its travel, it becomes more stubborn, a necessity to avoid harsh bottom-out. It's also a crisp, efficient pedaler, even in the small chainring.
Another big plus of Santa Cruz's VPP suspension is its durability; angular contact pivot bearings offer excellent resistance to deflection for truer tracking, and better line holding over rough trails. For smooth, long-lasting performance, the contamination-prone lower links are equipped with grease ports to ease service and guarantee long maintenance intervals. The LT Carbon is sprung by a light, and custom-tuned, FOX FLOAT CTD with the slick and durable Kashima coating.
Its simple, three-position lever lets you select platform damping for climbing, trail, or descents. At the front end of things, it'll accommodate a 130-150mm front fork, with 140mm being the default for all-around riding. Besides added travel and tweak of the geometry, this frame has received some insightful upgrades from the original Tallboy.
Recognizing that it will see heavy-duty action, Santa Cruz added ISCG05 tabs and offset the lower link to accommodate a chainguide. If you don't plan on running a chainguide, there's a metal insert on the chainstay where a dropped chain would otherwise wreak havoc on the carbon fiber. Speaking of frame protection, you're bound to kick up some trail projectiles. Because of that, the lower part of the down tube is wrapped in a leather protector. A similar protector covers the chainstay to protect from chain-slap.
The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon Mountain Bike Frame has a ZS44/EC49 mixed tapered head tube. Like all of Santa Cruz's bikes, it has a user-friendly, 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell. The rear dropout accepts a 142 x 12mm thru-axle, and a DT Swiss axle is included. Finally, a rear IS brake mount, 30.9mm seatpost, and 34.9mm front derailleur complete the tour of industry standardized components waiting to be hung off the long-legged Tallboy.
The frame comes with a standard replaceable rear derailleur hanger, but a Shimano direct-mount rear hanger is available. The Tallboy LT Carbon comes in sizes Medium through X-Large and in the color Matte Carbon/orange.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
|Effective Top Tube||Stand Over||Head Tube Length||Head Tube Angle||Seat Tube Angle||Bottom Bracket Height||Chainstay||Wheelbase|
Note:Tallboy LT (aluminum) is not available in XXL.
Reviews & Community
Old School Geometry
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I bought this when it first came out in 2012, since then the geometry of the newer 29er All Mountain Bikes has become much better. The Tallboy LT Carbon still has a really steep-XC-ish headtube and seattube, the chainstays are much longer than most other All Mountain 29ers out now.
I wish I would have waited a year, I've recently test ridden the Yeti SB95C and The Specialized Enduro 29 Carbon, both bikes feel much more agile, especially on switch backs. I could never get behind my size Medium Tallboy LT Carbon to manual through bumps, and I definately can't get the bike into the air very easily, especially compared to the Specialized Enduro. I think it has a lot to do with the steeper headtube and shorter chainstays on that bike.
The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT needs some major improvements if they want to compete with the other All Mountain 29ers that have come out in the last year.
The only place the Tallboy LT shines is on really long rides, but I have to put in more air than necessary to keep the back end from bobbing constantly, even with the trail mode switched on.
LOVED IT BUT LEFT IT
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Well about two rides in this frame became an orchestra of noise. The linkage was creaking so bad I could feel it at all contact points (hands and feet). Bushings were ok and the tork was set right on the bolts. The guys at ComCyc suggested I deal with Santa Cruz as a warranty issue. I opted to just return the bike to them via their 90 day return policy. This was the first full suspension carbon frame Ive had. I replaced it with an aluminum one (old trusty). The head set and bottom bracket were creaking too.