Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

Sale $2,209.15 $2,599.00 15% off

Item # SNZ00AL

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  • Gloss Grey/Red, XL ($2,209.15)
  • Matte Black/White, L ($2,209.15)
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Item # SNZ00AL

Interrogating the real.

The Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike may not be the out-and-out fastest XC machine in Santa Cruz's stable. That honor falls to the Highball 29er—but only in the vacuum of a smooth ribbon of singletrack or a well-kempt fire road. There's no room for honor in the less-than smooth conditions of an actual XC race, and the Highball 27.5's ability to overcome small obstacles with a large angle of attack without sacrificing dexterity while climbing or getting hung-up while interrogating stretches of recalcitrant, enduro-worthy trail furniture mean that it's actually superior outside of virtual speed simulations.

Though speed is the focus here and squish tends to eat into that, the Highball does address the lack of rear suspension with a diminished seatpost, down to 27.2 millimeters. While this doesn't quite equate to the square-edge hit capabilities of the Nomad or Bronson, it does help to eat up trail vibrations that tend to accumulate over the course of a long ride. Up front, the 27.5 model has a more moderate head tube angle than the Highball 29er. At just 69 degrees, it rides the divide between slack stability and razor-sharp handling, keeping you in control while helping to control the terrain. Unsurprisingly, it also has shorter chainstays than the 29er version, which maximizes the hardtail rear triangle's efficiency while mashing.

As with the original 29-inch model, the Highball 27.5 is a single-piece layup of carbon fiber 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, strengthening the frame, dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load, and allowing for comparable strength with less material and a lower weight. Translated into trail talk, this means the Highball hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals, dampen high-speed chatter, and hold lines like a cat on carpet — all with a low-weight that makes any full-suspension bike look like a bloated downhill-only machine.

Finally, Santa Cruz's approach to the carbon lay-up process deserves a quick mention before we sign off. The carbon is compacted from both inside and out, eliminating voids, preventing delamination, and creating a smooth interior. While that level of aesthetic perfection is a nice idea, even if we can't see it, the real-world benefits of a perfect interior include no resin pools or unintended material abnormalities, which can structurally compromise a frame over time.

  • A cross country bike with a nimble wheel size
  • 27.5in wheels balance agility with rolling aggression
  • Santa Cruz's carbon know-how leads the stiff and light game
  • Long reach and a short stem make for clean handling
  • Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
carbon fiber
Rock Shox Reba RL
Front Travel:
Cane Creek 10 Series
Front Derailleur:
Rear Derailleur:
Race Face Aeffect AL
Bottom Bracket:
BSA threaded
10-42t SRAM XG-1150
SRAM PC-1110
SRAM Level T
Brake Type:
hydraulic disc
160mm Avid Centerline
Race Face Evolve
Handlebar Rise:
Handlebar Width:
Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-on
Race Face Ride
WTB Volt Race
Race Face Ride
Seatpost Diameter:
[rims] WTB STP i19 TCS
[front] Novatec D711, [rear] Novatec D772
Front Axle:
15 x 110mm Boost
Rear Axle:
12 x 142mm
Maxxis Crossmark DC EXO
Tire Size:
27.5 x 2.1in
not included
Recommended Use:
cross country
Manufacturer Warranty:
lifetime on frame
Actual Weight:
Gloss Grey/Red, XL: 10750g

More Highball builds

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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