Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 S Complete Mountain Bike - 2017 $2,999.00
Riding as an art form.
While your friends unwrap their shiny new, full-squish, enduro sled tanks with plans to wantonly plow over obstacles, you're left wondering what happened to the days of snappy acceleration, artful handling skills, and a lightweight ride that just flies on the climbs and flats. The 2017 Santa Cruz Highball Carbon 27.5 S Complete Mountain Bike is that ride, with an aggressive stance that'll see you leaving the big-travel tanks sniffling in the dust on all but the burliest terrain. The S build gets dressed up with SRAM's GX one-by drivetrain, Level TL hydraulic disc brakes, and Race Face hoops to carve the trail with knife-like accuracy.
The latest frame is the same defiant challenge to the slacked out all-mountain trend dominating most bike-related news feeds as of late, just with a new coat of paint to ring in a new model year. Santa Cruz uses a lower modulus carbon for the Highball Carbon C frame than it uses in the top-end Carbon CC models, so more material is required to achieve the same stiffness and durability. That small sacrifice in grams pays dividends with a much-reduced price tag.
The whole frame is constructed as a single-piece layup instead of a jigsaw puzzle of individually-cured carbon tubes, so the fibers wrap continuously through structurally important junctures like the head tube and bottom bracket. This strengthens the frame by dissipating the force from impacts and more efficiently channels pedal input so the Highball will jump like a rocket when you stomp on the pedals.
The Highball uses a 27.2mm seatpost to soften the ride just a touch. 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 during high-powered efforts.
- A snappy, race-ready XC endurance bike
- 27.5in wheels balance agility with rolling aggression
- Carbon C construction blends stiffness and affordability
- Workhorse one-by drivetrain provides precise gear shifts
- Long reach and a short stem make for nimble handling
- Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs
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Highball size by rider height
Effective Top Tube
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Bottom Bracket Drop