The best never rest.
There's a really good reason why Santa Cruz's Tallboy enjoys such universal praise. Simply put, it's a 29er that's very at home on such a variety of terrain, and it shows us just how fun a small travel bike can be with big wheels. This v3 version is even more optimized for the trails with its slackened head tube angle, short chainstays, and a steep seat tube. As such, its better able to cope with bigger terrain while lending more speed, control, and comfort. The Tallboy Carbon 29 R Complete mountain bike is ready to be your go-to ride, racking up the miles on your well-traveled trails as well as exploring new singletrack and tackling new lines for the first time.
The Tallboy's acclaim is further enhanced by its ability to operate as a lightning-fast cross-country bike or a confidence-inspiring trail bike. Boost spacing allowed the designers at Santa Cruz to engineer a dual wheel persona so the frame can accommodate 27.5+ wheels if you choose. This multi-use capability is enabled by the reversible “flip chip” at the upper link. Setting the flip chip to the “low” mode relaxes the head angle by roughly half a degree and lowers the bottom bracket, which makes for an ideal setup when paired with the slightly larger diameter of 29in wheels. Because a 27.5+ wheel sits just slightly smaller in diameter than a 29er, plus wheels pair with the “high” setting, allowing for similar clearance between the bottom bracket and the ground. The flip-chip technology allows you to alter the geometry easily, should you choose to snag a second wheelset to bounce this 29er to 27.5+ from time to time.
Santa Cruz governs the Tallboy's 4.3in of travel with its latest version VPP suspension to soak up the rocks and roots you encounter. As with all VPP bikes, the Tallboy’s counter-rotating links are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces therefore mitigating the ever-dreaded pedal bob. This being the latest integration of VPP, Santa Cruz's engineers altered the design to provide more mid-stroke support than previous generations, aiming to reduce the amount of mid-stroke wallow, while preserving the ability to soak up square edge bumps and prevent harsh bottom outs on big hits.
There's no doubt that suspension design affects the way a bike feels and largely directs its purpose, but the geometry on the Tallboy also contributes to the way it handles terrain. At 68 degrees, the head angle sits at that Goldilocks spot for cross-country and trail riding, nimble enough to handle tight switchbacks with ease while remaining relaxed enough to handle fast descents with confidence. The 17in chainstays further enhance the ability to change directions quickly but retain enough length to provide ample traction when you encounter seemingly endless punchy climbs. The cockpit's reach manages to remain roomy and positions the rider between the wheels in a stance that makes for responsive handling.
The frame on the Tallboy Carbon R build uses Santa Cruz's Carbon C construction, which is Santa Cruz's second tier carbon level. It's just as strong as the higher-level CC carbon, though a little bit heavier. The carbon layup process remains the same, just with a different carbon modulus that's a bit more budget friendly, which is why you're able to score the Carbon C at a much more modest asking price, all you sacrifice is an equally modest 240g of gained weight.
The Carbon C R build comes with a well-sorted component package from Santa Cruz, designed to perform well on the trail and pack a ton of value. It begins with suspension components from FOX and its Rhythm 34 fork paired with a Float Performance DPS air shock. This setup offers a responsive and supportive stroke, with on-the-fly adjustments at the flip of a lever, and easy set-up. SRAM’s latest NX Eagle 12-speed groupset provides a massive gear range from a small 10-tooth to a massive 50-tooth cog that lets you tackle short steep climbs and daunting, extended fire road climbs alike, with a tall enough gear for the descents and road sections linking up your favorite bits of trail. A Race Face cockpit provides control in every situation that the trail throws your way while the rolling stock consists of SRAM hubs laced to WTB ST i23 rims with DT Swiss Competition spokes.
- A versatile 29er at home on trails an XC courses
- 4.3in VPP travel pedals well and soaks up hits
- Modern geo tackles technical demanding trails
- SRAM NX Eagle provides the running gear
- A flip-chip enables running 29er or 27.5+ wheels
- Reliable carbon construction reduces weight while boosting stiffness and durability