Hit the trail.
The Santa Cruz Tallboy D complete mountain bike is designed to get you out on the trails without any drama. Built to maximize fun on both big rides and technical sections of trail, this value-oriented build offers serious capability at a modest asking price.
Many of you will remember the commotion that the original Tallboy caused, what with its lively handling that immediately dispelled a mountain of preconceived notions about how 29in wheels were supposed to ride. The latest iteration of the Tallboy retains that praiseworthy handling with an added dash of versatility and a pinch of aggressive intent that takes the Tallboy into uncharted territory.
Part of the story of the Tallboy’s success is its ability to blur the lines between cross country rocket and surefooted trail bike. To that end, the Tallboy was built to accommodate 27.5+ wheels as well as 29in wheels, as it's presented here. This split personality 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 29-inch wheels. The slightly smaller 27.5+ wheels pair with the “high” setting, allowing for similar clearance between the bottom bracket and the ground. The upshot is headache-free swaps between wheel sizes, which gives you more options than ever when you hit the trail.
The Tallboy generates 110mm of travel through the latest version of Santa Cruz’s VPP technology. As with all VPP bikes, the Tallboy’s counter-rotating links are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces, all but eliminating unwanted bobbing under power. This being the latest iteration of VPP, it’s tuned to provide more midstroke support than previous generations, giving the rider a better feel for the terrain and a livelier ride quality.
While the excellent suspension plays a large role, a key part of the Tallboy’s secret sauce is its carefully tuned geometry. At 68 degrees, the head angle is sufficiently nimble for whipping through tight chicanes, while remaining relaxed enough to stay composed at high speed. The 17in chainstays enhance the ability to change directions quickly, while retaining enough length to provide ample traction when the trail points skyward. Both the head tube and the chainstays feed into a moderately roomy cockpit, which positions the rider in the sweet spot for reflexive handling with a minimum of effort.
This version of the Tallboy is built from aluminum, which is both impervious to rust and highly resistant to impact damage. This choice of materials also results in a fairly modest asking price, making the Tallboy D a fitting partner for both new riders and seasoned cyclists. The build kit continues that trend with a trail-ready suspension package comprising a RockShox Recon RL fork and FOX's new Float Performance DPS rear shock. This combination offers on-the-fly adjustments, simple setup, and a smooth, controlled feel. It gets better with SRAM's NX drivetrain and Level brakes, and is capped off with a cockpit from Race Face, and a hand-built wheelset with WTB ST i23 TCS rims laced to Novatec hubs.
- A cross country 29er with all-mountain capabilities
- 4.5in of highly efficient VPP travel
- 74-degree seat tube angle optimizes pedaling efficiency
- Longer reach shifts weight forward for better traction
- Aluminum construction is durable and lightweight
- Flip-chip enables compatibility with 29in and 27.5+ wheels
- SRAM NX drivetrain provides a wide gear range
- Hand built wheelset ensures long term durability