Hard to beat.
The Santa Cruz Tallboy just keeps getting better and better. This bike was one of the first 29ers that changed many people's preconceived notions about big wheels and the bike handled a variety of trails very well. Now we are on version 3.0 and over the years, we've seen changes to geometry including a slackened head tube angle, shorter chainstays, a steeper seat tube, and 10mm more rear travel. All of these changes add to the bike's versatility and increases its trail chops. Another addition to this new version is the ability to run plus wheels, adding traction and fun on every ride. The Tallboy Carbon 27.5+ R Complete Mountain Bike is poised to conquer all or your riding desires whether that’s a solo 24-hour race or ripping hot laps with your buddies after work.
The Tallboy's universal acclaim comes from the bike' amazing adaptability. Depending on the build, the bike can be competitive on XC courses or able to handle black diamond descents. Santa Cruz increased the rear drop out spacing to the boost standard, allowing the use of 27.5+ wheels or 29in wheels while keeping the chainstays short. A flip chip in the shock's upper link alters the geometry to match whichever wheel size you're running, accounting for the fork's travel and the difference between the 29 and 27.5+, letting you experiment with both diameters to see what works best for your trails and riding style.
The latest Tallboy boasts 4.3in of travel from its refined VPP suspension platform, absorbing trail imperfections without necessarily erasing enduro-grade rock gardens. The counter-rotating links are carefully placed to resist bobbing by pedaling forces. The latest version of VPP also slightly alters the kinematics providing for more mid-stroke support than previous versions, so you'll have more control over rougher terrain without losing the ability to absorb square-edge bumps. The design yields plush, linear travel without blowing through all 4.3in and bottoming out as soon as things get hairy.
The suspension design and travel may be responsible for the great ride quality and popularity of the Tallboy, but the updated geometry is an area that didn't get overlooked, either. Sitting at 68 degrees, the headtube angle balances agile handling for cross-country exploits and stability for high-speed trail riding. The 17in chainstays keep the ride nimble and follow the front wheel easily around switchbacks while still retaining enough length to provide excellent traction on loose climbs. The reach grows across all sizes allowing for a roomy cockpit that positions the rider between the wheels instills confidence in almost every riding condition.
The frame on this Tallboy Carbon R build uses Santa Cruz's Carbon C construction, which is just under the top-tier CC material. It's equally as strong, stiff, and durable as the more expensive CC level carbon, but comes in just a little heavier. The carbon lay-up process remains the same, but more material is needed to hit those performance metrics. This lets Santa Cruz offer a more competitive price at around a half-pound weight penalty.
Santa Cruz builds the Carbon C R with components for a solid trail build and tremendous value. A FOX Rhythm 34 fork up front sees a Float Performance DPS air shock in the rear. This setup offers plush and supportive travel with on-the-fly compression adjustments at the flip of a lever. SRAM’s NX 11 speed group provides plenty of gear range with the 10-42t cassette, so you can settle in on long forest service roads and still have a tall enough gear on the paved sections to and from the trailhead. Race Face provides the cockpit with the dropper post, amply wide bar, and stiff stem. The rolling stock includes a set of hand-built wheels from Santa Cruz, featuring Novatec hubs, Race Face 40 rims, and Maxxis Rekon 2.8in rubber.
- A versatile Plus bike for traction on the trails
- 110mm of efficient VPP suspension
- Modern geometry for trail charging fun
- Plus-sized tires boost traction and cushion
- Flip-chip allows running 29er or 27.5+ wheels
- Durable carbon construction for stiff responsiveness
- Santa Cruz remains a leader in paving the way for off-road's future