Beyond the beyond.
It has been a few years since the Tallboy debuted. Stealing the hearts of many, this 29er was able to handle so many different kinds of terrain, it truly showed us versatility possible for a mid-travel bike with wagon wheels. Over time it did see some changes to geometry, with riders fine-tuning it to host a slackened head tube angle, shorter chainstays, a steeper seat tube, and a little more travel for handling bigger terrain with more control and comfort. The Tallboy Carbon 29 R Complete mountain bike is ready to prove to you that it's still got what it takes to bounce from trail to trail, whether just banging out maximum miles on a cross-country epic or exploring beyond the groomed and maintained trail networks into what lies beyond the beyond.
A significant reason that the Tallboy has carried so much steam over the years is because of its ability to transform from a lightning-fast cross-country bike to a confidence-inspiring trail bike. For this reason, with hub standards already widening with the acceptance of Boost spacing, designers at Santa Cruz altered the geometry slightly to allow for 27.5+ clearance. 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 29ers, 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 on the fly, should you choose to snag a second wheelset to bounce this 29er to 27.5+ from time to time.
Santa Cruz gives the Tallboy 4.3in of its latest version of VPP suspension to absorb 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 while minimizing the ever-dreaded pedal bob. This being the latest model of VPP, Santa Cruz's engineers altered the design to provide more midstroke support than previous generations, aiming to give the rider a better feel for the terrain, preserve the ability to soak up square edge bumps, but prevent soaking through all of your travel too early on.
There's no doubt that suspension design affects the way a bike feels and largely directs it's purpose, but the geometry on the Tallboy is also a key deciding factor for the way it handles terrain. At 68 degrees, the head angle sits in a perfectly balanced 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 enhance the ability to change directions quickly but retain enough length to provide ample traction when you encounter seemingly endless punchy climbs. The cockpit 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 as strong as the higher-level CC carbon, though a little bit heavier. The carbon manufacturing remains nearly the same, just with a different carbon sheet that's a bit more budget friendly, which is why they're able to land 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 an assortment of hand picked components from Santa Cruz, designed to be a solid trail build without sticker shock. It begins with a suspension package from FOX: a Rhythm 34 fork paired with a FLOAT Float Performance DPS air shock. This setup offers a responsive and supportive stroke, on-the-fly adjustments at the flip of a lever, and easy tuning. SRAM’s NX 11 speed groupset provides a massive gear range from a small 10-tooth to large 42-tooth cog that encourages you to push yourself to your limits, exploring what lies beyond the pristinely groomed single track. A Race Face cockpit ensures control, no matter what the trail throws your way. The whole bike rolls nicely on hand-built wheels from Santa Cruz, featuring Novatec hubs, WTB ST i23 rims, and DT's Competition spokes.
- A versatile 29er that seamlessly transitions from trail to XC
- 4.3in of responsive, all-mountain VPP suspension
- Spacious cockpit for charging lines
- Short stem and chainstays keep handling sharp
- Flip-chip for running 29er or 27.5+ wheels
- Reliable carbon construction reduces weight