Why We Like The Tallboy Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame
The line between cross-country and trail riding can be easily blurred, and with short-travel bikes hitting the dirt with slacker geometry, it's no wonder. These capable steeds are able to take on bigger terrain than we had dreamed, making it trickier to pigeonhole bikes like the Santa Cruz Tallboy. The Tallboy has always been revered as a go-anywhere steed with spritely handling, and the fourth generation retains that agile handling, but with a whole new frame and geometry that lets us push harder than we thought possible on a 120mm travel bike. Like its longer, slacker brothers, the Bronson, Nomad, and Megatower, the newest iteration of the Tallboy brings its suspension linkage downward for increased stability on descents, providing the increased traction and improved bump-absorption of the lower-link VPP platform.
Santa Cruz's VPP suspension is designed to stabilize the suspension when you're putting power down on the pedals, meaning the rear end ceases to bob, providing a much more responsive and lively feel when you hammer up steeps, so you aren't wasting all of the power you put down. This is achieved with counter-rotating links that are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces, all but eliminating bobbing under power.
Suspension is hardly where Santa Cruz stopped on upgrades with the new Tallboy. The bike sees a full makeover this year, with entirely different geometry, but continues to use the flip-chip we saw in previous years for that can tune the geometry to your own personal riding needs. In the front things start out with a much slacker head tube angle that shifted from the 68-degrees in years past to the ultra-long 65.5-degrees it is today (with the flip-chip in Low). This slack head tube elevates the confidence of the Tallboy when you point it downhill, providing improved handling in rough and jarring terrain, and boosting control at high speeds. With the head tube's shift into the slacker realm, balance needed to be achieved to maintain the bike's reputation for lively pedaling and handling, so the engineers at Santa Cruz opted to move the seat tube angle up a few degrees to a steep perch of 76.3 degrees, a full three degrees steeper than the previous model, allowing you to stay on top of the bike when pedaling power and quick-steering matters.
- Santa Cruz's short-travel 29er gets a bit rowdier
- New lower-linkage design improves the bike's handling
- 4.7in of highly efficient VPP travel that's also plush
- Flip-chips alter head & seat tube angle, & chainstay length
- 76.3-degree seat tube angle is more efficient for pedaling
- Fox Factory shock soaks up rubble with buttery-smooth control
- Longer reach offers a roomier cockpit and confident handling
- Carbon CC frame saves weight without sacrificing stiffness or strength