Ages like a fine wine.
The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon CC X01 Complete Mountain Bike is made for the cross country rider who pushes the boundaries. Built off of the legendary Tallboy 2 platform, this lightweight carbon fiber trail rocket is stiff, lightweight, and responsive — everything you need in a great XC bike. But when you turn up the heat, the Tallboy responds in kind, treating you to neutral handling that will bail you out of much hairier situations than you might have imagined. In other words, one of our favorite trail bikes is back, and it’s not slowing down any time soon.
When revising the Tallboy last year, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that — improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? Rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame is significantly lighter than comparable designs on the market. But, saving weight isn't everything, which is why Santa Cruz managed to also make the Tallboy stiffer. You'll also find that Santa Cruz incorporated the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots will stay tight, while also making service a breeze.
The main improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggybacking off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well.
The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dual-link, counter-rotating VPP suspension design. When compressing the suspension from the beginning of the stroke, most of the rotation happens in the stiff aluminum top link, which pulls the wheel closer to the bottom bracket. That keeps the Tallboy soft off of the top, making for a supremely smooth ride. And, once you pass the sag point and get deeper into the travel, the forged aluminum lower link handles most of the rotation. This means that the rear wheel is traveling away from the bottom bracket, so it's better equipped to handle larger, square-edged impacts. VPP is also incredibly effective at neutralizing braking forces, which prevents either stiffening or extending under hard braking. But, the main benefit that you'll notice with this suspension platform is that it isolates pedaling forces in order to keep the bike from bobbing. The lower link has easily accessible grease ports, once again increasing the ease of service.
Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction makes its way into Tallboy. For 2015, Santa Cruz is offering two tiers of carbon construction, and this version makes use of the higher grade of carbon fiber. This material is stronger, allowing Santa Cruz to use less of it, so it’s about a pound lighter for a medium frame than the lower-end version. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. In addition to saving weight, it ensures that the Tallboy is as strong as possible. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's a result of construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. The benefit is that it's lighter, because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this ideal degree of compaction optimizes the strength. It keeps the frame weight at just about pounds with shock for a medium frame. And the strength and stiffness are further enhanced with the mechanic-friendly, oversized 15mm collet-style hardware and a 12x142mm thru-axle out back.
The X01 build features selected components from SRAM's 11-speed groupsets, including an X01 shifter, and X1 rear derailleur. By using a massive 10-42 cassette, you're able to get a gearing range that's similar to a traditional double chainring drivetrain, without the need for a front derailleur. Suspension duties are handled by FOX Racing Shox’s Kashima-equipped Factory line, with a 32 FLOAT up front, and a FLOAT CTD rear shock out back. Stopping is provided by Shimano’s proven XT brakeset. You'll find Santa Cruz’s own zero-rise carbon fiber handlebar, held in place with a Race Face Turbine stem. The WTB Silverado saddle is held in place by a Thomson Elite seatpost. Rounding out the build kit is a handbuilt wheelset comprised of DT's legendary 350 hubs laced with DT spokes to WTB Asym i19 tubeless compatible rims, wrapped in Maxxis Ikon tires.
The 2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon CC X01 Complete Mountain Bike is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the colors White/burgundy and Satin Black/aqua blue.