Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy Carbon – SPX XC Build – 2012 29er Mountain Bikes!
Santa Cruz makes some amazing cross country mountain bikes that I have been fortunate to be able to ride occasionally in recent years.
But I have been a died-hard Intense mtb rider, so going into the test ride of the Tallboy twenty niner, I pondered the idea, if there could be some climbing performance similarities that I like from the 26″ Intense Spider and Tracer mtb that have owned. Hence, the VPP linkage system climbs awesome in the 26″ full suspension mtb platform.
Saddling up on the Tallboy, I had ridden a few full suspension mountain bikes I didn’t care for in the twenty niner world. Mainly the full suspension twenty niner, just climbed like dogs. I felt as though I would have to gain a lot more power to keep bike climbing, who am I kidding, I have an alpine climber build, and that’s not going to change.
So I have just enjoyed staying with a twenty niner hardtail.
My Intuition of What the Tallboy Might Ride Like — was spot on!
Even just a year ago the full suspension twenty niner market was loaded with mostly heavy, awkward, and usually suffered from serious pedal bob on the long alpine climbs. Luckily the Tallboy, with 100mm (about 4 inches) of front and rear travel, has none of those problems.
Santa Cruz makes two versions of the Tallboy mtb – a full carbon beauty and an aluminum one for those looking to save money. The full carbon mtb frame in size medium weighs in at just about 5 pounds with shock and the fairly standard build I rode at was even lighter than it looked.
This bike felt serious fast – both on the climbs and the descents. Which was very similar to my Intense bikes that I am familiar with, only with the pluses of having big wheels.
The VPP linkage has literally saved me from being a 29er hardtail lifer!
On the trail the Tallboy didn’t ride like a twenty niner full suspension that I’ve previously known. I have ridden a 29er hardtail for a few years now, but to me the Tallboy just felt like a really fun cross country mtb. I honestly forgot it was a 29er or that it was even a twenty niner full suspension bike, it was me and the trail and that was it.
The suspension let me sail over rocks, rail bermed turns, and descend faster than on any 29er hardtail I have been on.
One of the reasons I’ve stuck with my twenty niner hardtail all these years is that I have zero patience for momentum, and energy zapping bob. If I’m climbing, I want every bit of my energy going toward getting me to the top, which includes trying to beat my friends to the top, so I can rip down the other side.
In my experience, the mtb twenty niner in particular suffer from even worse pedal bob than their 26-inch mtb cousins, perhaps due to the increased leverage ratios. Needless to say, Santa Cruz has the Tallboy dialed and once again, I found myself forgetting to think about the mtb, to rip down through the stone terrace drops .
The orange paint job isn’t for everyone, but the new 2012 blue is an amazing powder coat scheme that works awesome with the design of the bike. “COOL BLUE”. Its also comes in black as well.
The component mix is solid, and there are several options to choose from. My mtb was set up with Fox suspension, Rock Shox dropper seatpost, XTR wheels, and Schwalbe nobby nic tires, an XTR shadow plus derailleur these have been my favorites on all mountain bike types.
The full carbon frame retails for around $2,672.95 and the Tallboy is currently Santa Cruz’s best selling mtb (even better than the 26″ Blur!). Check out one of these out if you get the chance. It changed the way I think about the full suspension twenty niner mtb, and I am confident you will be right there with me!
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