Product DescriptionSanta Cruz’s highest-grade carbon frame and swingarm, 100mm (4?) VPP™ suspension, forged upper and lower links, double sealed pivots for long bearing life, dual grease ports on lower link for easy maintenance, stealth and external dropper post routing for the Tallboy. Santa Cruz Tallboy frame only price is $2899.
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Date Reviewed: January 13, 2016
Strengths: Amazingly comfortable for long rides
Love the external cable routing for easy maintenance
Very smooth and confident descender
Excellent steering precision and feel
Perfect match for the TALAS 120/90 fork
Weaknesses: Head angle is rather steep for more aggressive trail riding
Cable routing can interfere with bottle cage
Pedal strikes are common on rocky terrain
Grease gun is really hard to remove
Minor squeak in rear pivot
My first ride out I could immediately feel just how fast and "flickable" it was. The other first impression I noticed was how I was clipping my pedals on some areas I normally dont even think about when leaving my feet down, I defiantly need to pay much more attention to my foot position on the TB.
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2013
Strengths: Stiff, excellent climber. Carbon frame has proven to be very durable given how light it is.
Weaknesses: Rear shock (Fox RP23) takes some setup time, and perhaps even custom tuning to work ideally. Pivot axles will loosen over time, and need to be tightened, with loctite. Not so much of a weakness, as a maintenance reminder.
Not the least expensive option....
I do a pretty good mix of cross country and trail, along with very long cobblestone and fire roads. It climbs better than any bike I have ridden. The contact patch of the 29" tire, along with the stiff rear suspension makes long climbs pretty enjoyable. With the 120mm fork, the front end can get a bit bouncy on the really steep climbs. I rode it for a while with a 100mm fork for this reason, but didn't like the twitchy head tube angle, or the lower front end.
The only issues I have seen with the bike are as follows;
After a couple of years the pivot axles became a bit loose, causing the rear triangle to seem sloppy. I pulled the axles, applied Loctite, and then reassembled. Good as new. This is hardly a complaint though, I have done ZERO maintenance on the bike, so I had it coming.
The other issue has been with the Fox RP23 shock. With the sag set at 20-25%, it blows through the last half of the travel quickly. This has resulted in some pedal strikes, and near misses. At some point it lost all dampening, made no difference with pro-pedal on or off. I sent it to Fox and explained the situation. They repaired it, and dampening was restored, probably better than new. The issue remains that if you lower the sag to make the suspension more active, you may have some harsh bottom-outs. I have heard from others that the Rockshox appears to have more volume, but I haven't been able to confirm.
This bike is best suited for someone whose wife is on him about too many bikes in the garage, and needs to get down to just one bike to do almost everything. That was pretty much my situation, and I have not regretted the purchase.
Purchased At: Colorado Cyclist
Similar Products Used: Niner EMD, GF Hifi 29, Scott Scale 29. Otherwise, mostly 26ers.
Bike Setup: 2011 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon - Size Large
Shimano XT Drivetrain & brakes
ZTR Arch EX Wheelset, Specialized Purgatory (F) / Ground Control (R) tires
Rockshox Reba RLT 120mm Fork
Fox RP23 Rear Shock
Thomson seatpost & stem (80mm), Niner carbon flatbar
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2013
Strengths: Too many to list, Ctd Shock a huge plus, 142x12 rear spacing, super light, super stiff, perfect suspension
Weaknesses: absolutely none
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2013
Strengths: weight, stiffness, fast
Weaknesses: none yet
Duration Product Used: one month
Price Paid: $4100.00
Purchased At: Competitive Cyclist
Similar Products Used: 29ers - Salsa ti Fargo, Surly KM, Niner MCR, Singular Gryphon
Bike Setup: Sram XO drivetrain and brakes, Fizik Aliente saddle, Chris King headset, Thomson stem, post, and bars, XTR peddles, Chris King ft & r hubs large diameter 15mm front laced to Stans Arch (these replaced the Stans ZTR/Arch wheelset from Comp. Cycl.) Nobby Nic & Racing Ralph tubeless
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2013
Strengths: Great all around trail/xc bike. Super stiff. Great climbing machine. Plush. Spot on geometry. 120mm fork is the way to go.
Weaknesses: Honestly none. And this is coming from a guy who rides 3-4 times a week from xc to rough trail riding. For the type of bike it is, it is perfect.
Duration Product Used: Month and a half
Price Paid: $5100.00
Purchased At: JB Mountain BIkes
Similar Products Used: Giant Anthem and XTC, Ellsworthless Evolve, C'dale Scalpel/Flash,
Bike Setup: Full Carbon (blue), full xt build, full Kashima f/r. Carbon bars, Thompson seatpost
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2013
Strengths: Pedaling efficiency, handling, overall ride
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket maybe. May not handle as well as it does with a higher bottom bracket height. Price was a shocker to start with but found a year end closeout
Duration Product Used: 2 years
Price Paid: $3723.00
Purchased At: Clean Machine Chapel
Similar Products Used: Highball, Asylum, Niner Jet-9, etc
Bike Setup: SPX kit w Crossmax wheels and Racing Ralph tubeless. 25.5 lbs as it sit 26.25 lbs out of the box
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2013
Strengths: I got the competitive cyclist featured bike Tallboy. It has SRAM XX components. This bike is super light for a 29er full suspension. The SRAM XX shifting is fast. The wheels are light. It is really fast on the flats and climbs. Once you gain momentum you sort of just cruise. Once you set up the suspension right you can do some light all-mountain/trail riding on twisty single track and rock garden descents. Despite being an XC spec bike I've never bottomed out the suspension. The sales guy in CC also suggested getting the 100mm stem instead free of charge which I think made the difference in handling.Overall a sweet bike and less pricey than the top of the line spec from Santa Cruz
Weaknesses: The XX rear derailer gets out of tune often so you have to be always aware of when it needs tuning. The bottom bracket that it came with from CC started creaking in about 3 months after I did a few 6 hr endurance races. The ones it came with was SRAM GXP Blackbox Ceramic bottom brackets. I called up CC and told them of the issue and they said they hadn't had any issues with the SRAM GXP. I asked if they can replace it with a Chris King bottom bracket but they said the best they can do was give me $50 reimbursement. So if you get this bike the first thing you will probably need to upgrade is the bottom bracket.
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2013
Strengths: - Lightweight frame.
- More capable than many ultralight race bikes.
- Perfect geometry (works well with 120mm forks).
- Looks great (Red/Black colour scheme is super nice).
- Very tough frame; has survived many fast crashes with not even a scratch.
- Standard seatpost size, headset type, shock size, and BB type makes it easy to customize.
- VPP suspension absorbs big hits well, as well as pedaling relatively neutrally when climbing.
Weaknesses: - When cornering very hard some flex is noticeable through the rear triangle. I've run ENVE AM carbon rims on the bike and noticed the same thing so I know it's not the wheels. While noticeable it's not annoying in any way.
- When it was new, it was quite expensive. But you get what you pay for
Duration Product Used: 2 Seasons
Price Paid: $2400.00
Purchased At: Cycle Solutions
Similar Products Used: - Santa Cruz TRc
- Santa Cruz Blur LT
- Giant Anthem X1
- Ellsworth Epiphany
Bike Setup: - Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon frame
- DT Swiss XMM fork, and DT Swiss XR Carbon shock
- Shimano XTR M980 drivetrain w/ Race Face Next crank
- Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX rims w/ DT Swiss 240s hubs, and Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 tires
- Race Face Next SL bar, Easton EA30 stem, Thomson Elite seatpost, and Fizik Kurve saddle
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2013
Strengths: All the other points made as well as this: (based on a 2013 Carbon size XL Tallboy with full XTR 2x10 with fox120mm kashima CTD fork and rear kashima CTD shock, and easton carbon post and bar)
Likely rides better/smoother/more controlled on the down than any other XC race bike! Not a pure XC race bike but will easily hang. Capable of ultra light build. Mine is 24lbs with heavier all mountain Easton Haven AL wheels. Carbon or Light Stans would take off close to another pound. Climbs really well and handles quick and accurately but not twitchy. Stiffer with the rear through axle! Bike never fails to impress me on every ride.
Weaknesses: Have yet to determine if the seat tube angle is responsible for placeing me a smidgen more behind the BB then I would like (or if this is the flex of the carbon seat post causing this) It only seems to annoy me once and a while though. No other weaknesses yet.
Enjoy if you get one!
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2013
Strengths: Strong and light
Duration Product Used: 2 years
Similar Products Used: Old bikes included Santa Cruz Heckler (2009 LT version), Surly 1 x 1, Surly Karate Monkey,
Bike Setup: Fox 34 Talas 140, NoTubes Flow wheelset laced to White Industries Hubs, SLX brakes, the rest if Shimano stuff.
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2013
Strengths: Balance, composure, stability, quility, nice build packages
Weaknesses: Stock tires?
The number of glowing reviews is a perfect testiment to how well it works for a wide range of riders as well. If you're looking for an XC bike at this price point, the TBc is a no-brainer solution.
Similar Products Used: See my review in the Santa Cruz forum
Bike Setup: TallboyC with XT kit
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2012
Strengths: LIGHT WEIGHT. HANDLING. BUILD QUALITY. SUSPENSION DESIGN.
Weaknesses: NONE YET.
Duration Product Used: 3-4 months
Price Paid: $3400.00
Purchased At: SpeedGoat
Similar Products Used: I've had other mountain bikes, but none in this catagory.
Bike Setup: Sweet.
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012
Strengths: Light, stiff, strong, quick handling, SHORT WHEELBASE !
Weaknesses: Should come with a down tube protector.
SETUP: Black frame -2012, xtr brakes & cranks, Carbon bars, X0 shifters & deraileurs, Stans Arch back/ Stans Crest front , Chris king hubs, front tire Maxxis Aspen, rear Maxxis Crossmark both tubeless. Reba fork, and the most comfortable seat on the planet, a Selle SMP TRK ( not light but luxurious ) Current build just over 25.5 pounds.
This bike is simply a work of art in both function and form. One of the many brilliant design features of this machine is the short wheelbase. The first time i took this bike to the trails i found myself cornering through switchbacks rather effortlessly and after a few turns realized that for the first time i could corner at high speeds without needing to use the breaks at all.. the back wheel just stuck like velcro, i was actually laughing when i realized how well this bike takes corners. After studying a bit, at this point i know of no other full suspension 29er with such a tight wheelbase. My medium frame has a wheelbase of 42.6 inches, about an inch shorter than any other medium frame FS 29er that i know of. Why other companies are not catching on to the concept of having the shortest wheelbase possible i haven't a clue, but the way this bike corners was shocking at first. I was also shocked at how well the suspension system performs, hardly any peddle bob, climbs very well without any problematic squish and i was able to just plow over some railroad ties with far less bump or bob than i ever would have expected from any bike. Perfection is a good word to describe the way this bike feels. Without a doubt i have never sat on a bike that feels as good as this one, much less owned one. I have mine down to just over 25.5 pounds and still feel mesmerized by its strength to weigh ratio. The bike is a beast, it rolls over everything, keeps such amazing control in every situation that i'v only wrecked it twice ( huge contrast to my wipeout rates on my other bikes ) I have dropped close to 6k in this bike, something i never thought i would do in a million years, i still have a huge balance on my credit card but anytime i hop on this thing, i have no regrets or worries about the debt incurred.
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2012
Strengths: Light, stiff and is very smooth, Great geo that'll adapt to a variety of forks without compromise from 100mm for xc to F34 140's lowered to 120mm for an awesome trail setup.. It's confidence inspiring on technical trails, very nimble climbing and fast pointed downhill.
Weaknesses: No leather rock guard for downtube.
I have the 142x12 rear axle and run hope pro2 evo sp hubs with flow rims, and with my 210lbs I find the rear is stiff - as stiff as my old trance and reign with rws bolt thu axles with the same hope/flow wheelset in 26'.
I thought that I'd have to slow up and show a bit more caution compared to my Reign, but I soon found that isn't necessary. The fact the SC lists this as XC is deceptive - with a 100mm fork there's no doubt that it's an enduro xc weapon, but match it with a 120, or even better a F34 140 lowered to 120mm and it's an amazing high speed trail bike.
If you are into jumping and launching off big drops at every opportunity look at the LT version. For those looking to spend more time on the ground than in the air the TBc will be all the bike you need. .
Bike Setup: Fox F34 120mm fork, Sixc cranks/bar, mix of xt/xtr, hope pro 2 evo sp with flow rims, jolin post
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2012
Strengths: Best all-around 29er made today!
Weaknesses: None so far
This bike feels and rides extremely well out of the box and has none of the slow steering characteristics of earlier 29ers. There is no trace of the "flexy" rear end that one reviewer with loose bearings mentioned. My bike came with front and rear maxles and is about as stiff as it gets for a FS bike.
Bottom Line: Buy it if you want the best all around XC or Trail 29er made today. Don't buy it if you are a lycra wearing weight-weenie XC racer who really should be buying a 19 pound hardtail. Don't buy it if you're a full face helmet wearing All Mountain or Freeride junky. Don't buy it if you can only afford a Wal-Mart Mongoose, nobody on MTBR wants to hear you whine about the price.
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