Since its introduction, the Tallboy LT has been changing commonly held notions regarding the correct usage of 29er wheels. Specifically, the LT has proven time and time again that the larger wheels are perfect for flying through aggressive terrain with aplomb, and the Santa Cruz Tallboy LT X0-1...
On April 1, 2012, Santa Cruz builds on the success of their full suspension 29er Tallboy with their entry into the all mountain 29er category. Two bikes are being introduced, the LTc carbon bike and the LT aluminum bike. The Tallboy LTc bike is significant for being the first appearance of full carbon in this fairly young category. The specs put it at 135mm of rear travel with a slacked out 69.5 degree head angle on a Fox 34 140mm fork. Santa Cruz has done a lot right with this bike and finally includes the much desired 142x12mm rear axle Continue reading →
Weaknesses: Dropper seat post
No remote fork lock out
I ride a Surly Karate Monkey single speed as my daily ride. I test rode the Tallboy LT at a Santa Cruz demo today, and let me just say it was AWESOME! The demo bike was set up with a straight Shimano XT component group. The Tallboy was super plush, and climbed like a beast. As I bombed down the trail I was in heaven. It was like riding on air compared to what I'm use to. Usually I'm pounding the fillings out of teeth rolling over the rocks & roots while on the KM, but the Tallboy sucked up all those bumps without any problem. I was able to stay seated on every climb, and cleared every obstacle without any problem.
Shifting was buttery smooth, and the transition from single speed to gears was a delight. However, if I had a choice (and by choice I mean if I could actually afford to buy one of these) I would make it a 1x9. I just don't find a need for a 3x9 drivetrain after riding a single speed for the last two years. Also, I would dump the drop seat post. It was nice and all, I'm just not use to it. I think I'd rather have a remote lockout for the forks instead.
Bottom line: if you have the $$$ and want a kickin' full suspension 29'er this is the bike to get. It's has been my dream to ride one since they came out with it. Now, after the demo ride, it is my dream to own one. Maybe one day. Until then, I'll just keep mashing out trails on my SS.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2013
Strengths: I have mine set up for all mountain riding, which it does exceptionally well. The Fox 34 140 Talas gets some of the credit in the rough. But the carbon frame, VPP, and 135mm of rear travel are also essential. This bike can handle long stretches of baby head rock strewn single track, near vertical rolls down granite slabs, or groomy/steep single track downhills. I can ride this bike faster downhill than any of my previous steeds, without sacrificing control Very stable at high speeds.
Loving this bike. Drop the post and let it fly. Particularly love 140mm front travel/135 rear travel. Going to All Mountain riding was a nice progression for me, and this bike is a great tool for tackling the job. Of course that also required getting a set of knee and elbow pads. I've ridden some really gnarly high country single track in the Sierra's this summer and cleaned the sections I used to walk down.
Strengths: The suspension design is flawless, the bike just works whenever you pedaling up steeps or going down them.
Weaknesses: The RAM Build kit came with wheels that for my 225 lbs could be burlier. When I first started riding it I had peddle strikes but I got used to the height and got used to the height to be able to peddle without hitting.
I was originally going to buy a Rumblfish that placid planet had in stock. Well they ended up selling it so they talked me it the tallboy LT vs the tallboy. I'm glad I went LT because I found myself riding trails that used every bit of the suspension. I'm 6'4" and the XL fits me perfect. The ghost blue looks a lot better in person. Overall the bike is great, its really the whole package.
Bike Setup: XL Ghost blue Tallboy LT AL. SPX rear, Tripple crank, Knoby nics 2.4" (best tires ever made)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2013
Strengths: Absolute bomb proof so far (1 full season), great components and the weight of this bike with the RAM29 package is just 1.5lbs heavier than my Kona Kula hardtail coming in at about 29.5lbs
Weaknesses: Pricey, SLX rear derailleur
I’ve been primarily a hardtail bike rider my entire life, tried out a full suspension a few years back and was not able to really get the bike dialed in the way I like. I have an unorthodox riding style where I like to be fairly stretching on the bike so finding a full suspension without being cramped was a challenge. Last year was the first time I really began feeling beat-up after my rides so I started looking into full suspension again. I’ve been riding my Kona Kula hardtail for about 10yr which has soaked up all the abuse and neglect you could possibly impose with no real issue other than routine maintenance. I had my selection narrowed down to the Kona Hei Hei 2-9 Deluxe and the Santa Crux Tallboy LT. the LT won out. The component set is great, I would replace nothing at all except possible the rear derailleur which ships with the SLX as opposed to an XT which is my preference. I converted the tires to tubeless straight away and have been hammering this thing all season. I test drove the stock Trallboy as well but found the location of the throw switch for the rear shock to be difficult to adjust compared to the LT, I toggle back and forth frequently on my rides. As for the ride review this thing simple roles effortless over some of the rocks and roots that use to be an issue in the past and it climbs like a Billy goat.
Strengths: The bike easily rolls over obstacles. It is a good climber once it gets rolling and it does have a solid feel.
Weaknesses: Bottom bracker feels low and you do get a lot of pedal strikes. Rear wheels tends to wash out from under the rider while descending at speeds and it requires the rider to adjust accordingly at all times. Tight switchbacks are harder to clear (as with most 29ers) and feels sluggish even on jumps.
Tested this bike in Breckenridge Colorado and was not that impressed with it because of some of the weaknesses I have already ponted out. Switch to a TRc 26er on my last day and had tons of more fun on the downhills, switchbacks and jumps.
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2013
Strengths: This bike is the best climbing bike I have ever ridden. It is fast and handles perfectly in the tight single track
Weaknesses: Been riding this three to four times a week and have not found one yet
This bike is amazing I have had some very nice bikes but this is by far the best bike the suspension is very plush and it is real fun to ride
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2013
Strengths: The nastier the terrain, the more the bike is at home. This bike eats the uphills and then bombs back down, cornering like it is on rails. Gives you confidence to hit just about anything at ridiculous speeds and the bike has saved me from numerous mistakes.
You won't want to stop riding.
Weaknesses: Lower pedal clearance than my last bike, more pedal strikes than my old bike. You get used to this pretty quickly and adjust your technique so this really is a minor issue.
Some would say the price but you get what you pay for and then some.
Weight but this isn't intended as a super light race bike.
This bike has reignited my passion for mountain biking. It just wants to keep moving, faster and faster. The bike is very forgiving of mistakes and has saved me on numerous occasions when my old bikes would have thrown me.
The geometry is perfect for me and the bike has given me confidence to tackle tracks that I used to give a wide berth to. Bumps, boulders, jumps, drops, rock gardens, this bike completely flattens them all. Minimal steering inputs are required, just enough to avoid the worst of it and the super plush Fox suspension takes care of the rest. It's easy to get off the back in a hurry and pedals efficiently so I haven't even felt the need to put on a dropper post. I now descend faster and with a lot more confidence than before and it smooths out the track so much that I no longer have the lower back issues I used to have mountain biking.
Climbing is also a lot easier and if you can keep the pedals turning, there isn't a lot this bike won't conquer. The pedal bob is minimal, even with my mashing, so you can feel all your effort being turned into forwards momentum. There are a couple of technical climbs at my local track that I had never got up without putting my foot down on my old bikes and smashed them first time on this baby.
It may be a little heavy for some people but it isn't intended to be an uber light uncomfortable race machine, designed for the treatment that weight weenies give their bikes. As a 230lb lad, the weight of the bike isn't a huge concern to me as I have a could lose a couple of ponds myself before i have to start worrying about my bike. The bike feels a lot lighter than my last couple of bikes despite being up to four pounds heavier and for me, the feel is more important than the actual numbers anyway. If you are after a super light race bike then this isn't the bike for you. If you are like me and want a single bike that will tackle almost anything short of downhilling comfortably then this is for you.
It took a little while to get used to as the pedals are lower than my last bike. I got snagged on a stump or two for the first few rides. This has forced me to improve my technique a little and stop being lazy with my pedal position and now the issues have all but gone away.
The quality of the build is amazing, the bike is an engineering masterpiece.
I bought this bike to give me something to look forward to whilst I was injured and off riding for 5 months. Despite the complete lack of fitness and that the suspension wasn't dialled in properly I set a new PB at my local track the first time I took this out. It is impossible to put into words just how much this bike has improved my riding and I look forward to every weekend now so I can get back on it.
If your budget can stretch this far I highly recommend that you take one for a test ride. You really do get what you pay for. Be warned though, if you ride it you will love it and won't want to settle for anything less.
Strengths: Super smooth over rock gardens, climbs efficiently with almost no pedal bob, capable of bombing down hills much faster than my wife would like me to, geometry fits me perfectly, XT kit works great and is durable, excellent stand over clearance.
Weaknesses: 1. A zip tie that secures a cable fell off.
2. It does not come with a manual for how to justify to my wife and kids why my rides are becoming longer and more frequent.
I've had my Tallboy LTa with the SPX full XT build kit for 3 weeks now. I've been taming the hills of So. Cal (sort of) and the bike has been a dream. On my original short list was the Trek Rumblefish, Trek Superfly, Giant Trance, and Giant Anthem. After a few rides, it was an easy decision for me. All of those are very nice bikes, but the SC was the whole package for me - fit & geometry, ride, reputation, build kit, and ultimately price. The SC climbs great, descends with absolute confidence, and handles all but the tightest turns with aplomb. The VPP suspension and 29" wheels just roll over anything. The Tallboy is not as fast as a cross country racer nor is it capable of massive hucks, but it is an awesome all-mountain, trail mastering beast. The more I ride it, the more I grin.
Strengths: climbing up techy gnarness
descending ' '
Weaknesses: stock tires
a little heavy
I bought this bike new with a custom trans blue paint job. looks stellar. rides well.. however i plan on upgrading the tires, the wheels and the stock brakes. super fun trail bike capable on epic rides
Weaknesses: A little heavy
No rear through axle - SC says this is no big deal, they are probably right, but damn are through axles cool IMHO
Obviously I love my bike, and to be honest, would probably write that I love any new bike I get. Unfortunately though, the other brands don't get my praise, because I chose the Tallboy LTa. This is a fabulous bike. It is fast and loves to go fast. Climbing is great too. I found that locking out the front shock made the whole bike feel very rigid regardless of the RP23 setting. I love the amount of travel and this was very noticeable when jumping. First time with a through axle and that is super tight as well. I wish there was one in the rear. The components found in the Ram kit are very adequate, I'm sure the SPX would have been better, but I didn't have an extra grand to drop. Maybe next time. Until then, I am going to send it every single time. Comparing components to offerings from Trek and Specialized typically yield a better package and that is why I only gave it a 4 on the value rating. I rode those other bikes and just preferred the TBLTa.
Strengths: CLIMBING! Descending. It does everything REALLY well.
Weaknesses: Occasional pedal and Chain ring strikes
Would have preferred a rear through axle
The other reviews are spot on. I initially bought this bike for the All Mountain / Descent capability. The biggest and most pleasant surprise has been its climbing ability. I previously rode the Fisher Hi-Fi 29 Plus (total crap bike - broke 3 frames in 2 years) and the Rumblefish 2. The Rumblefish is a good all-round bike that smooths out the rough like a steamroller. It is a bit heavy, though. The TBLT is a couple pounds lighter, takes the beating just as well but is MUCH more nimble. Oh, and did I mention CLIMBING?! This thing takes you up the hill like an escalator. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but I can't overstate how pleased I am with the all-round capabilities of this All Mountain bike.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Hi-Fi 29 Plus
Gary Fisher Rumblefish 2
Bike Setup: TallBoy LT - R am 29
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2012
Strengths: Stable, descents are a blast, climbs way better than expected, stiff, corners like it's on rails
Weaknesses: Nothing important so far. Stem was a little short, and there was a little cable rattle on descents that I was able to mostly eliminate
This review is probably most helpful for those that don't change bikes very often and are still on short or mid travel 26ers. I've been on a Turner Flux for 6 seasons and was pretty happy with it (at least I thought so), so I was really worried about such a big change in bikes. I did try a few 29ers out on the trail, but not long rides, so I still had some concerns. The best thing I can say about the bike is that it doesn't feel different, just way better. It does everything my old bike did, just does it all better and that is really confidence inspiring. Everything so far (climbing, descending, switchbacks, rocks, etc) has been an absolute blast and has me totaly re-energized.
Bike Setup: I bought a medium with the SPX AM kit and Rock Shox Revelation. I bought the bike from The Path in Tustin, Ca and they were absolutely great, can't say enough about how knowledgeable and helpful they are.
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2012
Strengths: The VPP suspension setup is amazing on this bike. To have this kind of suspension travel with this kind of pedaling efficiency, and be as responsive as it is and track as well as it does is miraculous. The bike I am coming off of is a little lighter than this one, however with the pedaling efficiency on this bike makes up for it in my opinion. This bike climbs extremely well, I am running the shock with no pro pedal input at all which keeps the rear suspension very active, it somehow still remains very efficient. The chassis is very stiff, and the geometry is spot on. The longer travel makes this bike a blast for trail riding.
Weaknesses: Weight is the only complaint I have. The carbon model is around a pound and a half lighter. Depending on the build, a little more weight can be taken off. I am running the full XT package offered by Santa Cruz. Given the bikes purpose of being beat up, a little extra weight is to be expected.
I'm having to get used to allowing this bike to meet it's potential. G outs and rough spots I had to slow down for are unphased by the TBLT. Those who have jumped on the 29 bandwagon and wish their current ride had a little more suspension and a more trail bike set up should take a serious look at this one.
Strengths: Climbing the Nasty Stuff. Decsending the Nasty Stuff, and all around fun.
Did I mention the Climbing???
Weaknesses: Triple Chain Ring = Pointy Bash Guard
Front Tire not nearly as capable as the bike.
Occasional Pedal Strikes
This may be a little pre-mature as I am only 4 rides into the bike, but I am more than happy. This is the first bike I have ever ordered without lurking on every possible forum and taking multiple abusive test rides. It came out, i decided i had to have one and it was ordered. I am sure there will be better reviews here soon, but as far as I can tell, I may be the first person with this bike. :)
This bike is not an XC rocket, it is not a DH racer, nor am I qualified for either :). I do however like the rocky stuff and this bike fits the bill. The Geo has felt right on since I first hopped on the bike. My other Bike has a 36 Talas, and I am always adjusting the fork up or down for steep climbs and steep downs, I haven't even wanted that type of adjustment it just feels "right". The rear is super plush, and tracks like crazy (not sure how they accomplished that with an anti squat suspension, but they did).
My only concerns so far are probably just location specific. I have had the front tire break loose in some steep sandy areas (rolling drops really) and I have abused the Big Chain ring on a number of rocks. If I would stop being a panzy and let off the brakes I could probably cure the tire issue :). Other than that, I am sold.
I have spent god awful amounts of money in the past upgrading bikes in an attempt to get them to ride how I want, where I want, and it's been a bit of a moving target over the years. If I had an extra $1,000 to burn I would have liked to get the Fox 34, but at the same time I am tired of fork rebuild hassles and costs (just spent $700 with Push for my Remedy which i also really like). I am already riding this bike on the same trails.
I am not a pro reviewer, I am not a suspension genius, I am not fearless gravity junky and I am not claiming that this bike is the 2nd coming of Jesus; I am however, a guy who just bought a bike that rides exactly how I hoped it would in some areas, and even better in other areas (really, the technical climbing is scary good).
I have spent countless hours browsing these reviews over the years and thought it was my time to give a little back. This bike is Fun. A lot of Fun, probably won't win any type of race, ever. But really really fun.
44-year-old skinny guy here. Wanting some summer activity to keep the ski muscles in tune, so I'd like to get into some trail riding. I have an ancient (10 year old) Scott Teton front suspension bike that has never felt really comfortable to me, so I don't ever ride it. I feel like I'm perched on to ... Read More »
Hi. Great forum. I have been lurking for a while and finally joined. I have been riding hardtails for 30+ years. I am getting older and slower but am working hard not to get fatter. In order to ease the impacts on my back and keep riding I am looking to buy a fs bike. I ride mostly single track i ... Read More »
looking to get into the santa cruz 650b scene so i have listed my 3 month old tallboy LT carbon in classifieds. here is the link: [url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=86886&cat=]**2013 SANTA CRUZ TALLBOY LT CARBON** - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]. ... Read More »
Wondering if anybody has any suggestions for the type of tallboy to get for all mountain riding on the east coast. I like the nimble feel of the tallboy but would the lt be more suited to the rocky/rooty riding of the east coast?
Thanks in advanceRead More »
Just after some opinions on how these bikes stack up against each other. I can test ride a covert and a tallboy. I think the tallboy pedals better without propedal engaged. The covert certainly relies on shock bob control more than the tallboy. I'm after a tough all mountain 29er, I have a dh bike a ... Read More »