The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon is what you get when you take the lauded Tallboy Carbon and give it some serious trail-taming aptitude. Santa Cruz invites you to consider it a Blur LT for the 29er crowd. What do we think? It's an adrenaline-fueled, two-wheeled, monster truck of a bike, and that makes it just as much fun as you're imagining. And, as we have come to expect from Santa Cruz's carbon fiber offerings, it tips the scales at a weight that has us inspecting it for missing pieces. The Tallboy LT Carbon's combination of low weight and strength wouldn't be possible without Santa Cruz's proprietary carbon processes. To save weight, the front triangle of the Tallboy LT Carbon is constructed at once rather than having its component parts produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped. Additionally, carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions; this technique creates a frame that distributes loads and absorbs impact energy better.Looking at the geometry, the Tallboy LT Carbon is longer and taller than the original Tallboy-but to keep that in perspective, the original Tallboy's short chainstays and ultra-compact head tube make it one of the most nimble full-suspension 29ers out there. The Tallboy LT Carbon maintains similar dimensions and adds 35mm of rear travel (135mm total) while accommodating a 130-150mm front fork. The head tube angle has been slackened a bit, to a more stable 69.5 degrees. Throw in the inherent rolling advantages of 29 inch wheels and you have a bike that conquers the sketchiest descents with aplomb. The VPP rear suspension on the Tallboy LT Carbon utilizes patented counter-rotating shock links that allow for a variable feel throughout the suspension travel. When sag is set correctly, the Tallboy LT Carbon is extremely responsive to small- and medium-sized bumps. On larger hits that push it deeper into its travel, it becomes more stubborn, a necessity to avoid harsh bottom-out. It's also a crisp, efficient pedaler, even in the small chainring. Another big plus of VPP suspension is its durability; Santa Cruz guarantees the pivot bearings for life. The suspension is sprung by a light and custom-tuned Fox Float RP23 with a slick Kashima coating. Its three-position ProPedal lever lets you select an appropriate amount of platform damping for the terrain you're riding. Select more damping for tame singletrack, or leave it wide-open for plushness over hairy sections. With the Tallboy LT Carbon, Santa Cruz didn't simply tweak the geometry of the original Tallboy and call it a day. This frame has received some insightful upgrades. Recognizing that the Tallboy LT Carbon will see heavy-duty, bone-rattling action, ISCG05 tabs were added to the bottom bracket shell to accommodate a chainguide. Additionally, the lower suspension link is asymmetrical to ensure chainguide clearance. In case you aren't running a chainguide, there's a metal insert on the chainstay where a dropped chain would otherwise wreak havoc on the car
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 →
Strengths: Light, stiff, great handling, great climbing, super-fast descending,
Weaknesses: None. You get what you pay for.
Great bike. It's the best bike I've ever ridden -- but many of its competitors probably would have been as well. I bought the whole-hog XTRam. The DT240s freewheel spun after a few months. People rave about that hub, but it didn't work out for me.. Anyway I built a new wheeelset with CK hubs and Light-Bicycle carbon rims and that has improved an already great ride. The carbon rims eliminated what I had thought was flex in the frame. The thing tracks VERY well now.
I'm to old, fat and slow to be a great climber, but the bike never holds me back. The bike makes me go faster down tight single track faster than I ought, but its too much fun. Can't slow down!
Strengths: Handling! This bike feels like a cross country race bike until you go off a 2 foot ledge drop or catch some air and it lands so plush. I have about 300 miles on the bike so far since the end of March. Just got back from 3 days on 18 road in fruita. I was amazed how well the bike handles and how fast it is. I found that I trusted the bike enough to just fall into steep downhill turns knowing the bike would come right along. Everytime I rode a trail I went faster the whole weekend. I am still working on getting the shock air pressure adjusted just right but so far this bike is impressing me.
A great bike if you can afford it. I will be curious to ride a 650B. I used to have a giant reign 1 with 6" of travel front and back. I went and rode porcupine rim in moab two days in a row. One day on the 6" travel bike and the next day on my old stumpy 29er which was 120 up front and 100 in the back. The 29er was faster then the 6" travel bike in the rough choppy rocks and techy terrain. This convinced me to sell both and upgrade to this bike.
Strengths: Absolutely outstanding build quality . Extremely fast over rocky technical stuff and a competent climber.
Light weight for a long travel 29er
Weaknesses: Would have been great to have internal cable routing especially for a dropper seatpost such as the reverb stealth .
more colour choices.
Having had a Ibis Mojo SL for the last 5 years my next bike had to be something special . i was not convinced by the move to a 29er until I tried the Tallboy LTC . It was everything i had with the Mojo and more. Super quick , the big wheels and dialled geometry clearly outperforming most bikes on the trails. I wanted a do it all single bike and with the Tallboy LTC I found the perfect match.
At 5ft9 I went for the Medium size and with 70mm stem and wide bars it is almost as good as the mojo in tight turns and switchbacks and fitted with XX1 11 speed the traction when climbing is the best bike I've ridden.
Strengths: Well to start I got the large frame (I am 1.77m and inner leg of 81cm) and it is a perfect fit. I was out of my mind trying to decide on a med vs Lar. The large suits my riding style better and i am pretty much comfy on any surafce and trail. I did a home build, with full XT group set. 2 x 10 ( 26 - 38) with 11 - 36 at the back. Fantastic combo.. fox 34 float 140 RLC KASHIMA and STD rear shock, it took a bit of trial and error but eventually got the SAG and settings to a T. Just to good! Mavic cross ride wheels, although heavy, so am I, so I went for a bit more of a robust wheel set and they are well priced. Downfall there I think they are a bit narrow. Total weight 13.3kg. I'm no expert but the efficiency of this bike is something else. It just goes, it is a great experience. Its down hill composure at my skill level, I felt very confident, I just want to go. What surprises me the most is how easy it climbs, I have been through a few bikes and on the same trails I was blown away by the difference. Handling, well having a 26er and a 29er hardtail in the shed to compare to I was very interested to see how it would handle the short sharp switch back in the trails. Dam near as good as the 26 very noticeable difference compared to the 29 HT. Rough terrain .... there is just no trail/ single track that is going to be a problem. Just a great, fun and confident bike...
Weaknesses: There is no feature of this bike that is a weakness. Price on the other hand is stiff, compared to the SC range, it is all in there. If you in this price range, there is no other bike. Also a home build, with a good internet link, a bike shop (bobby's cycles - Port Shepstone - KZN) that is more than willing to throw pointers and help. The cost is cut down major.
I'm not sure how a bike (or the frame rather) of this design criteria, ie, 140 trail 29er, can be improved. This will be around for a long time, perhaps some blinged out paint jobs etc down the line..... but honestly SC hit the mark, R&D paid off.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2013
Strengths: This bike LOVES to go fast, the faster the more stable it feels. It climbs great as well.
I have a Niner RIP9 and a Santa Cruz Nomad. This bike would fall perfectly between the two. The LTc I believe climbs better then both. For me the ultimate test is South Mountain located in Phoenix, I climb Mormon to Buena Vista and come down national. The LTc like the Nomad is just fun and inspires you to go faster then you should be going. I have ridden this bike half dozen times so I will post a bit more in a few weeks when I get a few more rides in.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Heckler, Santa Cruz Nomad, Niner RIP 9, Santa Cruz Tallboy
Bike Setup: Xtr, XX1, cane creek, Enve wheel set
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2013
Strengths: This bike is a monster on rough trails with heaps of rocks and roots and small drops/jumps sort of things! It's a great combination of climbing and descending that is a fun setup for people who don't ride where the trails are smooth as butter. Living in Boulder, local trails have ample baby-head-sized rocks and small shelves to conquer on a daily ride. The combination of 29er wheels and enough travel makes for short work of said trails.
This bike is a great combination of "goes up good" and "goes down good". It feels stiff and sturdy when you're heading up hill, and while it's no 7 inches of super-plush travel going down, the combination of big wheels and 135mm travel make it a lot of fun.
I rode a heap of bikes in this category, and I think what separates this from others here is that this bike handles really well for me. I guess it's all personal preference, but this bike feels better in turns than say, Specialized Stumpy 29er or Turner Sultan. When you get a bike with big wheels and big travel, I think that feeling like you are actually controlling the bike can be a challenge. This bike just seemed to allow me to be in charge and made me feel relaxed and comfy.
Santa Cruz has a long history with bike building. They are a good company and built a bike that is designed to be reliable and maintainable. Press fit bottom bracket? Nope. Just ask your local bike shop why threading BB is better. Grease ports on the bearings, simple cable routing, through axle. These are all things that make the bike actually simpler, easier to work on, and reliable.
Finally, this bike is a light, stiff performer (sounds kind of like a porno when I say it like that). I build bikes more AM than XC and this frame made it easy to build a 28lb all-mountain bike with stiff wheels, big tires, drop post, etc with mid-range components that don't cost you $500 every time you need to fix something.
Weaknesses: Seven years ago, I bought a blur XC, fully loaded with Shimano XT everything for less than the cost of this bike frame. I guess that's just the way the bike industry is going, but wow, bikes are expensive. I'm guessing that if you're considering this bike, you're prepared to make the same value judgement I did, but wow.
The VPP suspension on Santa Cruz bikes is good. It's really good. But, it fits into the range of different suspensions, so be sure to see if you like the feel of it. Most bikes with DW links on them (the sort of suspension on Ibis, Pivot, Turner) have a different feel. I have had two Ibises (Ibi?) (the 140mm Mojo and still have a 160mm Mojo HD). They climb really well, and feel 2X as plush as VPP on descents. Yes, you can monkey with the shock settings on your Santa Cruz bikes, but they just can't get as plush without getting funky in other ways. For this bike, and for where I ride it, that's just great. I'd rather have a bike that really connects and climbs more XC-style. But, if you are looking to hit the drops in Moab or Fruita or like to just destroy giant logs in the Pacific Northwest, this might not be the right bike for you.
This is a great "one gun" bike. I would never tell people this is the best bike for (insert your extreme riding scenario here). Would I do an XC race on this bike? Sure, if I wanted to have a great time, but didn't necessarily want to win. It's just not an XC race bike. Would I ride 2ft drops in Moab with this bike? Sure, but I would ride with more caution because I'd worry about hard hits if I got crazy. But, I would NEVER want to do 2ft drops in a lightweight XC race bike in Moab, and I'd never want to race a 7 inch AM bike in an XC race. So this bike is right in the middle!
You can ride it all day like crazy and it won't let you down. It's zippy up and down the hills. It turns better than any 29er I've ridden. The geometry is comfortable and doesn't stretch you out long like a race bike.
I really dig on doing my own maintenance, and SC makes their bikes so you need a minimum number of crazy $300 tools to maintain them. This bike even came with a grease gun to maintain your bearings! A bike and a bike tool for one price?!? What a bargain.
I really hate giving 5 chilli ratings. I just think that there should be something negative you can say about a bike and not be a fanboy. I've ridden this bike for about 6 months through some pretty gnarly stuff and it's been great. Can't complain about a thing. Maybe in a year, I'll have a different story, but so far, so good.
A NOTE TO PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT BUYING THIS BIKE (OR ONE LIKE IT):
Look, there are a heap of bikes out there, and even more opinions about them. I tried a lot of 29ers out before I ended up with this one. One of those bikes broke my upper arm in three places (I have a titanium plate in my shoulder now. I named it George). I think the most important thing about choosing this type of bike in particular (longer-travel 29er) is that they are really BIG bikes and fit/feel is critical.
Because there isn't much wiggle room for bike geometry and bike setup, little differences between models and brands will be critical to whether you are comfortable or miserable on one of these guys. I love this bike. It fits me and it feels right when I ride it. When I hit a turn on this bike I feel like I can trust my Tallboy LTc to be there for me 100%. This is because the geometry works right for my body size, riding style, and the trails I'm on. I know a lot of people who ride other big bikes, and they seem to be pretty happy on theirs. When I hop on their bikes, I feel like I'm either driving a floppy SUV from 1989 or I'm stretched out like I'm on a medieval torture rack. But they're happy. Go figure. So, give this bike a shot! Try some others! See what works for you.
Similar Products Used: Stumpy FSR 29er, Sultan Turner, Pivot Mach429, Santa Cruz Tallboy
Bike Setup: Rims, hubs, drivetrain stuff, drop post and a seat! I run mid and upper-mid range components (just at that price point below $400 gears and $600 cranks). I did splurge for some plastic wheels! They are stiff and strong like the Rocky Mountains and weight quite a bit less.
Strengths: The bike is a very comfortable cockpit. Over all it climbs well and descends amazing. The VPP platform paired with the new 2013 CTD lineup from Fox makes a bike that also sprints very well. Overall weight for the bike is awesome. The build quality is exceptional. Bike is as quiet as a church mouse going down the trail.
Weaknesses: Extremely steep climbs can get interesting. Although worth every penny it is an expensive bike. Why you would produce a bike like this WITHOUT a dropper "stock" is beyond me.
This review is for a 2013 Santa Cruz LTc 2x10 SPXAM build with the Fox 34 fork - extra Kashima coating. Up until this purchase, I had been on my 3rd Yeti. After a couple complications with my 2011 575 I figured going to the 29er and a new brand may be a good idea. I bit the bullet and purchased my new bike with all fancy features. The bike in a medium came in stock at 26.5 lbs without pedals.
I went on my first ride and noticed a couple things immediately. First, the stack height on the stem needed to be lowered by about an inch. 2nd, there is no reason this bike should come without a dropper post. On my first decent, due to a combination of improperly adjusted suspension and the missing dropper, I felt I was on a run away death machine! That's ok... the questionable items are easily fixed. I spent the time necessary to get my sag setup up on my fork and shock, and adjusted the rebound to where it felt comfortable. After playing around with the "Trail Adjust" setting I landed on keeping it on setting 1 which is the lowest setting. The VPP platform is extremely stable already, and when putting the adjust on 2 or 3 it started getting far to firm to be functional (in my opinion) on the rocky trails of Front Range Colorado. For a dropper I used a brand new KS Supernatural Dropper with 125mm of drop.
So with the bike fully tuned and my installed dropper, I took the rig out for some serious testing. The first thing that I noticed was how quiet the bike was. My LTc came with the eThirteen bash guard/ roller setup. I have yet to find any rock gardens that were steep enough to actually hit the bash guard, but it keeps that chain so tight and snug there is zero chain slap or nose from the drive train. As long as you are pedaling you are like a ninja on the trail!
Secondly, as you get them big wagon wheels rolling faster and faster you are only encouraged by the bike to keep pushing your gears further and further. The rotational weight lends you some aid as the power transfers forward, and at times may have you wishing for some additional gears in those rolling "sprint" sections.
When climbing the bike is very stable and seems to handle getting out of the saddle extremely well. The short and compact cockpit feels comfortable and allows you plenty of room to move around on any technical obstacle, and there is very little drop from the seat to the stem so getting those good deep breaths seem to be easy as well. The 2x10 XT drivetrain fires through gears easily, and there is very little feed back to the pedals when go through rough or rocky up hill sections. Keeping a good and maintainable "pace" is more important than just turning a big gear. I found on really steep sections the big wheels took heavy losses to speed when not spinning at a rate that kept the bike moving forward.
When ridden on a true "trail riding" section, the bike performs awesome. In fact, it is the best I have felt. It corners like a dream, and settles in nicely after a little pre-braking. The bike feels stable and snappy when out of the saddle and rests nicely when aggressively tilted in the turns.
The descent is amazing. The bike actually needs to get up to speed before you are able to actually "feel" the trail underneath. If you are regularly at the back of the back on a descent, this bike may actually be a poor choice. It numbs the trail when you gingerly craw down a trail. Once up to about 20 mph it starts to come alive! The quiteness I have already mentioned allows you to focus on the sounds of the trail. The large wheels gobble up baby heads, depressions, and small drops like they are nonexistent. I rarely have found myself needing to take the suspension out of trail mode, but that could change once the resorts open and I can hit some larger features.
Overall I see this bike providing miles of smiles. With the options and prices aimed at the avid (or someone with entirely too much money), this bike isn't made for everyone. The bike seems to be more than capable for all trail conditions I will ride, but that comes with a caveat. For those rides where I will be with a big group, I fear a lot of "stops" will be in my future as I seemingly outrun them all!
Favorite Trail: Deer Creek Canyon or Buffalo Creek area
Duration Product Used: 1 month
Similar Products Used: All bikes before this were Yeti 575's.
Bike Setup: SPXAM 2x10 with KS Supernatural dropper and the eThirteen bash guard/ roller.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2012
Strengths: Broad range of capability - climbs and descends extremely well
Weaknesses: If I must pick something, lots of chain slap on bigger hits
I've only put 2 rides on two slightly different versions of this bike, but so far it's awesome!
1st ride: 2013 SPXAM, 2x10, w/ Fox 34 Float and Fox CTD shock...Went on a 28 mile ride with over 4800' climbing. I experimented with CTD settings, but ended up leaving it in Trail mode for the climbs and Descend mode for the downhill. (Climb mode completely locked out the rear, while Trail mode gave a good pedaling platform.) Found it extremely capable at all times. It handled predictably, and inspired confidence that my hardtail never did. The harder I pushed this bike, the more it seemed to blossom and the happier I was! So impressed that I found a 2012 on clearance and bought it.
2nd ride: 2012 SPXAM, 3x10, w/ RS Revelation and Fox rp23 shock...22 miles, with over 4000' of climbing. Performed essentially the same as the 2013 model (the Fox 34 might be smoother...hard to tell after just 1 ride on each). Made this climb easier than my hardtail, and descending was buttery-smooth! Very pleased with this bike. I did have to lower the pos and neg air pressure in the Revelation to the lowest suggested pressures for my weight, but once I did the fork came alive. The rp23 allowed nice and efficient seated pedaling even when wide open, but wanted to be closed up for out-of-the-saddle climbing. Descending...I'm rather conservative going downhill, but I was inspired to push faster than normal. This bike really makes me feel confident on descents.
Things I want to do: Chain-retention/control, to reduce or eliminate chain slap; frame protection on down tube, BB, and chain+seat stays; tubeless w/ grippier tires; add some orange accent color.
Who should buy it: If you're putting in more than just a couple hours of riding each week, you'll probably appreciate this bike quite a bit. I ride 2x/week, but I shoot for 30-50 miles per week, and this bike will go anywhere I want to with comfort and control.
Strengths: Light weight, laterally stiff, superior suspension design, great frame/fork geometry
Weaknesses: None yet. (Durability will require the test of time)
After a year searching for the perfect 29er I am glad I waited for the Santa Cruz Long Travel Tallboy Carbon.
Fit: My height is 6'-2 1/4" and I weigh 225lbs. The stock set up fits me like a custom bicycle. No changes were needed for a perfect fit!
Handling: This bike rails corners, has very stable handling characteristics and accelerates fast. There is no issue getting up to speed, and the wheels hold momentum very well. This bicycle just wants move on down the trail or head on down the road. The SCTBLTc climbs and decends with equal prowess. I live in Santa Cruz (no bias to the brand - just a great bike). I ride pavement to get to local trails, and fast single track and dirt double track fire roads with equal amounts of climbing and decending. I do not jump (give me a break I am 51), but I have seen the test videos and it looks like this bike can handle quite a bit of air. This is a long haul trucker with long travel - the perfect combination for me. One of the things that Santa Cruz Bicycles does across their bicycle line is really dial in the geometry. Santa Cruz puts some magic into their frames designs and you can feel it when you test ride other bikes side by side.
Suspension: I now prefer the VVP 2 suspension to my Specialized Horst Link four bar suspension. The VVP suspension does not require locking out the rear shock and there is no pedal induced feedback. I like the grease ports for maintenance as well - a nice touch.
Build quality - Outstanding: When comparing the finish build qualities of the Ibis and Santa Cruz (both high-end carbon bikes) I give the nod to Santa Cruz for their attention to detail. This frame is a work of functional art. The cable routing is very clean; including cable stops for a dropper seat post.
Game Changers: A lot has been said about the wheel size debate. I am sold on 29ers. In fact I bought my wife a Santa Cruz Highball 29er (aluminum) which she loves and she is 5'-7" tall. I am glad that the parts package came with the XT compact drive 24/32/42 because I use the low gears. I am sold on carbon frame material (if you can afford the additional cost) because the ride quality is smoother while adding more rigidity to the handling characteristics. I like that the bike came with a larger front brake rotor. I think the Maxxis Ardent 2.25 tires handle well on the dirt and are also fast on pavement. The wheels came with tubes. I have not tried tubeless yet.
Potential Upgrades: 1) A KS Lev Dropper Post ($430), 2) Industry 9 29er Enduro Wheel Set ($1,150), and 3) Ice Tech brake pads (if needed).
The only after market product was a more comfortable WTB saddle. The stock WTB Volt saddle was more race oriented.
Favorite Trail: Any trails in; Wilder, Big Basin, or Nisene Marks State Parks
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: Family Cycling Cente
Similar Products Used: Other bikes tested before purchase: Ibis Mojo HD Carbon, Santa Cruz Blur LTc, Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon, Niner WFO Aluminum, Carbon, Specialized Camber 29er Aluminum, Pivot 429 Aluminum, Santa Cruz Tallboy. I was waiting for the Ibis Ripley 29er to show but they have had production problems.
Prior Bicycle: 2005 Specialized 26' FSR Enduro with custom build and wheels. This bike replaced my Trek Y-Glide and was a major improvement. The SCTBLTc puts my old FSR to shame - it is now relegated to being a town bike.
Bike Setup: XL SC Tallboy LTC with SPX All Mountain Kit and Fox 34 Float 140mm Kashima Forks.
Shimano XT components, WTB Frequency i23 Team rims laced to DT 350 hubs, Easton Haven bars, Truvative Stem, Cane Creek 40 headset and Shimano DX clipless pedals (an extra cost upon purchase).
Fox Shock (both with CTD features), XT Kit (with compact triple crank), WTB Wheelset
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2012
Strengths: light and super stiff for a 140mm travel 29er.
"normal threaded BB" and no fancy internal cabling gimmickry.
great frame protection where it counts.
Weaknesses: A slightly low BB but nothing that can't be very easily managed.
After riding a Highball C and Tallboy C for 2 years I was itching for a new bike. Olympic gave me the LTc for the weekend and I was immediately sold. With almost no weight penalty between the LTc and my original TB I felt immediately at home despite the slacker angles. My sense of things is that you loose 5% on the climbs but make up at least 20% on the dissents. With the 34 up front and the rear thru axel the bike is super stiff and this combined with the new CTD technology you really can dial your ride to the conditions. It took me a while to get the settings and pressures right to get what I wanted out of the CTD's but I am now very happy with the optionality they offer.
While the front end is a little higher than the TBc I have still managed to ride every climb on the LTc, including the stupendously steep stuff on the front of Table Mountain.
The LTc and I spent this last weekend chasing HT's and 100mm travel bikes for the 3 days of the Wines 2 Whales stage race. I will happily choose the LTc over any other bike every time! I am also back taking jumps and drops offs that I have been avoiding since selling my Ibis.
The LTc offers incredible versatility and above all else adds bucket loads of fun to every ride without any significant decrease in performance. While not cheap and if you are not competing for a XC podium spot I can not believe there is a better more fun bike out there.
Bike Setup: XT and XTR. Fox 34 140mm CTD, Enve Chris King wheels, Thomson Materpiece seat post, Enve bar, Thomson stem, Gobi.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2012
Strengths: A truly useable ride for any situation, it handles, climbs, and descends exactly as a trail bike should.
Weaknesses: BB is just a little low.
OK, so I have 7 bikes hanging in the garage, including a Nomad with XTR, a Blur LTc with XTR and Easton Carbon Haven wheels, and a Specialized Enduro FSR with XTR. I bought this bike because I have 2 buddies who have Tallboy Carbons, and they were just riding away from me on the trail. I wanted more travel, so I waited for the Tallboy LTc, and it was worth it. I built it up 2 weeks ago with XTR trail, a King headset, Easton Carbon Heaven wheels, and a Joplin R seat post I had on the Blur LTc. I run it tubeless with schwalbe nobby nic 2.35s and some Stans. The fork is a Fox f34 140 Talas CDT, and the shock is the new CDT as well, though I am not quite as stoked abou them as the others from Fox, Rock Shox, and Manitou I have. I have about 200 miles and 11,000' of climbing on the bike now, and it is everything I want in a trail bike. It doesn't climb as well as the Blur, or descend as well as the Nomad, but it is just about as good as both in one bike.
Strengths: sweet geometry, light, really digs in on corners, climbs well
Weaknesses: none so far
I bought a Tallboy c this spring and was loving it but felt I wanted more of a trail bike.
The Tallboy was great and cranked up hills and did fine on downhills but there was something left to be desired.
So i got a deal on a Tallboy LTc and built it up with xtr....just under 26 lbs.
Rode it all weekend with a smile on my face. This bike rocks!!!!!! It just feels right at home on the trails and climbing.
Can't say it climbs as well as the straight Tallboy but it was no clunker.
Bike is just well balanced, feels good and looks great.
Similar Products Used: Tallboy c, ss Vassago Jabber Wocky, Intense 5.5
Bike Setup: all xtr, 1x10, Salsa carbon riser bars, Crest rims with Hope Pro @ hubs (for now...looking for different setup)
Fox 34 Float CTD Adjust Fit 140
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2012
Strengths: This this is a good rigid bike that turns really well. I've been able to pick lines that I couldn't ride on my 26er. I'm a Moto Guy and this bike handles closer to my KTM than any bicycle I've ridden so far. I'm still working on set up but I can already ride this bike fairly aggressively.
Weaknesses: I got the XT version and the wheels are heavy, this is why I gave it 4 chili's for value. It's actually a pisser that a $5000 bike comes with heavy wheels.
The rear suspension felt stiff to me after coming off the giant maestro but I've gotten used to it and like it now.
Really really fun bike to ride I have ridden it every day since I've gotten it and I'm going again tomorrow. And after that ride I'm going to go buy some lighter wheels.
Similar Products Used: My 2009 giant trance X1 is really not similar
Bike Setup: A dropper post, of course.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2012
Strengths: I ordered mine as a frame and built it... Revelation RTC3 fork, Hope hubs and WTB I23 wheels, Saint cranks, MRP G2SL chainguide, short-cage XT rear derailleur, along with a Reverb dropper post. The rest is standard fare. Anyway, the bike climbs much better than I expected (a 1x9 works fine, too many gears are overated) and remains planted and solid going uphill... enough to hang with the hammerhead X/C friends I ride with. With an easy drop of the seat, the LTc goes from a well suspended X/Cish bike to a near full-bore DH style screamer. It goes downhill REALLY fast, stays glued in the corners and handles like a dream. Tight corners and switchbacks are no problem, along with being a very comfortable bike in the air! After scaring yourself by going so fast, and then waiting at the bottom for everyone to catch up... put the seat back up you're good to go X/C style once again. The bike does X/C and medium DH duty equally...
Weaknesses: A full Costa Rica vacation? A nice, well equipped used car? A Santa Cruz LTc? Diamonds for your wife? Bike... bike... bike.... yeah.
The bike was fun to build, and the frame has some really nicely designed features, along with being very well-crafted. The headset install was exact, the bottom bracket install was exact, the attention to detail is amazing! The 12x142 rear axle is awesome, and Santa Cruz put more carbon where you'd want it, so the LTc is more burly than a regular Tallboy. For a long travel bike with a fairly slack head-angle, it doesn't ride sloppy at all, and the frame is stiff. Really stiff... in hard corners the more you drive it in, the better it hooks up. People have mentioned pedal strikes... really? I used 170mm cranks, and have one pedal strike so far. Carry more speed, pay attention and you won't have pedal strikes. Between the fork and the rear-suspension design, the ride is firm but really smooth... it doesn't feel like being on a long-travel bike except you get to go really fast.
The bike was expensive, but so far has been nothing but FUN since it blends all the types of riding I like into one bike that seems comfortable (so far) doing it all.
Similar Products Used: Vassago Jabber 29er
Intense Uzzi DH (raced semi-pro 2000-2003)
Intense Uzzi SL
Schwinn Homegrown Pro (raced semi-pro XC 2000-2001)
Lightspeed Owl Hollow (meh... L/S service sucks...hope they have improved)
Bike Setup: One the LTc...
Cane Creek headset
Easton bars and stem
Hope hubs with WTB I23 rims and Bronson TCS tires (DT spokes)
Reverb dropper post
MRP guide... it has ISCG 05 mounts...
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012
Strengths: SO MUCH! Frame, geo, fit, color, weight
Weaknesses: None yet
The 2 years I’ve been mtn biking I've owed a GT force carbon expert, custom built trek fuel ex, and now the tallboy LTc. The GT was a train wreck. I bought the GT as a complete bike and came with XT components. The handle bars were really narrow (620mm), the BB has high, the carbon frame was not the best (chipped quite a bit), and now that I've ridden different FS designs, i-Drive is the worst. The trek fuel ex wasn't bad. Trek makes nice frames. My only complaint was the lack of travel (only 120mm) for the riding I do (the GT was a little too much).
WHY THE LTc
Since the trek fuel ex was falling short, I was after a FS bike with at least 140mm travel. At first I was thinking another 26". When I heard Santa Cruz came out with the Tallboy LTc I was intrigued with the design idea…an all mountain 29er? So I was opened to other wheel sizes (650b/29er). Since 650b is so new there aren't that many options. I was considering the Intense Carbine and then getting the 650b G1 dropouts when Intense released them to the market. Then I looked at other long travel wheel sizes. The Transition Bandit looked promising so much so that I was going to get one but they were ALL sold out in the US in a large for a green colored frame. So my decision was between the Carbine and Tallboy LTc. This summer I went to Keystone, CO for vaca and stopped by a local bike shop there. They had the Tallboy LTc in blk/org. It was so cool looking. Seeing it in person further impressed me after seeing/reading it online. Since I've seen and sat on the Tallboy LTc in person I went with it over the Carbine.
Boy am I glad I decided on the Tallboy LTc. I LOVE the ride position. What I hated about the Fuel Ex was I felt I was too much on top of the bike (frame size was XL 6'2" tall). The Tallboy LTc fits me WAY better. It’s true of feeling IN the bike compared to ON the bike. It doesn’t feel like I’m riding a 29er. I never noticed the extra wheel size coming from a 26”.
The Tallboy LTc destroys the other two bikes I've had. It beats them in traction, climbing, getting air and speed. The complaint I read a lot was 29er being more sluggish than 26” bikes. I have not found that to be entirely true. It comes down to equipment and riding skills. I haven’t had the LTc long enough to really tell a difference yet (only have ridden twice so far), but I can’t tell a big difference. It feels different but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The acceleration is not that different than my 26” bikes. If you had the best/lightest 26/29 wheels/tires I’m sure the 26 will have an edge. I came from a fairly heavy wheel/tires from my Trek Fuel EX and my Tallboy LTc beats it. Light wheels/tires with tubeless configuration make a huge difference. I’ve ridden a 29er hardtail with heavy wheels and tires with an inner tube and you do feel it. The LTc frame is really strong and don’t sense any flex what so ever.
Santa Cruz makes top notch bikes. Their carbon layup is real 21st century stuff. It’s the nicest carbon frame I’ve seen (engineering and design, aesthetics is subjective). Everything was really thought out. The cable routing, bearings, grease port access, maintenance, and pivots are fantastic. Yes $2699.99 for just a frame is steep, but you really get for what you pay for. Carbon in almost every way is superior to aluminum (the disadvantage of course being pricier). The technology and manufacturing of carbon has come a long way and makes for wonderful frames. For me Santa Cruz is one of the leaders with their carbon frame lay ups.
In the end the bike makes me want to ride more. It puts a smile on my face and I act like a teeny bopper at a Justin Boober (whatever the hell the kid’s name is) concert. For me the Tallboy LTc’s specs, geo, frame size (L), VPP suspension, color, and wheel size fits my bill. I can say that I’ve picked and built the ultimate shred machine for my riding style and location. I see the Tallboy LTc as my main steed for years to come. For those 29er naysayers, I challenge you to be open to the idea of a 29” all mtn machine. I too doubted what a 29” FS all mtn bike could offer. I took a shot in the dark and it’s the best bet I’ve made. Santa Cruz you’ve made me one happier customer!