The Santa Cruz Aluminum Tallboy pairs VPP suspension and 29" wheels to create a fast rolling, sharp handling, versatile bike that exploits the benefits of big wheels to the best of their advantage - at home anywhere from remote alpine singletrack to crowded jittery start lines.
Strengths: Excellent on small chatter in the rocky desert. Components with bike.
Weaknesses: Bottomed out early on medium drops. 9mm rear axle.
This was my second favorite 29er. On cross country trails this was great in all the small sharp rocks. Cornered great. Frame was stiff. Accelerated fast. The frame was a little big for me (not Santa Cruz's fault), Downhill the Stumpjumper and Pivot did a little better.
Strengths: Plush over light chatter but feels like it has more than 4" of travel when the going gets tough. Well balanced, can sit and pedal or stand and bash, handles both with aplomb. Just a great all around bike.
Weaknesses: Extremely tight turns remind you you are still on a wagon wheeler. Haven't dumped it on one yet but have come really close. Also, had the exact same issue w/ the seat as one review below, came off the rails on a crash and is now useless. Replaced with an Selle SMP and couldn't be happier.
I came into this wanting a bike that 1) could handle anything I could dish out (I'm not a super DH or big drop guy) that was 2) high enough quality to justfity upgrading components over time and 3) affordable.
I feel like I hit a home run with the Tallboy. I am already looking at some upgrades (wheels, dropper post, may eventually switch to a 120mm fork) but sincerely believe I will be riding this frame for a long, long time.
Strengths: Excellent geometry, feels like your in the bike instead of on the bike.
Great handling, excellent suspension design.
confidence boost, makes you think that you can do anything and everything.
Weaknesses: Pedal strikes, i had a very strong one that scratched my new platform pedals and i lost one of the adjustable pens.
Review after two weeks of riding on daily basis: this bike is amazing, fast, stable on climbs and deceits.
I gata say that I spent so much time studying and ready about bikes before I bought mine, and I believe that I made the right choice, considering the price and components.
I considered the Superlight 29er, in fact I placed an order and then canceled it, I’m glad that my luck worked out and I changed the order and added a little more to the budget to buy the tallboy R XC kit.
I hate the saddle; it broke on my first ride ever. The saddle got stock on my shorts and its rail got out of its place. I could not get it back to place and contacted the manufacturer who just did not believe me!!. My bother just got a similar bike, the first thing we did during the bike assembly was to add super glue underneath the saddle nose.
Bike Setup: SantaCruz R XC kit: '12 Santa Cruz Tallboy R XC Large Complete Bike featuring a RockShox Reba RL fork, a Cane Creek 10 series headset, a Truvativ Stylo Race stem, a Truvativ Stylo Team bar, Shimano SLX M660 shifters, Lizard Skin Charger grips, Avid Elixir 5 disc brakes, a Shimano HG-74 chain, a Shimano M552 crankset, a Shimano HG-81 cassette, a Shimano XT front derailleur, a Shimano XT M780 Rear Derailleur, an Easton EA30 seatpost, a WTB Volt Race saddle, Maxxis Crossmark 29er tires, and Shimano M756 Hubs laced to Mavic TN719 Wheelset. This bike weighs in at 28.72 lbs.
a Weekend Warrior
from Reno, NV, USA
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2012
Strengths: Strength, stiffness, pedaling efficiency, geometry, suspension, balance, quality and in my case, dealer support
Weaknesses: None. It's costly, but you get what you pay for.
The terrain I ride is mostly mountainous with rocks, loose dirt, and sand with lots of climbing and downhill. In the summer it's typically dry. Some snow and a little mud in the winter with no tree roots.
Compared to my previous experience with similar full-suspension 26" bikes, this bike offers a new level of performance. The inherent 29er advantages of better climbing and sidehill traction along with riding in sand is really apparent with the Tallboy. The pedaling efficiency climbing is virtually identical to a hardtail. Slow speed balance (particularly in uphill switchbacks is phenomenal). The high speed stability is another level as well. A very sophisticated bike design and the performance reflects it. All the advantages of a 29er in a premium package. Everything you hear about Tallboys is true.
Bike Setup: Carbon, 2X10 XTR group, Fox 100mm fork, Easton EA90XC wheels, Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO tires. 24.2lbs
a Cross Country Rider
from Reston, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2011
Strengths: Weight, geometry, looks, tossability, and amazing ride.
Weaknesses: Price, matte black finish marks up easily, VPP suspension triangle traps lots of leaves and debris. Rather petty...
This 29er rocks the Casbah. It flat out smokes my previous hardtail Superfly, and I think it's better than the Ellsworth Evolve I tested in comparison. I ride fast singletrack in the D.C. metro area, so I don't need aluminum for big air/hucks. At one pound more than my Fisher, it whips around with surgical accuracy, and climbs like a Banshee. The Evolve was a great whip, just not as precise as the carbon Tallboy. Different strokes for different folks. Pricey, but highly recommended!
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Superfly, Klein Pulse Comp S
Bike Setup: Tubeless Kenda Nevegals, Masterpiece Thomson post and Elite stem, the rest XT OEM from Santa Cruz SPX XC 29 groupo.
a Weekend Warrior
from Gilbert, AZ USA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2011
Strengths: Bike has great pedaling efficiency and hooks up on the trails nicely.
Weaknesses: None yet
Nice bike for the price. Weighed out the option of buying the carbon version which had nicer components for $1200 more but it wasn't in my budget. I am happy with this bike and I can spend the money I saved in upgrades in a year or so.
Similar Products Used: Blur, Gary Fisher Fat Possum, GT IDrive 5.0
Bike Setup: DXC package
a Cross Country Rider
from San Clemente, CA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2011
Strengths: Weight, performance, speed, balance
Weaknesses: Factory tires
This bike is amazing! Although I have not owned it for long, I have ridden it daily on a variety of terrain including Chesebro Canyon and Backbone Trail near Agoura Hills, San Clemente Singletrack and Aliso Woods Canyon. This bike has rocked all of it. It is fast and solid through every type of terrain. Whoever said 29ers are hard to get up to speed or that they are difficult to take through switchbacks or corners has not ridden the Tallboy. I went with the Aluminum frame because I am 6'2" and 230 pounds and just do not feel confident with carbon yet. I demo'd the carbon bike and loved it to, but with the $$ saved, I upgraded the components. This bike is just ridiculously good! The only complaint is about the stock tires. The Maxxis tiers that come with the bike are fast, but have no grip in SoCal terrain and slip/slide all over the rocky terrain. I will be changing these shortly. Outside of that--this bike just keep s grin pasted to my face.