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I am planning a new build of a lightweight FS 29er bike (sub-25lbs if possible) for long-distance XC and trail riding (not racing). I had pretty much settled on the Tallboy, but then did some reading about the Rockstar-Ti. I'd be very interested to hear your opinions about these two bikes, disregarding the difference in frame prices for the moment. Yes, I did read b2b2's post in this forum. I weigh 180 lbs and am 6' tall. Thanks!
 

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Between those two, the Rockstar intrigues me more now. I hope to demo the Tallboy and Rockstar this weekend. If I had to choose one right now, I'd go with the Rockstar. I have been hearing some really good things about it from riders who have ridden it recently. It is only a lb or so heavier, has a slacker headangle, looks stiffer, and looks more durable. It has no pedal feedback and I actually prefer the aesthetics. I'll report back after this weekend if I make it to Breck. These are two bikes I'd really like to ride.
 

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mnt bike laws of physics
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I think the Hydroformed Ti is sweet. Also, the RS's shock has a longer stroke that the TB which should lead to better controlled damping.
Not a fan of the Horst Link though as far a brake jack goes. Not sure about the TB in that regards.
As I mentioned in the other thread, the TB has a shorter chainstay length.
 

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Angry bunny
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My completely unbiased review of my Tallboy from elsewhere:

Tallboy update.

Frikken GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sure that this bike can sense what is needed (and also what I am about to do) and then take over control to negate my stupid error before I actually make it.
I don't know how many times per ride I have thought, "HTF did I make it through that???".
Absolutely love my Tallboy.
No issues with alleged pedal feedback at all as set up with the SC recommended shock pressures.
The few reviews I have read that mention feedback do so in the same sentence as the words granny, hammering, uphill and out of saddle. I don't understand how or why these words go together.
 

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Naturally Organic
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Subscribed.

These two bikes are on my short list; along with the Pivot 429 and GF Superfly 100...

I have ridden the 429 & SF100 already and both handle nicely.

Based on visual aesthetics, the Rockstar Ti is #1, 2. Tallboy, Tres: 429, Four - SF100
Weight: TB (w/ my Specs) <22#...Rockstar Ti (w/ my Specs) <23#...429 (w/ my Specs) <24#, SF100 (GF Specs) <25#...
Pecieved durability/reliability: Rockstar Ti / 429 / Tallboy / SF100
Handling & Ride: have tested the 429 & SF100...looking forward to this thread and my personal test rides of the TB & Rockstar Ti at some future date & time to determine...

TIA
 

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Not all pain is gain...
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yogiprophet said:
Not a fan of the Horst Link though as far a brake jack goes.
The only full suspension bikes I've owned have been Horst Link and I don't think I've never experienced any brake jack. YMMV.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get much time in on my Rockstar Ti. Received it last Friday, build complete by Saturday. On call rotation has been brutal so I haven't been able to get away to any decent trails. Have hit up some trails here in town but they're very sloppy and quite over grown so not the best conditions. I plan on putting some serious mileage on it this weekend though.

My initial impressions are that the frame is plenty stiff. It steers nicely and rails corners. Seems to climb quite well, but again, haven't really put that to the test yet.

rabies
 

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11 is one louder than 10
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Having owned a Racer X 100 last year and a Tallboy now...

The Rockstar really is going to ride 95% similar to the Racer X, possibly a bit lighter, stiffer, and with handling tweaks. I've ridden both the RX29 and Tallboy at weights as high as 225lbs. For YEARS I rode various incarnations of the Racer X dating back to 1999... the original pinch bolts, the hammerhead 100, rx29er etc.

That said - 99% of riders will be happy with either bike. Tapered headtubes on 29ers are a great idea and DO make a stiffness difference in the front end. Both bikes will be stiff in this regard, I can say after riding the Tallboy and the older RX29er - that yes tapered headtubes help.

The rear of the RX29er was a shade flexy, but once I put a 10mm DT RWS on that bike - it stiffened it right up, honestly I would recommend this to any rider on a 29er FS and I moved that right over to the Tallboy - which is also plenty stiff in the rear end.

Really, I would tell someone that it comes down to isolating the differences in the bikes and picking those that work best for you. As both bikes are going to be excellent.

I've put a good 800 miles on my tallboy thus far and it's been plenty durable and it has been crashed. I do live in Michigan so we don't have big rocks, but thus far it's good. There is a leap of faith in going to a full carbon FS bike, I'm glad I did.

Here are what I would see as the differences.

1. Horst link vs. VPP. - Horsts are nice in that you know what you are going to get and that they act the same regardless of chainring. VPP has improved the pedal kickback significantly.. but in the small chainring it's still there. (I owned an Intense 5.5 VPP for a short while and that bike was not so hot in a lot of regards..). I would tell you this, that in the middle and big chainring that the VPP is flat out awesome and I like it better than the Horst. In the small chainring - there is pedal kickback on the Tallboy. It's not horrid, but yes it's there. I also very RARELY use pro-pedal, and never did on my RX either. Pro-pedal will help with the kickback a bit. But if you spend a lot of time climbing technical stuff in your small chainring and hate pedal kickback - get the Rockstar. If you spend most of your time in the middle and big chainrings, and if efficiency is important to you, both will be nice, but the nod here goes to the tallboy.

2. Handling. I'm going to have to guess a bit on this one that the Rockstar's handling has been tweaked to work better with a 100mm fork. The RX29er with a 100mm fork, even with a bit of offset felt a shade floppy, I'm guessing that the Rockstar has it nailed. The Tallboy I run with 100mm of travel, but I like a crisp handling bike. In fact one of the things I really like about the Tallboy is that it handles crisply. I tend to believe that the 29er hoops make everything more stable so it really works out well. Honestly with either bike I think that the new 29er Talas forks make a ton of sense though. Again, I think either bike can and will handle quite well. Tapered steerers, 15/20mm axles, stiffer wheels, changes in trail - all make a much bigger difference than 1 degree of HT angle.

3. Material - both have a carbon rear... so if you trust the carbon rear, why not the carbon front. That said, it is a bit of a leap to carbon in general.

4. Weight - Tallboy wins.

So here's the thing. Both bikes are likely to be tremendous. I suspect I would be fully happy with either. Do I love my Tallboy - absolutely, after 800 miles I think that any new bike lust has worn off and I really dig this bike. Now here is the thing about the pedal kickback in the granny - do I feel it - yup, do I care - no, not really. It doesn't affect my riding or ability to climb so who cares. But, if you care, it is there.

I I started fresh today, my short list would be a Rockstar Ti or the Tallboy. Having owned (and liked) my RX 29er - the nod for me would still go to the Tallboy. The Pivot 429 also rides REALLY nice but while I'm not a weight weenie by any means, even now at 195 lbs... the weight of the 429 would hold me back a bit.

Now... if Pivot comes out with a lighter, Carbon 429 at some point with a tapered steerer... then I may have to revisit my decision as that bike absolutely rails and I like Pivot's implementation of the DW link even more than I like the Tallboy VPP and the RX Horst Link, but even I felt that 2.5 lbs for a similarly priced frame I wanted to save that weight and went Tallboy.

Good news is this - no matter what you decide, I suspect you will be happy.
 

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yogiprophet said:
I think the Hydroformed Ti is sweet. Also, the RS's shock has a longer stroke that the TB which should lead to better controlled damping.
Not a fan of the Horst Link though as far a brake jack goes. Not sure about the TB in that regards.
As I mentioned in the other thread, the TB has a shorter chainstay length.
Ridden lots of HL bikes and spent a good bit of time on the older VPP design. I have never felt any sort of kickback, brake jack or anything on a HL bike (just bob and squat). VPP rides nice but does not like the granny.
 

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Did some test riding on two 429s a couple of days ago- that bike pedals beautifully. Took a customer's large Tallboy out yesterday- very nice too but the 429 pedals better and feels stiffer laterally....still would like to try the Tallboy and Rockstar this weekend on some long and rocky climbs.

I did call a pretty big dealer who has seen "a few broken Tallboys" so it concerns me a bit...not too unusual for a first year model and a light cabon frame but still bothers me a bit. I'm not posting the dealer's name here nor am I implying this is a Gary Fissure type of situation but I'd rather wait a year before considering it. This being said, it rides very well and a great first 29er from Satan Cruz. Oddly enough, I usually ride a 24" ETT but the large felt a bit cramped- I'd want to try a XL as well.

So for me, the 429 is #1 but if weight is an issue, the Ti Rockstar is #1 but the DW link is just hard to go away from. Each time I ride it, it pedals better than anything else I ride. However, I am certain we will have 2-3 more light 4" 29er contenders out at Interbike or Sea Otter.
 

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anyone have an update on the rumor of failures on the Tallboy frames? It's on my short list for next year so I am curious. (Other short list frames are the Titus Rockstar Ti and the Funk La Ruta)
 

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That is extremely interesting given that I have not read of one single case here or anywhere else.

Unfortunately no one on this website has reported a broken tallboy. That isn't to say that it hasn't happened but I would imagine if a frame did break there should be some first hand testimony. MTBR is probably the biggest mountain bike website in the world and it's very suprising not to see anyone complain about a single Tallboy frame here if there were a consistent history. However if only a few frames broke I would imagine that is possible not to hear about it here, if Frame failures are rare. However just to make sure I'm going to call Santa Cruz tommorrow and see what they tell me.
 
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