I rode the new Tallboy with 29 inch wheels at a Santa Cruz Demo event at Park city Mountain resort. I'm 5'10" and opted for a large bike. I rode the Tallboy a week after demo'ing a large Santa Cruz Hightower with 27.5+ wheels. I wanted to get a sense of what was different about the two bikes.
I was pleasantly surprised to see some trailbike touches on the build, the stiffer fox 34 and Maxxis Minion front tire inspired confidence in the dry-and-loose conditions of the day. On the climb, the Tallboy felt better than older Santa Cruz models I had ridden. where previous VPP models had some wallow while at low speeds, the Tallboy (and other newer SC models) ride high in the shock, and feel nice and sensitive to small inputs. I chalk this up to the revised pivot locations, and the larger-volume air canister on the shock. I'm not a spectacular climber, but enjoyed my journey up the hill. I felt no need to flip the switch on the rear shock to firm up the rear end.
When the time came to point the bike downhill, the bike steered precisely and rolled well. I did notice a need to check my speed as I came into rough sections of trail I could have plowed through at full gas on the Hightower.
So, after riding both, the Tallboy is and an enthusiastic climber and a confident downhill cruiser. The Hightower is a capable climber and a downhill charger. Choose accordingly! If you'd like to talk mountain bikes, or any other type of cycling gear call me at 801-736-6396x4076 or email me at email@example.com