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An instant classic.

If you're thinking that Santa Cruz's redesigned Tallboy 2 Carbon is the top candidate for best trail bike ever, you're not alone. That's why Santa Cruz built the Tallboy 2 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike with an assortment of the finest components that money can buy. So, between the SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Shimano XTR brakes, and ENVE's venerable carbon wheels, you'll get nothing but the best from this instant classic.

When revising the Tallboy, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that, improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? So, rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame takes roughly 100 grams off of the previous carbon generation, while simultaneously increasing the frame's rigidity. You'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are a breeze to service. And, like the previous Tallboy Carbon, the layup process has been refined in order to fully compact the carbon fiber. A cross-section cut-away makes this plain as day, where the smooth internal walls of each tube illustrate that there's zero extraneous material. Accordingly, Santa Cruz's proprietary layup process makes the frame both as light and strong as possible.

Santa Cruz's spirit of improvement is furthered with some of the Tallboy 2's more subtle details. The first improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment scheme for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggy-backing off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well.

The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dual-link, counter-rotating VPP suspension design. When compressing the suspension from the beginning of the stroke, most of the rotation happens in the stiff aluminum top link, which pulls the wheel closer to the bottom bracket. That keeps the Tallboy soft off of the top, making for a supremely smooth ride. And, once you pass the sag point and get deeper into the travel, the forged aluminum lower link handles most of the rotation. This means that the rear wheel is traveling away from the bottom bracket, so it's better equipped to handle larger, square-edged impacts. VPP is also incredibly effective at neutralizing braking forces, which prevents either stiffening or extending under hard braking. But, the main benefit that you'll notice with this suspension platform is that it isolates pedaling forces in order to keep the bike from bobbing.The lower link has easily accessible grease ports, once again increasing the ease of service.

Perhaps the biggest change is that Santa Cruz is providing the Tallboy 2 in a size Small. Previous iterations of the Tallboy weren't available in sizes smaller than Medium, because the suspension platform provided a limited stand-over. Stand-over is of particular importance to riders, especially on bikes with 29-inch wheels. However, the updated suspension layout lowered the shock mount enough to provide plenty of stand-over for a Small size to be added. Not surprisingly, this provides the same fit that you'd expect from Santa Cruz's other models.

There are those among us who need the absolute best without exception. If this is you, then Santa Cruz had you in mind while spec'ing the XX1 ENVE build kit. The XX1 drivetrain provides a much wider gear range than a traditional single-ring setup. Essentially, XX1 accomplishes this feat through the use of a massive 11-speed cassette that features a gear range of 10-42t. The lack of a front derailleur and shifter, along with some truly impressive machine work, enables SRAM to keep weight to a minimum. And that's made the XX1 drivetrain competitive at the highest levels of both Enduro and XC racing. Shimano's venerable XTR brakes handle stopping duties, offering up easily controllable power. The Easton stem and handlebar are offset by Thomson's Masterpiece post and WTB's Silverado SLT saddle. However, the real magic is in the wheelset -- ENVE's 29-inch XC rims laced to a DT240 rear hub and an E13 XCX 15mm front hub. And while there's no denying the plain-old drool factor, it's the supreme blend of horizontal stiffness and vertical compliance that makes these ENVE hoops the perfect companion to the Tallboy 2.

Those with considerable saddle time on the Tallboy platform know that despite its modest 100mm wheel travel, this is a bike that begs to be pushed hard. This has been further enhanced through the the VPP's pairing with a trail-worthy FOX 32 FLOAT 29 FIT CTD with Trail Adjust and the durable Kashima coating sporting 120mm of travel. Additionally, the Tallboy 2 receives stealth routing for dropper seatposts. So, you have several options if you're looking for more control on descents and technical sections. For compatibility with tapered forks, the mixed-tapered 44/56mm head tube carries over, as does the 142x12mm thru-axle rear end. Both traits not only boost the stiffness of the frame, but of the bike as a whole. This equates to a precise level of tracking, which is particularly noticeable on rough lines and off-camber sections.

The Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Carbon XX1 ENVE Complete Mountain Bike is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the colors Gloss White/black and Matte Black/white.

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Especs

Hi I find the specs for the complete talbot 2 "Enve" need to be corrected, the rims should be Enve and the picture should be with XX1.
regards

Responded on

Too funny - you're right that the crankset is a triple in the photographs - most definitely not XX1. The wheels are ENVE though.

5 5

Awesome bike

I've got a Tallboy 2 with this exact setup (well, apart from changing the front-rotor to 180mm). The frame seems to climb better with less bobbing than the already great Tallboy I had before - combination of the CTD shock and the updated frame design. The XX1 drive-train is great and the XTR brakes are reported to be the best in breed, and were way better than the SRAM XX brakes I had in 2012 (magnesium ones). Expensive, but dream bike spec. Love it, and selling my hardtail as a result.

Responded on

Great build/ dream bike! Just did a self shuttle on Canal trail ( Kernville CA, 60 miles, 9000' of climbing )on my og tall boy. Would love to get my mits on this. Enjoy your sweet rig !