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2016 saw some well-received changes to Santa Cruz's much loved Tallboy, with a few geometry tweaks, updated linkage, and the third generation of VPP suspension. We're happy to report that those updates are back for 2017 with some new colorways and build kits to boost your time on the trail. The 2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon 29 R1x Complete Mountain Bike harnesses the XC spirit of the original Tallboy and adds a bit of all-mountain flair to dig into bigger terrain with ease. Santa Cruz specs this particular build with SRAM's NX drivetrain, Level T hydraulic brakes, and smooth-spinning WTB wheels wrapped in versatile Maxxis tires.
The cross-country discipline hasn't been immune to the increased versatility that the all-mountain/enduro set has been so loudly demanding, and Santa Cruz aimed to make the Tallboy into a bike that would challenge you to dive off the buttery singletrack and onto more unpredictable trails. To do this, it slackened the head tube angle from the previous model's 70.2 degrees down to a trail-ready 68 degrees and shortened the chainstays by 13mm to bring them down to a stubby, responsive 17.01in. Coupled with a significantly longer reach, these changes result in a rear triangle you won't need to worry about whipping around corners and grinding through spiraling climbs. This complements a stable, confident front end that's prepared to charge through rock gardens and unpredictable descents alongside your enduro rig-driving cohorts.
Tallboy 3 also benefits from Santa Cruz's improved flip chip technology. Making its inaugural appearance on the Hightower, the flip chip allows riders to change their frames to be compatible with either 29in wheels or 27.5+. On the Hightower, this switch results in slight changes to head tube angle, but on the Tallboy 3, you can ride either wheel size without adapting to any alterations to frame geometry. Whether you enjoy the plush, cushy ride of 27.5+ or were an early and loyal supporter of bombproof 29er stability, you will always have the freedom to switch sides later on.
Geometry is only half the story, and Tallboy fans will be pleased to learn that the third generation VPP suspension platform didn't undergo any earth-shattering changes. In fact, it's the same VPP that the Bronson 2.0 and 5010 2.0 received. It's inspired by the burlier Nomad, which means you get links that stay out of the way to accommodate a piggyback shock's external can without giving up the bottle cage. Ultimately, the redesigned linkage lets Santa Cruz build the frame with more ground clearance, lower standover, and a stiffer design to complement the already stiff Boost back end.
Third generation VPP also received a few tweaks to its tuning compared to older version, with its new curve deviating from the previous "U" shape and moving towards more of a flattened check mark, with less dramatic ramping on either end of the arc. This improves the suspension's traction and compliance early and towards the middle of the stroke, lending more consistency and grip across root-laced, inconsistent trails. These changes thankfully don't have any impact on acceleration, so the crunchier Tallboy remains just as nimble and responsive as its predecessors.
The Tallboy Carbon features a full carbon fiber frame boasting the same stiffness, durability, and strength as Santa Cruz's top-line Carbon CC frame. It's just made with a less costly carbon fiber that carries a tiny bit more weight and brings a big reduction in overall price. Each triangle is built as a whole piece, allowing engineers to continuously shape high-stress junctures and avoid creating weak points or areas of the frame with less structural integrity. Before completion, the carbon is compacted from the inside as well, eliminating excess material build-up inside the tubing and saving even more weight over quicker, less precise construction methods.
- Expanding the definitions of XC capability
- Responsive pedaling platform with 4.5in of VPP travel
- Spacious geometry for sending bigger lines
- Flip chip allows compatibility with both 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels
- Carbon construction reduces weight and increases stiffness
- Santa Cruz's innovative design consistently leads the industry
- Item #SNZ00BJ
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I bought a couple new bikes for myself and my son with the tallboy being for my son. Fortunately we happen to ride the same size bike, so maybe the tallboy is for both of us so I'll have a XC FS bike. On the first ride he loved it, he's ridden several bikes and he picked this as THE bike he wanted. From my perspective I was more than happy to buy it for him. It handles very very well an yes boost spacing is noticeable and does make a difference. It tracks the switchbacks confidently and easily holds it's line. Suspension is very easy to adjust for any terrain and makes it a bike you can climb well on, keeping it a real XC machine. The Sram 1X system is a must, I run it on my highball as well. It's held up through some pretty good abuse. The fox fork is very capable and I have been pleased with it even thought it's not their highest end model. Overall the bike is a blast and easy to ride and I'll definitely recommend it if your looking for a full suspension XC ride with a proper groupset that doesn't break the bank. I am 5'7" and my son is 5'5" and we ride a size M just great. the sizing chart I don't think is very accurate as Santa Cruz runs a little small. Feel free to contact me with any questions on the tallboy or fit. firstname.lastname@example.org