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It's fair to assume the LT Carbon is Santa Cruz's Tallboy with longer legs. But in actuality it's much more -- and gets its own carbon chassis and geometry to squeeze the most out of the 29-inch shoes, 135mm of VPP suspension, and SLX-equipped R AM Complete mountain bike build.

To start with, the LT is destined for more aggressive terrain and riding than the XC-oriented Tallboy, and accordingly, it required a tweaked version of Santa Cruz's proprietary carbon processes. For added strength, the front triangle received the same one-piece construction with added material at the head tube and bottom bracket junction. The carbon fibers are also continuous around the tube junctions to increase the distribution of load while improving the absorbency of impact energy.

Looking at the geometry, the Tallboy LT Carbon is longer and taller than its sibling. But, to keep that in perspective, the original Tallboy's short chainstays and ultra-compact head tube make it one of the most nimble full-suspension 29ers out there. The Tallboy LT Carbon maintains similar dimensions, but it adds 35mm of rear travel (135mm total) while accommodating a 130-150mm front fork. The head tube angle has been slackened a bit, to a more stable 69.5 degrees. Throw in the inherent rolling advantages of 29 inch wheels and you have a bike that conquers the sketchiest descents with aplomb.

The VPP rear suspension on the Tallboy LT Carbon utilizes patented, counter-rotating shock links that allow for a variable feel throughout the suspension travel. When sag is set correctly, the Tallboy LT Carbon is extremely responsive to small- and medium-sized bumps. On larger hits that push it deeper into its travel, it becomes more stubborn, a necessity to avoid harsh bottom-out. It's also a crisp, efficient pedaler -- even in the small chainring. Another big plus of VPP suspension is its durability. In fact, Santa Cruz guarantees the pivot bearings for life. The suspension is sprung by a light FOX FLOAT CTD with the simplified Climb, Trail, and Descent dampening settings.

With the Tallboy LT Carbon, Santa Cruz didn't simply tweak the geometry of the original Tallboy and call it a day. This frame has received some insightful upgrades. Recognizing that the Tallboy LT Carbon will see heavy-duty, bone-rattling action, ISCG05 tabs were added to the bottom bracket shell to accommodate a chain guide. Additionally, the lower suspension link is asymmetrical to ensure chain guide clearance.

In the R AM dress, however, you get a Shimano SLX crankset with three rings up front. Smartly, Santa Cruz gives the LT a metal insert on the chainstay where a dropped chain would otherwise wreak havoc on the carbon fiber. The grease ports on the lower suspension link are recessed to keep them out of harm's way. And because you're bound to kick up some trail projectiles, the lower part of the down tube is wrapped in a leather protector. A similar protector covers the chainstay to protect from chain-slap.

The rest of the R AM kit consists of SLX shifters and rear derailleur with an HG 81, 11-36t cassette and HG74 chain. For smooth rolling, the wheels are comprised of WTB i23 TCS rims that have been laced to SRAM 716/746 hubs. For stopping, the kit comes equipped with a set of Deore hydraulic disc brakes. Race Face Ride components have the cockpit covered from at the handlebars, stem, and seat post. Finally, a 140mm travel 34 FLOAT CTD leads the Tallboy LT's off-road charge.

The Santa Cruz Tallboy LT Carbon R AM Complete Mountain Bike is available in the colors Matt Carbon/orange, Yellow/black, and Gloss Blue/white with sizes ranging from Medium to X-Large.

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