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Style for miles.
There are multiple sources touting the advantages of 29er wheels-- that's nothing new. All those big-wheel gains, however, are worthless unless the chassis, suspension, and drivetrian are designed -- like the Tallboy LT Carbon SPX AM 2x10 34 Float 140 Complete Bike offered here -- to unleash the 29er's full potential.
The LT Carbon's combination of unique, long-travel geometry, stiff chassis, and dialed, XT 2 x 10 drivetrain provides next-level 29er performance -- with a rewarding rider experience. The LT isn't just a starched out Tallboy. Yes, it shares the one-piece, high-modulus carbon fiber construction process, but the similarities end there.
Reinforced for all-mountain abuse, the LT Carbon gets added material in critical, high-stress zones like the headtube, BB, and shock mount/pivot zones. The one-piece lay-up, as opposed to assembling joints that require bonding or wrapping, distributes loads and absorbs impact energy better due to the continuous fibers wrapped between junctions. The process also uses an internal bladder to compact the fibers.
This process allows Santa Cruz to control both the outside and inside shapes during the lay-up. The result is material where it’s needed most, reduced stress risers, and less chance for delamination. It's the same construction technique as the XC Tallboy, but its unique geometry requires separate molds to offer the optimum, long-travel 29er experience.
The Tallboy LT Carbon sports a slightly longer top tube, a degree and a half slacker headtube angle and slacker seat tube. This puts the rider's center of gravity further back for confident descending and switchback-railing performance. The LT also benefits from a lower standover height for enhanced clearance on technical trails.
Those challenging sections of trail will have a hard time trying to best the Tallboy LT Carbon's 125mm of second generation VPP suspension. The upper and lower links flatten out the shock rate for a more active feel to the early axle path. This allows the rear wheel to move up and back as you ride over a bump, but the shock rate quickly ramps up for a nice bottomless feel. Having a suspension design that offers performance while descending is one thing, being able to pedal without wasting energy to compressing the shock is another.
The Tallboy's design balances the downward force of pedaling with the pulling force of the chain -- neutralizing them to prevent pedal-bob or unwanted squatting during acceleration. This combination of big-hit compliance and pedal-ability allows you to charge rock gardens, drop into root-laden shoots, and blast across fire roads.
The upper link is carbon fiber to shave weight and enhance lateral stiffness, and easily-serviceable grease ports in the aluminum alloy lower link ensure extremely long bearing life. The pivots now have oversized, 15mm locking axle pins, which run on intricately-sealed bearings with one-way purging seals that should last the life of the frame, and won't creak or loosen -- and, Santa Cruz topped it off with titanium hardware where applicable.
Managing the Tallboy LT’s 135mm of travel is a lightweight and reliable Fox Float CTD shock that’s easy to adjust. It has three distinct settings; a firm 'Climbing' setting, medium 'Trail' setting, and a plush 'Descend' setting. This keeps operation straightforward and intuitive for beginners and experts alike. Up front, a 140mm FOX 34 Float with the 15QR thru-axle ensure trail-leveling performance and steering precision.
Spinning around that axle, and the rear 142 x 12 thru axle alike, is a wheeset consisting of WTB Frequency Team i23 rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs and DT 14/15 spokes with alloy nipples. They're equipped with Maxxis Ardent 2.25in tires. Twisting the rear wheel is a 2 x 10 Shimano XT drivetrain. The 26/38T chainrings work seamlessly with the 11 - 36T cassette to eliminate redundant ratios for simpler and faster gear selection.
Guiding a Shimano HG74 chain over the XT cassette and crank are XT front and rear derailleurs controlled via XT shifters. The shifters, mounted to a Easton Haven handlebar, shares real estate with XT brake levers and Lizard Skin Peaty lock-on grips. The SPX kit gets Ice Tech rotors as well; 180mm front and 160mm rear. Finishing off the build is a TruVativ AKA stem and a Thomson Elite Seatpost with WTB Volt Team Saddle.
The Santa CruzTallboy LT Carbon SPX AM 2x10 34 Float 140 Complete Bike comes in sizes Medium, Large, and X-Large, and two colors; Matte Carbon/Orange and Yellow Black.M
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Carbon Frame? check. 135mm of Travel? check. 142 rear thru axle? check. 29er? check.
This is my 1st new mountain bike in over 12 years. Out of all of the tech advances in recent years, the 29" wheels are the most noticeable upgrade to me.
I would have liked a full suspension lock out option for those long grinds up paved hills.