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Santa Cruz Bicycles' recipe for singletrack speed is simple. Start with a wagon-wheel base for an aggressive angle of approach and steamroller capabilities, subtract 1.5in of rim diameter to add agility, lengthen the reach, and shred to taste. If you've followed these steps correctly, then the results should look something like the Highball Carbon CC 27.5 Eagle X01 Complete Mountain Bike. The Highball bakes up into an aggressive XC machine that capitalizes on speed for endurance events but also rocks a short stem and nimble wheelbase for spry handling that dices the chunky stuff like garlic in an Italian grandmother's kitchen.
Of course, we're not too terribly adept at cooking, so we're happy to let Santa Cruz do the prep work—especially since SRAM (one of our favorite sous chefs) finishes the dish with a generous helping of the new Eagle X01 drivetrain. Eagle's 50t cog brings us back to the Italian grandmother theme, as it's the ultimate granny gear and will help you clean your plate when you've taken on a bit more climbing than your belly can handle.
The latest Highball Carbon CC frame is built with the same Carbon CC construction as its predecessor. It features a higher modulus carbon than the Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to a lighter chassis that needs fewer watts to propel, and the watts that you do pour into it are transferred with greater efficiency courtesy of the increased stiffness.
The whole frame is also a single piece instead of a jigsaw puzzle of individually-cured carbon tubes. This allows Santa Cruz to wrap the fibers continuously around structurally important junctures like the head tube and bottom bracket, buttressing the frame and dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load. Translated into trail talk, this means it hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals and dampens high-speed chatter. The Highball's efficiency combines with its low-weight for a package that makes any full-suspension bike's responsiveness feel as sharp as an overripe banana. Save the brown nanners for banana bread; we're having XC speed cake tonight.
- A superlative XC endurance bike
- 27.5in wheels balance agility with rolling aggression
- Santa Cruz Bicycles' top-tier Carbon CC construction
- Long reach and a short stem make for nimble handling
- Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs
- The one-by revolution goes to 12 with SRAM Eagle
- Item #SNZ00AP
- Q & A
Santa Cruz family
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have a few SC bikes to choose from, lucky enough that my son rides the same size bike I do. I've ridden them all and SC is my overall brand of mtb choice, but what do I ride when I really want to go, I'm on my highball. I want to go quickly, I want to be able to throw my bike around when things get hairy, I want to have a bike that handles well to make up for my lack of skill. The bike is light, I have a couple sets of wheels to run and with either the weight is scary light. Light is great but it's not the end of the story, I have pushed this bike hard and it's never wavered. running X01 with a 32t and it works for anything I want to ride. I've loved riding the highball so much it's turned this old road racer into a mtb racer. I never thought I would see that day. Feel free to email me with any specific questions on the frame or builds.
Speed! Any questions at all on this don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally – happy to help out and make sure the bike is dialed for you when you get it and possibly save you a few bucks in the process. This bike is everything a XC bike should be.
Customer Account Manager-Bike
Office: 801-736-6396 ext. 4737