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If you're going to build the trail bike of your dreams, starting with the Santa Cruz Tallboy Mountain Bike Frame as your foundation gets you off to the best start possible. Whether you're building it up as a fast 29-inch ripper or as a traction-savvy 27.5 Plus whip, this frame is destined to succeed as an insanely versatile machine that continues to refine the modern trail bike. The ability to run dual wheel sizes and geometry lets the bike venture into and dominate trails far burlier than you would believe its 4.5-inches could handle.
Doing it all, the Tallboy offers cross-country efficiency while climbing and pedaling, and the ability to hang with the big boys when the trails get steep and rowdy. You can easily build it up to your discretion with plus wheels or 29ers. The split personality is enabled by the reversible Flip Chip at the upper link. Setting the flip chip to low mode relaxes the head angle by roughly half a degree and lowers the bottom bracket, which makes for an ideal setup when paired with the slightly larger diameter in 29-inch wheels. The slightly smaller 27.5+ wheels pair with the high setting to enable a similar clearance between the bottom bracket and the ground.
The Tallboy boasts 110mm of travel, which is governed by the latest version of Santa Cruz's VPP technology. As with all VPP bikes, the Tallboy's counter-rotating links are carefully arranged to resist activation by pedaling forces, all but eliminating unwanted bobbing under power. This iteration of VPP is tuned to provide more midstroke support than previous generations of the VPP platform, giving the rider a better feel for the terrain, and a livelier ride feel. While the excellent suspension plays a large role, a key part of the Tallboy's handling is its carefully tuned geometry. At 68-degrees, the head angle is nimble enough for whipping through tight singletrack, while slack enough to remain confident at high speed.
The 17-inch chainstays encourage quick line choices and lofting the front wheel over obstacles while long enough to provide ample traction on loose climbs. A longer reach positions the rider between the wheels for a better feel between the wheels and telepathic handling. This Tallboy is built using aluminum, which is both impervious to rust and highly resistant to impact damage. This choice of material also results in a fairly modest asking price, which makes the Tallboy both an excellent introductory mountain bike, and a tempting addition to any well-equipped stable. You'll get a frame that will hold up to years of abuse, provide a comfortable ride, and will do so at a very competitive weight.
- Well-rounded trail bike frame that leans into technical terrain
- Versatile VPP travel combines XC efficiency with trail riding prowess
- Moderate geometry climbs well with point-and-shoot descending
- Flip chip allows for 27.5+ and 29er builds with one frame
- Uncompromising stiffness and weight with aluminum construction
- Santa Cruz Bicycles is always willing to push further
- Item #SNZ00JR