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Santa Cruz Tallboy Alu first ride

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The Tallboy has a beautifully balanced ride feel, even with the longer 120mm forks up front knocking the head angle back a touch. Steering is predictable, it carves through corners with incredible speed, and acceleration out of corners is impressive.

Its second-gen VPP suspension is ultra composed. Very little pedal bob is detectable, as the dual-link layout employs the pulling force of the chain and the force of pedalling to prevent pedal-induced bob. Even with the Propedal dial set to lowest setting, it pedals with great efficiency.

It is active over the small stuff, smoothing out all the small and medium sized bumps. I’ve been impressed with the Tallboy’s ability to take the bigger hits too. Despite ‘only 100mm’ of rear wheel travel, the Tallboy never really felt short on travel. The VPP suspension is so smooth through its stroke and the transition to a rising rate in the later stage of the stroke helps the Tallboy deal with bigger hits

On techy descents you realise how good the Tallboy is. And with the fitting of the 120mm Magura fork up front, we felt able to blast through rough trails with more confidence, while the 100mm rear travel never felt out of its depth.

The stiffness of the Magura TS8 fork with their unique 15mm bolt-thru axle and dual crown design is a match for the Tallboy’s aluminium chassis. It may not feel quite as stiff as the carbon version, but you’ll be hard pressed to really detect any shortcomings in the aluminium frame. But you will notice the £700 you saved in your bank account.

Luckily I managed to build up the latest long-termer for the recent spell of sunny weather, which means I’ve been able to get plenty of rides in already. These include a couple of local mid-week evening mountain bike cross-country races and riding some of the Erlestoke Twelve 12-hour race last weekend.

So far on each of these initial I’ve been blown away with how capable the bike is. But more than anything I’ve come away from every ride grinning from ear to ear. I just want to get back out and ride the Tallboy.

I’ve made a couple of changes to the cockpit since it first appeared on BM last week. The Gravity carbon 740mm bars and matching 60mm stem have gone on and this has resulted in a dramatic increase in the Tallboy’s capability. It is loads more fun too, and helps to get the Tallboy arcing through the tight singletrack turns that are the Achilles heel for 29ers.

www.santacruzbikes.co.uk

  1. wobbem

    Looking forward to seeing some Strava times in the Surrey Hills.

  2. David Arthur

    Aye, will be interesting to see what it’s like on the local trails – only raced it so far

  3. chris-m

    @David. Just wondering, how tall are you and what size Tallboy have you chosen? I’m a huge Santa Cruz fan (just bought an Alloy Highball) and was wondering what the Tallboy feels like – in terms of stretch – with the 60mm stem and wide bars, as they notoriously come up short in the top tube. Thanks.

  4. David Arthur

    Chris, I’m 5’11″ and the Tallboy is a size large. Currently running it with a 60mm stem and it fits perfectly, the reach is about perfect, not too cramped and not stretched. Santa Cruz do come up a little short, but the large is just right

    Did a 7.5hr ride with the 60mm stem adn 740mm bar the other day and didn’t feel at all compromised, in fact it felt very comfortable

    Rode a carbon Highball at Big Dog last year, that had an 80mm stem and it felt good too, never tried that bike with a shorter stem for comparison though

  5. Conrad/sadoldsamurai

    How do you think the Magura dual crown fork compares with the 34mm Fox ?

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