Santa Cruz adds 10mm travel and heaps of radness to the 2020 Tallboy

Geometry brought up to date and flip chips added to all-round short travel shredder

2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy

For 2020 Santa Cruz has upped the game when it comes to its shorter travel, big-wheeled, mile-munching focussed Tallboy.

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Borrowing inspiration from its gravity line-up, the 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy now gets the Lower Link VPP suspension system with 120mm of travel to improve big-hit performance, as well as improved geometry and a 130mm fork plugged into the head tube.

Santa Cruz’s sister company Juliana has also made the same changes to its Joplin women’s-specific mountain bike.

The Tallboy has often been popular with testers, thanks to its zippy, responsive ride, which has also been fairly capable in chunkier terrain.

However, as time has moved on, the geometry now looks fairly conservative by today’s standard, and with riders wanting to tackle even more technical trails on their shorter travel bikes, it makes sense to us for Santa Cruz to make these changes.

2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy and Juliana Joplin frame details

As we’ve seen across its range, Santa Cruz offers three different frame options: alloy, ‘regular’ C carbon, and fancy CC carbon. All get a lifetime warranty.

VPP lower link Santa Cruz Tallboy
Santa Cruz’s signature VPP system has been moved towards the bottom of the bike.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The Lower Link VPP system places the shock low in the body of the frame, with the shock nestled between the lower seat tube supports, just above the bottom bracket.

The shock is driven by the lower linkage of the system, as opposed to the upper link which is used to drive it — this system is still found on the latest 5010.

Santa Cruz says that this Lower Link VPP design is more descent orientated, with a softer, plusher feel, and our testing so far supports this. As such, it very much feels like this iteration of the Tallboy is eschewing its almost cross-country heritage, despite having ‘just’ 120mm of travel.

The lower link has a grease port built-in to keep it running smooth, while there’s also a small mud flap to protect the shock from debris.

The frame has a set of bottle bosses in the main triangle, internal cable routing, ISCG05 mounts and a threaded bottom bracket.

2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy and Juliana Joplin geometry

Alongside the wholesale rework of the suspension, the geometry of the Tallboy is vastly different to the previous version, also reflecting the bike’s focus on descending.

Tallboy flip chip
The bike features a flip chip that can be used to alter the geometry of the bike.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Santa Cruz has fitted two flip-chips to the carbon bikes and one to the alloy. These are reversible mounting hardware for the shock’s eyelet or wheel axle.

2020 Santa Cruz TallBoy
The geometry of the bike has been brought up to date for 2020.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

All models get the lower link flip-chip, which drops the bottom bracket (BB) slightly into the Low setting, and also makes the suspension more progressive towards the end of its stroke.

The BB drops by 3mm — not much — which has a slight impact on the head and seat angles (0.2 degrees) and also the reach, reducing it by 2mm. This chip should probably be seen more like a suspension adjusting chip, rather than geometry adjustment.

The other chip is found in the carbon models (C and CC). This is a +/- 10mm adjustment of the chainstay, or rear-centre, length. This, says Santa Cruz, is to give riders the ability to adjust the feel of the bike on the trail.

The longer setting should make the bike feel more stable and balanced at speed and on steep terrain, while the shorter should make it feel more agile through turns and tight trails.

The other aspect is that the longer setting allows the fitment of 29inx2.6in tyres. To accommodate the change in chainstay length, Santa Cruz includes an extra brake mount and mech hanger.

2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy geometry
As with all bikes these days, the bike is now slightly longer and slacker.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The carbon Tallboys will be available in six sizes: XS to XXL. Alloy versions will come in four sizes: S to XL.

Key geometry figures are below for a Large in its Low setting — carbon and alloy bikes have identical geometry.

  • Reach: 468mm
  • Head angle: 65.5 degrees
  • Seat angle: 76.2 degrees
  • Seat tube length: 430mm
  • BB height: 332mm
  • Chainstay length: 430mm / 440mm (alloy models: 430mm)
  • Standover height: 703mm
  • Wheelbase: 1,211mm

Key differences to the previous generation include an 18mm increase in reach, a 2.5-degree slacker head angle and 3.2 degrees steeper seat angle. There’s also a 20mm drop in seat tube length, although the stack has grown from 603mm to 621mm.

The Juliana Joplin will be offered in S and M sized alloy bikes, and XS, S and M carbon bikes. Figures for the Joplin’s geometry will be the same as the Tallboy.

Santa Cruz and Juliana share the same frame with different paint and a number of women-specific spec changes to better reflect the female market.

Across the board XS bikes get 165mm cranks, S get 170mm, and M to XXL are fitted with 175mm cranks.

2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy and Juliana Joplin models

Tallboy CC logo
The Tallboy is available in both CC and C versions of Santa Cruz’s carbon layup.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Santa Cruz will be offering two alloy models, three ‘C’ level bikes and four ‘CC’ bikes, as well as a frame-only option in both alloy and CC.

RSV models gain Santa Cruz’s Reserve carbon rims.

Pricing across the Juliana Joplin range is consistent with the Tallboy.

Santa Cruz Tallboy A D key specs

  • £2,899 / $2,699
  • RockShox Recon RL
  • Fox Float Performance DPS
  • SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Level brakes
  • WTB i25 rims, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Ride finishing kit

Santa Cruz Tallboy A R key specs

  • £3,499 / $3,399
  • Fox Rhythm 34
  • Fox Float Performance DPS
  • SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide T brakes
  • WTB i25 rims, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Ride and Aeffect finishing kit

Santa Cruz Tallboy C R key specs

  • £4,199 / $4,199
  • Fox Rhythm 34
  • Fox Float Performance DPS
  • SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide T brakes
  • WTB i25 rims, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Ride and Aeffect finishing kit

Santa Cruz Tallboy C S key specs

  • £4,999 / $4,999
  • Fox 34 Performance
  • Fox Float Performance DPS
  • SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide R brakes
  • Race Face AR rims, DT Swiss 370 hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Ride and Aeffect finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper

Santa Cruz Tallboy C S RSV key specs

  • £5,999 / $6,199
  • Fox 34 Performance
  • Fox Float Performance DPS
  • SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide R brakes
  • Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29in rims, DT Swiss 370 hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Ride and Aeffect finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 key specs

  • £6,199 / $6,999
  • RockShox Pike Select fork
  • Fox Float Performance Elite DPS
  • SRAM X01 drivetrain
  • SRAM G2 RSC brakes
  • Race Face AR rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • Race Face Aeffect and Santa Cruz carbon finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 RSV key specs

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 RSV
The CC X01 RSV version of the 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy
Jack Luke / Immediate Media
  • £7,299 / $8,199
  • RockShox Pike Select fork
  • Fox Float Performance Elite DPS
  • SRAM X01 drivetrain
  • SRAM G2 RSC brakes
  • Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29in rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • RaceFace Aeffect and Santa Cruz carbon finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC XTR RSV key specs

  • £8,399 / $9,799
  • RockShox Pike Ultimate fork
  • Fox Float Factory DPS
  • Shimano XTR drivetrain with E13 TRSr cranks
  • Shimano XTR brakes
  • Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29in rims, i9 Hydra hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29 x 2.3in)
  • i9 and Santa Cruz carbon finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper
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Santa Cruz Tallboy CC XX1 AXS RSV key specs

  • £9,299 / $10,399
  • RockShox Pike Ultimate fork
  • Fox Float Factory DPS
  • SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain
  • SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes
  • Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29in rims, i9 Hydra hubs, Maxxis Minion tyres (29×2.3in)
  • i9 and Santa Cruz carbon finishing kit, RockShox Reverb dropper