Santa Cruz’s 2023 Tallboy gets integrated down tube sandwich storage and updated geometry 

An evolutionary rather than revolutionary update for the short-travel 29er 

Santa Cruz Tallboy against a grey background

Santa Cruz has updated its Tallboy trail mountain bike with revised geometry and suspension kinematics, as well as inheriting the brand’s Glovebox down tube storage system.

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Suspension travel remains the same, with a 130mm fork up front and 120mm of travel out back.

Unlike its predecessor launched in 2020, there will be no aluminium options and the Tallboy will only be available in Santa Cruz’s C and CC carbon.

Santa Cruz has confirmed there will also be a simultaneous update to the Joplin – the women’s-specific version of the Tallboy from sister brand, Juliana.

Santa Cruz is offering six builds for the Tallboy. The range starts at £5,299 for the C R model, rising to £9,599 for the CC XO1 AXS RSV. Availability and international pricing are to be confirmed.

The bikes will be available in two colourways – ‘Gloss Ultra Blue’ or ‘Matte Taupe’.

The downhiller’s XC bike

The Tallboy is now in its fifth generation.
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz says the Tallboy is for “riders who like to squeeze the life out of every ride” and for “long days in the saddle harvesting the trails”.

Compared to the recently updated 5010, which sees a mixed-wheel setup, and 140mm of travel up-front and 130mm at the back, Santa Cruz says the Tallboy is “a bit more efficient, a bit more energetic, with a bigger bias towards speed”.

Compared to the 29er longer-travel Hightower, the brand notes “it’s again more efficient but less forgiving”.

Why change a winning suspension recipe?
Santa Cruz

Like its predecessor, the Tallboy uses Santa Cruz’s low-slung virtual pivot point (VPP) suspension design. This sees the lower of two counter-rotating links driving the shock, with a mudguard to help keep debris away from the shock.

Although the Tallboy comes stock with 130mm suspension up-front, the brand says it can accept a 140mm fork.

The Tallboy has less peak anti-squat than the previous generation, with the brand saying this is “to improve small-bump sensitivity and square-edge compliance”.

As anti-squat values trend with anti-rise, the Tallboy’s anti-rise has also been reduced “to improve braking sensitivity”, according to the brand.

Fox is on shock duty for all models.
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz adds it wanted to give the Tallboy a more progressive and straight leverage curve and the result “improve[s] sensitivity further in the travel and help[s] the bike ride higher in its stroke, producing a more responsive, snappy feel”.

Unlike the new 5010, there isn’t a cut-out in the carbon of the non-driveside face of the seat tube, which Santa Cruz dubs the ‘sag set-up window’ to ease suspension setup.

All-in on carbon

The Tallboy is available in the brand’s C and CC carbon. No alloy build will be offered for the new Tallboy. Both carbon layups are said to offer identical riding characteristics and stiffness properties, only the more expensive CC layup drops weight.

It inherits Santa Cruz’s Glovebox storage system, located in the down tube. Santa Cruz says the Tallboy comes with a Tool Wallet and Tube Purse to keep spares organised.

The maximum mountain bike tyre clearance is rated to 29×2.5in.

As on other Santa Cruz bikes, the cables are routed internally through guided sleeves, so there’s no ‘fishing’ required.
Santa Cruz

The frame features ISCG05 chain guide mounts and Santa Cruz’s universal derailleur hanger, which is functionally the same as SRAM’s UDH.

The Tallboy continues Santa Cruz’s tradition of speccing a threaded bottom bracket.

Evolutionary geometry updates

The chainstay lengths vary across different sizes.
Santa Cruz

Like its predecessor, the Tallboy is available in sizes XS to XXL.

The geometry sees evolutionary rather than revolutionary updates, with the Tallboy a little longer in reach and with varying rear centre lengths.

Santa Cruz acknowledges the Tallboy 4 was already “well-loved” and didn’t want to change the geometry too drastically.

The flip chip on the rear-most shock mount is retained, which adjusts the geometry slightly.

The head tube angles remain 65.5 degrees in the low setting and 65.7 in the high setting. Seat tube angles vary across different sizes.

Reach measurements have increased generally by 5mm on every size, though, varying from 403mm to 520mm across the range.

Like its other models, the Tallboy also moves to size-specific chainstays. The outgoing model used a 436mm rear centre length across every size.

In the high setting, the chainstays are between 430 and 443mm and in the low, they are 431mm to 444mm.

FrameXS (high/low)S (high/low)M (high / low)L (high/low)XL (high / low)XXL (high / low)
Head tube angle (degrees)65.7 / 65.565.7 / 65.565.7 / 65.565.7 / 65.565.7 / 65.565.7 / 65.5
Seat tube angle (degrees)76 / 75.776.3 / 7676.7 / 76.476.8 / 76.677 / 76.877.1 / 76.8
Top tube length (mm)555 / 556579 / 580602 / 603622 / 623644 / 645671
Head tube length (mm)95105115125145155
Seat tube length (mm)370380405430460500
Rear Centre (mm)430 / 431430 / 431433 / 434437 / 438439 / 440443 / 444
Wheelbase (mm)1,1381,1671,1991,2271,257 / 1,2581,290 / 1,291
Reach (mm)405 / 403430 / 428455 / 453475 / 473495 / 493520 / 518
Stack (mm)601 / 603610 / 612619 / 621628 / 630646 / 648656 / 658

New Juliana Joplin

The Juliana Joplin promises the same trail-slaying ability.
Juliana

Juliana, Santa Cruz’s sister brand, has also announced an update to the Joplin. This is the women’s-specific equivalent of the Tallboy.

The Joplin inherits all of the Tallboy’s updates and shares the same revised geometry, although finishing kit widths differ to better fit women riders.

It will be available in sizes XS to Medium across five models in a single ‘Gloss Bluebird’ colourway.

Santa Cruz Tallboy specs and range

Santa Cruz Tallboy C R 29

  • Frame: Carbon C
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Base, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide T
  • Wheelset: RaceFace AR Offset 30 rims on SRAM MTH hubs
  • Price: £5,299

Santa Cruz Tallboy C S 29

  • Frame: Carbon C
  • Fork: Fox 34 Float Performance, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 R
  • Wheelset: RaceFace AR Offset 30 rims on DT Swiss 370 hubs
  • Price: £6,399

Santa Cruz Tallboy C GX AXS 29

  • Frame: Carbon C
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Select+, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance Elite DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RS
  • Wheelset: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 rims on IndustryNine i9 1/1 hubs
  • Price: £7,699

Santa Cruz Tallboy C GX AXS RSV 29

  • Frame: Carbon C
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Select+, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Performance Elite DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RS
  • Wheelset: Santa Cruz Reserve 30|SL on Industry Nine i9 1/1 hubs
  • Price: £8,799

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 29

  • Frame: Carbon CC
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Factory DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle with X1 Carbon Eagle crankset
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC
  • Wheelset: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 on Industry Nine i9 1/1 hubs
  • Price: £8,199

Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 AXS RSV 29

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  • Frame: Carbon CC
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate, 130mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float Factory DPS, 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC
  • Wheelset: Santa Cruz Reserve 30|SL on Industry Nine i9 1/1 hubs
  • Price: £9,499