First look: Santa Cruz Tallboy 29er

Carbon full sus 29er from California

Santa Cruz has introduced its third new carbon fibre full suspension model of 2009, the full-suspension Tallboy 29er, somewhat of a departure for the northern California company.

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“We’ve been hinting about a 29er bike on our blog for a while, and now that we’re getting the thing closer to finalised, we’re ready to show a little more skin, so to speak,” marketing director Mike Ferrentino said Thursday. “We have photos that are absolutely how the bike will look in final trim, and we’ve got geometry charts, and we’ve got some final prototype mules that we’ve been kicking around.

“The basic nuts and bolts of the Tallboy have been getting massaged into place for over a year now, and the big wheel beast has taken shape into something we’re really happy with.”

Here’s more from Ferrentino:

Carbon fibre frame

“This’ll be our third carbon fiber bike, and the more time we spend working with the material, the more we are able to push into new definitions of stiffness and strength. Following in line with what we were able to achieve with the carbon Blur XC and LT models, we’re kicking around Tallboy frames that weigh right about five pounds (with shock) and are so insanely flex-free and fun handling that they blow all our earlier assumptions about big wheels and chassis flex right out of the water.

“Tapered head tubes, massive but super light chainstays and rear triangles, absolutely rock solid frames, and they’re still around two pounds lighter than most of the similarly targeted competition. Super stiff, super strong, super snappy.”

VPP suspension

“The Tallboy will have 100mm of travel. The lower link features the same 15mm aluminium pivot axles, titanium hardware, angular contact bearings, grease ports, durability and ease of maintenance as found on our Blur LT.

“There’s also a carbon fibre upper link, with the same trick hardware and angular contact bearings on the big axle. Clean, neutral pedaling without bob or feedback, and plush bump eating suspension performance across the board.”

Dialed geometry

“Big wheels work well for a lot of people, but are a Godsend for the big and tall set. As such, we’re sizing the Tallboy all the way up to XXL – which comes with an appropriately Andre the Giant approved 25.9-inch top tube and 45.6-inch wheelbase.

Tallboy geometry.:
Santa Cruz Bicycles

“All Tallboys otherwise feature the same short and stiff 17.5-inch chainstays and sweet handling characteristics. They’re designed to excel in the ‘fun to race, really fun to rip singletrack, go for a big huge ride and come home with a sore face from grinning all day long’ spectrum of riding.

“We’re stoked with how they are progressing, but they aren’t going to be ready for prime time for a few months yet,” Ferrentino added. “Pricing is still being finalised, bikes will be showing up ready for delivery in October, and we’ll begin taking orders around the middle of August.

“Not quite there yet, but real close…bikes will be showing up ready for delivery sometime in November.”

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