Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 – first look

Lighter, stiffer and more compact

Santa Cruz have released a second generation version of their best selling bike, the Tallboy 29er. The new model, known simply as the Tallboy 2, is available in both carbon and aluminium versions like its predecessor. Lessons learned through Santa Cruz’s other models mean the Tallboy 2 is an altogether lighter, stiffer and more compact package.


A size large carbon version of the new frame tips the scales at 4.9lbs, that’s 1/4lb lighter than before, whilst the aluminium version manages to shave a 1/3lb when compared to the original Tallboy. There is good news for smaller riders too, an effort to keep things more compact has meant Santa Cruz have released a small sized Tallboy for the first time. If you’re really a tall boy then you’ll have to plump for a carbon version though, the XXL size will not be produced in aluminium.

Fans of the original bike should not feel alienated. The Tallboy still looks familiar, and that’s because it is. Santa Cruz have even chosen to stick with the geometry of the older model, first launched back in 2009.

The suspension has been tweaked slightly, pivot points have been relocated, whilst the VPP linkage has been tuned to offer improved pedalling efficiency as well as a slightly more linear feel throughout the 100mm of travel. Meanwhile the alloy pivot hardware has been extensively reworked with an innovative sealing system to ensure durability in the toughest of environments. The new hardware is also extremely simple and quick to remove from the bike, ideal for the home mechanic to overhaul. 

The tallboy uses a 142mm rear end:
Santa Cruz

The Tallboy uses a 142mm rear end

Both versions are also now compatible with direct mount front mechs and Santa Cruz have even developed a trick snap-on rubber chainstay protector to help keep things quiet and chip free.


BikeRadar were fortunate enough to put some miles in on the new Tallboy 2 this week, so keep your eyes peeled for a first ride review. In the meantime here’s the official promo vid:

Santa cruz tallboy 2 – first look