The Santa Cruz Tallboy’s refresh sees the shock slung lower in the frame and now driven by the lower link of the VPP suspension system.
It also gets 10mm more travel at both ends: 120mm at the back, 130mm up front. This new layout suggests that the previously cross-country-focussed trail bike now has gnarlier tracks in its sights.
Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 Reserve frame
The lower-link VPP system drives the low-slung shock in a manner that boosts late-stroke progression for plenty of control on bigger impacts. At the same time, it’s designed to have plenty of anti-squat to prevent too much wallow while pedalling.
Both the front and rear triangles are made from Santa Cruz’s top-grade CC carbon fibre. A rubber underbelly protector guards against rock strikes, and there’s also a mini fender to shield the shock from mud and debris.
The new Tallboy’s geometry is entirely contemporary, with the large size in its ‘low’ flip-chip setting sporting a 468mm reach, 65.5-degree head angle, 76.2-degree seat angle and 332mm bottom bracket height.
At 430mm, the chainstays are relatively short, although a second flip-chip changes them to 440mm for more stability.
Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 Reserve kit
A RockShox Pike Select+ fork delivers 130mm of front travel, while Fox supplies the Performance Elite DPS shock out back.
SRAM’s X01 Eagle groupset is complemented by a set of its new G2 RSC brakes and a RockShox Reverb dropper post.
The Santa Cruz carbon Reserve rims (27mm internal rim width) are laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs and shod with Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II tyres, both 2.3in wide. My test bike was finished with a Santa Cruz carbon bar, WTB Silverado saddle and Burgtec stem.
Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 Reserve ride impressions
You’d be forgiven for not realising the Tallboy has only 120mm of travel, because it’s very well doled out, allowing you to confidently pilot the bike over rocks and roots, and push it through corners and compressions.
The VPP suspension is decidedly unfussy, rarely catching you out, and simply getting on with the job. The Fox DPS shock gives you open-mode tuning options – on rougher stuff I left it fully open, but added a click of compression for smoother-rolling tracks to boost the bike’s reactivity.
Rather than accelerating with an XC-like kick, the Tallboy provides a steadfast, solid feel with buckets of traction. As expected, with decent reach and a steep seat angle, it’s a comfortable climber, although not as eager as its predecessor.
Of note, though, is that at more mellow speeds the Tallboy feels perhaps a touch inert. Its travel belies its capability, and to really make the most of the trail and get maximum enjoyment out of the bike, you’ve got to push it hard.
While the spec is good, a triple-compound rear tyre is conspicuous by its absence over damp roots and rocks, where the lack of traction occasionally surprises.
Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 Reserve geometry
Based on Low setting:
- Seat angle: 76.2 degrees
- Head angle: 65.5 degrees
- Chainstay: 43cm / 16.93in
- Seat tube: 43cm / 16.93
- Top tube: 62.2cm / 24.49in
- Head tube: 12cm / 4.72in
- Bottom bracket drop: 4.1cm / 1.61in
- Bottom bracket height: 33.2cm / 13.07in
- Wheelbase: 1,211mm / 47.68in
- Stack: 62.1cm / 24.45in
- Reach: 46.8cm / 18.43in
|Weight||12.79kg (L) – Without pedals|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL|
|Brakes||SRAM G2 RSC, 180mm rotors|
|Cranks||Carbon cranks (1x12)|
|Fork||RockShox Pike Select+, 130mm (5.1in) travel|
|Frame||DT Swiss 350 hubs on Santa Cruz Reserve 27 rims|
|Handlebar||Santa Cruz AM carbon, 780mm|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM X01 Eagle|
|Rear shock||Fox Float DPS Performance|
|Saddle||WTB Silverado Team|
|Seatpost||RockShox Reverb 150mm|
|Shifter||SRAM X01 Eagle|
|Tyres||Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR (f) and Minion DHR EXO TR (r) 29x2.3in|
|Wheels||DT Swiss 350 hubs on Santa Cruz Reserve 27 rims|