When Santa Cruz launched the Tallboy C in 2009, there weren’t many great full suspension 29ers on the market. The Tallboy C became one of the first: lively, capable, and absent a lot of the drawbacks holding back so many 29ers of the era. It changed many opinions about wagon wheels.
Seven years later, the Tallboy gets its third major revision. Following the path Santa Cruz took with the most recent revision of the 5010 and Bronson (frames shared by the Juliana Furtado and Roubion) the Tallboy 3 is lower, longer, and slacker; and like the brand's Hightower, the TB3 gains dual-wheel compatibility.
Meet the Tallboy 3
Available for purchase today, the new Tallboy is a 110mm frame (up 10mm from the previous version) that's designed for a 120mm fork with 29er wheels, or 130mm fork with 27.5+ wheels. Like the Hightower, a reversible chip in the upper linkage compensates for the height difference of the two wheel sizes.
The Tallboy 3 is available for purchase today, but only in Santa Cruz's top level CC carbon frame
Compared to the Tallboy 2, the TB3 has 11mm shorter chainstays (now 432mm), a 2.2-degree slacker head tube angle (now 68 degrees with 29-inch wheels; 67.8 with 27.5+), a 0.6 degree steeper seat tube angle (effective: 73 degrees), 40 to 50mm longer reach (size dependent), and a 30mm shorter seat tube for increased clearance and compatibility with longer dropper posts.
The TB3 receives Boost 148 rear spacing and Boost 110 forks, and is front-derailleur compatible: The front derailleur mount can be removed if not used. The bottom bracket is threaded (73mm), but the headset bearings drop into cups molded into the carbon frame.
The frame has internal routing for a stealthy dropper post, and the derailleur housing runs though the front triangle. Molded-in guide tubes make running the controls though the frame simple. The rear brake is externally routed. The driveside chainstay features a rubberized chain slap protector and metal chainsuck guard. A large water bottle fits inside the main triangle.
RELATED: First Ride: The Incredibly Versatile Santa Cruz Hightower
Santa Cruz’s signature VPP suspension is in play of course. Like the other recently revised Santa Cruz frames, the lower link is now tucked up into the frame to protect it from rock strikes. Compared to the TB2, the Tallboy 3 has higher leverage initially (improved small bump performance); a flatter shock-rate curve (makes the suspension feel more consistent as it compresses through its travel); and a more progressive tune. Taken together, the TB3 should be more sensitive, more supportive, and more difficult to bottom than the TB2.
Accompanying the increased travel and more relaxed geometry are some complimentary spec changes. FOX 34 forks are now spec’d (stiffer than the previously spec’d 32), as are meatier tires, and all kits get dropper posts. Dropper length is frame-size specific: small frames have 125mm drop, medium through extra large have 150mm drop, and double-extra large have 170mm drop.
The lower link is tucked into the frame, away from flying rocks
Initially, the TB3 will only be offered in Santa Cruz’s higher grade CC carbon. Two builds are offered: For $7,799 it’s equipped with SRAM XX1 and Level Ultimate brakes, Race Face Next SL crank, Fox Factory suspension components, and Easton ARC 24 rims with Industry Nine hubs. For $6,499, SRAM XO1 with Level TLM brakes, Race Face Turbine cranks, FOX Performance suspension components, and Easton ARC 24 rims with DT 350s hubs. Both kits come with a Maxxis Minion DHF/Ardent Race tire combo. An upgrade to Enve M60 HV 29er rims for either build costs $2,000.
The 27.5+ builds are basically the same (prices are the same), except the fork is 130mm travel instead of 120, the rims are Easton ARC 40s, and the tires are 2.8-inch wide Maxxis Rekons. There is no rim upgrade offered for 27.5+ builds.
If you're not a 1x convert, the Tallboy 3 has a removable front derailleur mount
Frame weights were not provided, but Santa Cruz is claiming complete bike weights of 26 pounds for the XX1 build with Enve wheels, to 26.4 pounds for the X01 29er with stock wheels. Claimed weight on the X01 27.5+ is 26.3 pounds: 0.1 pounds lighter than the 29er build, which seems off. My review sample, a size medium top-of-the-line XX1 with Enve upgrade, weighed 26.1 pounds on my scale.
RELATED: 2016 Mountain Bike Editors' Choice Winners
Two colors are offered: gloss yellow with turquoise logos like my sample, or a more sedate matte gray with orange logos.
Cheaper C-level carbon frames will be available in the future, and there were strong hints that the Tallboy 3 might be offered with an aluminum frames as well.
Riding the TB3
(Santa Cruz sent a kit with my review bike to convert it from 29 to 27.5+, but due to shipping issues, I did not have time to adequately review the bike with both wheel sizes. I stuck with 29 for this review, but I will be converting the bike and plan to follow up with a separate review of the Tallboy 3 with 27.5+ on bicycling.com.)
The Tallboy 3 is more capable than its travel would suggest
This new Tallboy was another reminder of why I love the category I refer to as short-travel trail 29ers (other members: Yeti SB4.5c; Pivot Mach 429 Trail, Ibis Ripley LS). The Tallboy 3, like the others mentioned, makes a strong anti-quiver argument. It does a lot of things very well and heavily overlaps established bike categories. I’ll be repeating this refrain: The TB3 rides like a shorter-travel bike when you’d like it to; and a longer-travel bike when you want it to.
The Tallboy is an efficient bike: It feels quick and crisp; and the suspension is very quiet when climbing and accelerating, with little noticeable motion. Santa Cruz’s VPP system has always been efficient, but the latest iteration on this TB3 feels like the engineers have found a way to make the suspension even more efficient, but without noticeably sacrificing sensitivity. The bike feels fast, but stays connected when pedaling through rough bits, or up and over roots. Here’s that refrain I mentioned: The TB3 pedals like a shorter travel, XC-style bike, but has the sensitivity of a bike with more travel.
RELATED: 2016 Buyer’s Guide: The Santa Cruz Bronson Is a Sequel That Rocks
The new frame has lots of standover, and the bike feels low, small, and compact, which helps make it nimble and flickable. It’s quite light too. You can pop and drive the TB3; toss it over here and over there; place it where you want it—these are the advantages of a smaller, more reactive, shorter-travel bike versus a bigger, softer, heavier bike.
The BB is low-ish (330mm), the head tube short (100mm on my size medium review sample), and it’s spec’d with flat bars and a 150mm dropper. Get into technical terrain, drop the post, and you’re cradled between the wheels in a very low and confidence-inspiring position. And though the travel is on the shorter side, the geometry—long-ish front center, relaxed head angle, stiff frame and wheels, great rubber, and excellent suspension bits from FOX (the rear suspension well-tuned by Santa Cruz)—helps this little bike shred though demanding terrain with surprising competence.
The Tallboy 3 is front derailleur compatible, but the mount can be removed
And because it is low, and compact, with less suspension to squish (and all that other stuff about good tires, stiff frame, etc.), ooh-wee! is it fun to rail corners aboard a TB3.
But to be real, this is a shorter travel bike with very good suspension. The rear travel is initially sensitive, supportive mid stroke, with a smooth progression at the end to prevent harsh bottoming—and generally feels like more than 110mm. On the front, the 120mm FOX 34 is stiff, and, with the latest guts (the company recently rolled in a minor shim-stack revision), offers the smoothest, most controlled travel yet. The TB3 makes the most of the available suspension. But a lot of what makes this bike so competent in demanding terrain is geometry, rider position, and, frankly, tires. And that counts for a lot in many situations.
But when the terrain becomes really rough, really chunky, the jumps and drops get bigger, that’s when the TB3 becomes limited by its shorter travel. And if you’re tired, even moderately-technical terrain can be made easier by more travel.
If you’re all about slamming Moab’s Porcupine Singletrack, charging big-mountain lines, or enduro racing, the Tallboy 3 (and bikes like it) probably isn’t enough. But I live in Durango, Colorado where it’s fairly rocky; I like technical, challenging terrain; I ride Moab and Sedona often; I’ll enter an enduro (or XC race) occasionally. And if I’m pondering the one-bike question, a bike like the Tallboy 3 would be what I’d buy because I can ride the techy shit without puckering, have fun, and still be on a quick, light bike.
RELATED: First Ride: 2016 Juliana Roubion and Furtado
Relative to the other bikes I mentioned in the category, the Tallboy is the shortest travel. The TB3, in 29er form, comes in at 110mm rear and 120mm front. The Yeti SB4.5c is 114/140; the Pivot 116/130; the Ibis 120/130. The TB3 is also a hair steeper—68-degree head tube, the others are 67.5—and has the shortest chainstays (432mm), and the longest reach.
The one feature the TB3 has that the others don’t is that specifically designed 27.5+ tire capability. I don’t (and Santa Cruz representatives don’t), expect many riders to have two compete wheelsets, with disc rotors and cassette, and a second fork laying around for spontaneous wheel size swaps. What the dual size trick does offer is a measure of future-proofness and investment protection. Buy it with 29, or buy it with 27.5+; either way, the Tallboy 3 owner isn’t stuck with that decision forever, which is a bit of comfort when mountain bikes are changing so rapidly.
In the highest end 29er build, the Tallboy 3 weighs about 26 pounds
Quibbles? Yeah, I've got them.
First: The rear-derailleur housing in the span between the front and rear triangle can fly away and contact the rider’s foot/leg. I looped a zip tie around the rear derailleur housing and rear brake line below the bottle cage to keep things tidy, a more elegant solution should be possible.
The lower link looks like a sizeable mud-catching shelf. When I brought this up, Santa Cruz engineer Nick Anderson said, “The top of the lower link is smooth, which helps as there are no forged pockets for things to collect in. The clearances between the parts are pretty generous. You really need to get a lot of mud in there before it causes any issues. What we've found is that when it is really muddy you need to hose your bike down and the part of the front triangle where the lower link mounts cleans out easily. So I don't think you need [a mud guard].”
Like earlier VPP bikes, there is a grease port to flush contaminated grease out of the lower link bearings, though it’s not as easily accessible as previous iterations. To access it, the shock needs to be unbolted from one of its eyelets, and the bike turned over. “Since it is not something you need to do very often this felt okay (the unbolting of the shock),” said Anderson in an email.
Last: I’d like to see a water bottle mount under the downtube for a tube/tool storage pod like the Syncros Frame Bidon.
Raising the Tallboy
The original Tallboy C was a special bike that helped a lot of people get 29er religion. The Tallboy 3 won’t shift paradigms like its ancestor, but it might convert a lot of people to the anti-quiver movement. Two wheel sizes, but one very capable bike.
This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Best Downhill Short Travel Bike of 2021
Built to be a charger on the downhill, the Tallboy does not disappoint. With a Trail frame but an Enduro mindset, this bike seems like it can do it all.
Santa Cruz 5010
Who it's for: Riders looking for a playful trail bike that maximizes agility and poppiness. The 5010 is designed to be the most fun trail bike possible.
The Santa Cruz Tallboy is an efficient climber that excels on the descents. The VPP suspension provides riders with support and comfort on a variety of terrain. Experts found the suspension rarely bottoms out on rough descents or causes pedal bob on climbs.What bike is better a Tallboy or Hightower? ›
The Difference Between Hightower and Tallboy
I can say that the Hightower is a much bigger do-it-all trail bike which fits well to trail riders who are interested in downhill rides. Compared to the Tallboy, it comes with more travel which assists this bike in performing better on steep and chunky trails.
Grade 3 (Intermediate)
Off-road trails are usually wide and smooth (firm gravel or sealed), with some gentle climbs. These trails are predictable, i.e. have no nasty surprises. On-road sections of Great Rides generally follow quiet roads with little traffic.
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”.Is the Santa Cruz Tallboy an XC bike? ›
The Downhiller's XC Bike
The highly-refined VPP™ suspension on the Tallboy combines pedaling efficiency and all-out bump-chomping prowess. If ever there was a gravity riders' XC bike, the Tallboy is it.
Low Gear = Easy = Good for Climbing: The “low” gear on your bike is the smallest chain ring in the front and the largest cog on your cassette (rear gears). In this position, the pedaling will be the easiest and you'll be able to pedal uphill with the smallest amount of resistance.Do I need an XC or trail bike? ›
Speed. If your idea of fun is travelling long distances and going fast then a cross-country bike is probably a good option. Technical. If you like riding technical terrain with descents and drops plus rooty and rocky sections then a trail bike will be the best bike for you.Which bike is better for climbing? ›
The Merida Scultura Team took our 2022 Performance Bike of the Year crown, thanks to its superb, exciting ride and racy handling. It's also great value, with a Shimano Dura-Ace 12-speed groupset, complete with power meter.
Are Santa Cruz Bikes good? Yes, Santa Cruz bikes are some of the best around. They're more expensive than what most of the competition has to offer, but the price is well-justified. Santa Cruz builds bikes using premium aluminum and carbon materials coupled with reliable Shimano and SRAM components.Are Santa Cruz bikes made in China? ›
Their bikes are suited to a wide range of mountain biking disciplines. Frame fabrication occurs in China and Taiwan, but all bicycles are assembled in Santa Cruz, built to customer specifications just before being shipped out.Is Hightower Trail or enduro? ›
The Santa Cruz Hightower is a versatile trail bike. Testers describe the bike as 'bottomless' on descents, with 140mm of travel in the rear. The bike is capable of tackling chunky and steep terrain.Is Santa Cruz Hightower a trail bike? ›
The Hightower's geometry has also been tweaked and modernised without, Santa Cruz says, “overstepping its intentions”. This can be understood to mean it hasn't gone super-long, slack and low on purpose, keeping the Hightower's focus on trail riding rather than turning it into a mini enduro bike.What bike does Lara Croft ride? ›
A Ducati Superbike 999 is found by Lara in Tokyo, Japan on the roof of Toru Nishimura's building. She uses it to breach the gap between two skyscrapers. Lara uses custom-made All-Terrain Motorbike motorcycle to traverse the jungles of Mexico and Jan Mayen island.What is a 3 speed bike good for? ›
A 3-speed bike offers enough versatility to help you navigate through uneven landscapes or rougher terrains without exerting too much energy.Is a 3 mile bike ride hard? ›
In terms of effort, 3 miles in flat terrain with asphalt is super easy on a bike.What is Grade 4 MTB trail? ›
Advanced: Grade 4
Standard: A mixture of long, steep climbs, narrow track, poor traction and obstacles that are difficult to avoid or jump over. Generally exposed at the track's outside edge. Most riders will find some sections easier to walk.
Santa Cruz has spent nearly three decades perfecting their range of mountain bikes, so you can be sure that not only is the lineup vast enough to suit most needs, it'll be of excellent quality as well. In terms of budget, they're certainly at the higher end of the spectrum, but they deliver serious bikes as a result.Are Santa Cruz bikes durable? ›
Santa Cruz has been making high-quality mountain bikes for a long time now. Even their older models are still high quality and ride well. The components used are generally among the best on the market so they are also long-lasting.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is an unconventional pickup truck, but it's the right truck for many drivers. Its compact size, car-like architecture, and roomy 4-door body give it the practicality and driving dynamics of a compact SUV like the Hyundai Tucson it's based on.Are XC bikes faster than trail bikes? ›
Considering the overall speed, the cross country bikes are far much faster than trails bikes. While the trail bikes can take a corner quite aggressively with more grip, the cross country is able to maneuver sharper corners with more agility. The trail bikes do break faster and more precisely.Can I use XC bike on trails? ›
The riding discipline of XC is arguably the broadest possible style of mountain biking. The foundation mountain bike category, XC can take place on fire roads, singletrack, technical forest trails, rock gardens and everything in between.Can you ride trail on XC bike? ›
Lightweight and packed with speed, the XC range are nimble enough to get around most trails, but with many models coming in a hardtail, front-suspension only variety, you might feel the bumps of the downhill route a bit more than you would do on a trail bike.What bike speed is best for uphill? ›
You can comfortably ride up very steep hills at 3 or 4mph if your gears go low enough. You might think it would be just as quick to walk. It rarely is. Most of us walk at about 3mph on the flat, but if it's a steep hill and you're pushing a bike, that can easily drop to 2mph.Which gear is hardest to pedal? ›
High Gear. The high gear is the "hard" gear and is primarily used when descending and sprinting. The high gear is the largest chain ring in the front and the smallest cog on the rear cassette. This achieves the most difficult pedaling position and requires the most force to push the pedals.Can XC bike go downhill? ›
XC MTB isn't just trail riding
With trail riding the general focus of a ride is about going mostly downhill while tackling technical natural features (jumps, drops, gaps, berms) along the way, XC MTB is all about your speed both up and down a trail and tackling similar features.
“Cross country is much harder than track,” Lusitana said. During the tough times of running, looking for support from each other is very important to the team. Running for miles side by side creates a bond like no other sport.Which is better XC or track? ›
The short answer is that they're both good sports. If you're thinking about running XC then track will only help. In fact, most XC coaches expect their runners to also run track as the track training adds a helpful dimension to XC races. So, run both.Is it better to bike longer or harder? ›
Burn More Calories
For example, a 155-pound person who rides at a moderate speed for 30 minutes will burn approximately 260 calories during this workout. Increasing the overall time on the bike to one hour would essentially double the number of calories burned to 520.
Top Commuter Bikes in India 2022.
|Honda SP 125||Rs. 82,486|
|Bajaj Pulsar 125 Neon||Rs. 81,389|
|Bajaj Pulsar 150||Rs. 1.04 Lakh|
|Hero HF Deluxe||Rs. 50,900|
The three types of bicycles are great for long distances are mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and hybrid bicycles. The mountain bike excels with off-road, and trails for long distances. The gravel bike is quick, and capable of going on some off-road trails.Does Santa Cruz bikes have lifetime warranty? ›
Lifetime Frame Warranty
Santa Cruz Bicycles will repair or replace at its option any frame or rigid fork made by Santa Cruz Bicycles it determines to be defective in materials or workmanship. The warranty will be in effect for the lifetime of the frame or fork and is available only to the original owner.
So if you're wondering, yes it's from the same company.What does Santa Cruz mean? ›
In 1769 the Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola discovered the land area which is now known as the City of Santa Cruz. When he came upon the beautiful flowing river, he named it San Lorenzo in honor of Saint Lawrence. He called the rolling hills above the river Santa Cruz, which means holy cross.Who is Santa Cruz made by? ›
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a four-door compact pickup truck produced by Hyundai. Released in 2021 for the 2022 model year, the Santa Cruz is the first 4-door pickup truck sold by Hyundai in the North American market.What is Santa Cruz bikes known for? ›
Since then, Santa Cruz has gone on to create category-leading downhill, cross country, and electric bikes, but the company is best known for models that combine the same pedalibility and descending prowess the OG Tazmon brought to the table.Which is better trail or enduro? ›
The key difference is that trail bikes have slightly less suspension travel 130-150mm, whereas enduro bikes have 150-200mm of travel. Trail bikes are lighter weight and have steeper/shorter geometry than enduro bikes. Whereas enduro bikes have slack geometry and big suspension for going fast downhills.Is 27.5 or 29 better for enduro? ›
Because 27.5” wheels have a smaller diameter than 29”, they have less angular momentum so it is easier for riders to change direction. This made 27.5” the preferred choice for downhill and enduro riding.Should I get Hightower or Megatower? ›
If you need a bike to take to any trail, anywhere, grab the Hightower. If you often find yourself on rugged trails, pick up a Megatower.
This service applies to MY17 Tallboy and Hightower models. The wheel size adjust allows you to run either a 27.5+ or 29 inch wheel size using a “ ip chip” design at the upper link, while maintaining frame geometry measurements such as bottom bracket height and head angle.Is Santa Cruz bike friendly? ›
In Santa Cruz, cyclists of all ages and abilities take to the streets, pathways and trails. We love our bikes in Santa Cruz and whether you have a cruiser or a mountain bike, there are so many scenic locations in the area to explore.What bike is Bruce Wayne? ›
The Drifter Motorcycle, also known as the Drifter Bike, is one of the vehicles that Bruce Wayne uses to get around the streets of Gotham City as the Drifter. It is a modiﬁed Café racer for made for optimum speed with minimal ﬂare. Based on a Honda cb 550.What bike did Bruce Wayne have? ›
The experts over at RideApart concluded that Batman's motorbike in The Batman is a Harley-Davidson FL Softtail front end. The website also states that the bike uses the upside-down forks off the Fat Bob, confirming that the bike is clearly a vehicle of many parts.What bike does Ben Affleck? ›
Ben Affleck Welcomes Back His Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, It's the Same One He Crashed.What is considered a trail bike? ›
With rear suspension that ranges from 120mm – 160mm of travel, trail bikes are designed to chew up rocky, technical terrain at speed, handle drops and catch air. Trail bikes often can be pointed straight through the rough stuff.What is the difference between a Santa Cruz Hightower and a tallboy? ›
Which is better, Tallboy or Hightower? The Hightower has longer travel and is best suited to harder-hitting climbs and rough descents. The Tallboy is an XC-inspired setup for more snappy riding that doesn't overcook the suspension specs.Are trail and mountain bikes the same? ›
For example, cross country mountain bikes are slower on the descent and faster on climbs and flat surfaces. Trail mountain bikes are slower on climbs and fast and fun to ride on down hills. Considering the overall speed, the cross country bikes are far much faster than trails bikes.Can I use a mountain bike on a trail? ›
If you are interested in riding dirt singletrack trails, you will have to get a real mountain bike! Road bikes, city bikes, and cruisers are not appropriate tools for riding MTB trails. Trying to ride off-road with an inappropriate bike might cause you to fall more often and get discouraged.Can I use a trail bike as a road bike? ›
In fact, you can completely use any mountain bike type for road riding, but changing some gear can make your riding more enjoyable. The first apparent thing to change is tires, which make a huge difference in your road riding experience.
To Sum it all Up
Mountain bikes are good for long-distance travel. They are strong, can take a beating and are reliable. It might take a bit more effort compared to a road bike but a few minor changes make a big difference.
- Cannondale Trail SE 4.
- Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29.
- Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1.
- Giant Talon 29 2.
- BMC Blast 27.
- Marin Rift Zone 1.
- Trek Marlin 4 29.
- Marin Bolinas Ridge 1.
- Dolomite: Custom Road Bike. Details.
- Fedaia : Custom Disc Brake Road Bike. Details.
- Serrai : Custom Gravel Bike. Details.
- Big SUR : Hardtail Mountain bike. Details.
- Stelvio – Custom Touring Bike. Details.
- eZinn : Custom eBike. Details.
- Fat Cat : Custom Fat Bike. ...
- Rome: Custom Hybrid-Commuter Bike.
Can you ride XC trails on a trail bike? Yes, you can ride a trail bike on cross-country terrain! Having the right bike for the terrain that you are riding is always going to improve your overall experience.Whats better enduro or trail bike? ›
The trail bike will be better for climbs and fast flowy singletrack, while the enduro bike will be better suited for blasting challenging descents. While Enduro bikes are designed for climbing they are not as efficient compared to trail bikes.Can I use a hardtail for downhill? ›
Trail Hardtail Bikes
The front suspension of a hardtail trail bike will normally measure between 100-150mm which gives riders enough to take on jumps and downhill sections, whilst not sapping too much energy when riding uphill.
Mountain Bicycles are design for riding rough off-road trails. They have flat or upright handlebars, and a very low gear range for pedaling up steep trails. Most mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension.
Based on the factors I was able to test, I found a 51% increase in the effort needed to ride a mountain bike on a grassy, leafy trail with obstacles, compared to a road bike on a paved surface. Remember, that assumes a mountain bike course with grades and turns that are similar to what one would ride on the road.Will pavement ruin mountain bike tires? ›
Does Pavement Ruin Mountain Bike Tires. Typically riding mountain bike tires on the road won't cause you any issues. It will cause them to wear unevenly though, and you will find yourself with a smooth patch down the center on your tires after lots of road miles.