Cascade Components Announces V4 Tallboy Link

Oct 21, 2020
by Cascade Components  
Red Tallboy link


PRESS RELEASE: Cascade Components

The downhiller’s trail bike taken a step further. We give you our new V4 Tallboy link. When we first started in on the Tallboy link there was some hesitation. With a 120 mm bike would the changes be as noticeable as desired? We believe that question was answered on the first test ride. This link is made to amplify the Tallboy’s best traits without hindering its agility when you’re on the pedals.

The link increases the amount of progression to 32%, bumps travel to 128 mm, and increases the chainstay length by 5 mm. This link, as with our others, is about the leverage curve changes though. The leverage curve is designed to provide a smooth ramp up between a supple top of travel and a supportive bottom of travel, which results in what we feel is a surprisingly bottomless feeling for a bike in its travel range and improves descending across the board.

Tallboy link colors
The Tallboy link is available in black, red, and silver

The Tallboy link is designed around the stock 190x45 shock size and is compatible with all shocks that are compatible with the stock link. We get a lot of questions about coil shocks and Santa Cruz bikes that are listed as not compatible with a coil. Here’s out take on it with the Tallboy: Yes, coil shocks will fit with this link, as they do with the stock link. For most riders, a coil shock is not the way to go on the Tallboy. The size of impact that a coil spring can absorb is decreases very quickly as the shock stroke is decreased. The Tallboy uses a relatively short shock, so this requires over-springing or running excessive damping, both of which are generally detrimental to how the suspension behaves. As such, our recommendation is to stick with air.

Specs and Details:

• 128 mm of travel (with stock shock)
• Progression increases to 32% from 26%
• + 5 mm chainstay length
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC'd out of 6061-T6 in the USA
$331USD
Tallboy leverage curve

Typically, we don’t include anti-squat data with these releases since we don’t want people to get too caught up in them. The pedaling performance is always comparable to the stock link. In some cases, it’s improved, but not to the extent that it would be noticeable. Since this bike is more pedaling-oriented than any of the other bikes we have done links for in the past, we figured we’d include it this time. This graph will take a slight bit of explaining, so bear with us for a second. It displays the chain growth rate, which is almost like a leverage curve for your chain forces. The reason for doing this, as opposed to anti-squat curves as they are normally displayed, is that it removes all variables that must be arbitrarily chosen (rider CG location, gearing, etc.). This makes it more clear how the pedaling will be compared to the set up you use.



As you can see in the graph, the two curves practically overlap for the entirety of travel. The chain growth rate for our link is actually a hair higher than that of the stock link, but not by an amount that is anywhere near noticeable on the trail.
Tallboy chain growth rate

For more details check out cascadecomponents.bike/collections/santa-cruz-linkages/products/v4-tallboy-link


103 Comments

  • 89 3
 I can’t say enough good things about my Sentinel link, and the guys at Cascade components. Absolute top notch!
Bearings on my Sentinel were due a change, so If you figure $12/per bearing, thats $72 of the cost that you’d spend anyway. Ive lent the bike out to several riders who were curious, and everyone who throws a leg over it is blown away.

People like to bitch about “why should I have to change this, or that” or “why didn’t the engineers do this in the first place”. Its all about changing something to suit YOUR OWN PERSONAL needs, no different then grips that fit your hand better, or larger pedals, etc.....

In my highly unscientific tests, even back to back runs, I’m faster (marginally) happier (subjective) have more traction (marginally), but above all, can not get the smile off my grubby face!

Stop whinging, try one out, get dirty and muddy, and have fun riding around in the forest like kids.

Keep on kicking ass Cascade, and the stuff looks like jewellery for your bike!
  • 7 1
 like it, good post
  • 16 0
 Same experience with my Patrol link. I would also add that if I hadn't gotten the link, I'd probably be looking at a new bike for next year, but now will keep it another year. Therefore it has actually saved me a huge amount of cash.
  • 6 0
 I also have the Sentinel link. It definitely changes the nature of the bike. More of a long travel bike with (even at stock stroke), and significantly more playful without. You're right on with the personal preference thing, seeing as I'm back trying to get it dialed in on the stock link because it feels soooo much more supportive off the top.
  • 3 0
 "own personal needs" => I've not heard anyone say why SC's stock link is better so far, but if you know and willing to share, I'd like to hear it!
  • 1 1
 @CobyCobie: They have found the "MISSING LINK!!"
  • 3 0
 Came here to say this, but he already said it! Same for my Transition Patrol link, this thing allows me to shred harder (even if only in my mind!) . But seriously, bigger hits and faster descents... it is happening because it inspires confidence in my personal riding capes and the two wheeled mad machine betwixt ma legs!! Keep on keepin on!!!
  • 2 6
flag islandforlife (Oct 22, 2020 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 @p1nkbike: Placebo... notice how everything was "marginally better". But he spent money on it and it probably feels a little different... better? Maybe. Worse? Probably not. The same but different? Probably. Worth the money? Probably not. To him that means it's "Absolute top notch".

Have to give it to them... Cascade Components has cornered the market on sugar pills for mountain bikers.
  • 4 1
 @islandforlife: Did you just assume whether or not I felt like it was worth the money......
All banter aside, yeah things are marginally better with this link installed. Lets not assume this one chunk of polished, machined aluminium is some sort of cure all for weak legs, not enough sleep, stress, worn out chains, grubby cables, on and on.

When I first rode the bike with the link installed, I had a knot in my gut, I was concerned, as the trails here are mostly ride out of the big gully, to turn around and ride back down. It was soft, too soft, way too soft I thought! The additional traction wasn’t apparent at the time, cause I just kept thinking I’ve thrown away a couple hundred Canukistan bucks on some shiny bits that I dont think works (for me). When I reached the top (thats a boast, midpoint if I’m honest) of the trail, I turned around to try and rip back down. I do enjoy riding down rather than suffering up, and was fairly blown away by the changes descending. Blah blah blah, I could go on about the experience, but i wont bother you with it. It was by all accounts marginally better than before, yes marginally, however I’m not sure if any new bit of bike jewellery has ever been groundbreaking, like you are referring should be.

The change from my old Norco ,to the Sentinel, was by all accounts a huge change, this link, much like most things bike related are marginal improvements, but are indeed improvements,

If you’re ever in the area, I’ll let you take it for a ride, with and without link, you can get first hand experience on what the change feels like. Maybe make an informed opinion on those sugar pills..........
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Cool, I'm glad you like it.
  • 58 0
 Taller boy
  • 3 2
 Towering Boy
  • 21 0
 Does anyone else look at the title photo and see a rad little anodised slide for a mouse's playground?

Or have I put the wrong mushrooms on my pizza again?
  • 8 0
 Can I get a couple slices of that pizza? Sounds like fun
  • 2 1
 if its fractal -like image, yes.. otherwise you just got second hand smoke..
  • 13 1
 My Hightower is my first SC bike. Except from discovering that the HT is a great bike, I also learn the SC owners seem to be a special breed that instead of buying the bike they should have bought, spends a fortune on turning their bike into another bike. "All" HT owners are obsessed about trying to make it a Megatower. And now all TB owners try to make it a HT. There are som many great bikes now. Why not buy the one that suits you in the first place?
  • 3 0
 I'm a current tallboy owner looking to probably swap out to a HT...but in the back of my mind should I just be buying a Meg (or similar 160) and just go all the way.
  • 13 1
 Keep doing the great work you’re doing Cascade. Love my Sentinel link. And this just made a new Tallboy suddenly very attractive.
  • 6 0
 Got one of these for my Stumpy EVO when they were released and it basically changed it from a bike "I'll probably sell in a couple months" to an amazing bike, both at the DH park and on regular single track trails. Great company that makes a well engineered product - been looking at adding a TB to the stable and this link option just swayed that decision from a maybe to a definite maybe.
  • 3 0
 I've been pretty happy running my TB4 with a 190x50.8 stroke DPX2 to get a similar boost to travel. I run a 140mm Fox36 in the front. I'm curious how this link would compare...

My favorite attribute of the TB4 is how versatile it is. In my current setup, it can handle some really rugged terrain. With the stock shock and 130mm fork + lighter tires, it's perfect for smoother 'flow' type trails and XC days.

The frame is very stout and the geo is great for aggressive riding. This link plus a 140mm fork should make for a sweet setup for folks who feel that their stock Tallboy could use just a touch more travel.
  • 1 0
 so custom size on your dpx2 and no issues w/ bottom-out clearance? that should be around 133mm rear travel right?
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: No issues whatsoever, and I do bottom out the bike once or twice per ride. I haven’t measured the travel precisely, but there is an episode of ‘dialed’ where Jordi talks about his setup with a Fox Dhx2 7.5x2in coil shock. Due to the leverage curve, he states that the travel ends up around 128mm.

Look for> FOX Dialed: Bike Check with Jordi Cortez (2:30-3:05)

The bike feels more plush off the top but still pumps and climbs well. On bigger hits + high speed rocky terrain the Dpx2 feels a lot better. I just swapped back to the stock factory DPS for my ride tonight to confirm. Dpx2 is going back on tomorrow.

/////

If I had money lying around, I’d buy this link plus a 190x45 Dpx2 to compare.

I wonder if anyone at Cascade has tried the longer shock and has thoughts on the difference?
  • 2 0
 @vaedwards:

to me looks like the TB needs a 140 fork even if the rear is kept stock. I wonder with riders upping travel how the 128/140 setup compares to the HT 140/150. At some point doesn't it make sense to just jump up to the next model? It'd be cool to get a comparison of a burly TB vs a HT. My HT demo revealed that bike (carbon S build) is a little bit portly and not great on the ups, the dh was great though.
  • 2 0
 I'm interested in this link, but have some questions/worries about the high leverage ratio and progression. In the megatower behind the numbers review, they seemed to think this could be a contributor to making the bike feel harsh. Designed with a shortish stroke shock, it could be hard to get sag right and still use full travel... www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-numbers-santa-cruz-megatower-suspension-analysis.html

Assuming the tallboy is similar, wouldn't increasing the leverage ratio make it hard to achieve proper sag while also using the full shock travel? I currently have a DPX2 on my tallboy and feel that at 210lbs I need to have more air pressure in it than I would like. I worry that if I add this, I'll have to pump it even higher and get a custom rebound tune to increase the ability to slow down rebound more, since I'm already close to the max rebound clicks.
  • 13 0
 There are some bits in that article that aren't entirely accurate. If you take a linear bike and a progressive bike with the same shock size and run 30% sag on both bikes the more progressive bike will spend more time higher in its travel than the more linear bike. If both of these bikes also have the same amount of travel, the more progressive bike inherently has a higher initial leverage ratio and lower final leverage ratio, so higher initial leverage ratio is not indicative that a bike will spend more time deep in its travel. I believe the harshness encountered was due to the volume spacers in the shock in order to get the bottom out resistance. Volume spacers have a tendency to make shocks feel more spiky. They also have some unintended consequences when it comes to rebound. They create a larger difference in shock pressure across its stroke so the rebound speed varies more between top and bottom of travel. This can lead to the issue of rebound being correct at the top of travel but too fast at the bottom of travel or too slow at the top of travel and correct at the bottom of travel. For anyone who is running no volume spacers on the TB and has a hard time using full travel, the link will only make it harder to use full travel. For people in that category I'd suggest they stick with the stock link to make their travel more accessible. For anyone who's running volume spacers/bottoming out too easily then the link will make the travel feel smoother.
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents: interesting, thanks for the input. I'm running a 140mm fork and a 190x50 dpx2 shock, any reason I couldn't or (shouldn't) also run your link as well?
  • 1 0
 @silkyrhino: FWIW, I have a Cascade link on my Patrol and was able to drop the air pressure 20psi. This change in set up gave me more mid stroke support and bottom out resistance, but also more suppleness early in the stroke.
  • 2 0
 I wish Cascade would produce a link for the Rocky Mountain Element - as the first on the more 'Progressive' XC bikes, or a pre-cursor to the current line of 'downcountry' bikes, I always thought the Element could benefit from a smidge more than the 100mm it comes with. I'm sure there is room to squeeze it to 105-110 at least, if not 115mm? 0.5-1 degree of additional headtube slackness would be killer too!
  • 2 0
 You may be able to squeeze a longer stroke shock if it has extra clearance? Then add an angled headset and you are in business!
  • 2 0
 @mtb-sf: I think the problem is that there aren't any standard shocks that offer more stroke in its (relatively short) shock length!
  • 1 0
 “ The size of impact that a coil spring can absorb is decreases very quickly as the shock stroke is decreased.“

That statement is true for all shorter stroke shocks surely? Or are you referring to the naturally progressive nature of an air shock? I would imagine your 38% progression with this link would be more than enough for a coil no?
  • 4 0
 It's true that bottom out resistance drops off quickly for air too. Coils are the easiest to visualize because the spring has the same behavior regardless of shock model. For comparison, on the Nomad I run a 500 lb spring. To have the same bottom out resistance with a coil on the Tallboy I'd need about a 900 lb spring. Now a Tallboy isn't intended to go as big as a Nomad, but that's how large the disparity is.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: Thanks for being so honest and detailed with everything! My one big hope and question for you guys is there any possibility of seeing a SB-100/115 link in the Future as it’s very interesting being the owner of a 100 & knowing it comes down to that shock driving link that makes for the biggest new difference in ride characteristics.. thanks for any input and hoping for the best that is yet to come perhaps!
  • 2 0
 For taller riders is it worth it to get the link just for the extended chain stay length and the extra travel and dynamics are just a bonus?
  • 1 0
 This is interesting for me as well. I have both an XXL Tallboy and Megatower both of which are in the long chainstay position. The fit and feel of these bikes for tall riders is levels above many other offerings with long reach numbers but a short chain stay that's consistent through sizes, it's hard to describe but I've never felt as in a bike as these models. I'm wondering the same as you, would the additional 5mm be too small to notice or be the icing on the cake?
  • 1 0
 @Gobstopper1: I have a XXL Hightower and the feel in the ride was notably better, but I cannot say that the extra 5mm in travel was...if it had not change travel but had altered the ride in the same way would it still be as good? Maybe, but it is damn good and has stopped me from buying a "bigger" bike...I might fart around with the longer stroke to get 160mm as a second shock just to see what's up!!
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents I'm curious if you guys left the front travel at 130 when you tested this link out or did you up the fork to 140?
  • 7 0
 We left it at 130 since that's the most common configuration. Plus we don't want to test with a longer fork only to find that the BB gets too low with a shorter one.
  • 2 0
 when will you make linkages that raise the BB height and allow for a megatower to go mullet while maintaining a 340 BB Height?
  • 1 0
 Anybody has mullet the tallboy? Stock shock is 190x45. What if using it in high position with a 200x50 coil shock and 27.5 rear ? Is this enough to avoid pedal strikes? Combine with 140mm front fork
  • 1 0
 Someone has indeed run it as a mullet with a 200 eye-to-eye shock. It does raise the BB a sufficient amount.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: mullet with 200 mm shock using it in low with your link and maybe 140 or even 150 fork, what do you think?
  • 2 0
 I'm all on board, but at $500ish CAD to my door this is too expensive. Please help us out north of the border @CascadeComponents
  • 1 1
 I just received a cascade linkage fir my megatower today. Not ridden on it yet, but im really excited to see how it performs once i remove the 5mm stroke reducer in my shock. Its a really lovely piece of kit though. Super high end feeling.
  • 2 0
 I'm just really stoked that I sold my TB4 LAST WEEK, to get something else with just a tad more travel....NOT! bummer... might buy it back.
  • 4 0
 Pimp my ride!
  • 1 1
 I assume this defaults you automatically to the LOW BB position (doing away with HIGH altogether)? And can you still run the rear flip-chip in SHORT to get a 435mm chain-stay?
  • 1 0
 All of the links make a lowER position. Not adjustable after.
  • 5 1
 This one leaves the geo in the same position as low.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: What about the chain-stay? Can you still flip that to short, or does in need to be in long?
  • 1 0
 @krka73: it can still be run in both short and long
  • 1 1
 @CascadeComponents: Oh cool, good to know I'll still be suffering from pedal strikes along with getting more travel. Blank Stare I had to change to the high position to keep my pedals off the rocks with my Tallboy.
  • 2 1
 @seraph: shorter cranks
  • 3 1
 User error? @seraph:
  • 1 1
 @Civicowner: I run 170mm cranks.
  • 1 2
 @freeridejerk888: pedaling over rocks is user error? Kind of unavoidable. Putting the bike in high mode fixed the issue.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: yeah, run 165. power difference is negligible, if you're worried you can just drop 2 teeth at the front. all my buddies now run 165 cause of th extra pedal clearance
  • 2 0
 Model years listed may be helfpul in case some are shopping for a bike/didmt know which version etc
  • 1 0
 I run a cascade link on my Hightower V2 it's awesome , I don't bother with the whole sag thing just adjust the air in the shock until it feels good ????
  • 1 1
 Have one on my megatower. Can't really see a reason to put one on my Tallboy....unless there are jetpacks that come out of the linkage.
  • 2 1
 I went 140mm on the front of my Tallboy, this makes perfect sense to up the back a bit too!
  • 2 0
 @payback: Mine is 140 up front as well. But I bought the bike for short travel. I have the megatower for when I want more squish. The TB is my fast and firm for fall/winter riding. I don't want 8mm to slow me down. But I'll take jet packs. And not to be glum, but the leverage curve on that is practically identical. I'd actually say that I'd rather take the stock curve with less leverage initially.
  • 2 0
 Please make one for the 5010
  • 1 0
 Can you make some rocker linkages for Giant and Trek and things with Rockers?
  • 1 0
 We make a few rocker style links including one for the Remedy.
  • 1 0
 Awesome, I've been waiting for this !
  • 1 1
 Link for the mk1 patrol to take metric shocks and more progression would be nice
  • 1 0
 How about a Ver.2 pricing. Pricey!
  • 2 1
 Some of y'all just have nothing better to spend your money on.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a tiny kids slide.
  • 1 1
 @Frederik24 køb den her Smile
  • 3 2
 Make one for status
  • 1 0
 Apologies, 32%
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