First Ride: The 2023 Santa Cruz Tallboy Gets Updated, Not Overhauled

Sep 20, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5

For Santa Cruz, the previous generation of the Tallboy was a bike that became something of a cult classic. It seemed to resonate with nearly everyone that rode it, inspiring all sorts of unique custom builds, some of them focused on eking out as much downhill performance as possible, and others on making into an XC machine with more comfort than a purebred race bike.

Released in 2019, the Tallboy 4 hit the sweet spot when it came to versatility, boasting geometry numbers that allowed it to handle trickier, technical terrain without feeling dull and lethargic on mellower trail. It's a trail bike through and through, with 29” wheels, 120mm of rear travel, and a 130mm fork.
Tallboy 5 Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 120 mm, 130 mm fork
• C & CC carbon frame options
• 65.5º or 65.7º head angle
• 76.6º seat tube angle (size L, low)
• 438mm chainstays (size L, low)
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Weight: 28.75 lbs / 13.04 kg (size L, X01 AXS RSV build)
• Price: $5,299 - $10,399 USD
santacruzbicycles.com

Santa Cruz didn't want to mess with a good thing, so the 2023 Tallboy doesn't deviate that far from the previous model. The geometry has been adjusted slightly, and the same goes for the kinematics, but it's more of a fine tuning rather than a complete overhaul.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Gloss Ultra Blue and Matte Taupe are the two color options for the fifth generation of the Tallboy.

Frame Details

The most obvious change to the Tallboy's frame is the addition of downtube storage, a feature that's now found on nearly every trail and enduro bike in Santa Cruz's lineup, except for the Bronson (at least for now). A small latch next to the water bottle cage allows access to the compartment, and two pouches are included for stashing a tube, tools, and any other snacks and accessories that'll fit.

Other than the new snack stash, the Tallboy's frame details haven't changed all that much. There's fully guided internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket, room for a 2.5” rear tire, and mounts for a chain guide. There's also a universal derailleur hanger, and a flip chip on the rear shock mount that allows for very subtle geometry changes.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Plenty of room for a full size water bottle, and a compartment underneath for snacks and tools.
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
The chainstay adjustment feature has been replaced by size-specific chainstay lengths.


Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5

Geometry & Suspension Layout

The Tallboy's shock flip chip remains, but the ability to alter the chainstay length by 10mm has been removed, replaced by size-specific lengths for each size. Chainstay lengths range from 431mm on a size small up to 444mm on an XXL.

The Tallboy's seat tube angles are also size-specific, getting steeper with each larger size. That helps ensure that taller riders won't end up too far over the back of the bike when climbing.

The new Tallboy isn't any slacker than before, but it did get a little bit longer, with reach numbers that match up with the rest of Santa Cruz's lineup. The reach for a size large is now 473mm in the low setting, an increase of 5mm. The slightly steepened seat tube angles balance out that increase, creating a top tube length that's relatively unchanged, which means the seated climbing position will feel nearly the same as before.

Santa Cruz lowered the Tallboy's leverage ratio to give it a slightly less progressive shock curve, a change that's also accompanied by a lower amount of anti-squat in the beginning of the travel, and a less aggressive drop off later in the stroke. Those changes were done to increase the bike's small bump compliance, and to give it a more predictable suspension feel at all points in the travel.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5

Build Kits

There are 6 models in the lineup, with prices starting at $5,299 USD for the Tallboy C R, which has SRAM NX drivetrain, Guide T brakes, a RockShox Pike Base fork and a Fox Performance DPS shock.

At the top of the line sits the $10,399 Tallboy CC X01 AXS RSV. That's a whole lot of initials to designate that it has Santa Cruz's highest end carbon frame construction, SRAM's AXS wireless electronic drivetrain, and Reserve 30 SL carbon wheels. Suspension duties on that pricey model are handled by a Fox Float Factory DPS shock and a RockShox Pike Ultimate fork.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5

Santa Cruz Tallboy 5



Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Eliot Jackson charging on the new Tallboy.

Ride Impressions

The Tallboy isn't a downcountry bike, and it's not trying to be. Instead, it's a do-everything machine that has a 'just right' air to its handling. There's no sketchiness or unpredictability to be found – it's the rider that'll be bringing those traits to the table, not the bike.

Honestly, I could probably just drop the link to Mike Levy's review of the Tallboy 4 in here and call it good. There are more similarities than differences between the two versions, and the overall ride characteristics are nearly identical. It's been a little bit since I last rode a Tallboy, but going off my somewhat fuzzy memories I'd say that the suspension does feel better than before - it's a little softer overall, which makes the bike more comfortable on choppy sections of trail. There's still plenty of support, though, and even when I used all of the travel there wasn't any harshness at the end of the stroke.

The Tallboy's strength is its versatility – it feels solid, free of any unwanted twitchiness, even on rougher, high-speed trails. The Maxxis Dissector / Rekon tire combo worked well for the dry, dusty conditions that have prevailed lately, although I'd likely put something a little meatier on for wet conditions or to really try to wring out the most downhill performance possible. I'd also probably swap out the G2 brakes for some Codes if I was going that route, since there's only a small weight penalty and a noticeable performance difference. Still, for general duty the G2 brakes work all right, and a rotor upgrade to the new HS2 versions would be an easier way to bump up the stopping power a little further.

The Tallboy's handling is very calm and predictable, and the same goes for the pedaling performance - it strikes a nice balance between efficiency and traction. That said, the weight combined with the more muted suspension feel does make it feel closer to a short travel Hightower rather than a longer travel Blur.

That's not to say that it feels heavy or lethargic – far from it – it's just there is a noticeable difference between how it feels compared to something like the newest Trek Top Fuel, or even a Transition Spur for that matter. All of those bikes have 120mm of rear travel, but the Trek and Transition sit more on the aggressive XC side of the spectrum, and have more of an appetite for sprinting uphill than the Tallboy.

Those lighter and livelier options are great for riders trying to scratch that downcountry itch, but when gravity takes over it's the Tallboy that pulls ahead, with a more planted feel that delivers the confidence required to hit higher speeds and more challenging trail features.

As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and that's exactly what Santa Cruz have done with the Tallboy. It's a refined trail bike, with easy-to-live-with handling and all of the frame features (and corresponding price tag) that Santa Cruz has become known for.






363 Comments

  • 487 9
 $5.3k for a bike with NX and Guides, no thanks...
  • 90 0
 You make us look poor!
  • 78 6
 Pike Base is the real lol for me on that spec... Might as well be a 35 Silver.
  • 9 24
flag wobblegoblin (Sep 20, 2022 at 4:24) (Below Threshold)
 But it only weighs 28 lbs?!?!
  • 192 0
 remember when you had the same YT TUES CF as aaron gwin for 5000usd$ ?
  • 6 0
 Spot on
  • 7 0
 @pakleni: I was about to say: Aren’t you Swiss?
  • 71 3
 The Guides as a model aren't bad, but the base version paired with NX is what you'd expect to find on a $1800 hardtail.
  • 29 0
 @davidrobinsonphoto: I'd honestly rather see a Revelation. And a price tag of $3750.
  • 11 1
 You can read the specs? Man you did better than me!
  • 30 0
 I remember when $13,850 CAN would get you an upgraded headset...
  • 31 4
 @adamszymkowicz: a 1800$ hardtail sounds more like xt level to me. Nobody should have ever bought a bike above 2000$ with nx on it. And now we are talking five grand... There is a reason people complained about pricing for a long while especially with the so called "boutique brands".
  • 19 0
 @daweil: I wish you could get XT on an $1800 hardtail. Jesus, I just looked at Specialized's website and the NX level Fuse is $3000.
  • 5 1
 “Hot take”
  • 9 0
 @davidrobinsonphoto: I saw the pike and when 'pshhh, whatever..' then I was like, when did Pikes become lame? hahah
  • 10 1
 @adamszymkowicz: there's many XT hardtails for that price. What they don't mention though, is that an XT rear derailleur for some manufacturing is enough to call a bike an XT bike...
  • 12 1
 @RedBurn: Obviously different comparing MSRP to sale prices, but yesterday I bought a carbon Ripmo XT build with Fox Factory suspension for just under 4k off competitive cyclist. It's been rough for bargain hunters during the supply chain crises, but deals seem to be returning if you're willing to wait around for them.
  • 10 0
 @MarcusBrody: how... Thats 7200 on their site atm.
  • 8 0
 @michaelandk2: Last night they had a bunch of their carbon frames/completes for ~46% off. They had frames, SLX builds (which I would have gone for but they didn't have an XL), XT builds, and XT with carbon wheel builds of at least the Ripmo and some of those in the Ripley. I saw a PSA on another forum and bought mine before they went out of stock in about half an hour. I had earlier in the day just barely decided not to buy the Ripmo AF SLX for $3200, so when the XT carbon came up for $3970, I jumped pretty quickly.

Now I'm just sitting around sweating that they were blowing them out before a new release and that it's not a pricing error that they'll cancel.
  • 2 0
 @MarcusBrody: I got an email yesterday from Jenson saying Yetis were on sale. I bet a bunch of manufacturers are releasing new models soon and existing stock is trying to be cleared out.
  • 17 0
 The other interesting thing Santa Cruz has seem to do with their past few releases is actually trickle UP the lower end "C" level frames. In the past these were largely relegated to the lower end build kits; but now, their low end carbon C frame w/ tricked out build kit comes in at an eye-watering $9499. That's some serious coin to drop and not even have the nice frame!
  • 3 0
 ...and the cheapest suspension above what you get on a department store bike.
  • 4 0
 @daweil: XT on a sub $2K bike? maybe if you buy something for $1500 then immediately buy a set of XT brakes as an upgrade. Most cheaper HTs are comming with these Guide Ts or Tektros
  • 6 5
 @Skippy24: Ha! a Yeti "on sale"? Are those for the dentists that advertise affordable braces on the radio?
  • 8 0
 NX and Deore on the base models is way too common now. It used to be GX and SLX.
  • 20 0
 It's not "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," for SC, it's "If your riders ain't broke, charge more."
  • 33 0
 @bishopsmike:
I remember when $13,850 CAN would get you a Totota 4x4 pickup.
  • 9 1
 @davidrobinsonphoto: Pike base has a downgraded charger rc damper, it's miles better than 35
  • 2 0
 @MarcusBrody:

That’s insane dude. Nice find.
  • 6 1
 @Mac1987: it’s over £300 just to buy 4 piston XT brakes in the uk at the moment and that’s not including adapters / rotors. Shimano are crazy expensive at the moment on everything especially their 12 speed stuff / 4 piston brakes. All the 11 speed stuff is still dirt cheap. Just spec that. I’m sure most people would prefer 11 speed / 2 piston XT / GX over that utter junk they refer to as Deore and SX.
  • 1 0
 @RedBurn: Not that long ago either.
  • 6 3
 @MarcusBrody: @MarcusBrody: Word on the street is that it was a mistake and orders are going to be cancelled.

Keep in mind, this is based on word of mouth from a dude that knows a dude that supposedly works there.

So, maybe take this with a grain of salt...
  • 1 0
 @michaelandk2: I think new versions are coming out very soon, Tough to sell the old models after new ones are announced!
  • 7 0
 @FrankS29: Yep I just got the call. It was a pricing error. They offered me 25% off, which honestly is good for the build in today's market, but I decided against it. I'll end up with a less Gucci build of a bike in the 4k range at some point.
  • 8 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I do prefer 11 speed Shimano. But I’ll also say Deore 12 is really good. Put an XT shifter on an otherwise complete Deore group set and it shifts and feels like XT.

This bike is silky, but if it’s getting enough descending time, 4 pots are the way to go.

As for NX-that stuff is best taken behind the shed.
  • 2 1
 @MarcusBrody: Definitely a new release coming. It’s the only reason to blow them out… or a pricing mistake. But the Ripmo V2 is a bit long in the tooth.
  • 1 4
 @wyorider: feels like XT around the car park at the bike shop long enough to get the purchase and then instantly disintegrates and falls to bits when you take it out on the trail. Cranks and cassette is fine though if you don’t mind the weight.
  • 1 0
 ridiculous indeed but if you consider that SC value their frame at ~ $3.5k then what is left is fo rteh components assembly, labor and margin ...
  • 3 0
 @RedBurn: Yes. And it came with all the Factory Kashima. Now we get a Pike Basic.
  • 3 0
 @RedBurn: "Tues-days gone with the wind"
  • 4 0
 @MarcusBrody: 25% off is an amazing deal to me now (can't beleive I am saying that). It is scary when I think an Ibis is a value when compared to SC and Yeti. Ripmo XT with Carbon wheels is $1000 less than SB130LR with carbon, and at least $2000 less than an SC (no shimano builds being spec'ed for a while)
  • 4 8
flag Mac1987 (Sep 20, 2022 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: agreed, except for Deore being crap.
  • 9 0
 @suspended-flesh: "But", the review sites say, "entry level stuff is SOOOO good nowadays!". Yeah, except it's priced as high level stuff.
  • 6 0
 @plyawn: That's funny because dentists make lots of money and Yetis are pretty expensive. Only downvoted because I laughed so hard at this (very original) joke that I blew coffee out my nose. Kudos on the astute observation though, I'm not sure anyone else would have made that connection with dentists and Yetis.
  • 1 8
flag thenotoriousmic (Sep 20, 2022 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Mac1987: it’s definitely utter crap. Made from the cheapest nastiest metal available though calling it metal may be incorrect, that just falls apart straight away or bends and it’s not even cheap anymore. It’s more expensive than 11 speed XT.
  • 3 0
 But this unfortunately is becoming the norm. I've built a bike back in 2021 because bike availability but I think I got a much better deal getting the parts I wanted instead of buying a bike and then upgrading to those parts. I guess the next bike is gonna be a custom built one!
  • 2 0
 @rcrocha: I don't disagree. For the spec, 5.5k was a great deal. I just would rather spend 1.5k less even at the expense of lower parts spec. I'm ok with SLX and no Kashima (and really kind of prefer Rockshox/DVO, though I haven't tried the latest gen Fox stuff).

Will I regret that not just buying the fancy Ripmo for 5.5k when I end up spending 5k buying/upgrading something else? Quite possibly. But at the moment I was looking more for a 3-4k bike than a 6k bike (where it would fall with sales tax and shipping).
  • 2 0
 @daweil: My canyon hardtail for 2000 only has nx and base guides but it has a nice fork (pike select)
  • 2 1
 @MarcusBrody: I think DVO are made by Suntour.
  • 7 1
 @adamszymkowicz: so what? DVO are awesome
  • 1 0
 @tacobravo: straight up!
  • 3 0
 @dlford: it still will… a 1995 extended cab with 550k haha.
  • 1 0
 @dlford: today it's $70k. So yeah.
  • 3 0
 @adamszymkowicz: which is probably a plus, since this means less chance of a creaking CSU or wrong levels of oil and other lubricants.
  • 3 0
 @plyawn: Radon makes a XT hardtail for less than 2K in Europe at least. But they are definitely the only ones I know !
  • 2 3
 @wobblegoblin: noone likes you Russia!
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: i would be happy with slx. Really good performance for the money.
  • 4 0
 @bishopsmike: I was just responding to the last person who made it look like Rockshox made DVO. Absolutely agree!
  • 1 4
 @drjonnywonderboy: SLX is better but it’s still pretty cheap and poorly manufactured especially the rear mechs. Doesn’t take long before they wear at the pivots and start wobbling around and shifting poorly. Ok for casual riders who might only ride a couple of weekends a month but for most people on her who ride two or three times a week it’s a false economy. Spending that little bit extra for GX / XT will save you a load of money in the long run simply by investing in components made from decent hardwearing materials which can handle the demands of being constantly rattled down a mountain in the mud and dust.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: I heard they were cancelling them in a Ripmo group, buyers where got 'em haven't had their CC's charged.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: But rear mechs hit rocks, which is why I just can't spend a lot on them. The thought of buying some XTR or whatever and first ride you smash it is just too much for me. But it is true, they don't work well for all that long
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: yeah there’s that approach also. When I used to ride DH bikes I only used zee / slx mechs because I was going to be replacing it anyway but these days I’m not really having much issues with broken mechs. I mainly use GX / X01 mechs and they can take a beating where SLX or NX just bends or develops a bunch of play at the pivots. I’ve got a GX mech from 2016 that’s seen three different hangers still going strong on my sons bike. No play still perfectly straight. Still £79 for a deore mech that will need replacing in 6 months or £110 for XT which should be good for a couple of years. Money well spent really even if you do run the risk of damaging it.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I think I can manage more than one season with a deore, but we'll have to see, haha. Last one hit a rock. Shifting on the newer one is iffy now, but that could also be cassette/chain.
  • 1 0
 @Brodybro29: yeah, they seem to be the last "affordable" DTC brand that's actually still affordable. Wonder how long that'll remain the case.
  • 3 0
 @Brodybro29: @Mac1987 No brand beats Radon for value right now afaict. All the other German direct sales went up in price much faster than they did. Cragger 7 is the bike I recommend to beginners. 1300 euro alu hardtail with a decent modern geo, dropper post, xt/deore mix and a Bomber z2.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I've been running deore 12-speed for about a year and it's been quite good. Still shifts pretty well, but not perfect. For a $60 derailleur it's freaking awesome and has done great for me riding about 2x week.
  • 1 0
 @skyroach: Same here. Picked up a Deore 12-speed derailleur over a year ago as a replacement, when XT wasn't available anywhere. Thought I'd replace it as soon as possible but stuck with it ever since. It's still going strong and I'd be hard pressed to tell a difference in shift quality. It honestly just works.
  • 1 0
 @davidrobinsonphoto: Why though? Even the base Pike still has the lightweight casting, lightweight stanchions and the Charger damper. It's honestly not bad. It's probably the only spec choice on this bike that isn't terrible tbh.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: Nah, this is not even the base model which I associated with the select. It's an OEM model with a rush damper.
  • 1 2
 @Muscovir: Did you ever ride a Select? It's a Charger in name only, it's barely evolved from Motion Control.
  • 1 1
 @davidrobinsonphoto: the select forks all have the RS1 style ifp dampers and have for the last couple of years. Just without high speed adjustment. They used the OEM forks to test them before giving it the full release.
  • 121 2
 that picture of Eliot just makes me wanna go ride
  • 35 2
 He’s got the Michael Jordan tongue while in the air too! That photo should be captioned “Air Jackson” =P
  • 7 0
 Have to agree. One of the sickest riding shots I've seen in a while.
  • 7 0
 haven't seen an eliot shreddit for too long; hoping there's a vid to go along with this launch.
  • 79 0
 Looks like a Santa Cruz.
  • 15 2
 you know when you are just randomly sat around.......doing nothing then you get that weird feeling you either dreamed this or its happened before
  • 70 3
 @Compositepro: if you're reading PB while sat on the toilet, that feeling is called deja poo.
  • 4 0
 @chakaping: I’m deja poo right now!
  • 8 3
 @taurausmountain: if you're reading PB while sat on the toilet, that feeling is called deja poo.
  • 2 1
 @chakaping: to be fair it is the place i read pinkbike first morning poo then maybe a 2 oclock poo for when the yanks get out of bed
  • 1 0
 @WRCDH: haha, wonder what those HT and ST angles were
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: hta: 78 sta: 64
  • 2 0
 Haha... what were you expecting? Imagine saying that every time Ferrari or Porsche releases a NEW model! haha
  • 2 0
 @danosc: if a Porsche would probably say that it looks like a Beetle.
  • 94 16
 Comments section spoiler: 500 comments moaning about price and design.
  • 10 7
 ..and the geo, and colourways and not high pivot, looks like 2019 all over again :p
  • 182 6
 Hey, if they're cut-and-pasting the bikes, why can't we cut-and-paste our comments?
  • 11 6
 @chakaping: Yes we can! Here I paste my comment which I wrote about the "new" 5010: Dull, bland, uninspired, tedious, uncreative.
  • 16 6
 Comments section spoiler: People commenting about the comments on a Santa Cruz article.

Your comment is just as predictable Wink
  • 15 5
 The last couple of bikes Santa Cruz released are basically all just one giant low-effort meme, so it's only fair they get low-effort comments in return.
  • 2 0
 PONtification.
  • 2 0
 @redrook: I knew there would be comments about comments about people commenting on a Santa Cruz article.
  • 74 0
 Eating yesterdays pizza with a surprised look.
  • 7 10
 waaay too clever for some
  • 67 0
 With geometry becoming essentially sorted at this point, the market is ripe for clone bikes at half the price.
  • 6 3
 I have to agree.
Maybe not with the VPP layout, but I think we're gonna see an increase in affordable bikes with great geometry in the coming years. It's already happening with some good white label Chinese frames, eh?
  • 15 0
 @chakaping: if you are referring to brands like canyon, vitus, nukeproof they are already up there in price.
  • 5 0
 @chakaping: Yup. Simple, effective suspension with deore components, alum rims, and good, cheap suspension.

I did run into a guy at a bike park with a VPP lower link clone bike from China. He was telling me about people organizing group buys on forums...didn't appeal to me, but hopefully soon, we get some more cheap mainstream options.
  • 3 2
 @bikefuturist: No I was thinking of Carbonda who sell frames direct to the public, sometimes the same ones that brands badge as their own.
BTW Vitus and NP are still quite decent value in the UK but not so much overseas, I know.
  • 3 0
 *Polygon has entered the chat* (but seriously, idk if most people need more than they offer, it's just the want problem that gets me)
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: Interesting, they have modern Geo, SRAM UDH, threaded BB. httpss://www.carbonda.com/mountain/full-suspension/134.html
  • 3 0
 @bikefuturist: YT too sadly. Although the Izzo Core 4 (fox factory and x01) at $5599usd is a steal compared to SC at this point.
  • 1 1
 @dmackyaheard: My pal has the 120/130mm travel frame and says it's really good.
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: the price of the 2019 top end Jeffsy was more than the too range Jeffsy now. Only difference is the 2022 has aluminum wheels. I’d say they’ve done a good job at managing prices. Especially with inflation.
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: holy crap! I didn't see a price for the frame. Anyone have a review on one of these frames??
  • 4 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: If you were going to go the clone route I think you'd be better off appropriating a Horst link than VPP. A more active suspension is going to relieve some frame stresses that might result in breakage of cheap carbon. Even better might be aluminum single pivots.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Why are they not good value overseas? My brother just bought a full suspension vitus with Z2 fork and deore for 2.1k USD. I thought that was pretty good value...
  • 2 2
 @bigogoat: I might have been thinking of the NP price list actually, I know they are unfairly expensive in the EU now anyway.
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: you're right about everything but the "affordable" part. You're about to see dozens of undifferentiated brands that will only be a few hundred bucks cheaper than the incumbents. I would love to be proved wrong.
  • 3 0
 @dmackyaheard: is the extra "s" in your url for "super secure Chinese website"?

I love the intended use: "All mountian Boost"
on the "about us" page: "The S&M Department &the factory is in Huizhou now." - they do all their S&M in-house.

Their website is a gold-mine of entertainment, but I'm not sure I'd buy a bike from them...
  • 4 0
 @chakaping: VPP patent is expired. Absolutely open mold frames with VPP
  • 1 2
 @wyorider: I was aware it was expired, I just haven't seen any catalogue frames use it yet and I'm not sure I'd take a punt on one as easily as a four-bar frame. And I'm aware there's no logic behind that really.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: just time and tooling cost. Horst Link has been around since the mid 1990’s.

VPP came along a decade later, but that patent only expired a few years ago.
  • 3 0
 Thus far it seems all new players in bike MFG's haven't wanted to upset the apple cart in terms of pricing.

Hopefully someone's going to come along and not GAF (Chinese?) and the main players will have their gravy train ended. I won't shed a tear for them, since we've been gouged for a long time.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: diamond back already copied it but it's also a notoriously complained about suspension platform so why bother copying it
  • 60 4
 So I can continue to ride my Ibis Ripley totally relaxed
  • 6 2
 yep
  • 58 1
 Just let it do the work.
  • 1 2
 @MTBrent: Better not, LOL. We all saw how that went.
  • 2 0
 @MTBrent: the job***
  • 43 1
 I'm sorry but anyone buying a Santa cruz full build in this day and age is a sucker. $8600 starting for proper suspension, seriously. You could buy a frame (even though I'm sure those are stupidly priced) and build it up better for less yourself.
  • 23 2
 I built up a pretty rad Revel Rascal, XO1/XX1 mech 12 speed. Carbon everything, 27.5 lbs for $6k. Just have to know where the deals are. Buying a full build is just lazy these days.
  • 11 0
 @OnTheRivet: I just built up a Canfield Tilt with full XT, I9hydra/DT Swiss, 2023 RockShox Ultimate suspension, G2 RSC for $5k, and I was paying retail for most of the parts and frame. To drop $6800 on their C S kit and still get a crap wheelset and entry level fox suspension you'd normally find on a 4-5k bike from another brand is just getting hosed.
  • 3 0
 @dmackyaheard: I'd be really interested to see the full parts list and cost.
  • 5 0
 PB need to try this and make a point. It has been bought up a lot.
  • 2 0
 @OnTheRivet: that's funny. I also built up a rascal last October right before the frame jumped to $3500. Xt drivetrain, dominion brakes, mezzer fork, WAO carbon hoops. Came in just shy of 7k. Since added push 11-6 to it.
  • 1 0
 @OnTheRivet: Sounds like a nice build, weight at 27.5 lbs is impressive, includes pedals? Have been looking at Revel Rascal myself.
  • 4 0
 @OnTheRivet: what kinda XC rubber you got on there that gets the weight down to 27.5 pounds?
  • 1 0
 @vtracer: Specialized Ground Controls (870g) I live in SoCal where nothing works, people use these huge heavy tires that don't work any better than a good trail tire. I prefer lots of rubber on the ground over big flexy knobs.
  • 3 0
 I had some time to kill, so I went to a shop's website and added to the cart:
deviate highlander w/ ohlins shock, fox 36 factory, dt m1900 wheels, hope e4 brakes and 200mm rotors, one up 180mm dropper, xt shifter, chain, crankset and bb, xx1 cassette and full deity cockpit (including Tmacs).
It totals £6555. Spare £200 more for a headset tyres and cables.
  • 2 2
 @adamszymkowicz: If you go with a 2022 Pike ($650) instead of a 2023 ($1000) and a set of carbon hoops that don't bear the Reserve label (better yet find some take offs on PB classifieds) you can easily do a superior version of the GX AXS RSV build for $7500 and save $2000.

GX AXS upgrade kit can be found for less than $450 now, OEM X01 cranks can be found on eBay for $300. Maxxis tires $55 shipped from Europe. A take-off dropper from BikeYoke or OneUp can easily be found for $300. Saving $50-100 on each component adds up pretty quickly.
  • 1 0
 @ccartled: Aren't they 20% off right now? At least instock builds are.
  • 1 1
 @OnTheRivet: I get your point, but for instance, I was having a hell of a time finding chains and brake pads until a couple of months ago. Wouldn't be surprised if a lot of recently full-build purchases were simply because it was going to be tough source the individual components.
  • 1 0
 $4k for the frame with bearing warranty, great overall warranty, and factory shock isn’t too bad. A stumpy with cheaper shock is $2,700 so… there is that. I agree the full builds are unappealing.
  • 43 1
 hands up, who can feel the difference between 65,5 and 65,7°of HA Big Grin 3mm BB drop is useless too as the flip chip here in general :/
  • 18 5
 It changes the leverage curve enough that the dynamic ride height difference is more than 3mm. Source: own a Tallboy and you can tell a difference in pedal strikes between the two positions. I run mine in high. I'm not saying it's the most useful adjustment but it is noticeable.
  • 12 2
 Feel the difference in head angle, no. Feel my pedals bash rocks more, uh huh. Cornering improves because of bottom bracket drop, yes. Disappointed how it makes an average climbing bike a pathetic climbing bike due to a revised leverage curve, yep.
  • 4 5
 Wouldn't two strokes with the shock pump do the same thing?
  • 3 2
 I ride a tallboy. Definitely notice the pedal strikes in the low position. It's not a lot but makes a difference riding in chunk.
  • 1 0
 @Nickbikes85: I had Nomad N4 and yes, pedal strikes in low position were common, but difference between position were day/night especially compared to this new Tallboy
  • 40 0
 The weight of a bigger bike, just without the added capability.

I get light XC race bikes. I just don’t get 28-30 lb short travel bikes.
  • 22 0
 @wyorider I'm with you on this. I don't understand buying this over a 130-150ish bike that weights 30lbs. Looking at SCs site most of the realistic builds look like they will be over 30lbs with pedals. We're getting to a point where most bikes these days are just enduro-lite, enduro, or enduro-extra. If i'm buying a 120/130 bike I want it around 27lbs like a Ripley.
  • 5 2
 if less is more, more is better, right? Some people just want a peppy brawler of a bike. Different flavors is all!
  • 8 4
 @OregonTrailBikes: Likely a 30-31lb bike with a 65*HTA. What advantage does the 120/130 bike really give you over a 150/150 bike with all other numbers the same? Does the less travel really make it more peppy? My 140/160 bike is 29lbs with pedals. I bet this 120/130 bike just has less travel, not more pep.
  • 13 0
 Try try try one and you may!

Short travel bikes with aggressive geometry and wheels/tires that don't disintegrate are super fun. Not as fast as a longer travel bike in the rough and not the thing if you're looking to put out spandex and breathe out your eyeballs, but much more engaging to ride on tamer flow trails, jump trails, and longer alpine rides.

I also have a more classic enduro bike in the 36lb range for when the trails get rough/fast have bigger features and might involve a shuttle bump.
  • 2 1
 @isilverman: You know the score. I did a pedally enduro race on my 110mm/130mm trail bike the other weekend, it was a really good tool for the job.
  • 3 0
 @isilverman: I feel like they probably are still super fun in general; mountain biking is fun! Smile I just don't know what specific advantage a 30-31lb 120mm bike has over a 30-31lb 150mm bike with similar geometries.
  • 5 0
 @yupstate: I switched from YT Izzo (130/130) to an Ibis Ripmo (160/147). Both near identical weight ~31lbs. Besides the suspension differences, biggest difference I noticed was on smooth, rolling terrain, the Ripmo doesn't carry momentum as well as the Izzo. This might be down to tires. Izzo came with 2.3 Forekasters and Rip has 2.5 DHF and 2.5 Aggressors. On downhills, I was surprised Ripmo wasn't a lot faster than Izzo, but the feeling is completely different. Izzo was hold on to dear life on chunky steep terrain whereas Ripmo was calm, confidence inspiring. DH times are dropping as I get more use to Ripmo. Uphill, they feel the same, but Izzo is generally 30seconds to a minute faster.

So there is still some differences even though weight is similar. If I lived in flatter terrain, Midwest? I think the shorter travel bikes will be more fun, despite their weight. But obviously, the lighter the better.
  • 1 1
 @wutamclan: the rolling speed and acceleration would be tires.

I’m on a Ripmo-and it’s efficient and easy to have fun on, even on mellower trails.

The advantages of a shorter stroke shock are pretty minor when it’s bolted into a heavier bike.
  • 2 0
 @yupstate: Mountain biking IS fun. And it's horses for courses really.

The little bike pedals, pumps, jumps, and flicks better than the similar weight & geo 150mm trail bike I replaced it with did, and is easier to chuck around in and out of corners. Less travel means less bump absorption, but it also means more stable geometry which I've found I really like! The little bike does get overwhelmed in rough terrain faster and beats me up a bit more on longer rough rides.

Try one if you can and see what you think, YMMW.

I got mine after I tried both a short travel trail (process 111 w/ an angleset) and a more aggressive "enduro" bike (Megatower). Those experiences prompted me to sell my 150 carbon jack of all trades trail bike and build up two reasonably specced (slx/gx drivetrains, quality suspension & brakes with aluminum wheels) aluminum rigs, one 120/130 air shock bike that's 31lbs and a 155/160 coil shock enduro/am bike that's closer to 36 lbs.

Did this right before the pandemic for a total spend of around $1,500 (bought lightly used did all the work and part swaps myself and got $3,500 for the two-year-old used bike). Geometry is similar between the two new bikes (within .5 degrees of 65 head angle with 450 mm-ish reaches, shortish 435mm stays, and moderately low bb heights).

Both are better and worse at things specific things than the 31 lb carbon 150mm trail bike they replaced. Covered the little bike already but the big bike is what you'd think--a bit more stable at speed, smashes and sends a lot better, but is "boring/muted" on tamer trails and is definitely more work on big pedal days. Both still do go on big pedal rides, but only one gets shuttled or taken to lifts--and it's the other that probably sees more mileage.

Very happy to have two bikes v. one. #blessed
  • 3 0
 I couldn't agree more. Why ride a heavy short travel bike? Last year I was trying to decide between a tallboy and hightower. Build a hightower to be as "XC" as possible, pike 150mm, XT/ XTR mix, carbon wheels trail tires and still 31 lbs. So I sold the frame after a year and my bike park bike (nomad V4) got a Megatower, build some 29" EX511 wheels with DD tires for the park and just swap wheels. The "XC" version of the Megatower is 33 lbs climbs the same as the hightower and crushes the downs. The bike park version is scary fast and super stable, sent crabapple for the first time on it this summer.
I would like to try a down country bike for riding trails. That at lease makes sense to me. I thinking a spur if I can find one. And, yes I'm a dentist.
  • 2 5
 I’m with you. If want more pep, just add more air and rebound to your 150/150 that weighs the same as these 120/130s.
  • 3 1
 Having owned the TB4 for over a year, as well as a TB3, I’m going to have to agree with you on this.

The TB3 was a downhillers XC bike, the TB4 and TB5 are downhillers short travel trail bikes… maybe?

I switched the TB4 to a Ripmo V2 and moved over my parts- (extended the fox36 to 160)
I’ve been faster just about everywhere on the Ripmo, including the climbs. It is true that on rolling / flatter terrain the TB4 was more fun. Compared to something like and Epic Evo it’s in a different class on the downhills, but it simply can’t hang with the 140+ bikes on rough terrain at higher speeds.

Who is the TB5 for? I’d say someone who wants their bike to say “Santa Cruz’ and likes the warranty + bearing coverage. They live somewhere without really big mountains, but they travel to places with bigger mountains from time to time. They aren’t worried about climbing faster than a bigger bike (and they won’t) but they like the way a shorter travel bike feels. There really is something to the platform / mid stroke support coming sooner on shorter travel bikes.

TBH I was expecting a total redesign of the Tallboy to something more like the Spur, Stumpjumper, or Rocky’s new Element. Instead they put a hole in the frame and made it heavier and more expensive.
  • 3 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: I dunno man. My local hills are the North Shore, which is famously rough and janky, and the TB4 I rode was an absolute blast. I have a Nomad as well, which I no doubt will grab the majority of rides, but there's something so fun about how on the edge these zippy short travel bikes with aggresive geo are. It wants to kill me, but in a nice friendly way... if that makes any sense at all...
  • 1 0
 @isilverman: ya but so is a gravel bike basically.
  • 1 0
 Same here! Get more travel and maybe a second light wheelset (light Alu rims, eg Newmen) with light tires (eg Spesh Ground Control, Maxxis Forekaster/Rekon) for your local well known round or easier terrain. Tried a lot of bikes within the last years from Tallboy to Nomad/Megatower.
Get an „All Mountain“ with about 150 and make it even more versatile if you want with wheels, tires, coil shocks or whatever. Either direction is possible.
  • 2 0
 Aggressive short travel bikes are very much a "if you know, you know" kind of deal. Demo a Tallboy or Optic and you'll see it'll make all the sense in the world.
  • 1 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: I also have a v4 TB, as a second bike to my main enduro bike. I ride the Canadian Rockies and bc, we have big mountains. It is so much fun to ride as a contrast to big long travel bike. I still ride techy steep trails on it, just a bit slower and with more careful line choice and then on more xc oriented trails, the tb feels much lighter and playful vs big bike. So fun to jump. I think the tb still offers a bit different package vs Element, as the descending capability of the TB likely is better, but yes, it's heavier... To each their own.
  • 1 0
 @isilverman: same thoughts, same setup. They are really fun bikes
  • 1 0
 accidental double post.
  • 3 0
 @leon-forfar: It is a fun bike for sure. I’ve yet to make it to the shore, but the TB4 came with me to Moab, Durango, etc and I agree it offers up a certain brand of thrill when pushed in rough terrain.

I haven’t ridden a Spur or an Element in the same terrain… for folks who really want to ride a short travel bike hard, the TB is certainly built to take the abuse. I guess my point is that there are bikes that are faster downhill without giving up speed uphill, and there are bikes that are a LOT faster on XC and rolling terrain. FUN is harder to quantify… I had a lot of fun on my TB and it was trouble free.
  • 2 0
 @mtnranger: I think I came off a bit more negative than I intended with my comments- its a fun bike for sure!
It’s a LOT more capable than the TB3 was downhill, and is still the best descending short travel bike I’ve tried.

I guess my point is, there are significantly lighter bikes that are only slightly less capable downhill, (and even easier to pop and chuck around) and there are equally light bikes with a bit more travel that are faster when things get rough. I totally agree that a short travel bike with good geo and a sturdy frame can be a blast, and it was my one bike for some great adventures. I do miss the extra liveliness and pop sometimes vs the Ripmo… I’ve just noticed that I get *slightly* better times uphill and down on the Ripmo running the same parts, which is interesting.

There’s no harm in being spoiled for choice with good bikes, and the TB still fills a niche quite nicely.
  • 35 0
 That was most underwhelming release ever.
“We cut a hole into the frame. You can store your weed in there.”
  • 33 3
 And the irony is Tallboy riders don't even blaze...
  • 5 3
 They also downgraded from adjustable chainstay length to the trendy “size specific” chainstay garbage marketing
  • 14 0
 @VtVolk: Tallboy 4 with a 140 fork and the Cascade link makes a Highboy and I’d beg to differ.
  • 6 0
 @VtVolk: speak for yourself dave!
  • 3 0
 @titiand: Dave's not here, man.
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk:
(BC Bud has entered the chat) "Hello, may I help your Tallboy float uphill today?"
  • 1 0
 and the UDH too, which is nice. But not everything needs updating! The Tallboy 4 was pretty much sorted as-is. They probably handed this release to the Product Manager intern to deal with.
  • 5 0
 @VtVolk: You must not know many Tallboy riders.
  • 2 0
 @nilswalk: The 2022 Tallboy 4 had the sram UDH fyi
  • 36 5
 Dear Santa Cruz, reverbs SUCK, stop suckering people who don’t know any better into buying bikes with droppers that will cause them nothing but issues and put a good mechanical post on instead….
  • 7 1
 They get them dirt cheap s part of the deal from sram
  • 11 2
 never had any issues in 3 seasons of riding with the C1 Reverb that has the vent valve.
  • 3 3
 New ones are better, but OneUp is even better and cheaper.
  • 7 2
 Honestly, the C1 reverb is a MASSIVE improvement in feel and reliability. At the shop I work at, we see very few of the new C1 Reverb with issues (and we have a suspension service center and a high volume of mountain bike sales). Should they develop the typical saggy Reverb issue, then you can easily just use the vent valve to sort it. Much better than it needing to be serviced.

That said, I have never owned a Reverb (except an AXS reverb for this season), and have always stuck with Fox Transfers. For how much praise the Fox post gets, and how much I generally prefer Fox products (can't say no to that matchy kashima post), they tend to have way more issues. It surprised me how much praise they get for reliability. I've had 7-8 Transfer posts across my bikes and my partner's bikes, and I want to say that only 1 of them made it to the 1 year point before it stopped getting full travel and needed a service. These new Reverbs seem to go on for 1-2 years before showing signs of needing a service.
  • 1 4
 Dear SRAM, reverbs SUCK, stop suckering people who don’t know any better into buying bikes with droppers that will cause them nothing but issues and make a good mechanical post instead….
  • 3 0
 It also doesn’t help that reverbs are completely uneconomical to service/repair. Last time I checked, the rebuild kit was $125cnd to do it myself. Or my LBS would charge $175 to do it for me. Yet you can typically snag an almost new/new bike take off Reverb from the buy&sell for $175-200… It’s just not worth it.
When I bought my last bike I didn’t even bother using the reverb and picked up a one up the same day (and a functional upgrade from 170 to 210mm). Sold the reverb to offset the cost of the oneup.
  • 3 0
 You have to spring for the NX build to get a decent dropper.
  • 1 0
 @leon-forfar: fox should have stuck with the doss dropper and modernized it. 3 positions that it locked into that made sense.
  • 31 6
 Santa Cruz release a ‘new bike’ - time to get triggered
  • 14 4
 Wait for me, my torch and pitchfork are around here somewhere.
  • 22 2
 Yet you can get the new Rocky Mountain Element with all the same geo numbers but at a fraction of the weight, room for two bottles, and an SLX/XT build for $4800. But people will still be trendy and keep buying Santa Cruz...
  • 25 6
 So yet another new frame but they can't even supply the models already out as frame only/warranty replacement.... great........
  • 3 0
 maybe you get 20pct off the replacement frame =)
  • 2 1
 Can you elaborate on this? All I ever hear is that you're paying extra for the customer service and warranty.
  • 2 2
 Same thing with Pivot….just had a trial ride near me yet you can’t get a warranty replacement
  • 1 0
 That’s because they are getting through so many of them
  • 1 0
 @DCF: SC is great for customer support if you live in North America (makes sense, they are an American brand). Over the pandemic, they were just not able to supply the needs of everyone, so they offered the most support to their local market.
  • 17 2
 This very polite First Ride read like a reply explaining why someone wasn't good enough. Firstly, talk about the good times. Then talk about how you've grown as a rider, how they have many many great qualities. Then let them down easy while making sure they see the words about moving forward and being hopeful for what's next. Just not together. I really should delete my old texts.
  • 18 2
 I like that they have a decent length head tube in the larger sizes, too many brands don't go much longer than 100mm which means loads of stem spacers and a reduced reach.
  • 5 9
flag Dogl0rd (Sep 20, 2022 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 The headtube affects effective reach just as much as spacers for a given HTA. Just doesn't look as goofy as 10 spacers
  • 6 1
 @Dogl0rd: That would be accounted for on the geo chart.
  • 1 2
 @Dogl0rd: After you get past the fashion police and set up a bike properly, the slammed stem look is equally as unappealing. Spacers for the win because a bike riding right beats something “looking right”.
  • 3 3
 @jason3559: yeah I'm not against spacers, just clarifying the original post comment that asserted that there is a functional difference HTA wise between using spacers vs having a thicker headtube. Fashion is in the eye of the dental esthetician
  • 1 3
 @jason3559: woops meant to say "reach wise" not "HTA-wise" my bad
  • 6 4
 @Dogl0rd: but there is a difference. Reach is measured to the top centre of the head tube. A bike with a taller head tube has longer reach to your bars than a bike with the same nominal reach but a shorter head tube (or stack) once the bars are raised to the same height. For every 10mm of stack the reach effectively changes by ~4mm.
  • 3 5
 @threehats: that's why I said effective reach for a given HTA. At a given HTA if the head tube is just taller, that's exactly the same as adding spacer height as far as where your hands are going to end up
  • 5 3
 @Dogl0rd: no it isn’t. A longer head tube (and thus greater stack) means a bike is longer for a given reach. Please look at a geometry diagram and stop and think for a bit before repeating your incorrect statements and downvoting me again.
  • 2 4
 @threehats: downvoted you because of your continued wrongness. Bike is not longer if the headtube is taller. Maybe you're not understanding me
  • 3 1
 @Dogl0rd:
I still don't know what your point is. Two bikes with the same reach, one with a longer head tube. If the one with the shorter head tube requires spacers then it will shorten the effective reach to achieve the same stack as the bike with the longer head tube.

A longer head tube doesn't make a bike longer in itself but means you are less likely to need to shorten the reach by increasing stack height.
  • 2 1
 @Dogl0rd: Here’s some maths for you. The front centre of a bike = reach + ((cosine head angle) x (head tube length + axle to crown length)) + fork offset

If you still think I’m wrong then please show me the mathematics.
  • 1 1
 You're being a pedant about the definition of the word reach. I literally said effective reach. I also clarified, "where your hands end up." Of course by definition the "reach" is different with a thicker headtube, but 5mm thicker headtube and 5mm spacer are equivalent as to where your hands will be when you go ride your bicycle. That is the point I was trying to make to the OP, not have a trigonometry battle with you. This skirmish in the great keyboard war was fun
  • 2 2
 @Dogl0rd: I’m not being a pedant, I’m being precise. If you want to argue about how 5mm changes in head tube length affects geometry then it is pointless to not be precise. A 5mm change in head tube length vs 5mm of spacers puts your hands in a different position because the taller head tube makes the whole bike bigger in reach and stack. However many times you say different doesn’t change the mathematics.
  • 1 3
 @threehats: here is an example. Glue a spacer to the top of the headtube. Your headtube is now taller by the height of the spacer. Alternatively, do not glue down the spacer, you have now used a spacer. The effect is the same
  • 3 2
 @Dogl0rd: But that’s not how bike geometry works. If you add height to the head tube without changing anything else then you’ve decreased the reach of the bike.
  • 2 2
 @threehats: you're trolling me bro, well done
  • 3 1
 @Dogl0rd: The number they quote in the geometry chart changes with the headtube, but not with spacers. Because reach is measured to the top of the headtube. So a bike that ends up with the bar in the exact same position (but with many spacers instead of a tall headtube), will have a longer reach on paper. Likewise, the bike with the same reach number in the geometry chart, but a taller headtube, wil actually be longer.
Re: your though experiment with glued spacers, yes, if you do this before the bike's geometry chart is published, it will change the reach of the bike when you glue the spacer on there. But it won't change the length.
  • 1 2
 @ak-77: you are saying exactly what I have been saying, I agree with you
  • 16 0
 Santa Cruz has the worst build kits for the price.
  • 15 0
 $10k and you get a Reverb stealth dropper post.
  • 6 0
 And Fox Performance Elite, and RS Select +, and Code RS brakes.
  • 8 0
 It's like when you donate to a telethon and get a free tote bag or mug
  • 9 0
 Laugh at me all you want for riding a Cube Stereo, but I paid €2500 (MSRP €3800) for a 160mm 13kg full suspension carbon frame XT/SLX build bike with DT Swiss wheels and Fox suspension. Would never trade that bike for this overpriced NX crap.
  • 11 0
 Haha
  • 7 0
 hee hee
  • 7 0
 Ho ho
  • 7 0
 Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk
  • 6 0
 @suspended-flesh: thanks for not disappointing me, guys! Wink
  • 9 0
 It seems like specs are just getting weirder and worse..

No options for Reserve wheels with mechanical shifting
only speccing the older 10-50T casettes
Speccing the GX AXS remote on the X01 AXS kit
Fox shock with RS forks across the board

Plus it is still such a shame that you could spend $5300 and end up with a bike with sram hubs...
  • 1 0
 I really hope people don't buy these builds and reject the pricing model. Its fucking absurd. I would be interested in this bike if the builds were decent, but man, no way...
  • 2 0
 @HB208: idiots from Florida will gobble these up, don’t worry.
  • 12 1
 no 57 degree head angle im out
  • 13 6
 It's kind of a bummer from a sustainability standpoint that SC has released new but barely different versions of the same bikes in the last year or two. Just a barrage of new, shiny, same-old-but-more-expensive, plastic junk, which is Inline with their new modus operandi. Reminder from Pon Holdings: "Our objective has consistently been to create value for our shareholders." Seems to be playing out super for the customer.
  • 7 4
 How does a new model have any effect on "sustainability"? Its not as if they wouldn't have stopped producing the old version of this bike, each of which would have the same environmental impact. Some new molds have to be made, so that's some energy in, but outside of that there is no difference. The only way to reduce the impact of mountain bikes is to stop building new ones. I guess your comment wasn't really about that though- it was actually about feeling slighted by a "new and improved" product being released, right?
  • 8 1
 Why does the flip chip do almost nothing?
I mean why even bother.
There's no way anyone could tell the difference of 3mm BB height
  • 3 0
 On a BMX 6mm of BB height is very noticable, that is the only direct comparison I have tried. It really changes how easy it is to lift the front of the bike (higher is easier). I'm not sure how well that translates to mountain bikes though as the rest of the geometry varies so wildly from bike to bike vs BMX
  • 1 0
 I think they did an ineffective flip chip just to still have a flip chip. People love flip chips. My spire flip chip is .5 degree HTA and 7mm bb difference and it's a very minor change at best. More pedal strikes for 7mm drop though for sure. Wife's Joplin (v4 tallboy) stays in low all the time.
  • 8 0
 65.5º or 65.7º head angle - what an option!
  • 7 3
 Interesting to read these comments and you can tell that some people have only been around for a few years. Santa Cruz used to release new bikes when there was something to change on it, didn't have to be a set release date. As far as I know, they were the only company that was doing that, I'll let some other older bike fanatic tell me otherwise. Santa Cruz have kinda trended that way since the great take over, but this wave of new Cruzers reminds how the company used to do stuff. They are excited about the glovebox and the chainstays, so they want to spread the wealth to all their bikes. GET OVER IT. A new bike doesn't have to be a totally new design! The only reason bikes change their design, is because their bike sucked to begin with. And goddamn you kids, stop complaining! You don't have to buy a Santa Cruz, you don't have to buy a new bike. Freakin entitled generations... I got angrier at society the more I typed, but I just took a deep breath, and closed my browser....
  • 5 0
 Can you put a Coil shock in the Tallboy? I´ve seen one in Cathro´s bike and not sure what amonunt of hacking yo need to do.
  • 12 5
 I'm not just being contrary, but as a lover of short-travel bikes I've never seen the point of sticking a coil shock on them.
What's your thinking?
  • 8 1
 @chakaping: better everything. most noticeable better heat management for bigger riders on long rough terrain. more mid-stroke support while keeping the beginning smooth. Better durability...I've broken many air more air shocks than coil shocks.
  • 7 4
 @yeti85: On a 120mm travel bike though? I have coils on my 140mm and 170mm bikes - but my short-travel bike is brilliant with a CCDB air IL and putting a coil on it would probably detract from the things I love about it (responsive, light, poppy).
  • 3 0
 Yes, you can. And it’s rides incredibly! Can confirm
Coils fit. Just get a proper tune with it and it’s extremely good
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: I rode a 130mm bike for a long time with a coil. It was great. I tried an air shock but the coil just gave me so much more.

I did have the bike built up like an enduro bike though (coil, lyrik, 2.5 DHFs, etc)
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I agree, but I suppose it all depends on what you want out of the bike, right? I have a DH bike with coil, its amazing. My 150mm trail/enduro bike is air, also amazing for opposite reasons. The DH bike is fast, smooth, reliable, and utterly planted. The trail bike is poppy, relatively light, and quite playful. Perhaps if I didn't own my DH bike, the appeal of coil on my trail bike would be more tempting.
  • 1 0
 IMHO it depends on the frame leverage ratio.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: it just looks dope
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: coils only fit on the carbon Tallboy frames. It takes some grinding to create clearance on the aluminum frames just in case anyone cares.
  • 1 0
 @tsn73: that’s good to know! My only experience has been with the carbon
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: cane creek doesn’t get enough live for their shocks. The db inline air is phenomenal.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: better small bump compliance, slight better feel for heavier riders, looks and out-of curiosity, to be honest. :-D
  • 1 0
 @tsn73: good to know, thanks!
  • 7 0
 Have they surpassed yeti in pricing now?
  • 6 0
 Where was this urge to not ruin a good thing when you were updating the 5010?
  • 5 0
 Interesting they made it less progressive. The cascade link transformed my tallboy 4. No need to upgrade this year.
  • 5 0
 Bigger bearings and a bit more space for the big coil shocks...all I want as an update for my Tallboy.
  • 2 2
 Bigger bearings and a bigger shock for your big bones Smile
  • 11 8
 I'm okay with SC basically admitting they have nothing new to bring to the Tallboy. It's a fun bike. Prices are going up across the board so at least you get some frame storage now.
  • 31 2
 You can use the frame storage to keep all the spare cash you have. Oh wait....
  • 3 0
 @rich-2000: you can use the frame storage to transport "things" to pay off your debt you incurred to be able to afford this bike
  • 6 0
 well atleast the blue color looks good
  • 2 0
 Even though aggressive short travel bikes are amazing, the Tallboy was always just an inconsequent execution of that formula - especially compared to the Norco Optic. This apparently hasn't changed with the new generation. For fans of the genre, there's just simply better bikes available and for a better price aswell.
  • 1 0
 I love when these updates come. Back in March I asked the local shop to order me a size L of the previous verison of the TB. It is expected to arrive by the end of the year, if all the stars are well aligned. Glad I found an Epic Evo meanwhile, as I'd be pissed to receiveing a the older verison of the bike, for which an update was just announced...
  • 5 0
 The sameness continues...
  • 15 0
 It's not the same at all. Once they were overpriced but attainable. Now they're just overpriced. Old rich guys are the target market obviously. Kids will find other sports. That said, I have a 2018 cc TB next to my Yeti. I fit the market but even I have my limits.
  • 7 0
 @madpixl: I've never worried about getting priced out of mountain biking as a hobby, but I am now. Bike prices have gone up 15-30% since 2019 and continues to grow. I don't really know how the MTB industry as a whole would find this sustainable for the future, but I'm all for the bubble busting if it ever does.
  • 3 0
 @Almazing: check your local classifieds. The bubble has popped.
  • 1 0
 @Almazing: New bikes are more expensive than ever, but the used market is better than it ever has been. Prices are still a little goofy, but the bikes for sale are WAY better than they used to be. In 2018, it would be tough to find a used bike with genuinely modern geo. If you wanted that, you would have to buy new. Now you can buy a 2-3 year old bike and it will be just as capable as a new bike.

If you were riding a 4 year old design in 2018, you would have a pretty steep 2014 HTA. My current 4 year old bike (Stumpjumper EVO) is shaped just like a brand new bike and does all the same things.
  • 1 0
 The reason why I never considered Santacruz is because the frames alone are so expensive that a pricey build will still have very basic components. Even if you get a slightly crappier frame from another brand you can still have a very decent build for often still a lower price than the low end build with Santas...
  • 1 0
 Love the new blue colorway, glad they got rid of the chain stay flip chip, completely useless, Every frame in this price space should have a bespoke chain stay length per size.

I absolutely loved my dark purple 2020 Tallboy, but I bought it a size too big (trusted the SC website to an XL, but it rode like an XXL). If I had bought a L, I may still have it.


All to say, pedal strikes are real with the Tallboy, it demands 165 mm cranks in all sizes, and a bash guard. Really tempted to swipe up a blue CC frame and build it right.
  • 3 0
 SC must have gotten a sweet deal on all the RS reverbs left on the planet for their 2023 line. I haven’t seen them spec’d on a new bike for 3-4 years!
  • 1 0
 Nice bike, but the specs are suspect. Especially for the price. X1 cranks on the top end build, also Reverb seatpost are completely worthless trash. If they don’t send a Reverb they send you a cheap OneUp. The current bikes come with downgraded chains, cassettes, saddles, grips than the spec sheets say and the bikes cost the same. Lame. PON is really milking the Cruz for all it’s worth these days.
  • 2 0
 I still love my V3 aluminum Tallboy!

With DHF/DHR it was my enduro / trail bike

Now with WTB Rangers it's my XC / trail bike.

Does it all!


My V2 HIghtower is my main bike and takes on enduro duties now.
  • 2 0
 Correction for the article, model year 2022 Tallboy did not have the flip chip adjustable chainstay. That was 2019-2021. In 2022 they made an updated rear triangle with the sram universal derailleur hanger.
  • 1 0
 Ridiculous, huge price entry point+ terrible spec for they money, I’m sorry frame bearings for free isn’t worth this. All the bikes in their lineup except for their blur look identical and boring. Innovation seems amiss at SC
  • 4 0
 They forgot the Fazua/TQ engine, this is sö 2020…
  • 3 0
 Is it just me or does Elliot Jackson make the Tallboy look like a Smallboy?
  • 4 0
 Do they have added a leaky snack box and ramped the price up.
  • 4 1
 you know the TB4 was ahead of its time when the new version 3 years later is basically the same thing
  • 5 1
 Bike industry at its finest. Keeps getting higher every year.
  • 3 0
 No more aluminum options is a big deal. In some models it's ok to do that, but not in all of them.
  • 4 0
 So what's a down country bike?
  • 1 0
 Seems highly subjective doesn't it?
  • 2 1
 XC bike with 20mm longer fork and slightly moe knobbly tyres?
  • 1 0
 A 3lb lighter frame with a lot sportier pedalling platform basically. This rides like a long travel bike without the travel.
  • 4 0
 $10,399 for a bike with a reverb, no thanks...
  • 5 1
 Pon's influence is becoming more apparent year by year now.
  • 3 1
 I feel like I’d prefer the TB4… could fit a coil, adjustable chainstays, still dialed Geo
Can be turned into an absolute animal of a bike
  • 2 0
 are they really gonna be spec-ing a bike with carbon wheels and a wireless drivetrain but mid-range suspension. Not where I would choose to save :/
  • 2 2
 Gx model is $6200 usd. Top fuel xt which is same price as their gx normally but not on site is $7149 usd.

Top fuel has carbon rims but they house brand and house brand hubs that i wouldnt trust
House brand dropper
House brand bars and stem
Bontrager tires

Santa cruz has dt hubs on aluminum RF wheels.
Reverb dropper
Burgtec bars and stem
Maxxis tires

I would go for the SC, sell the dropper and put a one up on.
  • 2 0
 The Santa Cruz S build has terrible brakes, so need to replace those as well. The Top Fuel XT is an objectively better build and you can more easily replace a handlebar and dropper than brakes, fork, etc.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: the xt yes, but i was comparing the gx model.
  • 4 0
 Looks like Santa Cruz' biggest adjustment on the bike was the pricing.
  • 2 0
 I’ll be on the recycling end, next year or so I’ll give you a fair price for that overpriced used bike.
  • 2 0
 Centerline rotors should be completely eliminated from EOM builds. HS2 exists, why bother?
  • 3 2
 Because HS2 is 2 x the price OE.
  • 23 24
 Is anyone ever happy when a new bike comes out ? All I ever see is complaining, if you guys really don’t like the prices of bikes or how they work, the spec etc. You always welcome to start a bike company and make the perfect bike at the perfect price point with the perfect spec.

Stop complaining keyboard warriors and go ride you bike.
  • 31 2
 Complaining about complainers is complaining!
  • 1 1
 Totally. Its a great time of the year to buy something used or build up a frame. There are still options.
  • 3 0
 When ibis releases a long travel 29er I'm pretty sure we will all be happy
  • 5 0
 Yes the comments for the Fuel, Fuel EXE, and Pivot Shuttle SL were actually pretty positive.
  • 3 0
 I get where you are coming from, but as a bike brand as big as SC, every bike they come out with should be a banger. Opinions being what they are, I don't think SC waits till they have anything exciting enough to change before they "revamp" the older models in the recent years.
  • 2 0
 @Robspittler: honestly its just the pricing. If these bikes cost more in line with their competition you would honestly have to delete 80% of these comments.
  • 1 0
 @MattyRides: true. If I was looking for a SC I would be really stoked to have the downtube storage. Realistically though, rocky, transition, ect. You can buy the lower end builds and they come with better components for cheaper. I have an excellent SC retailer in my town but no way am I paying a ton more for a decent warranty, bearing replacement and a lame build spec. When I bought my GX spire for 6k I was a little skeptical, then I looked at the megatower and 6400 got me select+ suspension, code R brakes instead of transitions ult. Level suspension and code rsc. (Plus my favorite 210 dropper)
  • 2 0
 Notice that the "C: carbon frame appears to be sneaking further up the line......
  • 2 0
 I couldn't find anything on the base fork..What's the difference between pike base and pike select ?
  • 2 0
 Base version is OEM only crap that only has adjustable rebound? Damper equivalent to their old TK found in old Toras and Recons? Or maybe a single cast part shaped like a suspension fork?
  • 1 0
 @johnd2: Just guessing, don't take the above as facts. But I'm afraid the truth is not far off...
  • 4 1
 It costs so much due to all R&D they did, for sure
  • 3 1
 Matte taupe? If you had randomly asked me to name the most boring possible color, that might have been my response.
  • 2 0
 The blue color is giving me Trek 950 vibes from the early 90's and now I'm all nostalgic and stuff.
  • 2 0
 Damn. 2019, seems like a weeks ago.
  • 2 0
 $5300 and comes with NX and Guides, brill.
  • 2 0
 What's wrong with junk and junk?
  • 2 0
 Santa Cruz can get away with anything when it comes to price/spec
  • 1 0
 once upon a time, frame weights use to be mentioned, now seemingly avoidedFrown
  • 2 0
 When does the new V10 with a glove box come out?
  • 2 0
 2023. I heard it will have 32in wheels 3 bottles cage mounts and 250mm of travel.
  • 1 2
 Less suspension and tighter HTA make this a better option than Enduros I guess?

I have a Norco Optic (140mm/125mm) but would consider this a downgrade to get less suspension (130mm/120mm).
  • 2 1
 Dissector. FRONT. Tire.

Turns great, can't brake.

What is _wrong_ with people?
  • 1 3
 Judging by the comment sections of past bike reviews, cable routing is a big deal for people here on Pinkbike. People scrutinize these pictures to judge how well it is done. For that purpose, wouldn't it be ideal to no longer use pictures of the bikes with wireless stuff? The bikes may look excessively clean the way they're pictured here and the consumer may be disappointed when they buy a frame and transfer their own components onto it.
  • 1 0
 Well hopefully my v4 doesn't snap anytime soon... took away all the best features for a measly glovebox.
  • 2 0
 They should name their Ebike Fatboy
  • 2 0
 I was wondering why my dental work was much more this year.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure you don’t go to the dentist. Cmon tell the truth…what’s it been 3 years, 5, 10????
  • 1 0
 @ElDebarge: Not with this inflation. Plus, he doesn't need another bike to ride poorly.
  • 1 0
 @ih8tbikes: inflation is just an excuse. Which have you done more recently, gone to the dentist or bought a bike? I can tell you which would be less expensive.
  • 1 0
 @ElDebarge: Maybe you can tell which I can afford seeing as you know so much about my financial situation.
  • 1 0
 Kudos for not sneaking in a GX cassette and KMC chain, then calling it an X01 build!
  • 1 2
 Ooooo SC I love you and your collection of special looking frames with fancy prices than your gaping a*sholes of your mother's.

Where can I put my £10000 wedge down - ooooo YEAH ! in your ma's g-strings
  • 1 0
 Another geo update. Really? Just employing previous tech. But it's carbon.
  • 2 0
 almost a pinkbike.
  • 8 11
 No hate on Santa Cruz because their prices are inline with Trek, Specialized and the rest of the industry - but it has come to something where on the $9.5k model you're the cheaper AXS groupset, the C frame and a Pike Select.

You do get reserve wheels on i9 which is pretty special and no doubt it's a sweet bike, but lord this sport is getting expensive lol
  • 10 0
 You are basically buying a frame… and then paying a premium on the components to have a SC dealer (or any other brand) assemble the bike for you.

Look at the low end C model compared to the highest C model. There is a $4200 price difference! It’s basically NX to GX (AXS), Pike Base, to Pike Select+, Raceface to Reserve, Guide to G2. I don’t want to do the research or math right now… but I know that is not a $4200 difference in components cost.

Buy a frame you like, buy your own components, assemble your own bike… and save!
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: So you're saying that Sant Cruz turns a $150 bike assembly cost into a $1499 mark up cost?
  • 3 0
 @chicane32: By my quick search for these parts and retail prices (could be sourced cheaper with some effort), there is only a $2020 difference in the low end Tallboy C build components and the high end. So yes, there is a ridiculous $2180 premium on the components and assembly.

NX to GX AXS Group - $400/$900
RS Base to Select+ - $700/$800
Fox Perf to Perf Elite - $330/$430
Raceface to Reserve - $600/$1600
Guide T to G2 RS - $200/$300
SDG Tel to Reverb - $250/$350
RF bars to SC bars - $40/$140
CC 10 to CC 40 - $40/$60
Total diff - $2560/$4580 = $2020

Frame only is a ridiculous $4000 (CC with Fox Factory). With that as a baseline you could build the same X01 bike for:

RF Arc30 - $800
Maxxis/Sealant - $200
Pike Ultimate - $900
XO1 mech - $1100
G2 RSC/discs - $440
RS Reverb - $350
RS bars/stem - $200
Saddle - $50
CC 40 - $60

Total - $8100 with exact parts ($500 cheaper), but also could be cheaper with other components (save $300-$1000 with OneUp, Spesh tires, DT Swiss and bargain shopping. I suspect the Pikes they are shipping with early on are 2022 models, which can be bought for $250 off right now.
  • 1 0
 But is there a launch video with Eliot to go along with the photos?
  • 1 0
 The only aluminum SC you can get now is a high tower.
  • 1 0
 It’s their gateway bike.
  • 2 0
 Tbh Santa Cruz never made good aluminum frames. They were always just an inferior copy made to look like the carbon version instead of properly working with the material properties of aluminum. The last generation of Hightower AL frames even had a safety recall in 2020 due to concerns about structural integrity.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a nomad
  • 3 2
 I don’t understand the mix matching of fox and rock shox for suspension.
  • 3 0
 Its all about availability and price by the OEM guys. Still lots of production delays for a lot of companies.
  • 1 0
 Why not? It's not like they share any spare components that you would take on a ride or anything like that.
  • 3 3
 no piggy back shock compatibility is a non starter. should have stayed with the lighter linkage layout in that case.
  • 2 0
 If it follows like the tb4, you can run a piggyback shock.
  • 2 0
 "Bold new colourways"
  • 5 5
 Santa Cruz drops another turd. But they won't stop until suckers stop buying these bikes.
  • 2 1
 C+ Try harder Santa nothing ground breaking here .
  • 1 0
 10.000 dollars Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 1 2
 SC paint jobs are more boringer than vanilla ice cream. I could never look at either of these colorways and be excited to own it.
  • 1 1
 What I don't understand: how can you update a "2023 Santa Cruz Tallboy"
  • 2 0
 By updating it
  • 4 0
 The pricing duhhhh
  • 1 1
 Eliot Jackson for president! (of the UCI?)
  • 2 1
 What... no mullet boy?
  • 1 0
 HIP HIP HOORAY
  • 1 1
 New Tallboy. Same garbage leverage ratio!
  • 1 1
 Where's my carbon smuggler!?
  • 1 1
 Hold up it isn't a mullet?
  • 8 11
 Thankfully they didn't TallMullet it.
  • 7 0
 all the former 29ers stayed 29ers, the 27.5ers became mullets with this generation
  • 6 6
 Seems to be the same front triangle as the 5010, so in a way they did
  • 1 0
 @levizbrown: bro you dont know!





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