Review: Santa Cruz's All-New Tallboy Trail Bike

Aug 19, 2019 at 21:41
by Mike Levy  



As more and more riders turn to less travel, and bikes with less travel get better and better, you could probably make a decent argument for trail bikes being the most relevant segment for much of the mountain biking world. Now, instead of lugging a soft-pedaling, slacked-out rig that makes climbs more difficult than they need to be in order to maximize fun on the descent, there are a good number of trail bikes fit for that purpose that manage to do a hell of a lot with what little they have.

Santa Cruz's all-new Tallboy isn't a surprise - it was one of their last models waiting for a redesign - and it's not exactly a shock to see it using their lower-link VPP suspension to deliver 120mm of travel, 10mm more than the previous version. They've paired that with a 130mm-travel fork, big wheels, and new-school geometry that should see the Tallboy fit for all sorts of purposes that would have troubled a trail bike not that long ago.

Tallboy Details

• Intended use: Trail
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear-wheel travel: 120mm
• Fork travel: 130mm
• Head angle: 65.5-degrees
• Reach: 468mm (lrg)
• All-new frame and geometry
• Adjustable chainstay length
• Alloy, CC and C carbon frames
• Sizes: XS - XXL (lrg tested)
• Weight: 28.3lb (as pictured)
• MSRP: $8,199 USD
• More info: www.santacruzbicycles.com
My test rig is the CC X01 RSV model that comes with Santa Cruz's own Reserve carbon wheels for $8,199 USD, but you'll have to pay even more if you want the Shimano XTR or SRAM AXS drivetrains on the top two versions - they go for $9,799 and $10,399 USD. There are less expensive carbon models, of course, but if all that sounds more than just a bit over the top to you, the same geometry and suspension kinematics can be found on the $2,699 USD AL D model that's assembled around an aluminum frame.

Speaking of frames, you can get that alloy one for $1,999 and the high-end carbon CC frame for $3,099 USD.








Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
New Tallboy, who dis? Santa Cruz uses their lower-link VPP system, just like on the two 'towers, the Bronson, and the Nomad, to deliver 120mm of travel.


The Details

The all-new frame mirrors the lines of the Bronson and Santa Cruz's other longer travel machines that use their lower-link VPP suspension layout. Compare this fresh, fourth-gen Tallboy to the version that came before it and it's easy to see that the two look nothing alike. Gone is the old toptube-mounted shock and classic dual-triangle look, replaced with a low-slung Fox damper and lines that are ready for action, probably because it resembles their heavier hitting bikes like the Megatower.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
My test bike got the slightly lighter CC carbon frame (left). There's 10mm of chainstay length adjustment (right) via chips at the dropout. You'll need to use a different brake adapter, though, but at least it comes with the bike.


And speaking of the Megatower, the Tallboy uses similar inserts at the axle to let riders pick a chainstay length of either 430mm or 440mm. I had planned on ranting about how such adjustments only add complication and cost while only serving as another bullet point on the sales floor, but Santa Cruz does have a sound-ish angle for the feature: If you want to run 2.6" wide rubber with decent clearance, you'll want to put it in the longer setting... Which should also be the only setting.

The change requires a different brake mount to be used (they both come with the bike), the non-drive-side chip to be flipped after loosening a micro-sized set-screw that holds it in place, and the different drive-side chip/derailleur hanger to be installed. This one is likely a set-and-forget for most of us.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
A flip-chip at the lower shock mount lets you adjust the geometry by the smallest amounts. It's a tuning tool that isn't made to vastly change the bike's performance.


But wait, there's still more flipping to be done, this time down at the lower shock mount where a chip offers either a 'HI' or 'LO' setting. Am I high for thinking that the majority of us would automatically default to the latter, even if we didn't know the geometry it provides? That'd probably be me, to be honest, and that's the setting that the bike spent the most time in; it provides a 65.5-degree head angle, a 76.2-degree seat angle, and 41mm of drop at the bottom bracket that's 332mm high.

Turn the chip around and you'll get head and seat angles that are literally just 0.2-degrees steeper, otherwise known as basically nothing. There are big changes at the bottom bracket, however, with 3mm of height added. Jokes aside, the idea with these adjustments isn't to drastically alter the bike's character, of course, but just as a modest tuning option. You might want to go LO to compensate for your 2.6" wide tires or if you over-over-forked the bike, for example. Or not, but you have the ability.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
It's 2019 and tubes molded into the frame for internal routing (left) is the only way that internal routing should be done, just like on the Tallboy. The stock chainstay protector is ribbed for not just your pleasure, but others as well; no one wants to listen to you jangle your way through rock gardens.


Santa Cruz really does have their frames well sorted; you can fit a giant water bottle inside the front triangle, the bottom bracket shell has threads in it, and internally-molded tubes mean that you push a line in through one hole and it comes out the opposite end like some sort of witchcraft has been used. Some of the smaller but still important details include a ribbed chain slap protector, ISCG 05 tabs for a guide or guard, and the cutest little fender protecting the Fox shock.


Geometry

Back to the numbers for a minute. Santa Cruz has gone more contemporary than crazy, with my large-sized test rig seeing a 468mm reach on LO (or 470mm on HI) that's feeling pretty comfy for a lot of people around my 5' 10" height. At the ends of the spectrum, the double-extra-large goes out to 515mm and the extra-small measures 398mm, while all six sizes share the same 430/440mm chainstay length.

Santa Cruz Tallboy review

Again, the angles are 65.5-degrees up front and 76.2-degrees for your bum in the LO setting. Those are a nip more aggressive than Trek's new Fuel EX that debuted a few days ago, but both brands chose geometry that makes sense for a lot of riders in a lot of places. Riders who run a lot of seatpost sticking out of the frame may still wish for an even steeper actual seat angle, but the rest of the numbers are well suited to this bike's intentions.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
Look familiar? The Tallboy's 120mm of travel comes via their lower-link VPP system.

Lower-Link VPP Suspension

Santa Cruz was tinkering with prototypes using a lower link-style VPP layout many years ago, and I even remember seeing a rough-looking aluminum example hanging from a hook at their HQ during a visit back in 2012. ''It's been a long time coming. It just took time for the packaging to be sorted out,'' Seb Kemp, Santa Cruz Brand Manager, told me when I asked how many years they've been tinkering with the layout. Front derailleurs being ditched helped, he explained, as did Boost spacing, but manufacturing the frame out of carbon, and especially the 'shock tunnel' that's just above the bottom bracket, wasn't in the cards not that long ago.

So, it's very different looking to the previous Tallboy, but very similar looking to the current Nomad, which was the first bike to get the lower-link VPP redesign back in 2017. The reason for the Nomad's switch, we were told, was that they wanted the bike to have a similar leverage ratio to the V10, and to get that you have to bolt the shock to the lower link.

The Tallboy is a different beast with different needs, obviously, but Santa Cruz says that the LLVPP layout is mega versatile, and changing the length of the links or pivot locations by just a smidge can have a drastic effect on the performance. Back to Kemp: ''Once the engineers figured out how to package lower-link VPP, it opened up the opportunity to give more of our bikes deeper in the range the kind of leverage curve that pairs well with current shocks. The lower-link VPP setup with the tune on the Fox shock on the 120mm Tallboy is designed to give near-cross-country pedal efficiency and singletrack traction.''
Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
The old Tallboy's shock was attached to the underside of the toptube and activated by the upper link. The new bike is the opposite.


Specifications

Specifications
Price $8199
Travel 120mm
Rear Shock Fox Float Performance Elite DPS
Fork RockShox Pike Select+, 130mm, 29"
Headset Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset
Cassette SRAM XG1295 Eagle, 12spd, 10-50t
Crankarms SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon 148 DUB, 32t
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB 68/73mm Threaded BB
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Chain SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Handlebar Santa Cruz AM Carbon
Stem Race Face Aeffect R, alloy, +6° rise
Grips Santa Cruz Palmdale Grips
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC
Wheelset Santa Cruz Reserve 27
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Spokes DT Swiss Competition Race
Rim Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29" Carbon Rims
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF / DHR II
Seat WTB Silverado Team Saddle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth, 1X Lever, MatchMaker, 31.6


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras





Test Bike Setup

My strange-purple colored Tallboy saw a bit of action with some other parts attached to it, mainly SRAM's wireless AXS drivetrain and dropper post that have been making their cable-controlled counterparts feel slow and inaccurate. There's a too-wordy review coming soon, and a cage-match with XTR because I know that's what you want to see, but the gist of this ultra-pricey stuff is that it's impressive. As it should be, I guess.

The Tallboy's rear-suspension is simple to set-up; start with bodyweight or aim for 30-percent sag and go from there. At 156lb naked but with some donuts in me, I've had the pressure between 150 PSI and 170 PSI, with 165 being the magic number for my weight and terrain. Fox's Grip2 damper has been getting a lot of (deserved) love from us lately, but this bike was a reminder that RockShox's Charger 2.1 unit is top-notch as well - the Pike Select+ was impressive.

n a
Mike Levy
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 39
Height: 5'10
Inseam: 33.5"
Weight: 156 lb
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @killed_by_death


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
The Tallboy is an efficient climber with average technical abilities, but it'll all make sense on the way back down.

Climbing

It's always so much easier to talk about a bike when it does something that deserves a few exclamation points, a dash of hyperbole, or maybe even some italics. Good or bad, it doesn't really matter just so long as it's interesting. But when the bike just does all the things that it's supposed to, and it does them without any drama or complaint, things are, well, a bit less sensational.

That's the new Tallboy in a nutshell; calm, composed, and capable on the climbs, just like a modern, 120mm-travel trail bike should be.

Santa Cruz says that the Tallboy gets a bit less anti-squat than the Hightower while using a similar shock tune (in between light and medium for both compression and rebound, I'm told), so it makes sense that I reached for the pedal-assist switch about as much as Kazimer did when he reviewed the 140mm Hightower, which was basically never. The firmer feeling 120mm Tallboy isn't immune to the shock dipping in and out of its stroke slightly while you pedal - this isn't a cross-country race bike - but it's the ideal mix of forgiveness that lets you stay seated while powering up and over some rooty steps without it also feeling like you've got one wheel stuck in the mud.

The 120mm is firm enough that you shouldn't ever feel like you need to flip the Fox shock's blue lever when it comes to normal, day to day riding, and that includes those mind-numbing gravel road climbs where the only technical challenge is trying to stay awake.

I routinely left the suspension fully open for the entirety of many 5,000-foot days, even when that five grand was delivered via baby ass-smooth, machine-built, doubletrack of the most inclusive kind.

When things do get tricky enough to require choosing a line, the Tallboy meets - but really doesn't exceed - today's expectations of a 120mm rig. The Ibis Ripley is sharper and more likely to find that inside move or turn through an ultra-tight switchback with no effort, and there's a bit more life to it on power, but the Tallboy ain't no slouch. And to be fair, I managed to get the Santa Cruz to claw up a bunch of stuff that has troubled many other test bikes, the latest and greatest included.

Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
At 30-percent sag, there was no reason to reach for the pedal-assist lever.

Even so, the handling in the slow-speed jumbles of a tricky climb isn't quite as calm as the new Ibis or Trek Fuel EX, both of which come across as more composed at near-trackstand speeds. That said, who's buying these machines for how they handle just before you stall out and fall over because you couldn't unclip? Well, myself and maybe a few other kooks (hey, guys!), but if that's not your jam, I'm inclined to say that it's going to come down to skill and determination before bike choice on the climbs.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
With not much travel on hand, the Tallboy will always reward precision. That said, if there was ever a trail bike that could be a blunt weapon, it'll happily do that as well.

Descending

Since it's not a mountain bike review if there aren't a few clichés in it, I definitely need to refer to the Tallboy as some sort of trail scalpel. Thing is, when we talk about so-called scalpels, it's usually because the bike needs to be ridden with knife-like precision because, well, ya might get cut otherwise. The new Santa Cruz is a bit of a scalpel, too, just by virtue of only having 120mm of travel, but the well-sorted suspension, frame, and geometry let you ride it like a hatchet when the need arises.

Or the want. Especially the want.

Trail bikes are often less sure-footed than something a bit slacker, longer, and maybe squishier, but the Tallboy is unexpectedly composed when that's exactly what you need. It's been drier than an Arizona litterbox here lately, which means plenty of those fun, gravelly, hope-I-stay-up kind of corners where you're doing the 'trust fall' exercises with whoever made your tires. Santa Cruz's numbers add up to a bike that feels like it does the trust fall for you; the same tires in identical conditions on a few other test bikes didn't deliver anywhere near the same confidence when the trail (or myself) got a bit loose.

I spent the first few days on the Tallboy with the axle set to the shorter, 430mm length. That was fine. Then I put it to the 440mm setting and that was more fine. For a trail bike, it doesn't exactly feel short and easily placeable in the tightest of tight (even at 430mm) so I moved it to the longer mode because it didn't make the hard any harder but certainly helps everywhere else. It's not the most nimble machine, but the tradeoff is more control at the limits. It's simply calmer when things get sketchy.

I want to say that I found myself less likely to be taking those possibly slower but certainly more entertaining lines not because the bike isn't "playful" (clichés!) but because it's easy to ride it faster than most others in the same category.


Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
It's just 120mm, but you might be fooled into thinking there's a bit more after a few big impacts.


Suspension that just plain works certainly helps the Tallboy's cause, too, and the last time a bike's rear-end did this much with so little I was raving about Yeti's SB100. While the two aren't all that comparable otherwise, both squeeze pedaling performance, good support, and an effective ramp-up into a relatively small amount of space.

The Santa Cruz's rear-end does its job with so little fuss or drama that there's actually not much to say about it. The little Fox shock comes with a 0.4cc volume spacer installed, which was bang-on for me, and it's as supple at the opposite end of the stroke as you'd hope. I routinely used all of the travel but never felt it, and while it's nowhere near as supple and free-moving as the Fuel EX's suspension, it dulls edges and impacts about how you'd expect it to.

Modern trails bikes are fun as hell, but let's not kid ourselves here - you do need to be on your toes if you're trying to descend quickly, especially if all your buddies are on their those fun enduro rigs. If you take some chances, keeping up isn't usually a problem, but there's often something tricky that you might need to tiptoe through, be it a bit of chunder or the type of chute that you roll into few times each year at most.

Santa Cruz Tallboy review Photo by Dane Perras
The Tallboy pedals well enough to cover huge miles, but it's also happy to roll down anything you might come across on that journey.

There's less tiptoeing on the Tallboy, though, and it's definitely the shortest-travel bike that I've pointed down a few steep lines. Sure, you can ride it like a classic trail bike every day of the week if that's how you like to roll, but it'll also happily oblige if you need it to be your blunt instrument. Can't say that about too many 120mm-travel bikes.




Technical Report

Santa Cruz Reserve Wheels: House-branded components usually get a bum rap, and while I can understand wanting so and so's stickers on your bike, it's hard to fault most of the high-end house-branded stuff these days. That goes for the Reserve 27 wheels on my Tallboy test bike that seemed to give zero shits about all of the pointy rocks that I kept running into. No flat tires, no dinged or cracked carbon, and no issues.


RockShox Pike Select+ Fork: The Tallboy's 130mm-travel fork was a reminder of just how good the Pike is. The adjustments are effective, the air spring and damper are dialed by this point, and the chassis is stout enough for the very large majority of riders that'll ever throw a leg over the Tallboy.



Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX Photo by Dane Perras
Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The 130mm-travel Fuel EX was released only a few days ago. Ibis' 120mm Ripley is made for the same type of riding as the Tallboy.

How does it compare?

Ever heard of Trek's Fuel EX? You know, the one that was released only a few days ago. The one that I've been riding back-to-back against the Tallboy for the last month or so. Yeah, that one. We've got a video comparison of the two bikes (don't call it a shootout) coming out soon in which Kazimer and I actually agree on most of the talking points, but the bottom line is that the Tallboy and Fuel EX couldn't be more different.

With both bike's suspension left open, the Tallboy feels more than just marginally more efficient. Firmed up, the Fuel EX has plenty of jump to it, but you'll need to use that lever. No opinion there, just fact. The Fuel is a bit quicker in the steering department, and that'd make it my choice if the ride were full of awkward, mid-speed stuff instead of fast, rough, or steep trails - those places are where the Tallboy is more at home. Yes, both bikes are capable and adaptable, but it's also pretty neat that two companies ended up with such different solutions to the same purpose.

Given it has the same intentions and rear-wheel travel, the other bike we have to talk about is the new Ripley. The Ibis is the bike I'd choose if my rides were long and my climbs were hard, but the Tallboy feels more capable in the rough and steep.



Pros

+ Relatively calm and composed when it's steep or fast
+ Versatile suspension
+ Modern, well-rounded geometry

Cons

- Is there such a thing as too much trail bike?
- Average climber



Is this the bike for you?

It sure is for you if you're someone who likes to ride a short-travel bike too quickly for your own good. Never used a lack of travel as an excuse for not hitting something? Yup, it's for you as well. However, the trail riders who just want to ride without going for KOMs on the descents may not be the ideal candidates. Happy where you're at with the go-around lines? The Tallboy isn't going to hold you back on the stuff you do ride, but neither does whatever bike is in your garage right now.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf you ever needed an example of how travel doesn't define performance, the new Tallboy is it. Santa Cruz's new trail bike can be ridden nearly anywhere and everywhere, but those who have fun pushing their limits on short-travel bikes will be the ones getting the most from the Tallboy. Mike Levy








402 Comments

  • 168 11
 All the reviews end up being the same because all new bikes are basically really good for 99.9% of riders (which covers 100% of pb commentators!). In my opinion, the real difference in bikes now is the brand positioning, marketing, and desire to own one over the other (possibly value for money but I think bikes are somewhat a veblen good). Kind of hard to admit that but I suspect it's true.
  • 63 4
 While you're right, most bikes ARE really good these days, having been fortunate enough to ride some cool bikes lately, I can tell you that some bikes ride very differently, and having moved from a Remedy to a Nomad recently, the Nomad requires a very different riding style as it has such wildly different suspension characteristics. Also don't forget that trails vary wildly - while I probably wouldn't want to own anything with much less than 150mm of travel here on the north shore and BC generally, back in the UK that would be plenty for most riding. Yes all bikes are good these days, but not every bike suits every rider and their intended riding.
  • 242 2
 Blasphemy. Pinkbike users are the 0.01%. The elite. I will not have you insult this institution with your slurs.
I've even heard rumours of some esteemed commenters being able to measure reach just by sniffing the bikes.
  • 31 0
 Service is also a point. Just got a new bearing kit for my bronson in only 2 days, bearing warranty is epic!
  • 28 3
 @winklrn:
That was a big reason I switched from Trek to Santa Cruz. Their frames don't break every five minutes and they don't use stupid (expensive) proprietary bearings. Free bearings for life!
  • 14 17
 @winklrn: unfortunately it's not true in Europe where it's barely impossible to get any warranty from Santa Cruz Frown
  • 21 67
flag jorgeposada (Aug 20, 2019 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 What an over priced under sprung piece on dentist equipment.
  • 10 0
 @Jeff197206: In Switzerland Santa Cruz's support is flawless. What country are you writing from?
  • 21 30
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 20, 2019 at 3:02) (Below Threshold)
 @sam264: I agree with you but a little detail: Remedy = Bronson Nomad = Slash
  • 5 3
 @yeti85: France... A friend of me is waiting his bearing since 1 year, another one his wheels since 9 months, and most of the shops don't want to work with SC anymore Frown
That's a pity cause I love their bikes!
  • 20 0
 @Jeff197206: that's a real shame for the brand. Your friend should write directly to Santa Cruz USA through the website and describe his issue. In my experience, this sort of thing is not tolerated by Santa Cruz, but they can only act if they know about it.
  • 5 0
 @yeti85: The support from Trailworks is really great!
  • 12 0
 Exactly like top model sports bikes nowdays - They are all so good performance is almost irrelevant unless you are a top racer, pick what you want based on alignment with the brand, aesthetics, warranty / local support and if you prefer one bikes quirks over another etc.
  • 4 0
 @yeti85: thanks! I will tell them the idea
  • 3 0
 @sam264: correct!

I moved from a remedy to the bronson Smile

I'd love a nomad as well but the new bronson just does it for me. Wish it was as capable on the climbs as the remedy but lately I take the lift so problem solved.
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: as far as travel / mm goes yes. Me I only went from remedy to bronson and I find it capable enough.

I really don't need more travel for a one bike to do it all. Then I have my hard tail wich is a large transition.

If I lived in a resort than yeah I'd love to own a nomad as well but I don't so it doesn't make sense owning that bike.

The new bronson is so capable!
  • 3 0
 @sam264: went through crazy fiasco getting main pivot bearings in my Trek Fuel replaced. Total bs
  • 1 0
 @sam264: 100% agree. Well said
  • 7 0
 I ride quite a few demos and friends bikes, and I'd agree that most big brand bikes are "good", but there is still a lot of variation. Even within the same category of bike, different Brand's uspension tunes and fit differ quite a bit, the ride feels completely different, and each bike is good and bad at different things.
  • 2 2
 @Jeff197206: barely impossible, so very possible?
  • 2 0
 @Jeff197206: in Denmark it's not a problem. The service is flawless. Where do you live?
  • 3 0
 @sam264: I find my sb130 more than capable enough for 97.6% of the shore.
  • 3 2
 @jorgeposada: get a better job
  • 21 1
 Reviews are the same, bikes are all good, but each one of us has those little features and quirks that we look out for. Maybe its fitting a full-size water bottle, maybe its having a hi/lo flipchip because you like options. Sometimes its the minutia that can seal the deal and help you swallow that used-car price tag.

For me its having an XXL frame size. All of these bikes are awesome, and I will admit to drooling over 90% of them, but my 6'6" body only fits on 10-15% of the options out there. A lot of the specifics that come up in reviews can be a preview of bigger rpos/cons for taller riders. "The ACTUAL seatpost angle is a bit slack for today's standards" equates to "your bum will be over the rear axle at full extension". "Reach and stack are conservative" could mean "you're gonna be crotch-clenching that headtube any time the trail gets steep".

We all have to read reviews and translate what they mean for us and our personal requirement in a good bike.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
Well I disagree with you, have you ridden a bronson, nomad, remedy or slash?
  • 1 0
 @bohns1:
I'm sure it is. Just for the way I like to ride, I like a bigger bike Wink personal preference
  • 1 8
flag youknowitsus (Aug 20, 2019 at 10:13) (Below Threshold)
 $81,999 DAMN THEY TRIPPIN
  • 2 0
 @Jeff197206: sorry but sounds like your friend needs to be a touch more assertive.
  • 2 0
 I change bike every 3 years or so. I buy used so in the year 2022 I might get a 2017-18 used I don't know yet size medium bike...I'm financially challenged.
  • 1 0
 @sam264: Yes got too say would be nice to get a ride on a lot of new bikes & would be also nice to know which bike would suit be best, I am happy with the bike I got & dont see the point in changing it unless i suddenly developed super fitness & was good enough to start racing again, maybe in an other life!
  • 1 0
 @sam264: got my bearing set the next day in Norcal! No hassles.
  • 6 4
 @sam264: latest rem, slash, previous editions of bronson and nomad. While I would not say SC is amazeballs (except with coil, they are amazeballs on descents) I definitely do not understand love for Treks. They are decent, but I would never write home about them, at least not with stock shocks. If some engineer would calculate the perfect well done steak, that would be a Trek bike. But definitely not on the level with my bike (especially with latest Fox goods) or Yeti or spec with Öhlins TTX. But that’s just my silly opinion
  • 8 2
 @WAKIdesigns: There's no such thing as a perfect well done steak. What kind of animal are you?
  • 4 3
 @guyfromnovato: You got your bearing kit from a company based in Santa Cruz next day while living within a few hundred km of Santa Cruz. Holy shocker batman. Would never have guessed it.
  • 3 0
 Fully aware that this only matters for 1% of riders but I for one really appreciate Santa Cruz offering an XXL size. Something only 1 or 2 other brands do
  • 4 1
 @cueTIP: Even though that’s local it’s still impressive. Bike companies aren’t amazon. Santa Cruz’s Customer Service has become a total value selling point, along with their sturdy frames and components. People can whine about pricing all day, but SC stands behind their products, and they deliver quality bikes. If I purchased new complete builds (I don’t, I almost always buy frames lightly used, and build my bike with what I like or can afford), I’d have no problem paying the SC premium because of their service as well as I know I’m supporting dozens of employees at their NorCal factory. And I can say the same for ibis, even if they all do outsource frame production to Taiwan, except GG and whoever else I’m forgetting. But among bike companies, you almost never hear of a customer complaint or issue with SC, which cannot be said for yeti, evil, and trek to name a few...
  • 3 1
 @phclaw: I agree, their customer service is excellent. Experienced it myself fortunately/unfortunately.
  • 1 1
 @Tiez: I can't upvote this enough. In the middle of the 30 day challenge (which was probably crazy busy for them), I had a problem with Trailforks loading my rides properly and they fixed it within 24 hours both times. Awesome service.
  • 1 0
 @sam264: I just upgraded from a Remedy to a Mach and noticing it requires a different riding style too.
  • 2 2
 @evanwoodard: in my experience most virtual pivots tend to have rather bottomless feel and go through travel easily. Unless you mount a coil shock to them and then they may bottom out easier than others, but midstroke is absolutely ace. With exception of Maestro, where I haven't got a slightest idea for what the hell is going on there but I don't like it. On the other hand Treks, Specializeds, YT when used with air shocks feel like old marriage. Some are into it, Not me. It's a personal preference.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns:
My 2019 remedy was an excellent bike - though as you say it took upgrading the shock from the piece of crap reaktiv deluxe to a factory dpx2 to get it there.

I actually gelled with it better than my nomad, but hey ho, we like what we like.
  • 2 1
 @sam264: wait... let me read this again... piece of crap Deluxe... I feel that I am at peace. I will go now... play Spiegel im Spiegel on Ipad and read it again...
  • 116 0
 "Average climber" ... sounds like the bike for me
  • 5 1
 LMAO. Good call.
  • 19 0
 To be fair, average is pretty damn impressive these days, especially considering how well they do going back down.
  • 8 2
 @mikelevy: how did you feel about the rear shock on this bike?

I was surprised not to see a build with a piggyback shock, considering this is the downhillers XC bike. Was half expecting a Tallboy TR with the new Reserve 37s, 2.6" Tires, a RS Super Deluxe, set up long and low, possibly even with 140mm Pike.

My current Tallboy 3 felt a bit too undergunned on longer descents with this Float DPS (and im on the east coast, so the descents arent long...) I swapped it out for a Cane Creek DBInline and it completely changed the bike for the better.

The shock size also doesnt leave many options. Cant fit the X2. They dont make a DPX2 in 190x45mm, no DVO in that size No Cane Creek... So only option is Super Deluxe.

This bike seems to fall sqaurely in the Trail category now rather than straddling the XC barrier. So im surprised it doesnt have more shock options.

Whats your thoughts on swapping the shock on this bike?

ps. have one pre-ordered and im stoked!
  • 15 1
 @Questlove967: All a piggyback shock does is give you more oil for better heat control, aka more consistent damping over long, rough descents. I wouldn't bother with one unless I was doing 3,000ft, non-stop rough downhills and trying to go hard. If not, having a piggyback doesn't really mean more control.

I wouldn't mind something with more adjustments, like a twin-tube 4-way shock like an X2, but it won't fit. The DPX2 does, however. No coil, either.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I'm wondering why they choose a Fox DPS instead of a RS Deluxe, as all their other bikes now comes with a RS shock.
  • 2 1
 @Questlove967: They don't sell it speced that way because you're supposed to do it yourself. You buy a short travel bike, swap out the wheels and tires for something more beefy, overfork it, put on Codes, and if you're lucky, like some previous models you will be able to install a longer stroke shock to increase the travel. Then, after $2500 in upgrades, you can have the Hightower you wanted in the first place!
  • 1 2
 @mikelevy: My riding buddy's DPS got overloaded on mostly flat rock tech trails. He lost damping and the bike was like a pogo stick, in his words. My DPX2 kept me well damped. For +200g I'll take the piggyback every time.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: So the DPX2 is available now in 190x45
  • 1 0
 @AdamBartonUK: I did some research and they dont sell one directly but they do make this size. They come on Pivot 429, it may just be a 190x51mm with a limiter or something in there to take it down to 45, but they are out there.

@mikelevy: thanks for the response. Yeah im mainly disapointed that i cant fit something with more adjustments like the X2, or a Cane Creek. The piggyback would be nice for peace of mind at the least knowing I can take it down longer descents without it fading. I did have shock fade issues on my previous Tallboy and the DBinline made a huge difference. But whatever, i trust the bike companies for some reason. If they couldve made it work, they likely would've. Ill ride the piss out of it regardless. Thanks
  • 1 0
 @Questlove967: that would work. I am heavy on suspension as well.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: No, you don't need to descend 3,000ft to overheat a lot of shocks.
In the right conditions, really fast and rocky and hitting everything hard, a couple minutes will do it easy.
  • 1 0
 @Questlove967: afaik one could travel a 190x50 DVO topaz (5mm travel spacer)
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: So what bikes can be considered better than average? xc bike?
  • 102 0
 So is this a Microtower? Are we still saying downcountry? I need some guidance here, help me Waki
  • 19 0
 Too much travel to be a Microtower, that's the Blur I guess. So maybe it's the "It's plenty big, honey" tower?
  • 8 10
 @PhillipJ: Also known as... the Blurb
  • 11 0
 @PhillipJ: so the Tallboy could be the Lowtower? Smile
  • 4 0
 @PhillipJ: Midtower? or just Tower.
  • 12 0
 @SintraFreeride:

I think it's not really a tower, more a semi-detached... HighCondo?
  • 4 3
 I would call it a cross country bike for the people = just about everybody except xc competition riders.
  • 1 3
 It's 81.999 degree seattube
  • 55 9
 Honestly I think a trail bike that is an average climber is a bad trail bike. Anyone wanting to push the limits of this bike on the descents would appreciate a bike such as the hightower much more. Basically a marginal gain in climbing prowess and a moderate loss in decending makes this bike unnecessary in Santa Cruz's lineup.
  • 16 22
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 20, 2019 at 3:11) (Below Threshold)
 Climbing is greatly determined by the weight of wheel and tyres, then the lock out, then geometry. If you put double down DHR2 on Top Fuel it will not climb as well as Remedy with Ikons EXC. This bike in locked out mode will outclimb any bike in its category with lock out open given same setup on both. Kineshmatics play some role, sure but companies need to start designing suspension for bigger rings since virtually everyone wants a dinner plate at the back...
  • 8 1
 @WAKIdesigns: but why spec trail bikes with big knobby tires then?
New Giant Trance is one of the best trail bikes ever and it's slightly hampered by Minions because they're too chunky for such s bike.
I get that reviewers who are invited to press launched on some nice trail centers and even lift assisted trails are mainly focused on descent performance and that's why new bikes tend to be specced with sticky rubber.

However, for regular owner of these bikes, it's just too much of a tire that saps power and isn't necessary at all.
  • 21 10
 @WAKIdesigns: if you prefer climbing locked out, your bike’s suspension design sucks.
  • 95 0
 Most bikes are average climbers, that's how averages work.
  • 55 12
 @Giddyhitch: I’ll take my chances. Not using lockout for longer climbs is the flat Earth of MTB. It’s an extremely easily observable phenomenon, especially on bikes that have some sort of link close to the top tube since only an MTB antivaccer won’t notice that this link moves less when the lockout is applied. It’s ridiculous to claim otherwise. What do you think is the result of limiting fluid flow through a valve? Especially at low shaft speeds? How is this even a subject of discussion? What sort of elitism is this? To proud to lock it out?
  • 11 2
 I disagree with that statement! Small travel trail bikes are a lot of fun even if they do not climb perfectly. I ride a transition smuggler and a patrol. The patrol is probably 2 kg heavier but still does not climb much worse than the smuggler. However, on less steep and rough trails the smuggler is just so much more fun to ride. Since for me mountain biking is only about fun a bike like this has a lot of justification. Of course for a racer such a bike doesn't make much sense.
  • 8 1
 @msusic: Well, tyres are personal preference anyway.

Actually, bikes shouldn't only be delivered without pedals, but also without grips and tyres. All down to personal preference. Wink
  • 9 3
 @jeremy3220: Actually it's only how averages work if you assume a normal distriubtion. For example imagine the difference between taking a sample at the bottom of a DH or XC trail. In the former case most bikes would have below average climbing ability and in the latter most would have above average climbing ability. Across the entire bike population the climbing ability may be a normal distribution but it may not...
  • 3 0
 @HPdeskjet3630: yeah - is it average compared t oother trail/ downcountry bikes? or average compared to everything @MikeLevy has ridden in the last year?
  • 8 4
 Everyone worried about "over biking" on trails. Why choose big wheels then? Seems to me, we should also be going down in wheel size with these bikes by the same logic.
  • 3 10
flag barbarosza (Aug 20, 2019 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns:

Trek remedy 2018 with Santa Cruz reserved wheels and specialzed butcher 2.6 tires tubeless and the shock fully opened as for going down

Vs

Santa Cruz Bronson 2019 with the exact same wheels and suspension locked

Result :

The trek climbs way better!

My point is wheels / tires didn't matter
  • 4 0
 @msusic: I like to have a short travel bike for greens and blues, but I still want tires I'm not going to shred if I give it some gas. Even the stoutest version of the Ikon will leave you hiking out if you try to get even a bit rowdy unless you are incredibly precise.
  • 5 7
 @barbarosza: do you have times to prove it? What climb? How long? What was the purpose of you climbing? Climbing just to reach the top to descend? Climbing as fast as possible? Climbing to make the climb at all? Racing?

I do 850-900 vert meter climb every year. Different tyres, different physical form. 2 years ago 1h:45 on DH tyres and 180 fork, ok form. Last year 1h:30 on DD with 1 procore and top life form. This year same setup as last year, worst form. 1:40. Another climb, only 250 verts. Difference between last year and this year? 3 minutes. My favorote local loop with 5 steep climbs busting lungs and heart. 2h-2:15 every single time no matter the bike. With friends time varies.

The moral of the story is: at the end of the day, who else than you cares and why would anyone focus on climbing alone? Dissecting this is like saying: which bar width is best for cornering? That is a one dumb question unless you ride slalom course all day every day.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Waki, shock lockouts don't matter if you have an XC bike. Thats why you see virtually no XC racers at the World Cup level with any sort of remote lockouts.

Oh wait....
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: amen to that. If you can't see the shock it can be easy to fool yourself into thinking the KiNeMaTiCs ArE sO eFfIcIeNt but the reality is your weight is always moving up and down when you pedal, and if you have a good view of your shock you know it's always moving (unless your shock is full of grit and your bearings worn out - great way to gain pedal efficiency). Yes the bike will still go up the hill with the shock open, but in the climb position the bike responds so much better to short accelerations, out-of-saddle pedaling, etc. Can't always sit and spin smooth circles.

@msusic very true, even the new Anthem comes with High Roller II. I think people are sort of XC-curious when they get bikes like this, but they need some chunky, slow-rolling rubber on there to show everyone they still get gnarly every once in a while Razz I'm not ashamed of my XCish (downcountry?) tendencies - I still love Ardents but I think I'm the only one...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: love my dinner plates... "no plates no dates" Waki.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: on the sb130 I can assure you, tech climbing is easier... unlocked =more traction
  • 2 3
 @bohns1: yes steep tech climbing yes. I unlock the bike for such stuff myself. At least in the wet. But for anything longer than 10minutes I lock it. Eho climbs texh for hours, come on.
  • 8 0
 Actually, there is some good research going into pedal efficiency on the road bike side of things. In the past, they thought small tires at high pressures were the most efficient, but they tested it on dynos that worked like roller trainers. Now they use large treadmills designed for racing horses, and are finding that tires as large as 35c and as low of pressures of 60 psi are just as efficient in the lab. Additional testing is finding that on the road they are more efficient since it gives compliance; your center of gravity stays more linear instead of following the micro contours of the road, and energy isn't lost from rebounding up and down.

I wonder how much evidence there is for a fully VS hard tail with the same tires. An unlocked fully will give better grip, and some of that bob is the suspension suspending you, not just pedal squat, so your center of gravity doesn't move up and down as much, but more in a straight line.
  • 4 2
 @hamncheez: it all depends on the surface and amount of travel as well as the length of the ride, skill. If you are fresh you are far more likely to use your body to unweight your wheels, to ride smoother. If you are 3 hours into the ride you are probably quite sloppy and your bum will be on the saddle while riding over most roots.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: You can find an effect of larger tires rolling better on a dyno too. For the roadies there is now a compromise between rolling speed, aerodynamics and weight.
On the XC side of things it is well known that a full suspension bike will climb more efficiently on gnarly terrain, but there are efficiency drawbacks for standing sprints and on smoother tracks. The current crop of XC race bikes have remote lockouts to address this.
  • 5 2
 @Ttimer: I am pretty sure they found that 28-32c tyres are also more aerodynamic. Then they made wider rims just for that. you can’t see rolling resistance on a bloody roller as well as on actual road because the whole point is that 28-35c tire with less pressure smoothens uneven surface of the road. There is less vertical displacement so less speed is lost and the worse the road the better it works, like stages of Giro or most grand fondos/ rondannes in the world. Also, cyclists are less battered on long stages when using more comfortable setups
  • 2 0
 @Giddyhitch: careful! I said the same thing about treks the other day and at least 4 people got mad at me.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: ya... Fire roads and easy long climbs I get that.
  • 6 0
 @Raptor-30: Transitions are soul-sucking any time you have to pedal them.
  • 2 3
 @WAKIdesigns: jésus!

Dude where I live all the descends are short, so in order to get more laps down you need to climb fast back up.

I hate climbing. Then I also detest it and I feel like puking just thinking of it ( climbing)

So no I didn't do any strava / trail forks bullshit nor raced.

I'm just a mare mortal with a job and kid and grown ups respo and I get to ride when I get to ride

Why would I need those ridiculous " facts" zzzz " to prove" my argument when that's what happened this season.

Got myself a 2018 remedy then bought the reserved wheels laced to i9 hubs got my preferred tires ( butchers jn 2.6) then I had the money for the bronson CC and ordered it.and it's the most fun bike I ever owned although it's not such a good climber as the remedy was, or any other trek I rode ( slash 2016)

That's that.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: That kind of research was done years ago for mtb tires as well. Lower pressures and larger casing volumes rolled faster on all but the smoothest of hardpack trails.
  • 30 0
 First they came for the climb switches, and nobody spoke. Then they came for the geometry switches, and nobody spoke. Then they came for the bottle cages, and there was nobody left to speak. Watch your step Mike Levy.
  • 29 2
 Me: Since the geo of the front triangle is the same between all the towers and boys, why not just design one front triangle with switchable backends, wheels, and shocks?
SC: Why make millions when we can make thousands?
  • 24 0
 a la Guerilla gravity you mean? That be a good idea @jdeuce
  • 5 0
 The geo is the same, but with different length forks. You can't just swap out a longer fork without having to raise the rear end as well, which raises the BB. Otherwise the whole bike gets a lot slacker, which sounds nice until you realize you lose that steep seat tube angle as well.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I hear what you say...but they already did that with the Hightower LT didn't they?
  • 30 2
 Damn, $8200 for mid-grade suspension components.
  • 5 0
 Exactly what I thought. Have to go full boat XX1 or XTR to get the high end suspension? This is one of the reasons I love Ibis, you can spend your money where you want and still order a full build. Everyone will say just order a frame and build it yourself, but there is a lot of time, effort and money that I'd rather spend on the trail, or on beer!
  • 7 1
 $8,200 is steep no doubt. But I feel like a lot of people don't distinguish between fox performance and performance elite. The later having the same dampers as the factory products...
  • 2 1
 @chal0080: In this case though, they are the RS, where the Ultimate does actually have different dampers.
  • 3 0
 @Tfatty: touche, the ol SRAM in the front and Fox in the rear. Pretty lame to skimp on the Ultimate at that price point for sure!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, but you can resell it to suckers for $6k after a few years.
  • 7 1
 @Tfatty, the Select + and the Ultimate do share the same Charger 2.1 damper. The difference is that you get adjustable high speed compression on the Ultimate.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: Thanks for the clarification, let's be honest though, if my dentist buddies see me without kashima or the fancy silver ultimate I'm going to have to find a new group to ride with...
  • 13 1
 @Tfatty, that's true. Dentist shame is the worst kind - mine is always making me feel guilty about not flossing. I can only imagine what he'd say if I didn't have Kashima.
  • 3 4
 Welcome to Santa Cruz! They have become SO over priced the last two years, it's ridiculous. Poor value IMO. I don't even consider demoing SC anymore. They're off my list.
  • 5 0
 @mybaben: Santa Cruz still makes more affordable aluminum versions of their bikes. And that is awesome. Even though I ride carbon now, it’s not a must-have. How nice would it be to not wrap my entire frame in paranoiac 3M tape, not cringe when my bike falls into rocks, and to pay less for it?
  • 2 0
 @t0mislav: That's good to know, even though I prefer carbon, and prob wouldn't ride alloy. Glad to know the value is pretty decent though. Thanks.
  • 16 0
 Adjustable chainstays are a winner. Not everyone wants a long wheelbase barge to straight line.

I like 425-433mm chainstays on a TRAIL bike for the really twisty steep stuff that you’d not get a DH bike through...
  • 9 18
flag SintraFreeride (Aug 20, 2019 at 4:26) (Below Threshold)
 Lol! If you can't get a bike with 440mm chainstays around twisty, steep stuff you need to work on your technique. My 460mm chainstay bike gets around the tight stuff just fine. Short chainstays are great for manuals and not much else.
  • 11 2
 @SintraFreeride:
Lol, oh I can. I’ve ridden some ebikes with 480mm chainstays in the twisty stuff.

Its just not as fun! Trail bikes aren’t really for racing (DH, Enduro and XC are for that).

They are for FUN!

(And as far as the not get a DH bike through, I was talking about trails that a triple clamp fork wouldn’t let you turn tight enough without an endo turn)
  • 4 0
 Don't adjustable chainstays also change the travel and leverage ratio?
  • 5 0
 One of the things that keeps getting overlooked with the adjustable chainstay, is to help balance the front and rear centers of the bike. Remember how some brands change chainstay length with frame size? Norco and Nicolai come to mind. This allows to do that without making A. Numerous rear ends for the same bike, and B. Not altering the seat tube angle by pushing the bottom bracket forward in the front triangle as Norco did.
Riders in the XS-M range might find the shorter rear end more balanced. While riders on the larger bikes can go to the longer option.
  • 5 0
 @Richt2000: But Endo turns are so fun especially when you nose manual them Wink
I think different people have different ideas on what they call fun. I personally prefer a bike that handles well at speed over rough terrain rather than a bike I can throw around at slow speed. Each to their own!
  • 6 0
 @SintraFreeride:
All good my friend. The point is adjustable chainstays means it works for you and me :-)
  • 30 16
 oh look another "made in china boutique" review

when we going to see reviews for stamina 140 vs saturn 14 or similar real boutique??
  • 30 0
 the Finnish National Front right here...
  • 44 0
 Weird eh, reviewing brand new bikes that a lot of riders are probably interested in? Very strange approach. I have both a Stamina 140 and 180, and they're both be reviewed at some point soon. Both of the bikes are blowing minds here in Squamish, so stay tuned for the review.
  • 10 22
flag NotNamed (Aug 20, 2019 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 No hate against SC but they are now more mainstream than Speci and Trek.... They are as generic as you can be
  • 11 0
 @NotNamed: are you implying that they’re not as specialized as brands that produce e-bikes, road bikes and trekking bikes?
  • 3 1
 @Greghoin: don’t forget kids bikes, fat bikes, and tri bikes.
  • 5 0
 @Austink: yes. And jokes, don’t forget jokes.
  • 2 0
 @NotNamed:

modern geo, good kinematics, and multiple travel platforms to choose from is generic? f'n sign me up! generic bikes for all!
  • 2 0
 Saturn 14 is at the top of my want list right now. This and the SB130 could be contenders if I get some questions answered.
  • 1 0
 Cancels order for Tallboy, places order for Stamina...@mikelevy:
  • 13 0
 Tallboy 3 vs 4 pedaling? Say rolling terrain with some steep punches.

That’s the one comparison I need.

What’s the verdict?
  • 4 0
 +1
  • 6 0
 Armchair analysis of the review: Get a Ripley.
  • 2 0
 @SimonVelo: Not an option for me. Warranty for my TB3 so Blur or TB4. I went ahead and ordered the TB4 Purple w/Fox Factory shock. TB3 vs 4 comparison seems like a no brainer and not one review that I've read has addressed it.
  • 1 0
 @SimonVelo: you can’t actually buy a Ripley. Go try. They don’t exist. You can buy this bike today. I tired to give Ibis my money and nobody could get one so giving this thing a go
  • 1 0
 So not an expert reviewer by any means, but I demoed the pivot 429, Ripley, and trance recently. Rode them at Kingdom Trails. Pivot was super stiff frame, loved how it kept a line, but couldn’t get the suspension dialed, just felt too taut for me overall, bike didn’t feel very playful, an important characteristic for me. Also was looking for a big slacker head tube angle.

Trance was awesome, loved the geo, climbed well enough, but the suspension was a bit too active. Playful and maneuverable for sure. Could easily be happy on this bike.

The IBIS was like a cross between those two. Playful, climbs AMAZING, suspension has a bit of spring to it when you want it, so easy to boost off stuff and easily get the front end up.

All the bikes cornered great on the mostly flow trails of KT.

IBIS was my pick and I was able to get one! Now riding it on my home trails of Southern New England. Was concerned these new geo bikes wouldn’t take to the right and twisty stuff but it’s been a quick adaptation for me. On the rough (though short) descents I am getting pinged around a bit more than I had been on my 5010. Still tweaking suspension and tire choice so hoping to compensate there. But overall, for 85% of my riding - regular trail riding, trips to KT- I can live with just needing to slow down a bit and being more careful on fast rough descents.

I wish the TB4 had come out earlier so that it was in play for me, will still demo it when I get a chance, but judging by this review I still think that the IBIS is the right choice for me.

But any of these bikes are so much more fun and capable than was I was riding 3+ years ago.
  • 1 0
 oops, put placed that reply to the wrong message, can someone delete? Reposted as reply for intended message
  • 12 0
 That photo of mike is brilliant, someone b&w it... photoshop a tin lid and some dog-tags on him. #thinredline
  • 7 0
 2 mins...
  • 9 0
 @Hellchops: dude that is brilliant. Editors cut...
  • 7 0
 Still shittin stateside chow:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/17631561
  • 11 0
 @Hellchops: that dude has seen some sh*t, and bagged more bodies than anyone. And by bodies, I mean donuts.
  • 3 0
 He looks like colonel kurtz in apocalypse now..
  • 16 0
 @Hellchops: WOW, so good. I can feel the PTSD right now.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Tinder profile compatible!
  • 9 0
 I really like their approach to keeping similar lines and fit across the different travel bikes. This could be a great “everyday “ bike to be paired with a megatower for race days. The riding position would be similar, just with less heft to carry around on mellow trails.
  • 13 0
 Props for being the only brand to put an X0 cassette on the X0 build.
  • 14 6
 Once again that, ahem...Evil bike company that PB dare not speak of was (and still is) way ahead of the curve releasing the original Following nearly six years ago having the same attributes and lay out as this Tallboy back when SC still thought trail bikes with a 68/69 degree head angle were the shiz.
  • 11 2
 Was there ever a true reason given why PB will not talk about Evil?
Sad. As I was reading this article, I kept thinking of the FMB, and how I would get that bike before this thing.
  • 10 0
 As a former Evil owner who is now onto a bike with a steeper actual steep angle and longer reach: I could never go back. Yeah, Evil's are great on the downhills and super plush, but the current crop of steep seat angle, long reach bikes climb so much better they make climbing much more enjoyable and I get more laps in because of it.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Ya, I'm waiting for the next-gen Wreckoning! Hopefully with a 470mm reach on the size large!
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: That'd be cool, but I don't think it's possible for them to do a decent seat angle with 160 and 29 with their current suspension design. They will have to come out with a ground-up redesign that's different from all their other models.
  • 6 3
 @dthomp325: What is a decent seat angle? The bike above has a 76+ degree effective SA. The Evil Offering at 140mm of travel has a 75-77 degree (depending on fork length) effective SA. My Wreckoning with a -1 Works angleset has a 75 degree effective SA and it climbs as well if not better than all long travel (140mm+) 29er's I've thrown a leg over (pretty much every major model on the market). I've no idea what will become the most accepted seat angle as I believe bike manufacturers are still experimenting. Furthermore, I think finding an ideal seat angle is very subjective and also depends on one's height, leg/torso ratio as well as other factors.
  • 4 1
 @hellbelly: I think 140mm on the Offering is going to be as good as you can get with their current design. The Wrecks's seattube can't be made any steeper without either longer chainstays, less travel, or a different suspension design. The effective SA maybe 75, but the actual is very, very slack.

> it climbs as well if not better than all long travel (140mm+) 29er's I've thrown a leg over (pretty much every major model on the market)

I rode a Wreck for 2.5 seasons and would disagree. The current crop of bikes with steep actual seat tube angles climb massively better for me.
  • 5 2
 @dthomp325: The Offering geo is more progressive than any other bike in its range. Steepest seat angle of all of them until you go into the Poles, etc.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: I guess we'll see what happens with the Wreckoning. Sure, I'd like to see the seat angles steepen on the Evils ala The Offering and Kevin and co have intimated that they will. That said, for me there wasn't that much of difference in the climbing behavior (I'd still give The Wreckoning the edge descending) b/t The Offering and my angle adjusted Wreckoning to make me want to buy the newer model. As I stated above, there are many factors for discerning the best seat angle for a rider. Evil's geometry up until The Offering becomes more of factor with taller riders so for my short bear-like body type it has never been an issue.
  • 3 0
 @dthomp325: ??? What do you mean they can't do a steeper seat angle? You just make it steeper! Its the opposite of what you're saying; they would need longer chainstays to make a slacker effective seat tube angle. Steepening it moves the saddle forward relative to the rear axle and BB, further out of the way of the rear wheel on full compression. If they gave the new Wreck a 77 degree STA, 470ish mm reach with a high stack it would be killer. Its already the best looking bike on the market right now.
  • 1 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: Offering is great as a 140mm bike, and that's the one I'd buy, but still has a slack actual seat angle when using a 160mm fork, and even the "effective" is only 75 in that configuration, which is barely steeper than the Wreck.

@hamncheez because the swing arm would hit the seat tube as it rotates if it had a steeper actual angle with the current suspension design. You either need to move it farther away from the seat tube (longer chainstays) or use less travel (like the Offering).
  • 5 7
 Were they ahead of the curve when they shipped faulty frames knowing they’d break because the recall would have bankrupted them? They put their customers in danger to save their own skin. Garbage bikes from a garbage company.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: You are funedmentally misunderstanding what is going on with frame design. New geometry is seeking a steeper EFFECTIVE seat tube angle to move your hips and center of gravity further forward so you push down against your body weight when pedaling, instead of pushing forwards and down. Moving the seat forwards relative to the bottom bracket moves you further away from the rear wheel.

You have it backwards.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: New bike geometry realizes that actual seat angles are important because riders don't run a single saddle height and everyone uses dropper posts. Yes, a steeper seat angle pushes your weight forward in front of the rear wheel, which is why bikes with steeper seat angles climb steep terrain better, and why I wouldn't go back to Evil's slacker angles, which are especially bad if you run a lot of seatpost because the actual seat angle is very slack. I rode and raced a Wreck for 2.5 seasons, over 4k miles, I'm quite familiar with it.
  • 1 1
 @hellbelly really not sure what you’re talking about other than you have an old Following and you like it. Cool. The 2015 Evil Following had a 67.5* headtube and and a 72* effective seat tube.
  • 2 0
 Evil Offering: 66/76 angles with 482mm reach in L. I’m sure more of the Evil lineup will get steeper and longer over winter.
  • 3 1
 @lccomz: Uh...no. My point was simply that Evil dropped the Following quite awhile back and it stands as one of the OG short travel 29'er thrashers. I actually have a Wreckoning that I am into my third season with. As I said before, Evil's geometry outside of The Offering becomes an issue if you are taller and run a longer seat post. This is not a problem for me. BTW, I pedaled around a Pole Evolink 140 this afternoon in a size medium with a 160 fork up front. It has a 76/78(effective) seat angle and the same head angle as my Wreckoning. One thing that is very noticeable and takes some getting used to with the super steep SA is the sensation of how much it positions you over the front of the bike. I noticed a similar change when I shifted my geo with the angleset albeit not as pronounced. While I was mostly indifferent to the geometry (what can I say, it wasn't mind-blowing different; certainly not enough to make me want one), but good lawd, that EXT Storia shock was badass!
  • 2 0
 @hellbelly: Nah, Process 111 is the OG 29” shredder.
  • 3 0
 @hellbelly: my bad, the way I read your original post was that Evil was offering groundbreaking geo for 29ers (67.5* HT and 72* SA) while Santa Cruz was still pushing an archaic 68* HA.

Good news, in 2020 EXT is going to have North American distribution based out of SLC, UT.
  • 8 1
 Seems like they kinda effed this up. Marginal climbing and weight gains when compared to the Hightower with a lot less travel... So what’s the point? Should kept it a little more cross-country IMO.
  • 1 0
 different shocktune?
  • 8 0
 It would be cool to a head to head between these new trail bikes, i.e. Tallboy, Ripley, Fuel EX, etc.
  • 13 0
 It would be! Incoming video soon...
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Throw in the new Django for good measure!
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: and the giant trance 29er! Still interested in that and the tb4 as my next bike but the trance seems to have disappeared from the conversation....
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Speaking of the ripley, knowing you rode a medium Ripley, do you think the Tallboy would still feel more capable in the rough and steep if you compared it to a large Ripley?
  • 1 0
 and Pivot Trail 429...
  • 2 0
 @rajcoont: yep ... exactly my dilemma. Tb4 or trance 29 for next year. Which climbs better? My guess the Trance. DH the Tallboy probably takes it. Which bike is better all around regardless of price?
  • 1 0
 Update... I just demoed the Tallboy and I have to say the Trance climbs better and felt a lot more active in the rear
  • 2 0
 So not an expert reviewer by any means, but I demoed the pivot 429, Ripley, and trance recently. Rode them at Kingdom Trails. Pivot was super stiff frame, loved how it kept a line, but couldn’t get the suspension dialed, just felt too taut for me overall, bike didn’t feel very playful, an important characteristic for me. Also was looking for a big slacker head tube angle.

Trance was awesome, loved the geo, climbed well enough, but the suspension was a bit too active. Playful and maneuverable for sure. Could easily be happy on this bike.

The IBIS was like a cross between those two. Playful, climbs AMAZING, suspension has a bit of spring to it when you want it, so easy to boost off stuff and easily get the front end up.

All the bikes cornered great on the mostly flow trails of KT.

IBIS was my pick and I was able to get one! Now riding it on my home trails of Southern New England. Was concerned these new geo bikes wouldn’t take to the right and twisty stuff but it’s been a quick adaptation for me. On the rough (though short) descents I am getting pinged around a bit more than I had been on my 5010. Still tweaking suspension and tire choice so hoping to compensate there. But overall, for 85% of my riding - regular trail riding, trips to KT- I can live with just needing to slow down a bit and being more careful on fast rough descents.

I wish the TB4 had come out earlier so that it was in play for me, will still demo it when I get a chance, but judging by this review I still think that the IBIS is the right choice for me.

But any of these bikes are so much more fun and capable than was I was riding 3+ years ago.
  • 2 0
 @Sandman012: I've been leaning towards the Trance or the Ripley. I ride a Knolly Warden at the moment so the active suspension might have some familiarity to it. Although, I like the idea of keeping my Warden for the rough and rowdy stuff but also having a bike for flowy smooth trails and long days in the saddle; so maybe the Ripley would be the better way to go.

On an aside, while I'm currently out in WA I'm originally from VT. I miss those trails dearly.
  • 10 0
 Looks like an enduro
  • 12 4
 Santa Cruz has lost it with the colors this year. The two choices are awful.
  • 5 1
 They lost most cool colors a couple yrs ago. Look like a Ford 4door sedan coloraway.
  • 7 0
 Have you seen the Intense colorways? Keep that red and yellow off of bikes all together!
  • 3 0
 I personally really love the purple but the new HT colors are pretty rough in my opinion.
  • 5 0
 Just like enduro bike geometry has evolved to be almost identical to DH bike geometry, now we are seeing the same with trail bikes. Soon, ALL bikes will have approx 65* HA, 77 SA, and 480 mm reaches in a large
  • 6 1
 Hmm... I got 2019 Trance Advanced Pro 1 for 2900 euros. How is this any better and just the frame costs as much and whole bike.
  • 7 0
 It's probably not better for you if you prefer the Trance, and especially if you prefer the Trance's price.
  • 5 0
 The entire point of the review that mike wrote is to explain how it might be better. Not all riders can feel the differences between the bikes. For those people, the cheapest bike is usually best. The differences may not be worth the price to you, but climbing, steering, sprinting, cornering and jumping characteristics vary wildly between bikes at any price point. A trek doesn't ride like a santa cruz, which doesn't ride like a yeti. They're all different, and not just in price.
  • 4 0
 Sold my '17 Fuel EX for a Tallboy this spring as the EX was too much bike to lug around in the Midwest. Loving the SC and this is the first time I've never had upgraditis for a new model. 110 is plenty enough ????‍♂️
  • 4 1
 It seems like the bikes I like are the ones that Pinkbike and other reviewers feel are outgunned in rough terrain, downhills, looooonnnnng climbs, etc....exactly the kind of terrain I don't ride on. I live in the flatlands of Michigan - flowy rolly trails, with steep short dump two or three gears instantly kinda climbing...and random downhill sections, short and longer.....basically a woods-bike is what I need.....the Trek and the SC are not those bikes. You'll never guess what I ride, and like with the chip in the higher position (the position that reviewers don't prefer online)......
  • 3 0
 Woods bike = 5010
  • 5 0
 @Savagm: 5010 is what I ride in Whistler - dont limit it to mellow terrain it eats the same stuff as my old Bronson
  • 2 0
 @paulskibum: haven’t made it out west with my 5010, but it shines here in the northeast.
  • 16 14
 Trail bikes transforms to enduro bikes, and enduro bikes transforms to DH-bikes. Nowadays everything is about enduro or downhill. Sounds like there is no any other biking sub-sport anymore. Nowadays all bikes are going to be designed for gravity riding because it's so fashionable.
These bikes works on man-made trails going down, but trail bike should work also on climbs and tight slow turns and natural trails as well as it goes down. Very long bike is stable when going fast descending on bikepark, but that bike is awful on normal riding (non-bikepark).

And that rear shock is at terrible place. All dirt will fly on it and stanchion will be done in a one summer. ...Santa Cruz will replace them as warranty every time?!

Internal brake hose routing... Nightmare for maintenance Frown Seems like the most people is seeking for more difficulties and work. External brake hose doesn't look bad, but it works ...and bikes are made for using them, not for fashion shows.
  • 10 3
 100% agree !

I prefer the tallboy 3 over this. Altough I think this new one is a great bike, it just doesn't fit my definition of trail. And the Blur Tr is still too XC :-). Hard crowd to please us mtb'ers.
  • 6 5
 I gave up my trail bike for a CX/Gravel bike. Why compromising your fun on the uphills with suspension, beefy tires and loose clothes?
  • 5 0
 I think the people riding bikes for the past 20 years or more have always been excited to get to the gravity part of riding, there aren’t that many people I know (except maybe roadies doing a bit of cross training) who go out on rides solely to beast up climbs and roll slowly back down the fire road. The difference is that bikes are available up to 170mm+ of travel that can readily be rode up to the top and not end you. This is why we (or at least I have) seen a massive explosion in new riding spots and trails that would otherwise be either to far to be arsed with a DH bike or too hard for the “xc” bikes of their day.

Where does this leave DH? DH is dead apparently and it probably is to a lot of people who only really put up with it because it meant riding fun stuff. I have a lot of mates who like to rabbit on about how stoked they are for selling their DH bike and “consolidating” their bike collection. It makes sense if you never have time to ride one I suppose. That said, I rode a trail bike and my DH bike back to back on an uplift recently on a more tech / gnarly trail and there was a noticeable difference, the latter just felt better, its hard to quantify, so maybe there is still some hope
  • 7 0
 @eugen-fried: I went from enduro to gravel to xc and if you want to ride offroad, then the gravel is not a good option.
  • 5 0
 I've put 3000km on the latest Bronson (riding through the winter in all conditions all over Europe), which has the same shock location that you're criticizing. I'll admit, this was also a worry for me before I got the bike, but the shock's stanchion is actually much better protected than normal bikes. Sounds counter intuitive, but really the dirt from the rear tire doesn't get to the shock and by being "in" the frame, it's very well protected from the sideways dirt. I can also confirm this by finding less dirt inside the shock when doing service, compared to the normal shock placement on other bikes.
As for cable routing, I agree with you... but for the average rider, that doesn't wrench much on their own bike, it works.
  • 6 1
 @commentsectiontroll: "...trail bike and my DH bike back to back on an uplift..."
Sounds like enduro - DH. Trail riding is having good time and challenges while riding up and down, not uplifting/shuttling up and riding down
  • 1 0
 @commentsectiontroll: Enduro bikes have most definitely gotten better, but so have DH bikes. I’d still take a mid priced trail bike and a mid priced DH bike over a super expensive enduro bike. Parks beat up bikes period. All that said, comparing a new enduro rig with a super old DH bike or clapped out rental isn’t apples to apples.
  • 7 5
 Santa Cruz Designs their bikes for the USA market and it really shows.... Trailbikes for local flowy trails and Enduro bikes for shuttling and Bikeparks. Europe is completely different, and here this bike is going to feel like a fish out of the water.
  • 11 3
 @Antoncor: really?...All I see from Spain are Orbea's that fall apart and don't get their warranty covered and the super sexy but hyper exclusive Unno's. All while I see Santa's shredding hard in the alps. By the way, was lucky to be able to ride in Ainsa this summer with my Bronson. All pedal assisted and the trails were amazing.
  • 1 2
 @TheJD: if I want to ride park or some hardcore trails, I have my 165mm enduro bike, but instead of trail-xc bike I used to ride in local forest, I prefer CX bike.
  • 5 0
 @eugen-fried: Yeah, I have enduro bike too and for riding in local forest I strongly prefer XC bike. The gravel bike I have is now a road bike for me.
On CX/Gravel bike It's just not that fun where I live (Brno), because many of the forest roads here are either too harsh for a comfortable ride on rigid bike and also there are many quite steep downhills, which are not a problem for skilled rider on XC bike, but on CX/gravel are no longer fun, because you break all the time and can't even go faster, because you would break your bike.
Yeah you can generally ride everything you ride on XC bike also on CX/gravel bike, but I find these bikes are just not fit for the purpose. Just like you can ride DH lines on a trail bike, except that the difference between the offroad capability of XC and CX/gravel bike is much bigger and the downsides of an XC bike on smooth surfaces are not that big.
  • 2 0
 @yeti85: I agree, I had a lot of fun riding the trails in Ainsi on my 5010.
However I m wondering if the 65.5° front angle of this new Tallboy is not too much for riding the most tortuous singletracks..
  • 1 2
 @yeti85: Well, in my city I see more roadbikes than mountainbikes... Santa Cruz has nothing in that front. Then we have a ton of people riding XC bikes (HT and FS) and again, SC is very weak in that segment. And finally we have a lot of people getting into Ebikes, but SC doesn't have any.

Sometimes I see someone with a Bronson or a Nomad, but I see 20 Sworks Road bikes and 10 Turbo Levos for each Santa Cruz. And by the way, I really don't like Specialized as a brand, but I have to admit they are doing a great job.
  • 3 0
 You realize that Santa Cruz has a different bike is less long and slack if you want it, right?

I ride a 66hta bike in tight, rocky, forested New England where there are few Pacific Northwest style flow trails to be found. If you think new school short and midtravel bikes are bad technical climbers, you're just mistaken. Unless you're talking trials moves style stuff, which they are less good for, I'll grant you that.
  • 2 0
 @TheJD: So we live less than 2 hours away from each other Big Grin Actually Small Carpathian forests in Bratislava seem to be made for gravel riding, so if you are in the mood I'd be glad to show you some cool stuff around :-)
  • 2 0
 @yeti85: "..doesn't wrench much.."
No need to wrench much. For example such simple fix like quickly swapping spare brake on the bike when main brakes won't work 100%
  • 2 0
 @ericoras: it is true that external routing makes for super quick pit stops to get a spare brake on. But then I only know a handful of guys with spare brakes. The big majority of people, doesn't have a spare brake at home to do a quick swap and will either try to bleed themselves or just bring it to a bike shop.
  • 2 0
 @yeti85: If they don't have spare brakes, they must have spare bike Big Grin

And.... "...stanchion is actually much better protected than normal bikes..."
I can't see any explanation how this new linkage design could be cleaner -or even as clean as- place than the old one. What closer the ground, more dirt is flying on the air. And rear tire is throwing all dirt onto that area. That piece of plastic protects only from directly flying rocks. The pictures here in this review shows how dirty place that is. My rear shocks have never* been that dirty (both are under top tube). * Except when also rider was all over covered by mud.
  • 1 1
 @ericoras: I can only tell you, that in my experience, with over 3000 km on it in all kinds of weather, it holds up extremely well. Specially in the conditions you mention, when it's really muddy. And you're just speculating, I can tell you from experience...the shock is very well protected there.
  • 2 0
 Regarding the "Shootout" would it not make more sense to pit the Tallboy against the Topfuel? Scratch that... The Tallboy appears to be directly in between the EX & Topfuel in all areas. The one thing that gets me with the Tallboy is the slack head angle on a "Trail Bike" for most who are shopping for trail bikes, the trails that will be ridden are pretty broad from tight old school to fast new school 65 degrees just seems like it would be a bit slow (as mentioned in the review). Overall nice write up.
  • 4 0
 Yup, I agree that looking at the HA makes it seem quite slack, especially compared to numbers from a few years ago. But now there's more to it than just the HA. It doesn't feel like 65.5 on most climbs TBH.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Nice! Thanks!
  • 2 1
 My 6” bike has 61° HTA 29er and it climbs better than my 4” 67° HTA 29er.

HTA only tells one chapter of the story
  • 1 0
 I love the Top Fuel its definitely the bike i want
  • 2 0
 "As more and more riders turn to less travel," Is this true? I thought enduro-esque bikes were the rage now. Ha. Judging by the reviews of the new Yeti, Specialized, and RM, plus all the long-travel e-bikes, one would assume long travel was more popular than ever.
  • 1 0
 Bike paradigms are shifting.

If you want to ride trail, you get a downcountry bike - a.k.a a lightweight xc bike with slacker geometry, like this SC.

If you want to ride enduro/downhill/park you get any of the trail/enduro bikes depending on how much travel you want.
  • 20 19
 There once were 3 Tallboys who raced on the Syndicate together. One from England, one from Australia, and one from South Africa. The Australian made a big gap jump and no longer rides DH. The Guy from England shows up announced at random races and sells Sealant to kids while chasing a degree to become a Dr. The South African still dominates DH races, although this would be a good bike for him to ride down a race course into the sunset on.... They tried raising a young boy, who moved to the country “Bryce”, who’s main export was banned in many countries and didn’t work out. These are the original 3 Tallboys, and these are their stories... (Law and Order Music)
  • 15 3
 Meh.
  • 5 2
 “Well Dr. Peat.. I have this rash.. “


“Rub sealant on it”
  • 4 1
 Are you referring to Ratboy? Pretty certain he’s British too...
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: at the end ya, Riders are Rennie, Peaty, Minnaar.
  • 1 0
 @mitcht: right...guess that jump at Worlds was a gap jump per se...but he stopped racing DH after that.
Bloody shame, as he was (is) super talented.
  • 6 1
 Looks like a megabronshighnomadtower.
  • 4 3
 Bought a 180mm Capra, sold the DH and 'trail bike' and now just ride that. Trails, 'enduro', uplift, DH. Whatever you want to categorise it, it does it all. And its one bike. Never been happier with a bike, never ridden faster downhill...in any format.
  • 4 0
 well @mikelevy: you know you made it when Vital uses 'downcountry' in their headliner lol
  • 2 0
 The title of a review of this bike on another site is Downcountry Dominator. The #1 “pro” of this bikers the end of the review is Downcountry Dominator. Levy, you are a truly influential man in the MTB world.
  • 2 1
 Holy shit, the XS and XXL are going to ride like completely different bikes! XS has a reach 40mm _shorter_ than the chainstays, and XXL is 73mm longer! All the additional wheelbase as you go up the sizes is in the front. XS riders are going to dislocate their hips trying to manual that thing, while XXL riders are going to be wheelie-ing up every climb without even trying. Front center is 1.6x the chainstays on XS, while 1.9x on XXL, almost 20% more front-center on the XXL. Combine that with the slackish actual seat-tube angle creating an even longer effective rear-center when seated for short riders and shorter effective rear-center when seated for tall riders, and it's going to feel very different for riders on either end of the size range. Short riders are way further forward, so going down steep stuff will take much more "in the back seat" riding, and tall riders are way further back so they'll be fighting for front wheel traction.

In other words, why the hell to they continue to make size S and XS 29er when they ride so differently than the larger sizes?

In other other words, with such a range of reach measurements, why is there not a range of chainstay lengths?
  • 2 1
 Okay PB, we get that the big dogs and the flavor of the week pays the bills, but this ^ review and the shootout with Trek begs a review of the Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol.

Seriously, home grown carbon from a small shop on the Colorado front range, what gives?

I’m gonna be truthful with you guys, these reviews are sounding more and more like marketing ... every time I read one of these review, I find myself reading less of the review and I thinking less about the review.
  • 1 0
 I hate to say it because I have been on Santa Cruz since 2001, but I am not a liking the direction they took the TB. I am glad I picked up a 19 HT vs waiting on this bike. I really liked my 18 TB but wanted something a little more comfortable/capable on the faster rough downhill stuff. I don't like the weight this design has caused, the complication of the shock location, the internal brake lines. It is the small things that will sway a decision for me. I just don't understand internal brake routing. I don't want to have to bleed brakes just to do some other work on my bike. I liked the XC leaning TB as it really fit much of what I ride. This one seems more vert oriented. Maybe a ride would change my mind.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy "I routinely left the suspension fully open for the entirety of many 5,000-foot days, even when that five grand was delivered via baby ass-smooth, machine-built, doubletrack of the most inclusive kind." ok ok ok... you win!!!!! ????????????
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy "The 120mm is firm enough that you shouldn't ever feel like you need to flip the Fox shock's blue lever when it comes to normal, day to day riding, and that includes those mind-numbing gravel road climbs where the only technical challenge is trying to stay awake." ok ok ok... you win!!!!!! Wink
  • 1 0
 Looks like a great bike. Could be a contender for small bike for myself with: Saturn 14, SB130 and Remedy.

How much seatpost did you have extended? I’m 175cm and would want to be on a L frame.
Will the frame accept a piggyback shock?
  • 3 0
 And now, give us the aluminium option for the other lower link-VPP 29er, too. Pretty please?
  • 1 0
 The hightower does come in alloy. The mega is the only one that doesn’t.
  • 3 0
 Alu Megatower... yes plz
  • 5 1
 I'm calling it the Lowboy. BB is super low.
  • 2 0
 Wondering if pedal strikes were an issue during the review? Looks super low for a lot of the rocky east coast riding.
  • 2 0
 It's within 10mm of the run of the mill 160mm travel bike. How is that low?
  • 2 0
 332mm BB height with the spec'ed 175mm cranks sounds like low combo considering other short travel aggressive bikes like the Smuggler are coming with 170mm cranks and a 340mm BB height.
  • 2 0
 @tbooz: that's because the smuggler doesn't pedal as well, they need the extra height to deal with the pedal bob.
  • 7 0
 @tbooz: Nope, no pedal strikes. I ride a ton of slow-speed jank weirdness and it wasn't an issue.
  • 1 0
 Really?but is when you wanna charge hard when the strikes happen,maybe it’s just me.
  • 4 0
 Where's the Mulletower? I was thinking that was SC's next bike to drop.
  • 2 0
 So, one can adjust the chanstay length to 440mm, even on the XS Tallboy, but cannot get Hightower in size XL with 439mm chainstays, that the XXL sports, but only 433mm?
  • 2 1
 Would be great to see them bring the adjustable chainstay length to all of their bikes ... the 430 cs on the nomad was one of the main points that kept me from getting one
  • 1 0
 @Stokedonthis: Yes. They should do it as a mid product life-cycle update, if not before.
  • 7 3
 the negative comment "average climber" on a trail bike says it all
  • 7 0
 "Average" is pretty damn good these days, especially considering how well they do on the descents.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Do you have much experience climbing on the TB3? I'd love to hear how the TB4 fares compares to the bike it directly replaces. And climbing is such a broad term. My Ripmo climbs as well as my old TB3 on long drawn-out alpine climbs... but in tight techy jank the TB3 was far better.
  • 2 0
 Well, it is just a measure of how active the suspension is, which is going to appeal to different people depending on terrain. I like an active bike and mine is 90% AS with a 74 effective sta, my favorite tech climber. It would be given a neg for being a "poor" climber on smooth fire roads because of bob.
  • 1 1
 All brands have reached close to the peak of things all brands are great now it all trickles down to what Suspension kinematic do you want to try or have when I look at a bike now I literally look at warranty information if it ain’t “Lifetime” then it ain’t taking my money is as that
  • 4 2
 anyone else feel these low shock mount bikes make it a pain in the ass to reach the lockout/mid/open lever while riding? says the 6'3" guy.
  • 2 0
 Lol my shock is under the top tube and I still fumble around to find the lever without looking down. I'd probably eat shit trying to find the lever on this bike. As much as it clutters up the handlebar I kinda like that Scott still uses shock remotes.
  • 2 0
 I know I'm the only person on the planet who is wondering this, but ca. You fit 27.5+ tires on this? If so, it may be my next bike.
  • 1 0
 yeah definitely. I plan on moving my 2.8 Butchers on 40mm rims over to this bike from my old Tallboy3
  • 3 0
 Tallboy was the first 29er I owned that made me say "ok, they figured it out"....definitely interested in this new model.
  • 4 0
 levy went to writing class
  • 3 0
 can you give us a brief comparison between the santacruz tallboy, the pivot trail 429 and the ibis ripley?
  • 3 1
 I'm probably the only one here who actually likes plus tires, but does anyone know if you can fit 27.5+ on this frame like you could on the last tallboy?
  • 1 0
 Trail bike overload. I feel like these 120-130 rigs are the new plus bikes, everyone is pushing their version. Great bikes for the most part, but I feel every week is a new trail bike release.
  • 1 0
 remember when all the 27.5 bike reviews were coming out and people were saying that 26 would still be around? with all the 29 bike releases and reviews... it feels like 27.5 is going the way of the 26.
  • 3 0
 am I losing my mind or did @mikelevy not use the term "downcountry" in this entire review!?
  • 9 9
 So it’s literally just the 5010 now with the old linkage design. They talked about giving it the right ride feel and distinguishing it from the longer travel rigs, yet here we are...
  • 15 1
 I'm so lost and confused with all the SC models. Same same, but different.
  • 8 2
 The 5010 has 27.5 wheels, totally different geometry and a totally different suspension layout... they're worlds apart to ride.
  • 3 2
 @jamesdunford: Close. They're same same, but different......but STILL same
  • 4 1
 @jamesdunford: Basically like Yeti did, make them all look the same and create a brand identity instead of a model identity...
  • 5 5
 @jamesdunford: So I'm not the only one!

V-10 is logical, it has ten inches of travel. So a downhill bike .
Nomad means a traveler of sorts, so it's a bike to huck off things, I guess? These don't match in my head.
Bronson is a funny name but i don't associate it to anything, so i have no idea what kind of bike this is supposed to be.
5010, the same as above but not even a name. I have no idea where this comes from, another bike that looks like the rest but different i guess?
Megatower is mega, so this one is clear to me.
Hightower and Tallboy are the same, but different. I think.
There might be more, but you get the point. Too many bikes that even a fan of the brand like me have no idea what they're about.
  • 10 0
 @hirvi: 5010 is SOLO written in numbers and is the name given post lawsuit I believe.
  • 9 0
 @hirvi: how is this any different from any other brand? Fuel doesn’t immediately pop as trail bike in my head. Don’t even get me started with the evils. It would be very sad if all bikes were now just named by their travel numbers. If you’re really that confused you can go to their website and easily read all about them
  • 2 0
 @hirvi:

I mean is it any different than any other manufacturer? They are just names. Most people are going to shop based on intended use. People will hopefully cross shop models with similar wheel size, geometry and travel.

Honestly I don't get why people get so hyped about bikes, they all seem so generic within a category. Without the info written in big letters on the side, I probably wouldn't even know the make, and basically the only way you can tell SC bikes apart requires reading the model written on the top tube now.
  • 8 0
 Yeah, I find this strange. SC claimed that the high shock mount VPP design is better for shorter travel so that's why they stuck with it for the 2019 5010 V3 redesign, but now we're seeing the 120mm High Tower with the low mount design??

SC is contradicting themselves. Unless they say something like "Well, for 29ers it's different!!"
  • 2 0
 @Aleven: Came here for this. I was thinking the same thing.
  • 2 0
 @Aleven: Burned by old fashion marketing....VPP leverage rate on trail bikes was good for first and second gen Nomad - it was quickly outpaced by progressive linear setups because you don't have to deal with digressive linear / progressive leverage rate kinematics. The new crop of coil and air shocks performed well enough that VPP didn't need to make up for the break-away force issues. Also notable secondary tuning issues including, non-existant mid-travel support and insufficient bottom out when trying to get the off the top compliance.
  • 1 0
 @priest55: oh so it's like the For Sale section - New = used, but STILL new.
  • 1 0
 @aapocketz: It's not so different from other brands. Others have weird names too, and i agree with Evil, i have bo chance remembering thise either.

I think part of the problem is that they (SC) have so many models that barely differ from each other. Most brands have xc, trail and enduro bikes (i left dh bikes out of this for now) but Santa Cruz has 7 bikes across that range...
  • 4 3
 No doubt that SC makes great bikes - probaby the most durable frames on the market - but theyre all the same. Need. More. Character.
  • 8 0
 Agreed, they do all look the same. I've been on the Tallboy for awhile now and when people asked me about it on the trail, I'd tell them that I short-shocked and short-forked a Hightower haha
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy:
And given that it was you they would have no reason to disbelieve you, haha.
  • 2 2
 On a glimpse the Specialized Enduro and SC Tallboy look quite similar, but what makes the difference are the marketing videos.

Tallboy > youtu.be/J0so1Bcbozc
Enduro > youtu.be/lExRsnHZHL8
  • 6 1
 Based on that, Santa Cruz every time. That new spesh advert is trying way too hard..
  • 1 0
 Having the Megatower... Hightower looks close, just not compatible with my X2... Tallboy looks close to Hightower... Confusing
  • 3 0
 but do you still must go with 2 size bigger frame??
  • 2 0
 The geo numbers are in the review: the large is a 468mm in the LO setting. It's not crazy, but it's also not short.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Couple week ago seen xxl size megatover and it’s was smaller and shorter than my L size GLF.
SC owner was quite surprized to hear what size it is.
  • 3 0
 Is it baby ass-smooth or baby-ass smooth?
  • 1 0
 A lot of these new bikes seem to lack the “ ripping down a gnarly tech trail while blasting speed metal” appeal in my opinion
  • 2 0
 Good ole’ evil awaits you. I’m sure they’ll be bang up to date on their models soon.
  • 3 0
 Where does the Kona Process 134 fit in this discussion??
  • 2 0
 Just got our first ride in on the 2020 process 134 AL/DL 29 in Large we got for our demo fleet, very impressive! pedals shockingly well, and still shreddy plush and fun, and feels better on my beat up knees/shoulders than 120mm bikes do. Definitely lighter weight than the process 153 too, although didnt weigh it except by lifting it with my highly calibrated body. its a nice sweet spot between this "downcountry" thing and a full blown enduro bike. aka its a very capable, mid-not-long-travel trail bike i dare say.
  • 2 0
 Santa Cruz, yeti and ibis have all made their bikes better and more cutting edge, what's happened to intense!
  • 2 0
 They were busy updating the Primer...and trying to fix the SniperWink
  • 3 3
 It really is amazing that a $10,400 bike and a $2700 bike share the same frame design and suspension design. Maybe that's all they share, but it speaks clearly to where our money is going.
  • 3 1
 So, they should develop a different frame design for the cheap bike??
  • 2 0
 Yeah be like Shimano and purposely make the lower tier components less quality even though it would cost the same to be higher quality - like the freestroke bolt on the SLX brakes. comical!
  • 1 0
 Good stuff, man. Thanks. With your experience on the Giant Trance Adv 29, how does the new TB compare? I have a Trance and very happy but interested on your take. Cheers
  • 3 0
 The Tallboy is much more forgiving, both the suspension and the handling. The Trance is a fun bike, but it's easier to go faster on the descents when you're on the Tallboy. I'd pick the Trance if pedaling was priority numero uno.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks, man! I felt that might be your answer. I love the true “trail” bike attributes of the Trance 29 (rip up, party down) but do feel it gets a little over it’s head when trails gets gnarly.
  • 1 2
 So... you will walk into a Santa Cruz showroom and have zero idea which bike is which now. I was hoping they kept the bike looking a little bit like the old one, with a steep ST angle and a little more travel. Instead, it has the same HT angle as many enduro bikes.
  • 7 1
 They do all look the same, don't they? Same goes for Rocky Mountain and a bunch of others. I get it - brand identity and all that jazz - but it sure was more interesting when they all looked different.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Rocky killed the outliers to everything would fit the look
  • 2 0
 Super intriguing bike. This is the first time I've been interested in a tallboy. Excited to try one out someday.
  • 2 0
 This new generation of Santa Cruz are the first ones that I would really want to own. Well done.
  • 2 0
 I'm over the looks of the new gen santa cruz frames. Also, very over the muted colourways.
  • 2 0
 Twas a fabulous picture until you strapped on yer rubber dangler Mike.. shame. SHAME.
  • 2 0
 Is the Trance Pro 29 too far behind on the geo numbers for a comparison? I know Mike L has a lot of miles on one...
  • 1 2
 “It's 2019 and tubes molded into the frame for internal routing (left) is the only way that internal routing should be done, just like on the Tallboy”

Yeah, if you want more weight, and to exclude a chunk of the planets brake routing preference.
  • 6 0
 I do want some more grams if that's what it takes. Ideally, all lines should be on the outside of the bike, though.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: If I run a LH rear brake through right port and spin the bars left in a crash, the hose is toast as all the force goes through it without the strain relief affect of going around the head tube.

For that reason I’ll never buy any bike with a non-Moto brake routing option but the choices aren’t as good as they used to be. Probably due to reviews not even acknowledging the issue?
  • 1 0
 @jclnv:
As a brit running moto brakes I've never had this issue in a decade of riding. Just make sure your hoses are the correct length.
  • 2 0
 @sam264: It’s the more forward head tube ports that are the issue. You either have to run a dumb loop out in front of the bars or run the risk. If the ports are downtube mounted it’s not so bad as there’s more slack.
  • 2 0
 I feel like Santa Cruz and Yeti are making the same bike in every 10mm increment.
  • 2 0
 Reading the Pinkbike comments section is like watching a puppy chasing a room full of bouncing balls.
  • 2 0
 It's notable that the V3 with X01 and CC frame was 11.83kg / 26.09lbs, and the V4 is 7% heavier (12.69kg / 27.97lbs).
  • 1 0
 I used to have a Kawasaki 600 Ninja in that dark purple color. It would sparkle in the sun, but was otherwise closer to black in flat lighting. Shoulda kept it.
  • 10 7
 Looks like an Enduro
  • 2 0
 How does this compare to the Pivot Trail 429?
  • 3 0
 Looks like a Nomad
  • 4 6
 So how does this advance on the geometry the Transition Smuggler nailed two years ago? This isn’t even going to be lighter in any meaningful way like the Ripley is.

Just doesn’t feel new and innovative. Santa Cruz didn’t want to risk pissing off the grumpy old man who hates flow trails demographic that buys these bikes I guess. (That’s why they made sure you could put plus tires on this thing...)
  • 6 6
 @msusic: it's not. Santa Cruz fo expensive middle of the road bikes that are mass produced and marketed as boutique
  • 1 0
 can you put plus tires on this, or are you referring to 29x2.6?
  • 1 1
 @CM999: I am sad I can only upvote this once.
  • 3 2
 Sweet another bike with steep seat tube, the choices for those of us in rolling terrain gets smaller.
  • 4 2
 FINALLY, bikes with proper steep seat tubes are available.

It's easy to put a setback post onto a bike to make a STA flatter, but basically impossible to make it steeper. (once the saddle is already pushed forward)
  • 3 1
 @FloImSchnee: Same can be said about moving the seat back- only goes so far. It's really simple the steep seat tube doesn't work everywhere, glad it works for you. Sold a Ripley V4 because just couldn't make it comfortable to ride.

On flatter rolling terrain, steep seat tube angles put much more of your weight on your hands, was getting pain even on short rides.
  • 3 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: more is possible backwards: setback post.

There are no forward-shifting posts though.
  • 1 0
 Run your shock with slightly more sag (~30%). That will flatten your STA since you will be sitting lower in the travel. Running more sag also makes sense if you're on more rolling/flat terrain.
  • 2 0
 Props coming for the first manufacturer to name a bike "The Blue Lever"
  • 1 0
 Maybe a aluminum frame anodized with Lever Blue?
  • 3 2
 "Is this the bike for you?" Literally for every SC bike should be yea if you got the $$$. So overpriced
  • 1 0
 Bring back the single pivot, aluminum, Superlight! Way more fun than the Tallboy. Which is like riding a dead horse.
  • 3 0
 2021 Stumpjumper
  • 2 0
 Looks just like a lamer version of the Juliana Joplin.
  • 1 0
 BB is low as hell with 130mm fork so I see 120mm fork is a no-go. So close yet so far.
  • 2 0
 There are too many bikes.
  • 1 0
 I’m usually a Spesh guy but this Tallboy commercial is selling me far more than the one for the new Enduro.
  • 1 3
 dear Santa, you did it again - got a megatower 3 months ago which i am super impressed with. but hiding the flipchip behind the frame and not being able to supereasily change the geometrie without a fuzz is very annoying and for a company like SC quite embarrassing tbh. just don't rush your models on the market...better invest some more developing time. it is a 8k bike - such things should be able to do on the fly without using a tire lever so the flip chip doesn't get lost...so flimsy man.
  • 1 1
 How to kill the look of a bike, strap a tube to the underside of the saddle and a pump to the DT. Next you'll be wearing glasses with a full face
  • 1 0
 Did I read right? @mikelevy
Will 2.6" tires fit the TB but the HT will only take 2.4"? Why?
  • 2 0
 A short travel bike that climbs just ok? then what's the point.
  • 1 0
 I half expected them to call it the megaboy,l as it's a beefed up tall boy to keep it in line with the hightower/megatower.
  • 1 0
 When will the 2020 Trek Fuel EX and Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 comparison video be available? Any links appreciated.
  • 1 2
 With SC going to 29 so often here, you have to wonder if the Nomad has a future beyond just becoming a Megatower/Nomad blend? So, like an Enduro then?
  • 1 0
 That's a big eggplant emoji!
  • 1 0
 What happened to the Santa Cruz v10 29 review?
  • 1 0
 It's coming.
  • 2 0
 Nice colour
  • 5 5
 65.5° HT angle just seems silly on a trail bike. Of course it's an average climber.
  • 12 0
 There's more to it than the head angle these days. Yeah, 65.5 on a bike from 2015 would suck major ass, but longer reaches, shorter offsets, and way steeper seat angles make that feel more like 67-ish or something. It's manageable on any sort of technical climb.
  • 5 0
 Yeah I see your point. Thanks for the reply
  • 1 0
 Since when did alloy frames become more "swoopy" than carbon? Ugh!
  • 1 1
 Why is always the most expensive model being reviewed. Can you review the cheaper ones then might be helpful to someone .
  • 3 0
 While I agree this is an expensive bike, it is not the most expensive. I believe there are two models above this in pricepoint.
  • 6 0
 They review what they are given... why would a company give them their not top of line bike? Also if they review a lower tier model, you would essentially be getting a review of the mid tier suspension components rather than the bike's design and suspension kinematics.

Also, since almost all the higher end bikes have the same components on them, the reviewer can ignore those things and focus on the actual ride of the bike at a baseline.

ALSO Santa Cruz has TWO more expensive models than the one tested... so there ya go.
  • 4 0
 @Questlove967: What sucks is that $8,799 this is still mid-tier suspension components... At least give me an option to pay up for a Pike Ultimate, without going full XTR or AXS!
  • 3 0
 @Tfatty: well cheer up. Its only $7000 without the Carbon wheels. And honestly who needs those... While the suspension make look mid tier, its really a step 3/4 tier. Shock has the same performance as the factory, just no kashima coat, and the Select+ is the same internals as the Ultimate without lockout is all i think. But yeah I would like an X01 build with a DPx2 shox and a Pike Ultimate if im spending $7000 too.
  • 1 0
 @Questlove967: That's still $1000 too much for that build kit! Bike should be less than $6K.
  • 2 0
 I agree with this, how many people are buying the 8000$ bike vs the 4000$ dollar one. How much different would the review be with a low(er) end shock/fork combo, aluminum, not carbon wheels, etc. is that average climber now below average, because you need to fiddle with the shock lockout all the time because it doesn’t have sophisticated enough damping to stop pedal bob. Is the downhill now not so much fun as the fork gets overwhelmed at speed. Can I base my purchase of the low/middle model, on the characteristics of something costing twice as much, just because it has the same frame, and nothing else?
  • 1 0
 @Tfatty:

Guerilla Gravity allows ala carte and they’ll let you order “off” menu, but don’t expect PB to review the Trail Pistol, GG ain’t got the advertising budget to meet PB’s needs.
  • 1 0
 OT question: when do we get to see a Mezzer review?!
  • 1 0
 The Tallboy is going to make me a Poorboy (aka Po'Boy).
  • 1 1
 A lot of these bikes make me want to ditch the hardtail (especially the Ripley). Until I consider budget.
  • 2 0
 looks like an enduro
  • 1 0
 So..Enduro Bruh is out? Trail is back in? Is that what’s happening
  • 1 1
 I can’t decide between this and the been Juliana bike releases today as well!
HALP!!!!1!1!1!1
  • 1 1
 Ibis Ripley will eat this thing for lunch in any spec you choose for your given price point! DW link = Double Wanker !
  • 2 1
 Stopped reading @ $8199....
  • 1 0
 Sounds like Yeti still has the top step in downcountry.
  • 1 0
 SC DC AF!
  • 1 0
 “The MinorTower”
  • 1 2
 Pick up a TallBoy from a few years ago used for $3,000 - not much different today
  • 1 1
 If I'm being honest, this thing just looks ridiculous to me
  • 1 1
 that color gave me nausea, i could watch the photos
  • 1 0
 Solotower
  • 1 0
 I am 100% that kook.
  • 2 3
 Pretty boring that every bike in their lineup now looks identical
  • 5 8
 Hmmm I am getting done with the socalled timing and Pinkbike working for the big brands
  • 6 0
 That's just how it works? You can't blame pinkbike for that !?
  • 2 3
 @JWP: Turn it around. Pinkbike is THE ONE to blame for that!
So called objective reviews being bought by the big money.
  • 7 0
 what timing? Them releasing their review when the embargo is out?
  • 11 0
 It's called an embargo @jozefk They're not my favorite thing, but that's how it is.
  • 8 0
 Do you take your tinfoil hat off when you put a helmet on to ride or do you leave it on underneath your helmet?
  • 1 4
 @mikelevy: it is how it is, but it is killing free media. And I think that we agree on.
  • 2 4
 @mikelevy: if they decide when you can write, how can you then be free in what you write.
  • 6 0
 @jozefk: they don't decide what you can write. They give you stuff to test and write about. The embargo is for the date it can be released. It's been that way pretty much forever with magazines and any other press that does product testing.
  • 1 0
 nsmb.com has released it on the same day as PB...
  • 1 0
 @nonk: yeah, that is why they never are always positive about the big brands. Just some little details to nag, but hey, advertisement brings money right?
  • 1 0
 @nonk: and not true, spy pics from random people are taken of forums even, that is pure censorship.
No way that brands with this much influence are giving totally free hand in producing reviews.
  • 1 2
 Legend Says "SANDURO".
  • 2 5
 ...and more nonsense because last year's model was a piece of shit.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.065668
Mobile Version of Website