Tallboy in action
When the word Tallboy comes to mind, many people instantly think of the above. The tallboy that I am writing about isn’t from Schlitz, but rather Santa Cruz bicycles. Theses guys like to do things their own way and have a line up of bikes that is stunning. I am lucky to have just gotten my hands on a Tallboy and got my first shake down run on it yesterday.
When the frame arrived a month ago, I couldn’t believe that the total weight was only five pounds! The frame is unpainted and has this bad-boy, stealth look to it. The frame is mean and it was only a matter of time until I had gathered up the components for a dream race build. All complete, it tops the scales at a feathery 23.5 lbs race ready. Now for a large, full suspension 29er, this is delicate when it comes to weight. I think with a few changes I could have it into the 22 lbs range no problem. Don’t let the word delicate fool you, the weight is the only thing delicate about this carbon animal.
With the bike complete, I set out on a quest with Devon Coetzer to break in my new steed. I had raced the enduro the day before so I was sluggish and fatigued but the bike amazed me. I had been riding a hardtail 29er before this bike and the full squish was welcomed by my back, and the motorcycle racer that lives inside of me. I see the bicycle trail as I see trail from the seat of my Gas Gas. I like to jump into, off of, and over things to keep my speed up. I prefer to go over rocks and other trail debris rather than around it. The Tallboy matches my personality on the trail perfectly.
The east side of the 18 mile loop at the Northshore trail at Lake Grapevine is smooth and I could go fast on a rigid 26er. The tallboy did excellent in the fast flowing trail but it really shined when we ventured to the west trail that contains steep, punchy climbs, and baby head rocks littered about the trail. Being able to stay seated through rock gardens makes the Tallboy dangerous. I couldn’t believe how easily I was powering up rough climbs on the Tallboy, I even made a few lines that I haven’t cleaned in a few months on my hardtail.
Devon spent about fifteen minutes on the bike and after he stepped off of it, I believe his words were, “I want to say thank you, and I’m sorry.” He was sorry that I had to ride the hardtail 26er after he experienced the cloud-like ride that the Tallboy delivered.
With that said, the Tallboy should be at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to full suspension 29ers. It has trail bike capabilities if setup for that style and can also be a race bike as I have have outfitted it. The Tallboy is versatile and just riding a bike with the words Santa Cruz on it makes me feel like a badass.
The guys at Santa Cruz have a righteous blog, 104 Bronson that gives an inside look into the life at Santa Cruz Bikes.