Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc and LT 29er All Mountain Bike

26er 29er

The Tallboy LTc bike is an all-mountain 29er Carbon bike with 135 mm of rear travel.

Mike Ferrentino of Santa Cruz

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Riding the Tallboy LTc in Rockville Park, Vacaville, CA

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Introduction by Aaron Faupell

On April 1, 2012, Santa Cruz builds on the success of their full suspension 29er Tallboy with their entry into the all mountain 29er category. Two bikes are being introduced, the LTc carbon bike and the LT aluminum bike. The Tallboy LTc bike is significant for being the first appearance of full carbon in this fairly young category. The specs put it at 135mm of rear travel with a slacked out 69.5 degree head angle on a Fox  34 140mm fork. Santa Cruz has done a lot right with this bike and finally includes the much desired 142x12mm rear axle as well as ISCG mounts and even a downtube bottle. I was lucky enough to get to ride this bike around some of my home trails in Northern California.

My normal rides consist of a Santa Cruz Blur LT Carbon and a fairly recently added Tallboy Carbon. As it turns out these two bikes make a great standard to compare the new Tallboy LT against. Placing this bike in the existing Santa Cruz lineup would slot it in somewhere between the Blur LT and the Nomad in terms of all mountain capability. The large wheels more than compensate for the slim 5mm shorter travel of the Blur LT. But if we consider the climbing ability of the Tallboy LT it leaves both of those 26 inch rides far behind. With a large frame, complete Shimano XTR group, and a Rockshox Reverb post coming under 28 lbs and combined with the VPP suspension, this ride closely matches the cross-country abilities of the regular Tallboy. The main difference here from my perspective was one of position. While the top tubes are of similar length the Tallboy LT is naturally set up with a shorter stem and a slightly higher front-end which does play a role in climbing performance.

For me, the Blur LT was a wonderful “do everything” bike. It’s light and efficient enough to handle big climbing days but slack enough geometry to handle most descents with confidence. The Tallboy LT has really shown me that the do-everything concept can be taken even further. When I got the chance to aim the Tallboy LT downward it was a pleasure. I threw it off of everything I could find and it handled it all in stride. The landings felt easily on par with the Blur LT. Every time i braced expecting something harsh i was rewarded with nothing but a soft pillowy landing. The handling is a study in contradiction: maneuverable without being twitchy. I think the slightly longer wheelbase lends a hand to this feeling. 29ers can have somewhat of a slow dead feeling to the steering when not done right but the Tallboy LT displays none of this. Even coming from a 26 inch wheel you can feel immediately comfortable with the position and the handling, and that is one of the key qualities that lets you know when its done right. While this isn’t a bike you are likely to go big on or throw into a giant whip, it is still quite comfortable in the air and i think we will start see a redefinition of what big wheels are capable of.

Release Video from Santa Cruz Bikes

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Paul says:

    Want one, but my only real concern: why won’t Santa Cruz warranty their bike for more than 2 years? Specialized: lifetime. Niner: 5 years WITH crash replacement. I won’t ever buy a SC until they put some more confidence in their longevity.

    • Patty Ciesla says:

      Scruz has a good warrantee. Buy from your local bike shop and they will take care of you. Either free frame, or crash replacement (at cost). If you broke it because you are abusive, expect crash replacement at cost. If i just broke while you are JRA, while it’s still new, expect new frame free.

    • hardtail says:

      I have owned a Santa Cruz Blur LT for 5 years and it’s been nothing but solid. Keep in mind, “Lifetime Warranties” are for the life of the product, typically 5 years. And besides when technology changes so often, it’s tough for manufacturers to support products beyond 5 years. Santa Cruz rocks! Best bike I have ever owned. Think I’ll be looking at a Highball soon.

  • Francis says:

    Santa Cruz was not going to make an XXL since the demand is low and the tooling for each size is so expensive. But after many requests in the mtbr forum, Santa Cruz has committed to XXL for this bike and is now working on all the tooling. Given the nature of carbon manufacturing, this usually takes 200 days. They are hustling to get it ready for a September release.

    • Bret says:

      Way to go Santa Cruz on the XXL. It is very much appreciated.

      Does anyone know if there will be a 2013 Fox 34 that can be set to 130mm?

  • Gravitythief76 says:

    Good. Dont. That means I’ll get mine that much sooner. Do some research. Santa Cruz bikes stand up just fine and their cs is among the best around.

  • Trond says:

    Francis, is your Roval set 142+? Would it fit you think?

  • Francis says:

    Trond, yes the Roval comes with three hub adapters so it fits anything. I installed it here and got the Tallboy LTc to 24.4 lbs. http://reviews.mtbr.com/santa-cruz-tallboy-ltc-29er-all-mountain-bike/2

  • Trond says:

    Francis, thanks. In case you misunderstood me; Specialized offers both 142mm and 142+ options. On 142+ the cassette is shifted 2mm to the right chainstay for a wider build. Specialized designs their chainstay so that the wide flange fits and the chain doesn’t rub the chainstay. You tried the regular 142mm or 142+?

  • andy says:

    Well…29ers are waaaay overaided…they are as pointless as 10 gear shifter…all made up by a business in need of the “next big thing”…sad so many bike factories go the same path !

    • TheAndyWhoCanSpell says:

      andy — “Overrated.” And by the way, fantastic ride, not at all pointless. Unless smoking every 26er in a climb is pointless by your measure.

  • Dan Savage says:

    The carbon fiber frame is leading edge CHINESE technology!! I highly recommend that Santa Cruz bring their manufacturing home!!!

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