The Tallboy LTc bike is an all-mountain 29er Carbon bike with 135 mm of rear travel.
Mike Ferrentino of Santa Cruz
Riding the Tallboy LTc in Rockville Park, Vacaville, CA
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