Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc and LT 29er All Mountain Bike

26er 29er

First Impressions by Francis Cebedo:

I owned the regular Tallboy Carbon for a while so I have a bit of experience with it. It is an 100 mm 29er full suspension that pedals well, is agile and laterally stiff. It is a very capable XC bike and is the #1 selling bike of Santa Cruz.  In fact, it outsells the the second place bike in the Santa Cruz line-up, the Blur LT, by two to one.  But it is more of a cross-country bike and the rear suspension is happiest when it’s racing XC and or going on all day rides. As I took it to tougher terrain, I felt the rear suspension was rather stiff and the BB was low as it hit a lot of rocks at places like Downieville, CA.  For my XC and descending needs, I ended up with two bikes – the supersonic Highball Carbon hardtail for XC use and a Blur TRc for trail bike duty.

Well, the evolution of the Tallboy is here and it looks like Santa Cruz hit the mark again with the Tallboy LTc.  It is a 5.3 lb frame sporting 135 mm of rear travel. It is mated with the wonderful 34 mm stanchion Fox fork with 140 mm of Kashima-smooth travel. Fully decked out with XTR and tubeless Maxxis Ardent tires, the medium bike came in at 28.10 lbs.

We took it to our local Norcal spot and the suspension felt bottomless. Instead of the aggressive ramping of the rear travel, this bike felt plush and willing to do more. It was eerie bracing for rocks or harsh landings and not feeling much of a shock. The ride was similar to my Blur TRc  but this one had more bump compliance, more traction and it tracked better on the ruts.  This bike felt good in the air too and was easy to move around.

It did feel a bit higher off the ground so it was good to have the Rockshox Reverb post to get my center of gravity down for the big descents.  The handlebar was pretty high off the ground so getting an XC , pedaling position for my 5’8″ was  a challenge.  This bike did seem like a very able climber though. Even with the proper sag, this bike motored up the hills with very little pedal bob.

The test bike weighed in at 28.10 lbs and I was curious what it would weigh in at with tricked out products. So I put in Roval Carbon wheels, Panaracer Driver tires, rigid Thomson post with Ritchey saddle and Crank Brothers ti pedals. Voila, the complete bike weighed in at 24.47 lbs.

Of course not all is perfect as the XTR equipped bike is hideously expensive at around $8000. It still comes with 3×10 gearing and it will be likely spec’ed with the lightweight but anemic Maxxis Crossmark tires.

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.

  • 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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