Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Unveiled

29er Cross Country

Introduction by Francis Cebedo

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is the #1 selling bike of the the growing Santa Cruz Bicycles empire. So they can’t really change it that much. Buyers dig it for its climbing, raceability, quickness and cornering and ground-covering ability. For many folks with just one bike, the Tallboy is a great solution. So for the Tallboy 2, how could they evolve it? Well, here’s what they did:

Drop the Weight – Carbon dropped .2 lbs in weight and the aluminum dropped .3 lbs.

Improve the details – Integrated chainstay protection is now included. Also dropper post stealth cable routing is now available.

Make a Small frame available – The rear shock position has been changed to improve standover clearance and allow them to make a small-sized frame. This has been a crutch of the Tallboy since the smallest frame they made for the past four years has been a Medium. This excluded riders under 5’6″ in height and many women riders. So this is a welcome change as other brands have really embraced shorter riders on 29ers.

Make the rear suspension action more linear – This is actually a significant change for many, including us here at Mtbr. When we took our Tallboy to Downieville two years ago, it just was not comfortable since it felt like it ramped up too much in rear stiffness after 60% of the travel is used. This change should increase the range and abilities of the bike.

Direct Mount Front Derailleur – Since triple front rings and front derailleurs are still common on this bike, might as well use the stiffest, most efficient mount available today.

Graphics and Aesthetics – Of course, some bettter shapes, beveling and graphics make it easy on the eyes.

Change the rocker links to aluminum – They used to be carbon but the new forged links are stiffer and cheaper to produce. So one has to use the materials and technology that make the most sense.

Make it Stiffer – They said it’s stiffer but they didn’t say how much. Probably stiffer by a hair.

Leave the Geometry alone – Leave well enough alone.

From the manufacturer

When Tallboy first launched, it wiped the floor with everything in its category. Most 29ers of the time had the geometry and suspension performance of an economy airline seat, and the industry knew it.

Tallboy was awarded “Bike of the Year” time after time, changing the perception of what a 29″ wheel mountain bike was capable of. What we initially thought would be a niche marathon bike turned out to be a killer all-around trail bike.

The balanced geometry and proprietary carbon lay-up created a solid package that didn’t need meddling with for over four years.

And still doesn’t. Kind of.

The geometry of Tallboy 2 remains true to the original. However, we’ve fine-tuned the shock rate, improved pedaling efficiency, increased stiffness and reduced weight to make this Don of 29 the kind of sequel Francis Ford Coppola would approve of.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Features
  • 100mm travel VPPTM suspension 29″ wheels
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL (carbon only)
  • Colors: Carbon: Matte Carbon/White or Gloss White/Black. Aluminum: Gloss Green/Black or Gloss Grey/Orange
  • 12 ENVE decal choices
  • Shock options: Standard: Custom tuned Fox Float CTD Evolution. Upgrade: Custom tuned Float CTD Adj. Boost Valve Kashima
  • Frame Weight: 2235g (4.9lbs) for size L, matte carbon
  • 142mm rear axle spacing
  • 2 × bottle cage mounts
  • Forged upper and lower links
  • Double sealed pivots with grease ports for low maintenance
  • Collet axle pivots and angular contact bearings maximize stiffness
  • Standard or Direct Mount rear derailleur option
  • Direct Mount front derailleur for precision placement
  • Stealth and external seatpost cable routing
  • 73mm threaded BB: creak-free riding and easy installation
  • Molded rubber frame protection
Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Video

Rob Roskopp and the team from Santa Cruz present the Tallboy 2.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Geometry

For more information visit

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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  • Scott says:

    This unveiled the day after I find a crack in my TBc1 seat tube. Fortuitous or salt in the wound?

  • Geert Vansweevelt says:

    Leave the geometry alone my ass. They REDUCED the seattube in every single size.
    The XXL went from a 22,5″ seattube to a 21,5″ which is too small for me.
    And I just was about to order one.
    NOT happy with Santa Cruz !!! :(:(:(

    • Mark says:

      You do realize you should size your bike by top tube length, not seat tube length, right? Right?

      • Dave says:

        When you are a really tall person (like me and Geert) you always look at the seat tube first as this will tell you about how much seattube you will have sticking out. Then I look at the toptube.

    • Serenity Now says:


      Just buy my Tallboy1 then:-). Look in the classifieds. Sorry for the Spam (couldn’t help it, and figured it might be a win-win)

  • Mauricio says:

    I would never again buy a box tollboy santacruz I have a carbon and three months of use I broken rear triangle strap junction and I wanted to replace it just because I have not the tikete to purchase ..

  • Bruce says:

    What are you guys smoking?! Best damn bike ever!!!
    I don’t want to hear you cry babies anymore… I bet you don’t actually own the bike, just jealous you can’t afford it!!

    • Mauricio says:

      I’m serious I have my carbon tollboy tube I do not know why this happen to me and I’m really upset you know what they cost these frames and if they spend the same I think it would put in my place

  • Pete says:

    So basically they did a few not important at all revisions so that they could say they have a new frame and keep up with the insane industry prices and marketing practices..

  • Pete says:

    Everyone is replacing rocker links from alloy to carbon to make it lighter and more stiffer but wait: Santa Cruz does it the other way: “Change the rocker links to aluminum – They used to be carbon but the new forged links are stiffer ”

    Well it really does not matter, or does it .. the main thing is, there is a bulleted list of improvements which has one more item on it..

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