The Santa Cruz Tallboy continues to be the top-selling bike out of 2841 Mission Street — with good reason. It has been a winner since it was introduced in 2009. I’ve extensively ridden the first-generation version and now have nearly 100 miles aboard the 2015 Tallboy C.
As built, the Tallboy C has the following kit:
- 2015 Tallboy C
- 2014 Fox 32 TALAS 120 FIT CTD
- Easton EC70 Trail wheels
- Full SRAM XX1 group
- SRAM Guide RSC brakes (amazing!)
- Truvativ carbon cockpit
I opted for a completely custom build since I had some of the parts at my disposal and in the end, this 25.5 lb build feels fast everywhere and descends so amazingly well.
I can appreciate how Santa Cruz has opted for a standard threaded bottom bracket. That alone is indicative of the overall philosophy driving Santa Cruz Bikes. They often choose durability and serviceability over the latest-and-greatest thing. A threaded BB fits that mantra and so does an IS standard rear brake mount — eschewing the common post mounts. Why? Well, if you ever strip a post mount, the whole rear triangle is toast and you can’t strip an IS mount.
Additionally, the frame features extra armor to shield the frame from trail scree and maximize its longevity.
The Tallboy C is very stiff and efficient with the VPP absorbing any and all kinds of terrain with top-notch smoothness. I typically kept the rear shock in Trail mode and felt that was fantastic both uphill and down. I kept it around 160 psi, which is a little low for my weight, but provided a perfectly supple feel.
On climbs, I’m nailing PR’s or staying within my top 3 best times. And, on descents, I’m slashing PR’s left-and-right.
What We Love:
- Santa Cruz’s commitment to durability
- Small bump sensitivity
- Light and fast enough to race, but perfect for everyday hauling butt at the local singletrack
- Descends like a bike with much more travel
- Handling is absurdly spot-on
- External cable routing with stealth dropper capability
What We Don’t Love:
- Grease ports — still don’t understand why no sealed bearings
- A little sluggish coming out of corners
- Low BB means increased pedal strikes
- Carbon linkages might drop some weight
Final Word: Tallboy C
The Tallboy C is supremely fun. It absolutely rails singletrack and takes on obstacles in a way that makes you scratch your head — second-guessing it’s 100mm travel. It is perfectly balanced and does lean a little more on the trail side of XC. With a 100mm fork, it still feels cushy and fun, but with a 120mm fork, you get a trail-blazing machine that is the best of both worlds.