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2017 Tall Boy?

Old 10-23-17, 05:06 PM
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2017 Tall Boy?

Hiya,

Been riding a 2012 Santa Cruz SL 29er for the past five years. I mostly love this bike, especially for the kind of riding I do, which is New England woods roads and trails, and intermediate-level single track. My only gripe about this bike is that when I'm descending, I often feel like it "gets away" from me a bit, even after putting some beefier tires on that hook up really well. On tight downhill turns, sometimes I have to fight to get the bike back under me. Could just me my crappy riding form, too.

But I took a quick ride on a 2017 Tall Boy 29er (alum), and that bike definitely felt stiffer, flickier and way more underneath me. Not to mention the dropper post, which my rig doesn't have. I wish I was able to take it on more than the little track they had at the shop.

Anyone with a recent year model TB, I would love to year your thoughts. End of year discounts are starting to pop up.

Cheers!
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Old 10-24-17, 02:14 PM
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A SC Tallboy 3 27.5+ and not a 29'er comment

Owning a SC you probably already know they have a lifetime frame and suspension bearing warranty. And they've got threaded bottom brackets.

I'm on a D+ option and find it's a blast to ride. Traction & climbing are the biggest positives, frequent pedal strikes and tight maneuverability are negatives.
Tight downhill turn correction can be a problem for me too, a better rider would do much better. Those Maxxis 2.8" tubeless at low pressures provide awesome confidence inspiring traction, plus they absorbs smaller bumps too. Rode hard on slick or loose over hard they might drift, but always in a controllable manner for me (so far). 2.8" is about the widest tire my older Yakima rack front tire hoops are good for, had to replace rear wheel straps as older OEM were too short for plus sized tires. Can't compare to a 29'er having never ridden one, and am an older & not a real aggressive rider.
Link to a Tallboy 3 27.5+ review below.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 27.5 Plus Review ? meticulist

Last edited by BarryVee; 10-24-17 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BarryVee View Post
Owning a SC you probably already know they have a lifetime frame and suspension bearing warranty. And they've got threaded bottom brackets.

I'm on a D+ option and find it's a blast to ride. Traction & climbing are the biggest positives, frequent pedal strikes and tight maneuverability are negatives.
Tight downhill turn correction can be a problem for me too, a better rider would do much better. Those Maxxis 2.8" tubeless at low pressures provide awesome confidence inspiring traction, plus they absorbs smaller bumps too. Rode hard on slick or loose over hard they might drift, but always in a controllable manner for me (so far). 2.8" is about the widest tire my older Yakima rack front tire hoops are good for, had to replace rear wheel straps as older OEM were too short for plus sized tires. Can't compare to a 29'er having never ridden one, and am an older & not a real aggressive rider.
Link to a Tallboy 3 27.5+ review below.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 27.5 Plus Review ? meticulist

Thanks for much for the reply and feedback, Barry. I'm also older and not real aggressive, so your review is great. I'm going to see if I can locate a 27.5 for a test run. Cheers!
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Old 10-25-17, 08:51 AM
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If you've been riding your bike regularly for 5 years, you might be about time for a new one anyway -- mentally

But that said, -- I had a previous generation Santa Cruz SL w/ Fox RP32 rear shock? (I think )

I always thought the bike could benefit greatly from a newer CTD type shock - and the CTD technology may have been superceded by now, IDK -- but the CTD shock on my new bike allows me more control over my suspension settings . I set the ideal sag in the full soft setting as that is likely where I will be if I am hitting downhill stuff,

A CTD shock may not be able to get the brake jack tendencies under control though, and that is a function of design --- under braking , the suspension tends to "stand up" a bit and doesn't work as efficiently on a single pivot design like the Superlight

The dropper post can make a big difference too

That said , you may not want to spend $800 on a different shock and dropper post when that cash would probably go a long way towards a new Tall Boy, who knows
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Old 10-25-17, 09:17 PM
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I spend a lot of time on mtbr.com and I can tell you, the latest Tall Boy has been HIGHLY praised for it's trail skills (and still pedals as well as ever). I normally ignore people's "I love my new bike" posts, but a few bikes stand out as having VERY excited owners, and Tall Boy is one.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
If you've been riding your bike regularly for 5 years, you might be about time for a new one anyway -- mentally

But that said, -- I had a previous generation Santa Cruz SL w/ Fox RP32 rear shock? (I think )

I always thought the bike could benefit greatly from a newer CTD type shock - and the CTD technology may have been superceded by now, IDK -- but the CTD shock on my new bike allows me more control over my suspension settings . I set the ideal sag in the full soft setting as that is likely where I will be if I am hitting downhill stuff,

A CTD shock may not be able to get the brake jack tendencies under control though, and that is a function of design --- under braking , the suspension tends to "stand up" a bit and doesn't work as efficiently on a single pivot design like the Superlight

The dropper post can make a big difference too

That said , you may not want to spend $800 on a different shock and dropper post when that cash would probably go a long way towards a new Tall Boy, who knows
Thanks, DMC707. I've considered getting a new rear shock and possible a new fork, but as you say, by the time it's all said and done, it might be hundreds of dollars and not knowing how much difference it would make. There is a bike shop not far from me that does an excellent job with consignments, and I might see if I can get a bit of money for my SL. A lot of parents shop their for first bikes for their kids, and this would be perfect. Then I would put that towards a new rig.

Thanks for the feedback. I will test riding a TB 29er next week at a shop that has trails near by.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
I spend a lot of time on mtbr.com and I can tell you, the latest Tall Boy has been HIGHLY praised for it's trail skills (and still pedals as well as ever). I normally ignore people's "I love my new bike" posts, but a few bikes stand out as having VERY excited owners, and Tall Boy is one.
Thanks, Ryder. I've arranged for a test ride of a TB next week where I can actually take it on some trails. I'm really looking forward to it.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:44 AM
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That's a fine bike. I hopped on one for a short while and was impressed. The modern geometry has you inside the bike more, especially with a dropper, which made it excellent for moving through technical sections and getting up and over and safely down obstacles. It pedals great, too.
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Old 10-26-17, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ATPAH View Post
That's a fine bike. I hopped on one for a short while and was impressed. The modern geometry has you inside the bike more, especially with a dropper, which made it excellent for moving through technical sections and getting up and over and safely down obstacles. It pedals great, too.
Thanks for the info, ATPAH. I never thought I'd need or want a dropper post, but after slamming my bits a few times on the way down, it seems like a hell of a nice little feature.
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Old 10-26-17, 07:22 PM
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Droppers are practically required on these new "rider-forward" designs. You typically run a steeper STA (final saddle position), which not only means you're more forward (in relation to BB), but higher COG. And now that a front derailleur is near extinction, the dropper remote makes perfect sense. All internally routed, of course. It's a great time for mountain bikes. A lot of things have "come together" recently.
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Old 10-27-17, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by scotch View Post
Thanks for the info, ATPAH. I never thought I'd need or want a dropper post, but after slamming my bits a few times on the way down, it seems like a hell of a nice little feature.
It's great for improving cornering, too. You can really lean the bike over without a seat in the way. I like to tell folks that I view it as more essential equipment than rear suspension (but not front suspension).
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Old 10-27-17, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BarryVee View Post
, frequent pedal strikes
This is why I wouldn't buy that bike. Bottom bracket height at ~330mm is too low. Too many rocks, roots and rollers that would catch my pedals. I already occasionally strike with a 335 mm BB
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Old 10-27-17, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Bottom bracket height at ~330mm is too low.
That's a fair point. The industry has perhaps pushed a little too far in this direction, and Santa Cruz is no exception. It somewhat depends on your trails, skills, priorities, and whether you can run 165-170mm cranks (I wish brands would offer more crank length options, like road bikes). I'm in rocky AZ, hate short cranks (36.5" inseam), so I bought a Pivot with relatively high BB height. When I've had bikes with lower BBs, pedal strikes were a nuisance, but boy did they handle well.

Interesting post yesterday about how low BBs are having the unintended consequence of sanitizing trails: Trend: lower bottom brackets, pedal strikes and stars - Page 2- Mtbr.com
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Old 10-27-17, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This is why I wouldn't buy that bike. Bottom bracket height at ~330mm is too low. Too many rocks, roots and rollers that would catch my pedals. I already occasionally strike with a 335 mm BB
For what it's worth, my Super Light BB height is only 312.42, so I'd be gaining maybe 3/4 of an inch with 330? I do pedal strike sometimes, but I chock it up more to poor pedal stroke timing relative to whatever I'm trying to navigate. My form could stand some refining as far as that goes. But you make a good point.
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Old 10-30-17, 05:59 AM
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The tendency to pedal strike also depends on the suspension. A Tall Boy with a 330mm BB height and 110mm travel is different from a FSR 6 Fattie with 135mm travel and 330mm BB height and a well deserved reputation for pedal strikes. The FSR sits lower in it's travel by 1-1.5cm compared to the lower travel VPP design of the Tall Boy. They both suffer from the additional sad of plus tires, but the Tall Boy is not out-of-bounds for most types of riding.
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Old 10-31-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ATPAH View Post
The tendency to pedal strike also depends on the suspension. A Tall Boy with a 330mm BB height and 110mm travel is different from a FSR 6 Fattie with 135mm travel and 330mm BB height and a well deserved reputation for pedal strikes. The FSR sits lower in it's travel by 1-1.5cm compared to the lower travel VPP design of the Tall Boy. They both suffer from the additional sad of plus tires, but the Tall Boy is not out-of-bounds for most types of riding.

Yeah, I'm no hard core DH-er who's taking massive hits and really pushing my travel to the limit. And I think be looking at the 29'er, not the 27.5+. I'm riding one tomorrow.

Cheers.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:30 AM
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Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-01-17, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by scotch View Post
but I chock it up more to poor pedal stroke timing relative to whatever I'm trying to navigate. My form could stand some refining as far as that goes. But you make a good point.
Problem is it's hard to adjust pedal stroke when climbing a hill. You need to keep pedaling to keep moving. When I do get the occasional pedal strike, it's when climbing a rocky or rooty section of trail, not when it's level, semi level, downhill or machine built smooth uphill.

The specialized FSR 6fattie has 331 mm BB height unloaded. Now decrease that by the amount the shock sags and how much the tires compress and POOF...the FSR 6F is one of the bikes that suffers badly from pedal strikes. It's been well documented on MTBR.com

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Old 11-01-17, 02:53 PM
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All the newer bikes, SC and all other brands, have slacked out their head tube angles to make them feel more secure descending. Only a degree or degree and a half but it makes a diff. You can install an AngleSet headset that will slacken (or steepen) a bike's head tube--unless you want a whole new bike ;-)
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Old 11-01-17, 07:01 PM
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So the shop no longer had the R alum build in stock. What they did have was a demo Carbon 29er XE build. So what the hell, I'm there, so I rode it, and if I happened to have $2200 more to spend on a MTB bike, I would've bought the damn thing immediately.

Let me first say that I've never ridden a carbon MTB before. Nor have I really ridden a 1x before aside from the short test ride I did on the alum version. Christ, my SL is a triple. That said, this is a sick bike, at least for me.

I took it out for ~45 minutes on some decent trails near the shop. Again, not the version I can afford or planned on riding, but Jesus this bike is extremely nimble, extremely fast, and almost felt like an extension of my arms and feet: uphill, descending, cornering, jumping and braking, it was right on the money every time. No pedal strikes. Not even close I don't think. And after 5 years on my relatively sloppy SL, this rig is REALLY stiff. I also learned that I clearly need to learn how to use a dropper the right way.

Honestly, it was more bike than I need, and I think I'll end up ordering the R alum build and be extremely happy. But damn, the carbon version of this bike is really nice. Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts.
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Old 11-02-17, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by scotch View Post
Jesus this bike is extremely nimble, extremely fast, and almost felt like an extension of my arms and feet: uphill, descending, cornering, jumping and braking, it was right on the money every time.
Sounds like it went well!
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Old 11-04-17, 04:13 AM
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Awesome. Glad to hear it. The alum build won't be quite as stiff or light but it will still be super capable and more bike than you need, which is just want we all need - a bike to make us better riders.
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Old 11-05-17, 08:43 AM
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