The Santa Cruz Tallboy is a capable and efficient short-travel 29er. This redesigned 110mm bike provides nearly unrivaled downhill performance amongst 100-120mm travel bikes. In addition, the Tallboy maintains a spritely personality and high fun-factor. This bike has strong cornering abilities, allowing riders to pilot it aggressively with minimal effort. We credit the super short chainstays and a semi-slack head tube angle. Our testers give the Tallboy high marks for its climbing abilities, comfortable positioning, and efficiency. It is both confidence inspiring and playful on the trail. Our main complaint is the Tallboy D's build specification, which leaves a lot to be desired. We would upgrade to a dropper seatpost and a more adjustable fork. While $2,599 is a hefty price tag for a bike with sub-par components, the dialed frame design and stellar suspension design are top notch.
Riders who want an all-around trail bike that slays climbs while remaining capable of fairly aggressive, blue square style descents will love the Tallboy. This bike is one of the most capable short-travel trail bikes in rougher terrain. It keeps pace with the fun and nimble 120mm 2018 Ibis Ripley, which is even easier to rip through turns than the Tallboy. If you'd rather sacrifice a bit of uphill skill for a bike that can more comfortably tackle black diamond terrain check out the 2018 Santa Cruz's Hightower.