Santa Cruz Tallboy Mountain Bike Review

4.75 out of 5
By Aaron Chamberlain    on Apr 26, 2016

By Jeff Barber    on Nov 2, 2016

By Jeff Barber    on Aug 17, 2017

By Jeff Barber    on Sep 14, 2011

By Jeff Barber    on Jan 16, 2012

By Aaron Chamberlain    on Jul 12, 2016

By Matt Miller    on Aug 20, 2019

Rider Questions
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Product Options (2)
Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon
Santa Cruz Tallboy LT

October 4, 2015
Model/Year: 2015

Pros: Great fit, decent components, handles great on tight singletrack, downhills pretty good, climbs great

Cons: Brakes had to be upgraded, should come with a dropper post, stock wheels were kind of light duty and spindly (I destroyed the front one on a crash. Probably my fault but I felt it should have held up better.) I do realize these upgrades would raise the price which helps make it apealing.

Recommendation: With the few upgrades mentioned above I now have a fantastic all around machine. (Ice tech rotors, reverb dropper post and carbon wheels.) The majority of my riding is 20 plus mile rides on somewhat technical singletrack and this bike just works! I've done some enduro racing on it and it did pretty good. My setup is not the lightest bike on the trails but I'm 230 lbs and don't like breaking parts. My bike may be a little over built for most trail riders but I don't like getting stranded way back in the back country. I love this bike and when I wear it out I'll highly consider replacing it with another one.

September 21, 2015
Model/Year: 2015

Pros: Fun to ride! Climbs well and rolls over everything. Light and stiff and fast but still easily handles sharp turns.

Cons: None

Recommendation: Great cross country trail bike.

September 11, 2015
Model/Year: Tallboy 2 carbon / 2015

Pros: Roll Fast, Climbs Great, I really enjoy this Santa Cruz

Cons: na

July 31, 2015
Model/Year: 2015 Tallboy 2 (aluminum)

Pros: Perfect.

Cons: None!

Recommendation: I've had this bike for about 4 months now (been riding for a long time and previously have owned a Specialized, a Marin and a Scott) and have ridden it in Indiana, North Carolina and extensively in Colorado, including 2 bike parks (Steamboat and Crested Butte). This bike can handle just about anything. Only change I made was to extend the stem a tad and put a riser bar on it. LOVE this bike. It's a quiver killer!

July 24, 2014
Model/Year: 2014

Pros: LIGHT, Fast, Great Geometry, looks

Cons: Price

Recommendation: I had the chance to demo a new tall boy for the day. The bike was top notch. If price was of no concern to me, it would absolutely be added to my stable. That said, the frame is VERY costly which makes it hard to justify as a builder, and even at it's higher end spec'd packages, I would prefer a few different options. Perhaps when we start seeing some of the prices fall and they hit the second hand market, I will take the plunge. A friend of mine who also demo'd the bike for for a day fell in love and has one on order.

June 12, 2014


Recommendation: I am fairly new to MTB. This is my second bike. I had a Hardtail Diamondback and like most newbies I was always at the back with people waiting for me. I almost gave up MTB but I fell in love with a picture and review I saw. My setup is a carbon 2013 medium frame, all XTR components and Easton EC90 SL stem, seat post, handlebar and wheels with feathery Schwable Racing Ralph tires. My scale reads 22.85 lbs. My old hardtail was 21 lbs. First time I rode it was on a road 50 mile trip that I was sure that I would not make it. I made it effortlessly! Everybody thought that I was on EPO! It was then that I understood the difference between a $1,000.00 bike and a $10,000.00 bike. It was hard on the pocket when I ordered it to Puerto Rico, but I am going to buy the Tallboy 2 pretty soon. The joy of riding this beauty vs. the pain and suffering I went through before justifies the investment. One thing is that I do not let my friends ride it. I want to keep the secret of my success for a while longer!

April 20, 2014
Pros: New tallboy 2 has excellent pedal efficiency. Climbs really well. The vpp is one of the best suspension on the market The xt package reduces the weight significantly With spd pedals in a large frame my bike weights 27lb pretty good for a alum frame

Cons: Price but you get what you pay for. Stock grips suck.

Recommendation: This is the absolute best full suspension bike I've riding, took it out on a trail with some 2 foot drops and I barely feel them, the stability of this bike is amazing. It gets up to speed rather quick and keep pushing you forward with ever pedal stroke. IMO Santa Cruz makes some of the best bikes in the market.

March 23, 2014
Model/Year: 2011

Pros: Stiff and light with great geometry. Can be used as a XC or endurance racer or an all day trail rig.

Cons: None.

Recommendation: I've been riding MTB since 1989 and have ridden a lot of bikes over the years. This is hands down the best bike I've ridden. I've been on this bike for three years now and have racked up over 12,000 miles. I was worried about the durability of carbon but that has gone out the door. It has performed great on every type of trail I've thrown at it and has done nothing but leave a smile on my face. If I was to buy a new bike today, I would get another Tallboy.

December 18, 2013
Model/Year: 2013 1.1

Pros: Lightweight. Great geometry. VPP. 12x142 rear axle.

Recommendation: I am really enjoying this bike. The carbon gives a super stiff ride going up or down. The VPP keeps the suspension in a state of play on the descents, and makes it feel like a hardtail for those tough climbs. It throws around quite well in the corners, while maintaining stability.

December 30, 2012
Model/Year: 2011

Pros: Fun all around bike. Descends like a champ. Handles fairly descent for a 29er.

Cons: Doesnt climb all that well on anything steep or techy. Kinda heavy

Recommendation: Not a bad bike for everyday riding, climbs pretty well, bombs downhill with confidence. A bit pricy but good bike if its in your price range.