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Santa Cruz Tallboy Review

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

A big girl deserves a big bike, what can I say ...

I have been a Salsa girl for several years: Caballero (old school), Moto Rapido, Podio – you catch my drift. Well, late fall 2010 I had the luxury of trying a friend’s 29’er: Gary Fisher Superfly 100. 26 no more! Determined to go 29, I sought Darcy’s (here at Bikeman) and my partner in crime here in NJ’s (Jason) advice in which way to go… I hemmed and hawed with my allegiance to Salsa, but the Santa Cruz Tallboy in Orange Crush caught my attention, HARD! Late December I bit the bullet and ordered myself a major Christmas gift. January I got the call it had arrived. I drove to Bath Cycle and Ski in a snow storm to collect my new dream ride.

We get home; with epic proportions of snow on the ground, I’m left to lust over my new whip in my dining room. Fortunately, the first floor of my house is a concentric circle with stairs in the middle and a step-up feature separating the kitchen and living room – do you see where I am going with this? Yup, I made more than one lap around the first floor of my house.

Maine still looking pretty bleak, I opted to work in NJ for the winter to spice things up. Lucky for me, spring came earlier in NJ than in Maine. Since March I have been out countless times and ready to write my thoughts about this beauty.

I am 5’5” with an endless inseam. I bought the medium SPX XC29 with Fox 120 RLC and Fox RP23 rear shock – I am not a gear head by any stretch of the imagination, but I DO KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE ;) So far the bike and the engine have been quite compatible! In rock gardens, it floats. On climbs, it charges. Gnarly descents, a magic carpet ride. On flats, it flies. Corners, just point and shoot. Shifting, like buttah. However, I have not gotten my wheels and tires completely dialed – tubes or tubeless I am not getting the feeling I want (wheels: stock Mavic TN 719 disc rims laced to Shimano M758. Tires, first Maxxis Crossmark 2.1 w tubes, then switched to Kenda Slant six 2.2 w Stan’s tubeless) – not enough pressure and I flat or burp out Stan’s sealant, too much pressure and I am bouncing all over the place. Maybe it is the endless rock gardens here in NJ, or my inability to gracefully pick up my rear wheel when I should be. Regardless the experiment continues.

I’d say this was the biggest splurge I have ever done a bike – I feel like royalty on it and my confidence has grown tenfold. The big wheels just roll over and through anything!! I give this bike five stars and would recommend it to anyone that wants to ride like a Pro!

Happy riding,


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