First Impression: Santa Cruz Tallboy

By Maurice Tierney

My first impression? This Periwinke blue is really striking. Powdercoat, yep. Environ-Mentally better than spray paint, too. I have gotten a number of positive comments from passersbys.

Second impression? This is a lot of bike for $2,299. Yowza! This strikes me as an incredible value. Sure, Santa Cruz’s D-XC-29 kit parts are a mix of Shimano Deore and SLX, and the fork is a steel-stanchioned Rock Shox Recon, and it does weigh near 32 lbs. in XL size, but that price point!

Riding impressions? I have always rode 24” top tubes, but wanted to try a longer one this time so I ordered up the XL with 25” top tube. I can make the fit about the same with stem and bar choice. The bike rides a bit more stable on high speed descents but with the longer wheelbase it does not handle the switchbacks quite as well as a shorter wheelbased bike. And it’s heavier. Lesson? Choose your sizing carefully.

My third impression? This thing works 90% as well as bikes costing twice as much. And that’s probably good enough for 90% of riders. OK, I am making this up, but yea! Sure there will be upgrades down the road, like to the fork and maybe the drivetrain for starters but hey, a frame and Fox RP2 shock can be had for a mere $1,850. Nice job, SCB.

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Correction: We were so shocked at the low price of this complete bike, we didn’t belive it, and thus we had an incorrect price listed.