WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Between the Eagle’s 10-50 cassette and 32-tooth front ring,
there were no climbs we couldn’t conquer. SRAM Level TLM
brakes gave us comfortable modulation and locked up confidently
in emergencies. The full Fox suspension gave our test bike a very
consistent ride, especially with the 34 Float fork and Evol shock.
The Evol shock complemented the VPP design well, with each
setting making a significant difference in the suspension characteristics.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Choosing the right wheel size: The Tallboy was built for 29
or 27. 5+ wheels, so we tested both. If your local trails are loose
and sandy, you will feel more confident on the 3-inch-wide tires.
If you’re looking for some extra speed, the 29 option will have you
ticking seconds off your Strava times.
Suspension setup: With 110 millimeters of rear travel and 120
or 130 millimeters up front, depending on wheel size, Santa Cruz
recommends setting the rear sag between 10 and 15 percent. We
set the fork at 10 percent and the rear at 15 percent, but after a
few rides we ran the shock a little softer at 20 percent for general
trail riding. We kept the settings the same for each wheel size,
with the exception of slightly adjusting the rebound for the bigger
Moving out: The Tallboy has a versatile trailbike feel with wide
780-millimeter bars and a short 60mm stem. The new geometry
has an aggressive feel, and with the stack height dropped, our
testers found themselves in a comfortable position to charge the
descents and shift their weight forward enough to grind out steep
sections of trail.
Cornering: It’s hard to deny how grippy plus-sized tires feel
in corners. With a progressive geometry and wide bars for good
Go a little faster: SRAM released their Level brakes around
the same time as the Eagle as a lightweight brake set. The TLM
gave our testers consistent braking performance and a healthy
amount of modulation.
Geared to ride: Our test bike came equipped with SRAM Eagle
with the impressive 10-50 cassette and 30-tooth front chainring.
The shifting of the Eagle was crisp and consistent, but most of
our testers would have preferred a larger front chainring.