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  1. #1
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    Carbon Tallboy vs Jet 9 RDO?

    Anyone have first hand saddle time in both? Thoughts?

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    Got to ride a carbon Tall Boy a couple of weeks ago... can't be technical with the feedback but for the short ride on it,
    - the frame was light (of course) but felt solid
    - going over some obstacles -- roots, going on- off- sidewalks, those little blocks on parking slots -- to check how the VPP feels like, great! the VPP suspension just absorbed whatever hits the bike got and it was quite a confidence builder. the bike just feels stable. (I managed to try out a Blur LT2 and the climbing on the VPP was quite good. If there was any bob happening, it was hardly noticeable and that Blur was set up for a lighter rider)
    - the rider position was on the upright side, but i felt centered on the bike and I can imagine this would be fun on a flowy, twisty, rooty, rocky single track. Wish I had more time on it, but it was a pretty new bike, and I didn't think the owner would appreciate me riding it like it was mine...
    Never gotten on the RDO but that is one sexy bike...! My basis for comparison, then? I ride a Sultan DWL.
    Hope that helps... cheers!

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    Ride which one fits you best. They are both super nice... I think the RDO wins the style competition though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2otaco View Post
    Ride which one fits you best. They are both super nice... I think the RDO wins the style competition though.
    Ill just head on down to my LBS and take them both out for some trail use

    Im j/k btw, I live in FL and doubt there are either one inside the state

  5. #5
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    If you live near Sarasota you can take a spin on my XL tallboy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfkbike2 View Post
    If you live near Sarasota you can take a spin on my XL tallboy.
    Thats Kind of you but a little far

    Thing is I already own one of the two, but I really just wanted some unbiased feedback from both sides of the coin. I can understand everyones hesitations in posting opinions on one or he other tho...

  7. #7
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    I live in Miami, There are a few RDOs out in the trails, and I am on a Medium Tallboy.
    I ofcourse have to be slightly bias towards the Tallboy because I own one, but I know how VPP stands up against the CVA on the RDO down here..and some other trails..have spent time on both back to back, but have not had a chance to ride a RDO. To me the VPP is tuned better for compliance along with pedalibility. The CYA (Niner) isn't quite as intuitive in a short travel setting (XC), the RIP9 rides completely different. It suspension in a short travel puts more emphasis on pedalibility over compliance. Yes it does pick up bumps and dips, but not as intuitively as the VPP. Here in Florida there isn't much climbing, and more roots and off-camber sections where grip combined with roll efficiency is key. Because the CYA does not pick up on bumps quite as well as the VPP, the grip isn't going to be as good popping over all the roots on the CYA, but the CYA worked better on buff singletrack where it didn't have to react so much to the small stuff.

    This comparison may be dated because this was on a Jet9 with 90mm travel, and the RDO does have more, I think 100 like the Tallboy.

    I run my tallboy with a 120mm fork like many others. It is supremely confident on descents, pedals great and confort is top notch..best I have ever felt on any bike! The Tallboy can accept a 140mm w/o warranty issues..but I feel the 120 is the sweetspot. Something that is really nice about the Tallboy and all Santa Cruz bikes are the suspension warranty. The suspension hardware is guaranteed for life. No other company does this, and those are the first things likely to fail on a frame. There is also a no fault crash replacement warranty, and after that warranty term, the cost of a replacement will be at cost. Yes the Niner does have a better initial warranty, but only a 1 yr. warranty on suspension hardware, and if you haven't seen the frames up close, all the bearing dustcaps are exposed which means more potential for water, dirt, dust and grime to enter the bearing causing premature wear.

    I bought mine over a year ago, and have had it to Arizona and rode every where there in that state, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas (syllamo), Iowa, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia. I have close to 2800mi on it and it has been problem free and a pleasure to ride!
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    The Jet9 has 80mm of travel and rides differently than the RDO. You can't judge the RDO by the Jet or the RIP.

    I recently built an RDO for a friend who is the same size as me. The large RDO is nearly a perfect match in size to my XL Tallboy and the build is essentially identical with 140mm Leftys converted to 120mm travel on each. Same seatposts, saddles, stems and bars. Most of the weight difference seems to be from different wheels and tires. My Tallboy has a Push'ed RT3 so I don't compare the two since I am not riding what others would get. The bikes seem similar enough to me that a different shock tune could make all the difference.

    The Tallboy has a lower BB so I use a 165mm crank rather than the 175mm we put on the RDO. The short crank is not a riding problem but it reduces your crank choices. If were buying again that might sway me over to the RDO side considering I've been happy with Niner CVAs in the past. It's not enough to convince me to purchase over again, though.

    I can't say I was entirely pleased with the direct mount FD on the RDO since it lacks adjustability. The head tube was literally as tall as it could be in the large frame and still take the standard Lefty. Looks like they were designed for each other, actually.

  9. #9
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    I hear a lot of Tallboy guys talk about pedal strikes with such a low BB, but does the actual .2 - .5 of an inch under others make that big of a difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    I hear a lot of Tallboy guys talk about pedal strikes with such a low BB, but does the actual .2 - .5 of an inch under others make that big of a difference?
    My Tallboy with a 165mm crank has about 5" of pedal clearance with ATACs and 2.1" tires. Sag and suspension action eat into that. In that context, a 1/2 inch is pretty significant but it's all relative to how and where you ride. And RDO with a 175mm crank ends up the same.

    The Tallboy's BB height is low but not lower than some of its competition. The Rockstar is even lower, though they are raising it in the redesign. The Pivot 429 is the same.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I suppose it all depends on riding style and trail, Ive got about 5.5" clearance on my Canzo with 120mm Fork and 175mm crank...

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    I have had pedal strikes, but it was never from low center in the bike travel. It was always in situations where I couldn't plane out the pedals on a rock/root section. After years of riding platform, its instinct to plane out the pedals (3 and 9 oclock position), and turn with the inside pedal at the 12 oclock position.

    I don't want to say that you are riding wrong, just my experience with my riding style. I ride with 175mm cranks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    I hear a lot of Tallboy guys talk about pedal strikes with such a low BB, but does the actual .2 - .5 of an inch under others make that big of a difference?
    I've got a Tallboy with 175mm cranks and a 95-120mm Fox Talas fork and ride on a lot of very rocky New England trails. Pedal strikes are not a big issue unless I wind the fork down to 95mm, which I never do anymore anyway. I do advise getting a bashguard to protect the carbon around the lower suspension pivots. Great bike, my all-time favorite (but Niner makes great bikes, and I'm sure the RDO is pretty nice as well).

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    I've spent a fair amount of time on a Tallboy and I've done the same on a Jet 9. I loved how the suspension felt on both bikes with the Tallboy being stiffer and the Jet 9 being plusher and more active. Winner for me was the Jet 9. Comparing the Tallboy to the RDO, I'd take the Tallboy, mostly because the RDO is the ugliest carbon FS bike I've ever seen, IMO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I've spent a fair amount of time on a Tallboy and I've done the same on a Jet 9. I loved how the suspension felt on both bikes with the Tallboy being stiffer and the Jet 9 being plusher and more active. Winner for me was the Jet 9. Comparing the Tallboy to the RDO, I'd take the Tallboy, mostly because the RDO is the ugliest carbon FS bike I've ever seen, IMO
    Ya know... I wasnt going to say it... and im sure there are some things the RDO does great if not better than the Tallboy but I couldnt get over the looks of it either!

    Tallboy is one SEXY Beast! IMO

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    Have had my TB for over a year. Way more peddle strikes than with my prior bike. It is setup with a 120. The RDO is better looking and has a higher BB. Getting used to working around not having a higher BB. The bike is fun.
    Here's to sweat in your eye.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudncrud View Post
    Have had my TB for over a year. Way more peddle strikes than with my prior bike. It is setup with a 120. The RDO is better looking and has a higher BB. Getting used to working around not having a higher BB. The bike is fun.
    Hum.. I suppose I could always switch to a 170 or 165mm crank if I feel I need to...

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    I'm looking at these 2 bikes also. Which one is the more efficient climber both in and out of the saddle?

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    Both great bikes, for me it comes down to trail and conditions.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbalko View Post
    I'm looking at these 2 bikes also. Which one is the more efficient climber both in and out of the saddle?
    The one that fits you the best.

    They both have a small dual-link suspension which is going to provide you with great pedaling platform. Shock setup really makes a difference...I would also go as far to say that the shock you have installed makes a difference as well. When I bought my Tallboy in 2010 I opted for the standard Rockshox Monarch RT3 after having the RP23 on my Blur. It is a somewhat stiffer shock with better initial platform, and it has a true lockout. The RP23 three Pro-Pedal (platform) modes, none of which have a true lockout. The RP23 tune also tend to sit mid travel and wallowed a bit. It never felt bad, but it also never felt perfect. The Monarch RT3 seemed to address that issue and nearly solved it.

    Because the RT3 is not an available option anymore with the Tallboy, it is an aftermarket upgrade..but the nice thing is that they can be picked up from around $200-$300 and you can actually make money by selling the RP23. I know for some...putting extra work into changing a brand new frame doesn't seem realistic....but does seriously make a difference on the bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty1983 View Post
    Both great bikes, for me it comes down to trail and conditions.
    So what does each one do better than the other. I live in Colorado and the climbs can be really long here. I'm coming off a Sultan I don't like the way it bobs when I get out of the saddle and am realizing that as I age that I am doing faster and smoother trails with less hits and thatI don't want to carry an aluminum frame around anymore.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbalko View Post
    So what does each one do better than the other. I live in Colorado and the climbs can be really long here. I'm coming off a Sultan I don't like the way it bobs when I get out of the saddle and am realizing that as I age that I am doing faster and smoother trails with less hits and thatI don't want to carry an aluminum frame around anymore.
    With bikes that cost that much you really shold ride both & see what works for you.

    I have owned both the Tallboy & the RDO, I just couldn't find the love for the Tallboy,

    My Tallboy did have the RP23 on it.

    The RDO just works better for me for all the ridding that I like to do.

    I felt that for me when climbing ruff tec sections that the RDO was better.

    Although there was plenty of stuff that Tallboy did well ,I can;t think of a single place were I liked the Tallboy more than the RDO.

    So each to there own.

    As for comments like the leaver on the shock is much easyer to reach on the Tallboy, Well that's a good thing because you need it on the Tallboy were as most with the RDO have never felt the need. The bike pedals well enough with out it.

    Oh & the other one I like is that the Tallboy looks better than the RDO ( I like the look of the RDO but when I first saw it I wasn't keen either ) But really If you want to buy a bike for looks well then go for it but I would always choose funtion 1st.

    Just my 2 c from someone that has owned both.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbalko View Post
    So what does each one do better than the other. I live in Colorado and the climbs can be really long here. I'm coming off a Sultan I don't like the way it bobs when I get out of the saddle and am realizing that as I age that I am doing faster and smoother trails with less hits and thatI don't want to carry an aluminum frame around anymore.
    To my understanding the CVA does have a slight advantage in pedaling efficiency over the VPP. Most of those who speak of a "fellable" difference tried the VPP with an RP23. I was not super happy with pedaling efficacy with the RP23 on the Tallboy, though it was still pretty great. The VPP however is designed with antisquat characteristics that increase climbing ability. I find this particularly noticeable when climbing out of saddle. It was a very unusual feeling compared a more "squatty" feel of a four bar single pivot when I first got on the TB.

    Also, considering the super short Chainstay on the TB I find it to be more controllable and maneuverable when climbing which is a great plus. I cant speak for the RDO but it does have a longer chainstay and therefor cant have some of the great characteristics that the 17.5" chainstay does on the TB

    Both fantastic bikes, good luck
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    pictures please!!

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    OK here is my 2 cents. I demoed A RDO at Fruita Co, I road it for 4 hours, I found it very efficient and worthy of the hype. I felt it should have been stiffer in the front and would have preferred a lower BB, its wheelbase makes it very stable on descents. I bought a Tallboy C after that demo and after a couple rides here's what I can say. The Tallboy has stiffer front end, slightly less stable on descents, I think because of the shorter wheelbase, on the other hand the Tallboy has a much more agile feel to it. I prefer the lower BB of the Tallboy. As far as pedaling they are both outstanding compared to the old four bar stuff I have owned. I also have a Giant Anthem 29er and can say it might be the best of the lot, I do find it just a little whippy in front end [the new carbon version should corrected this] also but at half the cost of the others the Anthem is the hands down winner. For me, single track and fun, the Tallboy. For more serious stuff like weekend club racing maybe the RDO. With that said I really am not sure either the Tallboy or the RDO has anything over on the Anthem for any purpose.
    Last edited by sunnyside; 05-26-2012 at 07:56 PM.

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