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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Highball Review

    Just wanted to share my review of the Highball after a season of racing. If I missed anything let me know!

    Clint Claassen: Santa Cruz Highball Carbon 29er Review
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  2. #2
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    Thanks for the post and the great review. I have a Tallboy, but if I ever decide to get a HT, it will be the Highball.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I love my Tallboy too. They feel a lot the same as far as handling (with the TB fork at 95mm) and fit, HB is just 2-3lbs lighter and more responsive when pedaling.
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  4. #4
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    Clint coo write up on ur bike, I ran into you at Auburn a couple weeks ago with 2 of ur friends one got a flat commin down and i rode down with you guys Hope all is well.
    "It Is What It Is" Phil 4:13
    B-Ray Da Beast

  5. #5
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    Nice write up. Also have you compared it to any other carbon hard tails? I really like the look and specs of the HB.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-RAY View Post
    Clint coo write up on ur bike, I ran into you at Auburn a couple weeks ago with 2 of ur friends one got a flat commin down and i rode down with you guys Hope all is well.
    Hey B-Ray, Yep I remember you. Rigid fork on the Epic 29er... interesting combo :-). Hope to see you around more, maybe the TBF 50 miler race in a few weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfkbike2 View Post
    Nice write up. Also have you compared it to any other carbon hard tails? I really like the look and specs of the HB.
    I've ridden the Cannondale Flash 29er last year and wrote up some thoughts on it, but it was my first carbon hardtail I'd ridden. The highball deadens chatter better and generally feels more planted. Less "racey" if you will. That write up is here: Clint Claassen: 108+ degree racing... and 2011 Cannondale Flash 29 demo

    I've ridden an Sworks Stumpy 29er HT. That bike felt a lot like the C'dale and very flighty/racey. Granted, that stumpy I rode was build up to just 18lbs so that probably had a lot to do with the feel.

    Rode the new Leopard 29R the other day. I felt right at home on that coming off of the Highball. Handling was very similar and compliance was very good, if not more supple than the HB. I didn't get a ton of time on it, but I would like to get more it felt pretty good.
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  7. #7
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    Hey Clint, nice bike!

    Another Santa Cruz rider here, I'm based in the UK and use mine for endurance racing, between us we prove that this thing has raw speed (you!) and is damn comfy and efficient (me and both of us!) too.

    Here's mine, looking pretty and fast from all angles:

    On its way to the top of a 24hr podium


    Leading a 24hr, 10hrs in


    Chilling on the beach






    More details of my Highball on my blog HERE

  8. #8
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    slightly off topic but how do you manage to get black Fox forks

  9. #9
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    Erm, they were what I was given on the bike, may well be 2010 ones, I have two sets!

    They're RLC, 100mm, QR15, 29er forks if that array of options makes a difference and/or helps?

  10. #10
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    Rob

    Hi there Rob

    I was chatting to a guy that knows you (Mr Emmet in Kendal) the other week. We were talking bikes and i mentioned that i was getting a Tallboy. He said you were impressed with yours. Well, I'm quite a few rides in now on mine and to be honest i don't know when the Nomad C will see the light of day again!!

    Lovin' the TB, just trying to get tyre choice right at the moment for the trails here in the Lakes. Currently rolling Crossmark's but may try a set of 2.2 Mountain Kings or even Rubber Queens. Have you had much experience of different tyres on your TB?

    Paul

  11. #11
    Bikes!
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    I'm currently trying to get a test ride of a HB at the moment but Jungle have sent their demo to one of the mags in the UK so I have to wait!

    Rob, I love how you love your HB, a bit like me and my Nickel! Your posts are always really informative, so thank you.

    Will you be running yours through the winter or will you be hanging it up or changing its' setup much?

    Cheers

    J
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  12. #12
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    Hi, thanks & sorry for the slow response. Say hi to Mr Emmett if you see him again.

    I've tried a few tyres, I used to love the Bontrager Jones AC 2.2" as a fast trail tyre, or the old Racing Ralph, both had widely spaced, square, tread that cleared well but they don't make either any more. I use Crossmarks for racing regularly, they're sturdy & fast, a bit slippy but they have good side knobs if it goes too wrong. The New Maxxis Ikon's are probably my favourite, fast al round tyre and will be on my bikes for racing next summer. I'd choose them for rocky riding in the winter too, like the Peaks, but the shallow treads mean I put something with bigger tread on, like a Nobby Nic, around here for winter.

    Oh, and always 2.2" or thereabouts if possible and always tubeless conversion of the lighter tubed version for whatever tyre

    Hope that helps

    Rob

  13. #13
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    Cheers J, too kind :-)

    I'll be running my singlespeed Highball all winter, it's they bike I've reached for 99% of the tie for the last month already, and that's only going to go up! Here's a couple of shots of it, as I can't resist

    Full Spec HERE



    Key component: Syncros FL Rigid full carbon fork

    The Small Block 8 tyres are long since removed, totally unsuitable for winter, were fitted for end of summer South Downs commuting to work!

  14. #14
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    Looks good Rob! I find that Nobby Nics work well on my Nickel too!
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slashy View Post
    slightly off topic but how do you manage to get black Fox forks
    OE color option. Plenty of manufactures like the gray or black instead of the white.

  16. #16
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    Got to ride a Highball this weekend over 2 days for a total of ~40 miles. Nothing to challenging as far as terrain goes but I really was impressed with it. It handles great, not to twitchey nor to slow. Seems plenty comfortable for a hard tail, bike was about 23.3 lbs (XXL) fully loaded with cages, pedals etc.... Bike is quick and feels fast (even though I am slow ) very nice ride indeed. I also thought it looked great and the construction looked really nice as well. The XTR brakes felt really good, by far the best feeling disc's I have used. This was my first Carbon hard tail (other than roadie bikes) and I came away impressed. Not ready to give up my current ride for it but if I was looking for a bike... brakes may get upgraded though!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Highball Review-photo.jpg  


  17. #17
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    I just posted specs and photos on our project Highball!!

    16 lbs.

    Project Highball | Facebook

  18. #18
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    francois- How is the ride at 16lbs? I'm a weight weenie but I think there has to be a point of diminishing returns. Or am I completely off base here? For example did you feel a night day difference in acceleration and handling over its prior build as a geared bike which probably weighed about 19-20lbs? I'm not criticizing the build, just curious if a 16 lb bike is worth the effort. I sure like the way it looks!
    C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
    C-DALE BB1

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I just posted specs and photos on our project Highball!!

    16 lbs.

    Project Highball | Facebook
    Darn that is light. How do you like those wheels?

  20. #20
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    i haven't ridden the frame, and i would like to try one, but my only complaint would be no way to tighten the chain for ss use other then a bolt on tensioner

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-bar View Post
    francois- How is the ride at 16lbs? I'm a weight weenie but I think there has to be a point of diminishing returns. Or am I completely off base here? For example did you feel a night day difference in acceleration and handling over its prior build as a geared bike which probably weighed about 19-20lbs? I'm not criticizing the build, just curious if a 16 lb bike is worth the effort. I sure like the way it looks!
    I am not sure yet. It was very fast but then I noticed the brakes were dragging

    I have one ride so far and I haven't been singlespeeding so I'll have to give it a bunch of rides.

    So far, I like the ride smoothness and front/rear balance of the bike. The front wheel has weight and it seems to corner really well. The tires are big enough and I'm able to run them around 19 psi.

    The bars felt high initially the BB is so low and I sit deep in the pocket.

    The wheels have been swell so far. Light and stiff and holding tubeless air like a champ.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Highball Review-340788_10150429016198536_196811798535_8505584_1245337061_o.jpg  

    Last edited by francois; 11-28-2011 at 10:36 PM.

  22. #22
    SpoK Werks Handmade Goods
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    Francios... I really like the B/W photo and it's a beautiful bike as a rigid singlespeed (of course, I'm biased as I ride a rigid SS Ti IF). So, you like the Roval wheels? Which ones are they?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Speed View Post
    Francios... I really like the B/W photo and it's a beautiful bike as a rigid singlespeed (of course, I'm biased as I ride a rigid SS Ti IF). So, you like the Roval wheels? Which ones are they?
    It's a beautiful bike even with gears
    Riding a highball for the past 3 months, 2000KM, an awesome bike.

    Ofir

  24. #24
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    Here's a couple photos. I'm done tweaking for now that I've put the XTR cranks and Look pedals. Weight is 16.55 lbs.

    It climbs a light bike but it descends very nicely. The fork is just awesome as it takes hits and gives a little. That is the core piece of this bike and it and the frame define the SS nature of it. I had a 26er bike this weight but it descend well at all as I got bounced around. It was hard to keep the wheels planted. This bike corners really well with the big wheels and the awesome Highball frame.

    The Highball has a low BB, 12 inches I think so I don't feel high up from the ground. This bike feels pretty small and compact actually but it is so much better than my Look carbon 26er.

    The gearing is 32:20 with a half link and the tension is perfect. Snug with a new chain and it's getting some movement now up and down.

    The Roval wheels are awesome so far. They are light, wide and tubeless. They come with a tubeless kit and that aired up after I brushed the bead with Stans to get a good seal with the carbon rim. It doesn't lose a pound of psi even after a week. I did a 20 mile ride yesterday and I was on 18 psi without any burping or rim hits. My weight is 150 lbs and I hear that these wheels are mfr. approved to 240 lbs. They come with three axle cups for the front and two for the rear for the different standards.

    Tires are Maxxis Crossmark rear and Specialized Ground Control front. So pleased with these so far. They are light and they ride well. I've tried the crazy light Stans and other tiny tires and they are just dumb. Any other tire suggestions?

    Selling the 26er hardtails in the shed and be rid of them forever!!

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Highball Review-dsc_0062.jpg  

    Santa Cruz Highball Review-dsc_0065.jpg  

    Santa Cruz Highball Review-377559_10150428344043213_611473212_8497584_2019727722_n.jpg  


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Any other tire suggestions?

    fc
    I think the Rocket Ron's are a very good combination of grip and light weight.

    Bike looks sweet.

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