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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Superlight 29 One Month Review

    Frame: Large / Orange
    Rear Shock: Fox Float RL
    Fork: Fox 32 float 29 100 RLC FIT 15QR
    Drivetrain: 2x10 Shimano XT Front Derailleur & Cranks (38-26 / 12/36 Rear Cassette), SRAM X9 Rear Derailleur and Shifters
    Wheels: Easton EA70 XC
    Saddle: WTB Silverado Ti Rails / Thompson Seatpost
    Stem: Thomson 90mm Flat
    Bar: 710mm low-rise carbon Pro Tharsis / ODI lock-on grips
    Brakes: Shimano XT with IceTech Rotors
    Tires: Specialized Captain Front / Maxxis Ikon Rear (Run Tubeless)
    Pedals: XT M780
    Weight: 27.6 lbs

    Just wanted to share some thoughts after my first month or so of riding on the new Superlight 29:

    Quick bit of background….I’ve spent the last few years mainly pedaling on a Yeti 575, with occasional days on a 29 inch steel single speed hard tail. I like the big wheels, but was craving the cushion of a rear shock. I bought this new frame in June and built the Superlight 29 as my all around XC steed. I live and ride in Durango, Colorado….typical high desert and alpine trail riding.

    I’m still adjusting to big wheels once and a while, but I’m very happy so far. This bike is surprisingly snappy and fun…particularly compared to my prior 29er experiences (Jamis Dragon One and Giant XTC). I haven’t noticed any rear flex (I weigh 165 lbs) and overall the bike is quite stiff and very responsive. The bike climbs like a goat. I haven’t had any issues with pedal bob and so far I see no issues at all with the single pivot design. I haven’t pedaled a Tallboy, so I can’t compare, but this thing climbs very well IMHO.

    Important Improvements/Upgrades:
    The Fox Float RL is ok…but I think an upgrade to an RP23 or one of the new 2013 CTD Shocks would be a worthy purchase. I’d like to have a few more options in the platform and not just a full lockout. This is on the short list.
    This is largely personal preference, but I swapped out a pair of 670mm bars to the 710mm Pro Tharsis and what a huge difference! I love the wider bars and won’t consider going back to anything less. I’ll try a shorter (70mm) stem for fun in the next month, but at 90mm, zero rise, the steering is still quick.
    Wheels…I was hoping to get the bike under 27 lbs. New wheels will do this. The Easton EA70 XC’s get the job done, but they are not light. Looking at possibly the new Crossmax SLR. That should also have a pretty significant impact on handling and acceleration.

    Conclusion:
    This bike does exactly what I want. Climbs very, very well, and on the downhill is still fun and lively. I was really looking for this combination....I don’t want a bike that completely mutes the trail through a perfectly efficient suspension design. I still love the experience a 26” bike provides; lots of rider input, quick and agile performance…ear to ear smiles on the downhill! I wanted this in a 29er as well and I think I’ve found it. Just needs a few more tweeks and I should be there.

    I’d highly recommend the Superlight 29 for all around XC use. Will probably be a great rig for endurance races too. In my opinion, I still think the 26er 6 inch trail bike is the way to go for long, epic rides in the Colorado high country. Maybe throw a 120mm fork and dropper seat post on the Superlight 29 and you could prove me wrong….but then the bike starts to get heavy. Whatever….it’s all fun.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Superlight 29 One Month Review-img_0292.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Sweet ride! Very nice build. I've got a Tallboy but wish I had room for a Superlight as well.....

    How do you find the 100mm fork in your terrian? Do you think the bike would benefit from a TALAS fork (120-95mm)?

    Would be interesting to know how much of a difference an RP23 or Monarch RT3 would make to the rear end....

  3. #3
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    So far the 100mm fork as been plenty. I've mostly been riding pretty smooth, buffed out single track, with the occasional rock garden and ledgy drops (1-2 ft) and I have yet to use all the travel on the front or rear. I've also set both front and rear towards the "plush" side. The recommended psi from Santa Cruz on the Float RL seemed way too stiff for my preference.

    I would love to hear a review of this bike with a higher end platform shock. Anyone?????

  4. #4
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    Nice.

    I also run my Tallboy at around 30psi below recommended. I would actually prefer a Monarch RT3 over the RP23 (mine has an RP23 and would like to try a RS).

    Keep rollin'

  5. #5
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    I would consider the Superlight as my first full-suspension bike. You seem satisfied with the bike, but here is the question: After a month riding it, would you buy it again or look at something else?

  6. #6
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    I couldn't be happier...for a full suspension 29er within this price range. Of course, I'd probably love a carbon frame even more, but this is my second full suspension bike and my goal was to keep the build under $3000. Comparable Aluminum frames that I had my eye on were the Jet 9, Tallboy AL (Both much more $$$ and heavier), the Giant Anthem (longer chainstays and possibly not as "flickable/fun"), and the Salsa Spearfish (great bike, but only 80mm). The Superlight 29 really was the right bike at the right price.

  7. #7
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    "Maybe throw a 120mm fork and dropper seat post on the Superlight 29 and you could prove me wrong"

    Strongly considering this option as my weapon to attack the alpine trails of the rocky mountains around Banff....

  8. #8
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    I have a superlight 29er as well. Going from a hard tail 26 to this wasn't life changing as far as lossing the agility of the 26. Mine climbs very nicely also. I have noticed some pedal bob when I'm mashing the pedals to pick up speed. But that's probably a combination of being a big guy and needing to stiffen up the suspension. I felt it more on other bikes I demoed though. Im pretty impressed with the bike so far.
    I don't have many regrets in purchasing it. I would do it again.

  9. #9
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    currently awaiting delivery of my superlight 29er, should be interesting as i rocked a 26er sl for 9 yrs, but the last year has beenon a rigid 29 SS which i love, but some time you want to let loose and PA rocks are tough on a rigid bike, before the SS i also rode a 26" blur lt for 4 yrs, which i also love except for the high maintenance part, looking forward to the simplicity of the superlight

  10. #10
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    for all of you that have bought the Superlight... Did everyone get the "R XC" version? Is anyone riding the "D XC" one?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by XyesterdayX View Post
    for all of you that have bought the Superlight... Did everyone get the "R XC" version? Is anyone riding the "D XC" one?
    I have the D XC version. I got that one over the R XC one because I'm not a very experienced rider and I tend to fall pretty often. Also Im probably not going to maintain all the components properly for lack of knowledge. So to me I figured if Im going to wear things out they might as well be the cheaper options and upgrade them down the road with parts I prefer when I know what I want.

    I did upgrade the fork to a Reba RLT, the white fork on a black bike was pretty off putting to me as well.

    My bike weighs in at about 29 pounds.

  12. #12
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    JasonHH,
    did you just buy the frame? If so, where did you order from? LBS or online?

  13. #13
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    pretty bike, not sure about these 29 in wheels,,,so much has changed since i last sat on my bike lol.

  14. #14
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    got my SL 29 today, i am so excited, LBS worked with me on this one. Background: rode a 26" SL for 9 years and loved it, then bought a blur lt in 2009, rode the balls off that, then happened upon a GT peace9er SS, on a whim, which has now been the only bike i have ridden for the last 12 mos, so i got the 29er bug......anyway lots of parts swapping because i'm a twistie guy, got the build i wanted, now working on getting tubeless set up, unfortunately i gootta work the weekend so i won't be hitting the trails until monday to try it out.... this bike looks sweeet, i wish Santa Cruz would've built this bike 1st..... report will follow
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Superlight 29 One Month Review-007.jpg  

    Santa Cruz Superlight 29 One Month Review-003.jpg  


  15. #15
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    How well would this bike work with me, a big 6'3" 230# burly man? Would I break it?

  16. #16
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    Lenn7,

    I bought the frame on line and built it up myself. Just ordered the new Mavic Crossmax ST29er wheelset yesterday......anyone interested in a very lightly used set of Easton EA 70 XC's I'll give you good deal......

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonHH View Post
    Lenn7,

    I bought the frame on line and built it up myself. Just ordered the new Mavic Crossmax ST29er wheelset yesterday......anyone interested in a very lightly used set of Easton EA 70 XC's I'll give you good deal......
    Where did you order from? I can't find much, just full bikes.

  18. #18
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    Cambria Bike....looks like they only have Black frames in Medium and Small left in stock. I think these frames are selling like crazy.

  19. #19
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    Did anyone happen to get a frame only weight in M/L?

    Sweet garage BTW, lots of toys!

  20. #20
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    This is a great thread, thanks JasonHH and others. My only remaining concern is perhaps weight, which at a little 30lbs is not bad for a fs 29er, especially at $1850 msrp.

    I am seriously considering buying a SL 29 Dxc this weekend (at least test ride). My lbs has several, the package doesn't match the SC website though. For example the drive train is slx/deore vs x7/x5 which I guess is a mild upgrade. Maybe they ran out of x7 or the bike shop did their own build?

    I am 6' 0.5" with slightly longer upper body vs legs. On Treks i am right between 19" and 21" frames. Any thoughts on how the SC frames size?

    Thanks,

  21. #21
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    C_trail_biker,

    I'm the exact same height....but with long legs and long arms, average torso. The Santa Cruz Large seems perfect. No radical adjments on seat position or stem length needed and my body position is spot on.

  22. #22
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    Ended up getting a large Dxc (black no oranges left)! with the SLX/Deore components!

    btw the new ones being shipped now will have x5/x7 vs. SLX/deore drivetrains, without a price change. Mine has the slx/deore parts.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    Ended up getting a large Dxc (black no oranges left)! with the SLX/Deore components!

    btw the new ones being shipped now will have x5/x7 vs. SLX/deore drivetrains, without a price change. Mine has the slx/deore parts.
    Looking at a DXC as well. Where did you get yours?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage97 View Post
    Looking at a DXC as well. Where did you get yours?
    I got it at a LBS in the St. Louis area.

  25. #25
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    Nice...those superlights offer a lot of bike for $

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