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  1. #1
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    Tallboy Carbon vs. Aluminum vs. Superlight 29

    I test rode a Tallboy Carbon with the SPX kit (basically XT group with a carbon handlebar) and really liked it.

    I am a little put off by the price, however, and am considering the Tallboy Aluminum and the Superlight 29er. I am told that the Aluminum Tallboy rides far different...has anyone tried both that could enlighten me?

    And is the Superlight a reasonable alternative? I understand it has the same geometry as the Alu Tallboy, but just a single pivot rear suspension design.

    I can get a similar build kit on all 3 of these...

  2. #2
    I am the Tin Man!
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    I used to own a Blur, which has the same VPP as the Tallboy, and test drove a Superlight, I wasnt at all impressed. That VPP vs single pivot is like taking Superman and making him mortal. I havent owned these in 29ers but that was my 26" experience.
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  3. #3
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    Dirt Rag has a good write up on the Alum Tallboy that says it's the carbon - $700 and likes it better than the carbon version.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    Dirt Rag has a good write up on the Alum Tallboy that says it's the carbon - $700 and likes it better than the carbon version.
    Perhaps overstating it a bit. The actual quote from the Dirt Rag article is "This bugger rides 90% as well as it's pricey carbon sibling, and may do some things better."

    Note that the article is comparing the $2299 "D XC" package Aluminum Tallboy to the $5099 "SPX XC" package Carbon Tallboy. What really impressed the reviewer is that it "rides 90% as good" for half roughly half the price.

    If you are comparing the same package build of the Aluminum vs. Carbon versions of the bike, the difference in price is less significant, $700. (the "D XC" package is not offered on the Carbon) For that $700 you are saving 1.25lbs and getting a frame that is "quicker to accelerate, snappier to handle, and offers a stiffer chassis."

    If those "small differences in performance" are worth $700 to you, go for the Carbon, otherwise go Aluminum and maybe consider a lower build to save even more $'s.

    sh0rty :P

  5. #5
    Clydesdale Warrior
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    Oh yea, and the XXL size is only available in Carbon. That was a deal breaker for me.

    The Aluminum D XC package caught my interest after reading the Dirt Rag article...krazy value! but I was disappointed when I found XXL was not available in Aluminum.

    sh0rty :P

    PS. Get a Dirt Rag Subscription! Best $20/year you can spend IMO! ;-)

  6. #6
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    Well I went from a carbon TB to an Al one when I decided to go from XXL to XL, as I couldnt justify the extra spend and it is a little slower to accelerate but it's really almost negligible for nearly all my riding. Lighter wheels and going tubeless make a far, far larger difference, so I'd agree with Dirt. Mine is 27lbs with XT mostly and XTR double chain set, Crest rims, Ikons front and back, Fox upfront.

  7. #7
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    carbon vs alu

    I have about 2200 miles on the carbon tallboy and can't imagine a better bike. This is my 5th 29er and first carbon bike. I was hesitant as I ride hard and am 6 ft 210lbs and have broken the last four bikes. The pricetag hurt, but now a year later I have not one regret!

  8. #8
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    Wait for the Carbon Tallboy LTC - Game Changer!!!!

  9. #9
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    Here's a question. Would you go for the Tallboy Dxc kit for $2299.00 or the Superlight Rxc kit for $2350.00? I am debating about both right now...better frame and lesser components or lesser frame and better components... any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PA-Rider View Post
    Here's a question. Would you go for the Tallboy Dxc kit for $2299.00 or the Superlight Rxc kit for $2350.00? I am debating about both right now...better frame and lesser components or lesser frame and better components... any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.





    IMHO, buy the best frame possible. Components are an easy upgrade, frames not so much. Tallboy FTW.

  11. #11
    Noli Me Tangere
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    IMHO, buy the best frame possible. Components are an easy upgrade, frames not so much. Tallboy FTW.
    Do you really think the Superlight29 is a lesser frame? Reason why I am asking is that I am slowly starting to save up for a Superlight29 in R XC. Thought about the lesser AL Tallboy in the D XC build but that component selection is really off putting...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial Tone View Post
    Do you really think the Superlight29 is a lesser frame? Reason why I am asking is that I am slowly starting to save up for a Superlight29 in R XC. Thought about the lesser AL Tallboy in the D XC build but that component selection is really off putting...
    I meant lesser technology. I was doing the exact same thing and that's why I'm asking. My LBS has a SL 29 Rcx coming in this week and I have a deposit on it already. Call it post-buyer remorse but I have been thinking about the Tallboy in the back of my head.

  13. #13
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    Its a Single Point Pivot versus VPP. I'd like to know the difference especially from those who have ridden both.
    Annie are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    IMHO, buy the best frame possible. Components are an easy upgrade, frames not so much. Tallboy FTW.
    I would add take into consideration your habbits with buying a bike. Do you purchase a bike and only replace things once they are worn or broken? Or do you have the itch to upgrade and replace things just because? If you like to upgrade along the way I think you'd be a lot happier with the tallboy. Depending on your financial situation it you can afford to spend more do so. I've made the budget choice in the past and it always ends up costing more in the long run.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial Tone View Post
    Its a Single Point Pivot versus VPP. I'd like to know the difference especially from those who have ridden both.
    That is a good question. I ride around Pittsburgh and we have rock and root gardens and quick climbs and descents. Any recommendations on either frame would be nice. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial Tone View Post
    Its a Single Point Pivot versus VPP. I'd like to know the difference especially from those who have ridden both.
    I am in the exact same quandary. I have test ridden both the TB AL in that kit and the SL 29er and also the SL 26er. Admittedly none on the trail but the shop does have a big hill right next to their lot so I could get a feel for grinding it out up hill. All sweet rides, but the VPP is superior with out a doubt much more "plush" but amazing little to no pedal bob even when trying to make it do it, and that was with the pro pedal turned off. Very stable platform.

    That said the SPP was no slouch and for entry level suspension handled very IMHO. The biggest difference is with SPP the suspension will basically lockout when breaking at high speeds, especially in a turn. At least this is how it was explained to me, and makes sense given the SPP design. There is one particular trail in WNC where I about had my teeth knocked loose on my hardtail where it seems that having a suspension work in hairpin rock gardens sounds like a good idea. Admittedly most of the riding I do the SPP would be more than ample and coming from a HT, it would be a lot more than I am used to. I guess I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

    I guess you can see which bike I am leaning towards. In a way it sucks because I told my self my new bike was going to have a Reba, and I also wanted some Stans Arches. The Tallboy DXC build is already over the budget I set for myself, and the build kit isn't quite what I want, but the bike is certainly trail ready. As AZ mtns said you can easily upgrade components, frame going to be a bit more costly. After riding them the Tallboy just felt great. To me it fit and felt much better than the Salsa Spearfish, the Fuel EX 5, the Rumblefish, and the Camber. Not sure what size you are but the SC frames have a "tighter" cockpit than most others. I am 5'9" without socks and shoes and I felt right at home in either a medium or a large. Actually the large Superlight 26er felt perfect. I might have to play around with stem length on the Tallboy but am leaning towards the medium. Just felt a little more crisp and "flickable" for me.

    Like I said, only got to ride them in the parking lot. So take my limited riding experience, for what it is. Very limited. Unfortunately they don't have any demo's right now or I would take both of them out on the trail. While I am pretty much sold on the Tallboy, and willing to compromise on the components out of the gate I'd still love to hear some other riding experiences comparing both.

    FWIW the owner of the LBS here in Asheville just got back from Sea Otter, and the first bike he rode was the new SL 29er. He says he loved it. He also said the Tallboy is in a class of its own. Both great bikes, I think the real question is what kind of riding you do. I mostly do mix single track and old fire/forest roads because they are close to my house and work. There are also trails that I could probably benefit from more suspension than the Tallboy has the LT is out of my budget.

    Now the only question is Black or Raw. I am leaning raw, but the black is pretty sweet too.

  17. #17
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    I like the Raw myself

    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    I am in the exact same quandary. I have test ridden both the TB AL in that kit and the SL 29er and also the SL 26er. Admittedly none on the trail but the shop does have a big hill right next to their lot so I could get a feel for grinding it out up hill. All sweet rides, but the VPP is superior with out a doubt much more "plush" but amazing little to no pedal bob even when trying to make it do it, and that was with the pro pedal turned off. Very stable platform.

    That said the SPP was no slouch and for entry level suspension handled very IMHO. The biggest difference is with SPP the suspension will basically lockout when breaking at high speeds, especially in a turn. At least this is how it was explained to me, and makes sense given the SPP design. There is one particular trail in WNC where I about had my teeth knocked loose on my hardtail where it seems that having a suspension work in hairpin rock gardens sounds like a good idea. Admittedly most of the riding I do the SPP would be more than ample and coming from a HT, it would be a lot more than I am used to. I guess I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

    I guess you can see which bike I am leaning towards. In a way it sucks because I told my self my new bike was going to have a Reba, and I also wanted some Stans Arches. The Tallboy DXC build is already over the budget I set for myself, and the build kit isn't quite what I want, but the bike is certainly trail ready. As AZ mtns said you can easily upgrade components, frame going to be a bit more costly. After riding them the Tallboy just felt great. To me it fit and felt much better than the Salsa Spearfish, the Fuel EX 5, the Rumblefish, and the Camber. Not sure what size you are but the SC frames have a "tighter" cockpit than most others. I am 5'9" without socks and shoes and I felt right at home in either a medium or a large. Actually the large Superlight 26er felt perfect. I might have to play around with stem length on the Tallboy but am leaning towards the medium. Just felt a little more crisp and "flickable" for me.

    Like I said, only got to ride them in the parking lot. So take my limited riding experience, for what it is. Very limited. Unfortunately they don't have any demo's right now or I would take both of them out on the trail. While I am pretty much sold on the Tallboy, and willing to compromise on the components out of the gate I'd still love to hear some other riding experiences comparing both.

    FWIW the owner of the LBS here in Asheville just got back from Sea Otter, and the first bike he rode was the new SL 29er. He says he loved it. He also said the Tallboy is in a class of its own. Both great bikes, I think the real question is what kind of riding you do. I mostly do mix single track and old fire/forest roads because they are close to my house and work. There are also trails that I could probably benefit from more suspension than the Tallboy has the LT is out of my budget.

    Now the only question is Black or Raw. I am leaning raw, but the black is pretty sweet too.
    A great riding, stable set of wheels
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tallboy Carbon vs. Aluminum vs. Superlight 29-img_1002.jpg  


  18. #18
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Quote Originally Posted by sh0rty View Post
    If you are comparing the same package build of the Aluminum vs. Carbon versions of the bike, the difference in price is less significant, $700. (the "D XC" package is not offered on the Carbon) For that $700 you are saving 1.25lbs and getting a frame that is "quicker to accelerate, snappier to handle, and offers a stiffer chassis."

    sh0rty :P
    Is it a fact that the carbon TB is stiffer than the aluminum or is it just talk?
    I am wondering if the aluminum's rear triangle would be stiffer.

  19. #19
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    So I just got my SL29 on Friday... Amazing!! I rode Fri, Sat and twice Sunday. About to go again before work. Any hesitation I had was totally unwarranted. The SL29 rides smooth, corners extremely well and climbs as well as my hardtail did. The suspension is overall a little stiffer than the VPP, at least from what I found, and does an amazing job here in SW Pennsylvania with nasty rocky rooty terrain. I would certain recommend the ride to anyone!!

  20. #20
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    I say the superlight is a great value.

    What kills mr is the spearfish comes wich is a single pivot with 80mm of travel and everyone goes freakin apesh!t over it. Along comes the superlight with single pivot and 10mm more travle and everyone bashs it for being a single pivot..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    IMHO, buy the best frame possible. Components are an easy upgrade, frames not so much. Tallboy FTW.
    I agree

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