My Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon is not as light as I'd hoped
Hello. I just got myself a 2012 Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon (size large) on year end closeout. I LOVE IT!! This is my first carbon frame bike and while I love the feel of the ride, I have to say I was expecting it to be a bit lighter. I am hoping for a quick once-over by the more weight-focused crowd and some suggestions on upgrades over time. On the scale it came in at 28.45 lbs. The build is pretty much Shimano XT all around. I was/am hoping for a weight in the mid 20's. Below are the specs from the SC website, but they are different from the 2012 build. My changes are in blue.
Santa Cruz Bicycles TALLBOY CARBON
REAR DER: Shimano XT
FRONT DER: Shimano M780 or M781 (XT) 10 spdd
SHIFTERS: Shimano M670 (SLX) 10spd
CRANKSET: Shimano M552 24/32/42 10spd
CASSETTE: Shimano HG 81, 11-36 (SLX) 10spd
CHAIN: Shimano HG 74 10spd
BRAKES: Avid Elixir 5's Swapped out for Shimano XT with 180 front, 160 rear
BARS: Truvativ Stylo T20, being swapped out for a Truvativ T40
STEM: Truvativ 70mm or 90mm
GRIPS: Lizard Skin "494"
HEADSET: Cane Creek 10
SEAT POST: Some type of Easton, swapped it out for a Thomson Masterpiece setback 30.9x375mm
SADDLE: WTB Volt Race swapped out for my Specialized Phenom
WHEELS: WTB i19 TCS rims laced to Shimano M758 front hub (XT) and M678 (SLX) or M 756 (XT) rear hub w/ DT 14 gauge spokes, brass nipples. I think my front hub is a non-series Shimano, it definitely doesn't say "XT" like the rear hub does.
I use Crank Brothers eggbeater S pedals.
The rear shock is actually the 2013 Fox CTD, the fork is a Rock Shox Reba RL.
I swapped out the OEM Crossmark tires with tubes for Specialized Purgatory 2.3's mounted tubeless with a lot of sealant. Since this was the first time mounting the wheelset tubeless I thought I should go heavy on the sealant because I expected some weepage, but I have not had any. I know that the tires and sealant probably added more weight than I took off. My lustful future upgrade are a wheelset with carbon rims. Cassette and chain will be upgraded as they wear.
So what are the glaringly "heavy" components on this bike? Thanks.
Last edited by ewarnerusa; 09-24-2012 at 09:14 PM.
Reason: I had the wrong fork
Weight is primarily a battle of attrition. Nothing tok glaring but I would for sure get a shadow plus rear derailleur instead of the regular one.
Wheels, the cheap Chinese carbon rims are very good but they are big like the Stan's rims so as usual what tire you use matters.
The crankset and tires may be a bit piggy.
I put the Truvativ Noir T40 handlebars on and it is down to 28 even!
Thanks for the replies. The cranks are defintely OEM and I knew I was putting heavy-ish tires on. I just love the ride on the Purgatories though. I'm picking up a set of Ground Controls, too.
Some less expensive/free things to try:
Lose the front derailleur and go 1x9. Get a BBG bashguard for $12.
Doing so, you lose the shifter, cable & housing, front derailleur, and two chainrings. Big savings.
If you can't go 1x9 then at least lose the big chain ring and replace it with a BBG bash for some savings.
Some people love the ultralight foam grips from Pricepoint. They're ridiculously light... like 12g for a pair or something.
The Woodman Seapost clamp is ultralight and you can pick your color of choice for about $15.
Some moderately expensive things to try:
I love this carbon riser bar. It's light and has performed well for me for a couple years. Not bad for $79.
This Loaded Xlite Stem is lite and strong. Had one myself for about two years now. Be sure to use a toque wrench though!! About $60.
This is sure to be controversial - but I love the Recon Alloy Cassette. It only weighs 135 grams. That's miraculous. And it's a deal at $135. At that price, you can get a new one every year - or sooner!. Some people say they wear out to quickly. You'll have to decide for yourself.
Outright Expsenive things to try:
The "Nancy" carbon wheels from Light-bicycle will run you between $500-600. But you'll get a nice light wheelset that's been very heavily used and tested. See the (Cheap) Chinese Wheels forum in the 29er components section of MTBR. Several thousand posts there and only a couple failures so far.
Of course, tires too! I personally love the Schwalbe tires - but expect to pay about $80 per tire there! That's really expensive for tires if you ask me. Racing Ralphs, Nobby nics, or my favs, Rocket Rons will offer weight savings. Of course, if you want really ridiculous weight savings, consider the Kenda Klimax.
And if you're really really really insistent on counting grams - I'd consider the Maxxis Flyweight inner tubes instead of Stan's Tubeless. These tubes are paper thin and require a special cloth insert on the rim. Still I believe they're a weight savings over Stans. They are constroversial too. Some people hate 'em. Some love 'em. I think they're expensive tubes that are a pain to put on - but once on, you'll notice the weight loss!
Those rotors look beefy. You might consider the Alligator rotors at 54 grams for 140mm. You'll have to hunt ebay or Amazon for them, but they should be between $20-30.
BE CAREFUL THOUGH: I don't know if they're compatible with YOUR XT brakes!!!
Thanks Thirsty Turtle and connolm. We'll have to see if I would be comfortable with a 2x10 drivetrain. I have always been on 3x9 and I have no interest in loosing the granny ring. I have demo'd other 2x10 drivetrains on XC bikes and while the gearing worked fine for me on the 0.5-1 hour rides, I know that during endurances races lasting many more hours than that I REALLY RELY on the granny ring. Maybe losing the big ring would work, but I do use the big ring often. Maybe not often in big ring/little cog, but sometimes! Also, since I'm on a 10-speed cassette the Recon won't work. When it comes time to replace the cassette due to wear, I'll definitely seek out the lightest I can find for the money. I like the concept of keeping a drive train all Shimano or all SRAM. My last bike was all SRAM. I think I've heard that the top-shelf SRAM 10sp cassettes are lighter than Shimanos, is that true? Any compatibility issues between the 10sp Shimano and SRAM cassettes?
I like the idea of the super light foam grips. As the current ones wear out I'll look in that direction for replacement. I've had lock-on grips for the last 5 years and now that I'm on non-lock-on grips I haven't noticed a difference yet. We'll see if they start slipping and bothering me.
I just swapped out the OEM Truvativ Stylo T 20 bars (Al) for a set of Truvativ Noir T 40 (carbon) last night. That dropped the weight a half pound to an even 28.
The claimed weight of the 6-bolt Ice Tech rotors is 112g (160mm) and 134g (180mm) which I have one of each. This is comprable to the 160 mm Avid G2 and the 180 mm is ligher than the 185 mm G2 (176 g). I got these weights off the Blue Sky Cycling website. I don't want to drop the rear to a 140 mm. And I bumped the front rotor up a size from stock because I've always rolled on 185/160 fr/rr on all my bikes (26" and 29"). I was on Avid Juicy 7's before and always thought they worked great. These Shimano XTs feel different, but I am liking them so far. They seem more resistant to fading, probably due to better heat dissapation. They seemed a bit grabby at first, but I think both bedding in and my monkeying with the free stroke and lever reach adjustments has tamed that.
I know that my tire selection is a bit heavy, but I wanted those tires based on experience. Claimed weight off Specialized website is 755 g for the Purgatory. I'll also be picking up a pair of Ground Controls which are claimed 710 g. I have also had great experience with those tires on my 26" and I'll use them for endurance racing. I have the stock Maxxis Crossmark (standard non-tubeless) that I may try mounting up tubeless sometime. I have experience with that tire on the 26", too, and I don't remember being very satisfied with the traction. That's why I immediately swapped them. I am definitely more motivated by performance rather than weight when it comes to tires. I really like the Specialized tires for pretty good weight and super easy tubeless setup.
And a carbon wheelset is definitely on my wish list. Maybe I'll just have to spend any money that comes in from selling the old bike.
I ride a Stumpy, the difference between the carbon & alloy frame is only 100g.
You could try swapping to a lighter fork, Sid maybe.
I'm coming from an alloy frame stumpy myself, 26" Expert from 2008. I had my eye on an Epic carbon for a while, but an annoying thing about Specialized (and several others) is that they only give you a carbon front triangle but stick with an alloy rear triangle. Unless you step up to S-works which was out of my price range.
Originally Posted by Call_me_Tom
According to this link regarding the carbon and this link regarding the Al frames, the difference is 1.6 lbs (726 g) for the Tallboy. I don't know if this was for both the same frame size, this was just a quick Google.
While a fork upgrade would cost less than a carbon wheelset, I don't think there would be much of an increase in performance over the Reba. I could be wrong though! I've never been on a SID.
Thanks for the input.
You're right, the fork wouldn't make as much of a difference than the wheel set, I only suggested it as an alternative since wheels were already mentioned. The Reba is a nice fork, I own 2 & if I had the $$$ for carbon wheels I would go that route. I also ride Purg tires & rode 2.3 2bliss for awhile. The Purg is not a weight saving wheel...I do love it though.
Wow that is a pretty piggy TBc. My alloy Ventana El Ray is lighter.
I would drop those wheels for an American Classic AM set, light rotors, go 1x9 or 1x10, Carbon bars, and Rocket Rons. Right there is 3.5lbs if not more.
Last edited by irishpitbull; 09-25-2012 at 03:25 PM.
15 Yeti ASR-c
14 Yeti ARC
16 Bianchi Specialissima
15 Echo Big Deal
15 Roubaix S-Works
I know! Hence, my "disappointment." I love the bike actually, I just know that it has the potential to be much lighter. Wheelset, wheelset, wheelset.... I now already have carbon bars on. Already addressed my tire preference, rotor size preference, as well as my opinion on 1x-drivetrains. Is getting rid of gears really what everyone does to get their FS 29er weights down? I already have a 29er singlespeed, I want this Tallboy fully geared.
Originally Posted by irishpitbull
My first thoughts other than wheelset and tires were that the cranks and cassette were OEM and heavy. Some googling and I found out that the XT cranks would save me 120 g over what is on there now and an XT cassette another 30-ish g down from the SLX. This is hardly taking a load off! That is like 1/3 lb. If I swung for the fences and went XTR triple crank and cassette then I'm still less than a pound down. I guess this is still less than a new carbon wheelset.
One thing at a time, replace as they wear...
Yes, replace as the companents wear.
Saddle & seat post are cheapest route, wheels are going to make the biggest difference.
20 years in the woods
My take in lightening your TB without forking the value of another bike in the process and pushing it uphill:
Lighter crankset,with 40-26 gearing (42t if you ride on the road often).
Lighter cassete: XT is the best compromise IMO
Definitly lighter wheels and tires! If your willing to spend that much on carbon rims go ahead and get some nice light hubs to go with it.
And then the little bits: Grips,chain,bolts,rotors,stem...there's allways new places to shave some weight.
One thing to consider with the carbon wheels: you can keep them forever and move them from bike to bike as you buy new bikes. You'll always have the original wheelset that came with the bike for when you go to sell the bike.
That may help you rationalize the cost.
Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
I have a set of Light-bicycle wide carbon rims built up to 28 hole HyperLight hubs. Wheelset came out to 1340g. I have a them currently setup with Nobby Nick w/SS tires but will be switching to Racing Ralphs w/SS for racing. I think this is the biggest bang for the buck you can do to a bike if you are going to race, but I would go with the DT240’s. I had to replace the cassette hub and ring due to a little dirt – a little to fragile for me. My Tallboy is down to 23lbs, 1x9, XG999 cassette, 30T XTR M985 cranks, 7800 rear RD, ect….. How much money do you have?
Your Tallboy at 23 lbs sounds pretty sweet! Thanks for contributing. Right now I'm low on money since I just bought the bike. We'll have to see if I throw down on the carbon wheelset, it is a lustful want right now and not a must have.
Originally Posted by red5jedi
Nozes, I am in complete agreement as far as where to focus any weight saving efforts. Little things so far that I've done over stock are replacing the stock seatpost with my Thomson Masterpiece and swapped out the handlbars for a carbon set. I also swapped out my steerer tube spacers for carbon ones. I think I may have spent enough money up front for now and I'll replace and upgrade as parts wear out.
Originally Posted by Nozes
You should be able to get to 25lbs without spending to much money
My XXL Tallboy weighs in at 24.8
full XO (XXcassette)
Easton EA90 wheels
Sonett iii, thanks for the motivation! What tires do you run? Do you use a 1x or 2x drivetrain?
I use the standard xo 2x crankset
Maxxis Ikon front, Maxxis Aspen rear
Regarding my tires, I put one of the Crossmark 2.1 and Ground Control 2.3 on the scale.
Crossmark 2.1 = 646 g not a tubeless ready tire, but I may try running it tubeless for certain scenarios like the York 38 Special which is nearly all on gravel and forest service road.
Ground Control 2.3 = 716 g I wish it was lighter, but I plan on this being my go-to "race" tire for XC and marathons
Purgatory 2.3 = 755 g (claimed weight from Spesh website) My "fun" tire, the ones I'm running most of the time.
Spend your money on wheels before anything else. Wheels make the bike perform better, weight is easy to measure and thus the numbers are tempting to chase, but better wheels give the greatest performance and fun per dollar spent.
And by better, I mean lighter as well as other characteristics like stiffness, points of engagement, suppleness of the tires you choose, and so forth. If you can't afford to buy a second set, get on Pinkbike and sell off stuff you don't need to finance the stuff you want. You'd be surprised how well you can do.
Looking through the thread it looks like you've done quite a bit and some things are simply "out of play" due to cost.
Is the following summary correct?
Handlebar: swapped Already
Spacers: Swapped Already
Seapost: Swapped Already
Saddle: Swapped Already
Wheels & Tires: Out of play for now (cost & tires Swapped Already, Tubeless already)
Cassette: Out of play?
Brakes & Rotors: Swapped Already.
Fork: Out of Play?
Cranks - can't tell on this one
That doesn't leave much...
Cranks (if still in play)
Some inexpensive weight savings still to be had there if interested - and if my summary is correct.
Mentioned previously: Grips (sette), seatpost collar (woodman), Stem (Loaded Xlite)...
Titanium Skewers - you might drop over 100g for $18.
iLink cables are reported to be amongst the lightest on the market. I know nothing about them. You should check them out and make your own decision.
SRAM twist shifters are lighter than any Shimano trigger shifters (I believe). But there's a ton of baggage with them. You need to go to a 1:1 actuation derailleur (basically an SRAM derailleur) and they only work on 9-speeds. Maybe if you upgraded your drivetrain - Cassette, derailleur, and shifter - you could save substantial weight... But the expense would be pretty high. But if you're down with a drivetrain swap, go 2x10 too!!! Save the weight of the 3rd ring. The newest 2x10s with 36 cassette are supposed to cover the same range as your triple. I personally love twist shifters - but it is a personal preference.
You can also save weight on your chain. Get a hollow-pin, hollow link chain like the KMC-SL. It's a bit pricey - but cruise their product line for something that excites you at a price point you can tolerate.
I haven't looked up the weights but the Shimano SLX hollowtech cranks get high stars for their weight and strength. I put SLX cranks on my Stumpy FSR comp. They were substantially lighter than the Specialized branded cranks and they look cool. The cheapest I could find (a year ago) was at Bikewagon. Seriously, take the time to look these up.... They're trickle-down tech from XTR - so they're only basically 2-3 years ago's XTR. People (not just me) go apesh:t for these cranks. Seriously. Look it up.
...but make sure they're compatible with your BB...
Look up J&L and Rock Bros on ebay. They sell a ton of titanium bolts and gadgets for incredible prices. It ships from China - but it arrives OK. I can vouche for both companies. Stems, pulleys, crankbolts, stem bolts, top caps, etc... Most only cost a couple dollars - although they only save a couple grams too. Baby steps...
Hey... Me again...
Just read about your tires. Schwalbe has a couple tires that are in the 400's of grams (assuming you're on 26"). Nobby Nic and RoRo's can be under 500 grams for you.
Rocket Ron Evo TL are listed at 435 grams.
You could save almost a pound with new tires.
(wait for it)
Originally Posted by ncfisherman
That, well set up suspension, and tires you really trust in corners will make more difference than a bit less weight.
Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper
I've gushed several times about how much I love the Purgatory tires, even though they are not lightweight. Suspension feels dialed to me. I have often wanted a dropper post, I manually dropped the seat a lot on my old 26" bike. But right now I'm not considering one for the Tallboy. Thanks for the reply.
Originally Posted by scrublover
Tallboy is a 29er. I know people love Schwalbe tires. I'm sure I would, too. Right now I'm loving Specialized tires.
Originally Posted by connolm
Seems even the best of bikes will have components you don't want. Coming from a roadbike background and riding my first entry level bike, my 2011 Rockhopper (and loving it) after being on the forum for a little while, seeing what you guys have to say and realizing that mechanically there is so much more technical stuff involved, my next bike is going to be a frame.
You've pretty much summed it up. Other than wheels and tires, I'm thinking crankset is the biggest potential anchor on this whip.
Originally Posted by connolm
I was thinking about skewers earlier today. Front is a 15mm thru axle, rear is a standard QR that I may swap out for something lighter.
The drivetrain is a 3x10 with an 11:36 cassette (Shimano SLX). An XT cassette would drop about 20 grams. The crankset is a Shimano non-series triple (24-32-42), from what I've read up it is a mix of Deore and SLX. An XT triple would drop about 120 g. Maybe I need to just get over worrying about being 6 hours into an endurance race and not having the 24:36 gear from the triple and having 28:36 (or whatever the smaller cog is on a double). But that will be a future problem. I'll see how I actually use the gearing I have now for a while and see if I think I could drop the lowest gears.
SRAM came out with XX gripshifts for 10 speeds, so that is an option but as you said I would also need a new rear derailleur to deal with the cable pull ratio. At least I think so, I've never looked into it for 10 sp.
Wheeset is what I plan to drop big money on. I did it on my last bike and never regretted it.
Last edited by ewarnerusa; 09-28-2012 at 08:17 PM.
Reason: I meant XT
Drop your front end as well. Seriously. Slam the stem down, stick the spacers up top. Try it a ride or three. Move it back if you dislike.
Not a weight saving thing I know, but weighting the front end a bit more can make a huge difference, that with good tires. to really throw yourself into corners and dive into chunky stuff without worrying about things.
You've said no interest in losing your granny but...
Going to one of the newer 2x cranks and running a 28-30t ring with an 11-36 rear cassette means you can drop some significant weight, but really only lose a touch of top and low end gearing.
Lose wight were you can, but there are some places (like good tires) where the performance gains outweigh (ha!) the the little extra heft.
Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper
You know, since buying the bike I've flipped the stem to neg 5 rise, swapped the 20 mm riser bars for 15 mm rise, and dropped the stem down to about the middle of the range I have to work with. This puts the grips at about a cm above level with the saddle. I find my front end wandering a bit during steep climbs, especially switch backs. Maybe I should move the stem further down the stack. What kind of drop from level with the saddle would you recommend?
Originally Posted by scrublover
Maybe I just drop my big ring like has been mentioned and replace it with a bash guard. Can the shifter be tweaked enough to deal with that? I don't want it to shift into big ring position and throw the chain.
EDIT: I slammed the stem and it rocks. Actually I left one 5 mm spacer above the headset, but I did drop it about a cm. New Strava PRs on 3 climbs on the test ride. DH felt awesome. Could just be that the new Tallboy ROCKS, too. The grips are now pretty much level with the seat.
Last edited by ewarnerusa; 09-30-2012 at 03:41 PM.
Reason: Slammed the stem
New wheelset, Roval Control SL 29
Same Purgatory tires tubeless
The Rovals were 1470 g combined (783/687 g) out of the box. Test ride to the convenience store and back and I could already feel the fast acceleration and stiffness. I can't wait to get them out on the trail.
While I had things apart I threw them on the scale.
Some interesting stats:
Ice tech 180 mm rotor w/ 6 screws = 148 g
Ice tech 160 mm rotor w/ 6 screws = 127 g
Roval front QR 9 mm = 56 g
Roval rear QR = 56 g
Rock Shox 15 mm thru axle = 74 g
Shimano XT rear QR = 64 g
OEM cassette = 364 g Shimano HG 81, 11-36 (SLX) 10spd
Stock front wheel = 894 g WTB i19 TCS rims laced to Shimano M678 (SLX) w/ DT 14 gauge spokes, brass nipples
Stock rear wheel = 1120 g WTB i19 TCS rims M 756 (XT) rear hub
Cool. Glad that worked. Try it all the way down. I mean really way down - take the top cap off the headset and run the stem on top of the compression ring. The top bearings are still going to be sealed well enough, no worries.
Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
Bring the cap and spacers with, play with the height mid-ride, and see how things feel.
Getting comfortable with more weight over the front end, driving the front in a bit more, IMO, is something more people could stand to learn. My riding has improved in all aspects since doing this, and getting away from the "sit up and beg" riding position. Even when hitting jumps/drops/riding lifts, tight slow speed technical stuff, and trialsy stuff. All three of my bikes are setup this way now, with 785mm wide 1/2" rise bars, 60-70mm stems with -5* of rise. Love it!
Nice job on the wheel swap! That's a huge weight savings there! The cranks are the only really big thing you have left - could save a lot there, depending on your budget.
Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper
Threw on some KCNC foam grips last night. Claimed weight of 15 g/pair w/o endcaps. I didn't weigh them beforehand, but the bike was 26.2 lbs on the scale. Not quite an apples to apples weight comparison though because I didn't have my Garmin on the bike which I usually always do (so I like to count it as bike weight), but I also had my small Cateye tail light on the seatpost.
An excuse to swap out OEM for blue stuff, and an excuse to shave some grams. I've got some blue Ti rotor, stem cap, and bottle cage bolts on the way, too.
Damn, Ed! Nice work on the Roval wheels. Your bike is getting more rad by the minute. See you on the trails!
John! Good to see you! Yeah, the Tallboy is a carbon fiber sex machine. I love it! I was a little dissappointed that such an expensive bike wasn't just uber light right out of the box. But nothing that spending my boys' college savings funds can't fix! The Rovals were a luxury item, but I knew from buying those Mavic Crossmax for my old Stumpy that investing in a nice wheelset is always worth it. Your new stumpy has the carbon Rovals, right?
Originally Posted by rideharder
Yes, it has carbon everything, including the Rovals. They are amazing. Uber stiff and damn light. My 2013 Stumpy Marathon HT is all about precision. It carves like a ninja. I can't believe how fast it is. I am absolutely loving it, and the Rovals are a big reason why.
I'm glad you pulled the trigger on the wheel set. You deserve it -- and there's plenty of time to rebuild that college fund. Ride now or forever hold your peace!
IM me or look me up at BCBSMT and let's hook up for a ride. This rain today is going to put the trails in money shape.
XT cranks (stayed with a triple), XT cassette, XT chain, Purgatory front tire, Ground Control rear (temporarily with tube until the shop gets the right spokes in)
Some component weights:
New XT M780 crankset 868 g
OEM M552 crankset 948 g
XT cassette 342 g
I forgot the weight of the SLX cassette, I think it was in the 360 g range.
Edit: 25.7 lbs with the rear tire tubeless.
Last edited by ewarnerusa; 07-18-2013 at 04:04 PM.