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  1. #1
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    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

    BOTTOM BRACKET:

    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 08:14 PM. Reason: I had the wrong fork

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    The crankset and tires may be a bit piggy.

  4. #4
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    OP here.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Nice bike...

  6. #6
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    Some ideas

    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!

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Forgot something!

    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!!!

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
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    I ride a Stumpy, the difference between the carbon & alloy frame is only 100g.

    You could try swapping to a lighter fork, Sid maybe.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Tom View Post
    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.

    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.

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
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    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 02:25 PM.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
    2014 S-Works Crux Disc
    2014 Surly Pugsley

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    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.
    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.

    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...

  14. #14
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    Yes, replace as the companents wear.

    Saddle & seat post are cheapest route, wheels are going to make the biggest difference.

  15. #15
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    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.
    Gajas what?

  16. #16
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    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

  17. #17
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    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?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by red5jedi View Post
    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.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozes View Post
    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.
    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.

  20. #20
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    You should be able to get to 25lbs without spending to much money

    My XXL Tallboy weighs in at 24.8

    full XO (XXcassette)

    Thomson stem/post

    Edge bars

    Easton EA90 wheels

  21. #21
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    Sonett iii, thanks for the motivation! What tires do you run? Do you use a 1x or 2x drivetrain?

  22. #22
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    I use the standard xo 2x crankset

    Maxxis Ikon front, Maxxis Aspen rear

  23. #23
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    Get a dropper post

  24. #24
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    OP here.
    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.

  25. #25
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    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.

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