Entry-level Tallboy- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Entry-level Tallboy

    I have been riding my Scott Scale 940 for 3 years now, and I want to move on to FS. I am focusing on the entry-level Santa Cruz Tallboy (with RockShox Recon & SX drivetrain). I really like how it looks but budget is limiting me to entry level only.
    I know it will be a heavy bike, but is it good for climbing? I have no way of test riding it as I live far from a SC dealer.

    I will not be doing jumps, races and other crazy stuffs, but my trail has lots or steep climb.
    Do you think this bike is a good step into FS?
    Please let me know.

  2. #2
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    The Tallboy is a fantastic bike. Great design, very well engineered, and the frame is worthwhile to upgrade long term. That being said you have two challenges:

    1. Never buy a bike without a test ride. What works for me, may not be to your liking. That being said, I just bought a TB4 and believe its the best bike ever created. My personal belief is the bike you're currently riding should always be the best ever. Find a way to ride the bike before purchasing.

    2. Finding stock right now is hit and miss. If you want a medium, tb3 with the entry level spec, I've only seen 1 at a local LBS (in maroon/red). I am told most other SC models are back ordered or have indefinite ship dates.

  3. #3
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    I have a TB3. Great trail bike. They made the 2020 TB4 crazy long, low, and slack. Way too LLS for me. The main advantage of LLS is descending. When going slow climbing and in tight tech stuff, it makes the bike wander, it's more difficult to steer, and prone to pedal strikes. I def recommend test riding before you decide. You might like it, but you might not.
    What, me worry?

  4. #4
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    Thank you bingemtbr & Lone Rager!
    I appreciate all your input.

  5. #5
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    I briefly test rode one around some streets not too long ago. For the $2700 the entry-level tallboy is I definitely wasn't impressed with the spec. Didn't even have a dropper post. But it certainly felt like it would be a good decender. I personally liked the feel of the Giant Trance better. I would definitely suggest riding one first.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvachon View Post
    I briefly test rode one around some streets not too long ago. For the $2700 the entry-level tallboy is I definitely wasn't impressed with the spec. Didn't even have a dropper post. But it certainly felt like it would be a good decender. I personally liked the feel of the Giant Trance better. I would definitely suggest riding one first.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion bvachon. I didnít know the entry level doesnít have a dropper post, glad you mention that. The Trance looks awesome! Iíll definitely add that on my prospective list.

  7. #7
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    I recently bought a 29er. I hadn't owned or ridden a mountain bike in years. The transition to this bike is a bit rough. I did not demo the bike beforehand, as I bought it used for a great price. I figured I could just sell the bike if it didn't work out, as I'm pretty sure I can even end up ahead on the deal.

    I'm still on the fence, as it's a really nice bike (2018 Giant Anthem 29), but I do think that I'd probably prefer a 27.5".

    TLDR; I'm no expert at all, but a demo ride is pretty important.

  8. #8
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    I have a Giant Trance 29 Pro 1 that I added improvements on (RF Next crankset, i9 Trail 270 wheels), but stuck with the stock suspension. I have a friend (same 160 lb weight as me) with the XO1 TB V4 with the Reserve 27 wheelset. We've traded out several times - on the Wasatch Back and Moab.

    Try the Trance 29.
    Seriously!

    You may end up preferring the TB....or not.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimension View Post
    I have been riding my Scott Scale 940 for 3 years now, and I want to move on to FS. I am focusing on the entry-level Santa Cruz Tallboy (with RockShox Recon & SX drivetrain). I really like how it looks but budget is limiting me to entry level only.
    I know it will be a heavy bike, but is it good for climbing? I have no way of test riding it as I live far from a SC dealer.

    I will not be doing jumps, races and other crazy stuffs, but my trail has lots or steep climb.
    Do you think this bike is a good step into FS?
    Please let me know.
    I personally dont like VPP and dont feel like SC bikes climb great. Though lots of people swear by them. I much prefer dw-link, but it definitely isnt as plush on the downhills as VPP.

    Right now your choices for dw-link are ibis and pivot (giant copied the dw-link so the maestro has always felt good to me too).

    I personally only buy frames and build my bikes up. Ill typically buy a used fork, but new drivetrain. I can easily service a fork, so dont worry about issues. I buy drivetrains because somehow they are expensive on the used market. I have lots of extra misc parts to build up and will typically migrate a carbon wheelset over. Sometimes buying a less nice wheelset to put on the bike Im selling.

    So for example I sold a Tallboy LTC for 1800 and bought a ripmo frame for 2200. Used Lyrik for for 350, xt drivetrain/brakes for 450. I had a carbon i9 wheelset already. So for about 3400 (new dropper, headset, seat, bar, stem, tires got an XT ripmo with i9 carbon wheelset minus 1800 for the tallboy ltc.

    Sometimes the parts from an old bike will migrate over. But then you are left with a frame which can be hard to sell. I generally buy frames new so I can get the frame warranty. A lot of the parts from your scale might migrate over.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I have a TB3. Great trail bike. They made the 2020 TB4 crazy long, low, and slack. Way too LLS for me. The main advantage of LLS is descending. When going slow climbing and in tight tech stuff, it makes the bike wander, it's more difficult to steer, and prone to pedal strikes. I def recommend test riding before you decide. You might like it, but you might not.
    Having ridden all sort of bikes over the years, including a TB3 and the TB4, I disagree with this assessment on how well the TB4 climbs. We have loads of 4,000+ climbs (Santa Fe, NM) and I find the bike to be a very capable climber. Is it XC worthy, no. But it does climb very well for a short travel trail bike. (Full disclosure, I own an X01 Reserve 30 TB4)

    Always demo a bike before you purchase. That said, almost everyone in the cycling world really likes the SC TB4. They cannot all be wrong, but it might not be right for you. So do whatever you have to do to get on the bike before buying.

    Santa Cruz bikes are expensive. Stock is very low now from almost all manufacturers. That said, a close friend just purchased a new Orbea Occam M10. He rode it twice before buying it. A comparable SC TB4 to the Occam M10 he purchased costs $7,000. He was considering a TB4, an Ibis Ripley, and the Occam. He loves his new bike. Orbea seem to have hit a sweet spot in the pricing structures. And they have inventory now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    Having ridden all sort of bikes over the years, including a TB3 and the TB4, I disagree with this assessment on how well the TB4 climbs. We have loads of 4,000+ climbs (Santa Fe, NM) and I find the bike to be a very capable climber. Is it XC worthy, no. But it does climb very well for a short travel trail bike. (Full disclosure, I own an X01 Reserve 30 TB4)

    Always demo a bike before you purchase. That said, almost everyone in the cycling world really likes the SC TB4. They cannot all be wrong, but it might not be right for you. So do whatever you have to do to get on the bike before buying.

    Santa Cruz bikes are expensive. Stock is very low now from almost all manufacturers. That said, a close friend just purchased a new Orbea Occam M10. He rode it twice before buying it. A comparable SC TB4 to the Occam M10 he purchased costs $7,000. He was considering a TB4, an Ibis Ripley, and the Occam. He loves his new bike. Orbea seem to have hit a sweet spot in the pricing structures. And they have inventory now.

    Interesting take that your friend picked up an Occam. I'm in between the Hightower R Aluminum and the Occam H20. Haven't read a bad review of either.

    To the original poster. The entry level Occam H10 seems to be a good buy at $2600. Still trying to find a dealer around me that will allow a demo on some trails.

  12. #12
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    So the bike shop that carries SC in my state has sold out all their FS SC. I was told that there's a possibility that they'll get stock by September, most probably a 2021 model.

    Then this afternoon, I finally got my first FS bike. It's a used Niner Rip 9 RDO with RS Pike & Shimano XT. It's an awesome deal for an awesome bike that it's hard to pass.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimension View Post
    So the bike shop that carries SC in my state has sold out all their FS SC. I was told that there's a possibility that they'll get stock by September, most probably a 2021 model.

    Then this afternoon, I finally got my first FS bike. It's a used Niner Rip 9 RDO with RS Pike & Shimano XT. It's an awesome deal for an awesome bike that it's hard to pass.
    Great bike!

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