Tallboy vs. HiFi29 Pro- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tallboy vs. HiFi29 Pro

    Okay,

    Forum newbie contemplating a 29 FS purchase...

    I borrowed a friend's Gary Fisher HiFi Pro and really enjoyed the ride. Snappy steering, very maneuverable. So... all set, right?

    Borrowed another friends Santa Cruz Tallboy. Instant comfort, love at first sight. Felt like a 29er version of the Blur I've been riding.

    So, do I buy a top end HiFi, or a bottom-build Tallboy? My intent is to keep the bike for years, so longevity matters. Any advice?

    Dave

  2. #2
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb2
    Okay,

    Forum newbie contemplating a 29 FS purchase...

    I borrowed a friend's Gary Fisher HiFi Pro and really enjoyed the ride. Snappy steering, very maneuverable. So... all set, right?

    Borrowed another friends Santa Cruz Tallboy. Instant comfort, love at first sight. Felt like a 29er version of the Blur I've been riding.

    So, do I buy a top end HiFi, or a bottom-build Tallboy? My intent is to keep the bike for years, so longevity matters. Any advice?

    Dave
    Really enjoyed the ride VS Love at 1st sight sounds like you already answered this.

    Since when was enjoyed as good as Love ?
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, fair enough.. agreed that the Tallboy was the best as far as a single ride. (I guess I sub-consciously stacked the deck the way I posted, so your comment is spot-on.)

    I'm just worried about the carbon frame long-term, and the fact that I'd have to settle for the lower end componentry.

  4. #4
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb2
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, fair enough.. agreed that the Tallboy was the best as far as a single ride. (I guess I sub-consciously stacked the deck the way I posted, so your comment is spot-on.)

    I'm just worried about the carbon frame long-term, and the fact that I'd have to settle for the lower end componentry.
    I would always go for the better frame with the cheaper gear on it because you can upgrade the gear bit by bit as it wears out & you have a good frame but with the other bike it will only be as good as the frame is now.

    Alot of the tallboy rides are big milage riders & don't seam to be having problems.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  5. #5
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    That's a no brainer. The Tallboy is far superior to any production bike. If your worried about carbon fiber go with the Pivot 429. It's a little heavier but it pedals and handles better. I've seen complete Tallboy builds for around 3K. You can upgrade parts later. Now if Santa Cruz would just make a Tallboy LT I would be set.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb2
    Borrowed another friends Santa Cruz Tallboy. Instant comfort, love at first sight. Felt like a 29er version of the Blur I've been riding.
    I would say that ^^^^ is your answer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyman
    That's a no brainer. The Tallboy is far superior to any production bike. If your worried about carbon fiber go with the Pivot 429. It's a little heavier but it pedals and handles better. I've seen complete Tallboy builds for around 3K. You can upgrade parts later. Now if Santa Cruz would just make a Tallboy LT I would be set.

    "Pedals and Handles better" ???
    Totally subjective.

  8. #8
    Pirate!!!
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    I own a hifi pro, and I love it! I have ridden a tallboy and I loved it! I don't think you can go wrong with either one, both are quality bikes that shouldn't be talked down about.
    As far as the ride of the two, the hifi is a little plusher, and the tallboy has less flex in the rear end, also the TB runs a little small vs the trek that runs a little big. Again both are superior bikes.

  9. #9
    11 is one louder than 10
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    Can always upgrade parts much easier than the frame.

    Plenty of used Tallboys out there (I am about to post my medium as I decided a large would fit better... just picked up a used large).

    Tallboy is outstanding.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks all

    Thanks for the replies...

    Cobb thanks for sharing experiences on both bikes. Your direct experience matches what I thought I'd be in for. Seems like I'm in good shape either way.

  11. #11
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    I don't own either...BUT...

    Quote Originally Posted by djb2
    Thanks for the replies...

    Cobb thanks for sharing experiences on both bikes. Your direct experience matches what I thought I'd be in for. Seems like I'm in good shape either way.
    Here are some things I thought might be good to consider, based on your remarks:

    • Hard to argue with the "love at first sight" thing.
    • I trust aluminum more than plastic...I mean carbon. Maybe I'm old fashioned?
    • SOLID warranty from Fisher, and you will benefit from a good relationship with your LBS if you need to employ said warranty. Can you get either locally?
    • High level components make a difference. Fork is crucial, so are wheels. And you WILL notice the difference in performance.
    • Just because the TB is more expensive and plastic, doesn't mean that it is any better. It is only better if YOU think so.
    • Think about pivot/bearing/bushing maint...there's few more pieces moving around on that TB than on the HF.
    • I DO OWN a Rumblefish...the ABP is very nice.
    • Finish quality on the Fisher won't be as nice as on the TB.
    Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up doing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgermtb
    Here are some things I thought might be good to consider, based on your remarks:

    • Hard to argue with the "love at first sight" thing.
    • I trust aluminum more than plastic...I mean carbon. Maybe I'm old fashioned?
    • SOLID warranty from Fisher, and you will benefit from a good relationship with your LBS if you need to employ said warranty. Can you get either locally?
    • High level components make a difference. Fork is crucial, so are wheels. And you WILL notice the difference in performance.
    • Just because the TB is more expensive and plastic, doesn't mean that it is any better. It is only better if YOU think so.
    • Think about pivot/bearing/bushing maint...there's few more pieces moving around on that TB than on the HF.
    • I DO OWN a Rumblefish...the ABP is very nice.
    • Finish quality on the Fisher won't be as nice as on the TB.
    Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up doing.
    I agree.

    If your fork and wheels are no good...your ride quality would tremendously suffer. That is _my_ opinion.

    As for how do you "feel". That is subjective. Can't make any recommendations here.

    Ofir

  13. #13
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    IMO a Rumblefish would be the better comparision. TB and HiFi are two different rides; the HiFi Pro being all XC and the TB being a trail/am that is light enough to be XC.

  14. #14
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    rumblefish

    Funny you should mention the Rumblefish... Guy at bike shop made the same comment, when I explained what I liked about the Tallboy, mentioning the Rumblefish being more geared towards "Trail".

    So.. If the HiFi is XC, the R'Fish leans towards Trail, and the Tallboy can handle both... well maybe I should save my pennies and get the right Tallboy build.

    Perhaps I'll head to the LBS and see what it would cost to basically duplicate my Blur in a Tallboy: X9 train and Fox suspension. Who knows, maybe they want to make an end of the year deal.

  15. #15
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    I have the HIFI Deluxe, which is a XC and Trail. If could go back 3-years and decide on a Tallboy or a HIFI Deluxe I'd get the Tallboy because the bikes are just about the same except there are more HIFI's on the trail than Tallboys.

  16. #16
    davidcarson48
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    2010 HiFi Pro owner here. I love my bike and with all the rocks here in the Northeast, I didn't want to risk the carbon frame as this bike will have to last me for many years.

    I don't know alot about the TB, but I have my HiFi at under 28 pounds (w/o pedals) with the stock wheelset. With a wheelset/tire change you could easily see under 27.

    All that being said, go with the bike you love. If it gets you out on the trails a few more times a month it will all be worth the extra cash.

  17. #17
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    I don't think I'd ride something I didn't like, so I wouldn't encourage anyone else any other way. You should make time to ride both bikes, a little road trip might be worth it?

  18. #18
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    IMO, the TB is not AM, but XC and light trail.

  19. #19
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    Makes sense...what's with all of the acronyms?

    Isn't is interesting how different conditions dictate a bikes design. If carbon fiber is stronger than steel, why isn't the Epic an AM or DH bike versus XC.

    Tool should sing a song about it so everyone can understand!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr
    IMO a Rumblefish would be the better comparision. TB and HiFi are two different rides; the HiFi Pro being all XC and the TB being a trail/am that is light enough to be XC.
    I agree and disagree. If you dressed the TB in the same outfit as the HiFi Pro, the TB would be just as XC oriented. The TB gets a trail reputation because it can handle a bigger fork and aggressive downhill trails, yet geometry and weight beg for XC. With all components equal, the TB is a good comparison to the HiFi imo.
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  21. #21
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    and the winner is....

    Well, after extensive debate (both with friends and with myself), I went with the HiFi 29 today.

    I still think the Tallboy is a superior bike, but in the end I couldn't justify the price uptick once I got a Tallboy build I was happy with.

    So... the HiFi Pro has a solid build kit with it, and I won't cry when I scratch it on the first rock.

    Thank you all for chiming in. I guess I'm officially on the 29er forum to stay!

    Dave

  22. #22
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    Good on ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by djb2
    Well, after extensive debate (both with friends and with myself), I went with the HiFi 29 today.

    I still think the Tallboy is a superior bike, but in the end I couldn't justify the price uptick once I got a Tallboy build I was happy with.

    So... the HiFi Pro has a solid build kit with it, and I won't cry when I scratch it on the first rock.

    Thank you all for chiming in. I guess I'm officially on the 29er forum to stay!

    Dave

    Good to hear Dave. FWIW I think you made a solid choice. The Fisher just may exceed your expectations...I know it did mine.

  23. #23
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    Just to reinforce your decision, I made the same decision a month ago. My LBS had a couple of Tallboy's at about the same price as HiFi Pro but with lesser build and did advise I could always 'upgrade the components', but I felt if I'm spending $3K+ on a bike I don't want to feel like I'm getting something I'm not ecstatic about as-is. Also the geometry of the HiFi worked out better for me on test ride vs. the Tallboy. If I had another several hundred to thousand to spend to get the kit up to the same level and liked orange bikes I might have gotten the Tallboy.

  24. #24
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    Cool to hear you got a nice 29er bike to ride. I too wanted a TB but bought a Rumblefish and I am very happy with the performance.

  25. #25
    JBO
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    scjohn what's the weight of your rumblefish if you don't mind me asking?

    I am looking at a new rumblefish 2

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBO
    scjohn what's the weight of your rumblefish if you don't mind me asking?

    I am looking at a new rumblefish 2
    I'm not exactly sure, at 240lbs I don't put too much value on weight. I think it is about 30lbs or so. Feels much lighter because it handles so well. I ride mostly XC style at a pretty good clip and never wished the bike was lighter. Hope that helps. BTW, I have a 2010 Rfish 1. I would guess the 2 is a tad bit lighter, especially in the wheels and perhaps a bit in the frame with the different aluminum and all. If you don't mond a Rfish 1 you can find them getting closed out at >$2K right now>

  27. #27
    JBO
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    Thanks. I am in Australia and 2010 models are very thin on the ground here. the only one available is a 15.5in but I need 19.

    Looking at 2011 RF 2 with swap from XT to SRAM XO running gear and rock shox reverb seatpost.

    Or I could just spend more and get a tallboy or a superfly 100 elite!

  28. #28
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    I am coming from a Blur to the Tallboy, and no regrets. The Superfly 100 pedals fast, and feels fast, but it doesn't have that "Instant comfort" that you mentioned. Long term, I spoke with quite a few Santa Cruz reps and they are so far pleased w/ the durability of the Carbon frames they have sold, and have not had one come back. The same cannot be said for the Gary Fisher Superfly 100s. Now I understand the Superfly 100 (2011) is much better, but I still don't feel like it has the all day, or long distance comfort of the Tallboy. I would class the Gary Fisher and the Epic 29 Carbon the same...because they are a pure bread race bike for the intended use. Neither of the frames are spec'd to be able to run a 120mm fork (which I have and love it!) but offer 100mm travel.

    I am a long time Santa Cruz bike rider, and I don't want to sound bias, so I will end with this...buy what fits your taste best, and geometry that fits you best. They are all great bikes, but have their differences. I honestly don't think you will be disappointed with any of them!

    One other person mentioned about buy it for the frame because the parts are upgradeable. One thing I will mention about the Tallboy is that it uses a standard bottom bracket which I prefer. I spend a lot of spare time wrenching bikes in a shop on the side, and we see a lot of bikes come in needing new bearings that are press-fit. They are stiffer, but do seem to have more durability issues due to the exposed bearing. I don't know what the Epic and the Superfly use, and I am pretty sure Pivot uses a unique pressfit for their frames..but, I would try to stay away from using press fit bearings, and get the adapter to run a standard cup whichever you choose if it's not with a standard 68/72mm English threaded.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBO
    Thanks. I am in Australia and 2010 models are very thin on the ground here. the only one available is a 15.5in but I need 19.

    Looking at 2011 RF 2 with swap from XT to SRAM XO running gear and rock shox reverb seatpost.

    Or I could just spend more and get a tallboy or a superfly 100 elite!
    If you need to unload that Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain. I will buy it from you. Good luckwith your purchase, you cant go wrong either way. I weighed the RF1; it's a 19" frame, bone stock weight is 29.8lbs.

    John

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