Santa Cruz UK launch – 4 more bikes for 2012

by Dave Anderson 33

Santa Cruz Alloy Tallboy

So just before deadline we headed up to the rather cosy Dog and Partridge at Tosside to see the new 2012 next-year offerings from Santa Cruz. No Powerpoints in stuffy darkened rooms from these boys, instead two days of riding bikes round Gisburn Forest before retiring for the evening to drink beer and be really well fed. Win.

So first up is the Alloy Tallboy a 100m travel VVP 29er that can run 100-120mm forks up front. The Tallboy is proving popular with the long distance and 24 hour crowds and this brings the same benefits for a little more weight (claimed 6.6lb with shock) compared to the more expensive carbon version. Retail is £1749.00


Tallboy front end
Massive headtube for tapered forks

In keeping with all the new bikes the Tallboy features a headtube suitable for tapered forks,

Tallboy clearance
Plenty of clearance for UK conditions.

Max tyre size is 2.55″, test bikes came fitted with 2.1″ Maxxis Crossmarks which offered plenty of clearance. We’ve got the Alloy Tallboy lined up for an upcoming bike test so you’ll have to wait until we’ve had more saddle time for our verdict but first impressions were promising.

Santa Cruz Blur TRc
Santa Cruz Blur TRc

Next up, venturing back into the land of “normal wheels” is the Blur TRc; this is a new additon to the Blur family a 125mm trail bike best suited to a 140mm fork up front. The all carbon frame weighs in at a claimed 4.9lb weight (inc shock) and retails at £2699. (Santa Cruz UK points out that the TRc will have a Fox RP23 Factory Kashima rear shock which does partially account for the hefty price, along with carbon price rises for next year too.)

Blur TRc front end
Tapered forks and a stiff front end

Again the tapered headtube and amount of material behind it combine to create a very stiff front end. The bike features a 68º head angle and similar top tube length to the more xc orientated frames.

Blur TRc back end
Carbon pivot and hidden grease ports

The VPP suspension features a carbon swingarm and top pivot link, with dropouts and disk tabs moulded into the frame during layup. The lower link has two recessed grease ports. Both links have angular contact bearings and aluminium oversized axles. First ride impressions? Fast, capable and very enjoyable to take for a spin.


Santa Cruz Highball
Santa Cruz Highball

Adding to the hardtail end of the Santa Cruz range we have the Highball, a 2.45lb carbon 29er frame that’s aimed at racers and everyone else who appreciates speed.  Frame retail is £1699.

Highball rear clearance
Space for a 2.1 tyre

A curved seatube and short chainstays keep the wheelbase feeling snappy and nimble. Whilst the frame will take a max tyre size of 2.2″-2.3″, we reckon the 2.1 Crossmarks fitted to test bikes gave the right balance of clearance given it’s intended role.

Highball bb
Stiff BB area

Again dropouts and disk tabs are moulded into the frame during one piece layup, to create a very light but stiff pedalling platform that spins up to speed incredibly efficiently. At the time of writing there’s a “Racing Red” frame winging it’s way across the pond for Dave’s next longtermer, more thoughts on this frame once it’s been built up and ridden.


Santa Cruz Blur XC
Santa Cruz Blur XC

And last but not least we have the Blur XC, an 105mm travel 4.4lb VPP carbon frame designed for 100 – 120mm forks, that shares all the same build features as it’s TRc big brother. Frame retail is £2399.

Blur XC front
Blur XC frontend

A fast and nimble short travel bike that’s ideal for racing or hooning. We liked it a lot.

Blur XC rear clearance
not much chance or a claggy rear

We tested the Blur XC in issue 53 so pop over to the mag archive for our full review.




Comments (33)

  1. They all look very sorted I must say

  2. £2,700 for a carbon frame?
    £2,400 for an alloy frame?

    Wish them luck for me.

  3. Despite the prices, there do seem to be a lot around. Don’t understand it myself.
    I don’t really like the graphics of the new Blurs. A step backwards for me.

  4. +1 for not really digging the graphics. It kinda looks like a late 90s GT or something

  5. 29er frame how much?!?!?!

  6. 4 of the most unappealing frames Ive ever seen.

    Dave, multiple SC owner

  7. DBW in dour misanthropic comment shocker ;]

  8. HOW much? I mean, really? Makes me feel rather unwell that people could contemplate spending that much on a frame!

  9. Hmm, whilst I sort of agree with the ‘How much??’ comments I think it’s partially down to the gap between these sorts of spends (well, for most people) – I last bought a new bike, a Giant road bike in 2004. Cost £525. The equivalent in spec now is around £850.

    I bought my Superlight frame in around 2002, secondhand for £600, they were retailing for £1200 if I remember right .. but even at RRP it was a decent investment as it’s still my main bike now.

    Graphics are a bit dodgy. Highball look on a Blur XC for me ta.

  10. The alloy Tallboy looks nice, don’t like the paintjob on the others at all.

  11. I swear I read somewhere that the alu Tallboy was going to be well priced, must of been in the US. Hmmm

  12. Just found it on the SC site:
    Available in all powder coat options
    $1850 US MSRP frame and Fox RP2 – Complete bikes from $2299
    (no, that is not a typo)

  13. I think Santa Cruz have missed a trick here!

    Why didnt they bring out another 4x frame made of aluminium for half the price?

    They think they know what real riders want!!!

  14. Colour scheme on the Blur XC makes me want to cry. Much prefer the stealthy look of that Highball.

  15. And another one for dislike of the styling of these new machines. Apart from the Alloy Tallboy, but that sort of shade of blue has been a fave of mine for about 5 years now.

  16. why +300 for the btrc over the xc, usually lighter costs more? i guess they dont want to sell many trc’s

  17. loving that TRc. Shame SC have got their pricing all up in their arse.

  18. I have just been on the Stif website and I want to understand why does the Blur TRc cost £2699 when the Carbon nomad is £2499 and the Carbon V10 is £2899? The pricing seems a bit skewed.

  19. Just not my bag Ben. Seems to be a lot of people shouting for a reasonably priced alloy 4X mk2 and owning a mk1 4X, I can see why. All that hype about the NP Mega… think what’d happen if SC could churn out a 4X mk2!

  20. I am SO glad (and proud) of my beautiful 2011 lime green -takes a licking and keeps on ticking-SC Heckler. I threw an ’11 DHX 5 RC, dropped the big ring and added a bash and chain guide and still came in at around 2 Grand. That’s more than enough for a complete, thank you very much. And, in 10 years when my bike is beat, I’ll buy another Hecker. Hey ST, how about a review of the tried and true, been in production for 15 years, Heckler? THe bike has lots o’ fans…

  21. Nickel has same geom as the TRc for £1,399, so better value yes?

    Pricing on the carbons seems a little odd initially, but stronger/stiffer carbon fibre costs more, and that TRc has carbon dropouts and every bit. Does the XC have that? Don’t know, just pointing out some obvious things that might make up the difference.

  22. Heckler – seconded.

    Alloy Tallboy for me next I think. You can’t take it with you.

  23. Really like the idea of the TR as currently on a ‘classic’ 135mm Heckler, seems like nice little progression. Might be persuaded if they bring out an alloy version as they did with the Tallboy, not paying for a carbon frame.

  24. All look nice imo, wish my Tallboy was that bluey colour.

  25. I’m glad it’s not just me. Had a look and thought they looked horrible (had not noticed the price at that stage). Just assumed it was me getting more and more lost as I get old. Seeing the comments has cheered me up. Thank you.

  26. the cost of bikes seems to have gone bonkers over the past 2 years, which probably explains why there are quite a few older bikes knocking about.

    I mean I like bikes and earn a decent living, but £2700 for a frame is ****ing ridiculous

  27. comparing price to 2011 C-Nomad might be a mistake, they are blaming higher costs of CF and the new kashima-coated rear shock. If both those factors apply to the 2012 Nomad there might be a price hike on the horizon.
    Agree with most respondents though that the prices are eye watering and the paintjobs old-school. the Blur XC in particular looks messy, busy and disjointed.

  28. How did the Crossmarks go? Interested in one for the rear, and it’s the only thing in that review that I can afford!

  29. Sorry, I forgot to say before…

    £1,700 for a hardtail frame!?!

  30. I’m going to run an Ardent front/Crossmark rear on the Highball when it comes. Seemed fine on the test bike but we did only ride trail centre trails. I’ve been riding the same combination in 26″ on my Longtermer Cannondale Rush and like the speed/grip compromise. I’m interested to see how the 29er compares.

  31. Cheers Dave, might try one on the back.

  32. The TRc may be very overpriced, but it rides amazingly well! And the one I rode was properly quick with full XTR kit. If only I could actually afford it….

Comments are closed.