2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 First Look

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First look at the 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 with updated VPP suspension platform, slacker geo, adjustable dropouts, and delicious colours.

Santa Cruz’s Tallboy has received a major facelift for 2020. This Tallboy 4 isn’t the same 120mm travel 29er we’ve ridden in the past, it’s all-new from the geo to the suspension platform. It looks better, it feels better, and we’re pretty confident that it will ride better too.

Santa Cruz has very nicely set over a 2020 Tallboy CC X01 Reserve, the 3rd bike from top of the range, with a flagship CC carbon frame, a pair of those indestructible carbon Reserve wheels and an SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain.

tallboy 4 first look
Longer, lower, slacker and brighter.

The frame features 120mm of rear-wheel travel and 130mm travel up front via a RockShox Pike Select+ fork with matching yellow decals.

santa cruz tallboy 4
Matching yellow decals.

Other than that amazing colour, the most striking difference between the 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy and the previous Tallboy 3 is the new VPP suspension platform. First seen on the Nomad and then on the Bronson, the 120mm Tallboy receives the same low shock treatment. There are a couple of benefits with mounting the shock lower in the frame such as improving the center of gravity and increasing standover height.

tallboy 4 first look
Not 1 but 2 bottle cage mounts.

On top of those benefits, the new shock still retains enough space in the frame for a full-size bottle. In fact, the Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 has room for 2 bottle cages.

The new suspension linkage has a flip-chip so you can set the Tallboy 4 in either a Hi or Lo position. Santa Cruz hopes riders will test both settings but recommends the Lo for riding steeper trails. That said the chip doesn’t change the head angle too drastically. In Lo the HA is 65.5° while in high it steepens to just 65.7°.

tallboy 4 mini mud guard
Small built-in mudguard protects the rear linkage.

UK riders will be very happy to see that Santa Cruz has fitted a small mud-guard to the linkage to stop it filling with muck and loam during the winter, and well the summer too.

Tallboy 4 Geometry

Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 Geometry.
Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 Geometry.

On top of the linkage chip, the 29er Tallboy also has an axle flip-chip. The axle flip-chip increases or decreases the chainstay by 10mm. So a longer setting for a more stable ride, and shorter for more back wheel love.

tallboy 4 first look
Adjustable dropouts.

The axle chip also aids tyre clearance giving you the option to run up to 29 x 2.6in tyres in the frame. Although the chip will increase clearance, Santa Cruz hasn’t designed the Tallboy 4 with plus-size wheels in mind and so it isn’t compatible with 27.5+ hoops.

As adjusting the chainstay also moves the brake disc position, Santa Cruz supplies the Tallboy 4 with caliper mounts for both positions.

tallboy 4 first look
Available in XS,S,M,L and XL oh and XXL!

While completely redesigning the suspension on the Tallboy 4, Santa Cruz’s designers also fettled with the geometry to make the new bike 2 degrees slacker than the outgoing model. And if all those changes weren’t enough this tropical Hubba Bubba coloured bike is the first Santa Cruz 29er to be available in XS for a total of 6 available size options.

santacruz tallboy 4
The Tallboy now looks like the Nomad, Bronson and Megatower.

As already mentioned, our test bike is the Tallboy 4 CC X01 Reserve. CC means it features the best carbon frame Santa Cruz offers. The frame alone costs $3099, with complete CC bikes starting from $6,999. If that’s a little much for you then there is also C carbon frame which can be had as a bike from $4,199 and there will even be an alloy version of the Tallboy 4 starting at just $2,699 for a complete bike or $1,999 for the AL frame.

There is also a Juliana version of the new Tallboy called the Joplin. The Joplin uses the same frame as the Tallboy but in different colours and with Juliana decals. The geometry is exactly the same but the Joplin will only be offered in sizes XS, S and M.

Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 Gallery

Mark has been testing this yellow beauty so for more details on how the 2020 Tallboy 4 rides and handles the UK summer slop check out this full review. Riders interested in the Joplin should keep their eyes peeled for Amanda’s first ride review of that bike also coming very soon.

Check out the official trailer from Santa Cruz

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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