Quick look at the new Santa Cruz Tallboy V5

by 4

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is very probably the original Down Country bike. Hush now. It’s true. We ain’t seen the new one in the flesh, let alone ridden one yet (we’ve asked for one ASAP though!)

And yep, there’s the women’s version too. AKA the Juliana Joplin, see below.

Rider: Eliot Jackson

Santa Cruz Tallboy nutshelled

  • C & CC frame options
  • 120mm rear travel
  • 130mm fork
  • 29in wheels
  • Glovebox downtime storage
  • XS-XXL frame sizes
  • Prices: £5,299 – £9,499

Choice snippets from the marketing bumf

We mimicked our longer travel geometry to create a bike with a 65.5-degree head-angle, generous front center, and short offset fork.

120mm of lower link-driven VPP suspension is designed to handle tough climbs and yet still take on high-speed descending.

Proportional Geometry: seat tube angle steepens and rear center grows as frame size increases.

The reduced rolling resistance and larger footprint of 29-inch wheels inspires confidence and helps riders cover ground efficiently.

In addressing the leverage curve, we found that reducing progression, both by lowering the starting ratio and increasing the ending ratio, improved sensitivity further in the travel and helped the bike ride higher in its stroke, producing a more responsive, snappy feel.

Glovebox: High quality fit and finish. Comes with a Tool Wallet and Tube Purse

The Tallboy has earned a loyal following amongst those who seek a go-to bike that will hold up to the relentless hammering of “power hour” hot laps or long days in the saddle harvesting the best trails.

The highly-refined VPP suspension on the Tallboy combines pedaling efficiency and all-out bump-chomping prowess. If ever there was a gravity riders’ XC bike, the Tallboy is it.

Don’t expect drastic changes on this [bike] – the Tallboy 4 is well loved, and is commonly referred to as a ‘magic bike’ around here. People are reluctant to sell theirs should the next version stray too far from the one we know and love. There are significant suspension upgrades, but aside from a bit of reach and rear center, geo’s almost unchanged, and in our opinion, that’s a good thing.

The Tallboy is for riders who like to squeeze the life out of every ride. It’s a bike that can be ridden on more technical trails than we normally see 120mm bikes on– and sure, the rider might take a bit more of a beating, but the efficiency you get in trade makes up for it. Like the 5010, it’s a great bike for riding fast on familiar trails.

Rider: Hailey Elise

Juliana Joplin

Same as the Tallboy above but with some different contact point components, only one colourway and only in XS – M sizing.


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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

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Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Quick look at the new Santa Cruz Tallboy V5
  • Blackflag
    Free Member

    As 29 is pretty much standard now, perhaps the tallboy name is getting a bit outdated. Perhaps regular sized boy may be more appropriate

    Full Member

    Had my v2 for ten years now,a few upgrades but still totally rocks! Liking the v5 alot.

    Full Member

    Over my budget but I absolutely love that purple/blue colour.

    Full Member

    perhaps the tallboy name is getting a bit outdated

    lets be honest, apart from the Blur, none of the names make sense

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