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Santa Cruz tweaks the Tallboy and adds some sneaky storage

Santa Cruz Tallboy Gen 5
(Image credit: Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz has opted to follow the 'if it's not broken, don't fix it' mantra with their latest edition of the Tallboy.

The Tallboy is a popular format for riders who are looking for the best trail bike that can be ridden hard, a trait that almost earned the Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 top marks when we reviewed it.

Santa Cruz has decided to maintain that trail hooligan attitude by keeping the geometry almost exactly the same, with just some minor tweaks to the reach and rear center. The geometry is also proportional, with steeper seat angles and longer rear centers as on bigger frame sizes.

Santa Cruz Tallboy Gen 5

(Image credit: Santa Cruz)

They say that there have been significant suspension upgrades though, with the aim being to produce a bike that's more predictable and active. The progression curve of the suspension has been reduced, which Santa Cruz says adds more small bump plushness and helps give the bike more mid-stroke support. Anti-squat has also been reworked to reduce the drivetrain and braking influence on the suspension. 

Just like the recently released Santa Cruz 5010, the Tallboy gets some downtube storage and includes a Tool Wallet and Tube Purse so you can stash all your essentials.

Santa Cruz Tallboy Gen 5

Tallboy now has Santa Cruz's Glovebox storage (Image credit: Santa Cruz)

Unlike the 5010, the Tallboy hasn't gone for a mixed wheel setup, sticking with the 29er front and rear. Rear travel has also stayed at 120mm and although all the off-the-shelf bikes come with a 130mm fork, Santa Cruz says it can go up to 140mm up front.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Santa Cruz will be offering an alloy version of the Tallboy any longer, with frames only available in C and CC grade carbon with sizes between XS and XXL.

Pricing starts at $5,299 / £5299 for the Tallboy C R bike equipped with SRAM NX and tops out at $10,399 / £9,499 for the XO1 AXS RSV model.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg