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29er - Santa Cruz Tallboy vs Specialized epic S-Works 29er


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#1 Agter-os

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:50

I looked at several 29er options, and finally settled on the SC Tallboy. Bought frameset, fork (Rock Shox Reba XX) and wheels (ZTR Crest), and moved all other components over from my 26" Yeti (components are a mix of XTR and SRAM X0, Truvativ Noir seatpost, Easton XC bar).

The result is a 11.3kg Tallboy (including pedals, bottle cage, garmin accessories). From the first ride, I absolutely loved the bike: it's stiff (very stiff, made of one piece carbon), fairly light (I don't think another 200-400 g off will be noticeable, unless perhaps it's in the wheels), strongly built and very responsive. From some timed circuits in my MTB area (Tokai, Silvermine), I noticed an instant 5-10% improvement in speed, even with lots of climbing.

It's also a very versatile bike, that with a 5" fork and a few basic changes transforms itself into a light All Mountain bike. See threads on the Net.

I prefer smaller boutique brands with excellent designs and well engineered bikes (Santa Cruz, Yeti, etc) to the many me-too brands that come up with new models and new colours every year. For Specialized, I prefer some of their accessories (gloves, helmets, etc) over their bikes!



I recieved my new Tallboy only yesterday! Whow, I still have to get use to the 29'er and XO combo feeling... and I am still too scared to take it into the mountains around Franschhoek, rather just enjoy the view for now! Use to ride a Litespeed full suspension but gave up after the bike's been in the US for 14 months (still is) on warranty repairs, a damn disgrace! Hope SantaCruz gives a better service?

#2 Agter-os

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 05:07

Just want to get some opinion on the build I am about to start.
I have narrowed my choice of Frameset down to the two great bikes mentioned above. (I currently have a 2010 epic comp carbon 26")
I want to build a sub 10kg FS 29er.

I am leaning toward the Tallboy. Some of the deciding factors thus far....
Please note that both prices excluded shipping and duties. (frames only)
Tallboy price, without Fork - USD 2500 approx. (can spend alot more on top end components)
S-Works with front Fork - USD 4000 approx.
Besides the price differrence, Specialized have no stock (both locally and abroad) - most are saying end of Feb. Tallboy can be shipped on Monday. (I hate waiting...)
Even though I am a current Spez client, I am totally unimpressed with thier service in SA (but no more of that, this is not a rant).
Specialized is also like BMW, just about everyone one, Santa Cruz on the other hand are less common.

Id like to hear the opinions of the experienced out there, which one would you consider the better option?
Thanks in advance.


Hi, I collected my Tallboy just yesterday from Fred Coleski at Gecko Cycles, they are in stock and would probably come down to the same price as the Spez. I had a Litespeed but you really do not want to go there! Onse of my best friend also have a Tallboy and he admits that he will never get on another bike again! I have not had the time to take it into the mountains yet but I burn to ride, problem is the Cape South Easter wind will take me off the bike as soon as I drive out the house! Impressive bike. Lesson learned: If ever another bike frame cracks, just claim it from your insurance and skip the hassle of sending it off!...good luck buying, I am done searching for a long long time.

#3 Don1

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:43

Thanks again guys for all the comments.
I am however oh so fickle! When I started the thread I was leaning toward Tallboy, but oppertunity lead me astray again..
I heard mtbvip comments on the thoroughbred animal the S-works is, and also considered what jayz said about 29ers - fs vs hardtail.

The result is this beaut! I have changed her slightly, added the rotor rings, changed the fork compression damper to remote, changed grips and tyres. 9.8kg
I did Vori-berg with her last week and did some lo flying, what a ride, the climbs felt non existant, the decents fast and smooth. Cant wait to spend more time on her, which I will be doing next week at Harkerville and Knysna surrounds. (was loaded and ready for Babbas today, but those floods just wouldnt let up)
So didnt quite get the "build" project i was looking for, but what the hell...Thanks for input :thumbup: will send 1 or 2 pics of her with better surrounds, from Harkerville.

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Edited by Don1, 16 December 2010 - 07:20 .