Tallboy VS Hightower: The Battle Of The Tall Bikes

If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike, you may have noticed the recent buzz around two of the newest models available – the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Yeti Hightower.

Both bikes are tall and have similar specs, but which one is the better choice? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the differences between the Tallboy and the Hightower to help you decide which bike is right for you.

What Is A Tallboy?

A Tallboy is a type of mountain bike that offers more confidence and control than a standard bike, thanks to its higher standover height and longer wheelbase.

A Tallboy has a longer top tube and head tube, which results in a more upright riding position compared to the standard mountain bike.

It also has a longer chainstay, giving it more traction and stability on technical trails. Tallboys are available in both hardtail and full-suspension versions and come in a range of sizes from extra small to extra large.

The extra stand-over height makes them great for taller riders, as well as those who prefer a more relaxed riding position.

What Is A Hightower

The Hightower is the latest addition to Santa Cruz’s popular Tallboy range of mountain bikes.

It has been designed to provide a more aggressive riding experience for experienced riders and features a longer wheelbase, longer top tube, and slack head angle compared to the original Tallboy.

With its increased reach and slackened head angle, the Hightower is more capable in challenging terrain while maintaining a low bottom bracket height and short chainstay length.

This makes it an ideal choice for technical trails, enduro racing, and anything else you can throw at it.

As with all Santa Cruz bikes, the Hightower has been designed with superior suspension technology, with adjustable travel and geometry, allowing you to tune the bike to suit your needs.

The Hightower also comes with a range of components that allow you to customize the bike further, such as a choice of wheel sizes (29” or 27.5”) and an array of drivetrain options.

Tallboy VS Hightower: The Pros And Cons

When it comes to tall bikes, two popular models are the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Santa Cruz Hightower.

Both of these bikes offer riders a different ride experience and can be great for those looking to tackle more difficult terrain. So which one should you choose?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each bike and determine which is better for your needs.

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is a great option for those looking for a more responsive bike. The shorter wheelbase gives you better cornering ability and the 29” wheels provide more momentum on climbs.

The Tallboy also has a much lower bottom bracket height than the Hightower, making it easier to get your feet on the ground when starting and stopping.

The Tallboy is not as well-suited to technical descents as the Hightower. It lacks the slack head angle and low center of gravity that the Hightower has, making it harder to navigate through rocky sections of the trail.

The shorter wheelbase can also make it feel less stable at higher speeds.

The Santa Cruz Hightower offers a more aggressive ride with its longer wheelbase, slacker head angle, and low center of gravity.

The Hightower has more travel and is better suited to tackling steep terrain and rock gardens. The larger 27.5” wheels provide more grip, making it easier to roll over obstacles and maintain traction in corners.

The Hightower can be harder to maneuver in tight switchbacks and is more difficult to get off the ground when starting and stopping.

The suspension is also more active than that of the Tallboy, so it can be harder to get a good pedal stroke when climbing.

When deciding between the Tallboy and Hightower, it depends on what type of riding you plan on doing.

If you’re mostly riding trails with few rocks or steep sections, then the Tallboy would likely be the better option.

On the other hand, if you’re tackling steeper terrain with more technical features, then the Hightower is probably going to be your best bet.

Here is a Table Differentiating Both Tallboy and Hightower

Feature Tallboy Hightower
Wheel Size 29″ 29″
Rear Travel 120mm 140mm
Front Travel 130mm 150mm
Suspension Type VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) VPP (Virtual Pivot Point)
Frame Material Carbon, Aluminum Carbon, Aluminum
Head Tube Angle 65.5° (66.5° for 120mm) 65.4° (66.1° for 140mm)
Seat Tube Angle 76.3° 75.3°
Chainstay Length 430mm 435mm
Bottom Bracket Height 330mm 342mm
Weight 28.5-32 lbs 30.5-34 lbs

Note: the values provided in the table are approximate and may vary depending on the specific model and year of the bikes.

The Verdict

When it comes to the battle between the Tallboy and the Hightower, it depends on your preference and what you are looking for in a tall bike.

Both of these models offer great quality and great performance, so either could be a great choice for you.

The Tallboy has slightly better components, which can make it slightly better for more technical trails. However, the Hightower is still a great option that offers a good mix of features.

Ultimately, both bikes are great choices if you’re looking for a tall bike. If you need something that can handle technical trails and some downhill action, then the Tallboy is probably the better option.

However, if you’re looking for a more all-around bike that won’t break the bank, then the Hightower is worth checking out.

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