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  1. #1
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    Tallboy vs Hightower?

    Hi all

    Santa Cruz is replacing my Hightower frame on warranty

    And as they are fkn awesome, they are letting me change to a TB4 if I want.

    Me:
    40s. Ride a lot (3-5/week). Live in Durango, many of my rides are 1-2 hours long.

    I never shuttle, never huck, never go to the park. I ride uphill, a lot.

    Also, I donít really ever race. I do like to ride techy and chunky trails, and concerned that the TB4 will be undergunned when pointing it through chunder.

    Iíll be putting a fox 36 that is currently set to 140 (but could run 150) on it

    So? Anyone have any input? (Iím leaning toward TB4)

  2. #2
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    Durango local here (for another month at least) who rides 3+ times a week.

    I'm assuming this is going to be a one bike quiver? If it is, I'd personally take that Hightower frame and never look back. But, I am a bit of a kook who like to huck sometimes and straight line though chunder since I suck... so I need the extra travel. I have friends around here who are riding "similar" bikes to the TB (Norco Optic and Revel Ranger) and none of them have said anything about their bikes being undergunned on the local trails. And those guys hit the Purg bike park and ride a lot faster downhill than I do. If your heart desires that Tallboy I'd send it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    Hi all

    Santa Cruz is replacing my Hightower frame on warranty

    And as they are fkn awesome, they are letting me change to a TB4 if I want.

    Me:
    40s. Ride a lot (3-5/week). Live in Durango, many of my rides are 1-2 hours long.

    I never shuttle, never huck, never go to the park. I ride uphill, a lot.

    Also, I don’t really ever race. I do like to ride techy and chunky trails, and concerned that the TB4 will be undergunned when pointing it through chunder.

    I’ll be putting a fox 36 that is currently set to 140 (but could run 150) on it

    So? Anyone have any input? (I’m leaning toward TB4)
    The TB4 is highly capable, especially if you add a Cascade Link. That said, I just went from a TB4 (140mm Mezzer) to a Ripmo and I'd rather have a Ripmo - it pedals just as well and does better through the chunk at speed. I ride similar stuff to what you ride.

    The TB4 is going to be poppier and a bit more nimble than your Hightower.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkendrenchman View Post
    .

    The TB4 is going to be poppier and a bit more nimble than your Hightower.
    I like the sound of that

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASmileyFace View Post
    Durango local here (for another month at least) who rides 3+ times a week.

    I'm assuming this is going to be a one bike quiver? If it is, I'd personally take that Hightower frame and never look back. But, I am a bit of a kook who like to huck sometimes and straight line though chunder since I suck... so I need the extra travel. I have friends around here who are riding "similar" bikes to the TB (Norco Optic and Revel Ranger) and none of them have said anything about their bikes being undergunned on the local trails. And those guys hit the Purg bike park and ride a lot faster downhill than I do. If your heart desires that Tallboy I'd send it.
    Yeah, pretty much 1 bike quiver.

    Even though I love pointing it through chunk, a lot of my rides are on the CT, or quick evening bangers in the Test Tracks. =TB4

    Where ya goin? Why leave Durango?

  6. #6
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    1 bike quiver: Hightower.

    It's not like it's a dog on the climbs, and having a bit more squish is fun. Durango has enough chunk that a bit more travel doesn't seem like it'd be wasted.

  7. #7
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    Still torn. Leaning toward TB4

  8. #8
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    I was in the same spot last season - I was set on the Tallboy because I needed an efficient climber that I could pedal long distances and descend confidently. My local shop sold me on the Hightower simply because you get a lot more downhill capability without sacrificing much uphill efficiency. It's the best bike to have if you only have one full suspension bike. I would have gone with the TB if I had a longer travel enduro bike as well. I set mine up with a 150 fork and light-ish components so cranks up hill just fine.

    Like funkendrenchman said, TB will be more nimble and poppy; the HT is definitely a longer, more planted, stable bike. I'm really loving my Hightower after 2 seasons; it just rides any terrain so well.

  9. #9
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    Both great bikes (Iíve demoed both and my wife has a TB4) but on most parts of most rides Iíd rather be on the TB4, which from what you described wonít limit where you can ride, just slow down a little in the rough. Also, youíre not getting any younger. 5 years ago (Iím 53) my Bronson V2 seemed the perfect choice, and it still does everything well, but if I was buying right now, Iíd go with the TB4.

  10. #10
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    Iíd do either:

    - Run a longer stroke shock on the TB and get 135ishmm to match that forkÖ some smaller coils fit in that frame.

    - Go with the HT but swap the air spring on the 36 to 150 or 160Ö


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  11. #11
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    Tallboy vs Hightower?

    Itís like a 50/50 split! You guys offer no help!

    I should add that Iíve been on a 2018 Hightower for a few years.

    More snap and a lighter climber sounds awesome. And with the 36 @ 140 up front, should be able to point it through chunk.

    Still, leaning toward TB

  12. #12
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    My wife put the Rockshox super deluxe on her TB4 to have that extra resi on the shock for more oil cooling on longer descents and it definitely helped a ton in the overall composure of the bike in rougher terrain. Her 120mm bike feels like a 140mm bike but while only weighing around 27.5 pounds which is rad.

    I'd be conflicted, too, though. A lot of Durangos trails are on the chunkier side so I'm sure you could put that hightower to good use, but with you saying you're more of a pedaler the TB4 wouldn't be the bad way to go. I ride the new 2021 rocky Mtn instinct with 140mm of travel around Breck (granted besides our high alpine, most of our trails are much smoother) and sometimes I wouldn't mind stepping down a bit as I also love to pedal, especially with Rocky Mountain unveiling a new "downcountry" style Element next year.

  13. #13
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    Then longshock the TBÖ I think you can just remove a spacer from the OEM shock. That is what o was going to do but couldnít find a TB frame in stock so I went a different direction.


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  14. #14
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    I haven't ridden the TB4 but had an older model. When I tested the HT, it felt like I was driving a dump truck. You will certainly have some transition in that you will need to be more active and choose smoother lines on the TB over the HT.

    Can you demo a TB from your local shop?

  15. #15
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    Long-shock a Tallboy and put a Fox 36 140 on the front... best of both worlds for what you're riding.

  16. #16
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    I spent 12 years, Ď03 to Ď15, in Durango. I rode thousands of miles on cross country bikes, most of them on a Giant MCM hardtail with an 80mm fork. I could ride pretty much everything close to town on those bikes. I even cleaned extended extended Raider a few times.

    Now, I live in Seattle and ride a Sentinel. When Iíve gone back to Durango, the Sentinel makes most of my old favorite trails boring. Sailing Hawks isnít a challenge, Animas up is a painful slow grind, Animas down is actually fun. On South Rim I canít maintain enough speed to drift the the turns. On Cowboy, I have to ride ridiculously fast (fast enough to kill somebody if I hit them) for it to be loose and fun.

    A HT is pretty close to a Sentinel in capability. For me, it would be too much bike for Durango. I vote TB.

    When I move back to Durango, Iíll be picking up something more fun to ride. Iím worried that the new ďtrailĒ bikes, like the TB, Izzo, Spur, Ranger, etc..., will also make the trails boring for me. I may end up on a CC race bike, or (the horror) a hardtail 29er.
    U.P.: up

  17. #17
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    Long shock the Tallboy with a light coil or reservoir shock, and a 36/Lyrik up front.

  18. #18
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    The 36 upfront is a given, as that what I have.

    Tell me more about this long shocking you all speak of.

    Explain it to me like Iím a child.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradissimo View Post
    Sailing Hawks isnít a challenge, Animas up is a painful slow grind, Animas down is actually fun.
    The trail we used to call the Party Trail has been renamed vulture. It drops off the west side of animas straight into sailing hawks. When you left it was pretty scrappy. Itís freakiní awesome now.

    Of course, the BLM is going to close it. For as amazing as the riding in Durango is, the land managers sure make it difficult. I feel for Mary and T2K as they seem to be fighting an uphill battle everyday.

    Also, the bottom of Star Wars is completely changed now. Itís mostly good, though thereís a few things Iíd like to modify.

    Thanks for your input.

  20. #20
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    Santa Cruz is the balz!

    Will everything convert from your HT to a TB if you switch?

    I have zero input as to which way to go. I have a HT, Bronson, and I want a TB.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    I have a HT, Bronson, and I want a TB.
    Well this is TGR

    Signed,

    TGR poster with a Bronson, Ranger and Karate Monkey who wants an e-bike

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Long shock the Tallboy with a light coil or reservoir shock, and a 36/Lyrik up front.
    Or get a Cascade Link. I had one and never felt that the rear was the limiting factor - it was the 140mm fork instead of a 160.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    The 36 upfront is a given, as that what I have.

    Tell me more about this long shocking you all speak of.

    Explain it to me like Iím a child.
    Long shocking is essentially choosing a rear shock that has the same overall length but with a longer stroke than the stock shock. This gives you more travel than stock configuration but there can sometimes be downsides (i.e. your rear tire may hit your seat post on a deep compression).

    Your previous HT (and my current HT) requires a 200x51mm rear shock (51mm of shock travel before it hits the travel spacer). When I bought a new shock for my bike the only Mara Pro I could give was a 200x55mm. This changed the rear wheel travel from 135mm to 150mm since the shock will now travel 55mm. I have the spacer to reduce travel but I've left it as is. There is enough ramp up at the end of the compression that my mara pro only gets about 51-52mm of travel anyway. That keeps me tire from buzzing my seat tube. YMMV with the TB4.

    If you do some googling you will likely find others who have done the same thing with the TB4.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Seth

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    The 36 upfront is a given, as that what I have.

    Tell me more about this long shocking you all speak of.

    Explain it to me like I’m a child.
    Part 1:
    Shock manufacturers don't actually make eleventy billion different combinations of shock eye-to-eye and stroke lengths, they make the longest stroke length for each eye-to-eye, then put in a little travel limiting shim on the shaft to create different stroke lengths. I.E. usually a 230x65, 230x62.5, and 230x60 are all the same shock, just with no shim, 2.5mm shim, and 5mm shim.

    Part 2:
    Most bikes can actually run a slightly longer stroke shock than they're spec'd with. This is for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: designers wanting round numbers for travel, trying to keep lots of frame/tire clearance, or keeping a bit of extra clearance to account for manufacturing tolerances. If there's extra room (typically, if you ride a larger size frame, and run 2.4" tires instead of 2.6"), you can try running 2.5mm more stroke to get a little more travel. Some people in the past would short stroke frames to run larger wheels or tires.

    Part 3:
    You can roughly estimate the increase in travel by multiplying the ratio of the new stroke to the old stroke against the original travel. Tallboy specs a 190mm E2E x 45mm stroke to get 120mm travel. If you ran 47.5mm stroke, you'd get roughly 47.5/45 * 120 = 127mm travel.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkendrenchman View Post
    Or get a Cascade Link. I had one and never felt that the rear was the limiting factor - it was the 140mm fork instead of a 160.
    Yeah, that looks pretty good. https://cascadecomponents.bike/colle...4-tallboy-link

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