The Highball is
now available in 29. Santa Cruz kept the handling
characteristics the same between the 27.5 and the 29" bikes, and let the wheel
size’s traits shine through. One difference –the 27.5” version has a
size small, while the carbon 29ers do not, but the aluminum bike is
available in a small frame (but no XXL—that one's carbon-only). On the
29er, we shortened the chainstays by almost a half-inch, and stretched
out the front end of the bike by about the same. This allows you to run a
more modern stem/bar combo and makes the bike a little quicker in the
corners. A lot of folks want to talk about head tube angle when they
talk about hardtails, but we rode a lot of different options, and
decided the 70.5-degree angle we used on the first Highball was spot-on.
It strikes the right balance of quick handling and stability, and won’t
wander on you when you’re climbing.
Despite Santa Cruz's commitment
to carbon fiber engineering and manufacturing, we know the allure of a
metal bike. Perfect welds, proper heft, and a certain tangible quality
makes metal an attractive material. It's also more amenable to the
placement of bolts and other hardware than carbon is, which is why we
offer a single-speed dropout kit in the alloy version of the Highball,
but not the carbon. If you want to get your hammerhead on, we think this
is the best way to do it. In addition, we reduced the seat post size to
27.2mm, which adds some compliance you’ll appreciate when you’re 80
miles in to a 100-mile race.
The Highball is unapologetically fast, surprisingly fun, and every bit a Santa Cruz mountain bike.