Highball Carbon S Reserve Complete Mountain Bike by Santa Cruz Bicycles
Don't be nervous to crank it up to eleven, the Santa Cruz Highball Carbon S Reserve Mountain Bike was designed to go full throttle at all times while racing and blasting around your favorite trail network. A purebred XC bike, the Highball proves its worth when time is of the essence and you're racing against the clock, shaving time from your climbs, which is ultimately where cross-country races are won and lost. Santa Cruz revamped it slightly this year, however, to make sure it won't beat you to a pulp when you're settling into a strong and steady cadence during long-distance efforts and endurance races alike. If their history has taught us anything, Santa Cruz always seems to manage to push the envelope in the design of their bikes and this iteration of the Highball Carbon 29er is no different, weighing a half pound lighter than previous versions in their high-end Carbon CC lay-up. Santa Cruz's composite engineers achieved this through a meticulous application of carbon in zones critical to stiffness and structural integrity. Since the Highball had the reputation as being one of the stiffest bikes in Santa Cruz's line, the engineers had a few tricks up their sleeves in muting trail chatter and excess vibration from this model. Low-angle seat stays meet the seat tube just below the top tube junction, plus there's a bridgeless seat stay to absorb incoming vibration over rugged race courses. Santa Cruz then uses a 27. 2-millimeter seat post diameter to impart even more compliance, so you don't feel every terrain inconsistency in your lower back for days afterward. Although Santa Cruz's Highball makes no qualms about its dedicated racing purposes, it's distinctly Santa Cruz in nature, meaning you can dare to tackle more technical lines on the XC course that would leave you questioning your sanity on other cross-country bikes with steeper head tube angles. For this year's Highball, Santa Cruz slackened it out a hair. Instead of the previous head tube angle of 70/7...
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