Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon CC 29 X01 Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

Perfect fit.

Though it's now available in a 27.5in wheel version, the lively kick of Santa Cruz's Highball Carbon CC 29 X01 Complete Mountain Bike proves it will always be a 29er at heart. The fit is so natural that SC didn't have to make many changes between 2016 and 2017, simply updating a few elements of the build kit and dressing the Highball in some new colorways. SRAM's bang-for-the-buck X01 Eagle drivetrain and a set of DT Swiss 350 hubs are among the returning cast. Ditto the ARC 24 rims—though some recent industry moves mean they've been rebranded from Easton to Race Face.

The latest Highball Carbon CC frame is also built with the same Carbon CC construction as its predecessor. It features a higher modulus carbon than the Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to a lighter chassis that needs fewer watts to propel, and the watts that you do pour into it are transferred with greater efficiency courtesy of the increased stiffness.

The whole frame is also a single piece instead of a jigsaw puzzle of individually-cured carbon tubes. This allows Santa Cruz to wrap the fibers continuously around structurally important junctures like the head tube and bottom bracket, buttressing the frame and dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load. Translated into trail talk, this means it hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals and dampens high-speed chatter. The Highball's efficiency combines with its low-weight for a package that makes any full-suspension bike's responsiveness feel as sharp as an overripe banana.

  • An XC bike whose wagon wheels make short work of dusty trails
  • Long reach and a short stem make for nimble handling
  • Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs
  • Santa Cruz Bicycles' top-tier Carbon CC construction
  • SRAM's Eagle drivetrain includes the ultimate bailout gear
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When I buy it, it's good

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I work for Competitive Cyclist /, with that I get to ride a lot of bikes, and not just any bikes, great bikes. So it goes without saying that if I buy a bike to keep in my house and ride/race every day it's a winner. With a road background I have never been ultra happy on the dirt until mtb bikes became what I consider

When I buy it, it's good