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2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball 29 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame

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2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball 29 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame

 

Beginning in model year 2016, newly re-imagined suspension designs have been ushering wagon wheels into the all-mountain category, but there’s still no substitute for the speed and agility of a steep-angled 29er. Santa Cruz Bicycles has done its own work on the 29er suspension front, but the Highball 29 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame remains a pure cross-country speed machine. Riding a hardtail means no squish and no weight penalty, so the bike is more efficient and easier to propel uphill. Santa Cruz’s Carbon CC construction also maximizes weight loss and stiffness, further contributing to the worm-burning qualities that made us first fall in love with 29ers all those years ago.

The Highball 29er’s frame is a single-piece layup of carbon fiber 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, strengthening the frame, dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load, and allowing for comparable strength with less material. Translated into trail talk, this means it hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals, dampens high-speed chatter, and holds lines like a cat on carpet — all with a low-weight that makes any full-suspension bike look like a bloated downhill-only machine.

The Highball does somewhat address the lack of rear suspension with a diminished seatpost, slimmed down to 27.2 millimeters. While this doesn’t quite equate to the square-edge hit capabilities of the Nomad or Bronson, it does help to eat up chatter that will otherwise accumulate over the course of a long ride. Up front, the 29-inch model has a sharper head tube angle than the Highball 27.5 so it dances nimbly through switchbacks and technical sections. Although it has longer chainstays than the 27.5 version, The Highball 29er actually has a shorter wheelbase, courtesy of that head tube angle, which contributes to the confident handling when quarters get tight.

Finally, Santa Cruz’s approach to the carbon layup process deserves a quick mention before we sign off. The carbon is compacted from both inside and out, eliminating voids, preventing delamination, and creating a smooth interior. While that level of aesthetic perfection is a nice idea, even if we can’t see it, the real-world benefits of a perfect interior include no resin pools or unintended material abnormalities, which can structurally compromise a frame over time.

An uncompromising cross-country race frame

Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs

Exhibits nimble agility when the trail turns crunchy

Top-tier Carbon CC construction drops grams and stiffens up

Internal routing and threaded bottom bracket satisfy every mechanic

Santa Cruz Bicycles has been a driving mountain bike force since 1993

 

2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball 29 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame

Frame Material:

Carbon CC

Fork Travel:

[recommended] 100 – 120 mm

Head Tube Diameter:

1-1/2 – 1-1/8in tapered

Headset Included:

no

Bottom Bracket Type:

73 mm English threaded

ISCG Tabs:

no

Cable Routing:

internal

Front Derailleur Mount:

high direct

Derailleur Pull:

bottom

Brake Type:

disc

Seatpost Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rear Axle:

12 x 142mm

Recommended Use:

cross country

Manufacturer Warranty:

lifetime on frame

 

2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball 29 Carbon CC Mountain Bike Frame

GEOMETRY CHART

Highball 29
  Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
M 17in 23.6in 24.2in 16in 29in 3.5in 70.5o 72.5o 2.2in 16.9in 42.5in
L 18.7in 24.6in 24.5in 16.9in 29.8in 3.9in 70.5o 72.5o 2.2in 16.9in 43.3in
XL 21in 25.6in 24.9in 17.7in 31.5in 4.3in 70.5o 72.5o 2.2in 16.9in 44.5in
XXL 22.5in 26.6in 25.3in 18.6in 32.9in 4.7in 70.5o 72.5o 2.2in 16.9in 45.5in

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