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2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike

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2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike

 

The Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike may not be the out-and-out fastest XC machine in Santa Cruz’s stable. That honor falls to the Highball 29er—but only in the vacuum of a smooth ribbon of singletrack or a well-kempt fire road. There’s no room for honor in the less-than smooth conditions of an actual XC race, and the Highball 27.5’s ability to overcome small obstacles with a large angle of attack without sacrificing dexterity while climbing or getting hung-up while interrogating stretches of recalcitrant, enduro-worthy trail furniture mean that it’s actually superior outside of virtual speed simulations.

Though speed is the focus here and squish tends to eat into that, the Highball does address the lack of rear suspension with a diminished seatpost, 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 trail vibrations that tend to accumulate over the course of a long ride. Up front, the 27.5 model has a more moderate head tube angle than the Highball 29er. At just 69 degrees, it rides the divide between slack stability and razor-sharp handling, keeping you in control while helping to control the terrain. Unsurprisingly, it also has shorter chainstays than the 29er version, which maximizes the hardtail rear triangle’s efficiency while mashing.

As with the original 29-inch model, the Highball 27.5 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 and a lower weight. Translated into trail talk, this means the Highball hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals, dampen high-speed chatter, and hold lines like a cat on carpet — all with a low-weight that makes any full-suspension bike look like a bloated downhill-only machine.

Finally, Santa Cruz’s approach to the carbon lay-up 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.

A cross country bike with a nimble wheel size

27.5in wheels balance agility with rolling aggression

Santa Cruz’s carbon know-how leads the stiff and light game

Long reach and a short stem make for clean handling

Steep front end stays on point while grinding out climbs

 

2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike

Frame Material:

carbon fiber

Suspension:

hardtail

Fork:

Rock Shox Reba RL

Front Travel:

100mm

Headset:

Cane Creek 10 Series

Shifters:

SRAM NX

Front Derailleur:

n/a

Rear Derailleur:

SRAM NX

Crankset:

Race Face Aeffect AL

Bottom Bracket:

BSA threaded

Cassette:

10-42t SRAM XG-1150

Chain:

SRAM PC-1110

Brakeset:

SRAM Level T

Brake Type:

hydraulic disc

Rotors:

160mm Avid Centerline

Handlebar:

Race Face Evolve

Handlebar Rise:

flat

Handlebar Width:

720mm

Grips:

Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-on

Stem:

Race Face Ride

Saddle:

WTB Volt Race

Seatpost:

Race Face Ride

Seatpost Diameter:

27.2mm

Wheelset:

[rims] WTB STP i19 TCS

Hubs:

[front] Novatec D711, [rear] Novatec D772

Front Axle:

15 x 110mm Boost

Rear Axle:

12 x 142mm

Tires:

Maxxis Crossmark DC EXO

Tire Size:

27.5 x 2.1in

Pedals:

not included

Recommended Use:

cross country

Manufacturer Warranty:

lifetime on frame

 

2017 Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon 27.5 R1 Complete Mountain Bike

GEOMETRY CHART

Highball 27.5
  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
S 16in 22.6in 22.7in 15.5in 28.3in 3.9in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 42.1in
M 17in 23.6in 23in 16.3in 28.9in 4.3in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 43.1in
L 19in 24.6in 23.4in 17.2in 29.9in 4.7in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 44.1in
XL 21in 25.6in 23.8in 18.1in 31.3in 5.1in 69o 73o 1.6in 16.7in 45.2in

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