With three bottle mounts, a new frame designed to dampen vibration, and build weights dipping below 20 pounds (9kg), the new Santa Cruz Highball 29 looks like a carbon race thoroughbred ready for long and fast rides….

Posted by Logan Watts

On paper the new Santa Cruz Highball is a racer’s hardtail. But Santa Cruz also claims this is a bike built for long-haul rides, such as ultra-endurance bikepacking events or 24-hour races. For that matter, the all new Highball features an incredibly lightweight frame, redesigned to absorb trail chatter and vibration. According to Santa Cruz it’s a half-pound lighter than its predecessor, yet it still manages to maintain a few bikepacker favorites, such as a threaded BB, internally routed cables, and three water bottle mounts.

New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018

  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • Highlights
  • Angles (lg): 69.5° Headtube, 73.0° Seattube
  • Stack/Reach: 615mm/450mm
  • BB Drop/Chainstay: 56mm/430mm
  • Bottom Bracket: Threaded standard
  • Hub specs: 12×148 rear / 100×15 front
  • Seatpost: 27.2mm
  • Max tire size: 29 x 2.4″
  • Price: $1899 (frame), $2799 (base)

As previously mentioned, the new Santa Cruz Highball is built to take trail chatter out of the equation. The low-angle seat stays join the seat tube below the top tube junction. This new placement, according to SC, works in tandem with a bridgeless seat stay design to dampen trail vibrations that can cause fatigue on longer rides. Tour Divide, anyone? Also, the new Santa Cruz Highball is built around a 27.2mm-diameter seat post, which apparently serves the same purpose. It’s the small things, right?

Santa Cruz credits the composite development team behind the “MacAskill-proof” carbon Reserve wheels with the Highball’s superior ride feel. They claim that meticulous application of carbon in only the most needed areas allowed them to fine tune a really light frame that retains torsional stiffness but still has the strength for those braving the sketchy lines. To back up this compliance without compromise approach, Santa Cruz offers a genuine lifetime frame and carbon wheel warranty with the Highball.

  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018
  • New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018

New Santa Cruz Highball, 2018

The new Santa Cruz Highball 29 is available in gloss Fog or Eggplant and you can get the frame for $1899. There are also five builds ranging from $2799 to $7999. The most interesting to us is the ‘S’ build featuring a Fox 32 fork, an Eagle GX drivetrain, DT Swiss hubs laced to Race Face AR24 rims, and Maxxis Aspen 29×2.25 tires. It retails for $3399 and tips the scales at 22.26lbs (10.1kg). Learn more over at SantaCruzBicycles.com.

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