So after leaving the heat of the desert I jumped on a plane in Grand Junction and left Firsty and the Crank Brothers FJ and headed out to the best coast to catch up with Dain Zaffke (Easton’s marketing manager) and Mike Ferrentino (Santa Cruz’s dark lord) as well as a bunch of other Bay Area buddies. The Tallboy frame—which I had built up in Greg Herbolds’ Moab garage/shop with a few loaner parts from Firsty and the ex World Champ himself—was destined for its final build in Dain’s basement. So here it is in its final glory.
The Easton Haven Carbons are sex on wheels. Off the trail they look insane but on the trail they are bulletproof. Dain has been riding his set for over a year and he rides hard; his wheels are as straight and round as the day they rolled out the door. I tried my best to sneak a 140mm Revelation out of RockShox, but after riding the 140mm (set to 120mm) Reba for a week now I'm pretty damn impressed with the stiffness.
My old Elixirs have been stopping the mandarin machine but that awesome SRAM XO derailleur and XX cassette have kept things moving forward.
So if you're pedalling slowly my new ride is the Santa Cruz Tallboy. A 100mm VPP shredable carbon weapon, Seb kind of made them famous with his "drifting" video from a year or two ago.
Matt V from FSA kindly supplied the super stiff 27/42 FSA SLK cranks, there is a bit more SRAM goodness by the way of the black XO rear mech, and then there is the FOX RP23 which is pretty standard on Santa Cruz bikes and is an absolute proven performer.
Santa Cruz Peaty grips, Haven 710 carbon bars and what would have to be the raddest stem in existence, the Haven (55mm).
Too many cables, but one cool tapered head tube behind it all...
Right now though it’s bagged up in a Ground Effect Tardis, sitting in the Santa Cruz offices waiting to come with me to the airport. Not too long after that it will be rolling on good old windblown Wellington dirt.