Spoke Magazine

I heart large cans

Posted by Caleb Smith on Tuesday June 14 2011

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.

  • LR

    Um Caleb, hate to disappoint but conditions back here are more ‘rain soaked muck’, than ‘wind blown dirt’ at the moment.

  • Emma

    or you might first encounter some ash blown muck… and fying on that airline might mean you dont make it home as swiftly as you thought! Also why dont my wheels look that good…

  • http://www.calebsmith.co.nz Caleb Smith

    Emma, yours look good, mine just look better. I’m not looking forward to hanging out in sydney waiting for ash to subside… but i am looking forward to mud and smashing berms…

  • Scotty

    Toot toot! All aboard the BLING TRAIN.

  • Timjim

    One man does surely not need two fully 29’ers in the garage, so I nominate myself to help keep your WFO from getting rusted up from lack of use… damn I am jealous of those wheels!!

  • Mark

    V nice. I heart large cans too, but I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing.

  • Dave M

    Are you sure that rear shock isn’t too small for the frame? The picture looks like they swapped it out for one which is way too samll.
    And do you think you can get a matching helmet?

  • Jono

    Looks mint caleb. As mark says, you better be waxing the frame as it’s kinda wet and sticky back here now.

  • rod bardsley

    yeah well, i have nothing to say except…..no, i cant. hang on, Jono…why is your back here kinda wet and sticky now??? oh and Caleb, first you have a 26 inch banana up your backside and have now ended up with a 29 inch mandarin jammed between your arse cheeks. dude you really suit your new XC rig.

  • rod bardsley

    oh yeah, and how come you got an xtra small frame.? when SC asked you”what size is your frame” did you think they said “brain”