In a vacuum, the Highball Carbon CC 27. 5 X01 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 nimble 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. The latest Highball Carbon CC frame is built with the same Carbon CC construction as its predecessor. It features a higher modulus carbon than the Carbon C model, so less material is required to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to a lighter chassis that needs fewer watts to propel, and the watts that you do pour into it are transferred with greater efficiency courtesy of the increased stiffness. The whole frame is also a single piece 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, buttressing the frame and dissipating the force from impacts and pedaling load. Translated into trail talk, this means it hits the bricks when you stomp on the pedals and dampens high speed chatter. The Highball's efficiency combines with its low weight for a package that makes any full suspension bike's responsiveness feel as sharp as an overripe banana. As cyclists, we often daydream about spec'ing a dream build kit, and we spend plenty of time playing around in our own Configure Bike app at the expense of whatever obligations we've got queued for the day. With the Highball X01 build kit, Santa Cruz spared us the dilemma of picking a component loadout or road ...
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