At the moment, the buzzy, hyperbolic headlines and glory shots littering the covers of the glossies might have you believing that burly all mountain and enduro bikes are the ones to watch this season, but a closer look across disciplines would reveal that it's not just long and low terrain devouring rigs that are changing expectations across the mountain world. The definition of XC has quietly become more fluid every year, and with the all new 2017 Tallboy Carbon CC 29 X01 Complete Mountain Bike, Santa Cruz demonstrates confidently that it's possible for an XC bike to enjoy rough and rocky terrain every bit as much as supple laps on singletrack. To put it simply, Santa Cruz aimed to make the Tallboy a more capable, versatile bike this year, without taking it cruelly far away from the design that earned it so many loyal 29er followers. Though the new version counts plenty of notable changes compared to its predecessor, its major changes include a more relaxed, spacious geometry and the improved performance of a reworked linkage that all of Santa Cruz's latest models have received. Santa Cruz also made important modifications to its flip chip technology, first seen on the Hightower, to ready it for use on the Tallboy 3. Flip chip was developed to allow riders to switch between 29 and 27. 5 wheel sizes, and on the Hightower, necessitated a slight change in head tube angle. However, Santa Cruz was able to fine tune the technology to allow the geometry to remain exactly the same across each wheel size. This means, depending on the day, your Tallboy 3 could be barreling with stability through gouged up grassy trails and rock gardens, or floating over root latticed switchbacks with plush, quiet confidence of 27. 5.By XC standards, the Tallboy 3's head tube angle takes it leaning towards the trail side of things, from a traditional 70. 2 degrees to a more relaxed 68 degrees, and Santa Cruz managed to shave a little over 13mm off the chainstay length to bring them dow...