The cross country mountain bike world is changing, and fast. Courses have become slippier, steeper, and rockier, XC mountain bikes have become longer, lower, and lighter with geometry geared toward descending stability. As the lines between xc, xc marathon, and trail bikes become blurrier, the focus on balance over focus grows. The 2018 Santa Cruz Highball C is designed to exploit both with serious poise.
The Santa Cruz Highball C hardtail mountain bike is designed for those with zero tolerance for waste, who want all of their pedaling power to the wheels. For 2018, they started with a half pound lighter frame design. At just 966g for a frame (CC frame, size medium), it is among the lightest hardtails on the market. Not to be limited to weight-weenie status, Santa Cruz’s R&D lab engineered greater vertical compliance than any previous hardtail before, thru offset seatstays and a more refined carbon fiber layup. A slacker headtube angle (69.5 degrees), a steeper 73 degree seat tube, and more reach than the competition across all sizes make the bike overall vastly more performant over the course of a marathon race or an all-day adventure. Full internal cable routing, a 27.2 seatpost for additional compliance, and three bottle cage mounts add to the bike’s newfound versatility.
Generally speaking, prior cross country hardtail mountain bikes have felt fast at the expense of uncertain handling characteristics and comfort over longer rides. With a slightly slacker headtube angle than other XC hardtails, handling feels overall more confident and stable at speeds, while the frameset does a good job of taking the edge off of the trail. This makes it more than a one-dimensional weapon for punchy cross-country courses, but a high-performance mountain bike ready for all-day excursions and XC marathon success.
One-by drivetrains are, by now, a prerequisite for modern mountain bikes; as such, the Highball is 1x specific in the name of frame optimization. The Santa Cruz Highball CC is also 29er specific, and offer a remote fork lockout on each model. All models come with a threaded bottom bracket for greater durability and reliability, as well as Santa Cruz’s lifetime frame and bearing warranty.
The Santa Cruz Highball C is available in four sizes (S-XL), two colorways (Eggplant and Fog), and two build kits:
- Santa Cruz Highball C R – Fox 32 Rhythm 100mm fork, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, SRAM NX 34 t crankset, SRAM Level T brakes, and a Race Face cockpit and seatpost. It retails for $2799.
- Santa Cruz Highball C S – Fox 32 Stepcast Performance 100mm fork, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain w/ 10-50t cassette, SRAM Stylo 34t crankset, SRAM Level TL brakes, and a Race Face cockpit and seatpost. It retails for $3399.
R bikes receive WTB STP i19 rims to SRAM MTH hubs with Maxxis Aspen 29 x 2.25″ tires, while S & XE models receive Race Face AR 24 rims and DT 370 hubs.
Have any questions about the carbon fiber Santa Cruz Highball C? Give us a call during shop hours, or send us an email anytime to email@example.com.