Santa Cruz Highball

BikeRide Score
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Where to buy

Not found for sale. More bikes


Release Year
Wheel Size
Numbers of Gears
22.61, 24.9 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the this bike. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

19 reasons to buy

  • The carbon frame and Fox front suspension fork create a stiff, stable and forgiving ride on the Santa Cruz Highball.
  • The carbon frame has a lifetime warranty.
  • The bike is available in four sizes, fitting a wide range of riders.
  • The bike comes with the ESI Chunky grips that reduce vibration on the rider’s hands over rough terrain.
  • The rigid carbon seatpost is narrow, increasing its vertical compliance and providing comfort to the rider.
  • The Santa Cruz Highball is stable on descents and over rocky obsatacles, with its long wheelbase.
  • The Highball corners well with a long wheelbase and reach.
  • The 51mm fork offset sets the Highball up for excellent handling and steering on cross-country trails.
  • The low seatstays and seat tube angle reduce trail chatter for the rider, increasing their overall comfort.
  • The geometry of the bike places the ride over the pedals for greater power transfer.
  • The Highball climbs efficiently with a wide range of gears.
  • The Fox fork is lightweight and can be locked out from the handlebar switch, making it easy to adjust, on the fly.
  • The Highball utilizes SRAM components to ensure the bike shifts smoothly and is responsive when braking.
  • The external, threaded bottom bracket is easy to maintain.
  • The Maxxis Rekon tires provide great traction on rides over loose dirt.
  • The Highball is available in two builds. The higher end build includes the carbon Santa Cruz Reserve wheels that come with a lifetime warranty.
  • This bike is an excellent option for larger riders. There is not a rider weight limit.
  • The bike is designed to take on longer distances, with three water bottle mounts.
  • Several experts agreed, the Santa Cruz Highball was immediately comfortable. One did not need several rides to get used to the bike.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The base builds do not come with a dropper post, due to their added weight. Riders can choose to upgrade to a dropper post.
  • One expert found the steep head tube angle made the bike fidgety.

Bottom line

Overall, the Santa Cruz Highball is a fast, stable and high-quality cross-country bike. It has the potential to be a bikepacking bike, as it is designed to take on long distances and tackle a variety of offroad terrain. The carbon frame paired with a reliable SRAM groupset and knobby Maxxis Rekon tires make the Highball ready to go the distance. It even has mounts for three water bottles. A wide gear range makes this bike both powerful and efficient through climbs, while the long wheelbase provides riders with stability and control on descents. Experts had few complaints about this bike. One noted it did not come with a dropper post, while another found it a bit fidgety due to the steep head tube angle.

Expert Reviews

80/100 based on 1 expert reviews
Level 5 expert

Santa Cruz Highball 29 CC Custom Build Long-Term Review

Level 5 expert

The Highball has been the ideal hardtail for the type of riding I like to do and, while it’s not 100 per cent perfect, I’ve loved every minute riding it.

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Guy Kesteven
Level 2 expert

Santa Cruz Highball: Best Bikes in the World Live Ride Review

Level 2 expert

This bike is a serious pinner, I’ve been loving it today.

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Singletrack Magazine
Level 1 expert

2018 Santa Cruz Highball 3 CC X01 Reserve – Review

Level 1 expert

The steering is a little bit sharper, a little bit more intuitive. Santa Cruz did that deliberately to keep the Highball as that sharp, agile, super fast hardtail.

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Level 5 expert

Santa Cruz Highball-First Ride Review

Level 5 expert

The Highball is a fast-paced machine that handles best under a skilled and fit rider.

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Riding Feels Good
Level 1 expert

First Ride Review – Santa Cruz Highball CC Carbon 29

Level 1 expert

I would say that Santa Cruz reached its objective and that the bike has a wonderfully dampened feel while remaining lively and responsive.

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User Ratings

100/100 based on 1 ratings
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