2016 Santa Cruz Highball Carbon 27.5 Custom Build

This bike is amazing and we are thankful to have had the chance to build it.

The story...

A daughter of some good friends of the shop has been racing in the NICA league here in Harrisonburg for about two years. She rides an older bike with outdated components; however, that hasn't stopped her from doing extremely well. But as she looks to take it to the next level it was evident that her bike was holding her back.

Her parents wanted to surprise her with a new bike and they had their eyes set on a Santa Cruz Highball 27.5.

We were happy to find one (they're hard to come by) and what seemed like an eterneity we had it in and built. To fit this bike perfectly to our friends' daughter we made some custom tweaks to the build.

  • We added a completely custom wheel set made up of Industry Nine Hubs, DT Swiss Spokes, and WTB KOM Rims. Dave even went the extra mile to add baby blue spoke nipples and valve stem to the wheel set to match the frame of the bike.
  • The bike has a 1X drivetrain and to address the number of steep hills on our local trails we swapped out the 32 tooth chainring for a 28 tooth chainring. This gives her some easier gears, while sacrificing some of the "road" gears. As she gets stronger we can add in a 30 tooth or even the original 32 tooth.
  • Our local trails are also known for their rocks. This means we needed to make a smart tire choice. The Highball comes with a nice pair of Ikons, which, are great tires for racing. However, we changed out the front tire for an Ardent to give her a little more grip. We left the Ikon on the rear.
  • When it comes to racing, water intake is extremely important. We added some stainless steel King Cages that in our years of experience have never dropped a bottle.

The unveiling of the bike was last night and once we get some riding shots, we'll be sure to add them. All we've heard so far is that there were tears - happy tears.