A big bike for big rides
The Santa Cruz Hightower is a big bike for big rides. It has 135mm of rear travel and a 67 degree head angle ready to tackle challenging terrain and long days in the saddle. It is a bike that can handle an Enduro race, a bike park or a quick fast spin on the local terrain. It is long, low and slack but also an efficient pedaler with a 74.3 seat angle. It is an agile and playful bike with 17.1 inch stays and a 150mm dropper post.
A Plus bike or a 29er first?
But wait, it has a trick up its sleeve. It is a 27.5 Plus bike as well with three bike configurations that can be purchased with 2.8 inch 27.5 wheels out of the box. The key to all this is it’s not retrofitted with Plus tires or 29er tires compromised at either setup. It truly is optimized for both configurations. This is accomplished by a Flip Chip rear shock mount that raises the bottom bracket when the bike use 27.5+ wheels. The fork is also converted from 140mm to 150mm to maintain the bottom bracket height of 13.27 inches in either configuration. Head angle is 67 degrees in 29er mode and 66.8 in 27.5 Plus mode. Since the wheels are Boost front and rear, it’s able to fit 29er tires and 27.5 Plus tires with ease.
A massive sweet spot
What we arrive at here is a bike with a massive sweet spot. It is a long and slack 29er that is capable and playful in one form. It’s ready to take big, fast, epic rides were speed and precision are coveted. Then the owner can have an extra set of wheels and convert the bike over to a 27.5 Plus wheels to maximize traction on loose conditions. Shock absorption on extremely rocky and rooty terrain can be tackled too with very low tire pressures on 2.8 tires mounted on 40mm internal Easton Arc wheels.
Joining the Santa Cruz hit parade
This bike joins the Santa Cruz Bicycles hit parade that has been propelled by the recent wave of the Nomad, Bronson and 5010. This bike follows the same gene pool which is the characterized by long, low, slack bikes with incredible VPP suspension performance. Gone are the days of stiff suspension under pedaling as it’s replaced by bikes with supple suspension and excellent traction.
If you’ve ridden the latest Nomad and Bronson, then you’ll have a good idea about how this bike feels. It is supple with it’s smooth and responsive suspension and it is a carving machine with its short stays, low bb and stiff wheels. The 150mm dropper post is perched on a steep seat angle for excellent climbing performance and the seat gets out of the way for aggressive descending. Reach is long and stack is low as it’s optimized for wide 800mm bars and a 50mm stem.