Santa Cruz Megatower unleashed

29er brawler with 160mm travel and dual flip chips

29er Enduro News
Santa Cruz Megatower

The new Santa Cruz Megatower is built to charge. Photo by Gary Perkin

First came the Hightower. Next was the Hightower LT. Now the progression continues with release of the much rumored and now confirmed Santa Cruz Megatower, a 29-inch wheeled brawler that’s ready for the Enduro World Series or whatever gnar you want to throw at it.

Santa Cruz Megatower

The two frame color options of the new Santa Cruz Megatower [click image to enlarge].

Santa Cruz Megatower

Key metrics include 160mm travel front and rear, 65-degree head tube angle, 76-degree seat tube angle, 470mm reach size large, and a lower link mounted VPP suspension design. The new beast of a bike is available in five frame sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and Santa Cruz’s standard two carbon frame variants, C and the stronger, lighter and more expensive CC.

Santa Cruz Megatower

The Santa Cruz Megatower is driven by 160mm of VPP suspension that plays nice with air or coil shocks.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Santa Cruz Megatower frame has two flip chips. One is located in the dropout and allows for 10mm of chainstay length adjustment, putting the range from 435mm to 445mm. Tire clearance is 29×2.5 in the short chainstay setting and 29×2.6 if you opt for the longer setting, which puts wheelbase on a size large at 1241mm.

Santa Cruz Megatower

Flip chips on the chainstays and lower link allow for extensive performance customization.

Santa Cruz Megatower

The other flip chip is in the Megatower frame’s lower link, providing geo adjustment (-/+ 3.5mm in BB height), which helps preserve BB height for “over-forkers” and allows riders the ability to fine-tune their ride. Fork compatibility range is listed as 160mm up to 180mm. When the lower link flip chip is set in Lo Mode, reach drops to 467mm size large, while headtube angle slackens to 64.7 and seat tube angle moves to 75.8.

Geo Charts for Hi and Lo Modes

Santa Cruz MegatowerSanta Cruz Megatower

Other notable features of the Santa Cruz Megatower include the ability to fit a water bottle and piggyback shock inside the main triangle, a leverage curve that’s designed to work with coil or air shocks, metric sizing that works with the bearing shock eyelet, 1x only and up to 36t chainring clearance, ISCG-05 mounts, and a shock fender, shuttle guard, downtube protector, and ribbed chainstay protector. The bike also comes with a lifetime warranty on frame, bearings, and Reserve carbon wheels if you’re so inclined.

Santa Cruz Megatower

No chain slap here.

Price/build options in the U.S. market range from $3299 for a CC frame and shock to $10,499 for a dream build spec’d with SRAM AXS wireless electronic drivetrain and Reserve carbon wheels. In between are six more build options that go from $4499 to $9799. Some of the component highlights include Maxxis Minion DHF (2.5)/DHR II (2.4) on all builds, 170mm travel droppers on all frames size large and up, 200mm rotors front and rear, and either e*thirteen or MRP chainguides stock. Here’s a breakdown of claimed bike weights, plus more details via a Santa Cruz Megatower FAQ and lots more photos.

Santa Cruz Megatower
Megatower CC 29 XTR Air Reserve — 30.9lbs, 13,785g
Megatower CC 29 XTR Coil Reserve — 31.64lbs, 14,352g

Santa Cruz Megatower FAQ

The geometry chart shows two settings. How do I adjust that?
There’s a “flip chip” on the link where the shock mounts. Just remove the lower shock bolt and flip the chips to the setting you desire

Should I ride in Hi or Lo setting?
You should definitely try both, but we typically recommend starting in Hi. This will make the bike more agile and easy to get used to. If your terrain is quite steep, give Lo a try. This setting lowers the BB by 3.5mm, slackens the head angle by 0.3 degrees, and generally biases your weight a little further back.

The leverage curve of the suspension changes slightly as well: it’s more progressive. The geometry changes combined with the slight suspension change will make you feel like you’re sat further down in the bike. Great for steep gnar, not as good for flatter corners. It’s easy to change, so experiment.

Santa Cruz Megatower

Adjusting chainstay length of the Santa Cruz Megatower changes flickability and tire clearance.

How does the chainstay-length adjustment work?
The bike ships in the short position, and nothing unusual is required for this setting. The brake mount is Post-Mount 180, so just add whatever adaptor you need to make it work for your chosen rotor size (none if you want 180). Included with the bike is a special brake adaptor to adjust to the long setting. This setting only works with 200mm or larger rotors.

Use the included 1.5mm spacers between your caliper and the bracket if you are using 203. Put the spacers above the caliper if you are using 200mm. Once you’ve changed the adaptor, install the Long derailleur hanger and then flip the chip around in the non-drive dropout. There is a retaining set-screw in the chip. Make sure you loosen this to remove it, then snug it up once you’ve re-installed the chip.

What size tire will fit?
In short position, the largest tire we recommend is 29×2.5″. In the long chainstay setting, a 29×2.6″ will fit as well.

Santa Cruz Megatower

A water bottle and piggyback shock can be tucked inside the main triangle.

What is the largest chainring I can use on the Megatower?
With a proper boost chainring (52mm chainline), the Megatower will accept a 36t chainring or smaller.

I want to change my rear shock. Any limitations?
The Megatower was built to be compatible with all shocks on the market, that we’re aware of. We haven’t tried some of the smaller obscure brands, but it fits anything from Fox and RockShox

Santa Cruz Megatower

This bike is built to rally hard. Photo by Gary Perkin

What is the recommended fork?
Our geometry is based off of a 160mm fork with a 42 or 44mm offset. We wouldn’t recommend less travel than that, as the BB will get a bit low. 180mm is fine if that’s your preference.

Can I put 27.5″ wheels on my Megatower?
No, the Megatower is built exclusively for 29″ wheels and tires. 27+ tires won’t fit, and the geometry is not setup for a conversion.

What kind of headset does this bike use?
This bike uses integrated headset cups. The upper is 41mm and the lower is 52mm. The SHIS name is IS 41/28.6 IS 52/40.

Santa Cruz Megatower

All build options come stock with a chainguide.

Can I mount a chainguide to my bike?
Yes, this bike is equipped with ISCG-05 tabs for easy chainguide mounting. Most chainguides on the market that are made for this standard should work. We have first-hand experience with MRP and e13 Guides, which fit great.

Santa Cruz Megatower

Choose between C and CC carbon frame options.

To learn more and see all the complete bike build options head over to

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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  • WantSteepSeatSC says:

    I have compared photos with other steep seat angle and for tall riders I find it very hard to believe this is a 76°, the MBR video review mentioned “69 degree and seating far over the rear wheel for tall riders.

    Has anyone real measurement of seat angle on XL and XLL for 6″4 (192 cm) riders ?

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