V2 Hightower Suspension Upgrades—Help!

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V2 Hightower Suspension Upgrades—Help!
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Posted: Feb 7, 2021 at 13:42 Quote
I'm considering making a couple of upgrades to my stock 2020 SC Hightower S kit. Specifically:

-Hightower V2 LT Cascade Link
-Megneg Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ Upgrade
-Debonair Upgrade Kit- 160mm Spring (from 150mm as it is now)

I'm 6'4" and 195 with kit. The Hightower is an XL frame.

I am a rider here in Pisgah Forest, NC. Most on here know the type of riding around here, but for clarity the riding here is tech rocks and roots, some big hits, no huge jump lines, at times steep, big climbs and sustained downhills. I'm regularly climbing 3-5k on a mix of gravel and singletrack, followed by big sustained descents. I want to be able to climb tech with reasonable speed and agility, but I have to say that I'm willing to suffer a bit more on the ups if it means my descending ability will be significantly improved. I'm looking for more progressive suspension that will decrease my bottom out frequency. I know that the Megneg helps with midstroke support and eases harsh bottom outs. I know that the debonair increases small bump sensitivity and helps utilize the full travel of the fork, so it's not sitting 10mm or so into it's travel to begin with. Besides reading a lot recently about suspension basics and researching these upgrades, I'm new and fairly clueless to getting up in there with my suspension. Clarity on the costs/benefits of my potential setup would be super helpful.

My understanding is that with the addition of the Cascade link, the rear travel is effectively 150mm. I know that the Bottom Bracket lowers by a few mm with the Cascade Link, slightly increasing the occurrence of pedal strikes. Not a huge deal, but a consideration. How will the geometry change if I switch the fork to 160mm? Pros/Cons?

I'm curious if anyone on here has tried these upgrades. Also, any collective wisdom is appreciated.

Posted: Feb 11, 2021 at 22:21 Quote
Cascade link has gotten great reviews on the Hightower. Ups progressivity as well as travel, so that will most def reduce your bottom outs.

Upping fork travel will make the head angle and seat angle more slack and lengthen wheelbase. So you might lose a bit of climbing performance, but descending will be better/more stable.

You might want to look into see what air shaft you have in your 2020 fork, you might already have the updated one. You can look that up using your serial number on the backside of the fork crown. Just plug that into the Rockshox Trailhead site.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 at 16:16 Quote
I run a 160 36 on my Hightower - it is all I have known since I built the bike like that. No issues whatsoever - SC says 160 travel is fine for the HT V2. I have not had any problems with techy climbs at all. Obviously the benefits are more clear on the descents so I see no downside to upforking.

I have been looking at the Cascade Components link too - would like to hear your thoughts if you go that route. I am a light rider so don't really have any complaints about the stock setup though so if anything, I would maybe go mullet.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 at 17:19 Quote
I had the megneg, cascade link and 160 fork on my Hightower 2020 XL before I sold it. Being a heavier rider, the megneg with cascade link didn’t work well with me, I had pedal strikes since I was to low into the travel even at max PSI. I doubt that would be a problem with your weight though. I would suggest doing the cascade and bumping up fork travel to 160 before buying the megneg. I really liked the way the bike pedaled and how well it was downhill with just those two changes. If it still feels too harsh and bottoming out is an issue you can always try the megneg after. The reach will be slightly shorter I believe as well but probably not enough to notice a difference.

Posted: 11 hours ago Quote
I got the Cascade Link, and it has made a noticeable difference. Noticeably more progressive, feels so good. Still dialing in the shock PSI. It drops the Bottom Bracket by 2.3mm, I believe.

I'm going to try out the debonair 160 upgrade up front. I'll keep you posted.

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