SC Hightower 2019 vs 2021?

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SC Hightower 2019 vs 2021?
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Posted: Jun 24, 2022 at 14:28 Quote
Hello all,

Need your advice! Looking at three used Santa Cruz Hightowers. Wondering if newer (with lower quality group set) is better than older with higher quality group set? I'm not racing, but will mostly use bikes on Tahoe trails and occasionally at bike parks (e.g., Northstar, Mammoth). Will probably use the bike for the next 5-10 years (maybe longer!).

Option 1: 2019 Hightower LT CC XX1 -- $5600 (link: https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/d/corte-madera-2019-santa-cruz-hightower/7476596038.html)
Option 2: 2018 Hightower LT CC XX1 -- $5k (same seller as above, but his dad's bike and one year older)
Option 3: 2021 Hightower LT C S -- $5k; also says the original purchaser moved overseas and has only ridden it approximately 5 times (pics look clean!) https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3350755/

Thanks for any advice!

Posted: Jun 24, 2022 at 14:52 Quote
I would get the 2021 definitely, no contest. The suspension and geometry update of the hightower after 2020 is much, much better.

Those older bikes have very impressive builds and were probably worth close to $9-10k new. However, the geometry and suspension is a bit outdated compared to the 2021. The 2021 may not shift as well as those others, but the difference in ride will be night and day.

Posted: Jun 24, 2022 at 15:22 Quote
MT36 wrote:
I would get the 2021 definitely, no contest. The suspension and geometry update of the hightower after 2020 is much, much better.

Those older bikes have very impressive builds and were probably worth close to $9-10k new. However, the geometry and suspension is a bit outdated compared to the 2021. The 2021 may not shift as well as those others, but the difference in ride will be night and day.

Really appreciate the advice MTB36! Thank you!

Posted: Jun 25, 2022 at 18:48 Quote
I have had a HT V1, HTLT and now have a 22 HT. My LT was warranty replaced, which is how I ended up the 22 HT. There was no LT for 21.

Honestly, I would like to have another LT. It is just a hoot to ride, weighs less than the 22, is more poppy, like a trail bike vs a plow type enduro bike. The new HT feels more capable, but the LT was not holding me back. Personally, I like the external brake lines, the easy reach for susp lever flip, and just the overall feel. I ride in the foothills and mtns of NC, for reference. I don't seek out the gnarliest terrain, but do like tech stuff and ability to carry speed through roots and rocks. Fun to pop off stuff too.

I got a frame, so all my parts moved over, which gave me a good feel of the frame differences. Both are stable at speed with a slight nod to the 22. I ran a DPX2 on the LT and running the new Float X on the 22. I have had thoughts of selling the 22 HT frame and picking up another LT frame.

Components don't matter as much to me as much as how well the frame/bike has been taken care of. If all are equal, I now what I would choose, but that is my personal preference. I would choose one of the LT's, a gloss paint one if there was, and whichever color I liked best. Mine was matte and I hated the way it captured dirt (and I had it wrapped!)

I also have a 22 Blur, and I ride it more than my HT. They are equipped similarly and the Blur is light and fast, very fun to get off the ground.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.

Posted: Jun 25, 2022 at 23:54 Quote
I have a 2018 and 2019 ht, and use to have an 22ht but did not care for it as it felt slower and less responsive to myself.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 12:37 Quote
Different strokes. I find the 2020+ Hightower to be head and shoulders better than the 2018 I had previously.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 12:58 Quote
Depends on what terrain you are riding and how you like to ride. In some ways, it is, in others, which matter more to me, it is not. I hate internal brake routing.

To me, seems like the line up took a step forward in ability or travel capabilty. IOW, the new Tallboy seems as capable as the old HT, and the new HT feels like more bike than the HTLT, though they are same travel.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 13:13 Quote
I was actually going to say my 2018 Hightower felt alot more like my 2022 Tallboy than my 2020 Hightower.

Having both bikes likely makes me miss the previous Hightower less I suppose.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 14:23 Quote
Not sure why anyone would have a Santa Cruz in the first place. VPP was designed to get around the FRS/Hurst link pattens that are now gone. The whole rear triangle is unnecessary and just a bunch of extra weight. When weight matters, look at the Blur. Does it have that whole giant rear triangle….nope, VPPis just a brand thing.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 14:43 Quote
Hardly. Blur is great. But, your post has nothing to do with this topic.

Posted: Jun 26, 2022 at 14:47 Quote
gnarnaimo wrote:
I was actually going to say my 2018 Hightower felt alot more like my 2022 Tallboy than my 2020 Hightower.

Having both bikes likely makes me miss the previous Hightower less I suppose.

I can see that. I would move to a TB from my HT. I just don't need that much bike. The LT felt more like a more comfy version of a trail bike. Main reason I am considering a new TB is warranty and color. Otherwise, older LT or HT would suit me fine. Actually sold a 17 HT to get the Blur. Wished now I had kept it and sold the 22 HT frame...

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