Mark Scott's Santa Cruz Hightower LT: EWS Bike Check - Crankworx Whistler 2017

Aug 10, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  



Mark Scott hails from the Edinburgh region in his namesake country. The Santa Cruz ripper transitoned from downhill racing to the Enduro World Series and never looked back. He likes tough courses and mach speeds, so the Whistler Crankworx EWS should be as perfect a race as the Scottish lad could wish for. PB photographer caught up with mark in the pits for a pre-practice bike check of his Santa Cruz Hightower LT and a conversation about how he plans to keep it in one piece come race day.

For the record: Mark is five-foot, nine inches tall (174 cm), weighs near 150 pounds (68kg) and rides a large-size frame.
Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Mark Scott

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
RockShox Monarch Plus shock stuffed with volume spacers.


So, you’re going to be on a Hightower LT. You’ve been on a 29er all season, right?

Scott: Almost two years now, actually.

Any special tires for Whistler?

Scott: Downhill Minion DHFs 2.5, front and rear. I use 22psi in the front and 24 for the rear tire.

So, you are sponsored by RockShox, right? Any custom tuning?

Scott: Yeah, I have the new Charger damper in the Lyrik fork and there's a Monarch Plus in the rear—I just ramp it up with a load of tokens for these faster tracks. There's maybe five or six in there.

That's a monster chainring for Whistler, Any other components we should know about?

Scott: It's a 36. Yeah—the biggest one I can find. Brakes are the new SRAM Code RSCs with 200-mm rotors. My bars are Descendants, cut to 760 millimeters.

How are those new wheels working out?

Scott: Yeah, the new Santa Cruz wheels. They’re sweet. We have the 30s on now. We had the 27-millimeter ones, then we got a hold of these. They’re 30-millimeters wide and they work really well with the bigger tires.

Anything special that you will change on the bike for Whistler?

Scott: No, other than it’s set up for going like f**k.
Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
SRAM XO1 Eagle crankset with a monster, 36 tooth chainring

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Eagle 12-speed transmission.

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
The new RockShox dropper lever is sweet.

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Santa Cruz's new 30-mm width carbon wheels.

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Maxxis Minion 2.5-inch DHF downhill tires on both ends.
Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Industry Nine hubs

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
SRAM Guide RSC brakes with 200mm rotors.

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
As if 29ers didn't have tall enough handlebars already, Mark adds 25mm of spacers under the stem.

Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
RockShox Lyrik fork with a Charger damper and "many" Tokens.
Mark Scott s Santa Cruz Hightower
Aaaaand, the most popular pedals on the EWS.

95 Comments

  • + 88
 last time I came this early my girlfriend left me...
  • + 1
 hahahaha..
  • + 2
 the neil patrick harris of enduro.
  • + 53
 I'm running a 32 but I etched a 38 on the side. No one messes with me.
  • + 8
 I like it. I hear that takes seconds off your Strava times, too.
  • + 41
 PB: Anything special that you will change on the bike for Whistler?

Scott: No, other than it’s set up for going like f**k.


I can dig it.
  • + 3
 Ya thats the most boss answer to that question possible
  • + 12
 Wonder how much travel the lyric is setup as 150 or 170? Sick bike getting mine next year! Anybody need a kidney$$?
  • + 0
 cant it 180 like the yari?
  • + 3
 An even longer fork would just reduce reach further. It already feels on the short-ish side on my LT...
  • + 2
 she's running at 160mm on the Lyrik
  • + 1
 It does come at 150mm when ordering it "stock"...
  • + 9
 Probably one of the sickest trail bikes I've seen in a while. LOVE the colors.
  • + 10
 Specifics like fork travel, psi, etc are important info.
  • + 5
 Again... The drink bottle is that taking the piss?? Or do I need to lose the camekbak!! Looks tight!... As a nuns nasty...
  • + 3
 for racing I think you need to lose the camelback and buy some gorilla tape....
  • + 7
 Guide, Codes...we got brakes on this thing for sure
  • + 6
 Pretty much my perfect bike!
  • + 4
 Why is there a frame protection foil on the top tube? Against sweat? Water ballon attacks (Death from Above, Simpsons)?
Just wondering, maybe I should do that, too?
  • + 13
 They are there to protect the top tube from his big balls.
  • + 4
 @Isey: Then I definitely need one. A re-enforced one that is ;-)
  • - 1
 Protection from your foot when mounting and dismounting quickly.
  • + 3
 So is he running guides or codes, that chainring is a monster though, 36t and 10t in the rear is he really gonna be pedaling in that, must be going warp speed at that point! lol
  • + 4
 Once you are enticed to ride Eagle by your sponsor, you have to compensate with the chainring size... If Graves was riding for Sram and got Eagle on, he'd be probably using 42t up front...
  • + 3
 Pretty sure those are the new codes like he said..
  • + 0
 It's written that new Code RSC are the ones he uses.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: if the bike will take a ring that big
  • + 2
 I don't see how 36 is monster size? 36/50=0.72, the low gear is like 30/42.
Though 36/10 with 29"... High gear is big yeah, I guess they just need it. otherwise, what's the point of eagle for pros...
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 11, 2017 at 2:30) (Below Threshold)
 @Uuno: "what's the point of eagle for pros..." don't get me started... I rode in the mountains all summer on 34-40 and DH tyres... I saw girls cranking 34-42...
  • + 1
 Someone clever please do the maths. Let's say 120 RPM is doable on rough terrain, 36/10 with a 29" wheel. What's the wheel speed -> bike speed? C'mon it must be possible to work out!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I would love to know what gears pros use. Let's say XC, weight is so important, 11s vs 12s is a real advantage of you don't use the whole range anyway.
I feel like they only use the 36 or 42 sprocket, shame what sponsoring does
  • + 5
 @fracasnoxteam: Will anyone be pedalling at 70km/h? I'm skeptical...
  • + 4
 @sourmix: No but maybe at 72rpm - 44kmh, at least I think I would
  • + 2
 @Uuno: Whistler has some pretty sustained steep climbs in the transitions between stages. I'm pretty sure most riders will be using the lowest gear they have.
  • + 2
 @sourmix: doubt it, to rough. Probably for better chain line when he is peddling in the faster midrange gears.
  • + 2
 @Uuno: hmm hadn't considered they'd want to keep the cadence down but still push on at that speed range, that's probably more likely huh!
  • + 2
 @sourmix: I am too. I was just answering the question.
  • + 1
 @fracasnoxteam: yes and thanks for that, was not intending to sound negative towards you just trying to figure out the logic of these gearing ratios.
  • + 1
 @sourmix: AARON GWIN AND DANNY HART WILL BE!!!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it had been several days since you'd told us about your huge członek
  • - 1
 @sourmix: If I am going upward of 35 mph, I am sprinting. If I am sprinting, I am pushing anywhere between 240 and 360 rpm. Say you want to spin 120 rpm at 12 mph (the average speed on world cup tracks at not so high altitudes) in the 21 cog, thats a 25 tooth chainring.

I am fairly certain no one needs bigger than 36/10 on 29 for anything. Very few ever use it I am sure. Judging by the XC field at Mont Saint Anne, some of the riders should have lower gearing on those climbs they slip out on anyways.
  • + 4
 Rider says he's switched to Codes, levers say Code on them, PB editor writes Guides anyway. NFG.
  • + 4
 Sick bike!! What's up with those valve stems though?
  • + 2
 e.13 valve stems
  • + 1
 They're the e.thirteen valve stems
  • + 1
 Mid 90's racing was all about biggest gears possible. I one stage I was using a 48/34 double with a 26 - 12 8 speed cassette. Nowadays I run more conservative 36 front 42 - 10 rear.
  • + 1
 Funny how Marco Osborne beefed up his Cannondale Jekyll for Whistler compared to Scott's Hightower. It's like they are not planning to run the same course. The Hightower looks like it would suit a smoother course.
  • + 4
 was thinking the same but then there is a 50lb weight difference between riders
  • + 1
 What happened to the Camo frame protector next to the upper shock mount? Full bike pic vs. RS Monarch Pic. I love these find the difference games Smile
  • + 1
 I always have to think of this one :-):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=y39P8PsGCNI
  • + 2
 nice bike, those wheels are lookin extra classy
  • + 2
 Whats the purpose of raising bars 25mm?
  • + 7
 Makes it look bigger!
  • + 31
 More rise.
  • - 1
 @Blandayboy: of course more rise.....what are the benfits?
  • + 52
 makes the handlebars higher by 25mm.
  • + 7
 @payback: It's higher.
  • + 32
 It's not called a Lowtower...
  • + 1
 Gets ya weight 25mm further back
  • + 12
 @payback: Better to descend on steeper tracks apparantly
  • + 3
 @BT180: ..and it's easy to rise up the front , as in trials
  • + 3
 for me it helps on the real steep stuff .
  • + 3
 Maybe he likes it that way? I'm pretty sure he does.
  • + 3
 Short HT?
  • + 11
 Fork resale value :-)
  • + 1
 @payback: More rise.
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I love your name btw.
  • + 1
 Need them 30mm wide rims for the 2.5 maxxis that measure 2.25.
  • + 1
 Nice bike! I'm waiting on the 26" Lowtower LT version!
  • + 1
 174cm tall on a large 29er, I think I need a bigger bike
  • + 1
 No , he needs a smaller bike
  • + 7
 It is a Santa Cruz "large" after all Wink
  • + 2
 Smash it lad!
  • + 1
 What color is it? Looks more like the Nomad Ink...
  • + 2
 22psi is lowwww
  • + 3
 68kg is light.
  • + 2
 2.5ers are big
  • + 1
 @flymcg not at 68 kg though....
  • + 1
 L is small.
  • + 1
 Small hightower.
  • + 1
 Silver hubs - fuck yeah!
  • + 0
 seriously 36! What a stud! my girlfriend left me as well.
  • + 1
 I ride a 36t and I'm old, slow, and married. It only helps on the Mammoth Kamikaze though. I curse it on climbs for the rest of the year.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: Whats the point apart from bragging about it? Get a 34 and enjoy 95% of your rides
  • - 1
 @mollow: too lazy to swap. its not so bad
  • - 1
 @mollow: bro I'm sure you can enjoy your ride regardless of the fr chainring.. you have a friggin 50t in back to bail you out. 38/50 is like the same as my 34/36 10x1 drivetrain. Work out your legs dude..
  • + 0
 @RGonz: yeah well who said I had 50t... I got 42 bruh
  • + 10
 30t for lyfe
  • + 1
 @RGonz: thank you bud, a cassette that big and a chainring that big should be easy work for a professional athlete
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: so is it not so bad or do you curse it on climbs?
  • - 1
 @wpplayer18: Only when I burn out on a climb do I think about it and use it as an excuse. It's only a couple of teeth. People get too hung up gear inches - I'm not a pro XC racer or even a dentist, so I don't trip. I like the descent.
  • - 2
 @endlessblockades: do you realize we were having this whole conversation because of you whining about it in your first comment?
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