Review: The 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower Gets a New Look & More Travel

Jul 2, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  



Santa Cruz bills the new Hightower as a 'Goldilocks' bike, a 140mm 29er that sits squarely in the do-it-all category. The term 'all-mountain' seems to have fallen out of favor, but I'm going to dust it off for this review – it's a fitting description for the riding style that this new bike was designed for.

The Hightower is the latest model in Santa Cruz's lineup to get the lower link-mounted shock treatment, joining the Nomad, Bronson, and Megatower to create a quartet of bikes that look nearly identical, at least from a distance. Up close, and on the trail, it's the bikes' geometry, travel and wheel size that sets them apart.
Hightower Details

• Wheel size: 29" or 27.5+
• Travel: 140mm rear / 150mm front
• Carbon or aluminum frame options
• 65.2 or 65.5-degree head angle
• Price as shown: $8,299 USD
• Frame only price: $3,299 USD (carbon) / $1,999 USD (aluminum)
• Colors: tan / blue
• Weight: 30 lb (size large, actual)
www.santacruzbicycles.com

There are two carbon frame models – CC and C, along with an aluminum option. Prices range from $2,899 USD for the base aluminum model, all the way up to $10,499 USD for the top-of-the-line carbon option, which comes with Santa Cruz's Reserve carbon wheels, and SRAM's AXS wireless electronic drivetrain.

The Hightower X01 Reserve featured here is on the higher end side of that price scale, checking in at $8,299 USD. The X01 Eagle build kit includes a 150mm RockShox Lyrik fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, SRAM Code RSC brakes, X01 Eagle drivetrain, and Reserve carbon wheels shod with 2.4” Maxxis Minion DHR II tires.

bigquotesThere's a healthy dose of plushness mixed in with its playfulness that makes the Hightower extremely comfortable, even when rolling through really chunky sections of trail. Mike Kazimer




2030 Santa Cruz Hightower

Construction and Features

Santa Cruz have settled into a groove with the frame design of their longer travel bikes. The new shock configuration puts the weight of the damper and linkages nice and low in the frame, along with providing room for a water bottle. Plus, it's probably nice not needing to reinvent the wheel for each model.

It does make for a familiar sounding list of features, but that's not a bad thing – Santa Cruz's frames are some of the nicest in the business, and they come with a lifetime warranty, which also includes the bearings. There's internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket, down tube protectors to prevent frame damage from rocks and tailgates, and a ribbed chain-slap guard on the chainstay.

A flip chip on the lower link allows the geometry to be fine-tuned – there's a .3 degree head angle, and 4mm bottom bracket height difference between the two settings, and the lower position also alters the shock curve to provide a little more bottom out resistance.


2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
The new Hightower now uses the same suspension layout as the Nomad, Bronson, and Megatower.
2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
Raised chainstay protectors have quickly become the norm in order to keep things nice and quiet.



2030 Santa Cruz Hightower

Geometry & Sizing

In addition to moving to a lower link-mounted shock design, the new Hightower gets the longer and slacker treatment. The amount of rear travel moves from 135 to 140mm, which is paired with a 150mm fork. The head angle now sits at 65.2-degrees in the low setting, and the reach on a size large measures 470mm. Those are significant changes compared to its predecessor's 67-degree head angle and 450mm reach of the size large. Despite the longer front center, the chainstay length remains the same – the flip chip found on the Megatower and V10 hasn't trickled down.


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Suspension Design

The Hightower's suspension layout may look identical to the Megatower, but a few tweaks have been made that alter its ride characteristics. The Hightower was designed to run an air sprung shock only, and as such it has a slightly less progressive suspension curve than the Megatower. The RockShox Super Deluxe shock has a low rebound and low compression tune, and comes with one volume spacer already installed – riders can add up to 2.5 more spacers in order to fine-tune the end-stroke ramp up.

There's enough room to fit a Super Deluxe or Fox DPX2, but shocks with larger air cans, like a Fox Float X2 or Cane Creek DB Air, aren't compatible.

2030 Santa Cruz Hightower

Specifications
Price $8299
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select Ultimate
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, 150mm
Headset Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset
Cassette SRAM XG1295 Eagle, 12spd, 10-50t
Crankarms SRAM X01 Eagle, 30t - 170mm (XS-S), 175mm (M-XXL)
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB threaded BB
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Chain SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd
Handlebar Santa Cruz AM Carbon
Stem Race Face Aeffect R
Grips Santa Cruz Palmdale
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Wheelset Santa Cruz Reserve 30 carbon
Hubs DT Swiss 350, 15x110, Torque Cap, 28h
Spokes DT Swiss Competition Race
Rim Santa Cruz Reserve 30 29" Carbon Rims
Tires Maxxis Minion DHR 29"x2.4", 3C EXO TR
Seat WTB Silverado Team Saddle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth, 1X Lever, 31.6




2030 Santa Cruz Hightower

2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
Prices for the aluminum Hightower range from $2,899 to $4,199 USD.
2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
I'm not sure what the official name of this color is, but I'm going to go with blueberry.






Test Bike Setup

Getting the Hightower dialed in was refreshingly easy, especially after struggling a bit to get the Megatower to feel the way I wanted. I ended up running a touch over 30% sag, with two volume spacers in the Super Deluxe shock, and four clicks of low-speed compression (counted from full open). Up front, I inflated the Lyrik Ultimate to 77psi, and dialed in one click of HSC and seven clicks of LSC, again, from the open position.

The component spec on the X01 model leaves little to be desired, and the stem length, bar width, and even the grips all matched my preferences. The only small tweak I made was to swap the 180mm front rotor out for a 200 in order to boost the stopping power.

Testing took place around Bellingham, Washington, over the course of the last month of prime summer conditions - sunshine, good dirt, and plenty of daylight for racking up the miles.




Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 36
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer

2030 Santa Cruz Hightower


Climbing

The shock's light compression tune felt like a very good match for the Hightower's kinematics – it makes the compression dial a usable feature, as opposed to needing to run it all the way open without any room for adjustment. I added four clicks of low-speed compression (from fully open) to the Super Deluxe shock, which added a touch more support for climbing, while still retaining plenty of small bump sensitivity for rougher sections of trail. There's also a climb mode that can be used to firm things up even further, but I only touched that when I was spinning my way to the trailhead on a paved road. Otherwise, I was completely content leaving that blue lever alone.

Even though it's longer and slacker than the prior model, the Hightower is still quite maneuverable when things get tight and technical. It's not wildly light, but it's not a pig either, and the well-balanced geometry makes it easy to power through the miles required to reach the top of a big climb. The geometry is really close to that of the Megatower, but with a little less suspension squish, it handled a bit better on the climbs – the 150mm fork (vs. a 160) shifted my weight over the front a little more, and the reduced sag from the shock kept the seat angle a little steeper.



2030 Santa Cruz Hightower


Descending

I didn't look at the geometry chart for this Hightower until I had a handful of rides under my belt, and when I did I was surprised by how similar the numbers were to the Megatower. On paper they may not be that far off, but on the trail, the bikes have two distinct personalities due to the different travel amounts and shock tunes. The Hightower has much less serious feel than the Megatower; where the Megatower felt a little subdued when ridden at a casual pace, the Hightower has a much more eager, energetic nature. It's the type of bike that makes you want to toss in a little speed wheelie whenever possible, or try to double up features that probably weren't meant to be doubled.

Imagine doing a cannonball into a pile of memory foam mattresses - that’s the sensation the Hightower delivers when faced with bigger hits. It’s not ultra-gooshy, to use a technical term, but it does a great job of balancing comfort and support in rougher terrain. The shock tune felt perfectly matched to the bike's behavior - the rear wheel stayed glued to the ground when I wanted it to be, delivering a surprising amount of traction on off-camber roots and slippery, loose corners. I ended up adding one additional volume spacer to the Super Deluxe shock, bringing the total up to two. Dry summertime conditions meant that my local trails were running extra-firm and fast, and the spacer added a touch more support and bottom out resistance. I used all 140mm of travel when it was warranted, but there weren't any harsh bottom outs, or unexpected surprises at the end of the shock's stroke.

A 65-degree head angle on a 140mm 29er would have been seen as extreme just a few years ago; just take a look at the original Hightower's 67-degree head angle for proof. Nowadays, it's fast becoming the norm, especially for this do-it-all category. Yes, the front end handling may be a touch less snappy than the original, but if anything, it creates a calmer, easier to handle ride. I didn't have any trouble with the extra wheelbase length that the Hightower gained either. Granted, I've been spending a lot of time on fairly long bikes lately, but all the same, I didn't have any issues snapping through tight berms or making quick direction changes on more technical trails.

Would the Hightower make a good enduro race bike? That depends. I could see it working well at a location like Rotorua, NZ, where the trails are twisty and tight, and require faster bike maneuvering. For somewhere like Whistler I’d want a a bike with a little more travel, or at the very least the option to run a coil shock in order to better handle the longer, rougher stages.




2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
Santa Cruz Hightower

Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden
Specialized Stumpjumper

How does it compare?

The Stumpjumper and the Hightower both have the same amount of front and rear travel, but there are some significant suspension and geometry differences.

The Stumpy’s rear suspension is more active, which helps give it lots of traction, albeit at the cost of some uphill efficiency, at least without using the climb switch. The small bump sensitivity is excellent, but it’s also hard to avoid using all of the travel on bigger hits due to the more linear suspension curve - the Hightower’s better able to handle those larger impacts.

As far as geometry goes, the Stumpjumper is on the more conservative side of things, while the Hightower's numbers are fairly typical for a modern aggressive trail / all-mountain bike. A size large Stumpjumper has a reach of 445mm, while the Hightower checks in at 470mm. The Stumpjumper's shorter length and 1.5-degree steeper head tube angle give it slightly quicker handling, but it doesn’t have quite the same ready-for-anything feel as the Hightower. Both bikes can handle plenty of rowdiness, but I felt like I could push the Hightower further before reaching its limits compared to the Stumpjumper.

There is one thing the Specialized has that the Hightower doesn’t - a secret snack compartment. That SWAT box is one of my favorite inventions in recent memory, and I wish more companies could figure out how to incorporate on-bike storage solutions.



2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
Maxxis DHR II.
2030 Santa Cruz Hightower
RockShox Reverb.

Technical Report


Maxxis DHRII tires: The dual Maxxis DHR II tire combination isn't a spec choice that you see all that often, but I'm a fan. It's a predictable setup, with plenty of cornering and braking traction.

Updated RockShox Reverb: The Hightower comes with the latest version of the RockShox Reverb, with 175mm of drop on the size large I tested. The fact that it takes less force to lower the post than before is noticeable, but only if you have a previous generation model to compare it to. Thankfully I didn't have any reason to try out the Vent Valve feature, which is used to rectify any squishy post issues - the post is still going up and down just like it's supposed to.

RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock: I touched on it already, but it's worth mentioning again: the shock tune on the Super Deluxe feels really, really good. The ol' parking lot test, the one where you ride in a circle and bounce up and down, doesn't make it feel like anything special, but it's a different story once you get away from the asphalt and onto the dirt. One of my favorite bits of trail is chock full of roots, sudden g-outs, and steep sections into hard turns, and each time I rode it I was impressed with just how well the shock was absorbing all of the impacts.

2030 Santa Cruz Hightower

Pros

+ A true all-rounder - very wide range of capabilities
+ Comfortable + supportive suspension
Cons

- Slightly limited shock options
- A little heavier than the previous model



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesSuper slack and burly enduro bikes are often granted some leeway when it comes to climbing due to their downhill performance, and it's understandable when lighter duty trail bikes don't shine quite as brightly on the descents. As a mid-travel 29er, the Hightower doesn't get to rest on its laurels in either direction - the expectation is that it should be able to hold its own on the climbs and the descents. The good news is, it does.

Yes, there is a limit to what the Hightower can handle, but it takes a good deal of pushing to get anywhere near it, and trying to find the edge is part of what makes it so fun to ride. It hits the sweet spot, where there's enough travel to deal with rougher trails, while still remaining entertaining on smoother, flowier trails. Achieving that balance can be tricky, but the Hightower gets it right. It's more bike than the previous model, but it hasn't lost that sturdy, dependable nature. 
Mike Kazimer









436 Comments

  • 286 3
 Mini mega tower bigger Bronson nano nomad very small V10 5upersized 5010
  • 256 5
 Impossible to know which is which. Just like with Evil (Following, Offering, Conjouring, Fappening, WhatTheF§%king). Sorry forgot we mustn't talk about Evil here.
  • 74 1
 @colincolin: Fappening = gold!
  • 11 4
 @colincolin: why mustn't we talk about evil ?
  • 64 1
 @ashleyren: because Evil bikes are a mythical monster in the pinkbike realm
  • 38 0
 @colincolin: Surprised you haven't been banned for mentioning the bike manufacturer which we shall not speak of......
  • 8 1
 @ashleyren: because 10yr olds read pinkbike...
  • 17 4
 Waiting for a new Hightower LT to "blur" the line between this "mega" range...
  • 28 8
 @VPS13: That and Evil wont pay PB to sing their praises.
  • 8 2
 everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.
  • 11 2
 @TimRidesBikes: of a simulation inside a simulation... inside a simulation.

And something about discolored butthole flaps.
  • 5 1
 @TimRidesBikes: Send in the clones

@squint51: Waki did this better last year: www.pinkbike.com/news/first-ride-the-new-santa-cruz-bronson.html

@colincolin: Fap yourself to a tweet
  • 2 0
 @TimRidesBikes: everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.
  • 5 0
 @Mfro: I'm surprised that Cove hasn't made a fappening yet to go with the Shocker and G-spot
  • 1 0
 @TimRidesBikes: Shots fired! Direct Hit! Its pay to play with pinkbike.....
  • 223 40
 Who the hell picks the colours for Santa Cruz nowadays? Stevie Wonder? The beige Hightower is the same colour as Donald Trumps Hair... literally the whole SC range is horrific colour way now! The new Bronson colours are a unbelievable... either vaginal discharge green, or squirrel sh!t brown.
  • 77 2
 Did Stevie leave Intense?
  • 242 2
 dude! what kind of vaginas have you been hanging out with?
  • 39 0
 @Monkeyass: pretty sure there is a “yo Mamma” joke in there somewhere ????????
  • 26 6
 Totally agree, been minging last few years, not down with the colour trends, all bikes should come with an all black option or I'm not interested.
  • 27 1
 @Monkeyass:
Anyone I can get at my age...
  • 4 1
 Complety agree, went from great colors to horrible choices. I say that and I even own a Santa Cruz.
  • 3 0
 No you.
  • 14 1
 I don't know how it's like in America, but over here that's the color old people buy their stuff in. Like everything.
  • 9 3
 @Russyh: yo mommas so basic she designs all her frames same same and chooses colors while drunk off wine. ????
  • 19 3
 @cyrways: yo Momma is so gross that she paints her bikes the colour of her fanny batter.
  • 6 4
 truly wish I could up vote this more. I was at a SC demo and they had their pink megatower and I asked about color choice as I only assumed they must be going after the female market. He reminded me of the Julian and said "guys love pastel blues and pinks".
  • 9 2
 The guy who used to pick the Santa colors is now working on the Juliana range...
  • 6 2
 @Russyh: “Fanny batter” lol. I prefer “Groin au jus”
  • 13 3
 Yo mamma is so fat, when she halls ass, she needs to make two trips.
  • 2 5
 SO with you on this. I was super excited about this year's range, and it's a complete disappointment all around. So bummed.
  • 8 1
 I like the bikes design and it sounds like this iteration of VPP is pretty sweet. There isnt a rediculous slack sta like the old HT either. But damn, yeah that color is so ugly. Its embarrassing what SC has done. Then you look at what Commencals bikes look like...the RAW Meta, the green British coloraway, the chalk white and red clash, the alum supreme. Their color designs just make this look like preschooler paintings. I dont get it.
  • 4 3
 @littermac: Yup, they're calling that dildo-pink fwiw...
  • 15 0
 A few years ago SC was killing it with the "Miami Vice" Nomad and "Aggressive Salmon" Bronson.

I get that not everyone loves retina-searing bright colorways, but SC's totally gone from pushing the envelope, to offering the most boring colors imaginable.
  • 4 0
 It's mustard. I think this bike would look absolutely migthy in glossy white. Also matt grey. If "funky" is desired, this "blueberry" blue would do. Not a fan of the mustard either.
  • 19 1
 I don't know who follows who, but you can pick your new Santa Cruz to match your new Tacoma
  • 8 0
 100% colors are ghastly though not Intense horrible...also you pay a weight penalty for it. Just give me a matte carbon frame.
  • 6 1
 @Russyh: taint butter*
  • 3 3
 @Monkeyass: The ovulating ones apparently.
...
I'll see myself out.
  • 2 0
 @jollyXroger: you caused laughter out of me
  • 2 0
 @Cyberhatter: say what you will about the tenets of Intense colorways, at least it's an Ethos.
  • 3 2
 @FNDTN: and that is likely the entire point of it.

The nice thing about Tacoma owners is they’ll tell they’re a Taco owner even if you never asked them.
  • 3 0
 @atourgates: Agreed, I also dug those previous designs. Its like the Accounting Department is doing the color designs now. Wth???
  • 5 0
 @jzPV: I heard they're going to change the name to "Santa Chrysler" in the winter.
  • 6 0
 It’s just a phase, kind of like the doo-doo brown era of Specialized and others in the mid-2000s. These are the colors outdoor sporting good companies have decided you will like for now. Santa Cruz isn’t the only one... Pivot, Kona, GT and others (who am I missing?) have decided Matte Sand and Star Wars Blue Milk is where it’s at. Give it a couple years and we will see where they go. I vote for neon lime green.
  • 2 0
 @jollyXroger: Intense is making their bikes look better now, since they stopped following the Santa Cruz school of thought on picking colors.
  • 4 0
 They want to make it impossible for you and bike component companies to match to their color schemes. Lol.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Dude neon lime green is soooo 2013-2015... these years everything came in either that or light blue. Hope this hearing aid brown trend is over as soon as possible (btw Commençal likes it too)
  • 21 4
 Santa Cruz Headquarters is located in Santa Cruz California, which happens to be a pretty significant hub for surf and skate culture. There is no doubt that employees at Santa Cruz are exposed to colorways and trends (in other action sports) long before your average mountain biker. Additionally, I would go as far to say that surf/skate fashion/culture has historically had more influence on mainstream fashion/design/colorways over mountain biking (fact). So long story short is the folks picking colorways for Santa Cruz bikes are probably years ahead of most mountain bikers (in regards to color trends). They may not even be doing it deliberately, it's just what is around them day to day. Yeah, mountain biking is cool these days, but other action sports have been there longer and are taking dramatic steps to defy "old" trends. Hence, we are ending up with some whacked color options!!!
  • 26 0
 @JDFF: Or, they have no taste. Also, if you want the guys who can actually afford these $7-8k bikes to buy them, make matte black an option. Their wives won’t notice replacing one black bike for another. Hard to pull off with puke green, or Exorcist vomit-yellow.
  • 1 0
 @jzPV: Maybe. I vote for it to come back.
  • 3 0
 That 'tan' is really pretty good looking in person - much more so than these images suggest. The contrasting decals on the Lyrik were also a nice touch.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: ha ha, good point.
  • 2 0
 @JDFF: Or Commencal winning the World Cup on a beige bike.
  • 3 1
 @JDFF: yeah man thats the right answer, its like the new mustang came and everyone was wtf is this new colors, design bla bla and now no one wants the old ones. Give it a year or 2 and ppl will be frothin
  • 1 0
 @kawkaw: Don't think so, the new Nomad is out for 2, maybe even 3 years and I just hate that colorway more. Commençal dropped the color and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see it on other brands anymore very soon.
  • 2 0
 @jzPV: haha yeah the Tan is bad, but i hope you like the new Purple/eggplant on the Nomad? I just sold my soul and ordered an alu eggplant frame
  • 2 0
 @kawkaw: yeah, that's nice and creative. The best recent colorways are the matte silver from the Yeti SB 5.5 and SB 6 and the petrol from the SB130. But in Santa's lineup there are still some very attractive colors...
  • 1 1
 Bike companies should at least mainly stick to auto industry colors and then have a few obscure colors if they want to. But at least give the choices of colors you would choose for a sports car because that it is what bikes are.
  • 1 1
 @LDM81: Megatower for you then!
  • 2 0
 What ever happened to Santa Cruz custom colors. They had them like 5 years ago, never used it but it was a cool option. Custom colors, decals...
  • 1 0
 @tgrey5: my Nomad 1.5 had that option. Ano or powdercoat in few different colours. Was phased out a few years later. About the time production moved overseas and plastic frames came about.
  • 68 5
 If I had to pick a bike in SC's lineup for friends (or myself) to ride on any trail in any condition, it'd be this one. Most riders will never need more than 140mm/150mm on a 29er. Looks like a great all-rounder.
  • 88 11
 Waiting for the guy who says that nobody needs more than 120mm of travel on a 29er...
  • 29 9
 It weighs the same as longer travel bikes. If it has the same anti squat where is the downside of more travel?
  • 21 0
 @jclnv: Because that way you just can't justify the buying of a dedicated park bike
  • 8 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'll happily be that guy if you're talking about Banshee Phantom ????
  • 18 14
 @jclnv: I'll give you the dumbest Pinkbike reason: long travel bikes are not as playful and you don't race EWS anyways.
  • 8 9
 @WAKIdesigns: Run slightly higher spring rate. It’ll be just as playful. Of course the real answer would be for this bike to weigh 28lbs. Lighter weight is a big part of playful. But hey, that would mean it wouldn’t be overbuilt to prevent warranties... Manufacturers need to start putting rider weight limits on sizes of trail bikes. That way we might see a benefit to running them over 150/160mm AM bikes.
  • 11 7
 @jclnv: I was sarcasticating. I am into long travel bikes since I would run exactly same setup on 120 bike as I do on 160. And many, many people do. #upforked
  • 17 0
 Is it me or is travel increasing everywhere? It's almost like in the car industry where a car grows from generation to generation by 10% in size.
  • 21 0
 @jclnv: If you have ever ridden a small tavel bike on a flatter/flowier trail you would not want to go back riding a bigger travel bike in said scenario! I have a smuggler and a patrol. Bot have a similar weight, both climb simillarly well. However, on flatter trails the smuggler is just much more entertaining to ride!
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Agreed. Waiting for a 140mm 36 step cast to match this 130-120mm trail bike.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: nobody needs more than 111 mm of travel on a 29er cross-country bike.
  • 12 2
 @WAKIdesigns: my girl said no one needs more than 7.323 inches
  • 10 5
 In all fairness if someone has a DH bike then more than 140 rear makes little sense, but if you do laps in the park few times a year and want only 1 costly bike then saving on travel seems weird.
  • 3 0
 @Raptor-30: Totally agree. Luckily you have two bikes to choose from...
  • 2 5
 @oldtech: It's about results man... tools are many and come in different sizes. It's the management and craftmanship that matters.
  • 4 10
flag utley06 (Jul 2, 2019 at 7:24) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: I've been mountain biking for 14 years and its comical the skill level of riders on 140+ travel bikes. There are a handful of riders that actually use the bikes intended purpose. Its turning into people buying these huge bikes for OTB security only.
  • 5 0
 @utley06: "Sets rebound to low"
  • 4 0
 This is starting to sound more and more like a Cialis commercial
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: dont tell them what volume spacers do. The market would implode.
  • 17 6
 @utley06: I see all sorts of folks on all sorts of bikes. Some believe that riding a long travel hardtail or short travel fully means you got mad skills. My arse. Like folks who say clipless pedals give you bad habits. As if there weren't bunches of Joeys on flat pedals. They are too proud to progress I guess. 160mm of travel is not a lot of travel. It just isn't. It all depends what terrain you ride but even when I hit a big line flow trail I am glad I have a 160 fully. I could do it on a DJ possibly. BMXers hit bigger stuff on 20inch bikes. Would be fun to try. But not for everyday riding. I had a 120 bike 4 years ago and it was plenty capable, until I got off the line... I want margins. For fun and safety.
  • 4 5
 @utley06: also, this bike looks really good on paper
  • 4 4
 @WAKIdesigns: 100% agree its all about the trails and style of riding but you also forgot riders capability. You have to be able to push these longer travel new school bikes in order to get anything out of their intended purpose. On a weekly basis I'm watching people roll doubles on 140+ travel bikes and they are unable to clear moderate tech climbs with these long ass wheelbase's.
  • 6 10
flag salespunk (Jul 2, 2019 at 8:39) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: nobody needs more than 120 mm of travel on a 29




unless they actually ride them on dirt
  • 4 2
 @WAKIdesigns: It's those margins (travel) that helps old guys like me stay in the game Smile
  • 21 0
 @jclnv: Maybe it's just me, but I've been on both and settled on 29r's with 130 to 140mm out back and 150 or 160 up front. I just found that on bikes with more than that I feel like I'm wallowing deeper in the travel more often. As a result the bike feels heavier and slower to respond to what I want it to do. Will a little less travel, I find the bike feels a little lighter on it's feet and is easier to maneuver. This is especially true on these bigger longer slacker 29" wheeled bikes.

Again, it's just how I like my bike... I tend to ride heavier aluminum bikes and maybe I'm weaker than others and don't hit features as hard which might necessitate more travel... as I found having more travel didn't offer enough of a positive to outweigh the negatives that I experienced.

I old-man-enduro-race and found I'm faster on my trails and my local race series stages with a little less travel and I don't get as tired as quickly.

Also climbing... 25 to 30% sag on a longer travel bike is more than on less travel = changes your geometry more... slacks you out a little more. All these little things combine to just making a bit shorter travel bike more fun to ride for me.

Different strokes for different folks of course... but my personal opinion is that there are a lot of people riding bikes with more travel than they need and would be well serviced and maybe having more fun by choosing a bike with a little less.
  • 6 1
 @jclnv: I don't get the build kit on this when it's basically the parts that are suited for Megatower. Why not a Pike, Deluxe Ultimate, Guides, and Reserve 27's? All "trail" bike worthy parts that won't really hold this bike back.
  • 3 6
 @shirk-007: because anyone who can ride at average or just above average level will need the setup from Megatower for this bike. Because difference is very little. Double Down tyres, big fork, and sturdy wheels. That means not Reserve...
  • 4 0
 Funny how minds can change. I bought the Knolly Fungitive this year with the expectation I couldnt ride down as fast on my local moto trails in comparison to longer travel enduro bikes. Turns out I was wrong, I've beat or ar least tied all my best times on this bike.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns I'll just have to find a way to wipe all the fun rides from my memory that were done on the lesser class lighter trail level parts. It's a shame as some of them were pretty fun.
  • 4 0
 @shirk-007: I had fun on a Walmart bike in the surf at the beach
  • 1 2
 @shirk-007: pfff, technically you just said that people who run this Megatower setup, are not going to have as much fun as you, so what are you even on about?
  • 1 1
 @shirk-007: Totally agree. Components, wheels, tires should be lighter variants to aid climbing and speed on flatter trails. If they’re then failing on your trails you’re either too heavy, can’t ride for shit or should’ve bought a Megatower with the burlier components.
  • 1 0
 @Raptor-30: Conversely, if you’ve ever plowed gnarly, rocky, technical trails like they have in Moab, you’d never go back to the smaller travel. It’s like a magic carpet ride. Fun and playful, and no discernible difference in climbing. I get it... if you’re riding smooth and flowy, maybe that’s not what you want. And I don’t ride Moab every day, but what I do ride is a lot closer to Moab than smooth and flowy. (I’m surprised Switzerland isn’t more technical) Give me 150-160 travel any day.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I ride Moab 20 days a year, and I've gone back to smaller travel. I'd rather have the hightower than the megatower for that stuff. Moab has real chunk, but a good 140mm 29er is crazy capable. You're right, it's bot a magic carpet that erases everything. That's not what I like in a bike. I like to feel the trail and react to it instead of erase it.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: To each his own, but damn did I love the feeling of just plowing and rolling. I know you can do that stuff on a smaller travel, but it was fun to just flow. I don’t think 140 is that small on a 29er, either, but the extra little bit I had this time around (we go at least once a year) sure was fun and a different experience.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty A bike like that definitely is most versatile and covers the most trails.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Granted I only rode Ahab, but difficulty and gnar wise that trail was baby shit compared to the PNW. 135mm on my Hightower was plenty of travel and I feel like more wouldnt necessarily make things more fun. Not shitting on Moab, I thought Ahab was awesome, just don’t agree about it needing a big travel bike at all.
  • 2 0
 @lazybrowndog: Yeah, you don’t “need” a ton of travel. I’ve ridden Moab on a bunch of different stuff — hardtails, 26 long travel, 26 XC, 27.5 trail (135-140-ish travel). And now a good, long travel 29er. All were fun. The long travel 29er was just the most fun I’ve had out there. It was a step up on a trail like Hazzard and Porcupine Rim, where you just take 25 miles of a beating. It’s not that it’s overly difficult, just relentless. Again, I’ve done this ride on four or five different bikes now, and yeah, you can do it, just a little nicer to have that extra plush feel, and just roll the terrain. Oh, and then get up again the next day and ride some other relentlessly rough trail.
  • 1 0
 The bottom line is, there’s not a lot of smooth, flowy trails there, and I don’t ride a lot of smooth, flowy stuff here. I could ride 120, but why would I do that to myself?
  • 2 0
 @TheR: This review is for a 140mm bike, not a 120mm bike. On most trails out there, a 140mm 29er is often a lot more fun than a 160 enduro race bike. Sure, there are trails and conditions where one is more suited than the other, but I see so many people on 160+ enduro smashers riding XC trails with limited riding skills. They can ride whatever they want, but I know a lot of them would be enjoying the trail a lot more on a trail bike than an enduro bike. The point is: more travel is not always more fun.
  • 3 0
 @hardtailparty: Yeah, I live in the Santa Cruz area. From what I see, most of the best rippers are riding mid travel rigs on local the trails here unless they huck big big jumps.
  • 45 8
 Interesting that Santa Cruz has totally given up on Shimano (except on the very highest levels) and seems to be on their way to giving up on Fox.

They made a big bet building their own carbon factory in China just in time to get hammered by the tariffs. Now they are trying to save pennies where people will (hopefully) not notice so much. Full SRAM build to get a few more points off and hope you like garbage two-pawl DT 370 hubs on your 5,300$ bike. Death by a thousand cuts. And there is no easy solution because they can’t easily move their production someplace else unless they eat a huge upfront investment.
  • 31 0
 Hey man that's uncalled for. Everyone knows 370s have three pawls!
  • 18 0
 At least they still offer frame only options, so you could just build your bike up from whatever parts you want or reuse parts you already have. I'll take the DT 370 over Novatec hubs, that's for sure.
  • 10 5
 Or shimano can’t keep up with progression and new tech.. how late was 12 speed? 4 pot brakes? Wonder how much more advanced bosch will be over shimano for the 2020 e bike lineup.... wanna make a wager?
  • 9 0
 @matadorCE: frame only option is only available in Narnia currently or eleventeen months from now
  • 4 6
 Given that they offer XTR it seems that Santa Cruz didn't count on Shimano releasing 12 speed XT and SLX in time for the new Hightower. Their insistence on the mediocre Super deluxe for their entire range is weird, though. Could be a cost saving measure, especially with regards to frame design.
  • 14 2
 @Ttimer: Or it could be that their engineers felt the Super Deluxe worked best for their suspension design. The reviewer thinks so.
  • 3 7
flag skkkkrrr (Jul 2, 2019 at 9:37) (Below Threshold)
 @Frontrange: exactly. does anyone have the new xtr that came out last year? no. shimano can't deliver.
  • 1 0
 @KBicycle: He does for the new Hightower. He (and many others) didn't think it fit the Megatower.
  • 3 2
 More likely Shimano forgot to license the Microspline freehub to anyone, and DT haven't rolled it out over their range either, so unless you want to roll with a very specific, narrow set of wheel options then Shimano is a difficult choice. Also, SC's model years don't fit well with Shimano's release schedule as its pretty much on its own so if SC wanted Shimano they'd basically have had to have run 11 speed SLX and XT in full knowledge that 12 speed would have been 'out' for months.
  • 2 0
 You mean pon decided where they were made
  • 6 3
 @Frontrange: Shimano perfects while Sram innovates
  • 4 1
 @KBicycle: it feels like poo on the Nomad, not sure why it would be any better on the rest of the lineup.
  • 1 0
 i know right. id just get the frame though it did bump by 400USD compared to before tariffs. heck i should just get a commencal anyway.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: damn man i just ordered a nomad alu frame, the dealer hasn't yet got back on delivery dates. is it really some long ass waiting times?
  • 28 1
 The red color scheme on Juliana's women version is way nicer than these two. Why not produce a real red bike again like the first gen Hightower back in 2016? Imo the best SC paint job together with gen3 Nomad (aqua blue/magenta) and the gen3 bronson (pink/yellow)
  • 4 2
 I was going to make exactly the same point. It's a shame SC have split off their women's line for marketing.
  • 14 0
 With the single color paint job, I'm surprised Santa Cruz doesn't offer customization like the orbea 'my-o' program. In fact, I'm surprised more manufacturers don't offer that option...
  • 4 0
 Yeah. It would be better to have more options of colors to the buyer rather than two companies.
  • 3 0
 i love the blue one personally. tastes and colors you know..
  • 2 0
 @bankz: yeah man, in the youtube review it actually looks better and most people have commented that it looks better in real life than in the pics
  • 26 0
 An aluminium version is good news. *adds to list for next bike*
  • 11 0
 Now they should do an Aluminium version of the Megatower, I want to run a coil shock...
  • 3 4
 @FuzzyL:
You can run a coil on the megatower, it just requires a different upper link - should be available from any SC dealer.
  • 6 2
 @FuzzyL: As you've got a little German flag next to your username I guess you're already aware of the Radon Swoop 29er? Very similar beast to the Megatower but slightly better geo, way cheaper and the alu frame is quite light anyway. And it takes a coil, my friend has one on his.
  • 3 0
 @sam264: What I was referring to was that you can’t run a coil on the new Hightower (which comes also in aluminium, which the Mega doesn’t, as far as I know).
  • 4 2
 @chakaping: Well, the Swoop is indeed a 29er with the same amount of travel as the Megatower. But as far as I can tell, that’s where the similarity ends.

Which geo is “better” is very much in the eye of the beholder, I, for one, wouldn’t like the long chainstays on the Swoop. And I haven’t seen a current Swoop in the flesh yet, but Radons tended to have a rather progressive leverage curve, which would not work that well with a coil shock - is your friend happy with his setup?

Besides, I don’t think brands like Santa Cruz do have the same target market as direct sale discount brands do, next to nobody is going look at a Santa Cruz and then choose a Radon instead (and vice versa!).

But brand, quality, and geo considerations aside, I’d never choose a fsr-type suspension over a vpp anyway.
  • 7 0
 @FuzzyL: coil shocks work better with more progressive leverage curves, the decreased leverage at the end of the stroke helps to prevent bottoming out.
  • 4 0
 Is there much different in ride feel between a carbon SC and an alu one? (except weight) Geo is the same, but are the alu builds also good quality builds ?

(the more the kids grow, the less I can spend on bikes. Hence the question.
  • 2 0
 @CullenHerring: You’re right, of course.
Somehow I messed that sentence up, what I was trying to say was that Radons used to be to linear to run a coil shock, however, I checked in the meantime, and several reviews of the Swoop actually mention that it has a progressive curve, therefore coil shocks should work just fine with it.
  • 2 0
 I'd be really surprised if the alloy model weighs much more than carbon. I think it looks slightly better, too, with slimmer tubing. Also $1000 less expensive.
  • 1 2
 @PHeller:
According to the Santa Cruz product page:
Aluminum / S Build kit weight: 15.43kg / 34.02lbs
Carbon / S Build kit weight: 14.3kg / 31.53lbs
Specs on both carbon and aluminum kits seem the same so 3.5 pound difference for the frame? That would be excessive.
  • 30 0
 @rjp1: That would be 2.5lb, for math's sake
  • 2 1
 @FuzzyL: My friend does like it with the coil but the bike also feels very good with an air X2 - hard to tell apart to be honest. Conventional wisdom is coils work better on a progressive leverage curve - though I've also had decent results on dead linear ones (orange single pivots).
Most people I know buy on geometry and ride quality rather than what badge a bike has, maybe that's a British thing?
Santa Cruz have a bit of a reputation here as the lazy choice for the noob rider who wants "the best bike".
  • 4 1
 @genericmk: Even 2.5lbs seems madly excessive. I'd guess the Carbon frames weigh between 6 and 7lbs with shock, so that means the alloy frames are what, 8.5lbs, almost 9?

Look, the lower linkage design is rad, it looks cool, it rides cool, but nobody likes to pedal a 35lbs bike up a hill. If the TB4 utilizes this same design I have a hard time believing it will compete with the Ripley for weight.
  • 3 0
 @genericmk: Got me on that one. I shouldn't comment while half asleep.
  • 2 1
 @rjp1: 2.5 pounds. math.
  • 3 1
 @rjp1: check your math, thats a 1.13kg / 2.49lb difference I believe.
  • 3 1
 @PHeller:
@rjp1

damn that's porky. I've ridden a 34 lb trail bike (alu sentinel). hard to knock off line coming down but a pain in the arse on the climbs. eesh.
  • 1 1
 @rjp1: 2.49lbs difference between carbon and aluminum frames. That is about right.
  • 1 1
 @PHeller: I don't think the weight difference if for frame only, rather full build. Parts are very different, this is full SRAM kit now.
  • 2 0
 @genericmk: It is the same build kit just different frames.
  • 1 0
 @yep you are correct the alloy ones are 8.5 - 9 lbs!!
  • 26 4
 For all the hate they get specialized does do some pretty innovative stuff. The "ribbed for pleasure" chainstay protector was them, SWAT box/tools, if I'm not mistaken they had one of the first trigger dropper levers, etc. Bunch of stuff people are copying now like the chainstay protector, and the comment about the swat box.

I know this is pinkbike so this will be downvoted but we just wanted to recognize their innovation.
  • 10 2
 At the same time they "innovated" with a custom shock mount that burned up shocks at a way higher rate than a traditional mount, and use integrated headsets that make anglesets impossible, etc.
  • 4 0
 That's where Specialized shines; the marketing on the "gimmicky"(even if some of it is pretty nice/handy) small bits. Too bad they make mediocre/average bikes with shit spec for the price.
  • 3 1
 @bsavery Yeah, Specialized has one of the best internal cabling solutions I have seen. Larger holes on the entry/exit points, clamps on the entry/exit points so cables stay put, and uses lightweight foam silencers inside the frame. Easy to route cables, lightweight frames, and quiet.

The dedicated internal cabling carbon tracks that some companies use are neat, but I think they are unnecessary because it adds weight and brings up the costs of the frame.
  • 22 2
 "Tan" is PC for 'baby shit'
  • 4 0
 The blue is lovely, I don't know why PB used the "nappy contents" colour for their review!
  • 2 0
 Not my favorite color, but might be ok with a gold fox dropper post....I can see a scheme working...but that 2016 HT red was my favorite still.
  • 2 0
 @soltis007: the Juliana version has a much nicer colour scheme.
  • 3 2
 Tan says "I want a bike the same color as my Dockers/Khakis". It's the baby boomer bike of choice.
  • 2 0
 AKA dickskin
  • 25 10
 30lb with carbon rims. This thing must be massively over built to weigh that much. It's a trail bike, not an ews/dh bike. Perhaps that's why the warranty is what it is. Cant we have trail bike back into the 26-28lb range with a 150 fork like we did 10 years ago
  • 26 4
 This weight is overblown and can be forgotten about by riding more and visiting a restroom with a newspaper. Still small proportionally to bodies. And better than broken frames.
  • 4 3
 Yeah, the SC frames seem to be trending up in weight which is too bad given the price point. I went from a gen 3 Nomad which was just over 28 lbs (Pike/X2/carbon wheels), to a Hightower which is 29 lbs (36/X2/carbon wheels). I actually did an XC race on the gen 3 Nomad and swapped tires, pedals, and grips and was able to get the weight down to about 26 lbs. Anyways, I do lots of long trail rides and at this weight I would just go for the Megatower if I was deciding between the two.
  • 26 0
 A 150mm bike 10 years ago was like 2 inches shorter and not meant to be ridden nearly as hard
  • 16 0
 My Process 111 weighs 33lbs so it's actually possible to have even more weight for even less travel Smile . It's still the best bike I've ever ridden.
  • 7 9
 @cyrways: If you're spending effing $10k on a bike you can complain about a 30 pound trail bike.
  • 7 1
 Why does weight matter? If I can find two bikes, and they ride the same, they have similar warranties, they cost the same, have similar builds - you can bet that I'll select the lighter bike. Scott is a good example, the Spark, Genuis, and Ransom are all class-leading weight/travel, and they cost pretty much the same as Santa Cruz.

I'm still skeptical that the next Tallboy will be lighter than its predecessor.
  • 6 1
 Recent SC bikes have all been fairly heavy. Seems like the new suspension layout requires lots of structural reinforcements.

If you want a light frame, look to Scott or Giant (the latter even make Alu frames which are lighter than Santa's carbon frames).
  • 6 0
 @kleinblake: also what people don't consider is that tires and rims have grown immensely and tire tread has also become much more aggressive which all adds alot of weight
  • 30 2
 You sure can, @CM999. Swap to smaller rotors and 19mm internal width rims. Throw that dropper post in the trash and put on a fork with 32mm legs. Add in tires with precious little sidewall protection and boom, you’re down to a 27 lb trail bike just like 2009.

Let us know how you like it.
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Nah, weight doesn't correlate to money like that.
  • 2 1
 @cyrways: not really. I can do that with any bike. It's still means the bike is heavy
  • 5 5
 @shoemakereast: so your saying we should just accept that a so called premium brand using a frame material that in any other industry has led to massive weight savings over the last 10 years cant apply that to it's own products!
  • 3 0
 @CM999: I’m saying that I don’t think weight savings is worth a bad day riding, and subsequent warranty/downtime for replacement, because of a head tube or chain-stay failure like others have had over the past 10 years. The peace of mind to Huck my bike into whatever I feel like and now I’m not taking an injury because of a material failure is worth 2 lbs to me.

Additionally I look to carbon for stiffness for weight, not absolute lowest weight.

All this said I don’t have a Santa Cruz right now and you don’t have to either.
  • 3 0
 @cyrways: I think what pisses off a lot of consumers is that carbon bikes were supposed to stiffer, stronger, and lighter than their alloy models. Now we've got heavy carbon models that yes, are indestructible, super stiff, and at least for some brands *cough GG cough* getting more affordable, but then we've got these designs translated to alloy models and weights are nuts. It's like if you can't swing the money for a carbon model, you're doomed to a heavy alloy option. At least some manufacturer, like the Knolly Fugitive, for example, a offering a competitively lightweight alloy option.

Like was said before, however, the reason these heavy carbon bikes sell is because people buy them, and for the vast majority, weight is of little concern.
  • 3 3
 @cyrways: For the mostpart it is just a myth and justification for selling pig iron at premium prices that "bikes need to be heavy to ride well".
Good suspension doesn't weight more than bad suspension. The strongest brakes on the market (Trickstuff Diretissima) are lighter than XTR, frames can be super strong and light at the same time (Scott, Giant, BMC, etc.), longer droppers don't weight more than short droppers, drivetrains are the same on heavy enduro rigs and lightweight XC race machines, I could go on...
You can even make wheels light and strong, look at Syntace or Newmen. Literally the only place where weight truly equals performance is in tires.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Genius X01 build weight 29.1lbs and the HT X01 weighs 29.9 lbs. Most of the weight difference is in the tires, Minion vs Rekons and perhaps the fork Fox 34 vs Lyrik. They also don't ride quite the same, the Scott comes with a dual lockout for example.
  • 4 0
 @CM999: Of all the bikes in the same category that we carry at our shop (SC, Devinci, Transition, Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Ibis) They all weigh about the same give or take a pound. I'll take a bike that is a pound heavier that has a better pedaling position and suspension kinematics over a bike that is not as good but bobs and doesn't track as well. Weight is not everything. Not to mention, any bike can be made lighter with part swaps, but these days, you are likely sacrificing strength significantly to just drop a pound or two. Plus, as people above have mentioned, bikes in that travel bracket are SO much more capable and strong than bikes from years ago.
  • 1 0
 I agree. I like the lighter weight bikes as well. Pedaling a 26lb rig compared to 30lb rig is night and day. However, it is because riders are pushing their bikes harder and harder these days. The companies have to make them stout to limit the risks of breakage. There are a few companies making their bikes fairly light, but very few. Before, you could get a 7-8 lb aluminum frame, but now all the carbon ones weight that much.
  • 3 0
 @leon-forfar: Yes, they weigh ballpark the same, but they don't all cost the same.

Light, cheap, durable, choose two used to be the saying. But I guess even for efffing over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS you can't get light and durable. Is that too much to ask?
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez:

Note that a large Ibis Ripmo can be built to about 28lbs without pedals for $9,000 (similar spec to axis HT) so there are lighter weight options. Ibis has a decent warranty too, not as good as SC, but still decent.
  • 2 1
 @ctrailbiker: Exactly, as can the bronson, nomad, megatower etc. My large Bronson weighs 30.5 pounds with pedals, bottle cage, 2.5 tires, X2, alloy bar, a big dropper, and I'm not complaining when going up a hill. I had a 27.5 pound 2015 160/150 bike before with similar spec, and it was flexy and horrible on the descents and wasn't much faster up a hill.
  • 2 0
 @ctrailbiker: People in my neck of the woods were underwhelmed by the Ripmo. Not nearly enough progression in the suspension, so you can't upgrade from the mediocre DPX2 to the X2, even with all the volume spacers in it. Also forget about a coil shock.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I would tend to agree regarding the Ripmo. In my opinion the Mojo HD is their best bike.
  • 4 1
 My coiled up lyrik wearing aluminum smash is 33lbs. My only complaint is I don’t ride as often as I’d like too! Even the new gg bikes are only 1/2 pound lighter. I don’t race anyone but myself and the comfort and stability of the downhill are well worth a few pounds. My 55 pound daughter rides a bike that weighs 24 pounds. With a basket on the front full of stuff. With a big smile. All day. I bet this bike is a hoot. Get stronger and stop worrying about how much your bike weighs.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: The X2 is an upgrade option on the Ripmo.
  • 27 9
 New look? Looks just like the other 3 bikes.
  • 10 0
 But but but..... that’s not what it says. Away and look at the old Hightower then come back and comment
  • 10 3
 They just released 4 identical looking bikes Big Grin
  • 14 1
 Even the most advanced PBikers will have trouble to identify the model and the name on the mountain when you see a SC those days... but good quest.
  • 8 0
 “Even the most advanced PBikers” @PauRexs:
  • 4 2
 It’s called Visual Brand Language or Brabd Consistency, it’s why you also can’t tell an Audi A3 from A4 A6 A8 these days, and it can be boring as hell even though ‘correct’.
  • 15 1
 Bring on a grouptest of this, Stumpjumper Evo, Yeti SB130 and the Ibis Ripmo... Based on no data or numbers at all, I feel like Specialized, Santa Cruz, Yeti and Ibis are the trending brands in the world of MTB right now. Either that or they have the best marketing...
  • 15 5
 Stumpy Evo is not comparable in any way.
  • 16 1
 add the Transition Sentinel into that list, 140mm 29er
  • 1 0
 @richiethornhill: soon 150mm...
  • 6 0
 And a Druid.
  • 5 2
 Specialized may be trending in EMTBs. Their bio-mtb-section is not as cutting edge anymore...
  • 2 1
 @znarf: fair point - must be their marketing then...
  • 5 1
 @sam264: why not? they have very similar travel/geo numbers... I know that's not everything but the Evo is closer to this bike than the regular Stumpy.
  • 3 0
 @znarf: bio. ha, i see your chernobyl reference there
  • 1 0
 Throw the Niner RIP9 into that mix...
  • 2 1
 @Calkodawg96:
They might have similar travel, but the geo is wildly different, they're made for very different purposes.
  • 2 0
 New Ripmo will be closer to Megatower in travel I hear.
  • 2 0
 @dblom:
Where do you hear such things? I‘m thinking of buying a Ripmo in the near future and this could be a reason to wait.
  • 1 0
 if only Niner had Specialized's marketing budget.
  • 1 0
 Enduro did a test with most of those bikes at the end of last year. The Ripmo came out on top, I'd love them to add the new Hightower to the comparison. enduro-mtb.com/en/best-trail-bike-you-can-buy
  • 3 0
 Also the devinci troy. Test rode that bike, its sick.@richiethornhill:
  • 2 0
 @greenie13: Troy is awesome.
  • 18 2
 Looks like a Maverick
  • 4 1
 @cbenderusa007 Durance or ML8?
  • 1 2
 Nah, looks like a session.
  • 23 10
 Lifetime warranty on pivot bearings? Is this due to the people who buy Santa Cruz never actually riding and then getting a new bike each and every season?
  • 37 0
 I just pulled Ht LT apart and noticed some slop in two bearings in the lower pivot, went onto the site put in my info and received all new bearings, seals, and caps for all of the pivots for free, including covering the shipping.
  • 17 2
 It's due to the fact they're made in china and sell for $3.5k a pop.A few bucks a year for bearings won't dent the profit margin too badly.
  • 11 0
 Whyte USA says they offer lifetime on bearings too, but after 3 emails & chats with no response I had to get my own. Nice to see SC following through with that...
  • 8 2
 It’s a bone to the shops because they love it. There are probably 13 people in America that install them themselves. Everyone else goes in to the shop and has them do it. Then ends up spending 200$ on a new upper link because those cheap Chinese bearings are fused in the the link after eighteen months of dirt and pressure washing. And while you are doing my bearings you might as well do a tune up and replace the reverb that has blown for the third time with a Transfer
  • 4 0
 @wibblywobbly: ---transfer--- you mean Revive
  • 2 0
 The free bearings are nice. I recall they used to want a bearing exchange for some reason. Unsure if they still do that. Seems like a huge waste of resources.
  • 10 0
 Just put all new bearings in every spot for free, nice. About every year and a half, seems reasonable. No bearing exchange, ever. Fast and free shipping, check. Did them myself, free. Get a new Nomad every 3 or 4 years, play a dentist on TV. Threw away the reverb after 3 warranty repairs, installed a transfer and wolf tooth lever. Never ride? I guess we will wait and see if my Return to earth 30 day entry gets stamped but thanks for judging. Well that should cover everything on this topic, thanks Santa Cruz.
  • 3 0
 @shotouthoods: slow down. You’re killing us.
  • 1 0
 @mm732: truth
  • 1 0
 @wibblywobbly: #iamthe13
  • 9 1
 I think it’s cool that they’re making a more affordable model.

Spec probably won’t be comparable to DTC brands, but if you still get the life long warranty on frames and bearings with it it’s gonna be the „entry drug“ into Santa Cruz and/or full sus 29ers for quite a few people because of the brand name alone.
  • 10 0
 Or you can get a Knolly Fugitive, and have an alloy bike that weighs 3 lbs less than the Alloy S build or same weight as the carbon S build santa cruz...
  • 6 0
 Knolly knocked it out of the park with the burly, efficient, affordable alloy Fugitive.
  • 10 0
 I wonder did they make this non-coil/x2 on purpose so it wont step on megatowers toes too much
  • 1 6
flag mm732 (Jul 2, 2019 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 same front triangle, so probably yes.
  • 3 0
 @mm732: It's not the same front triangle. The Megatower does fit a coil and X2. The Bronson can fit an X2 or coil on the larger frames. And looking at the Hightower in person, that shock tunnel is definitely smaller than all of its lower link brethren.
  • 16 5
 Lower the price, for fuck sake
  • 4 2
 Said everyone.
  • 10 0
 Sounds like a 29er gateway drug for Bronson riders.
  • 9 1
 I have the desert color Nomad and my friends call it the prosthetic limb. I guess I'll have two.
  • 9 1
 Hightower vs Occam ? Price wise it's a clear win for the Occam
  • 19 1
 It's also the simplest choice.
  • 7 1
 2-3 lbs lighter as well. The Occam is at the top of my list now.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: +1 - hope people get this
  • 2 0
 @Jaguar83: took a minute.
  • 5 0
 and for this kind of money you can even choose your colour. i would hate to buy 10k bike that looks like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere
  • 1 0
 @Jaguar83: I'm still trying to find out...
  • 9 1
 Wonder how it compares to the ripmo
  • 2 0
 I'm thinking of testing them both.
  • 5 1
 Or Evil Offering.
  • 3 0
 heavier. more progressive leverage rate. less efficient. burlier. longer. less all-day.
  • 8 1
 $4300 for a carbon NX build... nice. I guess ill keep riding my current bike.
  • 4 0
 This looks rad. But, using my own formula that is no way backed by any actual science...the increased reach is going to feel shorter than the previous version. I have this theory that for every degree that a seat angle increases, the reach needs to increase by 20mm to compensate. If it doesn't, the newer model will feel more cramped and shorter than the previous one when seated. Hightower V1 had a 74.3 degree seat tube angle and a 450mm reach in size Large. This new model has a seat tube angle of 76.8 and a reach of 470mmm in sizse Large. That's a 2.5 degree increase in seat angle, which would need roughly a ~500mm reach in size large to actually feel longer when seated/climbing. I'm super tall, so this really matters to me. It's frustrating to see this new bikes with 515-540mm of reach but then a 78-80 degree seatube angle and my knees still smacking the bars when cornering. Just my opinion! I'd still love to try one.
  • 3 6
 Reach is pretty much not relevant with all the new geo. Back to sizing by top tube length.
  • 3 1
 @metalmt: yeah kinda seems like it, eh? I loved sizing bikes by reach when we started doing that a few years ago, but every bike was somewhere between 74-75 degrees seat angle. Now with anywhere from 74-80 degrees, it makes sizing a nightmare.
  • 2 0
 @metalmt: Well, reach matters when descending, since you usually aren't seated or the seat is in the down position. Too long and its hard to move your weight forward and backwards, too short and the entire bike will have too short a wheelbase and you can develop lower back pain....
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Yes, when descending and standing the reach value does matter and as bikes have gotten longer, descending ability has improved. But for those of us who climb to our descents, most of the time on the bike is in the seated position.
  • 4 0
 @gbeaks33: you just need to look at effective top tube in conjunction with reach. ETT tells you seated length for climbing and reach tells you standing length for descending.
  • 7 0
 Ok, how'd you compare this to the Hightower LT?
  • 7 2
 Lol @ all the people who sold their barely rissen Hightower LT with lots of loss and jumped straight on the hype train without thinking

Lots of Megatowers now for sale?
  • 4 0
 Yolo.
  • 5 0
 you would think a Bellingham guy would compare this bike to Transiton, Kona or Evil. Can't wait to see what Kona has cooking for 2020 md-travel 29er.
  • 3 0
 Got to demo this bike on one of my favourite trails yesterday. At 6’1” and coming from a L V2 CC Bronson the XL was a perfect fit, the bike was faultless on the long moderately technical single track climb, then fun, fast, and composed on the way back down. I was particularly impressed at the suspension’s combination of suppleness through the rough, while retaining enough support to pop and weave without wallowing. My perfect ride would be a touch more agile and carveable, as the Hightower suits a longer, faster, and more direct line down the trail than I prefer, but I expect I’d easily adjust if this were my ride. Minor issues included the Eagle drivetrain (I could feel the subtle extra resistance climbing compared to my usual XT 2X setup), the Code brakes (great braking and easy adjustment, but the highly sprung levers actually added to hand fatigue on the long descent), and the grips (obviously easily fixed). Incredible bike.
  • 3 1
 After watching the suspension moving through its travel, it appears there's at least an inch of room between the seat tube and the tire tread at the bottom out. The bike takes a 210 x 52.5 shock. If my calculations are correct, we could assume that one can long shock the bike by adding a 210 x 55, which should give the bike roughly 147mm of travel, or an additional .27in of travel.

For my personally, I really wanted to see a 145mm rear travel hightower to replace my HTLT. I know it's splitting hairs, but for me 145/150 is the sweet spot.

I believe the new Bronson's run the same time as the new HT, and have a 210x55 size shock, be interesting if someone's swaps it and reviews the ride.
  • 4 1
 I don’t care what people say all brand bikes should at least have a black/stealth color way geez these new colors suck, Intense colors suck, Commencal gots crazy colors out now for 2020. Please offer a black one soon
  • 2 0
 Look, I'm just a colorist. Most of the time, I work in a little glass jar and lead a very uneventful life. I drive a Volvo, a beige one. But what I'm dealing with here is one of the most nauseating pigmentations the earth has ever known, so what say you cut me some FRIGGIN' SLACK?
  • 3 0
 I'll take pleasure in guttin you boy
  • 4 0
 Everyone would be cross shopping with the SB130, that's the main competitor!
  • 4 0
 You can add either 2 or 3.5 tokens depending on how you want to look at it. #pedantry
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer How would you compare the Hightower to a bike like the Ripmo?
  • 1 1
 heavier. more progressive leverage rate. less efficient. burlier. longer. less all-day.
  • 4 0
 Yup DT370 on a 5K bike is garbage. Walked out of the woods twice. SC customer service is excellent. DT350 ok so far.
  • 4 0
 will most likely be the best selling bike on the market in this category, if they add a black or "safe" colorway.
  • 3 0
 They should also make the high end builds with al wheels 32H. I think 28H is enough for carbon but al needs to be reinforced better.
  • 3 0
 Yup, pity @mikekazimer didn’t do the Fugitive LT review rather than Levy as he made a right mess of it and couldn’t even figure out what version he was riding!
  • 4 0
 How hard is it to produce a matte black or grey frame! you too YETI!!! FML
  • 1 0
 Looks like they did a good job of updating the Hightower. I considered the previous model, but found it a bit dated. I ultimately went for a Yeti SB130LR, but had this new Hightower been available, I may well have gone for it.
  • 7 4
 IMO, the "How does it compare" should have been with the Stumpjumper Evo, not the standard one
  • 1 0
 No way...
  • 3 0
 The Evo has a way bigger BB Drop, slacker HA etc. The Hightowers Geo is closer to the normal Stumpjumper.
  • 2 0
 @NotNamed: They comment the normal Stumpy is conservative vs the Hightower, the EVo fixes that. But I agree it's not black and white.
Would you instead put the EVo with the Mega?
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: Stumpy Evo with Megatower would be the better comparison, at least until the new Specialized Enduro comes out
  • 5 1
 Looks like a Noma- Oh hang on, I've done this wrong haven't I?
  • 2 0
 I wonder if the Pinkbike will review the new Hightower again; the initial Megatower reivew was pretty positive, the full review was much less enthusiastic...
  • 3 1
 sure, why not? One of the most anticipated bikes of the year
  • 2 0
 @bikefuturist: I do wonder how many people bought the Megatower after review #1 and then were a bit disapointed
  • 5 0
 I thought the first review was pretty consistent with the second. In an editorial world where criticism needs to be carefully allocated, the language in the first review was pretty clear. Particularly in the section titled "Descending". It was pretty clear Kaz couldn't get the bike working for him.

Anyway, will be interested to see if they release another version with a different linkage.
  • 2 2
 @Hanzblix: Kazimers rear suspension set up made no sense. Complaining the BB was too low and big hits were too harsh then dropping air pressure and adding volume spacers. It’s completely opposite
  • 3 1
 @korev: everyone that bought one.
  • 5 0
 @kleinblake: Come on now, Kaz rides the latest & greatest all the time, travels to product launches & gets briefed on suspension upgrades, and rides pretty knarly trails in the PNW all the time. I think he can figure out a reasonable sus set-up pretty well...
  • 1 1
 @railin: one would hope...
  • 6 1
 Samezie Cruz
  • 2 2
 Upvote 1,000.
  • 4 4
 I have no doubt this is a fantastic bike, but for a company known for clean lines, I still feel like they jumped the shark with this new frame design being incorporated across the lineup. It just is not as pretty as the VPP frames.
  • 9 0
 This is VPP. All the kinematic characteristics are the same but the leverage rate is 10x better
  • 3 0
 * As the old VPP frames.

This is still VPP.
  • 1 1
 Hey @mikekazimer I have some questions that weren't answered in this review. Did you ride it in the Lo or the Hi? Did you find one geo setting to be better than the other for the suspension and ride quality? A 340 BB height in the Lo setting is pretty standard but the size Large comes with 175 cranks. Did you have pedal strikes? What's the fork offset? I can't find that in this review or on their page.
  • 4 2
 they're probably tired of reviewing basically the same bike for the fourth or fifth time.
  • 4 0
 @joepax, I rode the bike in the Lo setting, and didn't have any reason to chance out of that position. I didn't experience any pedal strike issues, even with the 175mm cranks. Granted, the trails I was on aren't super rocky - some riders may still want 170mm cranks.

Fork offset is 42mm.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks for the reply, Mike. Itching to get on one for a test ride. Appreciate the feedback.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: What size bike did you ride Mike?
  • 2 0
 Does the seat tube angle visually look a lot slacker in the photos than what the numbers say on the geometry chart?
Or is it just me?
  • 2 0
 Seat tube angle is not the actual angle of the piece of the bike itself, it's measured by drawing a line from the center of the bottom bracket to the back of the seat tube clamp approximately where the middle of the saddle will fall.
  • 2 0
 @PTyliszczak: True but with such a slack actual seat tube angle, the effective seat tube angle numbers will be all over the place for riders of different heights.
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: I also noticed that @mikekazimer didn't comment on the seat tube angle as well which I thought was odd these days.
  • 1 0
 It's hard to believe it's over 76 degrees...
  • 1 0
 man so many comments on the colors. see them in person first, specially the Blue Hightower, looks awesome. The tan is really very sad ass though. thankfully the Nomad is now in Black and matt purple I think.
  • 3 0
 I wanna ride a blueberry bike please!
  • 4 1
 Was hoping that it could clear a 2.6 at the back... :/
  • 2 0
 This and the SB130 are like Bart Simpson and that kid from Shelbyville. Same same. (Not a bad thing)
  • 2 0
 Same same but different
  • 4 0
 Fork offset anyone?
  • 4 0
 42/44
  • 2 1
 What's with this trend of only giving up-to-date geo to 29ers? Why does the seat angle on the Bronson need to be a degree slacker than the Hightower?
  • 6 0
 Because the current Bronson has been on sale since 2018, while this Hightower is the 2020 model.
  • 3 4
 @FuzzyL: That doesn't explain it though. The Bronson v3 has been on the market almost exactly 1 year, and it's geo was on the conservative side when it came out.

Either Santa Cruz didn't have the foresight to realise that the Bronson geo would be outdated in less than a year or they think that a 650b bike needs to be more conservative for some reason.
  • 3 0
 @JCO: Santa Cruz has never been on the bleeding edge geometry-wise. They tend to stick to the conservative side, when compared to companies like Pole or Nicolai, that are exploring the extremes when it comes to low and slack.

However, most Santa Cruz bikes’ geometries are pretty close to the competitors that are already in the market, when they appear, this Hightower is very close, for example, to the Orbea Occam, that was recently released.

The same was true for the Bronson, when it was released, when compared to existing bikes in its category back then, like the Kona Process.

Geometries just have kept changing quite a bit in recent years. I’m sure when the Bronson gets an update, it will also be longer and slacker yet again, 27.5 or not.
  • 1 2
 @FuzzyL: The Bronson was still conservative by mid-2018 standards.

This isn't just a Santa Cruz thing though, there's a trend towards more progressive geo on 29ers compared to 650b bikes. Companies are either failing to update their 650b bikes (Ibis, Yeti) or updating their 650b bikes more conservatively than their 29ers (Transition, Devinci).

Try finding a 650b bike with a ~77 degree seat angle. There's way fewer options compared to 29ers...
  • 4 0
 @JCO: The Bronson came out a year ago, but the design was probably finalized at least six months - maybe even a year - before that. Geometry has been evolving pretty rapidly for the last few years, so what would have been fairly middle-of-the-road in early-mid 2017 became conservative by the time it was released. I think with the newer models, they decided to push more towards the cutting edge of geometry designs. Combine that with a slight slowing down of progression in the past year and you end up with bikes that lean more towards the aggressive end of the spectrum
  • 1 0
 Potential explanations:

1. Because for the same gearing, a 29er has larger gear inches. Forward saddle helps you engage your quads and makes it easier to get that power on tap.
2. 29ers are seen/positioned as more "pedally" bikes to be ridden all day, where 27.5 bikes are for "fun" rides where you pedal less.
  • 2 0
 Other than the new shock design doesn't this basically tell us the Hightower LT is dead?
  • 4 0
 it's already off their website.
  • 1 5
flag poppagee (Jul 3, 2019 at 4:43) (Below Threshold)
 As a HT LT rider, im a bit pissed at this. After all the questions i had to local distributors and even the uk distributor that it would still be made and sold. Then the Megatower came out, now this. The bike rides awesome for me but the company itself i have no time for. I'll not buy another and ill tell every one else not too bother.
  • 2 0
 Maybe the HT LT will become a rare collectors item. It's a nice all rounder and has become my preferred trail bike. I will probably be still riding it 10 years from now.
  • 1 0
 @SimonNZ: hopefully my friend !
  • 4 1
 Buy a Sentinel instead you won't regret it!!
  • 2 0
 All-mountain definitely gets much more respect then down country. Just keep the dust knocked off of it Mike.
  • 5 1
 YAWWWWNNNNN!
  • 2 0
 Wow those aluminum builds are heavy. Thought my bike was heavy at 33 lbs.. which it is lol
  • 3 0
 Nice bike. 1 for all. I like
  • 2 0
 I would rather rife a Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition. Nice bikes though.
  • 7 6
 Very boring, cant tell if its a bronson, megatower, hightower or a nomad. They all look exactly the same...
  • 14 2
 and all iPhones look exactly the same. some companies don't need to tinker with proven design just to look different.
  • 5 1
 wait for the new 5010... its not over till its over....
  • 5 0
 you clearly haven't rode the new design yet. it's night and day from the predecessor.
  • 1 0
 @Lagr1980: I'm waiting on the new 50/10, honestly thought they'd have updated it to this design instead of what they did last year
  • 2 0
 I wonder what this means for the tallboy... also this year?
  • 1 0
 120mm
  • 1 0
 I've been waiting for the TB4 as well - really hoping it sits squarely across from the new Ripley. I dug up this list of release dates from another site. At the moment, it looks like the TB is the oldest bike in the lineup so I expect we'll see a replacement soon, maybe as soon as next month. I suspect it'll have 120mm rear and 130mm front - right between the Blur and the new HT. They'll have 29ers at 100, 120, 140, & 160.
Hightower v2: July 2ns, 2019
Bronson and 5010 v3: July 3rd, 2018
Blur v3: March 20th, 2018
Hightower LT: July 16th, 2017
Nomad v4: June 1st, 2017
Tallboy v3: April 26th, 2016
Hightower: Feb. 2nd, 2016
Bronson v2 and 5010 v2: Sept. 11th, 2015
Nomad v3: April 1st, 2014
  • 3 0
 It should be interesting to see if the TB4 can compete with the Ripley V3 in terms of weight. The Hightower V2 didn't shed any weight, so it's hard to imagine the TB4 suddenly being 2-3lbs lighter. You can get a Ripley for $4000 that weighs 27lbs. That same weight for vaporware TB4 will likely cost $5000+.

The new Ripley is a killer short travel bike that for most people would work as a great trail bike and part-time XC racer.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: You're probably right about the weight - I don't think any of the recent SC bikes are lighter than the one being replaced. In a sense I get it - the bikes are getting more capable and confidence inspiring which, if nothing were to change, might lead to a lot of broken frames. SC seems to have a pretty good reputation for not breaking very often and I'm sure they want to keep it that way so the frames get heavier to be able to keep up with riders demands.
Also,I agree that the new Ripley looks REALLY good which is why I'm hoping for something competitive from SC.
  • 1 0
 @NateForrest: True that. I snapped my HT CC in half last year by surprise with no frame issues at all on Bronson prior. Since going 29, pushing the speeds and bike harder on trail bike, so likely good call SC made them a touch burlier.
  • 1 0
 How does it compare to Forbidden Druid not Stumpy? IMHO These are the real contenders.
  • 3 0
 New tallboy????
  • 2 1
 Just want to get in my "Looks Like a Bronson" comment Razz

Nice looking bike!
  • 4 2
 The flat brim hat is strong with this one.
  • 2 0
 Thats a new look? Eh...okay!!!!
  • 1 0
 Digging the blueberry AL version. Looking like a nice Process 134 replacement...
  • 3 0
 Finally in aluminum!!!
  • 2 0
 Provably would have compared it to the jeffsy or offering.
  • 1 1
 Hey Mike can you let us know what public Bellingham trails you tested the bike on? ( although there are a good amount of private or unsanctioned trails in Bellingham.)
  • 2 1
 reckon we'll get a 2020 Nomad? Not sure whether to wait out for that or just get the current iteration...
  • 1 0
 Weird Bellingham shows up everywhere except in Return 2 Earth. What are they hiding?
  • 1 0
 Its a tough call for me between this and the Tall Boy... The geo looks very similar between the 2..
  • 14 13
 Oh joy! Another 30lb, 140mm bike.
  • 4 0
 30lbs?! That's only if you want the "fancy" build for $7,100.
  • 2 1
 Nah, still same as usual.
  • 2 1
 ahm?! excuse me? New look?
  • 1 1
 JFC did they hire design guy from intense? whole new lineup looks like someone randomly mixed up skittles in a microwave.
  • 5 4
 Since when did you need a lyrik on a trail.bike??
  • 2 1
 Apparently everyone lives in British Columbia or Southern Utah. Serious though, a Lyrik?
  • 3 0
 @kuna26: Ya I ride a Lyrik on my trail bike and it is so unnecessary for riding in the northeast U.S. But it's cool cuz it's a lyrik
  • 7 0
 Everyone it seems is putting Lyrik/36 on everything.

For Fox, I can understand this as the 36 has access to GRIP2, where the 34 does not. The 34 is also a dated chassis that despite being class leading weight wise, is probably also the flexiest of the "Trail" category forks. A Step-Cast 36 would be BITCHIN and I wouldn't doubt it's not in the pipeline.

The Pike however, has access to nearly the same damper/air spring options as the Lyrik, but is 175g lighter, and for most riders the difference is stiffness probably isn't noticeable. If given the option, I might choose the Pike over the Lyrik, and I'm a heavier rider. That all-silver colorway is rad.

The Mattoc 29 is kinda heavy (2032g 180mm Mezzer tech needs to trickle down to a 1800g 140mm 37mm Mattoc) the Ribbon has mixed reports of performance (stiction), Suntour can't seem to make a lightweight fork, X-Fusion is no-where to be found, Formula and DT Swiss are expensive as top-tier stuff but the performance isn't there. Basically, given the options, its not surprising that the 36/Lyrik are the most common choice.
  • 3 2
 if you live in santa cruz, a lyrik on a trailbike makes perfect sense.
  • 7 1
 @skkkkrrr: If you live in Santa Cruz being over-sold on more more more makes perfect sense.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Lyrik has the RC2 which is comparable to the 36. Pike does not offer this option. Though if I didn't get a good deal on a Lyrik I would've gone DVO Diamond. People tend to forget that there are more than 2 suspension brands...
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: Yeah you can get a Pike RC2.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: I've had both Pike and Lyrik RC2. Will never ride a Pike again.
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: 2020 pike ultimate has the rc2 damper just like the lyrik
  • 1 0
 @Pavel-Repak: Oh right forgot about the new ultimate. Wasn't gonna dish the money out for that though.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: You can get just the damper for about $300.
  • 1 0
 @Pavel-Repak: But then I will also need to buy a pike. It was cheaper to get the lyrik but ya i get your point. i take back what i said sheesh
  • 1 1
 They are pretty much identical forks. The Pike chassis is actually slightly more modern with the lowers being redesigned in 2018 vs the older lowers of the Lyrik. My guess is that at 140mm anyone under 250lbs not doing hucks to flat would not notice a difference in chassis stiffness, and if they did, it wouldn't hurt them in any competitive timing event. We've got get away from this idea that a lack of stiffness, or compliance, is a bad thing.

If you're stretching the Pike to Lyrik lengths (150+) that might be a different story, but people won plenty of races on 32mm forks back in the day.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: OK maybe it wasn't fair on my part, but I was comparing a 2015 Pike 160 RC3 to a 2019 Lyrik 170 RC2 Boost with torque-caps.
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: The newer Pikes are excellent. I have an 2015 Pike that sucked until I put a Luftkappe in it which made it so much better.
  • 2 1
 New look? New color you mean?
  • 2 0
 RIP HTLT /3
  • 1 0
 Yet again, the alloy version looks the best.
  • 1 3
 am I the only one who thinks they may have accidentally released new colorways for all bikes (except megatower, because new) on their website...? Saw this morning and now the SC website is "mysteriously down"...……
  • 2 0
 MY20 was announced to dealers 2 months ago, and they had all the colours finalized then. Megatowers and V10s are staying the same as they were both released pretty close to the MY switch over, and to not screw bike shops over that had ordered/ are still sitting on what most would consider "new bikes".
  • 1 0
 good luck telling them apart...
  • 1 1
 no comments on how the bike really pedals, especially compared to the Megatower?

cracking review...
  • 2 1
 I love how new colorways speak directly to the buying demographics.
  • 1 1
 That's nice of you to pretend it's faster than a stumpy since it's their article.
  • 1 0
 Is this considered a "downcountry" bike?
  • 1 0
 Will the alloy frames be available in xxl this generation?
  • 1 0
 Longer, lower, slacker... Zzzzzz
  • 1 0
 That suspension link looks like it could crack yer nut sack.
  • 1 0
 29er wheels make the lyric look like a recon
  • 1 0
 Evil Hapenning. Dopening. Crappening and the Copening
  • 1 0
 Rockshox reverb !!!??! Seriously ? Blah
  • 1 0
 Buy a Knolly Fugitive LT. Rides better and less money.
  • 1 0
 Did SC go with a reduced offset fork?!
  • 1 0
 Anyone put a coil on it yet?
  • 5 4
 looks perfect really
  • 2 2
 so.... New Hightower v Ripmo....? Both with a Fox DHX2 lets say...
  • 3 1
 'The Hightower was designed to run an air sprung shock only' 'shocks with larger air cans, like a Fox Float X2 aren't compatible.'
  • 4 5
 Wow Santa Cruz can’t even make a frame compatible with the Float x2.... wow
  • 2 0
 I found it a bit odd that they eliminated like 70% of the available shock options with this frame. Pretty much telling people... he... we think these two shocks work so that's what you have to use.

Odd choice.. but I guarantee you the engineer who worked on this is way smarter than I am.
  • 2 2
 Bummer they don't make it in 27.5
  • 2 0
 Bronson
  • 2 0
 are you f*cking kidding right now??
  • 1 0
 @leon-forfar: The Bronson review said they wished it came in 29er though so they must not be the same. I always thought they were the same but someone said otherwise.
  • 1 0
 @rzicc: sort of
  • 2 0
 @iantmcg: Yup, but this had not been released yet. Bigger wheels making up for slightly less travel, almost same HTA, designed around and air shock. This is their 29er Bronson like the Megatower is to the Nomad.
  • 1 0
 I would only buy this in 27.5, true story.
  • 1 1
 SC redesign so you all will spend more money.
  • 1 0
 Oh wow a new bike.
  • 1 0
 Session
  • 2 5
 My $4500 Commencal has a better build. Sure, it's a couple pounds heavier, but I'll take a few founds for a $4,000 price difference.
  • 8 3
 You got a Commencal for $4500 with carbon wheels, carbon frame, and full X01 drivetrain?? Please tell me more.....
  • 1 0
 @tgent: All I read was that his Commencal has a better build kit and was $4k cheaper. Not really sure where he said it was carbon?
  • 5 6
 SantaCruz is The Gap/Old Navy of bikes.
  • 1 4
 Yeah, only 9 grand...
  • 8 1
 They have peasant builds too
  • 2 0
 @Tr011: lmao us peasants need to ride too
  • 3 4
 @Tr011: I'll never buy a bike that requires paying nearly $900 in taxes! Only hooked-up bros rides these (other than oral surgeons).
  • 3 3
 @Tr011: I'm sure the frames are nice and all, but that's highway f*cking robbery.
  • 4 1
 @Armalite: then read beyond the dentist build and get the cheap alloy build
  • 2 1
 @Tr011: I won't - so there!
  • 2 1
 @endlessblockades: dude.... you live in SF and you complain about another 900 bucks... come one. First world problems bro...
  • 2 0
 @Tr011: Like that's cheap either... please. I mow lawns for a f*cking living dude.
  • 2 1
 @Armalite: How do you afford to live in SF? Srs question. It's one of the most expensive areas to live in in the states
  • 1 0
 @rzicc: You make some typical assumptions based on media BS.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: Rent Control for the the last 30 years! I've raised 3 kids in a f*cking dump. Talk to me when you have a similar resume.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: I wasn't trying to be rude. I was just curious. Good for you
  • 5 0
 @stumphumper92: NP - sorry I was a little touchy. People think this is some kind of gated community only for super rich techies. There are still plenty of ppl just scraping by and riding YTs.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92:

I don't live in San Fransisco... I'm in Kingston, NY. Other side of the country.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades:

I'm still on an 03' Stinky my friend...
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades:

Riding a YT is NOT scraping by...
  • 2 0
 @Armalite: #respect bro - for real. Before 2015 I was on a 2003 Bullit
  • 1 0
 @Armalite: fair enough- there was a little sarcasm in my remarks. I've been lucky to claw my way up to YT level but I'm not ever paying 6,7,8,9,10k for a bike. No dis to those who can- I got kids and just didn't plan my life that well.
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