Cascade Components Announces V2 Hightower LT Link

May 13, 2020 at 12:29
by Cascade Components  
Red Hightower LT V2 link


PRESS RELEASE: Cascade Components

Hightower LT, Minimega, Highesttower. Call it what you want. Cascade Components is excited to announce the newest addition to our lineup of linkages. The V2 Hightower LT link started as a search for the perfect race bike for the PNW. The Megatower was a little too much and the Hightower was a little too little. The link stretches the capabilities of a solid all-around bike even further. The changes to the bike’s leverage curve help the suspension absorb chatter even better while also soaking up large hits with ease. This allows the bike tracks better and stays composed through big impacts, creating a more confidence-inspiring ride that lets you push as if you were on an enduro rig while still maintaining excellent pedaling ability.

For us, the bike is our go-to setup for big pedal days with big descents. The Hightower LT link also adds mid-stroke support, coupled with some slight geometry changes, allowing the bike to corner even better. Coupled with this link, the Hightower V2 is the perfect enduro race bike for all but the most gnarly of locations (Whistler & such).

Hightower LT link colors
The Hightower link is currently available in silver, black, and red

The Hightower LT link is designed around the stock shock size, so no changes to the shock are necessary. You can increase the stroke of the shock to 55 mm without frame clearance issues, but tire-seat clearance gets tight for all but the largest frames. Changes to the shock mount location on the link also increase the clearance between the shock and the top of the shock tunnel. This is one of the tightest spots when fitting a coil with the stock link. Increasing clearance here allows coils to fit more comfortably and makes the shock tunnel width the only limiting factor in coil size.

Because the Hightower uses a short stroke shock, the required spring rate to avoid harsh bottom outs results in very little sag with the stock link. By increasing the progression and raising the initial leverage ratio the suspension sags properly with the stiffer spring. The Hightower LT link improves descending performance noticeably with an air shock as well, so whether you want to run a coil is up to you. We actually prefer running air with it on our local trails.

Specs and Details


• Travel: 150 mm with stock shock
• +5 mm chainstay length
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• Increased clearance between shock and top of shock tunnel (helps clear coil shocks)
• 8 mm x 30 mm eyelet spacing
• Material: 6061-T6 Al
• Cost: $249.00 USD
Hightower LT leverage curves

Take a look at what's influencing our link designs every day. Recently we took advantage of a stretch of good weather to film a typical after work Hightower LT ride with the engineer behind the links and his dog. The bike might be fast, but the dog has the inside lines down. And as always, the links are designed, tested, and made in house here in Washington.

Views: 3,734    Faves: 5    Comments: 4



Some of you may be wondering how the leverage curves for the Hightower V2 stack up against those of the Megatower. We've taken the liberty of throwing both on the same graph. As you can see, the Hightower is, in a way, a mini-Megatower. The Hightower has a tiny bit more mid-stroke support and more anti-squat through the first half of its travel, though.
Santa Cruz 29er leverage curve comparison

For more information please visit cascadecomponents.bike/v2-hightower-lt-link/.


101 Comments

  • 46 1
 Makes me want to buy a hightower just to slap an aftermarket link in there. Very cool
  • 10 19
flag JimmyWeir (May 14, 2020 at 6:01) (Below Threshold)
 Makes me want to proofread!
  • 20 2
 @JimmyWeir: bet you're a hit with the ladies
  • 11 0
 It’s kinda funny how many companies want to modify Santa Cruz’s suspension.
  • 3 7
flag mrosie (May 14, 2020 at 19:55) (Below Threshold)
 @74tenomresc: He is! Just ask your mom.
  • 27 0
 The HigherTower?
  • 21 2
 Waiting on the Megatower Mullet Link.
  • 3 0
 i would so buy this
  • 2 0
 Totally. I will buy one too
  • 3 2
 Why not just put a 29er fork on the nomad? If you reduce the shock stroke you could essentially run it as a 160/160 mullet with no change to the geometry
  • 4 0
 @JPostuk: to get the same stack height as a 180 mm 27.5 fork you have to go down to a 150 mm 29" fork. At this point it's an amount of travel that's not really fitting for what the Nomad is intended to do. Reducing shock stroke isn't exactly desirable either since bottom out resistance is proportional to shock stroke squared. With a Megatower on the other hand you make a link that raises the rear 10 mm and geo is unchanged with a 27.5" wheel.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents:

Please make the Megatower Mullet link a reality
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: yes! Eff yes! Do it please.
  • 11 1
 Had one day on the new link and didn't change a thing to the stock shock. I could definitely feel a noticeable difference. Way better small bump compliance, more supportive and the bike actually felt more stable at high speeds due to the extra length. I'm pretty impressed.
  • 6 0
 Glad your enjoying it! Always cool to see something we developed to make our bikes better helping others get more out of their's too.
  • 18 4
 It is interesting, why would Santa Cruz design a bike that is less supple and less supportive? Isn’t suppleness working against “supportivoty”? Is it a poor job from SC or does this link sacrifice certain characteristic over the other? If so what is the intended original Characteristic according to you?

Super cool with such custom tuning stuff!
Cheers
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: What fork travel have you been running? Keeping with the stock 150?
  • 1 0
 @heitz1979: 160mm fork.
  • 7 0
 @heitz1979: The fork is still at 150 mm.

@WAKIdesigns: Supple and supportive go together with more progressive linkages. Below the sag point the suspension is more supportive and above the sag point it's more supple. This combined with being less reliant on damping to avoid harsh bottom outs allows the suspension to remain more active over chunder. It's less likely to pack up as well. Generally over roots and rocks and what not where you're really worried about small bump your sitting higher in your travel (or at least should be) so you benefit from the more supple portion of the stroke. Then in scenarios where support is really important such as corners, g-outs, and jumps you get the support from being a little deeper in the travel. As for why the stock link was designed the way it was, I don't really have a good answer for that. I haven't found a single instance where I thought the stock link would serve me better. The leverage curve our link creates can't be achieved with exactly 140 mm of travel so that may have played a role in their design.
  • 4 15
flag JimmyWeir (May 14, 2020 at 21:58) (Below Threshold)
 @CascadeComponents: you're*
  • 2 1
 @CascadeComponents: Thanks for answer! Cheers! I wish you could make a link for my antidote carbon jack so that it can accomodate 216x63 instead of my 200x57 Smile
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents:

I don’t see anything on here about how the link affects bottom bracket height and propensity for pedal strikes. Assuming no change other than the link, what should be expected?
  • 2 0
 @Cmcniff: The BB is 2.5 mm lower than the BB is in low with the stock link. We've never had any issues with pedal strikes with any set up on this bike.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: sweet thank you! Mine is on order...can’t wait
  • 1 0
 @rockhey24: how is the 160mm fork? I have a Cascade link on order, and am considering adding the extra 10mm when I do the 50 hour on my Lyrik ultimate. Can't really find any opinions on what, if any, change to handling the minor geo would make (esp. with the Cascade link in there...). Thanks!
  • 10 2
 When will manufacturers recognize progressive linear is the leverage ratio that works best with properly designed shocks. Ratios with inflections points all over the place do not work well for modern descent-oriented bikes. Yes they can still be ridden and shredded but it becomes a issue and needs shock tuning to address.
  • 5 0
 Could you give any specific examples of that well designed leverage ratio?
  • 3 0
 @goroncy: 2020 s-enduro 29
  • 8 0
 If you remove the grey plastic travel spacer from your Hightower RockShox shock, you get almost 150mm of travel & its free. The extra chainstay length would be nice on L & XL frames though.
  • 3 36
flag willdavidson9595 (May 13, 2020 at 17:49) (Below Threshold)
 Volume spacer? That won't give you any more travel, just easier to bottom out.
  • 4 0
 @willdavidson9595: it's the travel spacer he's talking about. Reduces the shock stroke to limit travel to 140mm. (In this application)
  • 1 0
 Do you just snip it out with cutters or what?
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the tip. Does this affect the geometry in any way?
  • 1 0
 Can you link to info on that? I can't find anything on the Google. Wondering what that does to the bike.
  • 1 0
 When I got my stock hightower I put a 55mm stroke shock in to see if it would work. When I cycled it through it's travel the linkage hit the frame at bottom out. I wouldn't recommend doing this.
  • 8 0
 Props to another small engineering company making things that just work. Reminds me of the old days . . . Keep it up!
  • 5 0
 Another bike for $250, I'm in! This is absolutely brilliant, I'm ordering now. Keep up the good work Cascade, maybe do these for other brands too.
  • 3 0
 Already have one on my stumpy evo Wink
  • 1 0
 They have a sentinel link. A stumpjumper link. And I think they are working on some trek stuff too. Check their IG it’s pretty cool stuff????????
  • 1 0
 @fussylou: I knew they had one for the Stumpjumper, not the Sentinel.
  • 3 1
 First ride on mine last night... Was skeptical I'd notice a difference but it was definitely impressive over the chunk. Made a point to ride trails I know extensively and everything felt better. I'd go as far as to say it climbs better too; it just flat out tracks over everything. I'm extremely happy with the purchase, honestly can't believe the difference. I had to bump the psi about 40-50 to get back up to 30%. I even went above Cascade's initial set-up table a bit. I'm excited to play with things and see if I can get it even more plush. I've already bumped the front to 160mm so now I'm at 160/150mm. I've loved the bike from day one but I am so stoked right now. Just wish I could have gotten it in purple ano. Smile
  • 1 0
 you had to add that much air to your shock? hmm. I didn't change a thing on the shock and felt great. Didn't check the sag though. Felt a little more than normal. ill have to take a look.
  • 1 0
 @rockhey24: Yep, I have shockwiz so I keep decent tabs on the psi I am running and I bumped it way up. I'll do a few more rides before following any recommendations from the shockwiz, but after my ride last night it's telling me to add even more air...
  • 2 0
 I feel what they’re doing for the entire product line is pretty cool, although I haven’t felt the need to change my stock Nomad link and don’t really wanna push the bike into a more aggressive territory as it’s my all rounder (got it before the Bronson was made). My only criticism of all the links is they eliminate the grease fitting. Yes I’m sure most people don’t use it but if it’s there and not harming anything then why eliminate it for those of us who actually do use it. As an ex bike mechanic for a long time at a large SC dealer it was really nice to see grease fittings appear on vpp2 and above and I did find it to save bearings when people actually used it.
  • 1 0
 If you haven't swapped out the link on your Nomad you're missing out, but don't take our word on it... theloamwolf.com/2020/02/17/review-cascade-components-v4-nomad-lt-link

As for the grease fitting, here in the PNW having shielded bearings results in more maintenance and bearing life that is at most equal to the life of a sealed bearing. If SC wanted to stick with shielded bearings they should have left the rubber environmental seals over the bearings like the ones the Nomad has on all their bikes. Otherwise there's nothing to keep contaminants our mid-ride. Sealed bearings are designed with an amount of grease in them that lasts the life of the bearing. Whenever I run through a set of bearings I always pop the seals off to see how they are looking and the grease is always surprisingly clean. If someone is pulling their sealed bearings out and the insides look nasty the bearings likely should have been changed a while ago due to wear on the races.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I was surprised to have worn out two lower link stock Hightower V2 bearings in 6 months despite using the grease ports and minimal wet weather rides, no hosing. So, I look forward to the fully sealed bearings like the stock upper link with this revised HT LT link and expect to get more life out of them as well.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: wait so I haven’t looked at any of the current gen lower link driven except my Nomad. Are you saying they no longer have the additional rubber seal under the dust caps? That would be a bit disappointing but my personal experience I still prefer a zerk fitting and a good high quality marine grease (Amsoil) that’s built for boat trailers meant to be submerged in water.
  • 1 0
 @Jesse221: the aluminum spacers/shields are still there, but they don't really keep much out. When we were doing back to back testing one lap was all it took to get mud past them. The rubber environmental seals on top of the bearings are gone though, which was a bit of a step in the wrong direction for bearing longevity with the shielded bearings. The get a bunch of grit on them while riding and no one is stopping mid-ride to clean that out. Being able to grease them doesn't improve their life over a sealed bearing since axial loads from cornering are really what wear these bearings out and that happens long before a sealed bearing needs grease.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: yea fully agree on that if they removed the additional rubber seals being a wrong idea. Not sure what they were thinking there. If they were gonna go that route they’d been better with a sealed bearing and just remove the inner seal.
  • 1 0
 I touch the bearings when they need it. NTN and SKF bearings are made overseas and are not crap. In fact, I think all cartridge bearings are made overseas. Fafnir has been gone for a generation. China is a country, not a race, and they make crap bearings.
  • 2 1
 I have the new Hightower in alloy large. Took out the travel spacer in the superdelux and it’s 150 now. And bumped up the fork to 160. Feels amazing. This looks cool though
  • 1 0
 Would this not affect longevity of the shock at all?
  • 4 2
 I would rather believe the original designs from Santa Cruz. If this linkage is better, why don't Santa Cruz just do it in the beginning?
  • 3 0
 Hy, @CascadeComponents are you working on a Mulet Link for Megatower ?
Thanks !
  • 4 1
 Who created that first abomination of a graph? The labels are hard to read and appear reversed until you zoom in.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents can you confirm that this will allow coil shocks to fit? I really want to put a Fox DHX2 on the back of this bad boy. 160mm Fox Factory 36 up front and 150mm of Fox DHX2 on the back....... yes please!!
  • 1 0
 The heaviest spring that can comfortably fit is a 500 lb SLS spring.
  • 5 4
 So...::: what does it do again??. Explain in less fancy professional language. Break it down for a Norwegian.
Will this make my Hightower LT have more ...?
  • 2 0
 It's to give the current gen hightower more travel.
  • 5 0
 It makes your really good all around trail bike a really good all around trail bike that descends a little better.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman:
Does it!? I don’t see anything about more travel. My currrent Hightower LT is 150mm I don’t see anywhere it says anything about more travel.
  • 2 0
 @bulletbassman: ah, current Gen.
It basically makes it a Hightower LT.
  • 4 1
 @CascadeComponents any plans for a Tallboy V4 link?
  • 1 0
 Got the @CascadeComponents link on my 2020 Mega, shred city! Friend of mine just ordered the link for his 19 sentinel. Quality product that withstands abuse!
  • 1 0
 How does this effect climbing? I am interested but I have hard climbs where I live and love how the Hightower climbs as it is.
  • 1 0
 The link doesn't effect climbing.
  • 2 0
 Hey they also have a link for the version one Transition Sentinel!!!
  • 3 0
 Correct, just pre-ordered it a few days ago and stoked to try it. It will turn the Sentinel V1 into a V2.
  • 1 0
 @caribooyj: Same here! Need the added progression. Cheaper than a gym membership.
  • 3 1
 So this bike now has to be in another category? Former Trail now Enduro?
  • 3 0
 Any UK suppliers?
  • 2 0
 i ordered mine on monday and received it on wednesday! not cheap but does exactly what it says on the tin. silver looks naughty on the blue frame too
  • 2 2
 I got mine fast too, ask them to reduce the amount it costs on the paper work so you pay less import tax
  • 2 0
 @filryan: i'd probably keep that under your hat for your sake and theirs dude!
  • 1 0
 @foespower:
how much did it cost with shipping and taxes please? Thinking about buying one and ride with the fork in 160mm for a more enduro rig
  • 1 0
 So if i remove the travel spacer AND install this link, any idea on total travel?
  • 2 0
 I think it should be 157mm
  • 1 0
 On their site it says 150mm with their link and stock shock, or 160mm with their link and the spacer removed from the stock shock. But, at 160mm he said that the tire can buzz the seat on smaller frames.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents Any plans for a Sentinel V1 link? Would love a less boutique stroke length on mine.
  • 2 0
 3/4ths of a Megatower
  • 1 0
 So what is the standard shock size on the v2 Hightower?
  • 2 0
 210 mm x 52.5 mm
  • 1 0
 Will it void the warranty tho?
  • 2 2
 Not if sc don’t know you have one, keep original
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: any talk on mullet linkages?
  • 4 4
 For $250 you get crappy Chinese bearings?
  • 8 0
 The vast majority of the cost is R&D and machining. The bearings are the same as others used elsewhere on the frame.
  • 1 0
 What bearings in pivots would you recommend (not talking about wheels, bb, just pivots)?
  • 2 1
 Same size as original sc ones which are free for life. Where’s the issue if the bearings aren’t as good
  • 3 1
 The bearings aren’t holding you back and let’s be honest most people don’t touch bearings ever. Also, why are you complaining about the quality of the bearings when nearly everything for the entire bike is made overseas. Glad to see using uppercase for a proper name but that seems a tad racist.
  • 1 0
 Actually now price increased to over 300 USD Smile but hey just upgrade the bearings.. I don’t understand why not just to add a spacer to the shock instead, more progressive, more bottom-out resistance, more plush in initial stroke, higher bottom bracket (= more clearance over rocks). Makes you smile, haha
  • 1 0
 @ingotaraske: Because a spacer doesn't do a lot of the things a link does. Spacers a really more of a band aid than a true solution. There's a reason a lot of professional racers aren't on stock linkages.
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff:
Not a problem with overseas and not racist. The Japanese are the same race and make among the finest bearings available. It's about outsourcing cheap parts and making nothing but marketing drivel.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.019711
Mobile Version of Website