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All-new Santa Cruz Megatower is a 160mm travel 29er enduro beast

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Santa Cruz has a very extensive line of mountain bikes that had just one missing piece: A 160 – 180mm travel Enduro bike with 29-inch wheels. Something between the efficiency of their 150mm Hightower LT and full-on 215mm DH-focused V10. Today, they announced that this gap has been filled by an all-new bike, dubbed the Megatower. With five sizes, 29er-specific geometry, and adjustable lower link flip chip, it packs a lot of performance into a just-less-than-DH package.

All images courtesy Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Megatower 29″ enduro mountain bike

Everyone knows the Nomad, which has been through several generations, and lives on today as a 27.5″-wheeled bike that combines downhill-like capabilities in a package that’s efficient enough for real-world pedaling. If you wanted that same type of bike with 29-inch wheels, however, you were out of luck. That ends now.

Photo by Gary Perkin

The front end of the bike is intended for 160 – 180mm of travel, with all stock builds getting 160mm forks.

The bigger news in suspension, however, is out back. The Megatower uses their lower-link-mounted VPP with flip chip for fine-tune geometry adjustments (+/- 3.5mm BB height).


How do you decide whether to use the High or Low suspension setting? Here’s the word from Santa Cruz:

“You should definitely try both, but we typically recommend starting in High. This will make the bike more agile and easy to get used to. If your terrain is quite steep, give Low a try. This setting lowers the BB by 3.5mm, slackens the head angle by 0.3 degrees, and generally just biases your weight a little further back. The leverage curve of the suspension changes slightly as well: it’s more progressive. The geometry changes combined with the slight suspension change will make you feel like you’re sat further down in the bike. Great for steep gnar, not as good for flatter corners. It’s easy to change, so experiment!

In addition to the rear suspension adjustment, the dropouts feature flip chips of their own, allowing for 10mm of chainstay length adjustment. Flipping them back boosts tire clearance from 2.5″ to 2.6″.

Frame Geometry

With all of the adjustability, there are two frame geometry charts for the new Megatower (one for the High setting, one for Low).

Photo by Gary Perkin

Frame Specifications & Standards

Here’s a full list of the basic specs:

  • Front derailleur: Not compatible
  • Headset: Integrated IS 41/28.6; IS 52/40
  • Seat post: 31.6mm
  • Seat clamp: 36.4mm
  • Fork compatibility: 160-180mm
  • BB shell: 73mm threaded; ISCG05
  • Max tire size: 29×2.5″ (2.6″ in long chainstay setting)
  • Max chainring: 36t
  • Chainline: Boost (52mm)
  • Brake type: 180mm post mount
  • Water bottle mounts: 1 mount on downtube
  • Shock Dimensions: 230×57.5mm; 30×8 rear hardware; 20×8 front hardware

You might be asking yourself if you can use 27.5-inch wheels and tires with this bike… or even 27.5 Plus? Santa Cruz was is very clear on this topic: “No, the Megatower is built exclusively for 29″ wheels and tires. 27+ tires won’t fit, and the geometry is not setup for a conversion.”

In other words, if you want 27.5″ wheels, stick with the Nomad.

Photo by Gary Perkin

Build Kits & Pricing

There are many builds to choose from, all using a single chainring and dropper seatpost. Models include R ($4,499), S($5,399), S Reserve ($6,500), X01 ($7,199), X01 Reserve ($8,399), XTR Reserve ($9,799), and XX1 AXS Reserve ($10,499) – all in USD. Cheaper builds use the standard C frame, while higher-end kids use the premium CC carbon. The CC frameset is also available for $3,299. Claimed weights are:

complete bike weights for the new santa cruz megatower 29er mountain bike


The Megatower is available in two frame colors – green, and black (seen above). For more info and a full list of specifications for all models, hit the link below.


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Jonathan Ming
Jonathan Ming
4 years ago

It’s funny that Santa Cruz writes 27.5+ won’t fit, when on the frame there is enough clearance and on the frame is printet that the high setting is made for 27.5+

Rick Gale
Rick Gale
4 years ago

29 Nomad ? I say yes, at 6’4″ finally a bike that fits!

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