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New Santa Cruz Hightower doubles down on 29 & 27+ as TallBoy LT Replacement

COYHAIQUE - 10 December 2015 - during a recce near Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile for Santa Cruz Bicycles with Chris Ball, Will Ockelton, Joe Graney & Matias Del Solar. Photo by Gary Perkin
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COYHAIQUE - 10 December 2015 - during a recce near Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile for Santa Cruz Bicycles with Chris Ball, Will Ockelton, Joe Graney & Matias Del Solar. Photo by Gary Perkin
COYHAIQUE – 10 December 2015 – during a recce near Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile for Santa Cruz Bicycles with Chris Ball, Will Ockelton, Joe Graney & Matias Del Solar. Photo by Gary Perkin

Considering the Tallboy and Tallboy LT have been some of Santa Cruz’s most popular bikes, the decision to cease production of the LT in July was a surprise. But it was also a signal, that something new was probably on the horizon. Anyone following the industry trends could probably fashion a guess at what was coming, and that guess may look something like the new Santa Cruz Hightower.

Keeping with the Tallboy LT’s 135mm travel, the Hightower bridges the gap between 29″ and 27+ wheels. Can’t decide which wheel size best suits your needs? Don’t worry – Hightower is built around both…

Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_red_29_hero Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_red_27.5plus_hero

One of the benefits of the 27+ tire size is that the outer diameter is roughly that of a standard 29″ set up. Because of that, many companies are looking to effectively offer two bikes in one with both 29″ and 27+ set ups. The biggest constraint seems to be making room for the 27+ tires at the chain stays – something that seems to be solved with 12x148mm Boost rear spacing, and 1x drivetrains capable of running Boost offset crank spiders. In this case, the Hightower uses a RaceFace crank which naturally runs a 51mm chainline. That means no need for a “Boost specific” 52mm chainline crank spider since Santa Cruz finds the 51mm works just fine on either 142 or 148mm rear ends.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 2.51.35 PM
All photos c. Santa Cruz

In the case of the Hightower, the geometry is also tweaked for the two wheel sizes with a Toggle Chip on the lower shock mount. In the low position it’s ideal for a 29er with a 140mm fork, and in the high position it’s designed for a 150mm 27+ fork. Santa Cruz recommends changing the fork to best suit the handling characteristics of the wheels with the frame, but if you were to try to run one fork for both, the 150mm travel fork would be the better option. If you wanted to get techy, you could switch out the air shaft in a Pike to get the two travel settings out of a single fork.

Other than that, you’ll need the two wheelsets if you want to roll both 29″ and 27+.

Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_details_black_2Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_details_red_1

Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_details_black_1 Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_details_red_2

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 2.50.10 PM

Sold in either 29″ or 27+ stock builds, both bikes use the same 135mm travel VPP suspension frame. Built to be “long, low, and slack” with a modern trail bike geometry, Santa Cruz calls it “a big bike for big rides.”

Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike Hightower_black_29_profile

Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_black_275plus_hero Santa Cruz Hightower 29 27+ Tallboy lt replacement mountain bike hightower_red_27.5plus_hero

Standard features for the Hightower include a 73mm threaded BB shell with ISCG05 mounts, a built in downtube and chain stay protector, internal cable routing with pass through tunnels for the rear derailleur and 150mm Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper post, and Boost 12×148 and 15×110 axle spacing. The 29″ builds are equipped with 29×2.3″ Maxxis Minion tires while the 27+ bikes will include a 27.5×2.8″ Maxxis Rekon/Ikon combo. Santa Cruz states that the frames are capable of running up to a 29 x 2.4″ or 27.5 x 3.0″ tires.

COYHAIQUE - 10 December 2015 - during a recce near Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile for Santa Cruz Bicycles with Chris Ball, Will Ockelton, Joe Graney & Matias Del Solar. Photo by Gary Perkin
COYHAIQUE – 10 December 2015 – during a recce near Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile for Santa Cruz Bicycles with Chris Ball, Will Ockelton, Joe Graney & Matias Del Solar. Photo by Gary Perkin

Santa Cruz hightower build kits

Hightower will be sold in the $4599 C S model with a SRAM GX 1 drivetrain, the $6499 CC X01, and the $7799 CC XX1 build, with the prices identical for either wheel size. The carbon frame will also be sold as frame only with a Rockshox Monarch RT3 in Burgundy or Black for $2899. Any builds that don’t include ENVE wheels can be upgraded to the M Series 60 Forty HV wheels for $2000. To list the weights, Santa Cruz weighed all of the large bikes as listed with “real world” conditions including tire sealant, but without pedals. In those parameters, all of the builds came in under 30 lbs, with the top end build with ENVE wheels weighing in at 26.93 lbs (12,217g). The frame itself weighs in at 2,678g/5.88lbs.

The new Hightower is available starting today in select Santa Cruz dealers.

santacruzbicycles.com

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JB
JB
7 years ago

Smart strategy to accommodate both 29 and 27.5+ for potential buyers that are bewildered by the various wheel/tire options out today. Necessary or not, we’re gonna see more of these dual-duty rigs coming out

jsdoca@gmail.com
jsdoca@gmail.com
7 years ago

First time in a while their paint has been rather underwhelming. Bike looks dialed though!

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

Great idea, somewhat crazy pricing on the XX1 model (w/o XX1 cassette?!) at near $10k with carbon wheels.

I do LOVE that SC seems to announce new bikes when they are actually available to buy, rather than months ahead of time.

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

Love my PIVOT 429 trail with boost that can accommodate 29 and 27.5+ and the PIVOT even cost less if you can believe that.

AS
AS
7 years ago

I love how they do releases. Not a peep then an article on every major site and you can go to the SC site and buy it.

But the bike is named after a guy who’s 6’5″? The bike has a 490mm seat tube and 623mm of stack. Maybe they’ll offer an XXL?

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

You know they are having a laugh when they name a bike after a character in Police Academy.

endubro
endubro
7 years ago

good looking numbers. still think 27+ is stupid, but whatever. fat bike people complain about everything.

Eric
7 years ago

Hightower….good name. Wonder if they will come out with the Mahoney next.

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
7 years ago

A new industry trend: One bike, nineteen uses!

I hear Specialized is going to combine the Epic, Camber, Stumpjumper and Enduro. You buy one bike, and they ship you four sets of wheels, forks and rear shocks, and put Toggle Chips on all the pivot points.

“Oh wait, we’re going downhill now? Okay, hold on, let me get the DH shock out of the SWAT box…”

Genius.

Nick
Nick
7 years ago

Anyone else think its crazy that this bike isn’t even offered in metal?

Mike D
7 years ago
Reply to  Nick

Not at all. They’ll likely to an aluminum frame down the road, much like the aluminum Bronson and 5010 that are coming later this spring in 2016 (April?).

Jim F
Jim F
7 years ago

I have an old blur that I have stomped to death. I am ashamed at what I have put it through and still it runs like a champ I test road one of these at crankworx and wow it was super nice. The 27.5+ tires are a little strange after 26″ but wow they are fast and forgiving. It is a fun ride no doubt about it. You can just ride over stuff. I would love to get on one of these in a 29″ and compare. Demo days should have both so you can really see both sides of this bike.

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