The Santa Cruz Hightower is the latest model in the company's portfolio to receive the lower link-mounted suspension arrangement, something which has allowed the engineers to slacken up the bike's geometry. As such the Hightower's geometry is longer and more relaxed (65.2-degree head angle) than the model it replaces while the chainstay length remains more or less the same.
Another significant improvement is the new 140mm of rear travel to go with a 150mm fork (160mm forks are compatible). All models can accommodate both 29-inch and 27.5+ wheels thanks to the geometry-adjusting flip-chip in the shock mount. The new lower link-mounted suspension design is claimed to produce not only a linear shock curve but also eliminates bobbing caused by pedalling when the shock is open.
The range comprises five carbon models (available in CC or C grades) as well as three aluminium options, each of which is available in sizing ranging from S-XXL. The new frames have been engineered to balance stiffness and comfort without affecting overall weight while still retaining the beefier tubing and solid junctions the manufacturer has become known for.
The bike's straight seat tubes mean longer dropper posts can be fitted. As such all but three models in the eight-bike line-up use factory-fitted RockShox Reverb Stealths ranging in lengths from 125 (small) to 200mm (XXL).
Other nifty features include the frame's ability to accommodate a water bottle, cleaner and more refined cable routing (no more cable rub) as well as a tailgate shuttle guard, downtube protector, shock shield and noise-cancelling chainstay protector.
All Hightowers benefit from a lifetime frame and pivot bearing replacement warranty.
Range and pricing:
- Santa Cruz Hightower AL D - £3,099 / US$2,899
- Santa Cruz Hightower AL R - £3,599 / US$3,499
- Santa Cruz Hightower AL S - £4,399 / US$4,199
- Santa Cruz Hightower C R - £4,499 / US$4,299
- Santa Cruz Hightower C S - £5,399 / US$5,199
- Santa Cruz Hightower C X01 - £6,599 / US$7,099
- Santa Cruz Hightower C XTR Reserve - £8,399 / US$9,899
- Santa Cruz Hightower C XX1 AXS Reserve - £9,399 / US$10,499