The Santa Cruz Hightower is Santa Cruz’s go-fast mid-travel 29er mountain bike. While the first-generation bike received a ton of awards for how balanced the bike felt, many thought it could use a bit more oomph. Santa Cruz responded with the Hightower LT, bumping up suspension travel and capability. Years of feedback from consumers and EWS riders alike have brought about the 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower A, which takes the knowledge and burliness of their long-travel 29ers and builds it into a lighter, more nimble package.
The Hightower A features the same geometry as it’s carbon siblings, but uses an alloy frame that offers excellent value for the money. Like other Hightowers, Santa Cruz moved the shock to the bottom bracket area on it’s bigger bikes to build in a slightly more linear leverage curve, which in turn makes for a more supportive mid-stroke right past the sag point. While the Hightower isn’t meant to soak up the trail like the brand’s long-travel bikes, the end results make perfect sense for the bike’s intended riders. With just 140 mm travel out back (and 150 mm at the fork) paired a suspension that is more supportive than ever, you get a bike that straight up climbs better than its weight and suspension travel might indicate.
What else is there? Well, the Hightower has contemporary suspension geometry that is geared toward being a do-all trail bike. A 65-degree headtube angle, 76-degree seat tube angle, and 470 mm reach in a size large are par for the course in 2019, and are similar to what’s found on the Megatower. There is also a familiar-sounding list of advantages and features. Here, you’ll find a threaded bottom bracket, linkage covers to protect against dirt and grime, downtube protectors to protect against rocks and tailgates, and a ribbed chainstay guard. Hightower is designed to fit a 29 x 2.4″ tire with room to spare, or a 27″ plus tire should that be your jam. And as always, Santa Cruz offers a lifetime warranty for each frameset they sell.
The Santa Cruz Hightower A is available in three build kits, five sizes (S-XXL) and two colorways, in 29″ wheels:
Santa Cruz Hightower D – RockShox 35 Gold RL 150 mm fork, Fox Float Performance DPS 140 mm shock, SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Guide T brakes, Race Face Aeffect dropper seatpost, and WTB ST i29 TCS to SRAM MTH hubs. It retails for $2899.
Santa Cruz Hightower R – RockShox Yari RC 150 mm fork, Fox Float Performance DPS 140 mm shock, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Guide R brakes, Race Face Aeffect dropper seatpost, and WTB ST i29 TCS to SRAM MTH hubs. It retails for $3599.
Santa Cruz Hightower S – RockShox Lyrik Select+ 150 mm fork, RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ 140 mm shock, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain w/ NX crank, SRAM Code R brakes, RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper seatpost, and Race Face AR Offset 30 rims to DT Swiss 370 hubs. It retails for $4199.
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