Rides like a monster truck.
Rolling on the voluminous support of 27.5+ wheels, the Santa Cruz Hightower Carbon 27.5+ R Complete Mountain Bike steamrolls every line in sight and grabs tenaciously around loose corners where you'd previously wash out. Designed for everything from rowdy alpine descents to undulating forest trails, the Hightower 27.5+ gives you the ability to cruise over the rockiest terrain and loosest soil with its massive tires grabbing to anything lying in its path. Paired with 135 millimeters of responsive VPP suspension, you'll find the Hightower 27.5+ blurs the line between dedicated trail bike and aggressive all-mountain rig.
One of the more unique features with the Hightower is its flip-chip, which allows you to swap between 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels with minimal impact on its slack, confidence-inspiring geometry. In 27.5+ form, the Hightower accommodates 2.8-inch tires for unrelenting traction and control where you'd previously be on the precipice of washing out or skidding off the trail. We recommend sticking with this plus-size tire recommendation of 2.8 inches, as larger 3-inch rubber may present clearance issues with certain tire manufacturers.
If the Hightower's ability to swap tire sizes gives you a taste of its versatility, then its aggressively long and slack geometry provides a glimpse into its penchant for fast and rowdy descents. The 66.8-degree head tube angle strikes a nice balance between descending composure without being overly slack for spirited climbs back to the top of the mountain. To ensure it's ready for long climbs, the engineers at Santa Cruz gave it a 74.3-degree seat tube angle, which places you in an optimal position for laying power to the pedals. Furthermore, the 17.1-inch chainstays are short enough for quick maneuvers around tight corners and uphill switchbacks.
The Hightower uses the third generation of Santa Cruz's VPP suspension, often referred to as VPP3, for increased mid-stroke support and greater traction over small bumps and terrain inconsistencies. It features a re-positioned lower link that's neatly tucked above the bottom bracket, reducing damage from the punishing debris you'll be cruising over with the Hightower's monster truck tires. The upper link is now attached to the top tube, allowing for increased stand-over height and greater rear end stiffness. Interestingly enough, the 135 millimeters of travel out back is paired with a bit longer 150-millimeter fork. This slight difference between front and rear travel gives you a bit more pedaling efficiency in the rear, with extra compliance and margin for error up front when you're smashing over rock gardens and sending side-hits littered along the trail.
For this particular 27.5+ R build, you'll reap the benefits of a Rock Shox Revelation RC fork with 150 millimeters of plush travel and a stiff 35-millimeter chassis for precise tracking over the rough stuff. It's hooked up with the simplicity of a SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain, which ditches the front derailleur for the wide range of an 11 to 42-tooth cassette. Additionally, you'll find a Race Face Aeffect dropper post for changing your saddle position on-the-fly during rides with constant elevation changes.
- Santa Cruz's premiere 27.5+ trail bike
- 27.5+ wheels offer massive traction and plow-ability
- Responsive VPP suspension with 135mm of plush travel
- Carbon C frame provides superior strength and stiffness
- Long, slack geometry inspires confidence at high speeds
- Flip chip accommodates both 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels
- Rock Shox Revelation RC fork with 150mm of travel
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain with wide range of gears