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Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower Carbon CC 27.5+ X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

$6,599.00

Item # SNZ00BP

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Item # SNZ00BP

One step ahead.

We’ve got to hand it to Santa Cruz. Somehow, as the now-legendary California brand continuously alters its lineup, it manages to do so without the slightest hint of redundancy. Though every Santa Cruz bike excels on a colossal range of terrain, each new frame the brand creates sits confidently in its own individual niche. In the case of the Hightower, Santa Cruz filled a geometry void created when the Tallboy was redesigned, then added new tech that riders hadn’t even realized they needed. The 2017 Hightower Carbon CC 27.5+ X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike arrives with all-mountain versatility that's enhanced by its ability to switch between a 27.5+ or 29er geometry and the added advantage of SRAM’s Eagle drivetrain.

When carving out a space for the Hightower, Santa Cruz turned to the most versatile enduro steed in its stable. The Bronson’s redefinition of the all-mountain/enduro category is the subject of trailhead bonding with strangers to this day, and Santa Cruz wanted to bring the same versatility to the Hightower’s frame. On this Hightower's 27.5+ platform, you’ll enjoy a plusher, more stable ride than 29ers provide, so it's more approachable for beginners and more versatile for seasoned veterans. It also still has the same ravenous appetite as the Bronson for spiny rock gardens, rugged slickrock, and root-laced singletrack. If you want to switch to the firmer, faster feel of a 29er, you can; Santa Cruz’s addition of a flip chip in the upper link now gives you the revolutionary choice to switch between wheel sizes without altering geometry.

Santa Cruz’s beloved VPP suspension connects the Hightower’s two triangles, and the third generation of the revered suspension platform delivers the same responsive, glued-to-the-trail feel that’s earned it such a devoted following. In yet another nod to enduro roots, Santa Cruz took inspiration from the Nomad when positioning the suspension, keeping the link out of the way so that the Hightower’s frame can accommodate both a bottle cage and a piggyback shock without any overcrowding issues—a feature that comes in handy on longer bikepacking trips. The repositioned lower link now shelters above the bottom bracket, which raises clearance to lessen surprise jolts against unseen boulders, and the upper link now sits further up on the frame, lowering standover height and stiffening the back end. This setup will allow you to dance your way through a tight, off-camber rock garden one minute and then pedal straight into the next section of mixed roots and rock without bottoming out or wallowing.

Of course, VPP's updates include changes other than just migrating links. The system's suspension curve now describes a flattened check mark shape rather than the “U” shape of old. Though abstract, this comparison essentially means that you’ll feel less dramatic ramping on either side of the pedal stroke. It remains firm during quick accelerations along tacky hero dirt, and keeps the tires glued to the trail when you’re fighting for traction over deep brake bumps and slick root lattices at the end of a long day.

We continued to be spoiled by Santa Cruz's top-end Carbon CC construction method and materials, which allow the engineers to use less carbon but still hit stiffness targets. The frame is every bit as responsive as the less expensive Carbon C version, but its claimed weight is almost 300g less. Both triangles are constructed as whole, monocoque pieces, which also contributes to keeping weight low because the carbon can be wrapped through junctures and around joints. This continuous wrapping eliminates the artificial weak points of bonded frames and actually requires less material in the process. While it's being cured, the frame is compacted from inside and out. This final step eliminates excess material and resin pooling, resulting in more structural integrity and, of course, additional weight savings.

Finally, a necessary note on tire clearance, which is slightly less straightforward in a frame that can accommodate two separate tire standards. In the present 27.5+ mode, the Hightower easily accepts most 2.8in tires for regular trail riding or bikepacking, but may have trouble with some manufacturers’ snow-ready 3in specimens. If you flip the chip and turn your stable sled into a beastly, barreling 29er, the frame will easily clear tires in the 2.4 and 2.5in range, but going any larger risks compatibility issues, depending on the tire manufacturer.

  • Trail bike bred for all-mountain versatility
  • 5.3in of enduro-inspired VPP suspension
  • Long-and-low geometry also inspired by enduro models
  • Irreproachable, top-tier Carbon CC construction
  • RockShox squish at dropper, fork, and shock
  • Huge bailout gear with SRAM's 12-speed Eagle drivetrain
  • Santa Cruz pushes continuously for innovation across the industry

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Santa Cruz Carbon CC
Suspension:
VPP 3
Rear Shock:
Rock Shox Monarch RT3
Rear Travel:
135 mm
Fork:
Rock Shox Pike 29 RCT3
Front Travel:
150 mm
Headset:
Cane Creek 40 Integrated
Shifters:
SRAM X01 Eagle
Rear Derailleur:
SRAM X01 Eagle
Crankset:
30 t SRAM X01 Eagle Carbon
Bottom Bracket:
73mm BSA threaded
Crank Arm Length:
175 mm
Cassette:
10 - 50 t SRAM Eagle XG-1295
Chain:
SRAM X01 Eagle PowerLock
Brakeset:
SRAM Guide RSC
Brake Type:
hydraulic disc
Rotors:
180 / 180 mm Avid Centerline
Handlebar:
Santa Cruz AM Flat Bar Carbon
Handlebar Width:
780 mm
Grips:
Santa Cruz Palmdale
Saddle:
WTB Silverado Team
Seatpost:
Rock Shox Reverb Stealth
Seatpost Diameter:
31.6 mm
Wheelset:
Race Face ARC 40
Hubs:
DT Swiss 350
Front Axle:
15 x 110mm Boost
Rear Axle:
12 x 148mm Boost
Tires:
[front] Maxxis Rekon EXO 3C TR, [rear] Maxxis Rekon EXO TR
Tire Size:
27.5 x 2.8 in
Pedals:
not included
Recommended Use:
all-mountain, enduro, trail
Manufacturer Warranty:
lifetime on frame

sizing chart

Hightower size by rider height

|

Geometry chart

Santa Cruz

Geometry Chart

 

Hightower 1C
29er
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
M 16.5in 23.7in 23.8in 16.9in 27.9in 3.5in 67o 74.3o 1.3in 17.1in 45.9in
L 17.7in 24.5in 24.1in 17.2in 28.1in 3.9in 67o 74.3o 1.3in 17.1in 46.7in
XL 19.3in 25.6in 24.5in 18.7in 28.3in 4.3in 67o 74.3o 1.3in 17.1in 47.8in
27.5+
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase

M

16.5in 23.7in 24in 16.8in 27.8in 3.5in 66.8o 74.1o 1.1in 17.1in 46in
L 17.7in 24.5in 24.2in 17.6in 27.9in 3.9in 66.8o 74.1o 1.1in 17.1in 46.8in
XL 19.3in 25.6in 24.6in 18.6in 28.2in 4.3in 66.8o 74.1o 1.1in 17.1in 48in

Reviews & Community

REVIEWS

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fun and capable

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am surprised at how much I loved riding the hightower (27.5+ setup). As a XC hard tail guy I was very happy with how this thing climbed, it made a real ride, which includes up/down/flat, incredibly enjoyable. I think the technology in bikes has come leaps and bounds in the last 5 years and Santa Cruz has really kept on top of it. I rode a variety of terrain - firebreak rollers, sand, rocky, flowy, and the think just inspires confidence and is so fun, it reminds me why I really ride bikes. The handling was fantastic and I was used to the bike in no time at all. pedaling was not sloshy going up, and it didn't take much from me to keep it on line going back down. I own two other Santa Cruz bikes and it's frightening that I'm considering adding another to our bike room.
I am 5'7" and rode a M. feel free to contact me with any question on this bike or sizing.

fun and capable
Avg. ride time: 4h 39m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Plus Size Trail Happiness

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm 5'11" and about 175lbs. I chose to ride a large and it fit spot on! I rode this on mostly flow trails with some chunky sections. I would love to try out the 29'er version of the Hightower for a true comparison though, but overall really liked the bike.



What I liked about the bike:

- A friend mentioned to me that Hightower's look very similar to a Nomad's suspension design. That is very true as they both use the VPP 3 suspension. It climbs pretty well when the rear shock is left open and rips on down.

- I won't lie, I still have mixed feelings on plus size bikes, but they are seriously growing on me. The amount of traction you have is pretty spectacular and you don't lose too much in terms of speed of the bike. I ran these about 19psi in the front and 20ish in the rear. Some people brag about riding them in the low teens, but if you're riding more aggressively or faster, you'll want to bump that up a bit. This is also where personal preference comes into play, but what I found to work best for my riding style. With all of that said, these corner very well and descending was a blast. I also cleaned some rocky uphills easily with the plus version of the Hightower.

- Making another note on descending with the plus size tires on the Hightower, it feels incredibly stable and planted to the trail, but doesn't love to get airborne. You absolutely can jump, but feels like it takes a bit more effort than a non plus size bike.

- I felt that though the Hightower 27.5+ may not the the quickest to jump, it did feel like one of the faster bikes I've ridden in terms of descending capabilities. The 150mm/135mm is nothing to scoff at and I could rip into berms without any hesitation.

- I rode the CC X01 version, but this Carbon S would be very similar and would be the workhorse equivalent - same geo that hits a better pricepoint at only a touch heavier.

- I like the 150mm fork, makes the bike slack and fun and forgiving when you get into rowdy trail sections. I think if you could swing it, getting this and a pair of 29" hoops (I would run the 150mm fork on 29" wheels, it would slack it out by 0.4 degree and raise the BB by 3.4mm).



What I didn't like about the bike:

- Like said in the pro's for the bike, I'm still not 100% sold on plus tires, but am open to them. I think for myself personally, when psi is dropped to the low teens, you can get a rockcrawler feel, but thats also when the bike gets a touch sluggish in my opinion. I really liked these when bumping the psi up a bit. Tire pressure is something that can make or break (potentially literally for too aggressive of riding with too low of psi). Not trying to get too hung up on that, but something that can make a huge difference in how the bike handles. That said, I love the 2.4-2.6" tire range. I know that isn't a huge difference, but just seems to feel a touch better.



If you're looking for a trail bike that doesn't mind getting rowdy and can handle some big wheels, the Hightower would be a great option for you. Feel free to reach me at 801.204.4547 or cojohnson@backcountry.com if you have any other questions or are interested in doing a custom build!

Plus Size Trail Happiness

SC, Crushing it again.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Let me just preface this, by saying this bike rips.

As I'm sure you know, this bike can be run with 27.5+ tires or 29 inch wagon wheels, and having run it with both, ill give you my impressions with both.

In both wheel configurations, this bike is fast. Going both up and down, it will surprise you. Like pretty much every nice bicycle on the market, it pedals really well. Like pretty much every nice bike, it also descends admirably. Here are a few things that make this bike different, and how it stacks up to a few other bikes.
This thing plows. Its travel is definitely not indicative of its trail manners on rowdy descents. Its definitely not as playful as the Bronson interestingly enough, but its fast and confidence inspiring, but going slow isn't that fun, and this bike isn't slow.
Its incredibly versatile. Apart from its ability to change wheels (which I haven't done that often, actually) you can spend all day on an epic single track adventure, and be perfectly happy, and after go charge a rowdy downhill, and be perfectly fine.
This bike feels more like a bike you would point at a descent and hold on, and requires less input than the bronson, but it does not pop off of things as easily. It reminds me of a bulldozer.

29 VS 27.5+?
27.5+ has been pushed hard in the industry, and here is my take. They are super fun, but in order to optimize them, you have a very small range of air pressures that will work compared to a lower volume tire, and I attribute this to a tire acting like an un-dampened air spring. Even so, if you are a beginner or intermediate rider, the wider tires will give you more confidence than the 29 inch wheels, regardless of pressure, and will definitely make you a better rider. If you are intermediate-advanced, are comfortable cornering, and want to charge, I would go with 29 inch wheels. The Hightower was definitely funner in that configuration for me, and I felt like it really woke up with the larger wheels. Which is for you? If you ride more technical, choppy, and aggressive, I would go with the 29s. if your riding is usually smoother and looser, I would tend towards the plus tires.

This bike is great for all of the alpine riding around the Salt Lake/Park City area, and will shred in places like Moab on their techiest trails as well. Its not as forgiving as its longer travel brethren like the Nomad and Bronson, but the large majority of us don't ride stuff that requires that big of a bike anyways.

If you have any questions about this or any other mountain bikes or gear, shoot me an email at btanner@backcountry.com or call me at 801-746-7608 (EXT 4589)

Plowability Plus + Crushability

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on the Hightower 27.5+. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.

Instead of the Race Face ARC 40 Wheels highlighted on this build, I went with the ENVE M60 forty carbon wheels. I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60's and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:

Plowability - 9.5

Climbability - 8.5

Maneuverability - 8

Wheelie Rating - 8

Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.

https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike

See you out on the dirt.

Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

Plowability Plus + Crushability

Perfect All Mountain Bike

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Santa Cruz has a reputation for making some incredible mountain bikes, and they once again designed a dime.The Hightower is a beast of a rig, and can conquer any trail you put in front of it. With shorter chainstays and a slack headtube angle relative to its predecessor, what you get is a more nimble, yet more capable and predictably handling bike. The new Boost standard has allowed a lot of this to happen, which has made for a frame that is laterally stiffer, with tighter geometry; ultimately creating the best big-wheeled trail/enduro bike that we have seen from any manufacturer to date.
If you are looking for a bike to serve you anywhere from light-trail/XC riding to Enduro, this is one bike that cover a lot of bases, and make sure that you have a smile on your face the whole time!

Feel free to hit me up with any questions regarding bikes:



Size Frame: What size frame should you go with?



Travel: Finding the right amount of travel that fits your riding style.



Full Package: Can provide a quote for both a custom or complete box build that fits your budget.


Comparison: How does this bike ride compared to others in the same class? What are the pros and cons of going with another option?


Patrick Law
plaw@backcountry.com
801-204-4661

The best

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

After watching my buddy tear around on his 29er hightower i had to take one of the new plus hightowers out. I am really impressed with everything about this bike. Climbing in the trails around park city i felt endless amounts of grip. This did lower the bike a touch but still didn't feel like my cranks were in the ground using 175mm cranks. The VPP suspension as always is incredible but they really excelled on the geometry to really make this stable on both uphills and downhill. Add the 1x12 and you have one perfect quiver bike. If you have any questions on the buying process, sizing this bike, or wondering what options would be best for you i would be happy to chat anytime.