Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower LT Carbon 29 S Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 $4,899.00
Large and in charge.
It's no secret that Santa Cruz team riders have been spotted enduro racing on modified 29-inch Hightowers, upgrading to this big-wheeled machine after seeing its freakish ability to carry momentum in a way that's simply not possible on 27.5-inch wheels. Realizing they were onto something after extensive testing, Santa Cruz went to the drawing board to reconfigure the original Hightower into a long-travel beast that's ready to dominate the most difficult enduro courses in the world. This redesign spawned the addition of the Hightower LT Carbon 29 S Complete Mountain Bike into Santa Cruz's line, which is something that's been asked for by aggressive riders seeking a longer-travel alternative to the original Hightower.
Instead of undergoing a drastic redesign, the Hightower LT retains many of the riding characteristics inherent to the original 29-inch bike, namely its ability to roll over anything standing in its path paired with a low-slung geometry that absolutely rails corners and provides instinctive handling when pushed to the limit. Whereas the original had 135-millimeters of travel at the rear and 140-millimeters up front (in 29er form), the Hightower LT has 150-millimeters of travel at the front and rear. In conjunction with a slacker head angle of 66.4 degrees and slightly longer wheelbase, you'll find the Hightower LT brings an unflappable level of confidence to steep descents peppered with minefield-like boulders and massive roots interlaced across the trail.
Since it's purely intended as a 29-inch application, the designers at Santa Cruz eliminated the flip-chip, making it more of a fine-tuned machine for enduro racing without the need for switching it to 27.5+ for trail use. The Hightower LT's links and swingarm are redesigned to accommodate the extra travel, but the front triangle remains the same to retain much of the original Hightower's geometry. As expected, the Hightower LT employs Santa Cruz's lauded VPP suspension, which offers a firm pedaling platform without wallowing like many long-travel sleds on the market. On the descent, the 150-millimeters of VPP suspension turns the Hightower into an absolute beast, gobbling up chunky rock sections and absorbing big hits without flinching.
Its build kit complements the Hightower LT's aggressive design, with Santa Cruz hooking up the "S" package with 780-millimeter Race Face Aeffect R riser bars and E13 TRS wheels for greater support with their 30-millimeter wide profile. Tires are upgraded to burly 2.4-inch Maxxis Minion DHRs, meaning you'll have heaps of traction and greater bump compliance. Instead of the Pike provided on the previous Hightower, you'll find a Fox 36 Performance fork giving the Hightower LT added stiffness to its longer legs. The drivetrain is updated as well, with the previous GX 1x11 upgraded to GX Eagle 1x12 for its larger range of usable gears, which is helpful in getting this brute up steep climbs between timed downhill stages.
- Santa Cruz's long-travel 29er is more aggressive than ever
- Designed for the extremes of professional enduro racing
- 150-millimeters of VPP travel smooths out rough trails
- Slacker 66.4 degree head tube for high-speed composure
- New VPP linkage and swingarm eliminates previous flip-chip
- Carbon C frame offers high levels of stiffness and strength
- FOX 36 Performance fork for stiff tracking over rough terrain
- GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain provides largest 1x gear range
More Hightower builds
Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower LT Carbon CC 29 XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike - 2018
Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower Carbon CC 27.5+ X01 Eagle ENVE Complete Mountain Bike - 2017
Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower Carbon CC 29 X01 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike - 2018
View more All-Mountain & Trail
Reviews & Community
Hightower LT is finally here!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
In early 2016 Santa Cruz released the revolutionary Hightower which quickly became one of their best sellers. The Hightower was versatile and could accept both 29” and 27.5+ wheel configurations. Many people found the 29er version to be a fast, highly capable trail-slayer. Soon there was demand for a more aggressive version of the bike as evidenced by many riders attempt at long-shocking their Hightower’s to get more rear travel (a modification not recommended by Santa Cruz). Enter the new Hightower LT- a bike that heeds the rider’s call for a more aggressive machine. The Hightower LT utilizes a new rear triangle and linkage, yielding 150mm of travel with a longer wheelbase and slacker geometry. One thing worth noting: the Hightower LT does not accept 27.5+ wheels and tires- it’s 29er only.
I’ve been riding the original Hightower for the past 8 months. That bike has helped make me a faster rider both up and down the mountain, not to mention it’s an absolute blast to ride. I enjoy the rolling speed of the 29” wheels and Santa Cruz nailed the geometry with an ideal balance between high-speed stability and nimble handling. When the shiny new Hightower LT showed up at our office I was eager to take it out on my favorite gravity-focused Park City trails. I noticed right away that the new LT was noticeably more composed on high speed sections, rough trails and descents. It provided some extra stability in places where the shorter travel Hightower felt slightly under-gunned, without sacrificing the nimble handling. I knew right away I was faster on the Hightower LT and guess what? It felt like it climbed about as well as my Hightower- which is good. This bike is definitely no slouch on the uphills and I have no doubt that it can handle all day cross-country rides involving significant climbing.
It’s worth mentioning the perks of purchasing a Santa Cruz bike. You get a lifetime warranty with free lifetime bearing replacement for the original owner. You also get a threaded bottom bracket which means easier serviceability and reduced creaking compared to PressFit BB’s. The frames have molded tubes for internal cable routing which makes the cable routing process a lot easier, no need to fish for cables inside the frame. Santa Cruz frames are built to last and have held up better for me than other brands. It’s a bike you can ride hard, put away dirty, and not feel bad about it. New for 2018 Santa Cruz is offering their house brand of carbon wheels called Santa Cruz Reserve. They were developed and tested under rigorous conditions and come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.
Who is the ideal rider for the Hightower LT? Riders that want a capable 29er all-mountain bike that won’t hold them back when the going gets rough. Riders looking for a bike that is comfortable enough to pedal around all day but won’t shy away from the gnarliest trails. If you are focused on speed and live for the descents this bike could be your best friend. If you do any Enduro racing this bike would be a great choice. Why would you choose something like this over the Bronson or Nomad? Well that would depend on your preference between 29” and 27.5” wheels.
If you have any questions or want to see if this is the right bike for you, call me at 801 736 6396 ext. 4801 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to answer questions or have a discussion on this bike.