SANTA CRUZ HIGHTOWER
The MTB world has been buzzing with the question of when Santa Cruz was going to update its super-popular 135mm (rear travel) Tallboy LT (Long Travel) 29er trail bike. The company had updated all its other rigs – Bronson, 5010, Nomad – with the latest MTB standards (Boost front and rear ends, etc), but the Tallboy LT had disappeared from the Santa Cruz website a few months before Christmas. There had been no hints from the US brand as to whether it was even being replaced.
Enter the new Hightower, brimming with new tech, including the cool feature of being able to swap out wheelsets/ sizes – from 29 to 27.5-plus (pictured above) – along with Boost front and rear ends, carbon-only frames and 1x-only drivetrain. The big trick is the wheel swap, achieved by switching a small link on the rear shock (to adjust geometry to suit the wheel size you intend running). The caveat is that, if you opt for a 29er and the standard 140mm front fork, and intend swapping between that and 27.5plus, you also need to go up 10mm with your fork; the 27.5-plus geo is designed for a 150mm-travel fork. The cheapest way around this, if you're keen to swap between wheel sizes is to fit a 150mm fork on your 29er, then you only have to buy a set of 27.5-plus wheelset/tyres.
The Hightower ain't cheap, starting at $7999 for the Hightower C. Pricing is comparative to other top-end MTB brands and the bike is well specced.
Now the AG Outdoor office just has to be very, very patient as it waits for a test bike to review…