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Hightower LT Carbon C Mountain Bike Frame
We knew the rumors were true when we saw Santa Cruz team riders spotted at enduro races on modified 29-inch Hightowers. The riders knew they wanted to upgrade the travel and tweak the geometry of the original big-wheeled Hightower after experiencing its freakish ability to carry momentum in a way that's simply not possible on 27.5-inch wheels for enduro competition. Riders and engineers collaborated and went to the drawing board to reconfigure the original Hightower into a long-travel beast to dominate the most difficult enduro courses in the world. This redesign spawned the addition of the Hightower LT Carbon C Mountain Bike Frame into Santa Cruz's line, which is something that's been asked for by aggressive riders seeking a touch more travel and even slacker angles as an 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 guise), the Hightower LT has 150-millimeters of travel at the rear and is designed for the same amount up front. 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.
Santa Cruz sets the bar on carbon frame construction, and the top-notch fit and finish is present on this frame. The Hightower Carbon C is fully constructed from carbon fiber and boasts the same ride quality and durability of Santa Cruz's top-of-the-line Carbon CC frame. It packs more value since it's a less costly material, carrying about 250g more mass but bringing down the price of admission substantially. Construction methods are identical for the C and the CC classes, and each triangle is built as a whole unit, allowing the engineers to wrap carbon through high-stress junctions to avoid weak points or areas of the frame with less structural integrity. The carbon is compacted from the inside as well, eliminating resin-pooling or migration issues for a stronger frame while saving weight over quicker and less precise construction methods.
- 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 the previous flip-chip
- Carbon C frame offers high levels of stiffness and strength
- FOX DPS shock soaks up the hits and is highly adjustable
- Item #SNZ00KV