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Megatower Carbon S Air Complete Bike
Santa Cruz has a new, full-fledged 29er enduro rig that's ready to launch a blitzkrieg attack on the most technical trails. The Megatower Carbon S Air Complete Bike represents a fantastic value and provides the self-sponsoring racer or aggressive trail rider a weapon to tame double black diamond runs with enough let in the bank to fund racing efforts and vacations. Its lower link driven VPP platform provides levels of traction we haven't experienced from a big wheel bike from Santa Cruz before.
Our portfolio of bikes reveals so many great mountain bikes from various brands and pretty much all of them have a heavy-hitting 29er in their arsenal and for good reason. Wagon wheels simply carry more speed in almost every riding situation and with modern geometry, these bikes are free to exploit their high-speed stability through the chunder, while remaining agile and nimble, comfortable in the air, while still climbing with authority. If that sounds like a good recipe for an enduro race bike, you'd be exactly right and that's exactly where the Megatower positions itself. With some of the longest reach numbers, steepest seat tube angles, and longer wheelbases we've seen come out of the firm's headquarters, this is one progressive 29er and one that likes to get rowdy.
While the LT might have been a quick fix to get its sponsored riders competitive in enduro races, the Megatower started life as an enduro weapon built from the get-go as a purpose-built machine to address the needs of the modern enduro racer and big hit trail rider. Part of this has to do with its transition to a lower-link driven VPP design like the one found on the Nomad, Bronson, and V10. Besides it generous 160mm of rear travel, the lower-link VPP allows for a more linear suspension curve for increased sensitivity off the top of the stroke, more traction and better small-bump absorption, especially under braking, while retaining good mid-stroke support and smooth bottom out progression. The revised suspension maintains the same efficient pedaling and climbing performance of previous generations while offering unprecedented, glued to the trail grip, letting you push your limits with more confidence than ever. As an added bonus, the revised suspension design lets the bike play well with a number of different shocks from various brands as well as different spring mediums like the air that's spec'd here or the plushness of a coil down the road if that's your thing.
We would slot the Megatower in right between the DH World Cup winning V10 and its venerable Nomad as far as its capability on demanding trails, however, that's only part of the story. It's pretty damn versatile too. Sure, it likes to go fast and provides the security of a safety net at high speeds on technical trails, however, unlike the V10, and to a lesser extent, the Nomad, we would whole-heartily throw a leg over the Megatower at almost any trailhead we've visited as it can simply devour almost any terrain without hardly a weight or, thanks to its steep seat tube angle (76-76.8 degrees depending on size), pedaling penalty.
The Megatower possesses a flip chip for high and low geometry positions, but unlike flip chips on previous Santa Cruz machines, it's not there to toggle between plus and 29er wheel sizes as we've seen in the past. Instead, it allows for just subtle tweaks to the bike's geometry (head tube and seat tube angles and bottom bracket height alter by just 0.3-degrees and 3mm respectively between high and low positions) and slightly adjusts the kinematics of the VPP suspension platform. The bike is more linear in its “high” position, allowing you to utilize all the travel and have a slightly more agile bike on epic pedal fest across technical, natural terrain while its "low" setting is slightly more progressive, perfect for a bit of big hit bottom out resistance in the bike park and on burly shuttle runs. Furthermore, the chainstay length is adjustable by up to 10mm letting taller cyclists ride "between the wheels" or for those favoring the ultimate in stability during high speed runs, to position the rear wheel further back, lengthening the wheelbase. Those who want a nimbler ride or pedal on tighter singletrack can position the wheel more forward. The bike ships in the short position and nothing unusual is required for this setting. The brake mount is Post-Mount 180mm and includes an adaptor to work with the spec'd 200mm rotor size. Included with the bike is a special brake adaptor to adjust to the long setting. This setting only works with 200mm or larger rotors and includes the long derailleur hanger necessary for this further rearward position.
Lucky for all of us, one thing that hasn't changed is Santa Cruz's carbon construction, which is a good thing if you're after the legendary strength and unwavering stiffness of their renowned carbon layups. This particular Megatower benefits from the Carbon C layup, which makes for a resoundingly stiff frame for swift acceleration and unflappable poise while pummeling across rough terrain. It's backed by Santa Cruz's excellent lifetime warranty, so you'll have extra peace of mind while riding particularly fast on your favorite stretch of trail and shuttling downhill laps on the mountain pass.
The frame features include the now industry standard Boost spacing that improves wheel stiffness as well as frame strength. It's designed for 1x drivetrains only with a max chainring size of 36 teeth and has ISCG-05 mounts for a bash guard and chain guide use. It only fits 29in wheels with a tire clearance up to 2.5 inches. Returning Santa Cruz frame favorites include the simple to install and easy to keep quiet 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell and tough frame protection pieces including a lower downtube protector, downtube shuttle guard, and the new, V10-derived chainstay protector that keeps your investment safe, looking like new, and quiet on the trails.
This S build gets a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock out back and a reduced offset FOX 36 Float Performance fork for soaking up drops, square-edge rock slabs, and waterbar steps. SRAM's GX Eagle 12-speed group offers the same wide range of gears as the pricer X01 and XX1 groups providing plenty of ratios for climbing and descending. Brakes also come from SRAM and are Code Rs bringing the big bike down from speed with plenty of power, modulation, and confidence thanks to its 4-pistons and 200mm rotors. The bike rolls on DT Swiss 370 hubs and Race Face ARC 30 rims plumping up the aptly spec'd Maxxis Minion rubber with durable EXO+ casing.
- Santa Cruz redefines the 29er enduro bike
- Aggressive geometry is slacker, lower, and longer than before
- Flip-chip tweaks the geometry and shock progression
- 160mm of VPP travel soaks up steep, rocky descents and big hits
- Carbon C frame is impressively stiff and saves cash
- Lower-link driven shock is more supple and offers better braking traction
- SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain offers a massive range of usable gears
- RockShox and FOX suspension offer adjustability for weight, riding style, and terrain
- Item #SNZ00LF
- Frame Material
- Carbon C
- Rear Shock
- RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
- Rear Travel
- FOX 36 Float Performance
- Front Travel
- Cane Creek 40 IS
- SRAM GX Eagle
- Rear Derailleur
- SRAM GX Eagle
- ISCG Tabs
- SRAM Stylo 7k DUB
- Chainring Sizes
- Crank Arm Length
- Bottom Bracket
- SRAM DUB
- Bottom Bracket Type
- SRAM XG1275
- Cassette Range
- 10 - 50t
- SRAM GX Eagle
- SRAM Code R
- Brake Type
- hydraulic disc
- Avid Centerline 200mm
- Race Face Aeffect R
- Santa Cruz Palmdale
- Race Face Aeffect R
- Stem Length
- WTB Silverado Pro
- RockShox Reverb Stealth [Small] 125mm, [Medium] 150mm, [Large-XLarge] 170mm
- [rim] RaceFace AR Offset 30
- DT Swiss 370
- Front Axle
- 15mm Boost
- Rear Axle
- 12 x 148mm
- [front] Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+, [rear] Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C EXO+
- Tire Size
- [front] 29 x 2.5in, [rear] 29 x 2.4in
- not included
- MRP AMg V2 Alloy chainguide
- Recommended Use
- Manufacturer Warranty
- lifetime on frame
California Proposition 65
What do you think about this product?
October 10, 2019
A Megaton of Fun
- I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Before riding this bike, I was apprehensive of how it would handle climbs and less gnarly trails. I was worried that this bike was going to be a one-trick pony and that anything less than steep, loose, and rocky terrain would feel dull. However shortly into my first ride, all my concerns were laid to rest. On climbs, the bike felt much lighter than it actually was and was not too much of an effort to drag up to the top of the trails. But this bike was not designed to be a climber. Quite the opposite. The reason you bought this bike quickly becomes apparent when you point it downhill, you want to go FAST! This bike made it so easy to just smash through everything in your path, and make it the bottom in the shortest amount of time possible. No need to carefully picking your way through rocky section, this bike handled it all like a champ. I found myself letting off the brakes more often because of how in-control I felt on the bike, and you didn't have to think twice about exploring new features on the trail. Overall, a real winner if you are one who prioritizes having fun and going very fast.
September 11, 2019
Wow wow wow! I am in love with this bike. With 160 travel, front and back, you can literally cruise at ease through almost anything. The rock garden you see in my picture is something I would normally struggle to ride all the way through without putting a foot down but the Megatower gave me the confidence to push all the way through. I rode this bike at three bike parks: Trestle, Keystone and Snowmass. Not only does this bike crush steep and technical descents, it jumps, corners fast and pedals well when needed. (I will be pedaling more with it in a few weeks and will update my review with that info. ) Summary (so far): If I could afford two bikes, I would own the Megatower and keep my Evil Following for the ultimate duo. Mega for the downhill days and Following for the trail days. Since I cannot afford two bikes, I might be settling on the Santa Cruz hightower or Evil Offering for their happy medium in all areas. UPDATE: I took the Megatower along on my adventure in the PNW. I pedaled at Tiger Mountain, Galbreath and some undisclosed locations. Although I was not setting PR's on the climbs, I was close to those records. I am not the fastest pedaler so if I were to buy this bike I would save weight and splurge on the CC model with Reserve wheels.
September 9, 2019
Needs to go fast
The Megatower is, as its name suggests, is a big burly enduro race bike. On the ascents, I was pleasantly surprised with the pedaling efficiency, I did tend to reach for that climbing switch on sustained efforts but for the short punch stuff fully open worked pretty well. The descents are where the Megatower really shines. This thing likes...nay...needs to go fast. It's not like it feels overly cumbersome or sluggish at slower speeds by any means, but it really comes alive when you take your fingers off the brakes and let errr rip. This bike is confidence-inspiring and keeps you glued to the ground through the roughest terrain. Naturally, the groundhuggy nature of this bike does leave some to be desired when it comes to playfulness. Pro's: Climbs surprisingly well (for what it is) Confident inspiring Bottomless suspension feel FAST Cons: Climbs like a long travel bike (yes pro and con) Not very playful
May 6, 2019
Big wheel fun
The Megatower, I know it seems that everyone I talk to is NOT in love with the name. They would tell me "I wouldn't buy that bike just based on the name". Well those people will be missing out! It will feel a bit laborous to get up the steep hill and you will wish for your XC bike for that climb. However once you have achieved the summit and the entire reason you purchased this or any long travel 29r for that matter will become apparaent. The Megatower effortlessly gobbles up the rocks, roots, drops and quite simply would roll over your grandma without a second thought. Whatever I will say about the climbing it's the exact opposite now. The Megatower will turn on the flat loose sand, blow out a berm and quite simply loves to go fast downhill. The front of the bike is confidence inspiring and it will feel you could huck it into almost anything and get away with it. Two wheel drifiting into a berm no biggy run it in there. I wasn't able to hit the bike park but did run it over a few jumps and in the air feels just as stable as it does on the ground. Now on to the big question should you buy this bike hmmmmmmm.... Let's take a look at the check list shall we. Racing Enduro - Love to smash the rocky and steep stuff - Doesn't care about the climb at all - Hitting the bike park and the trails - Just simply love saying MEGATOWER. If you answer yes to any of these it's the bike for you. Now I know most of you won't have access to all the bikes that we have to ride and test so it boils down to this. I have been out smahsing this bike for the last few days and have had a great time on it, even set a KOM on Strava with it! However when it came time for a 2 hour climb up a techy trail with rocky steep climbs, step ups and cliff edges all for a 10 minute descent well I left the Megatower at home and took my Ripmo. Pros: Incredibley Smooth Suspension Light feeling for such a big bike Able to run long droppers Cons: Not for slow tech / rocky climbs Climbing steep grades feels laboring Can't think of anything else I am 175 lbs 5'9" with a 32" inseam BIke ridden was size Large. Suspension settings Fork 70 PSI 3x 10cc Volume spacers (1x stock on Grip2) 4 click LSC 22 click HSC 4 click LSR 6 click HSR Shock 185 PSI OEM volume spacers 3 click R 5 click LSC Shock was run in the Low position and the wheels base was short.