Since the introduction of the Hightower in early 2016, there has been a burst of interest in aggressive 29ers. This has especially been the case with members of Santa Cruz' enduro team, who have opted to race longer travel Hightower prototypes at many of this season's Enduro World Series races. Santa Cruz used feedback from these team riders to develop the heavier-hitting Hightower LT.
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Hightower LT highlights
- 150mm of front and rear travel
- 29er specific
- Offered in seven build kits
- Claimed frame weight: 5.9lb / 2.678kg
- Complete bike pricing starts at $3,949 (UK and Australian pricing TBC)
- Available now
To make the Hightower LT, Santa Cruz used the existing Hightower front end and tweaked the linkage rear end to give the bike a bit more suspension, bringing the travel up to 150mm from 135mm on the standard Hightower.
Some of the Hightower's versatility was sacrificed to boost suspension travel. The Hightower LT lacks the adjustable flip chip in the upper VPP linkage that gives the frame two geometry settings while also allowing riders to swap between 29 inch and 27.5+ wheels and tires. As a result, the Hightower LT is a dedicated long-travel 29er.
The geometry of the Hightower LT based is on a 150mm suspension fork, which is what all the complete bikes come equipped with.Aside from the 15mm increase in rear travel, there are also some key geometry changes when compared to the standard 29er Hightower with a 140mm fork.
Hightower LT by the numbers
- Slacker: The Hightower LT has a 66.4-degree head tube angle, which is .7 degrees slacker than the Hightower. The seat tube angle slackens from 74.3 to 73.7 degrees.
- Shorter: Reach across the five frame sizes is reduced by 7mm.
- Higher: The bottom bracket is 1mm higher at 338mm / 13.3in.
- Longer: The wheelbase grows by 5 to 10mm, depending on frame size. Chainstay length increases by 3mm to 438mm / 17.2in.
Hightower LT pricing and availability
The cream of the crop is the $9,299 XX1 Reserve build, which, as the name suggests, comes with SRAM’s 12-speed XX1 Eagle group, a Fox 36 Float Factory fork and rolls on the new carbon Reserve 30 wheels, developed by Santa Cruz.
(UK and Australian pricing was not immediately available.)
The Hightower is available now.
Visit www.santacruzbicycles.com for more information.