Santa Cruz rolls big with the Hightower LT

First look at this longer travel 29er

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.

The Hightower LT was designed with feedback from Santa Cruz enduro racers
The Hightower LT was designed with feedback from Santa Cruz enduro racers

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.

The Hightower LT's rear end features a post-mount brake mount for a 180mm rotor
The Hightower LT's rear end features a post-mount brake mount for a 180mm rotor

 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 Hightower LT's upper link lacks the geometry-adjusting flip chip of the standard Hightower
The Hightower LT's upper link lacks the geometry-adjusting flip chip of the standard Hightower

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. 
The new Hightower LT compared to the standard Hightower
The new Hightower LT compared to the standard Hightower

Hightower LT pricing and availability

The Hightower LT is available in Gloss Wicklow Green or Gloss Slate and Grey
The Hightower LT is available in Gloss Wicklow Green or Gloss Slate and Grey

Santa Cruz offers the Hightower LT in seven complete builds. Pricing starts at $3,949 for the R build with an 11-speed SRAM GX drivetrain with a RockShox Revelation RC fork.

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.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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