Santa Cruz goes bigger and radder with the latest 2022 Megatower

The enduro Megatower gets a makeover to keep it on-point for tackling the wildest trails

2022-Santa-Cruz-Megatower-CC-X01-AXS-RSV

Santa Cruz has announced the release of the newest version of its Megatower big-wheeled, long-travel enduro bike.

Advertisement

The bike is designed to keep Santa Cruz at the forefront of the discipline and help top athletes and privateers reach their potential, whether tackling the Enduro World Series or blind races with your buddies at events such as the Stone King Rally or Ard Rock.

Despite the increase in suspension travel to 165mm, Santa Cruz says it wanted to keep the Megatower efficient and predictable. To accomplish this, the brand has updated the geometry, shock tunes and suspension kinematics.

With Santa Cruz sticking to its tried-and-tested Virtual Pivot Point platform, the new bike is more evolution than revolution. There’s more travel, longer reaches and size-specific chainstays.

There are 11 build kits to choose from, with coil- and air-shock options. Prices start at £5,499 / $5,649 and rise to £9,699 / $11,199. (You can read our 2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 AXS RSV review from the launch).

Santa Cruz Megatower frame and suspension details

While the business end of the frame looks familiar, Santa Cruz has made plenty of tweaks.
Max Schumann

The Megatower now delivers 5mm more rear-wheel travel, at 165mm, and is designed around a 170mm fork rather than a 160mm fork. It also can run 170mm of rear-wheel travel with a longer-stroke shock if you think 165mm is too tame.

Santa Cruz has stuck with 29in wheels front and rear, where the 150mm-travel Bronsan is available with mixed wheels. There are five sizes, from small to extra-extra-large.

The carbon frame is available in two lay-ups. Those familiar with Santa Cruz bikes will recognise the C and CC naming conventions.

Both bikes share the same strength, stiffness and impact protection; however, the CC frame delivers the above in a lighter package, around 300g according to Santa Cruz. This features on the more expensive builds.

The CC carbon frame benefits from the same strength and stiffness characteristics as the C carbon frame, but with a lower weight.
Max Schumann

Frame sizes are now also stiffness-specific. Larger frames sizes have more material to make them stiffer, with the overall goal to give each rider a similar riding experience regardless of their size. Lighter riders have a more compliant frame and heavier riders have a stiffer frame.

Suspension tweaks include a new lower leverage ratio and a straighter curve. Santa Cruz says the lower leverage ratio was employed to help the new Megatower absorb bumps more effectively using the damping of the shock, especially high-speed impacts.

In addition, the more linear curve is designed to give the suspension more consistency through the travel and a more predictable ramp-up feel.

Santa Cruz has tweaked the leverage curve on the new Megatower (green line).
Santa Cruz Bicycles

Santa Cruz has positioned the linkages in each frame size differently to give each size a specific chainstay length. This means larger bikes have slightly higher anti-squat values, which is an added bonus for taller riders.

There are two different shocks on the Megatower, depending on the model. On the lower-spec bikes, you get a RockShox Super Deluxe Select or Select +. Santa Cruz worked closely with RockShox to get the best tune possible from RockShox’s pre-determined available shock tunes.

The Fox Float X2 Factory and Float DH X2 Factory Coil shocks are fully custom valved for the Megatower and don’t use any standard shock tunes.
Max Schumann

The more expensive models run a Fox Float X2 Factory or Fox Float DH X2 Factory Coil shock. Both have completely custom valving for the Megatower and don’t use any Fox standard tunes.

The Californian brand has also provided internal storage in the form of its ‘Glovebox’. This has been designed in-house by Santa Cruz using no off-the-shelf parts. The clip-on hatch features bottle cage mounts and two internal bags, including a tool wallet and a tube purse. Santa Cruz says this will enable you to stash your tools and spares rattle-free.

The new ‘Glovebox’ gives access to down-tube storage. Inside are two sleeves for storing spares and tools.
Max Schumann

Santa Cruz has also produced its version of the SRAM UDH, its universal derailleur hanger that’s made entirely from metal, without SRAM’s plastic parts.

Elsewhere, the frames feature 2.5in tyre clearance, space for a water bottle, a threaded bottom bracket shell and internal cable routing through channels. There’s a 200mm brake mount on the frame with a maximum rotor size of 220mm.

The carbon seatstays are moulded neatly to take 2.5in rear tyres.
Max Schumann

Santa Cruz offers lifetime bearing replacements on the Megatower, and says the pivots can be serviced with a multi-tool wherever you may be. There’s plenty of frame protection on the Megatower, including a tailgate pad for those who want to throw their bikes in the back of a pick-up.

Santa Cruz Megatower geometry details

The latest geometry updates for the Megatower put it bang on trend in the enduro bike category.

The major changes to the geometry are the slacker head tube angle and steeper effective seat tube angle. Thanks to the flip chip located in the lower link, the Megatower has high and low settings. The bike comes stock in the high setting.

The head tube angle has been reduced by 1 degree and is now 63.8 degrees in the high setting and 63.5 degrees in the low setting. That’s almost as slack as Santa Cruz’s downhill bike, the V10.

Santa Cruz Megatower (high position)
SizeSmallMediumLargeExtra-largeExtra-extra large
Seat tube length (mm)380405430460500
Top tube length (mm)570594613637666
Head tube length (mm)90100115135150
Chainstay length (mm)436437440443447
Bottom bracket drop (mm)2727272727
Wheelbase (mm)1,2061,2361,2661,2981,333
Head angle (degrees) 63.863.863.863.863.8
Seat tube angle (degrees)77.277.477.877.877.8
Standover height (mm)709716723722724
Reach (mm)430455475495520

The effective seat tube angle is now 77.2 degrees on the size small and gets progressively steeper to 77.8 degrees on the large, extra-large and extra-extra-large frames – again, in the high setting. This decreases by 0.3 degrees in the low position.

Reach numbers have been increased, but not dramatically, by 5mm on all sizes. For the size small, the reach is 430mm and increases to 455mm, 475mm, 495mm and 520mm for M, L, XL and XXL frames, respectively. Dropping the bike into the low potion shortens the reach by 3mm.

Another significant change is the growing chainstay lengths. These get progressively longer as the frame sizes get larger to help keep a similar front-to-rear-centre ratio, giving each frame a similar feel. Santa Cruz has ditched the old flip chip that enabled you to change between two positions.

The chainstays grow from 436mm to 437mm, 440mm, 443mm, and 447mm from small to extra-extra-large. In the low setting, they’re 1mm longer.

Santa Cruz Megatower (low position)
SizeSmallMediumLargeExtra-largeExtra-extra large
Seat tube length (mm)380405430460500
Top tube length (mm)570595613638667
Head tube length (mm)90100115135150
Chainstay length (mm)437438441444448
Bottom bracket drop (mm)3030303030
Wheelbase (mm)1,2061,2371,2661,2981,334
Seat tube angle (degrees)7777.277.577.577.5
Standover height (mm)705712718717720
Reach (mm)427452472492517

Santa Cruz has raised the bottom bracket a little to make the bike more pedal-friendly in chunky terrain. It now has a 27mm bottom bracket drop in the high setting and 30mm drop in the low setting, meaning it’s still hunkered down to the ground.

Seat tube lengths are short, enabling riders to fit across multiple sizes. This should allow you to choose a frame size depending on your reach and wheelbase preferences. Lengths change from 380mm to 405mm, 430mm, 460mm and 500mm from S-XXL.

Santa Cruz Megatower spec, pricing and availability

There are seven models in the Megatower range, available in Trans Blue and Matt Nickle. However, four have air- or coil-shock options, meaning there are 11 bikes to choose from.

The coil-shock options also come with Maxxis Double Down tyres. Santa Cruz believes riders who would rather have a coil shock are probably looking to ride more aggressively.

We’re yet to receive full international prices, but the bikes start at £5,499 / $5,649 and top out at £9,699 / $11,199. The UK is set to receive stock of the new Megatower throughout May.

There is also a limited-edition Megatower CC XX1 AXS Flight Attendant RSV model, with only 50 bikes available worldwide. This is priced at $13,999

Santa Cruz Megatower C R

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C R.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle (1×12), SRAM Descendant Eagle cranks
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RE, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Race Face AR Offset 30 rims, SRAM MTH 716 (f) SRAM MTH 746 (r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: e*thirteen TRS Base (800mm) / e*thirteen TRS Base (40mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: SDG Tellis dropper / WTB Silverado Race or WTB Volt
  • Price: £5,499 / $5,649

Santa Cruz Megatower C S

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C S.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R, 20mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Race Face AR Offset 30 rims, DT Swiss 370 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Burgtec Alloy (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or RaceFace Aeffect dropper / WTB Silverado Pro or WTB Volt
  • Price: £6,599 / $6,799

Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £7,899 / $8,499

Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS Coil

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS Coil.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select + Coil, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DoubleDown 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £7,899 / $8,499

Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS RSV

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS RSV.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Reserve 30 carbon rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £8,999 / $9,799

Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS RSV Coil

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower C GX AXS RSV Coil.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower C carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select + Coil, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Reserve 30 Carbon rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DoubleDown 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £8,999 / $9,799

Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower CC carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory 2-position, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £8,399 / $9,299

Santa Cruz Megatower X01 Coil

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Coil.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower CC carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float DHX2 Factory Coil 2-position, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DoubleDown 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £8,399 / $9,299

Santa Cruz Megatower X01 AXS RSV

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 AXS RSV.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower CC carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory 2-position, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Reserve 30 Carbon rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £9,699 / $11,199

Santa Cruz Megatower X01 AXS RSV Coil

2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 AXS RSV Coil.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • Frame: Megatower CC carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float DHX2 Factory 2-position, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Reserve 30 Carbon rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DoubleDown 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DoubleDown 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £9,699 / $11,199 US
Advertisement

Santa Cruz Megatower XX1 AXS Flight Attendant RSV

  • Frame: Megatower CC carbon, 165mm travel, 29in wheels
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate Flight Attendant, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant, 230×62.5mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle (1×12)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: Reserve 30 Carbon rims, Industry Nine 1/1 (f and r) hubs, Sapim Race spokes / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Santa Cruz 35 Carbon (800mm) / Burgtec Enduro MK3 (42mm)
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth or OneUp V2 dropper / WTB Silverado SL Fusion or WTB Volt
  • Price: £tbc / $13,999