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Photo by Gary Perkin. All photos courtesy of Santa Cruz Bicycles.

Last year a slew of brands released long-travel (160mm and up) 29ers, and it looks like Santa Cruz will lead the pack with this year’s announcements.

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By Jeff Barber
 

All-new for Santa Cruz this year, the Megatower seems poised to replace the Hightower LT. Up until today, the Hightower LT, with 150mm of travel front and rear, was Santa Cruz’s race-ready EWS bike.

Now, the Megatower packs 10mm more travel both front and rear, features a few geometry tweaks, and echos some of the design changes we’ve seen to the Nomad and Bronson.

The Megatower gets the lower linkage VPP design which moves linkage and suspension weight closer to the ground. The new frame comes in the premium CC carbon frame package, or a more affordable C-series option. A dropout flip-chip allows for a 10mm wheelbase length adjust, and there’s also a high and low geometry position flip-chip.

The frame has been designed to fit a water bottle and piggyback shock, the suspension leverage curve has been engineered to work with coil and air shocks, and the frame and bearings have a lifetime warranty.

The frame will fit 29-inch tires by 2.5 or 2.6-inches wide, depending on the dropout position. The Megatower is not designed to accommodate 27.5+ tires.

The overall geometry on the Megatower is of course closer to the ground, the wheels are farther apart, and the head angle is more relaxed than the Hightower LT. Ok, it’s lower, longer, and slacker.

The head angle loses about a degree-and-a-half and sits at 65 degrees while the seat tube perks up to 76.6 degrees. The chainstays are a little lengthy compared to other long-travel 29ers, measuring 435-445mm depending on the dropout used. Considering this is going to be a Santa Cruz EWS bike, it looks like they’re chasing high-speed stability with the longer chainstay length.

The measurements listed above reflect the bike’s high position. The low position only changes the geometry by 0.3 degrees, so the head angle will get a touch slacker and the seat angle a touch steeper.

Pricing starts at $3,300 for a frame. A Megatower C-R 29 with with SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, Rock Shox Yari fork, SRAM Guide RE brakes, and WTB/SRAM wheels/hubs sells for $4,500.

At the high end, a Megatower CC-XX1 29 AXS Coil Reserve with a SRAM Eagle AXS electronic drivetrain, Rock Shox Super Deluxe Coil, a Fox 36 Float Factory fork, and Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon wheels sells for $10,500.

Shop Megatower bikes at Backcountry.com

For more information, visit the Santa Cruz website. 

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