Santa Cruz Releases New Hightower LT, Drops 27.5+ Compatibility

All photos courtesy Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has just announced a brand new bike: the Hightower LT with 150mm of rear travel. The new Hightower LT doesn’t feature adjustable geometry or concessions for 27.5+ wheels and tires–it’s 29er only. This is quite notable as the original, shorter travel Hightower was Santa Cruz’s first foray into plus territory.

Are plus tires being exposed as a fad? Are tire widths swinging back closer to center? We shall see how things play out over the next couple of years, but a more likely scenario is that plus tires just don’t go as fast as 29er tires, and the Hightower LT is made for all-out EWS speed. According to their release, Santa Cruz says: “the 29er-only LT is travelled-up and pared-down for pure performance—no adjustable geometry or plus wheel compatibility here—just high speed, big hit, flat out riding.”

In fact, that’s how the Hightower LT got its start–EWS racer Mark Scott requested a longer-travel version of the Hightower, and it was initially designed just for him. Check out more of the backstory here.

The Hightower LT features a redesigned rear end to provide 150mm of suspension. The 150mm rear is coupled with a 150mm fork across all stock models. The head tube angle is 66.4 degrees across all sizes, with 17.24″ chainstays. For more geometry details, be sure to check out Santa Cruz’s website.

The new LT is available in complete models ranging from $3,949 to $9,299 MSRP.

The most affordable “R” model at $3,949 features the heavier Carbon C frame spec’ed with a RockShox Revelation RC 150 fork, FOX Float Performance DPS rear shock, SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain, SRAM Level T brakes, WTB STP i29 TCS 29″ wheels, Maxxis Minion DHR 29×2.4 3c EXO TR tires, and a RaceFace Aeffect 31.6 dropper post. Claimed weight is 29.59lbs.

The top-tier XX1 build, retailing for $8,099, features the lighter Carbon CC frame spec’ed with a FOX 36 F150 Factory fork, FOX Float Factory DPX Kashima shock, SRAM XX1 Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes, E13 TRS+ 27.5 32h 30mm rims, Maxxis Minion DHR 29×2.4 3c EXO TR tires, and a RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6 dropper post. Claimed weight is 27.55lbs. The top two models also allow the option to upgrade to the Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rim. That upgrade bumps the price up to $9,299 and the weight down to 26.51lbs.