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Summary of Reviews
We have read all expert and user reviews on the Santa Cruz Hightower. In summary, this is what cyclists think.
21 reasons to buy
- The Hightower is available in aluminum and carbon builds, allowing riders to find a bike that fits their budget.
- The supportive VPP suspension provides riders with an efficient pedaling platform for climbs.
- Seated climbs are comfortable with the geometry of the Hightower placing riders over the cranks.
- The short chainstay and slack headtube make the bike stable on descents but still nimble through corners.
- Testers found the bike planted on climbs, with minimal pedal bob.
- 140mm of travel in the rear gives the Hightower a bottomless feel.
- Santa Cruz provides riders with a lifetime warranty on the frame and bearings on the bike.
- Flip-chip adjustments on the shock, bottom bracket and chainstay allow riders to fine-tune the Hightower’s geometry to their riding style and terrain.
- The Hightower handles chunky, steep terrain confidently.
- Wide 800mm handlebars, a short stem and a 175mm dropper post give riders stability and control steering the bike.
- The bike comes with a 29’’ wheel and tire set but can also fit a 27.5” setup.
- The active rear of the bike with the VPP suspension allows the bike to track well and stay in line.
- The cables are internally routed on the bike, giving the bike a clean, neat appearance.
- The Santa Cruz Hightower has room for a water bottle.
- Hydraulic disc brakes on the bike are responsive in both builds, with SRAM and Shimano components.
- A shuttle guard on the downtube protects the bike from trail debris and damage from obstacles on the trail.
- Testers were pleased to find that the Santa Cruz Hightower has room for a water bottle.
- A small mudguard protects the shock on the bike.
- The bike is available in five sizes, fitting a wide range of riders.
- The Hightower's chainstay protector uses noise dampening.
- The threaded bottom bracket on the Hightower is easy to maintain.
5 reasons not to buy
- Experts found it hard to tune the sag, as the shock dips low into the frame.
- The Hightower's 170mm cranks reduced leverage and power on climbs.
- One tester found the bike heavy upfront, making it difficult to go fast on steep descents.
- The Hightower is not coil shock compatible.
- The bike is not 2x compatible.
Expert Reviews89/100 based on 4 expert reviews
Santa Cruz Hightower CC XO1 Review
It isn’t especially nimble and can feel a little sluggish at lower speeds, but if you’re looking for an aggressive upper-mid travel 29er trail bike with very respectable climbing abilities, the new Hightower is one of the best we’ve tested.
Field Trip: Santa Cruz’s $2,899 Hightower Alloy – The Least Expensive ‘Tower
Despite the price difference, the aluminum version gets the same lower-link VPP suspension that delivers 140mm of travel. There’s also a 150mm RockShox 35 Gold fork, a 12-speed SX drivetrain from SRAM, and it’s also worth pointing out the four-piston Guide T brakes with 180mm rotors, especially as it’s mostly two-piston stoppers in this price and travel bracket.