When the versatile Santa Cruz Hightower 29er was announced more than a year ago, it generated more hype than a Floyd Mayweather Vs Conor McGregor fight. Now the cult brand from California adds a longer travel version rocking 150 mm of travel to their lineup, the Santa Cruz Hightower LT!

Despite it’s rather short 135 mm travel, the original Hightower is notorious for being one of the best all-around mountainbikes available today, sitting high on the shortlists of many rider’s dream bikes. However, the race team demanded an even more capable chassis for the challenging tracks of the Enduro World Series and the Hightower LT was quietly born. In terms of looks and tech, it’s almost indistinguishable from its smaller brother, but Santa Cruz has ditched the flip chip and with it the option to run 27.5+ wheels on the LT.

The Santa Cruz Hightower LT had to prove itself in the Enduro World Series before it hits the market.

The Hightower LT has been tested in the EWS for a while, but it’s more than just a ‘race’ revision and should be an equally appealing package to most amateur riders. The well-known VPP system generates 150 mm of travel and is paired with an equally long fork out front. Typical for Santa Cruz, the Hightower LT is available in two different Carbon-Layups, the C and the CC. The CC builds can upgraded with the new Santa Cruz Reserve wheels, that have just been launched, together with the new Nomad recently. There are two colours available, a flashy green and a discreet grey, Santa Cruz offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and the bearings.

The Geometry of the Santa Cruz Hightower LT

Compared to the original Hightower, the LT runs a slightly slacker head angle at 66.4°, everywhere else the numbers are almost identical. Overall, the Hightower LT is rather compact at 443 mm reach in size Large, but note that Santa Cruz offers an XL and XXL option too.

The Specifications of the Santa Cruz Hightower LT

Santa Cruz Hightower LT CC XX1

Fork Fox 36 Float Factory 150 mm
Shock FOX Float DPX2 Factory 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide Ultimate
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Hubs/Rims i9 Torch / E13 TRS+ (SC Reserve as option)
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 3C EXO 2,4″
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth (S: 125mm, M/L: 150 mm, XL/XXL: 170 mm)

Santa Cruz Hightower LT CC X01

Fork Fox 36 Float Performance Elite 150 mm
Shock FOX Float DPX2 Performance Elite 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Hubs/Rims DT Swiss 350 / E13 TRS Race (SC Reserve as option)
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 3C EXO 2,4″
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth (S: 125mm, M/L: 150 mm, XL/XXL: 170 mm)

Santa Cruz Hightower LT C XE

Fork Fox 36 Float Performance Elite 150 mm
Shock FOX Float DPX2 Performance Elite 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XT
Drivetrain Shimano XT with E13-Kassette 9-46
Hubs/Rims Novatec D641+D642 / E13 TRS
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 3C EXO 2,4″
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth (S: 125mm, M/L: 150 mm, XL/XXL: 170 mm)

Santa Cruz Hightower LT C S

Fork Fox 36 Float Performance 150 mm
Shock FOX Float DPS Performance 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Hubs/Rims Novatec D641+D642 / E13 TRS
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 3C EXO 2,4″
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth (S: 125mm, M/L: 150 mm, XL/XXL: 170 mm)

Santa Cruz Hightower LT C R

Fork RockShox Revelation RC 150 mm
Shock FOX Float DPS Performance 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Level T
Drivetrain SRAM NX, 10-42
Hubs/Rims Novatec D711+D462/ WTB STP i29 TCS
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 3C EXO 2,4″
Seatpost Race Face Aeffect (S/M: 125mm, L-XXL: 150 mm)

First Impression

The Santa Cruz Hightower LT hasn’t changed much compared to the current Hightower – and that’s a great thing. The Hightower has proven itself more than once and we’re not surprised to see Santa Cruz keeping the changes to a minimum. The new Hightower LT promises brutal descending capability, without giving away too much agility and climbing capability – a combination that many Santa Cruz customers have been waiting for. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Santa Cruz Hightower LT performs in the real world and we can’t wait to throw a leg over this new machine!

For more info check out the Santa Cruz website

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Words: Moritz Dittmar Photos: Santa Cruz

About the author

Moritz Dittmar

As editor for the ENDURO website it’s down to me to make sure you guys get access to the hottest news, the best reviews and the most inspiring stories from the world of mountain biking. Just like my work, I’m not keen on putting a label on my favourite type of riding - as long as I’m having fun then I don’t care if I’m grinding my way up a thankless climb or knocking off vertical metres in minutes on a gnarly descent.