Pro Bike Check: Greg Minnaar’s Santa Cruz Hightower LT

A crash and a broken frame in training; a flat rear tire in the final race – Greg Minnaar ended the 2017 downhill season disappointed and without the overall title. At the final stop of the Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, however, the likeable South African had already regained his smile and presented us with his Santa Cruz Hightower LT, relaxed as ever.

DH-Pro Greg Minnaar, seen here with his training bike. The following pictures show his race bike at the final EWS stop in Finale Ligure.

As in the Downhill World Cup so with his EWS race bike, Greg relies on FOX suspension, as well as components from Shimano and ENVE. Precisely which parts he’s got installed on his Santa Cruz Hightower LT, we’ll reveal here.

The basis of his race bike is a Santa Cruz Hightower LT frame in XL.
The Greg Minnaar Signature handlebar is held securely in place by an Enve stem. Minnaar, at 1.88 m, makes use of quite a few spacers to adjust the height of the cockpit to his needs.
As the bike was newly built for him in Finale, Greg checked everything, including the exact handlebar width of 780 mm.
Greg started the final race of the 2017 EWS on place 103, but he didn’t finish. The race was over for him and his Hightower LT after stage 3.
Dual protection: The large sticker on the down tube not only protects against flying rocks but also guarantees that Greg’s bike will always find its way back to him ;)
Yes, even Greg Minnaar gets thirsty. Fortunately, the frame of the Hightower offers enough space for a water bottle.
Providing damping at the rear is a FOX FLOAT X2 shock, which was tuned to a base pressure of 220 psi.
The triple downhill world champion’s pedal strokes are converted into forward propulsion with the help of Shimano’s high-end XTR crankset.
Mounted to the 170mm cranks are Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals, the same that give Greg secure footing on his downhill bike.
The chain guide is from US brand Gamut.
Gear changes are taken care of by Shimano’s XTR 11-speed rear derailleur.
Not only for acceleration but also when slowing the bike down Greg relies on Shimano. XTR brakes with 203 mm rotors provide precision and control.
Big Data – a device for gathering suspension characteristics and trail position via GPS. Greg wasn’t allowed to say anything about it, not even who he was recording the data for. FOX has denied having anything to do with it.
The GPS sensor is mounted to a FOX 36 FLOAT Factory fork, which Minnaar (85 kg) has inflated to 90 psi.
The tires too were shrouded in an air of mystery. The Hightower LT rolled across the sand of Finales’ beach on MAXXIS prototypes.

In the 2017 downhill season, Greg Minnaar showed us that he is not one of the old dogs yet. We wish him all the best for the coming season!

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Words: Photos: Manne Schmitt