All Hail The Megatower – Santa Cruz’ Brand New Long Travel 29er Enduro Bike!

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Well a long-travel 29er is THE bike that everyone has been expecting from Santa Cruz Bicycles. But did anyone expect it to be called the ‘Megatower’?

Too bad if you didn’t (and bonus points if you did!) because that’s the name of Santa Cruz’ brand new, 160mm travel, full suspension bike 29er enduro shredding beast; the Megatower!

Big Wheels, Big Travel

Up until today, the longest travel 29er mountain bike from Santa Cruz was the 150mm Hightower LT – a bike that was launched just shy of two years ago. The Hightower LT wasn’t entirely a new bike though. Its mainframe was actually shared with the regular 135mm travel Hightower. A different swingarm, VPP links and a longer stroke shock helped to eke out the additional travel as per the demands of EWS racers who wanted a capable big wheeler for competition use.

While the Hightower LT has been doing its thing over the last couple of years, Santa Cruz has been busy revamping its 27.5in-wheeled bikes. That includes the latest 170mm travel Nomad and 150mm travel Bronson – both bikes that now feature the gravity-oriented VPP linkage, which positions the shock lower in the frame, where it’s driven by the lower VPP link, rather than the upper VPP link.

santa cruz megatower vpp coil singletrack magazine
The shock is driven by the lower shock mount, just like the V-10, Nomad and Bronson.

Gravity-Style VPP Suspension

This change in orientation purportedly improves small-bump sensitivity, while boosting both mid-stroke and end-stroke support – good things for a bike that’s meant to be blasted down ugly, technical singletrack as fast as possible.

While the new Nomads and Bronsons have been doing very well for themselves, a lot of riders and enduro racers out there were still asking the question; when will we see a 29er version?

Well, that question is answered today by this absolute brute of a bike.

santa cruz megatower 29er enduro singletrack magazine
The Megatower is Santa Cruz’ new 160mm travel 29er enduro racer.

Based upon the new-school VPP linkage design that we’ve seen trickle down from the V-10 into the latest Nomad and Bronson, the Megatower is pitched as a full-blown EWS machine. It comes with a burly looking full carbon fibre frameset, with both C & CC options available. However, Santa Cruz won’t be producing an alloy version.

You’ll find on-trend, descending-centric geometry, as well as adjustable chips in the rear shock mount and at the dropouts for altering BB height and chainstay length respectively. Want more adjustability? You can also fit a 160mm or 170mm travel fork up front for tweaking the ride height even further.

Santa Cruz Megatower Features

  • Carbon fibre long travel enduro 29er
  • C & CC carbon fibre frame options
  • Lower-link mounted VPP suspension design
  • Compatible with coil and high-volume air shocks
  • Hi/Lo geometry positions via lower shock mount flip chip
  • Designed for 160-170mm fork travel
  • 64.7 – 65° head angle
  • 75.8 – 76.8° seat angle
  • Reach: 425mm (S), 450mm (M), 470mm (L), 490mm (XL), 515mm (XXL)
  • Dropout flip chip to adjust chainstay length: 435-445mm
  • Max tyre clearance: 29×2.6in (with chainstays in longest setting)
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell
  • ISCG 05 chainguide tabs
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Megatower CC Frame RRP: £3,299 / $5,499 AUD
  • Complete bikes RRP: £4,499 – £9,399 / $8,699 – $14,999 AUD
santa cruz megatower geometry shock coil singletrack magazine
There’s a flip chip at the lower shock mount with Hi/Lo geometry settings.
santa cruz megatower adjustable chainstay dropout
There’s 10mm of adjustment for the chainstay length.
santa cruz megatower geometry
Santa Cruz Megatower geometry.

Geometry & Adjustability

Providing plenty of scope for adjusting the bike to a rider’s terrain and personal preferences, you’ll find a Hi/Lo geometry chip in the lower shock mount that not only lifts or drops the BB height by 3.5mm, but also changes the head and seat angles by 0.3°. Throw the longer 170mm fork on there though, and the angles kick back even further.

Then there’s the offset dropout design, which we first saw on the new V-10 downhill race bike. This comprises an alloy chip on each side of the dropouts, which can be flipped to change the chainstay length by 10mm – something that Santa Cruz states is particularly important for taller riders.

Other features on the new Megatower frame include guided internal cable routing, bolt-on downtube belly armour, and heavily finned chainstay armouring that has also been brought over from the new V-10.

cable routing internal santa cruz megatower singletrack magazine
Internal cable routing through the downtube and swingarm.
armour santa cruz megatower
Bolt-on belly armour is there to protect the frame when tailgate shuttling.
santa cruz megatower chainstay guard armour
Ribbed for quietness.

Build Kits

Santa Cruz will be offering the Megatower in a frame-only option based around the higher-end CC frame, along with numerous build kit options starting from the entry-level £4,499 Megatower C R build, and going all the way up to the £9,399 Megatower CC XX1 AXS Reserve build, complete with wireless shifting and carbon fibre everything. Phew!

Here’s a look at the different spec options (and pricing) available for the 2019 Megatower range:

santa cruz megatower axs wireless
The top-end Megatower build comes with SRAM’s new wireless electronic AXS drivetrain. Look at it shine!

Santa Cruz Megatower CC XX1 AXS Reserve

  • Frame // CC Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims & Industry Nine Torch Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/XX1 DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Code RSC w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Race Face Turbine R Stem, RockShox Reverb AXS Wireless Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 13.9kg / 30.64lb
  • RRP // £9,399 / $14,999 AUD

Santa Cruz Megatower CC XTR Reserve

  • Frame // CC Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims & Industry Nine Hydra Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // Shimano XTR 1×12 w/E*13 LGR1r Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // Shimano XTR Enduro 4-Piston w/200mm Centerlock Rotors
  • Cockpit // Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Race Face Turbine R Stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 13.78kg / 30.9lb
  • RRP // £8,399 / $13,999
santa cruz megatower code rsc brake
Expect powerful 4-piston brakes on ever build, complete with 200mm rotors.

Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Reserve

  • Frame // CC Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Performance Elite Series, GRIP2 Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims & DT Swiss 350 Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 w/X1 DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Code RSC w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Race Face Aeffect R Stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 13.98kg / 30.83lb
  • RRP // £7,699

Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01

  • Frame // CC Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Performance Elite Series, GRIP2 Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Race Face ARC Offset 30 Rims & DT Swiss 350 Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 w/X1 DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Code RSC w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Santa Cruz AM Carbon Bars, Race Face Aeffect R Stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Team Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 14.1kg / 31.09lb
  • RRP // £6,599 / $10,999 AUD
santa cruz megatower rockshox super deluxe
The Megatower is compatible with high-volume air shocks, and coil shocks too.

Santa Cruz Megatower C S Reserve

  • Frame // C Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Performance Series, GRIP Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims & DT Swiss 370 Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/Stylo 7K DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Code R w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Race Face Aeffect R Bars & Stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Pro Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 14.58kg / 32.15lb
  • RRP // £6,599
santa cruz megatower
All Megatower builds will come with a 160mm Fox or RockShox fork. You can go up to 170mm if you like though.

Santa Cruz Megatower C S

  • Frame // C Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
  • Fork // Fox 36 Float Performance Series, GRIP Damper, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // Race Face AR Offset 30 Rims & DT Swiss 370 Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/Stylo 7K DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Code R w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Race Face Aeffect R Bars & Stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post & WTB Silverado Pro Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 14.72kg / 32.46lb
  • RRP // £5,399 / $8,699

Santa Cruz Megatower C R

  • Frame // C Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Select
  • Fork // RockShox Yari RC, 160mm Travel
  • Wheels // WTB ST i29 Rims & SRAM MTH Hubs
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+ 2.5in Front & DHR II 3C EXO+ 2.4in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 w/NX Eagle DUB Cranks & 30t Chainring
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide RE w/200mm Centerline Rotors
  • Cockpit // Race Face Aeffect R Bars, Chester Stem & Aeffect Dropper Post, WTB Silverado Race Saddle
  • Claimed Weight // 15.13kg / 33.35lb
  • RRP // £4,499
santa cruz megatower
The Megatower is designed as a purpose-built enduro race machine.

And there you have it – the new long travel 29er from Santa Cruz!

We’d love to know what you folks think of the name, and also what you think of the bike. Is this the big wheeler you’ve been waiting for? Or are you still on Team Nomad/Bronson? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more information, head to the Santa Cruz Bicycles website, and to find out how it rides, make sure you check out our first ride review right here.

Comments (4)

    That was one of the best ‘highlights’ videos yet. Not too long and told me exactly what was interesting about the design. Good work!

    De rigueur shred sled for round the back of Nationwide in Swindon.

    I mean it gorgeous isn’t it. They usually are.

    There have been pics in the web for a while now, as well as the name, which is fantastic.

    Its the bike alot of people have been waiting for, so hopefully my riding buddy will get one and sell it to me around this time next year. Just hope he gets it in less ‘dateable’ black.

    Any sign of new tallboy, this mega sounds overkill for 99% of my riding

    @AlexSimon – Thank you very much mate, and glad you liked it!

    @whatyadoinsucka – No sign of a new Tallboy. Given the current overlap between the Blur TR & Tallboy though, I suspect a new model can’t be that far away. When that happens, I guess we’ll see what Santa Cruz is going to do with the current Hightower & Hightower LT – perhaps they’ll amalgamate them into the one new model? That said, Santa Cruz says that it will continue to produce the Hightower LT even with the new Megatower in the range, so who knows what they’re planning!

    [ST Wil]

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