Details of new Santa Cruz Hightower 3

by 74

Santa Cruz Hightower 3 is designed for all-terrain riding. Up, down, along, around and over on trails, tracks and anything fun.

A Santa Cruz with blur

Santa Cruz Hightower 3 nutshelled

  • 145mm rear travel
  • 150mm fork travel
  • 29in wheels
  • 64.5° head angle
  • 76.4°to 77° seat angle (size specific)
  • 431mm to 444mm chainstays (size specific)
  • C or CC carbon (alloy “in near future”)
  • 427mm to 520mm reach
  • S-XXL sizes
  • Glovebox downtube storage
  • Shock sag indicator window
  • SRP from £5,399 up to £9,599
The new Hightower

Press Release

145mm rear travel (150mm-travel fork), easy rolling 29-inch wheels and confidence-inspiring geometry means anywhere tires will roll then so will this bike. No fussing, no nonsense, no silly category names.

The Hightower’s geometry changes help modernize the bike without overstepping its intentions. We increased reach numbers to match the fit of our recent models, while also implementing our size specific chain stays for a better fore/aft balance across the size range. We slackened the head tube angle to help stability at speed, lowered the bottom bracket to compliment the better supported suspension, and increased stack in favor of modern handlebar setups. Our size-specific frame stiffness standards help tie together our ride quality goals by achieving a tailored front triangle flex characteristic for every size.

Balancing stiffness and weight saving in all the right places is a hallmark of all Santa Cruz carbon frames and the Hightower flies the flag yet higher. Our size-specific frame stiffness standards help tie together our ride quality goals by achieving a tailored front triangle flex/stiffness characteristic for every size, and this feature is found on both C and CC carbon.

The frame also features a Glovebox and comes with two handy bags – Tool Wallet and Tube Purse. The water bottle cage is located inside the main frame, there’s a threaded BB and the refined cable routing makes for better shifting performance, simpler installation, and less frame wear. And now a sag window that will help riders see where the red ring is sitting on their rear shock.

A lifetime frame warranty and lifetime pivot bearing replacement policy should reassure riders that a Santa Cruz is designed to keep going and going.

santacruzbikes.com

Other snippets from Santa Cruz…

The Glovebox keeps your essentials within reach, including your driving gloves. Also comes with a Tool Wallet and Tube Purse for keeping things organized.

Chainstay length and seat tube angle is matched to the frame size so every rider, no matter their height, gets the same balanced geometry.

Compared to the Hightower 2, we reduced the anti-squat in the first 40% of travel. This noticeably improves suspension sensitivity in both climbing and descending scenarios due to reduced chain influence on the suspension.

The leverage curve is slightly straighter than the previous Hightower, with added progression towards the end of the travel. This provides improved bottom-out resistance with more consistent damping and support.

For Hightower 3, the geometry changes help modernize the bike without overstepping its intentions. We increased reach numbers to match the fit of our recent models, while also implementing our size specific chain stays for a better fore/aft balance across the size range. We slackened the head tube angle to help stability at speed, lowered the bottom bracket to compliment the better supported suspension, and increased stack in favor of modern handlebar setups. Our size-specific frame stiffness standards help tie together our ride quality goals by achieving a tailored front triangle flex characteristic for every size.

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 74 total)
  • Details of new Santa Cruz Hightower 3
  • Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    £5.4k starting price – that can’t be for the SX-equipped ‘AL D’ model, surely not?

    And yes, stereotypical first post about a new SC is mentioning price 😀

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    MAy well be expensive… but DAMN it’s nice… lovely !

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Never thought I’d say this, but I’m overcome with apathy over it.

    Premier Icon Paul
    Full Member

    £5.4k starting price – that can’t be for the SX-equipped ‘AL D’ model, surely not?

    And yes, stereotypical first post about a new SC is mentioning price

    Don’t forget the rockshox 35. On a 5 grand alloy bike. 🤨

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Free Member

    Licence to print money.

    Fucking shysters.

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    £5.4k starting price – that can’t be for the SX-equipped ‘AL D’ model, surely not?

    For the basic carbon model. Alu models not yet released.

    Premier Icon multibikestu
    Full Member

    You could get an Ebike for that.
    😜

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Another down tube storage box; it’s the  next industry “must have” I think  I Have one on the Spesh Enduro, and hardly ever use it.

    Premier Icon Blackflag
    Free Member

    This article really isnt clear on what the starting price relates to. Is it the alloy that isn’t yet available or the C R?

    One is steep, the other is just nuts.

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    Santa Cruz are like assholes, everyone seems to have one now a days. Personally I don’t get their popularity as over on the west coast of the states, most people view them as mediocre.

    The prices are ridiculous, more fool for the person who buys one. Better spec out there for a lot less money. Industry has gone completely bonkers.

    Someone will probably be offended by my opinion 😏

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Another down tube storage box; it’s the next industry “must have” I think I Have one on the Spesh Enduro, and hardly ever use it.

    Wahayyy. Finally ground a post from nickc that I completely agree with.

    Vile things

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    so mid, as the yoof say

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Personally I don’t get their popularity as over on the west coast of the states, most people view them as mediocre

    Really? As a recent owner I’ve discovered the mtbr forum to be a good source of info (when I was looking for shock clearances etc) and the yanks seem to fap over them as much as the brits

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    So expensive. But I guess they have to factor in all the warranty claims and bearings they are having to give away.

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    The bikes are on the websites, the 5.4k bike is the lower end carbon R model, with NX/Lyrik base/etc, it’s not moved up in price from the v2 hightower i don’t think.

    From the looks of it, it’s very minor geometry tweaks and 5mm more travel, the v2 was pretty much doing the job, so no need for a revamp.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Really?

    Kind of. Yanks/Canadians definitely have a slightly different perception of what is a ’boutique’ brand. When I was over there, they were very jealous of my Commençal which was rare and expensive over there (At the time it was cheap and common here), whereas SC were quite common there. Nowadays I feel like SC are pretty common here too.

    Perhaps spending £7k on a well-equipped SC might make sense. But spending £5.5k on a poorly-equipped one absolutely does not IMHO (If the £5.5k price tag refers to the C R model). The S spec looks passable to me, but we don’t know how much that will cost.

    I read on the SC website something along the lines of “An aluminium version of the V2 frame will continue to be available”. I can’t find it now. Since the Alu ones won’t come with a glovebox and the geo updates are so minor, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they just stuck with the same Alu frames (+/- new paint)…

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    This article really isnt clear on what the starting price relates to. Is it the alloy that isn’t yet available or the C R?

    It’s the C R.

    Another down tube storage box; it’s the  next industry “must have” I think  I Have one on the Spesh Enduro, and hardly ever use it.

    It’s a nice to have, not a deal breaker.  I keep my OneUp pump/tool and a tube in mine.  Don’t often need to go in there but saves having them strapped to the frame as I ride packless.

    most people view them as mediocre

    Un-substantiated sweeping statement of the thread.

    The prices are ridiculous, more fool for the person who buys one. Better spec out there for a lot less money.

    Don’t disagree regarding price, but if we all bought the cheapest, best specced bikes we’d all be riding round on European mail order bikes moaning about lack of customer service / warrantee support.

    The S spec looks passable to me, but we don’t know how much that will cost.

    Will be about £6.2-£6.4 based on the MTv2 price.

    Premier Icon tomparkin
    Free Member

    Crikey, the flip chip is really for micro-adjustment, isn’t it?

    Am I reading the charts wrong, or are you really getting 0.3 degrees of difference in head and seat angles, and a whole 3mm of bb drop difference?

    I’m fairly sure I’d struggle to notice that.

    Premier Icon Painey
    Free Member

    I looked at the prices. Hightower 2 CC X01 £7299, price for the same spec Hightower 3 = £8299.

    No thanks. Besides most S.C. owners I know have had warranty issues with them and had frames replaced. Granted they’re lovely bikes and warranty was good, but even so.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    thanks. Besides most S.C. owners I know have had warranty issues with them and had frames replaced. Granted they’re lovely bikes and warranty was good, but even so.

    Thats why they are so expensive. They have to factor in the numbers they will end up warranty replacing

    Yanks/Canadians definitely have a slightly different perception of what is a ’boutique’ brand. When I was over there, they were very jealous of my Commençal which was rare and expensive over there (At the time it was cheap and common here), whereas SC were quite common there

    They are a triumph of marketing over substance, they are part of one of the biggest bike companies out there. It’s like suggesting Specialized or Trek are boutique. Hats off to them for managing to pull this marketing trick off.

    Premier Icon pothead
    Free Member

    From the looks of it, it’s very minor geometry tweaks and 5mm more travel

    Travel hasn’t changed, originally came with a 52.5 stroke shock giving 140mm but the 2nd year was a 55 stroke giving 145mm so assuming it can be used with either size

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Full Member

    down tube storage box

    Is this code/flowery w*nk marketing for “where the battery goes on our e-bike version?

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    I guess I’m not the only one thinking the bike industry is becoming absolutely sickening with prices and marketing ploys.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Full Member

    Travel hasn’t changed, originally came with a 52.5 stroke shock giving 140mm but the 2nd year was a 55 stroke giving 145mm so assuming it can be used with either size

    Same shock, travel spacer removed AFAIK. That’s what I did with mine in any case..

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    Full bikes take the proverbial.. But with component parts costing the earth these days what would you expect from a business trying to make a profit after wild fires and covid ..

    Frame is the only option when looking at these and at £3599 its cheaper that a fair few companies and with better response times.
    Off to check Treks slash frame pricing for a laugh …

    Premier Icon LAT
    Full Member

    They are a triumph of marketing over substance, they are part of one of the biggest bike companies out there. It’s like suggesting Specialized or Trek are boutique. Hats off to them for managing to pull this marketing trick off.

    to be fair, they were a tiny company making and still frames in the USA while Spec and Trek were big companies. they’ve not been part of Pon for all that long. i think their cool reputation comes from their early days, rather than a marketing department fabricating a back story.

    that isn’t to say the prices aren’t very high. i’m amazed that people pay what they pay for a specialized.

    Premier Icon pothead
    Free Member

    Same shock, travel spacer removed AFAIK. That’s what I did with mine in any case..

    Probably, mine came with the 55 stroke tho

    Premier Icon whatyadoin sucka
    Free Member

    dont forget the US dollar has strenghened from $1 = 70p to $1 = 80p in the last 12 months hence oil and santa cruz bikes are now more expensive.

    the Maroon aka ‘Translucent Purple’ colour looks great online, be nice to see it in the flesh

    Premier Icon hungry-monkey
    Free Member

    I guess I’m not the only one thinking the bike industry is becoming absolutely sickening with prices and marketing ploys.

    You know you don’t actually have to buy one, don’t you? 🤷‍♂️

    I can’t afford a ferrari (or a SC for that matter) but I don’t get upset when a new one comes along…

    The ‘bike industry’ is just that – an industry. It’s not the third sector where they operate as non profits…

    They’ll sell each and every one of them I’ll bet.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Is this code/flowery w*nk marketing for “where the battery goes on our e-bike version?”

    A few bike brands are making their ebikes look normal by making their normal bikes look like ebikes. It’s a good tactic… it’s working on me anyway… having to look two or three times to identify which I’m looking at. Specialized are ahead of the game, but they are not alone.

    Premier Icon brutus_earl
    Full Member

    reassuringly expensive – on my 7th santa cruz and absolutely love the way they ride – always buy secondhand though from original owners who haven’t used them much so that keeps the cost down – never had any issues in 20 years.
    not a fan of the glove box though.

    Premier Icon chainbreaker
    Free Member

    It appears the Santa Cruz photocopier has been in overdrive again…

    Looks the exact same as all the other bikes in their range save for the colour.

    I like their bikes and the way they act as a company, but the last few years it looks like their design has gotten a bit lazy and they’re just resting on their laurels and using the name to keep sales going rather than producing fresh innovating designs like some of their competitors have.

    Premier Icon munkyboy
    Free Member

    Suspect they may start to struggle. The base spec is truly terrible (disposable hubs at over £5k). How many halo product AXS reserve builds do they actually sell at RRP to support themselves and stif?

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    How many halo product AXS reserve builds do they actually sell at RRP to support themselves and stif?

    Truckloads.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    to be fair, they were a tiny company making and still frames in the USA while Spec and Trek were big companies. they’ve not been part of Pon for all that long.

    THe carbon frames are made in the Far East like everyone else’s. For US made bikes the components are bolted on in the local market.  Pon took over in 2015 so plenty long enough for them to have made all the changes they wanted to

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    Hungrymonkey,

    For me, money isn’t an issue. I don’t know how you came to that conclusion mate. For what it’s worth, I’m in a well paid career earning significantly above the median salary. I’m grateful I can say that.

    Santa Cruz have never interested me.I wouldn’t buy one simply because the components are average on most new models and they are too common for my liking. Reminds me of Burberry or G-Star raw in the fashion world.

    For 4.7k I was able to build myself a 9.5kg xc rocket with Rockshox Sid worldcup ultimate race days, Sram XX1, AXS shifting etc. Narrative you ask? Shop around, you’ll get a lot more for your money.

    If someone likes Santa Cruz and gets a Santa Cruz, that’s fine. Just not for me buddy. I prefer something custom built or not as common. Personally I like uniqueness.

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Personally I like uniqueness.

    So you bought a Specialized?

    Premier Icon LAT
    Full Member

    THe carbon frames are made in the Far East like everyone else’s. For US made bikes the components are bolted on in the local market. Pon took over in 2015 so plenty long enough for them to have made all the changes they wanted to

    sorry, i was meaning santa cruz’s cool reputation was made when they were a small company making bikes in the USA, as opposed to it being simply a marketing exercise.

    prices are crazy, however.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Suspect they may start to struggle. The base spec is truly terrible (disposable hubs at over £5k). How many halo product AXS reserve builds do they actually sell at RRP to support themselves and stif?

    agree, truckloads.

    the real question is how many base spec models do they sell?

    rather than producing fresh innovating designs like some of their competitors have

    They have size specific chainstays, UDH, fully guided internal cables, integrated chainslap guard and downtube protector, threaded BB, easily user servicable suspension, on-trend but not ground breaking geometry including lowish seat tubes and head tubes that grow with the size.
    And now a Swat box, which while they certainly arent innovators, it is far from a default feature of carbon full suss bikes currently.

    what are they missing, a high pivot? They have possibly missed a trick with coil incompatibility on the new hightower though.

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    I like their bikes and the way they act as a company, but the last few years it looks like their design has gotten a bit lazy and they’re just resting on their laurels and using the name to keep sales going rather than producing fresh innovating designs like some of their competitors have.

    Sorry but that is BS.  SC moved to the lower shock mounted VPP in 2017 with the Nomad v4 which over 4 years was rolled out over most of the range (Nomad, Tallboy, Hightower, Bronson, 5010, Megatower).  They are now rolling out the second generation of these designs which are seemingly making notable improvements on the chassis (steeper SA, slacker HA, longer, suspension kinematics).  How is that lazy design?

    Based on your school of thought you’d like to see a new design for each model / generation resulting in confused design principles, lack of opportunity to review and improve / evolve etc?  Let’s not go to Orange (another much more easy target), don’t ever see the ‘same lazy design’ accusation levelled at brands like Trek, Giant, YT, Whyte, Commencal etc whose silhouettes/suspension platform have been the same for far longer (or even ’boutique’ or smaller brands like IBIS, Transition, Geometron, Starling, RAAW, Bird).  I’m actually struggling to think of any sizeable brand which is continually chucking out brand new designs (aside from the handful chucking out the odd ‘on trend’ high pivot model).

    Personally I want to spend my money on a design which is proven, works and is refined, rather than is a new great design just for the sake of keeping the internet happy.

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