Details of new Santa Cruz Hightower 3

by 73

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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  • This topic has 73 replies, 39 voices, and was last updated 3 days ago by Rivett.
Viewing 33 posts - 41 through 73 (of 73 total)
  • Details of new Santa Cruz Hightower 3
  • Premier Icon itlab
    Free Member

    some one in the industry might know more than me, but I always assumed that like cars most of the SCs these days would be bought on finance

    So rightly or wrongly it’s the monthly cost thats more important than the overall figure.

    Stif have the Carbon GX S build up for £649 down and £168 on 0% over 36 months( or to use the dailymails preferred measurement easily affordable by not buying two cups of coffee a day and canceling your Netflix sub)

    The ease of payment probably explains why although the full builds are poor value they still sell.

    I think they look like great in that purple

    if I could justify a new bike id be really tempted.

    Premier Icon LAT
    Full Member

    I’m actually struggling to think of any sizeable brand which is continually chucking out brand new designs

    yeti seem to change their design regularly and so did Trek until the were “inspired” by the Split Pivot

    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.

    absolutely

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    yeti seem to change their design regularly and so did Trek until the were “inspired” by the Split Pivot

    Yeti’s Infinity Link appears to date back to 2014 and the basic silhouette of a Trek FS (bar the XC race bikes) has not changed much since they moved to a rocker link years ago.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    Stif have the Carbon GX S build up for £649 down and £168 on 0% over 36 months( or to use the dailymails preferred measurement easily affordable by not buying two cups of coffee a day and canceling your Netflix sub)

    I suspect you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one. Plus for the retailer there will be a cut from the finance company from the interest charged

    Premier Icon chainbreaker
    Free Member

    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

    So why would you go for the Santa Cruz (apart from the name)?

    Most current-gen carbon frames have these features (not all). Trek slash, Nukeproof mega, spesh stumpjumper evo to name a few.

    The bikes I’ve mentioned are cheaper and generally better specced, even in todays market. Ironically, some are probably a lot more exclusive, especially in the UK.

    So why should I be paying the extra cash?

    Apart from the name, it doesn’t really have a USP. Its a shame, because in the past they were always a cut above the competition.

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    Tom Howard, indeed, well spotted. Limited edition paint job. Not many around. All parts sourced by self.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    So why would you go for the Santa Cruz (apart from the name)?

    Why did I? I recently bought a 5010.
    One of the few carbon 650b bikes still around. (I imagine I will soon be a little wheel grounch, just like all the 26 aint dead bros)
    And available frame only, so I can build it as I like – and reuse some of my existing, high spec parts.

    Now I have it and have lived with it, I would, when it comes to change bikes which hopefully wont be for many years, be willing to pay full price for a frame. (I got a 2021 discounted)

    Premier Icon LAT
    Full Member

    basic silhouette of a Trek FS (bar the XC race bikes) has not changed much since they moved to a rocker link years ago

    granted neither are changing their designs particularly frequently, but when they change them they do seem to make a big change.

    the addition of the split pivot was a big step for them and has been around for a while, the rocker link silhouette predates that development. after refining this aspect of their design they moved to fitting dodgy shocks.

    yeti i think did one version of each bike using the circular pivot thing starting mid 2010’s then moved to the kashima link. i believe that next year they will be introducing a new platform.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    @petedee given an epic frame is £4k what did you actually build/buy?

    Don’t take it the wrong way but
    4k frame
    2k group set
    900 fork
    Decent light wheels 600+
    Dropper 150
    Brakes 3-400
    Sadle grips stem bars headset etc 2-300
    Tyres 150

    So about 8.5k at retail, so if you got 45% off everything you’d be about there.

    That was hard enough without simply buying what was on offer vs what you wanted pre covid, in the last 2 years it must have been border line impossible.

    Premier Icon Milton
    Full Member

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

    Suits me, means I don’t feel any pressure to move on from my 2018 V4 Nomad. Still a great fun bike BTW.

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    @dangeourbrain

    Got the chisel ltd edition frame in water theme. It’s 1400g despite being alloy. It’s a fantastic frame. I’m not going to blow 4k for a few hundred grams with the epic. Can loose that for cheaper through exercise and fat loss.

    Chisel ltd edition frame – 1.1k
    Dt Swiss 391xr on bitex 211s – 550
    AXS eagle mech/shifter with XX1 cassette and GX carbon crankset, hollowpinned xx1 chain – ~1.7k
    Rockshox Sid ultimate race day 32mm -950
    Specialized romano saddle ~ 80
    Slx brakes (2pot) ~ 160
    Rental fat boy lite bar ~ 100
    Rotors – 80
    Tyres ~ 100

    Bought between sept and November ’21. Mate sourced and built my wheels. It was hard enough to source some stuff. Went with slx brakes as I couldn’t get xtr or xt at the time. Also got the only medium frame in stock in the UK in water edition.

    Premier Icon Flieslikearock
    Free Member

    I’ve got a 2018 5010 CC that I got at trade when I still worked in the industry. It was eyewatering to me then and I couldn’t afford to buy again now, especially at full price. However, I got it because it was 650b and I’m 5’2″ plus I had spreadsheets of geometry charts and tested loads of bikes out. It just felt great. I love it and it is way more capable than I ever will be.
    I just wish it had the little mudflap over the rear link, because that’s a pain to keep clean!

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    Got the chisel ltd edition frame in water theme.

    Sounds nice but we’re not really comparing apples with apples here, alu HT vs carbon FS. You do however make a good point in terms of better value if you shop around and build up. I built my v3 Bronson based on a new C level frame with new and mint s/h parts for about 4k.  I got almost that back in trade (plus I still have my better set of wheels to sell which were fitted to it) which enabled me to get my Megatower (good trade in meant I felt less ripped off – I’d have struggled to get close to that on eBay etc I think).  If I was starting from scratch I’d source and build again (though more difficult to get value in the current climate).

    Premier Icon kraeondesign
    Free Member

    Not offended, in fact, in total agreement. Ridiculously popular, ridiculous prices, for average bikes, purchased by people who seem to look down on other major brands (like Trek).

    Premier Icon Ben
    Full Member

    I suspect you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one. Plus for the retailer there will be a cut from the finance company from the interest charged

    The supplier takes a bath on the finance. It’s likely one of the main reasons SC bikes are more expensive – you’re paying for the finance in the price. I believe SC run their own financing, so it’s just built into the price before you buy.

    For bikes though generally the shop takes a hit on the finance. There’s no kickbacks for retail finance on bikes for most retailers.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Sounds like a nice bike petedee

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    Ive never understood the appeal of the full builds when the frame option is available.

    Premier Icon Ben
    Full Member

    Ive never understood the appeal of the full builds when the frame option is available.

    It used to be the case that frame only was expensive in order to increase the perceived value of the completes, reducing its competitiveness even with Chiggle pricing around. Don’t see so much of that now.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Genuine question: what % of people buy their SC at full price? My local shop often has them discounted, makes me think that perhaps the advertised price isn’t the actual price.

    Fender do this with their guitars. The RRP is basically an inflated made-up price so people feel good about getting a 10-20% off ‘deal’.

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    When I bought mine I inquired with various places about discount for a cash sale.. Most would only offer an invisi frame kit included in the costing. Not the %10-13 I would have thought cash would have brought to the table. Id be more than interested to see which shops offer %10-20 off a 2023 frame.

    Premier Icon Ben
    Full Member

    Genuine question: what % of people buy their SC at full price? My local shop often has them discounted, makes me think that perhaps the advertised price isn’t the actual price.

    Those buying on 0% finance I would expect, which I would also expect is a shed load of people given the cost of them. The shop will take a hit on that but that means if you’re paying cash, they can give you 10+% off and they get the same in the bank at the end of the day.

    Also worth noting that for companies with very effective marketing engines (Like SC) then selling them is a box shifting excercise. The bike is already sold, you just have to be the one to supply it to the customer. That usually comes down to either location (being the closest) or price. Or a combo of the two. You would rarely have to ‘sell’ the bike. That means that price is often the deciding factor. You just have to be careful you don’t undermine the market to the point that SC cuts you off.

    Premier Icon petedee
    Free Member

    Cheers guys. I’ll see loads of SC at the local trailcentres. I’m usually top 5 for the day on Strava times on my chisel HT frame on the descents. Takes me to the point that a lot of people are also ‘over-biked’ for the UK unless they are riding somewhere like the Lakes or Wales, but i won’t even open that can of worms. Personal preference again.

    I just feel people are being robbed blindly by following the crowd and getting the most popular brand, however mediocre the specs are. If I was honestly going to get another full-sus frame I’d actually give ICAN a go and skip paying for a name this time round. Using the spare change on top of the range components.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    For bikes though generally the shop takes a hit on the finance. There’s no kickbacks for retail finance on bikes for most retailers.

    THats a big chance since I worked in retail. Yes there was a hit on any interest free deal because the money had to be sourced from somewhere but on interest charging deals we always got a % from the finance company

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Genuine question: what % of people buy their SC at full price? My local shop often has them discounted, makes me think that perhaps the advertised price isn’t the actual price.

    Not full RRP. But on a frame up custom build, they knocked off the cost of a reverb. About halfway through the model cycle. Low single digit discount on the whole build, this was 2014

    Threw in a shock upgrade on a (different) off the peg bike I rang about the minute the press release went live.

    Premier Icon goslow
    Full Member

    I never understood the apparent dislike of Santa Cruz bikes and, sometimes, their owners.
    If you dont like the brand- don’t buy one.
    If you like the brand but think they are too expensive- dont buy one.

    We’re probably all here because we like bikes and riding them. Respect other peoples choices.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    I never understood the apparent dislike of Santa Cruz bikes and, sometimes, their owners.

    I think in a lot of walks of life, we see people that spend money just to appear flashy, and that’s inherently distasteful to a lot of people – see expensive cars that people can barely afford. So I do get it on some level.

    If you dont like the brand- don’t buy one.
    If you like the brand but think they are too expensive- dont buy one.

    To add to that, there a few intangible things that make SC ownership quite nice. On the frames, the cable routing, shock hardware, shock mudguard, bits that come in the box are all nice. The shop experience is nice. The warranty and support is nice. The catalogue of spare parts they keep is nice. The fact that you know there won’t be quirks while riding because the frames are tested to the nth degree is nice.

    Whether those things are worth whatever the price differential is, is up to you. For many people it won’t be worth it. But there are other, more expensive, brands that don’t come with all that. If you’re after the absolute highest component spec for the money then, obviously, look elsewhere. I think I’d value those things I listed over a drivetrain spec bump, for example. Me from 10 years ago would have felt differently.

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    Genuine question: what % of people buy their SC at full price? My local shop often has them discounted, makes me think that perhaps the advertised price isn’t the actual price.

    As posted earlier I got a very good trade in on my current SC bike (MT2, so a brand new in demand model), the difference between trade and what I would probably got amounts to about 10% I reckon.

    My previous bike was a Bronson v3 I built (just before Covid price rise madness) on a C frame which I’d picked up new for a good price (they don’t normally sell C frame only, I think it had been stripped for parts for another build, full warranty etc).  I built a better than CS spec for significantly less than the CS price.

    Prior to that I had a Bronson v2 Alu.  But I got that secondhand.

    Premier Icon Blackflag
    Free Member

    we see people that spend money just to appear flashy,

    But thats not a fact is it? Its just your perception. Unless of course you asked them why they bought it and they said “to appear flashy”

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    If you’re after the absolute highest component spec for the money then, obviously, look elsewhere. I think I’d value those things I listed over a drivetrain spec bump, for example

    This.  I’d love AXS or other high end shifting, but GX (or SLX/XT) does the job well for me. I’m also not a suspension fiddler, I like to find something that works for me and leave it at that so top end adjustability / kashima holds less value to me too (as long as the chassis and damper perform well).

    we see people that spend money just to appear flashy,

    But thats not a fact is it? Its just your perception. Unless of course you asked them why they bought it and they said “to appear flashy”

    I think it’s more buying into the brand image that he’s on about. Some may perceive that image to be ‘flashy’.  Personally I do like the image, I like the riders SC sponsor, I like the content they put out, I like the look of my bike, I like the dealer I use and I like the customer support from SC.  But most importantly I love riding my bike, to me it feels great, I like the VPP platform and I don’t care for what people think of me for owning one as long as I am happy. Without that last part, or if budget was a bigger issue I’d be riding a different bike.

    Premier Icon sillysilly
    Full Member

    If think if you’re spending £5k+ on a carbon frame it’s crazy to buy from a co that doesn’t back up with decent warranty. If you ride a lot and jump it’s going to break at some point. They do actually ride nice and I think there are quite a few discounts available if you are even remotely pro or have half an Insta account or buy last seasons colour.

    Premier Icon Ben
    Full Member

    It will be a real test of the market as interest rates rise. 0% finance will come under real pressure at that happens and I think thats driving a lot of the pricing we see nowadays.

    Premier Icon dickydutch
    Free Member

    Some folk see bikes as “tools” and that is fine. But for others, me included, it’s much more than that and whatever it is that SC do, makes it feel much more than a tool. What’s that worth financially? Who cares. If you can afford it and you like it, go for it. They certainly don’t seem to have any issue selling their gear so I suspect they will continue with their tried and tested business model.

    I just don’t understand the concern – some folk like Fords and some like Renault?! Much the same could be said of Rapha. Why buy Rapha when you can go down Sports Direct and buy perfectly functional kit at a fraction of the cost?

    There’s more to cycling (at least for me) than having the best perceived spec or feeling like you’ve cheated the ‘system’ buy buying it all in parts. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve done that too and the process of researching, sourcing and building your own bike can be equally as rewarding.

    Premier Icon Rivett
    Full Member

    Yikes, don’t mention Santa Cruz and Rapha together,,

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