Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 93 total)
  • Best Santa Cruz for all day trails
  • Premier Icon mjstephens2001
    Free Member

    Hi all,
    I currently own an (old) SC 5010 which is amazing. I’m thinking of updating and would like slightly more travel for the trails I now ride – plenty of black and red routes in Aberdeenshire.
    I would also like to use the bike for all day epic trails around Scotland – e.g. Torridon, Cairngorms. Does anyone have any opinions on the best suited Santa Cruz for both types of riding (I appreciate the best answer is go and test them and see for myself!)
    Cheers

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Hightower I’d say. Why only Santa Cruz?

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    Id say the best middle ground is the Hightower
    The new Bronson is not like the Old version (2019) its long very long and although every media outlet is crying that Mullit is the way forward the one Im demoed was a dog to climb on, and to be fair I wasnt to pleased with it coming down hill either. Coming from a 5010 you would notice straight away that the playfulness has gone.

    The Megatower (speaking from my own experience) Is a fantastic bike, a worthy climber for 160mm front and back, not the fastest but still happy to pedal all day and trust me I have chucked some good 45 mile 5000foot days in on mine. It really gets going the faster and more imput you put into it and can mute a trail or two as it is a big bike. Running mine at 435mm chainstay (short) helps make it a little more playful. In the long 445 chainstay its just a downhill bike with single crown forks, long low slack.

    The new Tallboy marketed as the XC bike for downhillers is a shorter travelled Hightower /Megatower as geo between the three is almost identical but it gets out of its depth quickly when pushed hard.
    Hightower , climbs like a tallboy and almost returns like the megatower, 150 front and 145 rear (id run 160 front tbh) is a good middle ground. More than happy up and down and not to much of a compromise either way.

    As for the Nomad thast just a 170mm freeride bikek that climbs way to well for its numbers. more suited at Warncliffe than in the Mountains on an all day epic.

    Just my opinions after the demos and months of umming and ahhing on weather to change my V1 megatower …

    Premier Icon whippersnapper
    Free Member

    I recently did Torridon on my newish Hightower and it made me feel like a rock munching hero, and I’m a bit shit. So after extensive testing I’d say a Hightower. Before that I had a Tallboy LTC (also taken to Torridon) which was a better climber and lighter for putting on your shoulder but the new Hightower trump’s it for pointing down the way.

    Premier Icon mjstephens2001
    Free Member

    Thanks that’s a great summary. Hightower/megatower sound like good suggestions.
    I’m open to non Santa cruz’s too if anyone has any suggestions, I just know SC make great bikes and I’m not too clued up on what else is out there these days

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    Worth pointing out the Megatower has just been updated so is a bit of a different beast to what Stevedoc has described (now 170/165, longer, slacker, steeper seat angle, improved suspension kinematic). I have one (v2) but not had enough time to make a full judgement but so far so good having come from a Bronson v3 which was upforked to 170 at the front (which was a very good all rounder but I became 29er curious). It’s not a bike to smash flatter trails quickly on, but it doesn’t feel like a pig to pedal around, and is very good on the downs.

    Hightower would probably suit some of my riding more (ie general trail riding) but I didn’t want to wait for the updated version (I’d want it longer and slacker than the current version), my group is doing more descent focused riding these days anyway, and got a good trade in on my Bronson (it’s otherwise v spendy).

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    Im waiting till later in the year to see what Santa Cruz do with the new Hughtower .. I really hope the keep the chainstays set at 435mm and steepen the seat tube like the V2 Mega 160mm front and 145 rear all day big mountain do everything bike.

    Premier Icon GolfChick
    Free Member

    As stevedoc has said a new version of the Hightower is due out very very soon. I wouldn’t be getting one yet based on that, as I’d be annoyed if a new one came out just after I bought it. Hang on and see what they come up and you might get some owners selling the old version to get the new.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    In which case I’m going to add Transition Sentinel / Ibis Ripmo AF and maybe a Stumpie Evo

    Premier Icon 1timmy1
    Full Member

    I’ll throw the Bird AM9 into the ring, 150mm both ends and rider feedback is that it pedals well (I’ve not ridden one).

    Premier Icon tallb0y
    Free Member

    No points for guessing what I ride… +1 for it though. Amazing bike, riden everything from 24 hour events to Bikeparks and she feels at home wherever you take her!

    Premier Icon Akers
    Full Member

    Are you thinking of moving to 29er or mullet, or sticking with 27.5?

    I have a 5010 v4, with a 150mm fork, it’s a very capable allrounder. It’s plenty light (with the right build kit) for long days (and climbs) in the saddle, but now long and slack enough to handle almost anything, while still being fun and responsive.
    You can always fit a Cascade Link If you wanted to increase the rear travel to 140 or even 150mm rear travel.

    Premier Icon beer247
    Full Member

    Hightower with Cascade link and 160mm forks.

    You can also remove the spacer in the shock to increase the stroke and bump the travel up to close to 160mm

    I’ve thought about selling mine a couple of times…but it’s just so pretty I can’t do it!

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    I have a 5010 v4, with a 150mm fork, it’s a very capable allrounder. It’s plenty light (with the right build kit) for long days (and climbs) in the saddle, but now long and slack enough to handle almost anything, while still being fun and responsive.
    You can always fit a Cascade Link If you wanted to increase the rear travel to 140 or even 150mm rear travel.

    Me too. Nimble and playful despite currently downhill tyres on it. (DH tyres, coil shock and oneup toolkit, I’m not going to weigh mine) Incredible climber in spite of this. Never felt the need to lock the shock.
    You can save the cascade money, change the shock from 52.5 stroke to 55 and you get 140 ish rear travel.

    If you are set on a SC, and want a 29er, as golfchick says, both the tallboy and hightower will be refeshed imminently.
    Either wait for the upgrade, or get a discount on the outgoing model.

    Premier Icon Akers
    Full Member

    You can save the cascade money, change the shock from 52.5 stroke to 55 and you get 140 ish rear travel.


    @ayjaydoubleyou
    – Interesting. Have you done this to yours? No issues with tyre rub or frame/linkage bottoming-out?

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Tyre is nowhere near – I’ve got a coil shock so can’t check with no air in it, but with no shock on the bike at all, the linkage hits the frame before the tyre gets near the seat tube.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Free Member

    I’d be tempted by one of these as a Scottish all-rounder, and they actually have stock of most sizes…
    https://www.wiggle.co.uk/vitus-escarpe-29-amp-mountain-bike-2022

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Stroke is 50mm on the 5010 V4. Potentially increasing the stroke to 55mm would give 143mm rear travel, assuming no issues with interference. At that point aren’t you better off going for a Bronson, though?

    I really like my 5010 but I don’t consider it a sensible choice for anyone really. Like AJW I have 150mm up front and relatively heavy wheels/tyres/inserts so I don’t think it’s particularly light, either. The front end is definitely worse for climbing with 150mm (stock is 140mm). A lighter build would be faster for normal riding, a 29er would be faster almost everywhere, and more travel (Hightower) more versatile. Having said that, it’s a great bike to rag around.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Stroke is 50mm on the 5010 V4.

    you’re right – not sure where I got the 52.5 from.

    At that point aren’t you better off going for a Bronson, though?

    The old Bronson (V3?), yes. Thats pretty much what I wanted, but its discontinued and that coincided with the covid bike boom so theres no NOS anywhere.
    The new Bronson is a mullet only.

    Premier Icon willjones
    Full Member

    I went from 5010 v2 to Revel Rail. Probably should have gone Rascal, but having a lot of fun with this little big bike. The CBF set up is amazing for the ups as well as the downs. It was nice to step over to another brand who make expensive plastic bikes.

    Premier Icon willv
    Full Member

    Am in similar position. V2 5010 great bike with 150mm fork and long shocked, but lucky enough to be able to change later in year. V3 HT is due August and will be similar changes as V2 MT, storage some geo tweeks am told.
    Tried a TallboyV4, very quick, big wheel orig Solo ish. Not sure the one bike for me.
    Not sure I’d pay extra for frame storage over a bum bag if I can get a good deal on a V2 frame.
    Will see what happens

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Full Member

    My buddy picked up a well specced Nomad few years ago and it surprised me with how well it pedalled and felt like it drove forward with every push of the pedals and how light it was (it had reserve wheels, RSC brakes and X01 drivetrain) I’ve done 30 mile 7000ft of climbing days with no issue with him.

    I’d say your option is wheel size, then go Nomad or Megatower to match that decision

    Premier Icon antares
    Free Member

    I’d say Hightower as well, although mine is up for sale, injury forces me on to the ebike nowadays.

    Premier Icon Blackflag
    Free Member

    Just moved from a Hightower V1 to a Cotic Jeht and couldn’t be happier. Plus in nimbus blue its stunningly good looking 🙂

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    Back to the original Q, I think you’ll find all current SC models are fairly flexible, but the shorter travel models eventually get out of their depth downhill, and the longer travel models are not snappy speed machines on the flat. I’d be asking myself where I sit on the scale between single track speed and smashing the downs and also 27.5 or 29.  Somewhere in the middle (which is where I suspect you are), I’d be tempted to wait for the new Hightower if it’s only a couple of months away.

    Premier Icon continuity
    Full Member

    I’m not really sure there’s much in the UK that warrants more than a Tallboy, unless you’re racing – in which case the answer is obvious.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I’m not really sure there’s much in the UK that warrants more than a Tallboy, unless you’re racing – in which case the answer is obvious.

    The newest Tallboy is capable but there is plenty of stuff in the UK where more travel is nicer to have – not to say the Tallboy won’t get down it – but you’d be faster / more comfortable on even the Hightower. Which would make a great all rounder too.

    I was fine on my Bird Aether 7 as an allrounder and was planning to just move to the A9 as my 27.5” forks died – but they were out of stock so ended up on a transition sentinel. 160 front / 150 rear travel and it’s also a really good allrounder. Gives up a bit of weight and nimbleness on flatter pedally trails but then it gives more back as soon as it gets jankier and is easier on my poor broken body.

    Premier Icon pothead
    Free Member

    Hightower, currently have a 150 fork on mine but will probably up it to 160 next time it’s away for a service and I find it’s a great all rounder. While there will be a new model out soon it won’t make the current version any less capable and I’d personally have no problem buying one now (probably be some deals about when the new version is released)
    I also looked at the Transition Sentinel but got a better deal on the Hightower (frame only)

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    I’m open to non Santa cruz’s too if anyone has any suggestions, I just know SC make great bikes and I’m not too clued up on what else is out there these days

    I’m thinking of updating and would like slightly more travel for the trails I now ride – plenty of black and red routes in Aberdeenshire.
    I would also like to use the bike for all day epic trails around Scotland – e.g. Torridon, Cairngorms.

    Unless you have space constraints then I’d say consider buying 2 less jack of all trades reasonably priced (and better specced) bikes instead of one over priced one.

    Ultimately it’s whatever gives you the most grin for your money though… but if its a SC then make sure you get/afford a decent spec one without the cost cutting components.

    SC Warranty seems a bit mixed… I was with someone Wed on their 3rd set of reserve wheels in 6 months… all replaced without question (might help he’s a SC dealer)… but then also see people with carbon frames damaged first ride from a rock pinging up having to use crash replacement ..

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    I’m not really sure there’s much in the UK that warrants more than a Tallboy,

    I don’t get this, the weight of the base carbon Megatower is about a kg more than the base carbon Tallboy, and in between that is the Hightower and the weight penalty’s even less. More travel carries a mostly insignificant weight penalty and nearly always ends up being a more capable and better all round bike.

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    Have a watch of these two https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulPviM8Cddw&ab_channel=BikersEdge


    Sizing and angles there is next to nothing between the three

    Climbing the shorter travel bike will climb better (only a bit like ) Longer travel down quicker
    Weight again depending on build next to nothing again even between frame only.

    The second vid is the one that speaks volumes ..then pop the hightower in there too ..

    Pedal and spoke have a few hightower frames in stock god knows how …. deals I guess to be done as August seems to bring a £400 premium for this yours colours with a storage tube …

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    That vid pretty much sums up my experience.  Just out again this morning on my new MT2.  It climbs better than my V3 Bronson, I can definitely feel the steeper SA and the benefit of this pushing my weight forward.  It’s definitely faster / more controlled pointed down, I can feel the added roll over of the 29 wheels.  Cornering is fantastic, feels like more grip, not sure how much of this is down to the Maxxgrip Assegai vs Maxterra DHF.  I’ve been surprised that it doesn’t feel less nimble, I still feel I can move it around as I want to.  I could have got a shorter travel SC, but to be honest I feel I’d have less fun on it.

    S spec so nowt special, but shock and forks feel great (had Lyrik Ultimates on the Bronson).  Wheels are ok, can always be replaced down the line.  All other kit is decent (Proper Maxxis tyres, Burgtec bars and stem, reverb). GX has always been good for me.

    Really looking forward to getting it to Morzine in a couple of weeks.

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    The problem will be once you return from Morzine .. The MT will shine like a superstar out there but unless doing big old downhills on the return back to Blighty you may find it a little “too much ”

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Free Member

    I’d love a short travel bike (TB/Spur type thing) to compliment the MT for flatter days, but I don’t have the room, money or wish to risk my marriage. For me for a single bike I don’t want short travel and I don’t see much compromise of the MT vs a ‘trail’ bike based on current experience, I did debate the new Bronson but wanted to try full 29 (I took a bit of a risk but it seems to be working out well).  Do I ‘need’ so much bike? No, do I enjoy it? Yes.

    I’m sure if I rode longer days with lots of flowing single track and climbing my attitude would be different (and I’d be waiting for the new HT), but my riding is a mix of messing about in the woods for 3-4 hours and uplifts / bike parks.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    More travel carries a mostly insignificant weight penalty and nearly always ends up being a more capable and better all round bike.

    Other opinions are available.

    Riding around on a squidgy sofa all year because you might go to Morzine in the summer is not for me. There’s a precision of a shorter travel bike that is lovely. Plus, modern (long) geometry means you don’t need loads of travel to go fast on rough stuff. It does mean your body takes more of a bettering, though.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Other opinions are available.

    Sure, but OP wants longer travel, wants an all day bike, and is looking specifically at red and black trail use. While you can do all those things on a shorter travel bike, if you’ve room for just one, and given the only slight differences in weight and geometry, and climbing, while slower – clearly isn’t a priority for the OP. than replacing his current bike with one with less travel but bigger wheels doesn’t really sound like the bike OP is after?

    Premier Icon continuity
    Full Member

    I’m an advocate for being under-biked and challenged.

    Two parts – whilst a TB Vs MT won’t be a huge difference in frame weight, once you balance 120mm sids/pikes Vs a Zeb, a lighter part spec vs one built for DH racing in all but name, exo Vs DH tyres. So the weight might be more like 24lbs Vs 34lbs and that might mean longer bigger days, all very rewarding.

    The other part is that a smaller bike makes the majority of your riding more interesting and engaging. If we just wanted speed we’d get on a rollercoaster. So they can be a little more challenging and therefore a little more rewarding.

    YMMV and ofc if you’re racing, pick whatever is fastest.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    I’m an advocate for being under-biked and challenged.

    Sort of makes the assumption that those of us with longer travelled bikes aren’t being challenged, trust me, I am as inept on my Enduro as I was with any other bikes I’ve owned that had less travel, I’ve just had that excuse removed 🤣

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Being under-biked is fine, right up until the point that it isn’t.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Admittedly, I don’t really know what ‘red and black trails’ actually means. Trail centres? Meaning groomed, smooth trails with the odd feature? If so, short travel. All. Day. Long. Buying a MegaTower to ride around a trail centre is akin to buying a Range Rover to drive to Waitrose IMHO 😛 But I read this from OP:

    all day epic trails around Scotland – e.g. Torridon, Cairngorms.

    I haven’t acually ridden in those places either, but that sounded to me like the sort of long-distance XC jaunt that I would take a shorter-travel bike given the choice. I guess my stance would be something along the lines of “no more travel than you need”, but other people can make different choices 🙂

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 93 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.