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MY20 Highland Blue & MY20 Desert
MY20 Desert & MY20 Orange

Our greatest hits compiled into one bike—just hit play.

If ever a bike resembled your most cherished mix tape compilation, the Hightower is it.  Featuring our lower-link mounted shock design, updated, adjustable geometry, this “Engineering Best Of...” assembles some of our biggest design pleasers into one belter of a road-trip companion.

The Hightower has been a does-it-all-well trail bike since its inception. More maneuverable than its longer-travel sibling, the Megatower, and more at home in the steep-and-chunky than its snappy cousin Tallboy, Hightower excels when the route covers ‘all points in between,’ and descents come courtesy of some big-ass climbs. The VPP suspension’s lower-link-mounted shock creates a nearly linear leverage curve, meaning it mops up bumps of all sizes and maintains the kind of progressivity normally reserved for our V10 DH bike!  

140mm of rear travel complemented by a 150mm front end gives Hightower just a bit more front and rear travel over the first generation model. Combined with a slacker 65-degree head tube angle, the Hightower still sits squarely in the Goldilocks zone, but with a touch more “Oh sh*t get me out of here” capability when the porridge gets too hot!

Balancing stiffness and weight savings in all the right places is a hallmark of all Santa Cruz carbon frames and the Hightower flies the flag yet higher. The advanced composite chassis tracks well across all trail surfaces, holds a line, and is reactive to rider directions while isolating pedal-influenced inputs.

The Hightower also has a bonus disc to heighten the experience—the flip chip. In the High setting, the BB height is a little higher for those tricky tech trails and/or when Plus sized tires are required. In the Low position the shock rate is more progressive, to provide additional bottom-out resistance. Whatever mood you’re in, the tone of the Hightower can be adapted to meet your individual taste.

And speaking of taste, there’s a room for a water bottle inside the main frame and a threaded BB for convenience. There’s refined cable routing for better shifting performance, simpler installation, and no cable rub. On top of that, there’s a tailgate shuttle guard, downtube protector, shock fender, and noise-canceling chainstay protector keeping things quiet.

The lifetime frame warranty, lifetime pivot bearing replacement policy, and lifetime guarantee on the optional Reserve carbon wheels assures you that the Hightower will keep delivering the hits for years to come. 

Key Features:

  • Available in: Aluminum, Carbon C & Carbon CC More Info
  • Wheel size: 29"
  • Front travel: 150mm
  • Rear travel: 140mm
  • Priced from $2899 (MSRP)

Reserve Wheels

The motivation was simple; we knew we could make the most durable strength-to-weight composite wheels on the market, so we backed them up with a Lifetime Guarantee.

See the New Reserve

Build & Price

Up Close


Rollover table below to highlight frame dimensions.


Size XXL is only available in carbon models.

EFront Center745mm29.33"774mm30.47"798mm31.42"827mm32.56"862mm33.94"
GBB Drop29mm1.14"29mm1.14"29mm1.14"29mm1.14"29mm1.14"
NEye to Eye Length
Seatpost Length125mm125mm150mm150mm170mm170mm170mm170mm170-200mm170-200mm
Stem Length40mm40mm50mm50mm50mm50mm50mm50mm50mm50mm
Crank Length170mm170mm170mm170mm170mm170mm175mm175mm175mm175mm
Geometry Illustration LayerreachGeometry Illustration LayerstackGeometry Illustration LayerheadtubeanGeometry Illustration LayerseattubelenGeometry Illustration LayerfrontcenterGeometry Illustration LayerbbheightGeometry Illustration LayerbbdropGeometry Illustration LayerwheelbaseGeometry Illustration LayerchainstayGeometry Illustration LayerheadtubelenGeometry Illustration LayertoptubeGeometry Illustration LayerseattubeanGeometry Illustration LayerstandoverGeometry Illustration LayereyetoeyeGeometry Illustration Layerbase

Frame Sizing

5'1"155 — 5'5"165cm
5'5"165 — 5'9"175cm
5'9"175 — 6'1"185cm
6'0"183 — 6'4"193cm
6'4"193 — 6'7"201cm

Tech Support

Can I mount a chainguide to my bike?

Yes, this bike is equipped with ISCG-05 tabs for easy chainguide mounting. Most chainguides on the market that are made for this standard should work.

Can I put 27.5" wheels on my Hightower?

The Hightower is compatible with 27.5x 2.8" tires in addition to our typical 29x2.4 spec. If you go this route, you'll most likely want the Hi BB setting and a 160mm fork, to keep the BB height in the right range.

I see the XXL has a longer chainstay length than the other sizes. Is that a different swingarm? Can I swap them out for different sizes?

The 6mm longer chainstay length is built into the front triangle of the XXL- all other parts are identical to other sizes. So there's no unique parts necessary to accomplish the geometry change, or possible adjustments to be made.

I want to change my rear shock. Any limitations?

The Hightower fits most shocks on the market, with some exceptions. Fox Float X2, Cane Creek DB Air, and all coil shocks are not compatible. We recommend the Rockshox Super Deluxe, Deluxe, Fox DPX2, Fox Float DPS.

Should I ride in High or Low setting?

You should definitely try both, but we typically recommend starting in Lo on the Hightower. If you find yourself hitting your pedals too much, give Hi a try!  

The geometry chart shows two settings: how do I adjust that?

There's a "flip chip" on the link where the shock mounts. Just remove the lower shock bolt and flip the chips to the setting you desire

What is the largest chainring I can use on the Hightower?

With a proper boost chainring (52mm chainline), the Hightower will accept a 36t chainring or smaller.

What is the recommended fork?

Our geometry is based off of a 150mm fork with a 42 or 44mm offset. We wouldn't recommend less travel than that, as the BB will get a bit low. 160mm is fine if that's your preference.

What kind of headset does this bike use?

This bike uses integrated headset cups. The upper is 41mm and the lower is 52mm. The SHIS name is IS 41/28.6 IS 52/40.

What size tire will fit?

This varies greatly depending on tire make and model, but 29x2.4" is generally the max you'd want in there. Some 2.5" tires will be fine as well, but not all.

Where can I find additional technical information for my bike?

Currently all technical info is located either on the bike archive or under tech support. Both can provide helpful information for puzzling with your bike, torque specs, and exploded diagrams.