Hightower Carbon CC 29 XX1 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 by Santa Cruz Bicycles
The Hightower Carbon CC 29 XX1 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 might be the most capable bike in Santa Cruz's lineup in terms of exceling on all types of terrain. Boasting plush and efficient suspension, the Hightower confidently handles sketchy descents and then happily pedals back to the top. When the trails are not so intense, the Hightower is right at home cruising buff singletrack due to its balanced geometry. With geometry and travel right in the sweet spot for an aggressive trail bike, the Hightower does have one side effect: ear-to-ear grins while pedaling back to the car after riding almost any trail--though that's less of a side effect and more a symptom of a successful all-rounder. Suspension duties are handled by 5. 3in of smooth yet efficient VPP travel. Santa Cruz has two different VPP iterations: the gravity-inspired lower-link, featured on the Nomad and V10, and the all-mountain upper-link, found on the Hightower. The upper-link mounted VPP design is known for snappy handling. You'll find yourself rocketing out of berms and popping off every rock in sight. The counter-rotating links provide a high degree of anti-squat to minimize suspension bob and provide a firm pedaling platform. This helps the bike pedal efficiently when you're sitting and spinning but also when you're out of the saddle mashing up a climb. When the trail transitions from a climb to a descent, the middle of the travel is linear to ensure maximum bump absorption. If that descent has some nasty square-edged hits, a progressive end stroke is there to prevent harsh bottom outs. The Hightower sports 29in wheels which roll fast and hold their momentum well, especially through successive obstacles, keeping you from getting hung up in technical terrain. This separates the Hightower from Santa Cruz's 27. 5in offerings such as the 5010 or the more appropriate comparison, the Bronson. The bigger 29in wheels are speed-focused and help you cover ground quickly, smoothing out terrain alo...
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