Hightower LT Carbon CC 29 XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 by Santa Cruz Bicycles
Santa Cruz Bicycles certainly took its time arriving at the Hightower LT Carbon CC 29 complete mountain bike, which is built here in its superlative build: SRAM's XX1 Eagle and SC's own Reserve carbon wheels. We obviously aren't privy to the secret goings on in SC design studio, but we suspect that the Hightower LT's enduro-specific upgrades are partially responsible for the latest Nomad's return to the freeride party bike scene. The Hightower LT's wagon wheel platform and big-hit eagerness makes it SC's enduro race bike of choice, so the Nomad isn't expected to carry that torch anymore and can get back to playing. Those are big shoes to fill, but--in our experience on the Hightower LT--we're convinced that it more than does the trick. The Nomad likes to play in terrain; the Hightower LT simply runs roughshod over it. Where the original Hightower could be rightly considered an exercise in versatility, the Hightower LT takes a somewhat more focused approach. After all, the LT was born of the needs of Santa Cruz's enduro racers, who are perhaps uniquely qualified to push even the supremely capable Hightower outside of its comfort zone. The first ask was more travel, bumping the LT up to 150mm. This necessitated a few changes, most notably in the rear triangle, which forgoes the Hightower's 27. 5+ compatibility. Considering that Plus tires have yet to find acceptance with racers at the sport's top levels, we're inclined to agree that the Hightower LT's move to a dedicated 29-inch chassis is the correct choice for a bike of this nature. This dedication to 29-inch wheels also means that the LT does away with the Hightower's adjustable geometry in favor of a fixed position upper link that's been updated to provide the aggressive feel demanded by some of the world's fastest enduro racers. The LT's 150mm of travel has been painstakingly refined, drawing lessons from every aspect of Santa Cruz's enviable racing organization. As with all VPP bikes, the LT's counter-rota...
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