Meet the Megatower
It’s the bike that Santa Cruz fans have been asking for since the release of the Nomad 4 (“Cool, but where’s the 29” version?”); Riders who recognize the benefits of the bigger wheels on their local trails, as well as racers who need something that’ll cover ground and smooth out the madness of race courses the world over.
The Megatower has an interesting family tree. You could trace its roots the Hightower, a bike that our own EWS team (Mark Scott and Iago Garay), keen to eke a little more out of the original, raced using links that pushed the travel to 146mm. It was from this demand for more that we developed the Hightower LT, which has an entirely different rear triangle and links to bump it up to a race-rig worthy 150mm.
Conversely, the Megatower could be said to be derived from the mighty V10. The lower link-driven VPP suspension that originated from the downhill machine has been migrating through the trail bike range starting with the Nomad and followed by the Bronson last year.
Whichever way you look at it the Megatower is the fusion of big wheels and the biggest-hitting suspension system. The result is a modern day brawler that’s suited to globe-trotting, any terrain, nothing-held-back race formats and is the ultimate power-wheeling, fire-breathing sidekick for riders the world over wanting to conquer their hometown trails
The Megatower has two flip chips; one in the lower link adjusts geo and shock rate. The second, in the dropout, allows for 10mm adjustment in chainstay length.
The chip in the lower link allows for 3.5mm difference in BB height to allow riders to fine-tune their ride height and people wishing to over-fork (+10mm travel) can preserve the BB height by using the Lo setting.
Worth noting: You do get a larger HTA change (1 degree slacker) if you go from Hi to Lo and up-fork by 10mm at the same time.
The dropout flip chip allows for riders to fine-tune their wheelbase and rear center +/- 10mm, something that’s particularly pertinent for riders on the larger size bikes who’ll benefit from an optimized climbing position and wider weight distribution for traction.
While these changes may seem slight, and certainly won’t change the bike from an XC bike to park bike, using flip chips is a robust mechanism for riders looking to tweak their ride according to their needs without compromising the reliability and durability of the bike. No wack-a-do mousetraps and proprietary shocks here.
Furthermore, switching between Lo and Hi will have an affect on shock rate, with the Lo position giving it slightly more progressive rate and a bit more bottom out resistance. Again, tweakers and finicky riders can adapt the suspension feel to their needs and desires.
A lot’s happened in the past 18 years, but Santa Cruz been hard at work on VPP the whole time. Conceptually, it’s no different than it was back in 2001 (when we started using VPP), but they've incrementally improved the ride characteristic with the introduction of each new model. The lower-link mounted shock first appeared on the V10—a bike free of constraints like that pesky front derailleur, and stayed there for a while. The lower link-mounted shock configuration gives a very progressive-linear rate with excellent small bump, mid-stroke support and great bottom out resistance. Sounds rad, right? It is.
What’s more, short, counter-rotating links connect the front and rear triangles to create an extremely robust chassis. Simple linkages contain the pivot points to prevent slop from developing over time; grease ports make it serviceable; and pivots run on large diameter axles and bearings, which Santa Cruz offer free lifetime replacement for.
Wheel Size: 29”
• Size Range: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Materials: C and CC carbon
• Rear Travel: 160mm, Front Travel: 160mm
• Suspension: Lower-link mounted VPP
• Dropout flip chip allows 10mm chainstay length adjustment
• Flip chip in lower-link for geo adjustment (-/+ 3.5mm BB height) - preserves BB height for over-forkers and allows even the most sensitive riders the ability to fine-tune their ride.
• 76-degree seat tube angle
• Fits water bottle and piggyback shock
• Leverage curve designed to work equally well with coil or air shocks (both offered at most builds). Metric sizing and works with bearing shock eyelet
• Shock fender, shuttle guard, downtube protector and ribbed chainstay protector
• ISCG-05 mounts
• 36T max chainring
• Lifetime warranty on frame and Reserve wheels