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Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower Carbon 27.5+ S Complete Mountain Bike - 2016 Black Matte, XL


Some people may dismiss SRAM's GX one-by group as so much start line slop. Some may believe that anything under six inches of travel is an XC bike. Who are these people? Certainly not us. Or Santa Cruz. And it's obvious that the Hightower Carbon 27. 5+ S Complete Mountain Bike doesn't care. It's a bike for people who ride, not people who read catalogues, and its long, low geometry with the added stiffness of Boost axles mean that, though it climbs like an XC machine, the Hightower drops in like an enduro bomb. It's also got a 66. 8-degree head tube, which sits on the moderate end of slack, so it pairs well with the bike's long, enduro-minded reach and the latest generation of 5. 3in Virtual Pivot Point travel. When discretion is the better part of not bailing, the stubby chainstays mean it can also dice through techy sections like a bike with smaller wheels, so whether you're into taking the direct route over the crux or the big line when dropping in, the Hightower can handle it. The Hightower's mid-range travel belies its true nature. Though its travel and wheel clearance may inspire initial comparisons with Mr. Moderate (the 5010) or SC's equivalent of a center in basketball (the Tallboy LT) , Santa Cruz instead encourages us to think of it as the Bronson's taller brother. Yep, that Bronson. Given the implied big-hit aggression of this comparison, we're compelled to dip into the lore of North American ball sports again for another analogy: the Hightower isn't a gangly hoopster so much as a two-wheeled version of a predatory linebacker. SC is so intent on proving the Hightower's outsized merit over rock gardens that it actually bypassed the Bronson and went straight to the 6. 5in Nomad for suspension inspiration. The result is that the link stays out of the way, which may be why the Hightower can accommodate a piggyback shock and a bottle cage -- yet one more indication that the Hightower isn't just for XC hardpack or enduro shuttle loops. Instead, it's design...

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