SANTA CRUZ MEGATOWER
Sounds exciting, but is it? The answer is YES! Like MEGA-exciting and we have the low-down first hand.
Drift Bikes co-Director Robbie recently headed over to Wairoa Gorge in Nelson, NZ, to test out this new beast of a bike (with thanks to the Australian Importers, Lusty Industries) and he has come back very excited. And that’s in addition to the chilli margaritas!
But the excitement is not just because it's the latest model from Santa Cruz, its more that this bike has delivered a model previously unavailable in the Santa Cruz stable, being a BIG travel 29” wheel with aggressive geometry, with an added bonus of adjustability. The Megatower boasts wheel base adjustment and bottom bracket height adjust!
You will notice that Santa Cruz have moved the shock to a lower position in similar vein to the 2019 Bronson. The big difference here is the interrupted seat tube design of the Megatower frame has revised spacing to fit most coil shock designs including the FOX DHX2 and the leverage curve of the new bike is designed to work with both coil and air shocks. Even better, theres an an option for both coil or air on every new model, with no change in price!
The frame boasts a 65 degree head angle and the big win on the new geometry for this big travel 29’er is the 76.5 degree seat angle.
Santa Cruz themselves were vocal about this bike riding more like a Nomad than a Bronson, but the big added benefit to the new frame over the Nomad design is the symmetrical swingarm, adding a stupid amount of stiffness to the back end to keep the rear wheel on track.
But enough of the "on paper" stats, here’s Robbie's take on how it rides.
"Unlike its predecessor, the Hightower LT, the 65 degree head angle on the Megatower immediately juts out and says, “hey, smash me into something". The anatomy of the bike is reminiscent of a featherweight downhill bike and it reminded me of Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite where he says “bet you I can throw this football over them mountains”. In other words, you get a real “hold my beer” kind of confidence on this bike, which is something I think we all look for initially on every bike we ride for the first time, and this bike definitely has that ergonomic star power that only refined, tried and tested geometry can deliver.
But before you say "I don’t want a mega travel bike that only goes downhill" wait till you pedal it uphill! The seat tube angle turns this thing into a very versatile big travel bike. Run after run in Wairoa we were treated to sending this bike straight downhill, seat slammed and sliding through three days worth of of rain across diagonal roots and shale. It wasn’t until one of the final runs when we had to climb our way up a set of switchbacks that the penny dropped for me and the climbing ease of this bike was revealed.
The one thing I have loved on every VPP bike I have ever owned or ridden is that the bike always feels like it has more travel than the spec sheet and this bike is no exception.
160mm on this thing feels like 180. In axle deep brake bumps the tracking on the rear wheel not only held true but the bike wasn’t a bronco. I rode the bike in the shorter setting given the tighter terrain and I wanted to see how hard the bike could turn in, but many of the taller riders (Steve Peat for one) were all running the longer setting saying it made the bike feel more balanced for them. It’s just a simple yet wonderful benefit of being able to fine tune the bike to you and the terrain with such an easy flip of a chip!
So where did this bike stand out the most? For me, it just wanted to go. The plushness of the back end and that signature back up and over wheel path of the VPP meant that once the double down casing Maxxis 29x2.5 tyres got to hooping around, this bike felt at times, like it had an invisible engine that propelled you out of the turns and accelerated you over the undulating traverses. It just went fast but in an “I’ve got this” way that offered up a lot of control in situations that should have probably felt a lot more scary.
Probably the only thing left for Santa Cruz to do… is make one of these with a motor! But the naturally aspirated version you see before you could well be your ONE bike answer to your mountain bike adventures that you’ve been looking for.
Quite simply though, don’t take my word for it! Despite these bikes being in high demand in the next few months and beyond, and no doubt with some limited availability in various models, we are still committing the very first large Santa Cruz Megatower C S Air model we receive into our Hire Fleet as this bike needs to be experienced!
We could quite easily talk for hours about this bike but we would much rather have that conversation with the person standing opposite having ridden it for themselves."
Register your interest to be one of the first to HIRE and ride this new weapon via the contact details below. Or if you are more of a "forget that, just get me one” kinda guy or gal, then check out our preorder specials below!
Santa Cruz Megatower PREORDER SPECIALS exclusive to Drift Bikes:
- CS $8,699 - Reserve wheel upgrade $1,300
- CC X01 $10,999 - Reserve wheel upgrade $1,000
- CC XTR Reserve $13,999 - $500 instore voucher
- CC XX1 AXS Reserve $14,999 - $500 instore voucher
- Frame only $5,499 - inc free All Mountain Style XL frame protection kit valued at $90
Preorder cut-off: 30th April 2019
Initial availability is due mid to late April in limited numbers.
Call on 49242600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make further enquiries to lock in a HIRE session or PREORDER your new Megatower.
Bikes are so awesome. The new bike from Santa Cruz is MEGA-awesome!