Santa Cruz Hightower AL R
The Santa Cruz Hightower AL R in detail
If ever a bike resembled your most cherished mix tape compilation, the Hightower is it. Featuring our lower-link mounted shock design, updated, adjustable geometry, this “Engineering Best Of...” assembles some of our biggest design pleasers into one belter of a road-trip companion.
The Hightower has been a does-it-all-well trail bike since its inception. More maneuverable than its longer-travel sibling, the Megatower, and more at home in the steep-and-chunky than its snappy cousin Tallboy, Hightower excels when the route covers ‘all points in between,’ and descents come courtesy of some big-ass climbs. The VPP suspension’s lower-link-mounted shock creates a nearly linear leverage curve, meaning it mops up bumps of all sizes and maintains the kind of progressivity normally reserved for our V10 DH bike!
145mm of rear travel complemented by a 150mm front end gives Hightower just a bit more front and rear travel over the first generation model. Combined with a slacker 65-degree head tube angle, the Hightower still sits squarely in the Goldilocks zone, but with a touch more “Oh sh*t get me out of here” capability when the porridge gets too hot!
The Hightower also has a bonus disc to heighten the experience - the flip chip. In the High setting, the BB height is a little higher for those tricky tech trails and/or when Plus sized tires are required. In the Low position the shock rate is more progressive, to provide additional bottom-out resistance. Whatever mood you’re in, the tone of the Hightower can be adapted to meet your individual taste.
There’s a room for a water bottle inside the main frame and a threaded BB for convenience. There’s refined cable routing for better shifting performance, simpler installation, and no cable rub. On top of that, there’s a tailgate shuttle guard, downtube protector, shock fender, and noise-canceling chainstay protector keeping things quiet.
Lifetime Frame Warranty
Santa Cruz Bicycles will repair or replace at its option any frame made by Santa Cruz Bicycles it determines to be defective in materials or workmanship. The warranty will be in effect for the lifetime of the frame and is available only to the original owner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, frames purchased prior to May 1, 2015 are covered under the previously-existing warranty for five years from the original date of purchase. In the event of a non-warranty situation, Santa Cruz Bicycles will make replacement parts available to the original owner at a reduced charge for the applicable warranty period described above.*
The Hightower also has a bonus disc to heighten the experience—the flip chip. In the High setting, the BB height is a little higher for those tricky tech trails and/or when Plus sized tires are required. In the Low position the shock rate is more progressive, to provide additional bottom-out resistance. Whatever mood you’re in, the tone of the Hightower can be adapted to meet your individual taste.
We’ve been using VPP® suspension since 2001. Rather than contracting a series of kooky inventors to try to build ever more complex and wack-a-doo suspension designs or proprietary shocks so the Marketing department has something to talk about, we’ve stuck with what is an extremely versatile and high-performance mechanism. VPP® is designed to work with the best available technology from suspension manufacturers that will be supported long-term. It doesn’t require novelty shocks and hardware that offers dubious long-term support.
VPP® can be optimized to strike the right balance between pedaling efficiency and all-out bump chomping prowess. The suspension on our cross-country bikes is tuned so that every ounce of energy a rider can generate is transferred to the forward trajectory. And our bigger-hitting, longer travel bikes are exceptionally capable of isolating impacts from the rider so they can ride harder with more confidence in the very worst terrain. 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; pivots run on large diameter axles and bearings, which we offer free lifetime replacement for.
Eagle-eyed riders may have noticed that we have two styles of the VPP® design now. The lower-link mounted shock configuration gives a very progressive rate with excellent small bump, mid-stroke support and great bottom out resistance. Ideal for bikes that are designed for challenging terrain. The upper-link mounted shock style that we use on other trail bikes gives more pedal platform, ideal for bikes that require maximum support and good bottom-out resistance to make them snappy handling, pedal-efficient flyers. Having control over a versatile design like this allows us to tune the suspension to the characteristics we most want for each application.
Recommended frame size
- S: 155 - 165 cm
- M: 165 - 175 cm
- L: 175 - 185 cm
- XL: 183 - 193 cm
- XXL: 193 - 201 cm
Please note that pedals are not included!
*Warranty Limitations, Exclusions, and Disclaimers
The sole remedy available under the foregoing express warranty and all implied warranties is the repair or replacement of defective parts with those of equal or greater value, as determined by Santa Cruz Bicycles in its sole discretion. The warranty does not cover labor costs, custom finishes, normal wear and tear, or damage from commercial use. The warranty is void if the part is modified from its original condition in any manner or used outside normal intended use, as determined by Santa Cruz Bicycles in its sole discretion. The warranty for damage arising from accidents, crashes and other impacts is limited to offered replacement at a reduced charge as set forth above. Any implied warranties (including without limitation the warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose) which may not be disclaimed under applicable law are limited in duration to the period set forth above or the applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter.
The foregoing warranty is the sole and exclusive warranty offered by Santa Cruz Bicycles. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, all other express and implied warranties (including without limitation the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose) are hereby disclaimed. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Santa Cruz bicycles or any of its owners, officers, employees, representatives, agents, or affiliates (or any of their respective successors or assigns) be responsible or otherwise liable for any direct, incidental or consequential damages arising from the purchase, use, or ownership of its products, including without limitation damages for personal injury, property damage, or economic losses, whether based on contract, warranty, negligence, product liability, or any other theory.
Some states and countries do not allow some or all of the foregoing exclusions or limitations, so they may not apply to you. If any portion of the foregoing warranty (or the exclusions or limitations thereto) is deemed invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law, it shall be deemed modified so as to be valid and enforceable to the maximum extent consistent with such law. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state and country to country.