First Impressions: Santa Cruz Hightower S+

Is there really such thing as the do it all Machine? The absolute perfect balance between climbing capabilities and all out speed on the descent? I believe there is…

I’ve been riding my 2017 Nomad 3 all season. while it’s been a beast on the descents and big hit jumps, it’s left me needing more for the punishing climbs we have here in the Rogue Valley. Let me introduce you to my new trusty steed:

Santa Cruz Hightower S+
 

After a few beers and some deep conversations about life I walked out of Unreal cycles with a huge smile on my face and this beauty strapped to the tail gate of my truck. Offering the best of both worlds is the two position RockShox Pike 130/160, this fork allows for short travel mode to make the climbs a breeze (Strava proved it; 4 out of my 5 PR’s came from the climb) and when you open it up to the full 160mm of travel you have yourself a bike that wants to be pushed.

Santa Cruz Hightower S+
 

For a first ride on a new bike you wouldn’t necessarily expect to put down your best times, or even hit the usual jumps or drops on your local trails; Not in this case… not only did I PR my climbs, I also beat my best time on my favorite trail by 4 seconds in similar trail conditions. At this point I realized that maybe, just maybe my Nomad was just a little too much for anything but a bike park/shuttle day (more on that later).

Don’t look past this bike as your browsing the web for your next trail crushing machine, I was blown away at quickly I felt right at home and how confident inspiring this bike really is.

Santa Cruz Hightower S+
 

Stay tuned for a short term in depth review as I cover more ground on the Hightower and bring to light more details on this amazing gem that Santa Cruz created.

See you on the trail.

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