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Santa Cruz Hightower 3

Santa Cruz Hightower 3 release date: June 21, 2022

What type of mountain bike is the Santa Cruz Hightower?

Versatility reigns supreme with the all-new Santa Cruz Hightower full suspension mountain bike. This pure-bred trail machine is ideal for riders who traverse a variety of terrain, equipped with enough travel for the gnarliest routes while staying nimble and efficient for everywhere else.

Forget about the three bears, Goldilocks is busy hitting the trails with the Santa Cruz Hightower that surely hits the sweet spot.

Santa Cruz Hightower 2023

  • Wheel size: 29 inch
  • Front travel: 150mm
  • Rear travel: 145mm
  • Tire clearance: 29x2.5"
  • Size range: S - XXL
  • Frame: Aluminum, C or CC carbon
  • Colors: Translucent Purple or Matte Emerald

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Or keep scrolling to compare and contrast each model.

Santa Cruz Hightower 2023

Who’s it for?

The Santa Cruz Hightower 3 is built for the renaissance rider who doesn't limit themselves when it comes to where to ride. 

This 29er mountain bike thrives on local loops and hard-hitting descents with its mid-length travel and tuned geometry. 

Ride outside of the box with this perfectly balanced trail machine.

Santa Cruz Hightower 2023

Why you'll love this mountain bike

Now in its third iteration, the Santa Cruz Hightower has proved its trail capabilities and all-mountain superpowers. 

It’s the ideal choice that splits the difference between the long-travel Megatower and short-travel Tallboy models. 

This year, take advantage of improved VPP rear suspension settings and a redesigned frame that gives you the confidence to push the limits.

Top Santa Cruz Hightower Features

Here's what makes the Hightower a such a bad ass bike

29 Inch Wheels

Conquer the hardest-hitting trails with the Hightower’s 29” hoops for maximum rollover and speed. There’s clearance for knobby tires up to 2.5” wide.


Travel For Any Trail

The 150mm front fork and 145mm rear shock is deemed the full suspension sweet spot to tackle a variety of terrains. No matter the ride, the Hightower comes prepared.

Suspension & Geo Tuned For Versatility

Each frame size comes with its own custom specs to ensure the best possible ride feel and provide balanced geometry.

What's new on the Santa Cruz Hightower 3?

The Hightower got some sweet upgrades for the new model release. 

Take a look at what's new below.

Updated Geometry

Chainstay length and seat tube angle are now customized to each frame size to preserve balanced geometry across all sizes. There’s also size-specific stiffness via tailored front triangle flex to optimize performance.

The Hightower 3 has a slacker head tube angle and lower bottom bracket to enhance the suspension updates. Increased reach and stack modernizes the fit to work with contemporary MTB handlebar designs.

New Frame Storage

The all-new Glovebox neatly stows ride essentials like tools or nutrition inside the downtube. This sleek storage solution comes with a compatible Tool Wallet and Tube Purse for staying organized. Move aside fanny packs and saddle bags— the Glovebox has arrived.

Improved Suspension

Compared to the previous model, there’s reduced anti-squat in the first 40% of rear travel, boosting suspension sensitivity and keeping pedaling efficient. This minimizes chain influence while climbing the slopes and smashing descents.

The Santa Cruz Hightower 3 is more progressive towards the end of its travel and has upgraded bottom-out resistance and predictable damping. Check out the frame's new sag setup window where riders can easily peek at rear shock settings.

More Hightower specs

Here are some other key specs on the Santa Cruz Hightower 3:

Lifetime warranty on frames, pivot bearings, and carbon rims

Max tire width: 29 x 2.5

Boost 148mm spacing

Post mount brakes w/ 180mm rotors

ISCG05 chain guide mounts

Threaded BB

Santa Cruz UDH

IS headset

Santa Cruz Hightower Geometry

2023 Hightower GeometrySMLXLXXL
Flip Chip SettingHigh / LowHigh / LowHigh / LowHigh / LowHigh / Low
Reach430 / 427mm455 / 452mm475 / 472 mm495 / 492 mm520 / 517mm
Stack611 / 613mm625 / 627mm634 / 636mm652 / 654mm666 / 668mm
Head Tube Angle64.8 / 64.5°64.8 / 64.5°64.8 / 64.5°64.8 / 64.5°64.8 / 64.5°
Head Tube Length100mm115mm125mm145mm160mm
Seat Tube Angle77/ 76.7°77/ 76.7°76.7 / 76.4°76.9 / 76.6°76.9 / 76.7°
Seat Tube Length380mm405mm430mm460mm500mm
Rear Center431 / 432mm434 / 435mm437 / 438mm440 / 441mm443 / 443mm
Front Center752mm783mm807mm836mm867mm
BB Height342 / 339mm342 / 338mm342 / 338mm342 / 338mm342 / 338mm
BB Drop31 / 34mm31 / 34mm31 / 34mm31 / 34mm31 / 34mm
Wheelbase1183mm1217 / 1218mm1244 / 1245mm1276mm1310 / 1311mm
Top Tube Length571 / 572mm599 / 600mm626 / 627mm647 / 648mm674 / 675mm
Standover Height706 / 701mm708 / 703mm711 / 706mm714 / 709mm719 / 714mm

Santa Cruz Hightower Size Chart

Find out which frame size is right for you with the chart below. Santa Cruz customizes geometry specs for each frame size so every rider, no matter their height, receives an optimized ride feel.

Here is the Santa Cruz Hightower size chart. Keep in mind that these are approximations. In order to get the best fit possible, you should consider the geometry chart above, your preferred riding style, and if possible, test ride the bike.

Megatower Frame SizeSMLXLXXL
Suggested Rider Height5'1" - 5'5"5'5" - 5'9"5'9" - 6'1"6'0" - 6'4"6'4" - 6'7"

Santa Cruz Hightower For Sale

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Hightower 3 C R

Frame: Carbon C 

Fork: Rockshox Lyrik Base 

Shock: FOX Float Performance DPS 

Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed 

Wheels: RaceFace AR Offset 30 29" 

Brakes: SRAM G2 R 

Price: $5,499


Hightower 3 C S

Frame: Carbon C

Fork: FOX 36 Float Performance

Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+

Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed

Wheels: RaceRace AR Offset 30 29"

Brakes: SRAM Code R Price: $6,799

Price: $6,799

Hightower 3 C GX AXS

Frame: Carbon C 

Fork: FOX 36 Float Performance Elite

Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+

Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle, 12-speed

Wheels: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 29"

Brakes: SRAM Code RS

Price: $8,499

Hightower 3 C GX AXS RSV

Frame: Carbon C 

Fork: FOX 36 Performance Elite

Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+

Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS Eagle, 12-speed

Wheels: Reserve 30IHD 29"

Brakes: SRAM Code RS

Price: $9,799

Hightower 3 CC XO1

Frame: Carbon CC

Fork: FOX 36 Float Factory

Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate

Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speed

Wheels: RaceRace ARC Offset 30 29"

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC Price: $6,799

Price: $8,799

Hightower 3 CC X01 AXS RSV

Frame: Carbon CC

Fork: FOX 36 Float Factory

Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate

Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, 12-speed

Wheels: Reserve 30IHD 29"

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC

Price: $10,699

Santa Cruz Hightower FAQs

What is the Santa Cruz Hightower good for?

The Hightower is a do-it-all trail bike that excels on the rough stuff. The mid-length suspension and Goldilocks-zone geometry give riders the confidence to conquer the gnarliest parts of the mountain.

Is the Santa Cruz Hightower an Enduro bike?

No, the Hightower is classified as a trail bike due to having slightly less suspension and steeper geometry than an enduro bike.

Is Santa Cruz Hightower a trail bike?

Yes, the Hightower is a pure-bred trail bike because of its mid-length travel designed to perform well all over the mountain. The wide tire clearance eats up the rough stuff while the moderate suspension won’t overdo it.

Which is better, Tallboy or Hightower?

The Hightower has longer travel and is best suited to harder-hitting climbs and rough descents. The Tallboy is an XC-inspired setup for more snappy riding that doesn't overcook the suspension specs.

Can you put 27.5 on a Hightower?

No, the Hightower runs exclusively 29” wheels, ideal for maximum rollover and ultimate traction.

What does Hightower mean?

The bike's name refers to the amount of travel, with Hightower’s suspension falling in between two other popular Santa Cruz models: the shorter-travel Tallboy and the bigger sibling Megatower.

Is Santa Cruz Hightower tubeless?

Yes, the bike ships tubeless with the appropriate rim tape and valve stems already installed. Riders simply add sealant and inflate the tires and they’re good to go.

What year did Santa Cruz Hightower come out?

The Hightower originally launched in 2016 and is now in its third generation, complete with significant improvements to the suspension and geometry.

Can you run a coil on a Hightower?

No, there isn’t a coil spring option available for any of the Hightower models.

How much travel does a Santa Cruz Hightower have?

The Hightower has 150mm of travel up front and 145mm of rear travel.

Hightower vs Megatower

As the name suggests, the Santa Cruz Megatower is the big sibling of the Hightower. The Hightower comes equipped with a slightly smaller full-suspension package with 150mm fork and 140mm of rear suspension. The frame comes in C or CC carbon like the Megatower, but riders can also choose an aluminum version which is not available on the Megatower.

Both models have flip chips to change between High and Low geometry settings. The Megatower is more robust, and excels in its natural environment of downhill parks and enduro races. The beefier suspension of the Megatower is for riders expecting the hardest-hitting trails.

Hightower vs Tallboy

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is a XC-inspired trail bike with shorter travel than the Hightower— this versatile 29er is built around 130mm of travel up front and 120mm of rear travel. The Tallboy shares similar geometry to its longer-travel cousin and offers a more nimble and snappy ride. The Tallboy is a winner for all-mountain riders to dominate the trails and take advantage of the reined-in suspension specs.