It may not feature SRAM's top end one by drivetrain, but the Hightower Carbon CC 27. 5 X01 Complete Mountain Bike still has the same long, low geometry and peculiar flip chip shock mount system as its more expensive XX1 equipped stablemate. It's also got the added stiffness of Boost axles, which means it climbs like a trail bike but tracks through terrain like an all mountain shredder. The frame can be converted to run as a 29er with minimal impact to the geometry, but the combination of Boost axles, clearance for 2. 8in tires, aggressively stubby chainstays, a long reach, and a decidedly slack head tube means that you may never be tempted by wagon wheels. In addition to the drivetrain changes, this version of the Hightower features SRAM Guide RSC brakes and DT Swiss hubs. Of course, anyone who's compared the stopping power of the Guide brakes to the Elixirs that they've essentially replaced knows that this is hardly a downgrade, and we've never actually heard anyone complain about DT Swiss 350 hubs. So yeah, the bike's kit isn't as expensive as it could be, but we suggest that's a good thing especially since it's still more than capable of handling abuse from all day bikepacking to race day berm roosting. Like with the ability to swap wheel sizes, the Hightower's mid range, 5. 3in travel belies its true nature. Though its travel and wheel clearance may initially inspire 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 the two wheeled version of a predatory linebacker. The 27. 5 Hightower's 66. 8 degree head tube angle, generous tire clearance, and reworked Virtual Pivot Point suspension all mean that it's...
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