It may not feature SRAM's top end one by drivetrain, but the Hightower Carbon CC 29 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 improve the spokes' bracing angle and nets a bump in wheel stiffness, addressing the main concern we've had with noodly 29ers over the years. The industry has recently been dabbling in the world of low travel 29ers that ride more like trail bikes, but the surprisingly capable Hightower pushes that trend into the all mountain world, adding rock gardens and heavily latticed root systems to the wagon wheel menu. 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 it's still more than capable of handling abuse from all day bikepacking to race day hammerfesting. Though the Hightower's mid range, 5. 3in travel and 29in wheels 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 again dip into the lore of North American ball sports for an analogy: the Hightower isn't a gangly hoopster so much as a two wheeled version of a predatory linebacker. The frame's 67 degree head tube sits on the slack end of moderate, so it pairs with the frame's long, enduro minded reach, chainstays that are 15mm stubbier than the Tallboy, and the latest generation of Virtual Pivot Point travel for a ...
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