First introduced in 2019, the Santa Cruz Megatower entered the lineup as a long travel enduro race bike, purpose-built around 29in wheels. Mick rode the Megatower at the Wairoa Gorge mountain bike park in New Zealand as part of the official press launch, where he got to grips with the bike’s insatiable appetite for steep and high-speed descents, along with its firm and very much race-focussed suspension. Building off the success of the original model, Santa Cruz is now ready to release the second generation Megatower that features more travel, updated geometry and for the first time ever for Santa Cruz, in-frame storage.
The 2022 Santa Cruz Megatower
Sitting in between the Hightower and the V-10, the Santa Cruz Megatower retains its position in the lineup as the Californian brand’s flagship enduro race bike. The new bike does see a slight lift in travel though, with a 170mm fork and 165mm at the rear via the VPP suspension platform.
The shock still sits low down the frame where it’s driven by the lower linkage and a sealed bearing eyelet. It uses a longer 62.5mm stroke however, which provides the increased travel and a lower leverage rate for a supposedly more damped feel overall. Given we found the original Megatower to be quite a firm ride, we’re curious to see how the changes play out on the trail.
Glovebox downtube storage
The Santa Cruz Megatower also sees the introduction of in-frame storage, which is a first for Santa Cruz. Positioned above the shock mount, the Glovebox is concealed by a plastic hatch beneath the bottle cage. Included with the bike is a tool roll and tube wrap to keep your spares handy inside the downtube, reducing the need to ride with a backpack.
Aside from the addition of a UDH, there’s otherwise few radical changes to the Megatower’s frame. Santa Cruz has stuck with 148mm Boost hub spacing, and you’ll still find a regular IS headset, a threaded bottom bracket and ISCG05 chainguide tabs. Thankfully there’s no funky cable routing through the headset, with the Megatower instead relying on guided internal cable routing to make brake hose and cable replacement as easy as possible.
As is the case with all Santa Cruz models, there’s a lifetime warranty on the Megatower’s frame and lifetime bearing replacement.
Of course the Santa Cruz Megatower gets slacker, longer and steeper in all the places you’d expect — no surprises there. A more interesting development though is the incorporation of scaled rear centre sizing, with each frame size receiving a specific rear centre length.
The swingarm itself is identical, though by manipulating the location of the pivot points on the mainframe, Santa Cruz’ engineers are able to shorten or lengthen the distance between the BB and the rear axle. We first saw this design incorporated on the latest 5010 and then the Bronson, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it adopted on the Megatower.
Because of this, Santa Cruz has ditched the dropout flip chip, so there is no longer any option to adjust the chainstay length. The frame maintains a flip chip in the lower shock mount though, providing High and Low geometry positions, albeit with a very small change in angles and BB height between the two settings.
Santa Cruz Megatower price & specs
The new Santa Cruz Megatower will be available in both C and CC carbon frame options. There’s currently no alloy model.
Complete bikes will feature SRAM groupsets, a Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHR II tyre combo, and a 170mm travel RockShox Zeb or Fox 38. There will also be air and coil shock options, and Santa Cruz will be offering the top-spec XX1 model with the RockShox Flight Attendant suspension system. We’re awaiting local pricing and availability information from Santa Cruz’ Australian importer Lusty Industries, and we’ll update this article as soon as we have it. Don’t expect that Flight Attendant model to be cheap though…