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Why That Bike? | Santa Cruz Megatower

If you've ever cruised our Bike Check section, the largest collection of badass bike builds on the internet, you know that Vital members spare no expense when it comes to radifying their rides. Always on the hunt for a backstory, we reached out to the owners of these five fine specimens to find out what went into each project. These rigs are all both drool-worthy and shred-worthy, so jump right in to get stoked.

About Santa Cruz Bikes

From the race track to your home trails and pretty much everything in between, Santa Cruz is eponymous with mountain biking in every form. One of the original purveyors of VPP suspension, the distinctive linkage adorns nearly every Santa Cruz made to this day, and the line-up contains bike with travel ranging from 100mm to 215mm - plus a couple of hardtails and even a gravel frame. Sister brand Juliana leverages the same technology and frames in women-specific packages.

View Santa Cruz Bikes in our Product Guide.


RideWithJo's Santa Cruz Megatower

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Age: 44

Where do you live? Morzine.

Favorite local trail to ride? Nyon, Pleney, Super Morzine.

Why did you pick the Megatower? Because I can do everything with it, it's fast, fun to ride, SC quality and looks badass!

Is this Megatower your only bike? Apart from a pumptrack bike and a road bike, yes.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Santa Cruz Nomad.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? Yes, it's a X01 build, I changed a few parts afterwards.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? The geometry is "just right", it's my first 29er and I was concerned I would end up with a monster truck kind of bike, but it's just super fun to ride yet confidence inspiring. The adjustability is also brilliant, it's easy to tweak it to suit your size/riding style/trails. 

What would you change on it? Maybe a bit more room around the bottom rocker for better mud clearance, but I'm aware that those 29" wheels need some room!

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Till death do us part!

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Maybe something lighter for when the lifts are shut, like a Tallboy?

View RideWithJo's Bike Check.


WisnuA's Santa Cruz Megatower

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Age: 41

Where do you live? Jakarta, Indonesia.

Favorite local trail to ride? KTH bike park.

Why did you pick the Megatower? I have roots that go back a long way with Santa Cruz bike, my first full suspension trail bike was a Blur LT and I loved it. Also got a hand on other SC bikes like the Nomad 3 (I repainted it mimicking the Syndicate color theme, that bike was Vital BOD as well 🥰), 5010 v2, Highball, Chameleon, Blur XC race, Bronson V3, Stigmata. Basically, you can tell I'm a sucker for SC bikes 😉. When SC launched the long travel 29er in form of Megatower, it was a no brainer for me. I just had to have one.

Is this Hightower your only bike? No! I don't believe in one bike for all LOL.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Bronson V3. At the same time I had the Orbea Rallon 5 which I really liked. The 29-inch wheels with 150mm travel really compensate for my lack of skill. I was just waiting for SC to launch a long travel 29er to replace my Bronson V3.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I bought the frame and built it with parts that I select and bought individually.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? The wheelset. The Reserve is a great carbon rim and I love the project321 hubs. It's more on the silent side with just enough buzz when you're coasting.

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What would you change on it? Thinking of changing the G2 brakes, been feeling I need more power lately.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Until the next iteration of Megatower is launched 😁

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Been eyeing the Actofive P-Train lately.

View WisnuA's Bike Check.


PJ205's Santa Cruz Megatower

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Age: 35

Where do you live? Twentynine Palms, California.

Favorite local trail to ride? I can’t narrow it down to one single trail, but I can shout out a specific trail system: the top-secret trails of Greer Ranch in Murrieta, CA. The builders out there did an incredible job and I will never get tired of doing laps there. I hope things are worked out with the local government to keep these trails accessible to the many riders that frequent the place. If not, it’s totally understandable.

Why did you pick the Megatower? After riding an Ibis Ripley AF demo at work, I just about immediately knew I wanted to try a 29er. The Ripley AF is an INCREDIBLE bike, but I have inexplicable amount of respect and admiration for Santa Cruz, not only as a bike manufacturer, but as a company in general for their stances on social issues and how much they put back into the mountain bike community. Because of this, I knew I was going to stay on a Santa Cruz and plan to for the long term unless something drastically changes and leads me elsewhere. With bike park season right around the corner and my desire to be on a long travel 29er, I watched and waited for the first large Megatower to pop up and snatched it up immediately upon arrival. After being on it for only a short bit so far, I am already in love with the thing! 

Is this Megatower your only bike? As of just a couple of days ago, this is my only bike. I don’t have the means to ride on a regular basis because of where I live in relation to trails this bike is meant for, but I am OK with that, as traveling out to trails to meet and ride with my friends gives me something to look forward to every weekend.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Before this bike, I was on a 2019 Santa Cruz Bronson V3. Great bike; very maneuverable and stable. I really enjoyed and appreciated that thing! 

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? This bike was bought as a bone stock 2021 Megatower C S-build, but I swapped out just about everything to fit my liking. Not that the S-build wasn’t enough for me or anything like that, but it’s always fun to tinker and customize things, that is until my card statement comes at the end of the month and brings me back to harsh, harsh reality. Luckily, JensonUSA made owning this build possible for me. This is the nicest bike that I have ever owned, and I am not sure that I will ever get a chance to own something this nice in the future. I am very appreciative and lucky to be on this thing.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? Just about immediately, the first thing that I noticed and loved about the bike was how progressive it is. The stiffness/progressiveness of the bike in stock form with the VPP platform is wonderful for pedaling around and riding rougher stuff. I was worried about all the reviews and comments that I read saying that the bike is too big to pedal around for long rides, yet I find it about 10x easier to pedal around than my Bronson V3 was for some reason. The stiffer characteristics and overall size of the bike is a welcomed change from my Bronson V3, which was also incredible to ride. 

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What would you change on it? The only thing that I would want to change on my Megatower is small bump compliance. I added a MegNeg to the stock Rockshox Super Deluxe shock, which helped with that immensely and made the bike WAY more poppy, but it still lacks a little comfort with successive washboard-like braking bumps. In a couple of days, I will be picking up a new 2022 Fox DHX2 Factory coil shock using some of the proceeds from selling my Bronson, so I will see if I can get this problem solved that way. The Megatower could also be a bit more maneuverable, as I can’t wiggle around things as easily/quickly as I could before, but that is to be expected when moving up to 29’’ wheels and a longer frame. Regardless, the tradeoffs are worth it and I am still very happy with this bike in its current form. 

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I plan on riding this bike for at least a full year. After that year is up, I will reassess to see if I want to keep riding it, get a 2023 Megatower V2, or move back down to 27.5’’ wheels. Heck, might even end on a mullet ride… who knows!

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? If I could get another new bike right now to complement my Megatower, I would get a Santa Cruz Jackal so I can get into dirt jumping, especially since I heard there are plans to build a pump track within riding distance of my house in the somewhat near future. If not a Jackal, I’d get a Tallboy V4 for the days that I want to ride some flat and sandy local trails all day for exercise. 

View PJ205's Bike Check.


incredible_hulk's Santa Cruz Megatower

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Age: 30

Where do you live? Poland.

Favorite local trail to ride? Really close from my house is Enduro Trails Szczyrk but my real favorite one is MTBZONE Petzen in Austria.

Why did you pick the Megatower? It suits my riding style and preferences, also it has the geo that I was searching for. 

Is this Megatower your only bike? No, I own also a dirt bike, XC bike and I plan to add an e-bike to my collection.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Polish brand, Kross Moon 3.0.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? It was an off-the-shelf X01 coil build kit but I customized it to my preferences.(stem, bar, tires, grips, tire inserts).

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? DHX2 coil shock. After years on air shocks it is a game changer. 

What would you change on it? Brakes, I think I'll switch to XTR 4 piston. Aso I hate the Reverb seatpost, will change it for a OneUp .

How long do you plan on riding this bike? 2 years I think.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? A Santa Cruz 5010 and a Canyon e-bike.

View incredible_hulk's Bike Check.


yzracer758's Santa Cruz Megatower

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Age: 36

Where do you live? McCall, Idaho.

Favorite local trail to ride? “Exfoliator” @ Jug Mountain Ranch. Not a long trail, but has a little bit of everything, fast, flowy, and jumpy. Never gets old.

Why did you pick the Megatower? I was really impressed with the performance and quality of the Santa Cruz brand with my previous bike so I knew I wanted to stay in the S.C. Family. The Megatower fit all the specs I was looking for in a bike. I primarily ride enduro style trails and race enduro events a few times a year. I couldn’t be happier with my decision!

Is the Megatower your only bike? No, I recently got a Santa Cruz Bullit E-Bike. It’s been a perfect bike for a quick few laps after work.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? I had a Santa Cruz Bronson 2. It was my first real mountain bike and was a fantastic bike to start out on.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I started out by buying a complete bike from my local shop, and then basically replaced/upgraded most of it from there.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? AXS Drivetrain, I was skeptical when I first read about it, but I kept seeing great reviews about it, so I decided to take the plunge. The performance and reliability have been fantastic! I won’t own another bike without running AXS.

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What would you change on it? I’d like to throw a Fox 38 on there and see how it compares to my 36 with the Push ACS3.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I’m not sure yet. I’m waiting to see what Santa Cruz has in store for the 2022 Megatower. 

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? The Antidote Carbonjack 29. It’s such an amazing looking bike, plus you're not likely to see someone else with one out on the trails.

View yzracer758's Bike Check.


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