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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ridden a Hightower or any other similar bike with both aluminum and carbon wheels? I rode an S build Hightower and was happy with it, and I wonder if its worth the extra money to get the same build but with the carbon wheel option.

The S build comes with some aluminum Raceface wheels by default (the S build msrp is ~$4900). If you spend quite a bit more money, you can get the same build but with Santa Cruz's carbon wheels (~$6100 msrp). The Santa Cruz website shows the bike weighs virtually the same with both options and both wheels have 27mm internal width.

Anyways, thoughts? It seems like a massive jump in price for something that isn't really an increase on paper, though I've ridden both the Megatower and Hightower LT with the carbon wheels and thought they were nice. Spending the extra $1200 for the carbon wheels may be justified by Santa Cruz's warranty, durability, and the stiffness, but even then, some people think that carbon wheels are too harsh, so it would be good to know how the Hightower feels with both wheels if anyone has tried both.

I plan on waiting to see if Santa Cruz comes out with a new Hightower in the next 3 months as rumored, then I will likely get the new version or the old (current) version for a massive discount. The only question then is which wheels to get.
 

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CF rims will mostly be a little lighter so faster to spin up. You might be able to notice if you could ride al and CF rims back to back a few times. Otherwise, the differences are very subtle, IMO, and you won't notice anything. You may think you notice something, which is fine and can have value in itself. Personally, I ride carbon wheels for the cachet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why would anyone pay $1200 for carbon rims laced to a DT370 hubs? makes no sense to me.
I didn't pay much attention to what hubs were on the carbon wheels, Santa Cruz's wheels are so highly regarded in any case and with such a good warranty that I figured the carbon option might be worth it. But you have a point there.

CF rims will mostly be a little lighter so faster to spin up. You might be able to notice if you could ride al and CF rims back to back a few times. Otherwise, the differences are very subtle, IMO, and you won't notice anything. You may think you notice something, which is fine and can have value in itself. Personally, I ride carbon wheels for the cachet.
Good points, I liked the carbon wheels on the HTLT (which was a top of the line build) but didn't make a big deal about them on the megatower and the regular hightower was fine with the aluminum. Its probably going to be hard for me to justify the huge increase in price for a tiny improvement in performance. If I could give both wheelsets a try, I would.
you can buy we are ones on I9 101 hubs for $1000 and have a backup set and money in the bank. Made in CA and lifetime warranty on rims. I am eying a set once I get some cash.
I haven't heard of those but that makes me think that buying the basic S build then separately buying another wheelset and selling the wheels that come with the bike might be a good option. If Santa Cruz comes out with a new hightower and its not what I'm looking for, I can probably find a good deal on a frame on clearance and just build the bike up with my own choice of parts.
 
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