Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any strong thoughts on one over the other?

I'm looking at replacing my V1 5010C with more travel, I'm happy with Santa Cruz and have a good local dealer so I'm not interested in other brands. I've had experience on and liked the Hightower but never the Hightower LT. I expect both to be revised soon but right now, I think I want to look elsewhere. The lower suspension design on the current Megatower and Bronson interest me in concept.

I live in an area with lots of rocks, roots, and relatively short climbs and drops. If my wheels never leave the ground, I am perfectly happy but a bike that would make the hard stuff much easier is my goal. In addition, rides on my MTB seldom go past two hours. Much longer and I'm probably putting lots of miles on my road bike.

I'll demo both bikes tomorrow at an area that is much flatter and smoother than I usually ride but no current demo's are scheduled for the type terrain I normally experience so other input would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,916 Posts
The Megatower is an enduro race bike. I'd only get one if you ride DH parks or race enduro. The new Hightower will likely have the lower driven linkage and basically be the trail version of the MT.
 

·
Professional MTBR Member
Joined
·
510 Posts
Get the Megatower. Aside from the 29" wheels, the wheelbase is also half an inch longer and the head tube is half a degree slacker. In other words, more stable, confidence inspiring, and forgiving, which is what you're looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
I rode both on my local trails at a demo back to back and loved the Megatower. My trails are roots and curves with equal amount of ascents vs descents so can be slow and gnarly at times. Megatower just plowed through and i didn’t suffer much on the climbs. I wasn’t a fan of the Bronson and i put that down to wheel size ultimately but could be that suspension wasn’t tuned well given it was a demo. Still think it was wheel size for me overall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,916 Posts
As if getting one of these over a Hightower would be the end of the world for someone who doesn't race.
Yes, besides bringing on the apocalypse (good call), the new Hightower will be much more confidence inspiring than OP's v1 5010. I have a Megatower and with a fast rear tire you could use it as an XC bike but the Hightower would be better suited for that. Also, depending on the terrain, the Hightower might be more confidence inspiring than the MT. The MT doesn't really shine over a trail bike until you're plowing down some steep chunk or going mach chicken. On certain sketchy technical stuff my hardtail is easier to ride than my MT.

I think it might help if OP talked more about where they ride, how steep it is, are we talking rocky terrain or nasty steep chunder, how long are the descents, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had the chance to demo the Megatower and Bronson today.

First I rode the trails the demo was on with my 5010 V1 and it did very well.

Next, I demo'ed the Megatower because it was the only large bike still available when I rolled in after riding the 5010. Like promised, it rolled over most everything but I could definitely feel how big the bike was when I climbed. It climbed quite well but too extra energy. There were some sharp turns which the Megatower took wide but not a major issue.

When I brought the Megatower back, no large Bronson's were available so I took a Tallboy for a spin. I really liked the light feel. The 29" tires rolled over most things as promised and it climbed well.

Upon returning the Tallboy, I finally got my hands on a Bronson. It was love at first ride or something like that. It handled as well as my 5010 but all the added suspension and 5" front tire rolled over things about as well as the Megatower and climbing was not an issue. Six inch tires are available in the + version but I'm not sure I need them.

So, until I get to ride the new Hightower(s), I'm pretty much sold on the Bronson. I mentioned the Megatower taking the outside of turns. So did the Tallboy while the Bronson and 5010 stayed in the middle of the trail.

I've always liked the 27.5" tire for where I ride but have had equally great rides on the Hightower out west (Norcal) and really out west (Hawaii) where 29" tires worked very well in the conditions I rode. In rocky but not particularly tight eastern rides, the 29" tire was fine so we shall see how this all plays out when the new HT is released.

For what it's worth, the demo guys who work for Santa Cruz as independent contractors, I think, felt the HTLT was being replaced by the Megatower but don't put any bets on the actual outcome. Also, I found out after I finished that two of the demo crew who live near me in Northwest Jersey, chose the Bronson for their personal rides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No, I was beat after many hours on the other bikes so I didn't take out a new 5010. My shop raves about them and I think I can get one to demo from them since I intended to ride one today.

If I'm honest, my 5010 V1 with the fork at 140 mm is adequate for my style of riding but, for once in my life, I want to get all the suspension I can because I'm not getting any younger and the rocks aren't getting any smaller. I also like the new geometry that makes going downhill a lot more fun.

More importantly, my wife bought into the idea of a new bike. You have to take advantage of the stars aligning when they do. She expects that I will get one next season so why disappoint her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,913 Posts
I ride a Bronson v2 cc with pretty much all the best components you can get. If I take it to the lifts or have very long sustained descents, I could use the longer travel of a Nomad. Otherwise, I want for nothing.

The SC demo truck rolled through town recently and I rode most of the 29ers. Despite being x01 reserve builds they aren't nicer than my bike, so that wasn't a factor. (if you ride an entry level bike and borrow a top spec, everything should be and usually is awesome.)

The Megatower really wasn't that sluggish turning and going up. It handled far better than a Specialized Enduro 29 I tested a few years ago, and was comparable to the Nomad despite the bigger wheels. The Hightower nice but no point for me, honestly, I have my Bronson.

The Tallboy impressed me. I could see that as a second bike with a purpose. I don't think I'd get a Blur because of what it offers over the TB (less tire clearance, more aggressive riding position for xc race) is not worth a slightly lighter bike. The TB handled much better with the kind of trails and riding I do.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks.

I didn't mean to imply that the Megatower was sluggish, just not as playful as the Bronson. Riding is very personal so what feels best for me may not for others on the exact same trail.

I just got word that my local dealer is having a demo in two weeks. I can try the Bronson on the trails I often ride and put the new 5010 up against it. The Megatower is just too much bike for my needs and I haven't done lift served in a number of years though we have a pretty nice mountain close by (Mountain Creek - the old Diablo Bike Park).

I'm not ruling out the next generation Hightower until I get to demo it though because, as I mentioned, I've had some very good rides on the current model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Took me quite some to get my bronson rear suspension how I wanted it . Can easily understand how any VPP bike can feel not right during a demo. I have gone from 29 back to 27.5 and really enjoy the way it turns . Haven’t tried a mega tower.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top