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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Previous bike: Camber Carbon Expert XL with a 75mm stem.

New bike: I picked up a Santa Cruz XXL Carbon Hightower a few weeks ago. It's HUGE and I love it. 518 reach and 660 stack. The stack is something I've been crying about for the last few years. I'm not interested in time trial position bikes anymore. This works great! I can ride normal rider bars and not have to use >30mm of riser spacers. The actual ride compartment may not be that much loner though as the seat tube is pretty steep bringing back the importance of watching the effective top tube. I think the 50mm Stem is spot on for me at 6'4" and long limbed.

Handling is different as it is quite slacked out. It absolutely feels as though tracking has improved. Maybe the size specific longer rear end? It's stiff as hell too. I've PR'd multiple downhills not really feeling like I done anything different. Lot's of subjectivity in this last paragraph. Sorry.

Happy.
 

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Its tuff, and Im only 6'3" but more leg than normal for my hight.... with the low stack hieght my bars would end up towering above the saddle on many bikes. Hard to explain to shorter folks, they all seem to think its just the geometry on modern bikes and I get that but the issue is that bike manufactures really do not scale up the geo for XL very well. really odd part is that even on some bikes that were close the manufacture cut the steerer off the fork so I couldn't get another few mm with spacers.

I'm 6'5" and on the Megatower. There's quite a few manufacturers making bikes 500mm+ reach now but only a few with enough stack height for guys our height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its tuff, and Im only 6'3" but more leg than normal for my hight.... with the low stack hight my bars would end up towering above the saddle on many bikes. Hard to explain to shorter folks, they all seem to thinks its just the geometry on modern bikes and I get that but the issue is that bike manufactures really do not scale up the geo for XL very well. really odd part is that even on some bikes that were close the manufacture cut the steerer off the fork so I couldn't get another few mm with spacers.
I was starting to get worried that someone would turn me in for my rants about low stack heights. Glad to see a manufacturer get it and follow through.
 

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I am not tall, 6' but back issues, stack is first thing I look at on a frame. The more the better.
Agreed. My 18 stumpy xxl is 686 stack and i run uncut steerer and 35mm riser bars.

i did a fork swap/upgrade before leaving the shop. Who specs an xxl bike w a 32mm fork. More ammo regarding they dont size up the bike for larger riders/sizes!!!

nice big bike. Does anyone know the ride diff of the al vs carbon models???
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More THEY DON'T SIZE UP stories: Santa cruz specs a 180mm front rotor their XXL Hightower. That's cute enough for Kansas but is worthless in West Virginia especially when using Guide brakes. Switched to 203mm F/R with XT 4 piston brakes. Ahhhhhhhh!
 

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Ya, totally feel ya on stack and reach. I'm 6'5" with short legs (32" inseam for pants) and long torso, and because I'm also pretty burly, have been riding AM/enduro bikes for a decade. The frames I found that I wouldn't break were fun to ride, but ya, I always ran 35mm spacers under a riser stem (70-90mm) with 50mm rise bars. Then I was off the bike for a few years following an injury/surgery, and during that time, everything got slack, which I'm really stoked on now that I'm able to ride again (although I'm still getting used to more pedal strikes on one of my bikes). I still run 35mm of spacers under my stem and the 50mm riser handlebars because I have a bad neck (the injury) and need to sit as upright as possible, but the long reach means I'm running either 50 or 60mm stems now, which I really like.

As a total bike nerd with too many spare parts and too much time on my hands because of the Covid situation, and after being off the bike for so long, I've built up three frames this past year. What I'm finding quite interesting is that sometimes the numbers on the page don't match up to my experience on the actual bike. Like two of my bikes (29er and 27.5 same brand) have exactly the same reach and stack, but I'm running a 50mm stem on one, and the other needs a 60mm. The latest build I'm currently working on has 12mm less stack and 11mm less reach than the other two, but a 50mm stem is what feels comfortable. So I guess sometimes the numbers don't tell you the entire story, but they're definitely a good start

I almost bought a XXL Hightower. I live pretty close to SC headquarters, so maybe when they offer demos again, I'll go try one out. And if I ever opt to buy a e-bike, it'll def be a XXL SC.
 
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