Over the years I’ve picked up a closet full of old parts. I did an inventory during the stay-at-home era and found out I have everything to build up a new bike!

After a short amount of searching on the web,I  found a nice, used Hightower LT at a decent price.  This was the ideal frame for my build as every spec on this bike matched the parts I already own!  A 31.6mm seat post, 73mm threaded bottom bracket, 29″ wheel size, boost width.

I was familiar with the Hightower as I spent a full day riding one out in Sedona.It was a nice ride and really enjoyed going fast in the chunky stuff.  I remember instantly feeling at ease on the bikes

Introducing…the 2018 Hightower build!

It’s like Christmas, the 2018 new/used frame looks nice!


The color is not quite orange tennis ball but more greenish slime

Specifications from the Santa Cruz Bike archives

Santa Cruz Image

Model Version 1

  • Production: 2016-2019
  • Suspension/Pivot System: VPP – Virtual Pivot Point
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Rear Wheel Travel: 150mm
  • Size Range: S , M , L, XL , XXL
  • Compatible Forks: 150mm – 170mm
  • Headtube/Headset: Tapered – Integrated Headset. 1-1/8″ Upper bearing and 1.5″ Lower bearing. S.H.I.S. IS 41/28.6 IS 52/40
  • Seat Post: 31.6mm – Minimum Insertion 100mm
  • BB Shell Width: 73mm – Threaded – ISO
  • Chainline Spec: 50mm
  • Recommended Max Tire Size: 2.4 – may vary by tire and rim model
  • Brakes: Disc Brake – ISO
  • Max Brake Rotor Size: 203mm
  • Rear Hub: 148x12mm Through Axle
  • Seatpost Clamp: 36.4mm

  • Rear Shock Eye-to-Eye: 200mm
  • Stroke: 57mm
  • Mounting Bushing Width Front: 22mm
  • Mounting Bushing Width Rear: 22mm
  • Mounting Bolt Diameter Front: 8mm
  • Mounting Bolt Diameter Rear: 8mm

Frame Geometry

Reach 398mm 423mm 443mm 468mm 498mm
Stack 609mm 614mm 618mm 628mm 646mm
Head Tube Angle 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4°
Seat Tube Length 390mm 420mm 450mm 490mm 510mm
Front Center 706mm 733mm 755mm 784mm 822mm
BB Height 338mm 338mm 338mm 338mm 338mm
BB Drop 32mm 32mm 32mm 32mm 32mm
Wheelbase 1146mm 1173mm 1195mm 1223mm 1261mm
Chainstay Length 438mm 438mm 438mm 438mm 438mm
Head Tube Length 90mm 95mm 100mm 110mm 130mm
Top Tube Length 577mm 605mm 626mm 653mm 692mm
Seat Tube Angle 73.7° 73.7° 73.7° 73.7° 73.7°
Standover Height 710mm 710mm 713mm 720mm 727mm

Starting the build I found out I was missing an important piece, the headset! Santa Cruz uses an integrated headset, which means it has the cups built into the frame so you only need bearings.  Quick search and found a Cane Creek 40 on ebay, new, for a good price!

Building up the Hightower LT with integrated headset.

Bike Check!

Frame is 2018 Hightower LT 150mm rear in Medium

2019 DVO Diamond 160mm – 51mm offset
Fox DPS rear shock
cane creek 40 headest
Raceface AR35 wheelset 29″
DT Swiss 240 Hubs
Maxxis Rekon 2.35 rear/ DHF front 2.25
SRAM RSC brakes
Centerline 180/180 rotors
XT 11 speed Shifter
XT 11 speed Derailleur
SRAM XG-1180 Cassette X1 10-42
XT 11 speed Chain ring
11 speed Chain
XT 11 speed 170mm cranks
XT 68/73 threaded bottom bracket
raceface ride 35mm/50mm
Enve M7 35mm 40mm rise carbon bars
G2 grips
WTB Silverado Chromo Saddle
Crankbrothers Highline 125mm 31.9 dia. dropper post
Crankbrothers dropper remote
hi pedals

I’m still waiting for the new headset to arrive, things are a little slow due to the Corona virus, so I just sample fit in the fork to get the rest of the components installed.

The build is coming together!

Just for fun let’s see what it weighs..not bad for a longer travel bike, its the carbon CC frame so that helps a bit.

I wasn’t a fan of the color in photos but its sort of growing on me.  I will see how it rides once the weather clears and I get the headset on it!  Coming soon, first ride review!!  I  can’t wait!

I am installing a DVO Diamond fork on this and it came with a FOX DSP.  For reference here are the air up settings for each.

DVO Diamond Fork Setup

OTT Setting

Fox Float DPX Setup


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