Est. 1982

Santa Cruz Hightower 3

The Hub Cycle Centre

Note on Stock: If you are able to order a Hightower and pick up from our store, contact us via email for a price and latest availability. If you aren't able to pick up in store in Hastings, try your local store for stock availability.

There are various colour years and build kits available. Contact Us for latest availability and special pricing.

R / Carbon C:  $10,150
S / Carbon C:  $12,150
GX AXS / Carbon C $14,340
GX AXS T-Type Reserve / Carbon C  $16,065
XO AXS T-Type/ Carbon CC:  $16,065

CC Frame:  $ 7,350

Colours: Gloss Ocean Blue, Matte Cardinal Red, Matte Evergreen or Gloss Translucent Purple.


The newest version of the Hightower remains our greatest hits of engineering - now further refined and bottled into our most all-terrain of bikes. Big on wheels, medium on travel, short on fuss, this is the do-it-all model that does it over and over again thanks to a versatile balance of geo, spec and durability. If you’re not looking for extremes, just something extremely good, the Hightower is your elevator.

Key Features

Available in: Carbon C and CC
Wheel Size:  29"
Front Travel: 150mm
Rear Travel) 145mm

Hightower 3 Highlights

  • VPP™.  VPP™ suspension can be optimized to strike the right balance between pedaling efficiency and all-out bump chomping prowess. That means wherever you see "VPP" you know it's tuned to perform exactly how it should for the purpose it's designed for.
  • 145mm VPP travel.  Looking for something good at climbing, and downhill, and going round and round your local trails? Say hello to Hightower. 145mm in the rear paired with 150mm up front is your perfect combo.
  • Suspension sensitivity.  Compared to the last Hightower, we reduced the anti-squat in the first 40% of travel. This noticeably improves suspension sensitivity in both climbing and descending scenarios due to reduced chain influence on the suspension.
  • Suspension consistency.  Hightower's leverage curve is relatively straight, with added progression towards the end of the travel. This provides improved bottom-out resistance with more consistent damping and support.
  • Glovebox.  Place your ride essentials securely beneath a new high-quality latch and panel in the Hightower's downtube. The Glovebox comes with a fitted Tool Wallet and Tube Purse, tailored for the frame to keep your tools close to hand.
  • Full carbon C and CC frame.  CC frames use the very best materials and production processes available. Our size-specific frame stiffness standards help tie together our ride quality goals by achieving a tailored front triangle flex characteristic for every size.
  • Sag window. A window allows easier suspension sag and setup. The details are completed by a neat mud flap to protect the rear shock plus tidy cable routing within the frame and swingarm, and rubberized DT protectors to shrug off strikes.
  • Flip chip.  In the Low position, the shock rate becomes more progressive, particularly at the end of the stroke, and there’s some bottom-out resistance to be gained. In the High setting, the bike rides a little higher in its travel and supplies the rider with more mid-stroke support. Tweakers and finicky shredders can adapt the suspension feel to their needs and desire.
  • Proportional geometry.  Chainstay length and seat angle is matched to the frame size so every rider, no matter their height, gets the same balanced geometry. Across all sizes however, the headtube angle has been slackened to help stability at speed, lowered the bottom bracket to compliment the better supported suspension, and increased stack in favor of modern handlebar setups.
  • 29-inch wheels.  Hightower features fast-rolling, bump-easing 29-inch wheels front and rear. On high-end builds we spec Reserve 30|HD carbon rims laced to premium hubs, which are built and hand-tuned in our Santa Cruz, Calif. factory.

Build Specs can be found at Santa Cruz.

Bearings:  Santa Cruz Bicycles pivot bearings are warranted for life to the original owner of the bike. 

Frame Sizing

If you're on the cusp between the recommended height range of two sizes, the absolute best thing is to try to ride them both. At a minimum, check the stack/reach measurements on your current bike and compare it to the new model you are looking at to get an idea of a fit you are already comfortable with. If riding the bike is not an option, consider the following.

The Hightower is available in sizes small - extra extra large (S-XXL).

Personal Preference

A larger size frame will be more stable, and will give you more room to move without upsetting the weight-balance of the bike. The larger size will put the front wheel further in front of you, which gives the feeling of security and conversely, it will require more significant body movements when you WANT to shift the weight-bias of the bike. Think hard about your riding style and how active/intuitive you want it to be vs stable and speedy. You'll need to work a bit harder to muscle the larger bike around.

Body Dimension

Not all bodies at a given height are the same. If you have longer legs and a shorter torso than the average person your height, that may push you towards the smaller of the recommended sizes. If you're all torso and arms, most likely you'll want to size up.