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  1. #1
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    Smile Santa Cruz Hightower LT -vs- Evil Wreckoning

    Greetings big wheels riders! It's my first time posting in 29er land 'cause I don't own any 29er bikes but am looking at them somehow.

    I see many potent 29er rolling to the market these days but these two are my most interesting ones. In your opinion, which one feels best to you? And for those who have experienced with the two, how do you think in terms of pedaling, cornering, descending, playfulness, etc.?

    Sorry if this similar threads have been posted somewhere else before. I googled this but didn't see one. BTW if there aren't any, I hope this thread be a useful buyer info though. So please feel free to share yours






    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson C XX
    2015 Santa Cruz Nomad CC XX1

  2. #2
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    Where and what kind of trails would you ride?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Where and what kind of trails would you ride?
    Mostly on average trails and daily urban ride, occasional bike park, and may do some race also.

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    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson C XX
    2015 Santa Cruz Nomad CC XX1

  4. #4
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    Having had a 6" 29er build up like you'd build a wreckoning, I'd lean towards describing that bike as a battle axe. It'll level everything well, be more of a chore to whip around, etc. Better if you are going to do dual duty with some park riding, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
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    I built out a really nice Wreckoning earlier this year. My purchase was based on the reviews and riding a 29 or twice (a switchblade and a high tower). I love the way the 29r wheels can float over rocks, accelerate and maintain speed, give the bars a lot of stability and give the front wheel a lot of traction. However, the big rear wheel does seem to really limit my ability to whip the bike and get loose into turns. Also the geometry and travel makes it not very snappy compared to 27l" trail bikes. Ultimately, the bike is great at leveling the trail like an axe as Jayem says, but I often wonder if I'd be having more fun on a more average enduro bike or nomad v4/Firebird style bike.

  6. #6
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    Haven't ridden the HT LT but I was surprised at how snappy and responsive the Wreckoning was. Just looking at the numbers I'd basically crossed it off my list, thinking, like Jayem, that it was just a monster truck for serious DH trails.

    Maybe dustyduke22 will chime in but he rides his everywhere, including big all-day alpine adventures. After my few rides on it, I don't see any big disadvantage compared to my Endorphin for all-around trail riding...... and it feels super plush and capable on rough descents as you would expect.

    These new generation longer travel 29ers are quite amazing.

    FWIW, those two are at the top of my list as well, along with the Yeti 5.5c, GG Smash, and YT Jeffsy.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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  7. #7
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    When I demo'd the switchblade my daily driver was a mach6, I thought the SB was much more playful and quicker handling than the m6. So I wouldn't say it's a blanket 27 is more playful/snappy than 29.

    But what really got in my head is I ran the wreck with a 27 rear wheel, all else equal, just for experimentation. The trail was pretty smooth, not too steep and had a dozen or so hip jumps. It was, honestly, a ton more fun than with the 29 on the back. It not hyperbole to say it felt like a completely different bike. But due to the super slack seat angle and insanely low bb it wasn't practical to run it with the mullet full time. This is getting off topic, but I think my perfect bike might be designed with mixed wheel size.

    No dig on lt 29rs, just trying to give op another data point.

  8. #8
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    I, too, was a bit skeptical of those saying the Wreckoning did just fine as an only bike. Like others, I thought it was a big, bad trail smashing bike that was light on finesse. I bought one as a second bike, a "big" bike to go along with my Ripley LS.

    I just finished up a ride in the Tahoe area, 36 miles/5500k which is the biggest day I've done on the Wreck so far. With each ride I do on this bike the more impressed I become. Yes, it shreds the descents, eats chunk at speed, carves up fast sweepers and feels pillowy soft on drops to flats. It also responds well to aggressive cornering, pumping features and pops well. What really opened my eyes on this last ride was how well it climbed and really convinced me that this bike can do just fine as an only bike and it's not just a DH trail smasher.

    This last ride we climbed it all: fire road, loose single track with switchbacks, and lots of technical granite sections. On the steepest parts, which were granite shelf steps, I did have to scoot forward on saddle and use some body english to manage the front but I do the same on my Ripley. Where it really shined climbing was the traction; the rear wheel just stayed planted and in contact with anything I went over and as long as I could turn the pedals it would go. The rear was compliant and would remain active but had good support, stayed up in the travel and never felt saggy which felt awesome.

    I'm running a Fox coil shock and 36 fork on the Wreck, it weighs a tick under 29 lbs which is about 4 lbs heavier than my Ripley. Sorry I can't offer a comparison to the HTLT, just wanted to chime in with my recent positive impressions of this bike as an all-rounder.

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