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  1. #1
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    2019 Santa Cruz Hightower 135ml versus 2019 Trek fuel 9.9

    I own a Trek fuel 29 inch 2015, 9.9. Been very happy with that except keen on the shorter chainstays and 34 fork that came out one year later. Also the head angle has gone slacker in more recent models. Looking to upgrade. Ride technical trail with a lot of climbing were I live. Don't need the full enduro bike hence looking at the 130-135ml travel option. More likely to roll something than launch. 55 years old and get out a couple of times a week. Not a fan of the bontanger dropper post on the Fuel, even the custom build does not offer another option.
    I am 5'9" and 77kg Will stick with the 29" version.

  2. #2
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    My dealer(manager) took back parts I didn't want to reduce the price as part of the deal we negotiated. 20% off anything they ordered for me going forward.

  3. #3
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    I have a Hightower, and can not explain how much I love that bike. Pedals really well, and letís me get away with doing some really stupid stuff on the way down.

    I had a 2016 fuel ex 9 29, and the difference between it and the Hightower was quite vast. You had to use the shocks pedal platform, and it didnít seem as comfortable going down. I havenít ridden the newest fuel ex, so I canít tell you if theyíve resolved those issues.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by unrealityshow View Post
    I have a Hightower, and can not explain how much I love that bike. Pedals really well, and letís me get away with doing some really stupid stuff on the way down.

    I had a 2016 fuel ex 9 29, and the difference between it and the Hightower was quite vast. You had to use the shocks pedal platform, and it didnít seem as comfortable going down. I havenít ridden the newest fuel ex, so I canít tell you if theyíve resolved those issues.
    Just got a Hightower this Fall myself and I have to say that I love it too - running it as a 29er. I am also more of a 'keep my wheels on the ground' sort of person, although the suspension of the Hightower does inspire air time for sure. The most surprising thing for me is how efficient this VPP suspension is. I've cleared some technical climbs with this bike that I haven't cleared for several seasons on my Epic, and I am in far worse condition now. I've read that the VPP design has a lot of pedal feedback designed into it, but I can't say that it has been an issue for me. Coming from a several-years old Fox 34, the Fox 36 is pretty awe-inspiring as well.

    My only pseudo-complaint is the bottom bracket height - I am definitely getting some pedal strikes, although in all fairness many of them were poor judgement/not paying enough attention on my part. But I am running in the High chip setting which is recommended for the 27.5" version of the bike, and I am also going to be swapping in the 150mm air shaft to raise the bottom bracket a little more. Hopefully I will like the handling as much with the longer air shaft; if not I will take it back to 140mm.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    Just got a Hightower this Fall myself and I have to say that I love it too - running it as a 29er. I am also more of a 'keep my wheels on the ground' sort of person, although the suspension of the Hightower does inspire air time for sure. The most surprising thing for me is how efficient this VPP suspension is. I've cleared some technical climbs with this bike that I haven't cleared for several seasons on my Epic, and I am in far worse condition now. I've read that the VPP design has a lot of pedal feedback designed into it, but I can't say that it has been an issue for me. Coming from a several-years old Fox 34, the Fox 36 is pretty awe-inspiring as well.

    My only pseudo-complaint is the bottom bracket height - I am definitely getting some pedal strikes, although in all fairness many of them were poor judgement/not paying enough attention on my part. But I am running in the High chip setting which is recommended for the 27.5" version of the bike, and I am also going to be swapping in the 150mm air shaft to raise the bottom bracket a little more. Hopefully I will like the handling as much with the longer air shaft; if not I will take it back to 140mm.
    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. Squeaky wheel are you reviewing the 135ml travel Hightower or the 150 ml version. I think there are a number of geometry differences between the two which would affect riding performance. I am specifically interested in the 135 ml version.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveL View Post
    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. Squeaky wheel are you reviewing the 135ml travel Hightower or the 150 ml version. I think there are a number of geometry differences between the two which would affect riding performance. I am specifically interested in the 135 ml version.
    Iím reviewing the 135mm version (Hightower, not Hightower LT). I am just extending the travel on the Fox 36 from 140mm to 150mm to raise the bottom bracket a little more. For my trails and my riding style I think the LT is too much bike for me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveL View Post
    I own a Trek fuel 29 inch 2015, 9.9. Been very happy with that except keen on the shorter chainstays and 34 fork that came out one year later. Also the head angle has gone slacker in more recent models. Looking to upgrade. Ride technical trail with a lot of climbing were I live. Don't need the full enduro bike hence looking at the 130-135ml travel option. More likely to roll something than launch. 55 years old and get out a couple of times a week. Not a fan of the bontanger dropper post on the Fuel, even the custom build does not offer another option.
    I am 5'9" and 77kg Will stick with the 29" version.
    @DaveL I'm in a similar situation. Same age, height, a couple less kgs I'm currently on a 2014 Trek Superfly. I'm looking at the Fuel EX 9.8, maybe the Yeti SB130, Santa Cruz High Tower, and open to others.

    What did you end up buying?

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