Here at Tweed Valley Bikes we want to help you find the bike that best suits the riding you do, or maybe want to do, and we understand that choosing a new bike can be a bewildering prospect. The lines between styles of bike are blurrier than ever as bikes and components gain capability and lose weight, and with such a huge range of choice available it can be hard to narrow the search down to just a handful of options.
To help your search for the right bike, we’ve put together a small demo fleet of some of our favourite models which are available for you to try anytime you like. First up under the beam of our Demo Bike Spotlight is the Santa Cruz Megatower.
The V1 Megatower became a hit with riders here in the Tweed Valley. 29” wheels, long travel and a relatively slack head angle gave the bike a confident ride on the downs, while the stiff frame and efficient pedalling suspension keeps fatigue to a minimum on the way back to the top. As well liked as this bike was though, it wasn’t without its flaws. A slack seat tube angle gave a fairly rearward biassed seated climbing position and a very progressive rear suspension design gave a relatively narrow setup window for achieving the correct amount of sag and retaining bottom out resistance.
In revising the Megatower, Santa Cruz have addressed these issues as well as improving nearly every other aspect of the bike. A headtube angle of 63.5° in the low setting is 1.2° slacker than the previous bike, and steeper seat tube angles that grow progressively steeper as the frame size increases gives a more comfortable seated position to each size bike.
Reach has grown by 5mm across the size range and stack height has increased. The higher front end provided by the increase in stack gives the V2 Megatower more of a feeling of being “in the bike”, further complemented by the increased chainstay length giving a more equal weight distribution between the two wheels. Similar to the seat tube angle, the chainstay lengths grow with each frame size increase. This keeps the feel of each size consistent across the range, instead of having a one size fits all chainstay length.
A major, but unseen change for the new bike is the revised suspension kinematics; a lower leverage rate and less progressive rear suspension gives a larger setup window making baseline setup much more simple. Rear travel has grown to 165mm with the option to increase to 170mm with a longer stroke shock and each Megatower now comes with a 170mm fork as standard, as opposed to being limited to the coil sprung options on the V1.
Perhaps the most obvious change to the V2 Megatower is the addition of in frame storage with Santa Cruz’s Glovebox system. With enough space for an inner tube, essential tools and a few snacks, the Glovebox makes it far easier to head out on shorter rides without a pack knowing you have everything you might need on the hill.
Taken in isolation these changes might seem to be small, but combined they add up to make a bike that is significantly more confident when at speed or navigating technical terrain than its predecessor.
Our Demo Bikes
With long travel, slack geometry and comfortable seated position, the Megatower is a perfect fit for the winch and plummet style of riding so prevalent here in the Tweed Valley. Our Megatower demo bikes are C S builds and are available in sizes M, L and XL.
The C S build is built around a 170mm Fox 38 Performance fork, Rockshox Super Deluxe Select + shock, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Code R brakes and Raceface AR30 rims on DT Swiss hubs.
Our Dirtschool Coach, Gregor, has been riding his Megatower for the past 4 months. We sat down with him to get his thoughts on the bike, how he has set it up and how life with the Megatower has been so far.
TVB: Ok, so let’s start with the basics. How tall are you, how much do you weigh and what size frame do you have?
Gregor: I’m 182cm tall, and weigh 86kg. I’m riding the Large V2 Megatower, which is a little longer than my previous Hightower but I’ve made a few changes to the cockpit to accommodate.
TVB: What cockpit changes have you made?
Gregor: I’ve swapped out from a 50mm stem to the Burgtec Mk.3 35mm stem, to reduce the reach. I’ve also opted for higher 30mm rise handlebars, cut down to 750mm. I run a lot of forward roll on the bars to bring my weight over the front end, and to naturally place me into a more aggressive shape.
TVB: How is your suspension setup?
Gregor: I’m running the new ZEB Ultimate up front and I’ve been really impressed with it. I've set it up on the softer side, with 55psi and 1 token. My high speed compression is fully open to give the bike a lively feel.
I set up the Rockshox Deluxe Super at 170psi and haven’t changed it too much, as I have found a really balanced feel between the front and rear end.
TVB: How would you sum up the ride of the Megatower?
Gregor: The Megatower feels extremely stable, particularly on higher speed or choppier sections of trail. I feel comfortable on the full 29’ set up, and the grip under braking is predictable and balanced. Despite the burly set up, the Megatower doesn't compromise on precision, and for Tweed Valley riding this is a real advantage. I’m looking forward to playing around with my suspension set up as the trails get faster for summer riding.
TVB: What are some of your favourite trails to ride on your Megatower?
Gregor: I’m always keen for an off-piste Glentress ride, trails like Ho-Chi Min and Careless Whisper suit the Megatower’s style perfectly being high speed and rough. Plan B is a great option from the Glentress Mast, and is becoming a favourite trail of mine.
Our Megatower demo bikes are available to book up to 30 days in advance, just head to the demo section of our website to make your booking.
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