Pro Bike Check: Mark Scott's Santa Cruz Megatower

Pro Bike Check: Mark Scott's Santa Cruz Megatower

Mark Scott needs little introduction. One of the most experienced enduro racers in the world he also has a strange liking for outings so long and gruelling that most sane people wouldn’t see them as something to ride in one sitting. See his latest “Full Round of Golf” video for proof. 

 Now enjoying passing on his years of experience to the next generation of enduro racers as a BASE performance coach, Mark is back aboard an enduro bike again. His freshly built Santa Cruz Megatower combines a 170mm fork, 165mm of rear travel and full 29” wheel setup to provide as much comfort and composure as possible both for his upcoming racing and daily riding of technical trails in every condition when coaching.

Marks Santa Cruz Medium Megatower CC in Gloss Purple

We took a moment to catch up with Mark to find out his process behind setting up a new bike, and to get all the details on his Megatower.

 At 175cm tall, Mark rides a Medium frame with the flip chip set in the low position. The reach measurement of 452mm and 438mm chainstay, combined with a head angle of 63.5°, gives a total wheelbase of 1237mm. 

Mark riding the Santa Cruz Megatower at Innerleithen DH trails.

I had a first generation Megatower a few years ago and loved the stability of the big wheeled platform. I’ve since spent a few years on MX setups, firstly on the Bronson and more recently the longer travel Nomad. Mullet bikes definitely encourage you to cut harder turns, but the straight line stability of the Megatower is pretty hard to beat. Having two of the same size wheels has also simplified things a bit when it comes to travelling with spares!” - Mark

 With so many years in the sport, the list of parts that Mark hasn’t tried is pretty short, but the Fox Factory Float X2 rear shock is new for him. Inflated to 170 psi for his 70 kg weight, Mark runs his low speed compression right in the middle of the adjustment range with eight clicks from fully open. High speed compression is just two clicks from open, while low speed rebound is six from open and high speed rebound is set even faster with just two clicks from open. Fox X2 Factory on Marks Megatoewwr

Up at the business end is a 170mm Rockshox Zeb Ultimate. 58 psi with two tokens balances his fork with the rear; he runs both high and low speed compression fully open on the fork with the rebound set seven clicks from fully fast. 

 Unlike his dedicated race bikes, which Mark has previously set up using data logging equipment in a no compromise search for speed, this bike has been dialled in purely from ride feel.

Mark riding Cresta Run at Innerleithen on the Megatower

“This bike is mainly for coaching and riding around close to home so, although I’ve spent a fair bit of time getting the setup to a place where I like it, I haven’t used any data logging equipment or experimented with different setups for different trail styles. If the plan was to take this bike racing regularly I’d have multiple suspension settings worked out for the faster and higher impact trails we typically see at the Enduro World Cups. As it stands, this bike is just setup for riding and working at home in the Tweed Valley, so it’s a bit softer and more open on compression than I’d be using if I were racing.” - Mark

 Reserve 30|HD rims laced to Hope Pro 5 hubs keep Mark’s Megatower rolling without flinching while being hammered through the roughest and rockiest sections the Tweed Valley can throw at them. Tyre pressures are relatively low at just 18 psi front and 20 psi rear with no inserts with a Maxxis Assegai on point while a Minion DHRII brings up the rear.  Maxxis DHR2 on Reserve HD30 rim

Puncture protection comes in the form of a DoubleDown casing front tyre, while out back Mark rides a full DH casing, giving even more sidewall support and allowing him to run his preferred lower pressures without worrying about burps or punctures. Tyre compound is MaxxGrip on both, as Mark is happy to sacrifice a bit of rolling resistance to gain extra traction.  Hope cockpit on Marks bike in 31.8mm

The cockpit is an all Hope affair, with their Carbon Handlebar and Gravity Stem steering the way. Mark has cut the 20mm rise bar to his preferred 750mm width (which he keeps the same on all his bikes), and runs a 35mm long stem to keep the steering precise. Mark prefers a higher front end, with 20mm of spacers under the stem. He has also chosen to run the slimmer 31.8mm diameter bar to increase compliance and keep things comfy on longer descents. 

Stopping duties are also covered by Hope with the Tech 4 lever driving their powerful V4 caliper. 200mm Hope floating rotors front and back give ample power, especially when paired with the green Race compound pads for the most initial bite, fade resistance and reduced bed in time. 

Hope V4 brakes

Hope V4 calliper and floating rotor

 Hope pedals, cranks and chainring keep the wheels turning on the Megatower. Mark has chosen 170mm cranks as after years of riding and racing on them it’s what he feels most comfortable riding. A 32t Hope spiderless chainring mounts directly on to the cranks. Hope’s F22 pedals use a large, concave platform to give plenty of traction and are now Mark’s go to pedals for coaching days.  Hope chainset and Pedals on MegatowerMark has fitted SRAM X01 AXS to the Megatower to clean up the cockpit and keep maintenance simple with one less cable to change and index. A 10-52t cassette gives plenty of range and when paired with his 32t chainring means Mark has enough easy gears for climbing without giving up too much top end speed. X01 AXS drivetrain on Marks MegatowerA 180mm travel OneUp v2 dropper fitted with a Mark’s favoured Fiz:ik Vento Argo saddle finishes off the build and, just like his cockpit, is consistent across all his bikes.  Mark on Innerleithen Steeps on the Megatower

Mark’s Santa Cruz Megatower full spec

 Frame: Santa Cruz Megatower, 165mm rear travel, medium, Gloss Purple

Fork: Rockshox Zeb Ultimate, 170mm, Charger 3 damper, 58psi, 2 tokens, LSC: 0, HSC: 0, Rebound: 7 from open

Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory, 170psi, LSC: 8, HSC: 2, LSR: 6, HSR: 2

Wheels: Reserve 30|HD, Hope Pro 5 hubs, XD driver

Tyres: Front: Maxxis Assegai, MaxxGrip, DoubleDown, 18 psi, no inserts. Rear: Maxxis DHRII, MaxxGrip, DH casing, 20psi, no inserts

Handlebar: Hope carbon handlebar, 750mm wide, 20mm rise, 31.8mm clamp

Stem: Hope Gravity stem, 35mm long, 31.8mm clamp

Grips: Santa Cruz House grips

Brakes: Hope Tech 4 V4, 200mm rotors, green Race pads

Cranks: Hope Evo cranks, 170mm, 32t Hope chainring

Pedals: Hope Union TC

Rear mech: SRAM X01 AXS

Cassette: SRAM Eagle, 10-52t

Seatpost: OneUp dropper v2, 180mm, 31.6mm

Saddle: Fiz:ik Vento Argo

 If Mark’s bike has got you hankering after a Megatower of your own, drop us a line or head to our shop in Innerleithen to learn more about the bikes and stock availability. 

 ☎️  01896 831 429


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