Hi Shoreboy, the answers I gave in the interview and everything about the marketing reinforces exactly what you request: that it's an alternative way of mountain biking. This doesn't replace mountain bikes, it just provides a different experience on the right trails, in the right places, for some people.
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Hi Reed, Trials (motor) bikes are much heavier. They're much lighter than motocross bikes but still very heavy machines. You're still talking 2-3 times heavier than this bike. https://www.redbull.com/ca-en/8-crazy-facts-about-trial-biking. And parts, while needing to be at the upper end of the of reliability and strength don't need to be that heavy, you'd still gotta pedal it and throw it around. There's a balance and I do think that putting what's already considered wimpy parts for 'regular' mountain bikes on ebikes is a bit of a miss. Hence why this has 27.5-inch version of the DH rims that the Syndicate race on, 4-pot brakes, 200mm rotors and a Fox 36, for example. Scrimping anymore in these departments might get the weight into the realm of gimmicky marketing but it won't help the ride quality.
That caption was penned by NSMB not SCB.
I decided to sign up to comments just to save AJ being the middle man. And I'll be the middleman for the engineers because at Santa Cruz us chin-flapping marketers don't get to go anywhere near the design stage of any products. Sometimes I think it would be nice if we could...but then I start thinking about time-traveling unicorns so I just get back to thinking about what font size would look rad in the next dealer catalog.
Anyway, to the answers...
The Megatower is intended for the most aggressive and progressive of riders and likely for those with racing or fettling desires. Having the option to tune the rear centre measurement is great for this kind of application and rider type, whether because of height or setup preference. From Finale Ligure rock blasting to Tweed Valley turns, or stubby little pinner to viking-esque brawler, choose your own setup.
The Tallboy's chainstays are super short (in short position it's 430mm which is, in @bicyclepubes vernacular, "tuct!") so the bike is agile and lively (it's a 120/130mm bike so it wants to dip, duck, dive on local trails). But for XL and XXL riders who might want more balance the rear axle flip chip allows them to even things out by going to long position (+10mm, so 440mm). It's also useful for those riders that want a super stable climbing position and more stability for high speed mobbing, regardless of their height.
There's one other reason, but it's not a big reason. Switching to the Long setting also allows space for 29 x 2.6 tires. Early in the development of the Tallboy (4) there was speculation that 29x2.6 might take off and that compatibility would be a ‘must have’ on a bike like this—this scenario appears to not have materialized though some riders seem to like the idea (East Coast rock crawlers, for example). Personally I think this bike rides better with narrower, faster tires, not big mushy balloons. It's a power-hour or all-the-hours Microtower.
So onto the Hightower. This is more of an all-round trail bike so the chainstays are a nice 433mm which sits between the Megatower (435mm - in short) and Tallboy (430mm - in short). This is a simply honest chainstay measurement for most types of riders, in most places, without adding in the head scratching of a lot of extra adjustments. You know, the "But should I be messing around with all these options? Could it be better if I change this? Will it be worse? What am I feeling? Argh!!! I just want to ride my damn bike!"
Of note, however, is that we (by 'we' I mean the engineers...who do all the smart people work at Santa Cruz) did make the XXL Hightower's chainstay measurement 439mm so it's more balanced for big, tall riders.
Anyway, I'm back off to lurk in the shadows to make the company Christmas cards. Hopefully this year they let me near the scissors and glitter glue. I think I learned my lesson. Design is fun, and it tastes great.
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