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Missing Link

Please email if you are interested in a Missing Link. We need to know how many customers are interested in order to determine quantity for the next production batch.

The link sells for $168 USD (excluding the shock). Shipping through the US Postal Service is free with a few exceptions.

Vital MTB Review,35/Outsider-Bikes/Missing-Link-Long-Travel-Conversion-for-the-Santa-Cruz-Hightower,24175

With the Missing Link you can upgrade your standard Santa Cruz Hightower to a long travel version. You will need to purchase a metric 210x55 shock with 8mm x 22mm bushings (identical at each end) separately.

The stock flip chip is used to achieve 150mm or 145mm of travel. The 145mm setting (shock bolt in lower position) provides more tire clearance for larger 29" tires (generally 2.4" and up).

The link comes with Enduro bearings installed, which are the same ones found on the stock link. It is compatible with the linkage axles and dust caps, which are re-used when you install the Missing Link. Please follow the Santa Cruz link service procedures. The large pivot axle torque setting is 60 in-lb.



Refer to the geometry chart in the images. The position of the suspension (with sag) may vary depending on your suspension settings.

Hightower LT?

The Missing Link is compatible with the LT frame, and uses a 210 x 55 shock. Note: The travel will remain at 150mm as will the stock geometry. You might want to consider this option if you are looking to upgrade to a metric coil or air shock.


You can install any shock that fits, but many customers go with the Fox X2 or DPX2, DVO Topaz, and Rock Shox Super Deluxe Coil or Air. Note: Trunion mount shocks or those with large bearings at the eyelets will not fit.


Fox retailers should be able to order a X2 or DPX2 even if they are not stocked. We recommend to contact your local bike shop or an online retailer.

DVO (direct)

Rock Shox

We recommend to contact your local bike shop to source a shock from Rock Shox. These are harder to find compared to Fox, but they are available.

Cane Creek (direct)

Push Industries (direct)


  1. Remove your old link and shock. Keep your flip chips, shock bolts, lower pivot axle, upper pivot bolts, and all 4 dust caps since you will re-use them.
  2. Clean up the frame where you will be working so there is no grit left. Every surface that is in contact (including threads and the hole for the pivot axle collar) should not have grit.
  3. During installation, apply a thin coat of grease on axles and fasteners.
  4. Install the upper dust caps and axles so the link is attached to the top tube. Torque these by hand so they are snug, but not over tight because they are aluminum. The link should rotate freely with no play.
  5. Put the dust caps on the lower bearings, align the rear triangle, and slide the lower pivot axle through. Santa Cruz specifies 60 in-lb (for this type of bearing design). You can also adjust this pivot like a headset. Typically you can feel when the pivot begins to have rotational friction and the correct adjustment is close but you are not tight enough yet. You need to go a bit further, but not so much that the link has excessive friction. Make sure to snug up the M6 screw with the tapered cap so your axle is locked in place.
  6. Install the shock in with the shock bolts. Usually the reservoir goes to the front of the bike.
  7. The flip chip hole should be "up" to be in 150mm mode, and "down" for the 145mm mode.