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Jed's Megatower - What We Ride

The #whatweride series takes a look into the bikes, components and accessories that are used by Stif staff members, team riders and close affiliates.

We’re all keen riders and regardless of whether it’s racing, shredding laps for fun, heading out on big epic adventures, or pre-work power hours, we are constantly on the search for the optimum set up and performance from the best bikes, components and accessories.

Every product on our both our physical and digital shelves is meticulously handpicked for a reason. We only stock products we fully believe in and ultimately use ourselves on the trails. The #whatwerideseries is to show these products in application and explain why


Jed, Stif Mountain Bikes Web Team

Who's Jed?

You couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic guy to head up our Rider Support department, in charge of all things customer service, Jed is our main man in ensuring you get the most from the products you purchase from us and that you’re back rolling as quickly as possible should you need any warranty support. His enthusiasm for riding is infectious, just as long as it’s not in Winter. We think this is due to his ‘Endless Summer’ sabbatical to New Zealand a few years ago where he spent time developing his hard and fast riding style.

The Bike

Not one for choosing to ride in the slop, he took the opportunity this winter to switch out from his Custom Forbidden Dreadnought to a new Megatower V2 ready to hit the trails once the Moor is back in it’s prime.

When it comes to all his off road transportation, his collection reflects his character… Big, strong, dependable and rugged. So the new Mega fit the bill perfectly… and in the subtle Matt Nickel colourway it compliments the Disco’ in the garage perfectly!.

Jeds Bike Next To Jeep

Having spent 2022 pushing the limits of the Trifecta system on a Forbidden Dreadnought to it’s limit, he grew to love the traction of the rear end over fast square edge terrain. A trait which is ideal when the majority of your riding is in dry fast conditions over rooty moorland tracks littered with braking bumps. However, despite the stability from the Forbidden suiting his ‘point and shoot’ style of riding, after a summer of shredding, Jed felt as though the Forbidden was flattering his riding finesse and he started to long for something to keep him on his toes a little more. As Jed explains: “when fully loaded under compression the Dreadnought was very stable in the apex of a turn. It just hunkered down with bags of traction, dropping center of gravity, firing you out of the apex at warp speed. After a while, I began to miss that poppy, playful nature of a VPP”

Close Up Of Rear Of Megatower

Needing a capable bike that would keep him on his toes a little he decided to go back to the taught and responsive nature of the VPP system and it could only be in one bike… The Megatower, a bike that will handle his hard charging style of riding. With the decision made, he set about building it…. Jed’s is a big, powerful rider capable of an impressive amount of wattage from a standing start. Partnered with his direct riding style, stiffness was key in building a bike that could handle what was about to be thrown at it in 2023. The Megatower frame has that covered, a set of Fox Factory 170mm 38’s upfront, both rolling on a pair of Reserve 30 HDs bolstered the chassis, ensuring no deflection under braking of when off the brakes through hard packed, root strewn trails.

Jeds EXT Shock

The devil is in the detail and Jed’s gone to town in dialling in his set up. Being a larger rider on a super stiff frame with a long wheelbase means that the lateral load placed on the linkages and shock will be amplified. He’s chosen to offset this by fitting spherical eyelet bearings on a custom tuned EXT Stoira, which will isolate the shock from the lateral loads placed on it and the bushings, especially when the bike is lent over in a turn. This reduction in the shock binding up in these situations should keep it active and increase small bump sensitivity.

Jeds Hope Brakes

Having a Juggernaut of a bike under a rider who likes to take the direct line in the quickest manner possible means every now and again things must be reined in sharply. This year Jed has opted for the new HopeTech 4 E4s running 200m rotors front and rear, switching out from his trusty XTR 4 pots. All this braking power is redundant if it can’t be transmitted to the trail. Jed’s got that covered with a combination of Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5 WT up front and Maxxis DHR Double Down 2.5 WT out back. A Double Down casing is essential on the rear for such a capable bike and lets him getaway with running 28psi braking and cornering grip that would rival the Disco’

Jeds Bars And Stem

All those high frequency hits on a dry rooty moorland can slowly fatigue your hands over a few hours. Jed’s mitigated this by fitting a One Up riser bar, a 800mm bar with a 35mm clamp bar where the 35mm clamp diameter quickly changes to a flattened, oval shape in the transition zone and then to a standard 22.2mm clamp diameter for the control zone. A design that has been tested with a 21% increase in vertical compliance (comfort) and a 28% increase in steering stiffness (responsiveness). He ran these on his dreadnought and noticed a huge difference with a dampened feel at the bar. A 42.5mm Burgtec stem keeps the steering super responsive without being hyperactive.


Jeds Drivetrain And Rotors

Feel and feedback from the bike is important to Jed, which is why he moved to the more involving nature of the VPP system. With the feel sorted at the bars, the other point of contact he dialled in were his feet. He’s chosen to run a pair of Hope Union pedals, which use a shim system, allowing the rider to fine tune the height at which the cleat sits from the sole of the shoe. This lets Jed achieve a flat pedal feel adjusting the shims so when engaged the sole of the shoe sits flush with the pedal’s platform, giving a supportive/tactile feel at the pedals whilst improving power transfer. When it comes to the drivetrain, Jed’s opted for the ever dependable SRAM XO1 drivetrain, comprising of Carbon cranks spinning a 32t chainring and 52t cassette, He hasn’t got a winch on the Disco and with this spread of ratios combined with his oak like quads he won’t need one on the Mega either.


With a small weather window of Spring sunshine Jed has had a maiden ride onto a frozen moor and so far his first impressions are impressive with the bike providing all the feedback he was looking for. Although he’s realised that he may need to be a little more precise in this line choice. But what has impressed him the most is how well it climbs as Jed says: ‘The best way to sum this bike up essentially is downhill bike capability with all day pedallability'.

The Megatower

The Santa Cruz Megatower

Interested in a Megatower or unsure if it is the best bike option for you? Give us a shout on the phone, drop an email to sales@stifmtb.com or to head to either of our stores for a brew and a chat! We have a full showroom plus a range of demo bikes for you to try out.

Like these bike checks? We’ve got a wide variety of bikes in the pipeline so make sure to tune back in for more additions of the #whatweride series!