FIRST LOOK: SANTA CRUZ HECKLER eMTB
The redesigned Heckler comes with more range and options than ever
One of the oldest model names in Santa Cruz’s line, the Heckler, was reintroduced as the brand’s first eMTB two years ago. Santa Cruz has revamped the Heckler yet again giving the E-mountain bike more travel, a bigger battery and tons of new options. It’s an aggressive yet versatile bike that’s designed to span the range from all around trail riding to enduro with Shimano’s silky smooth yet powerful EP8 drive unit.
The old model was offered with dedicated 27.5” wheels 150mm of rear wheel travel or a mixed mullet setup with a shorter 140mm travel configuration and a 140mm travel fork. This new version is now offered with 29” wheels or a “MX” mullet setup both achieving 150mm of travel and paired to a 160mm travel fork in sizes medium through XX-Large. Only the size small Heckler is still a dedicated 27.5” bike front and rear. According to Santa Cruz, you can choose the MX for quicker cornering and composure in the steepest-and-deepest trails or pick 29-inch for ultimate traction and rolling speed. There was only the high level CC grade carbon frame option with the last Heckler but Santa Cruz has also added a lower cost C level to the options on the new one.
Range is a critical feature for all E-mountain bikes so Santa Cruz gives the Heckler a larger 720Wh battery so the bike can go bigger than ever. It is removable with a single 4mm hex key too so battery swaps are easier than ever. The new battery is paired to Shimano’s EP8 motor. According to Santa Cruz, the 720Wh battery is marginally heavier than a current 630Wh battery, so they were able to maintain great ride characteristics while also giving the rider enough power to get out and really explore. They add that going any bigger would start to diminish both ride quality and geometry.
While the Heckler still retains the same VPP linkage and shock layout there is now a new adjustable flip chip in the lower link offering two choices in geometry. The low setting offers a more progressive shock rate too, likely matching the feel that a rider wanting a slacker bike seeks. A sealed bearing shock eyelet should reduce friction and lower maintenance and the bike is now coil and large body shock compatible too so riders can choose between poppy feel and light weight of air or plush planted ride of coil shocks.
The Heckler is offered in five different configurations ranging in price from $8,199 outfitted with a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain and RockShox Lyrik Select fork to $13,299 for build with a SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain with Fox Factory level suspension and Santa Cruz Reserve carbon wheels. Look for a long term Heckler review in the pages of Mountain Bike Action and here on the website. Want to hear Santa Cruz athlete Danny MacAskill’s take on eMTBs? Check out the video below and see what he thinks:
For more information please check out www.santacruzbicycles.com