Santa Cruz Heckler 27.5 27.5 Full Suspension

5/5 (5 Reviews)

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Product Description

Now with the same super awesome geometry as the acclaimed Bronson, plus 150mm travel and 27.5 inch wheels to match, there's been no half measures in the new Heckler's development. Legions of Heckler owners testify to the durability of the design, marching on through season after season while other bikes at this price point simply rattle to pieces. The aluminum frame is now stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, with a single collet axle pivot, 142mm rear end and a direct mount rear derailleur hanger keeping things tight and tidy.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Bennett a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2016

Strengths:    Durability, simplicity of design, versatility, price and stability. External cables and dropper routing. It's not carbon and it's not a Bronson.

Weaknesses:    Little portly, stock shock and fork struggle to keep up with frame. Weak stock components and no stock dropper post.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. Pedals and climbs better than it has a right to. Thrifty components compliment frame and suspension design and help with price, but their performance limits the frame's potential. Light wheels and an upgraded shock are a must. 1x setup lightens rig considerably and cleans up look nicely.
Goes downhill like a cruise missile and can be ridden uphill all day long. Few moving parts means less to go wrong.
Perfect for the rider who doesn't need both fancy suspension linkages and a shock with a pedaling platform.

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Favorite Trail:   Dry Creek

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Joyride Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Jamis 27.5, Kona Process, Bronson

Bike Setup:   Pacenti rims laced to CKPC hubs; DVO Diamond fork; stock shock is fearing the imminent arrival of a DVO Topaz; Diety 800mm bars on a 50mm stem. Hacked XT drivetrain with Linares Goatlink and 11-40 tooth modified XT cassette; 34 tooth NW Raceface ring on an old Truvative crankset. MRP AMg v2 chainguide. CKPC headset and bottom bracket

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Guillermo Galarza a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2015

Strengths:    Descending, cornering, jumping, handling, climbing

Weaknesses:    Weight, Pike fork is no longer sold as an option in a complete.

Bottom Line:   
This is my second Santa Cruz. I love the trademark Santa Cruz handling. At first I thought this was more bike than I needed for my local trails but this bike has brought my local Trails to life. With my 2011 Superlight I felt I had maxed out what I could do on it. I was looking at getting a Tallboy or even Highball 29er, but I got this great deal on a 2016 R Heckler. I love the orange frame color, looks better in person than on the website. The 27.5 tubeless wheels just roll over obstacles and certainly maintain momentum more than 26 inch wheels. I am sold on 27.5 wheels.

Not sure if it is geometry or the 27.5 wheels that make this Heckler climb as well as my Superlight. I originally felt the weight but am getting used to the extra three pounds that I am lugging up a trail. Don't mind it though because this bike handles so well in corners and descending is more confident inspiring. With the Superlight I had to pick my lines more carefully but now I can just plow through obstacles.

First time using Rock Shox suspension, always had Fox and I really love this Denonair shock; Plush and easy to set up. I don't think I have really set up up the Sektor Gold fork yet so I need more time on it to really make a decision on whether I will keep it or upgrade it. But I do wish I would have had the option to upgrade to a Pike fork which used to be an option on the R complete. Either way I don't regret the purchase of my bike but I do wish Santa Cruz offered more options on this model; especially the R package. Seems that more of Santa Cruz's effort is put towards the VPP bikes. Really do appreciate the Bronson geometry / handling but without the Bronson price though

Lastly I just had the chance to demo a 2016 Pivot Mach 6 aluminum. This Heckler is head and shoulders a better bike than the aluminum Mach 6. Didn't demo the Mach carbon because I wanted to make an equal comparison, i.e. Same frame material and wheel size. The only thing better about the Mach was that it was three pounds lighter, so the bike felt lighter which made it easier to manual and pop the front wheel. It had a 1 x 11 gearing and probably lighter wheels which amounted to the weight difference. Otherwise the Heckler just has a geometry that begs to be pushed in the corners and down steep descents. I had a really scary experience descending on the Mach that I have never experienced on the Heckler. Didn't like the riding position on the Mach, which has the rider sitting further back instead of how the Heckler has the rider in the bike. The DW link suspension was no better than my Heckler's single pivot. Funny thing is that the Mach 6 aluminum costs more one thousand dollars. This money difference I would rather invest on a Pike fork, which the Mach didn't come with either.

Maybe the Bronson is a better bike than this Heckler but it will most certainly cost at least one thousand dollars more. I have never ridden VPP so I can't say if it is worth buying the Bronson but I can say that the Heckler is worth every penny. If I get another bike in the future it will not replace this Heckler but instead it will be to add another bike to my stable. As of now with this Heckler I can ride almost any terrain I feel like. It really is a "can do it all" bike. Which is something I am very happy about owning!

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Favorite Trail:   Tapia Cyn

Duration Product Used:   3 weeks

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Sport Chalet

Similar Products Used:   2011 Santa Cruz Superlight, 2005 Specialized Epic Comp

Bike Setup:   R package with XT pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2015

Strengths:    Super Durable, Price, Easy to maintain.

Weaknesses:    Not really a fan of the wider handlebars

Bottom Line:   
Ridden my new gloss green 105 heckler about a dozen times. I had a 2002 heckler before this one. I love these bikes because they are really durable and can excel in many different conditions and scenarios. This thing flies on descents. Ascending feels better with the 27.5 wheels. I got the AM kit and the Sektor fork has been great to ride. The frame interior is wider, but it's not to the point where it doesn't feel like an agile ride. I love this bike and I'm super happy with my purchase.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by GOOOO a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2015

Strengths:    Ability to go down loose, rocky, rutty stuff without a lot of drama
Price -- you get a decent bike for a relatively low price

Weaknesses:    A little heavy, with XT trail pedals and a KS LEV, it's weighing in at 32 lbs.

Bottom Line:   
Let me start by stating my previous bike was a 2002 Superlight. This 2015 Heckler is a huge leap in bike tech: 1.) 15mm thru axle up front/142mm spacing rear, 2.) Tubeless tires 3.) 23mm internal width rims (vs 19mm Crosstrails), 4.) tapered headtube, 5.) Hydraulic discs (vs. mechanical), 6.) the Pike fork (vs. Float 100), 7.) 27.5 wheelsize and, 8.) my only modification, the LEV dropper post. So keep in mind I'm coming off a (much loved) dinosaur bike.

On this bike, I just point it downhill and it rolls over virtually everything. Miss a switchback? Stay calm and just pound through the rough (I know, not trail friendly, but sometimes "stuff" happens). 150mm of travel on the Pike is so different than 100mm on the float. Adding to my confidence when headed down is the dropper--no more hanging off the back of the seat and having a floaty front wheel. I just get low and go. Let's see how long the post lasts--I only use it for sketchy stuff, not every hill. The wide bars, stiff shock and axle allow me to muscle through trail ruts too, no more tip toeing around. Tubeless tires are great for traction too (can hardly wait to see what it's like the first time I have to change them). Hydraulic disc allow for true one-finger braking--my forearms are no longer sore at the bottom of the hill from tugging on those old mechanical Avids.

That's it for going down. Going up? The Heckler is about five pounds heavier than my Superlight. When I first got it, I could definitely feel it when starting from a stationary position--initial acceleration was not as crisp. After about the third ride, I was used to it. Now going up hills feels about the same, even though I'm most certainly putting out more power to get the rig up the hill. The bigger tire size seems to roll over small bumps and undulations easier when going uphill, which is nice. I just leave the rear CTD shock in "trail" most of the time. If it's steep, without bumps (rare), I'll put it in "climb" but as soon as those bumps come along, I put it back in trail. My buddy has the same bike and tells me to try "descend" whenever I go down, but I'm afraid I'll just forget to switch it back. I've been thinking about a CCDBA, but I'm a "set it and forget it guy."

I know 1x11 is the rage, but the 2x10 is fine with me (I'm coming from a 3x9). Even if the gear ratios are similar, I like to have that emergency switch when things get real steep and I can just drop it down a chainring rather rather than cycle up the cog to get to a lower gear. Haven't thrown a chain yet, maybe thanks to the Shimano clutch (didn't have that before either).

On the flats, feels the same as the Superlight except that Pike eats small bumps better. On high-speed turns, I can confidently lean and not worry about the front washing out--geometry? Longer wheelbase. I don't know if it's me, but the wider interior rims, just make the bike feel more stable, especially in slow technical/balance situations. Maintenance should be a snap, like my Superlight, and probably even easier now that SC uses the collet axle pivot lock stuff. And the 2x10 makes it easy to reach that pivot point.

Yes, I'm glowing about my new bike. If I had to bring up one issue, it's the wheelbase. The Heckler is longer than the old Superlight. I rear wheel hung halfway off my old Yamkima Steelhead roof rack. I'm a car guy and I hated the look of roof racks that don't require to you take off the front wheel, so I got a Yakima Forklift. That thing was so big and chunky up front, I could not tilt my sunroof. I had to exchange it for a SprocketRocket and pay return shipping to Jenson. Then I had to get a 15mm thru axle adapter. Yakima and Thule's are identical, right down to the patent number stamped in the metal but Thule charges $10 more. Unfortunately, neither lock and both are a pain to use. The RockyMounts drive shaft locks and is easier to use, but the freakin' thing swivels back and forth whenever I accelerate or brake. I've remedied the situation a little by using the other hole on the DriveShaft and using a cable lock in addition to the Yak wheel strap (still moves a little). But every time I want to use the DriveShaft, I have to unscrew the the Yak skewer, line it up with the DriveShaft and screw it in again. A bit of of a hassle.( I should write a review for the DriveShaft.)

So, back to the 2015 Heckler... awesome bike, awesome value. Hope my review did not bore you. Have fun!

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Favorite Trail:   Mr. Toads--Mission Trails, Parts of Nobel Canyon

Price Paid:    $3099.00

Purchased At:   Competitive Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Superlight
Nomad 26"

Bike Setup:   KS LEV
XT trail pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Flip Saunders

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2014

Strengths:    This bike looks great and it's fun to ride. People say stuff like, nice Santa Cruz. I ride somewhat aggressive and I've been mountain biking about 15 years, this bike can easily handle anything I do. Great all around bike for climbing and descending. I got the black one.

Weaknesses:    I had to add a dropper post, of course, and the only other weakness is the pivot was making a creaking noise after a couple rides but I tightened it a little and it doesn't creak anymore. Also, it weighs about 32 pounds, with dropper post, pedals and everything, so it's not the lightest

Bottom Line:   
very fun bike to ride. I feel like I got the perfect bike for my riding style

Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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