Santa Cruz Heckler All Mountain Full Suspension
|MSRP : $2999.00|
Store PriceBuy Now
Product DescriptionSanta Cruz's single pivot all-mountain bike carries a long history of nipping at the heels of XC racers and pushing long-travel freeride bikes to their limit. That continues with the latest incarnation of this highly capable design, the 27.5in-wheeled, 150mm-travel Heckler R AM Complete Bike....
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|Reviews 1 - 15 (296 Reviews Total)||| Next 15|
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2015
Strengths: 6 inches of travel is really nice. The frame is Strong but light enough. This bike FLYS downhill. It looks good doing it. Mine is a small on 26" its quick to respond.
Weaknesses: I got a 2012 when I bought it the brakes were AWFUL. The avid elixir 1 breaks were not cutting it. I upgraded to the SLX Shimano. Now the bike is ready to bomb hills.
Climbing is a pain. But Climbing is always a pain. I lock out my suspension and it's better but still this bike does 100 times better when going down.
Until I got this bike I had no idea a bike could ride so well and be so easy. I have even started to hit jumps. This bike really becomes a part of you as corny as it might sounds. I found this bike to be the right tool to improve my riding.
Duration Product Used: 6 months.
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: Used.
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2015
Strengths: - Massive bang for the buck
- Impressive climbing platform
- Pike fork
- R component package is pretty solid
- Looks f'ing sweet!
Weaknesses: - Stock build is fairly heavy
- Shock is pretty meh
- Slight falling rate suspension makes it tough to set shock for small bump compliance and big hit absorbtion
I've just moved on from my Heckler and thought I'd post my thoughts on it. For starters, you're really not going to do much better for the money. The R build kit has very few holes in it. Deore brakes are fantastic performers even if they aren't terribly shiny, and the SLX shifters and derailleur have been solid too. (Both have made their way onto my new Ibis HD 3 frame, if that's any indication). The wheelset is heavy but bombproof and the Maxxis High Roller IIs are both grippy and durable.
The geometry is spot on. It's super reassuring on descents but not too slack for climbs. It does well on slow technical stuff, but can sometimes be trickier to bring around in tight, slow uphill turns than a less slack bike. It's very agile and playful in the air without feeling sketchy. It is a tremendous jumper; the single pivot absolutely launches you out of preload. At the trail closest to where I live there is a switchback rhythm section with a very tight berm that makes it just about impossible to carry enough speed to hit backside on the first of the second row of tabletops. This bike does it more often than not. Really, really fun bike going downhill!
The bike pedals great in the middle and small chain ring, so not much need for climb or trail mode on the shock going uphill. Seriously, the pivot placement makes for an excellent pedaling platform. The tradeoff is some kickback into the pedals, but it's not going to ruin your day like a bad climber will.
The thing to note with the suspension is that the leverage ratio is such that the deeper into your travel you get, the faster it eats up the travel. Combined with a progressive air shock, you still end with a progressive curve that can protect you from a hard bottom out. The stock Fox Float shock has this in mind and has a spacer to reduce the air volume to create a sharper ramp up at the end of travel. The trouble is that if you run enough pressure to stop yourself from bottoming out, you lose a decent amount of small bump compliance. You can similarly run trail mode on the shock and slow down the travel, but this also costs you some suppleness. None of this is fatal, and it's still a great ride, it's just a little less elegant than some of the more complex pivot designs (which also generally boast better shocks).
To mitigate this, you can either tune it for the trail by adding less PSI if there are no big hits you need to handle or more if there are, or rely on the shock's CTD platform to stiffen things up for bigger hits. I typically did the latter and it treated me fine. I suspect a $100 Vorsprung Corset Air Sleeve might go a long way towards improving the small bump compliance, and if I hadn't magically come up on the cash for the new Ibis Mojo frame, I would have tried one.
The stock build is fairly heavy, but for a 140lb rider, it never felt burdensome on climbs. If you're so inclined, there are plenty of places to drop weight. The place to start is converting the drive train to a 1x10. All you'll need is a Race Face NW chainring to slap on the stock crank arms, so that's a cheap one. At 2100g, the wheelset is another place you can drop some serious calories. I went with a set of AC Wide Lightnings, but there are plenty of wheelsets that cost less and can still knock a pound off. I also changed handlebars, stem, etc... I did this over a period of months and eventually got it down to 27.5 lbs. You don't need to do any of this; the stock build is great. Just want to make the point that if you want to get down in the weight range of carbon AM bikes, the aluminum frame won't hold you back.
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2014
Strengths: solid, never needs anything done to it.. mine is a 2004 frame and I ride it all the time in the roughest muddy stuff and have never done a thing to it, just clean the chain every few rides.. set up with z-150 light through axle fork, and a fox coil shock in the rear. It weighs in at about 33lbs, but I consistently out ride my friend on his SC Tallboy carbon 29er.. ( he's a good 15+ years my junior too, I'm pushing 50) He can maybe take me on long straight uphill, but the heckler always shines on any rough technical stuff.. It rides better (faster) in a serpentine fashion than in a straight line, where you can feel your weight shifts whipping the front around tight turns up hill or down.. It sometimes feels like downhill skiing through steep tree runs or steep moguls as it weaves in and out of tight turns adding momentum.. It flies well too, and no worries about breakage on landings.. I've broken both Rocky mountain slayer, and Tomac frames with the type of riding I do in less than a years time.. The heckler has outlived them all !! I've ridden this frame 10 years (so far) hard and fast by my count, and not a single issue with frame.. never changed bearings or anything.. It seems to only get better with age..
Weaknesses: can't bring myself to upgrade to new bike, this one is just too good, and I've been mislead before with trying to get something "lighter, better peddling" The stuff wears out and breaks..
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2014
Strengths: Pike Fork, Ease of setup, descending.
Weaknesses: Heavy? maybe for weight weenies who skip leg day
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2014
Strengths: Another happy heckler owner.
It climbs superbly, especially with coil shock(most traction)
I put a lyrik uturn on and wow is this bike the definition of all mountain with that fork. It is unbelievable. KOM on strava :-)on the ups and downs. I recomend coil rear and 160 adjustable fork but i am no weight weenie. Btw I have a 2003 gold one and with blue parts looks like a sexy beast. I pretty much love my bike more than life, how my bike is feeling is how I am feeling. Great single pivot layout. U should buy thos if u like to get to the top quick to get down fasterNo bob very compliant on downs great bike picked mine up for only 600.
Weaknesses: Needs a coil shock to really be heavenly.
that is truly all I can think of
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Price Paid: $600.00
Purchased At: craigslist
Similar Products Used: Specialized enduro. Trek top fuel 8. Giant trance x1
Bike Setup: X fusion vector hlr coil
lyrik coil uturn
racetrack carbon cranks
65mms stem, 760mm bars
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2014
Strengths: Climbing/descending ability, build feels strong, suspension feels great (lockout is also solid), looks, travel, grips
Weaknesses: I love it too much
Purchased At: Craigslist
Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel EX8
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2013
Strengths: IT BECOMES A PART OF YOU. YOU THINK IT AND IT CAN DO IT. THIS BIKE BOMBS DOWNHILLS AND CLIMBS LIKE A GOAT WITH THE PROPER TIRES. GO TUBELESS AND 2X10, OR 1X10 DRIVETRAIN AND YOU ARE A HECKLER 6.2...FORCE TO BE RECOND WITH AT THE TRAILS, BIKE PARK, AND LONG HAULS. I LOVE THIS BIKE. IF HAD TOMACS, GIANTS, AND INTENSES. I WOULD HAVE TO SAY IT IS UP THERE WITH MY INTENSE AS FAR AS LOVE.
Weaknesses: PAINT CHIPS FAIRLY EASY. I PLACE HELICOPTER TAPE AND IT ROCKS NOW. THATS ALL. SCRATCH PROOF THE SCRATCH PRONE LOCATIONS ON THE FRAME AND I WOULD HAVE TO SAY NO WEAKNESS NOW.
Duration Product Used: 4 MONTHS EVERY WEEKEND..
Purchased At: SANTA CRUZ
Similar Products Used: TOMACS, GIANTS, AND INTENSES
Bike Setup: GOT A 2014 FOX FORK 34 160 CTD, FOX DHX COIL IN THE REAR, CHRIS KING HEADSET AND XT DRIVETRAIN. NO PROBLEMS. SOLID!
Date Reviewed: October 3, 2013
Strengths: I would have to start with the build quality. You can tell by just looking at the frame that it can take a beating. With 150mm of travel front and back, the bike can handles its self on even the roughest terrain. Granted I have only owned the bike for about 3 months, nothing has started squeaking, creaking or bugging the hell out of me.
Weaknesses: The only problem I have is, the frame is really tight. This might be due to the fact of running a small frame; none the less mounting the bike on a bike rack is a pain. The back of the bike is supported by the end of the rear shock. This might be normal, but it bothers me. I don’t have enough clearance between the rear shock and the frame, for the bike to be supported by the frame while on a rack.
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Price Paid: $1800.00
Purchased At: Lombardi Sports
Bike Setup: FRAME: Small
FORK: Rock Shox Revelation RL DA 150
REAR: Fox Float RL
REAR DER: Zee 10spd Freeride
FRONT DER: None - MRP Mini G2
SHIFTER: Shimano M670 (SLX) 10spd
CRANKSET:Shimano M552 32T
CASSETTE: Shimano HG 81, 11-36 (SLX) 10spd
CHAIN: Shimano HG 74 10spd
BRAKES: Avid Elixir 5's w/ 180mm front 160mm rear rotors
BARS: Raceface RIde High riser 740mm
STEM: TruVativ Hussefelt 40mm
GRIPS: Serfas Connectors Locking Grips
HEADSET: Cane Creek 40
SEAT POST: Raceface Ride 30.9x375mm
SADDLE: WTB Volt Race
WHEELS: Mavic XM 321 rims laced to Shimano M758 front hub and M756 rear hub w/ DT 14 gauge spokes, brass nipples
TIRES: Maxxis Minion DHF UST 2.5 42a Tubless: But still running tubes.
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2013
...than previous model years.
Weaknesses: no bottle opener
Bottom line... She is a Brutte. Not the lightest, or carbon but an aweasome classic mtb with a modern twist. Makes me thankful to ride... every ride.
Duration Product Used: 50 miles
Price Paid: $3000.00
Purchased At: SC
Bike Setup: Stock except for removal of front derailleur and shifter. I just run a 32 ring and bash.
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2013
Weaknesses: Paint easily wore. Probably the clear coat was too thin.
Duration Product Used: 5 years
Purchased At: Local shop
Similar Products Used: None compare.
Bike Setup: 28.5 pound aggressive all mountain. Hope wheels, fox 36.
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2013
Strengths: So plush and smooth. Takes bumps with ease and bigger drops too. Lite weight if you build it up to be.
Weaknesses: None so far, but I only bought a frame.
This thing just eats the bumps up. Traveling 20mph downhill this bike is so plush and in control its kinda sureal. The rear shock is great. Only thing I don't care much for is the lockout on the shock but I'd rather be comfortable then fast as heck. On gravel it works great but no need since not much bob anyway. Taken off 3-4ft drops with ease,even with my 130mm rockshox psylo fork it works great. Love the design and the look of this thing too. I have the bare metal (clear) color which is just awesome.
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2012
Strengths: The bike is the perfect all around bike, from winter part-valmont jump park/golden bike park-any XC or all mountain riding that i can throw at it. I have taken it to mt falcon, 7falls (captain jacks), and many other front range trails here in colorado and clai and it champed them all. As for build i custom built it up my self with all fox and X9. the bike is the best beaste fr any ride you want to do with it
Weaknesses: a little bit o pedal bob but my rp23 is also blown out for its pro pedal so that could be the cause, but really not any major weakness
Duration Product Used: 1 year and counting
Bike Setup: Fox talas, fox rp23 X9 shift+der fsa atlas FR crank and bars. Forte pisga tires and azonic loco wheels, avid elixir 5 breaks, chris king headset, eurgon grips.
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2012
Strengths: nice geometry for balancing wheelies which helps climbing stuff. awesome downhill and can fast track very nicely too.. i love my 2012 heckler.
Weaknesses: They dont incorporate any proper tabs for the disk brake lines.. the frame has cable tabs which are useless to brake line
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2012
Strengths: loves to descend and is a quick handling bike because of the 69 degree head angle and short wheel base.Very stiff frame that makes climbing a breeze.A true all mountain bike that handles quicker than any all mountain bike out there.5.9in of travel that handles like a 4inch travel bike.
Weaknesses: Great frame but the builds santa cruz offers at this time are lame! I Bought my bike in October of 2007 for 3,000 dollars. It came with a great build kit.I didn`t have to replace anything that I didn`t like.The bike weight is 29 lbs.Non of the build kits at this time can get the weight under 30lbs.So at this time the build kits make this bike on the heavy side
Duration Product Used: FOUR YEARS
Price Paid: $3000.00
Purchased At: ADVENTURE BICYCLES
Bike Setup: X9 SRAM, TRUVATIV CRANK, 32FLOAT RLC FORK,DT SWISS 5.1D RIMS WITH 340 HUBS,KENDA NIVEGAL 2.35 TIRES -TUBE LESS
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2012
Strengths: tough chassis, it has the "magic". goes uphills with a smile but the revile its true character on the downhills
Weaknesses: heavy, single pivot on rock gardens
Duration Product Used: 6 years
Purchased At: matzman TLV
Bike Setup: built to war for heavy warrior ;-)
|Reviews 1 - 15 (296 Reviews Total)||| Next 15|
Review Options: Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating
Related Heckler Forum Posts
I apologize for another opinion/comparison thread but I'm looking to dive into a new bike genre with a mid-travel 650B for "aggressive trail riding". My 2 front runners for now are the SC Heckler R build and the Kona Process 134 DL, both 2015 models. Only issue is I have to drive considerable dist ... Read More »
Hi Everybody! I mentioned in my last post regarding my budget Trek 3500 disc rigid project (wow, that's a mouthful). Anyway, I've gotten a few rides in on some trails that I previously had been riding for 8 years with the Heckler. I really dig this Trek! I know it's a cheapie, but the frame is solid ... Read More »
I just finished building my heckler and am wondering which dropper and which size? Money isn't a big deal, I just want something reliable and quality. From the reviews I am thinking lev? Any opinions? Also I have no idea what length to get. My post now won't go down very far due to a bend in ... Read More »