Santa 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....
Strengths: Climbing/descending ability, build feels strong, suspension feels great (lockout is also solid), looks, travel, grips
Weaknesses: I love it too much
This review is for a 2013 26' model. Enjoy this bike much better than my ex8. The ex 'felt' flimsy and didn't pedal as well as the Heckler. Was able to climb spots I previously was unable to. Feel much more confident on this to be honest. I'm not sure who wouldn't like this bike. Conclusion: Just get one.
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.
FUN, FUN, FUN, FEELS KIND OF LIKE A HARDTAIL, BUT WHEN YOU GO OVER THE ROUGH STUFF SHE SAYS GIVE ME SOME MORE! AS FAR AS DROPS NONE OVER 6 FEET YET.. SHE IS HOLDING UP. GOT A 2014 FOX FORK 34 160 CTD, FOX DHX COIL IN THE REAR, CHRIS KING HEADSET AND XT DRIVETRAIN. NO PROBLEMS. SOLID!
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!
a All Mountain Rider
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.
Overall I am really happy with my Heckler 6.2. When I was purchasing the bike, I could not get my hands on a new frame, so had to go with a built bike. After changing to a; single chain ring, Zee derailleur, 2.5 DH tires, shorter stem and wider bars, the bike feels like its bomb proof. I now see why people don't want to sell their Hecklers.
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.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2013
...than previous model years.
Weaknesses: no bottle opener
Buy this bike. This review reflects the performance of the R AM build with the Fox Float 34 as speced by SC. I owned a 2008. Loved it every pedal stroke. Rode it for 5 years, handed it off to a youngster with wide eyes, like it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen. Then I found myself without a bike and so, during the winter,began my hunt for the upcoming riding season. When I saw that SC used the Bronson geo, 142x12 rear end, tapered head tube, and Fox's CTD on the new HeckIer, I went for it again. And I'm a wrench. The shop I work for sells one of the big three that build great bikes. Great bikes i could have pro-dealed and gotten more for my money. But, i had a hunch. And i turned out to be right. The 2014 version is miles past the previous 26 inch models. I wasn't totally sold on 650b and I can't give the wheel size change all the credit, but SC took a hard gander at the few weaknesses of the Heckler and fixed 'em. This sucker flyyyyy's down hill. My die hard 26 inch riders are pissed that the 650b fad might actually have trail cred. The 29er riders can hang if it is long and straight but get into the nasties and the timid index fingers hit the brakes. The Heckler however, she's all point and shoot. The Fox CTD 34 Float and Float shock are huge players in the efficiency of the bike. Climbing is 2 fold what it was. The redesigned geo is awesome. A little longer, a little slacker. I straddle the size break at medium and large. I went with the medium to keep things flickable and flickable they are. The maxxis highrollor II's cling to the trail like you wish Jennifer Aniston would cling to you, in the rain, on the bow of the Titanic. For $2999.99, you get everything you need in a great trail bike. The fork and shock are great. The Shimano Deore brakes are better than most if not all of the Avids I've owned (owned too many). The WTB/Sram wheels are solid. SC did not sacrifice what really matters for a well-rounded reliable build. SLX drivetrain is fine enough. This bike lets Jack be nimble and quick!
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.
Bike Setup: Stock except for removal of front derailleur and shifter. I just run a 32 ring and bash.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2013
Weaknesses: Paint easily wore. Probably the clear coat was too thin.
This review is for a 2008 model frame with a custom build. I ran this bike with a aggressive all mountain wheelset and a fox vanilla 36. I think this fork had a lot to do with what made it such a great ride. I racked up many miles on the Heckler, from the southeast US ( becoming a hidin gem for every type of riding) to front range colorado and Moab. This bike excelled in everyplace. It hammered through a rooty and sandy 12 hour race without leaving me soul less. It really is an all around stallion. For anyone who wants a bike that will make them feel thankful for the gift of ripping on a bicycle, get the Heckler. I've had two Yeti's (575, Asx) and found them a bit off. Ibis Mojo, great bike but a pretty penny. For the money, heckler can't be beat. I just ordered my second.
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 review is of the fram only. 6.1 version bought during their sidewalk sale. What a value! Took all the components of my trek liquid and put on this bike. Only thing I had to change was the front deraileur. So all in all after selling my frame I'm at about $350 for this bike which is crazy! Plus new tires and bars to make it fell more new.
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.
a All Mountain Rider
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
I love this bike and ride it always and anywhere like mentioned abovefrom park to light dh to xc and all mountain this bike does it all
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
still a great bike but they do need to get up with the times and fit them tabs..I wouldnt trade her for the world.... tons of unreal miles with a huge grin on my face
a All Mountain Rider
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
Great bike! At this time I`d buy a frame and buy my own build kit like xt components and RLC fox float fork.This bike will last a long time and maybe the best single pivot bike out there.GO SHRED
Bike Setup: X9 SRAM, TRUVATIV CRANK, 32FLOAT RLC FORK,DT SWISS 5.1D RIMS WITH 340 HUBS,KENDA NIVEGAL 2.35 TIRES -TUBE LESS
a Weekend Warrior
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
i am a heavy rider 125Kg (275 Lbs), this bikes serve my so well for 6 years riding trails and all-mountain style. i love them so mach but in the end after so mach abuse the main pivot broke down (non repairable). i would recommend those bike to any one how wants to develop his bike skills and doing so on a great frame. i always felt when doing something hard and nasty that the bike will return my a favor up on my riding mistakes.
Strengths: Bulletproof design. Great geometry. Smooth riding. Good climber and even comes with a bottle cap opener!
Weaknesses: Pardon me?
I bought my Heckler in 07 and have ridden Whistler, Fernie, Sun Peaks, North Shore, Silver Star and my local mountains on this bike. It climbs well (with pro-pedal turned on), descends like a champ and can even handle smaller drops to flat! This truly is an "ALL MOUNTAIN" machine. You can set it up for XC riding or even light freeride and it will rip both. If you can only have one bike in your garage and are on a bit of a budget...BUY THIS BIKE!
Bike Setup: Fox Talas 36 fork. DHX Air shock, Cromag bars. Juicy brakes, Specialized Butcher SX 2.3 tires, Mavic 317 rims.
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2012
Strengths: good solid frame,climbs well decends well truely an awesome bike
Weaknesses: sometimes catch my heel on swingarm
love it go buy one!!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 29, 2012
Strengths: strong, fast, climbs like a goat, dependable and it will never let you down.
Weaknesses: maybe the paint and stickers but that's not really a problem, it's a Mountain bike.
Love the bike, I had many other but nothing like this one, it climbs like a goat and I never had any problems with it. 2009 model very strong very cool looking. I have two other bikes but I always come back to this one.It's a smart buy, not letting this one go until it dies!.
Bike Setup: stock fox vanilla susp. XO's everything else.
a All Mountain Rider
from Jessup, PA USA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2012
Strengths: Simple single pivot design that works well. Climbs pretty well & bombs the decents with incredible ease! Strong frame with a company that backs up the product & is awsome. It is a great bike if you like to pop off anything you come across on the trail.
Weaknesses: Not much weakness to this animal. The only thing I don't like is the pressed in bearings. I replaced them and the bearing race got stuck in the one side of the frame. Other than that I will have this bike for as long as the material can last!
This bike rules! I love the simplicity of the single pivot design. If you want a bike that does it all well you've found it. It fly's through the air with the greatest of ease. Climbs well & can be built to be more of a trail bike if you'd like or an all mountain bomber. This bike is one impressive downhiller for a single pivot.
Similar Products Used: Nomad, Bullit, & Redline 29er hardtail.
Bike Setup: Fox float 160mm up front with RP23 rear! Fox is the best!
a Cross Country Rider
from Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2012
Strengths: Burley frame. Good value. Trans Red paint looks amazing. Great at descending.
Weaknesses: Didn't climb great for me. Manitou Minute was not a great fork choice.
I really wanted to like this bike but never felt great on it. I had it built up at 28lbs but it always felt sluggish on climbs. On technical trails like Palmer Park I wished for a little more travel and on XC trails in Colorado I wished for a better climber. I know a lot of riders who love the Heckler. I sold it to a buddy for a great price and he likes the bike a lot. For someone who can only have 1 bike the Heckler is a great compromise. I would rather have a XC bike and maybe a 6 or 7" travel bike for more techy stuff.
Hi, I have a problem... I have just broken my SC Heckler from 2009 and the technical service of SC from my country (Spain) offers me the option to buy the new version... of course with a santa cruz customer price. The SC factory can´t serve the piece I needed so I´m considering to adquire the new ve ... Read More »
I'm thinking of buying a shimano six group set for my heckler I'm building...
first question I wanna run a single ring up front so I should buying the 3 up front right?also 170 or 175 crank length ?
next question what cassette should I run ...11/34 or 11/36
bike is gonna be used more for going d ... Read More »
[B]Is the Heckler out of date?[/B]
I was showing a friend Santa Cruz's latest line up yesterday and was drooling over the new range, new rear suspension technology's, new forks etc
Also had a flick through the latest issue of What Mountain Bike, and the latest advances in bike tech.
Kind o ... Read More »