Santa Cruz Heckler Frame Frameset

4.61/5 (82 Reviews)
MSRP : $950.00


Product Description

Santa Cruz Heckler


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Reviews 1 - 15 (82 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by hora horacek a Weekend Warrior from Surrey, UK

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2004

Strengths:    Solid feeling, no flex, smooth, relatively light for what it is capable of (in the right hands)

Weaknesses:    The 5th coil: Rebound blew 8miles into my first ride. Bikeshop said I shouldnt have messed with the settings - What? I changed the rebound mid-ride to achieve a smoother rebound and it blew.

Bottom Line:   
Change the forks and you have a lightweight XC bike or a freeride machine. When looking to buy I came across an american bike mag with an article on the new Ellsworth moment (I was about to buy this frame) "The Ellsworth Moment in our opinion is up there with the Heckler as the all time all round great". I test rode a Heckler promptly and loved it.

I truely beleive that this bike can do anything- I want to buy a hardtail for XC riding but it doesn't make sense when I think rationally, the Heckler is there.

One down-point, after the Anodised Ellsworths......the Heckler paint does scratch very easily

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Singletrack of Death, Morzine France

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth ID, Specialist, Rocky Mountain; Vertex, Instinct, RM9, Giant AXTF890, Yeti ASX etc etc

Bike Setup:   Rootbeer brown: Ti spring, Chris King wheels, Chris King headset, raceface chainset, Ultegra rear mech, carbon bars, Thomson front and back, Hayes hydros,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nathan Buczyk a Weekend Warrior from Edmonton

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2004

Strengths:    Pick one.

Weaknesses:    hmmmm.... no.

Bottom Line:   
This bike does it all. It flies off junk, it flies up junk and it can go on those most epic of rides. My Heckler weighs in at 32 pounds and it keeps pace with all my cross country buddies when i ride with them. If they beat me on a climb they know in the back of their mind that ill be tearing past them on the descent. Bike itself climbs like a goat too, I can run a pretty low pressure in my 5th coil to improve bump sensitivity, and with a little tinkering with that horribly complicated shock your ride is much more efficient in the rough stuff and keeps the power to the ground as well. I wouldnt think of getting another shock besides the 5th ele on here, its feel is amazing and the amount of adjustment compliments the Hecklers versatility. Ive been up Whistler a few times now and am doing the 24 hours of adrenaline on this bike, with the same setup both ways. I own both a full face and a XC helmet for this bike. I think that says it all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   wherever the bike leaves the ground.

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   United Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Jamis, rocky mountain, specialized, kona and norco all mountain rigs

Bike Setup:   2003 Sherman Firefly, D3.1 rims laced to Chris King hubs, Hope C2 8" front brake and rear 6" mini, XT cranks, Weyless Mag pedals/Time ATAC clipless, XTR drivetrain, Continental 2.3 Tubeless tires, Thompson post, EA70 bars/stem.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Claire a Cross Country Rider from Sitka, AK

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2004

Strengths:    Eats up anything. Great geometry for a small person. I could ride this bike all day.

Weaknesses:    Fork too stiff for my 115lbs.

Bottom Line:   
This bike rocks. Rugged enough for any trail, but flies uphill with no problem. I never would've believed that such a heavy bike could be so easy to pedal. My boyfried bought a Superlight at the same time I got this, and he's kicking himself now. I've upgraded a couple things since I got it (wheels, brakes) and there are a couple more that I plan to change in the future (shock, fork, headset), but I could happily live with this bike for the next 10 years. The new Heckler version doesn't even tempt me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Annadale park, CA

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   1300 (complete bike)

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale M60 rigid

Bike Setup:   Chris King hubs, Mavic rims, Hayes disc brakes, Rock Shock Judy fork, Fox vanilla shock, Deore most everything else.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dale Spencer a Weekend Warrior from Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2003

Strengths:    Tough bike. My first full suspension, and it has not let me down. It climbs just as good or better than my old hardtail and is a much more comfortable ride. A joy to ride.

Weaknesses:    None yet.

Bottom Line:   
A great frame if you are a person that rides both cross country but wants to be able to handle rough sections. A very enjoyable ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Ridge

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle World

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   XT everything. Manitou Mars Super fork, fox vanilla rear shock. Mavic 517 rims. Avid rim brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cat Stevens a Cross Country Rider from Latrobe

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2003

Strengths:    The Heckler can take anything and take it well... agile enough to flow through rock gardens and over log piles, but beefy enough take drops and pounding terrain. Great on technical climbs, but also enjoyable on long, smooth rides. If your looking for a top flite all around bike you will not regret purchasing a Heckler

Weaknesses:    No replacable hanger - stripped threads last week - the bike is at the welder being re-tapped.

Bottom Line:   
My Heckler has been mashed, bashed, crashed, hurled, torqued, and still rides like a champ. If you like to ride XC, but hit a knarly technical run when the opportunity presents it self - the Heckler is for you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Laurel Highlands

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   mtbr classified

Bike Setup:   Built up the frame myself - used a lot of Deore parts because a man should be able to peddle a few extra grams while saving a bunch of cash. XTR parts are for people with too much money - you've been had if convinced to trick out your bike in XTR comp.
Manitou dual crown and Fox Rear Shock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mike willis a Weekend Warrior from sacramento, ca,usa

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2003

Strengths:    balanced. stiff. fun.

Weaknesses:    i didn't buy one earlier.

Bottom Line:   
i had no idea. the last full suspension bike i had was a '92 rob role proflex with a mag 21. i've been hardtailing it ever since. friday night i built her and saturday i took her to foresthill and YEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAA! climbing, both in and out of the saddle, was no prob. she just ate it up. things i useta have to pick lines through just disappeared. and going down, oh man. aside from missing the gate and having to climb back up the road to the car with no water and 100 degree heat, it was the funnest ride i've ever had. seriously. it was a God praising kinda day. if you have never ridden suspended, please do.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $355.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   '99 in green w/ fox r, 100mm z.1 x-fly, sun mammoths on hugi discs, avid mechs, northshore 175s

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Weekend Warrior from Boston

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003

Strengths:    Damn strong. Big, fat tubes. Nice welds+polished aluminum is an eye catcher. It caught mine!

Weaknesses:    F*&# OFF!

Bottom Line:   
I received the rear shock w/the frame. If you like to beat the living crap out of your bike, this frame kicks back just as hard. I'm up to a solid 4 foot drop without a problem. The weight is not an issue for me because it is pretty well-balanced. The design is ingeniusly simple. Very comfortable. Imagine what the 03' is like?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   EBAY

Bike Setup:   1999 Judy XLC 100 dual crown, 2003 RC Vanilla w/400# spring, Avid MAG V brakes/levers, Rhynolites w/XT hubs and 2mm SS spokes, Kore bar/stem, C2 headset, Strongarm cranks, STX 7-speed (that's right!) r derailleur, Fire XC Pro 2.1 Tires, DK Iron-Cross peds. All at exactly 31 lbs! (I'm a little proud cause I built it myself.)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rocket a Weekend Warrior from Adelaide

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2002

Strengths:    Strong, light, reliable, looks good, great handling

Weaknesses:    can only afford one.

Bottom Line:   
The Heckler is a fantastic bike that has withstood the test of time and my penchant for new and better things. I just keep updating the other bits around the frame and keep on riding. Love it. Would love another one to make one into a freeride rig and keep my current XC set up.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR, Big Hit

Bike Setup:   the usual stuff + fox float RL and Manitou Black super airs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul Marshall a Weekend Warrior from Cambridge, Flatland, UK

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2002

Strengths:    Climbs like a goat, goes down like a 2-bit wh0re
Doesn't weigh too much and is as hard as nails.


Weaknesses:    Ugly bolts on the pivot axle.
Access to front-mech adjusters is a pain.
I did';t get one earlier!


Bottom Line:   
Bought the frame second-hand, unseen and unridden on reputation alone. Best desicion I ever made (but don't tell my wife) I spent 6 years gradually upgrading my old Voodoo, eventually I had to change the Frame. The Heckler suits my riding style to a tee. Capable of mammoth mountain climbs and bombing the descents. I have as much style as a brick, but this bike forgives me every time. The med is smaller than recomended for me (I'm 6'1") so it handles like a bmx, without being at all cramped. I love it to bits and would only replace it for a new-style Heckler with a 5th element shock.
The original Freeride bike. Everyone who actually rides mountains should get one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Glentress Black

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Off Camber, Dorset

Similar Products Used:   Voodoo Bantu (now fully rigid singlespeed)
Scott Octane.


Bike Setup:   med '00 black Heckler frame. Fox Vanilla shock, Z1 forks. Goldtec XC disc hubs on mavic f519 with Spesh Enduro Pro tyres. Middleburn splined RS8 cranks, FSA splined BB. XT mechs, Hope C2 brakes. Titec Beserker saddle, Race face post, Titec hell-bent bars. the list goes on...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rick a Cross Country Rider from Nashville, TN

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2002

Strengths:    stiff, tracks well, simple design

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
i just got this frame the other day, from ebay, and i love it. it climbs better than my hardtail, and has a smoother suspension than my jeep. i think the weight is fine (i'm coming from a 30lb hardtail). my large frame weighed in at 27.5lb. the best thing about it is, i don't have to look for a good line anymore; just have to keep pedaling. it made the roughest trail in town feel like the smoothest. i found myself looking for big rocks and roots to ride over. i definitely recommend getting one if you have the chance.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lock4

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $535.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   giant nrs

Bike Setup:   '00 heckler frame (large), fox float rc, sid 100, xt/raceface, xt/mavic, avid arch rival

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave Glasheen a Cross Country Rider from Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2002

Strengths:    Good looking workhorse

Weaknesses:    SWINGARM CRACKAGE, TWICE, SAME SPOT-swingarm weld just forward of the right dropout.

Bottom Line:   
I wrote a glowing review in May of '99. I still love the bike but I would be concerned about the swingarm weld cracking incidents. I've broken it for the second time in a year now. I have the polished version of the swingarm and I wonder if the polishing takes too much material away from that weld. I'm contacting Santacruz about the second break today, I hope that one year warranty applies to the replacement swingarm, it's only been on there for about ten months. I will by another santacruz if they stand by their product.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jesusita

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   mostly hardtails, Kona Stab

Bike Setup:   Z1 Bomber, Fox Vanilla R, Raceface & King everything

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gerald McMurray a Racer from Monterey, CA

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2001

Strengths:    Stiff, strong, tracks a line

Weaknesses:    Maybe a bit heavy to race stock.

Bottom Line:   
I went for the Heckler with the air shock because I was slightly heavier than the 200# limit that SC initally set on the Superlight. (it is now 225#). Of couse the bike is a bit heavier than the SL but it is also quite a bit stiffer. The bike tracks a line better than anything that I have ever ridden and I never feel that the frame is the limiting factor in technical sections or big jumps. I wrestle with the weight issue being a XC racer but the tradeoff is a good one given my Clydesdale Status, the bikes performance and durability. I am considering a move to the Foes XC but I will defintely be losing some plushness and travel for the XC specific design. I do have another freeride rig already so I guess I can still get my jollies. Bottom line is that this the best value on the market!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sea Otter

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   LBC

Similar Products Used:   GT Line, SC Superlight, Trek Fuel 100 etc

Bike Setup:   Heckler with Fox RC w/ lockout (this is the way to go for XC), SID 100, SRAM 9.0 SL, Race Face cranks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tom Dibley a Weekend Warrior from Winchester, Hampshire, England

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2001

Strengths:    Smooth, rigid and strong. Relatively light and rides like a dream.

Weaknesses:    Nothing, except the bridge on the seat stays. Why is there such little mud clearance. I have to get an upgrade to install a 2.25 tire.

Bottom Line:   
This is by far the best bike i've had. My FSR Elite was very good, but does not compare to my Santa Cruz. It's 30.9lbs with a sturdy freeride setup, so it's light, but strong enough to do some dirt jumping. I have the last Heckler I could find in the UK. I didn't want a superlight because i was scared of breakage. It is fully pollished and looks great. A 20inch frame is large enough for me at six foot for XC, but has loads of standover height. It rides uphill as well as it does down. I'm gonna get another bike for jumping so I can buy a Superlight as my next bike. That's if I ever get fed up with my Heckler. I doubt that. It gets a 10 out of 5 in my eyes.
Weekend warriors apply here. Light downhillers apply here as should hardcore trail riders as myself. If you're a wieght freak then go for the superlight (u have to now anyway, 'cos they don't make the heckler anymore). If you have a rep for breaking bikes and enjoy riding more than you do looking at your bike and throwing money at it, get it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Skid Marks, Mammoth Mtn

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Peter Hansford Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR. Four bar linkage is more active but does not climb nearly as well and is not as stiff.

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z1 MCR's, 9.0sl shifters, R mech, cassette and chain. XTR F mech, XT hollowtech cranks and BB. Mavic rims on sealed cartridge hubs attatched to Formula B4 discs. Syncros stem, Specialized bars, X-Lite post, Giro Nisene saddle. GEAX tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Miles a Weekend Warrior from Hobart, Australia

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2001

Strengths:    Looks sleek (black main with white swingarm), the ride (makes me smile just thinking about riding it,other heckler owners will know what i mean), heaps of standover height even in 20in frame.

Weaknesses:    Could do with a bit more travel, say 5 inches but you can't have everything :)
Not made anymore :(


Bottom Line:   
It rides like a dream, seems to pick my line for me and makes me smile every time i ride it. I wanted a Heckler for about 1 1/2 years and i finally saw a frame with some parts for a great price (Was a 20inch frame too, fits 6'3 me perfectly . Bought it and haven't regreted it. The thing rides uphill pretty well for ~30lbs, and when it comes to the downs oh man...
Being able to speed wheelie throught ANY rock garden, ditch or ugly chute is very cool. Singletrack manners are outstanding. Line choice is wherever you want to go. Launches jumps quite happily too. Never thought that a bike with 4 inches could feel SO smooth even from 5-6ft drops. I really can't imagine a better package. Overall everything i wanted in a bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Second hand

Similar Products Used:   Giant atx970 FS (cracked the chainstay after 3 years. nice ride but a world below the heckler)

Bike Setup:   Heckler (duh!), Z1 MCR's, Avid brakes, titec bits with XT/STX RC grouppo mix, Azonic bars, big tires, SDG seat

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bryan a Weekend Warrior from San Diego

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2001

Strengths:    Good climber. Very stable on the downhills, it seems like it has more travel than it really does. Short wheelbase is excellent for technical stuff and jumping.

Weaknesses:    Paint Chips, and I think I may be ovalizing the head tube. The bottom bracket seems to flex a lot.

Bottom Line:   
Santa Cruz stopped making them so this is pretty irrelevent but this bike is awesome. I abuse it regularly, as you can see here http://gallery.consumerreview.com/mtbr/gallery/files/nacnac.asp and it seems to be holding up well. If you want a plush ride get a Vanilla RC on the back. The single pivot rarely needs attention and never lets you down. Buy one if you can find it used and in good condition.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Bike Setup:   Setup mostly for freeride. Fox Vanilla RC, 5" Marzocchi Z1CR, Rhyno lites, 80mm stem, Easton DH bars. Mostly XT stuff.

Reviews 1 - 15 (82 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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Frame choice help? Heckler or Blur LT?

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