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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of selling my Heckler and buying a Nomad. From what I understand, the Heckler is Santa Cruz's all time best selling bike. I love this Heckler, but is the VPP on the Nomad worth it? I ride a little of everything. I think I climb better than I do going downhill...although I think I do well there too. I guess I am looking for the perfect do all bike...so far my Heckler has been that for me...would the Nomad be even better? I weigh 236, do some high speed jumps...not so much into drops, I like tech dh and climbs.

Is there a huge weight difference in the frames? Head angle? anyone ride both bikes?
 

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Depends on whether or not you want the risk of a design that has a probability of more maintenance and things to go wrong in an effort to gain more suppleness and speed.
 

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Opinion?

Hey Joe,

I'm leaning towards a new Heckler myself just for the simplicity of the rear susp.
I'd definitely like to hear your opinion on your Heckler (pros/cons?) and what you'd change, mostly what you don't like about it.

Cheers.
 

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i'm going with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

i have a medium 03 heckler. i've upgraded from a 125 rlc and 5th coil to a 36 rc2 and DHX 5.0. its about 35 lbs. i really love my bike. i've read about both sides of the maintenance of the vpp design. i read a lot that have no problems and have read and heard about just as many that have had some more creaks and squeaks. i ride my heckler for everything, minus xc racing. it works well for me. a nomad is appealing but for me the heckler is all i need. i guess you can't go wrong either way. but really any bike you have you'll learn to ride.

good luck
 

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Thanks

jr711 said:
i'm going with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

i have a medium 03 heckler. i've upgraded from a 125 rlc and 5th coil to a 36 rc2 and DHX 5.0. its about 35 lbs. i really love my bike. i've read about both sides of the maintenance of the vpp design. i read a lot that have no problems and have read and heard about just as many that have had some more creaks and squeaks. i ride my heckler for everything, minus xc racing. it works well for me. a nomad is appealing but for me the heckler is all i need. i guess you can't go wrong either way. but really any bike you have you'll learn to ride.

good luck
Thanks for the feedback - Have owned many bikes in the last 20 years and have liked most. Just time for something different and am leaning towards the Heckler.
 

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Freeriding Feline
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Heckler

I have a 2004 Heckler and a VP Free. I thought about doing the same thing and getting a Nomad, but since I have the VP I thought I'd stick with my Heckler in case I have pivot problems like others I have read about. I love my Heckler. It's an awesome bike. I have it geared towards freeriding with a new Fox DHX 5.0.
Plus it's Holiday time and I have to stop buying myself bikes.
 

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I've got an older Heckler as well as the newer version. A couple test rides in Downieville on the Nomad and I bought one immediately and since I built it up I have not ridden either Heckler. The Nomad climbs better, brakes better, descends better, pedals on the flats better; pretty much how I felt about the newer Heckler when I got that 3 years ago. Heckler's a great bike, and I loved riding it, but the Nomad is simply a better bike. Both are about the same weight (32 lbs or so), albeit the Heckler with a 5th coil and the Nomad with the Float R but I've got a bigger fork on the Nomad (02 Z1 FR 130mm on Heckler, Z150SL on the Nomad); other parts pretty much equal. Downside is it looks like the multiple pivots and bearings will be a bit more work and expense to maintain but not so much as to be discouraging (but I do my own work, too).
 

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Heckler/ Nomad

Hey Guys.......I've Been On My Large Heckler With 5th Coil And Van 125 Rlc For Over 3 Years And It's Been The Best Bike. If I Were To Build Another, Or Reincarnate This Bike One More Time..........I'd Do It With The New Dhx Air In The Back To Save Over A Pound And Run A Talas 36 Rc2 Up Front To Be Able To Wind Down The Fork On Long Climbs. I've Done A Tease Test Of A Nomad In A Campground And It Just Feels So Nice. But, We'll See. Overall............... The Heckler Is A Great, Foolproof(except When I Ride), Bulletproof, Do All, Ride All, All Around Bike That Takes A Lickin' And......you Know. If I Could Dream Of One Additional OPTION (and I Don't Know What They Weigh).....it would Be A Floating Rear Caliper Mount. But Even That's Not Really Even That Bad And I'm Surely Used To That. It Actually Taught Me To Use The Front Brake More....which Is More Gooder! Way!! Later....kevin

And...........has Anyone Seen The New Black Chrome P/c Color Yet????? Post It If You Can! Plleeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz :d
 

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Don't be fooled by the simple design

I have the luck of riding both bikes for extended periods of time and in my opinion they are similar in many ways but different in others. The Nomad is more heavier feeling bashing like bike you see a big narly line and you point it towards it and bulldoz over it. The Heckler is more playful and light feeling it begs you to reach for the sky anytime you can. You see the same narly line and you might look at it and say if I hit that rock I can launch over those two others. The Nomad again this is in my opinion has more pedal feedback when hammering thru rock gardens than the Heckler something that came as a surprise to me. The Hecklers handling is just off the charts in my book it is so sure footed that you can make mistakes and get away with it, with late corrections. The Nomad is a little slower in that dept even with the same fork, but that doesn't mean anything because it is hard to get in a pickle with the Nomad, it is that stable. I personally like the Heckler a little bit more and that is because I think it is a little more versatile than the Nomad you can build it as a 26 lb XC Flyer, 30 lb All Mountain, 33lb Freerider, 35-36 lb light downhiller. I would be surprised to see a Nomad make it anywhere near 28 lb and still not loose its intended purpose. If I would buy a Nomad I probably build it aroun 32 lb and make it as freerider as I could, but it still wouldn't feel like a Heckler. When I ride the Hackler and I am climbing it feels like an xc bike, when I descend it feels like a very lighduty DH bike and when I jump it almost feels like a bmx bike, again versatility. The Nomad doesn't feel as snappy and playful of the lips as the Heckler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok....here is my thoughts on the Heckler

Mine is an 03 Large Root Beer. I have a 5th element and a Sherman, ryno lights with XT hubs, Avid mechanicals (203's), "The" seat, XT front and rear derailers, Race Face cranks, Monkey lite bars, race face stem. I am not sure of the weight. The bike has worked perfect, looks great (like new) and fits me well.

I have owned a GT I drive, a Klein Adept Race and a Cannondale hardtail...and I can climb ten times better on my Heckler, even though it outwieghs all of them. On downhills, I broke my Klein. I honestly cannot say one bad thing about my Heckler. When any new rider asks what bike I would buy...I say "Heckler" without a thought. I know I started this post...and already knew the outcome....but wanted to make sure. I will keep my Heckler...forever. I still cannot help looking at the next nice bike that rolls by though.

Thanks for keeping me faithful.
 

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I've owned a Heckler for a year and the Nomad for 4 months. I rode with the same components on both bikes having moved them from my Heckler to the Nomad. The only part differing being the BB. My opinion is quite the opposite of gkler. The Heckler to me felt heavier even though both bikes weighed the same (DHX-air on Nomad, 5th coil on Heckler). The Nomad felt more flickable and easier to jump. The Nomad pedals betters. The Nomad felt a little slacker and less weighted in the front. This IMO this made the Heckler track better when the going got rough but also made getting the front up a little harder when it came time to launch or wheelie drop. Technical climbing is about the same for both - maybe a slight edge to the Nomad. The Nomad rear suspension felt plusher. Brake jack is much worse on the heckler. Chain slap is worse on the Nomad. Bigger drops felt better on the Nomad. BB clearance is better on the Nomad - so less pedal smack. Cable routing is cleaner on the Heckler.

Conclusion? They are both excellent bikes. The biggest differences to me initially were the Nomad pedals better, felt more plush, but did not hold a line as well as the Heckler. I have since softened up the front suspension (Fox 36 RC2 TALAS) to account for that. So now I get my cake and eat it too.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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My LBS just got their first Nomad in, thanks to that anonynous person who ordered it and probably isn't aware that his new bike has a ton of miles on it from all th e demos! Anyway, I rode that thing tonight and can not believe what an awesome bike it is. I love everything about that bike. It steers so quick and takes the bumps like they aren't there. My boys rode it too and they were amazed as well, told me I need to get one no matter what. I demo's a Blur earlier this fall and it just didn't feel right but this Nomad is spot on. They really did this one right.
 

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Heckler is the goods.

I have been searching for "the" bike over the last few years and over this period have owned a Heckler, Cannondale, Ellsworth, and more recently, a Transition Preston. I have tested dozens of bikes and researched dozens more, with suspension designs ranging from vpp, horst link, traditional sp, and faux bar.

My conclusion? I have yet to find a bike that felt as natural and comfortable as the Santa Cruz Heckler. I may be on a Heckler again in the near future. The Heckler is the most popular trail bike of all time for a reason. There is something about the Heckler that just feels right and the boys at SC did their home work when they built this frame. Everything in the design feels spot on to me. The geometry is perfect for every type of riding, ranging from xc to freeriding. The frame is strong enough to handle all but the biggest hits, and the amount of travel 5" to 5.7" depending on the shock, is all most people will ever need for any type of riding.

The suspension design of the Heckler is considered dated, but it works and works just fine. There is so much hype and marketing B.S. these days surrounding the latest and greatest designs, that I have to laugh. I have tested so many different bikes and none have been standouts in my mind compared to the Heckler. The bb height of the Heckler is a bit low and some designs have advantages over the Heckler, but it always comes back to how the bike feels and how comfortable it is at the end of the day. So far, the Heckler is the best total package for my tastes.

Sometimes simplicity is the best answer and when the media induced, high tech suspension design, mushroom cloud finally settles, the Heckler will still be here and will remain one of the best frames ever made.

End of rant.
 

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mo' biggah?

ronny said:
I have been searching for "the" bike over the last few years and over this period have owned a Heckler, Cannondale, Ellsworth, and more recently, a Transition Preston. I have tested dozens of bikes and researched dozens more, with suspension designs ranging from vpp, horst link, traditional sp, and faux bar.

My conclusion? I have yet to find a bike that felt as natural and comfortable as the Santa Cruz Heckler. I may be on a Heckler again in the near future. The Heckler is the most popular trail bike of all time for a reason. There is something about the Heckler that just feels right and the boys at SC did their home work when they built this frame. Everything in the design feels spot on to me. The geometry is perfect for every type of riding, ranging from xc to freeriding. The frame is strong enough to handle all but the biggest hits, and the amount of travel 5" to 5.7" depending on the shock, is all most people will ever need for any type of riding.

The suspension design of the Heckler is considered dated, but it works and works just fine. There is so much hype and marketing B.S. these days surrounding the latest and greatest designs, that I have to laugh. I have tested so many different bikes and none have been standouts in my mind compared to the Heckler. The bb height of the Heckler is a bit low and some designs have advantages over the Heckler, but it always comes back to how the bike feels and how comfortable it is at the end of the day. So far, the Heckler is the best total package for my tastes.

Sometimes simplicity is the best answer and when the media induced, high tech suspension design, mushroom cloud finally settles, the Heckler will still be here and will remain one of the best frames ever made.

End of rant.
How do you get 5.7 inches of travel? with what shock combo would that be? I'm definetly interested.........ya got my attention here!
 

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The new longer stroke 5th element coil and Fox DHX give around 5.6 to 5.7" of travel on the Heckler. These new shocks basically make the Heckler a 6" rig. I am not sure about the amount of travel that the new air shocks get on the Heckler.
 

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shocks

mtb777 said:
How do you get 5.7 inches of travel? with what shock combo would that be? I'm definetly interested.........ya got my attention here!
Any shock that has a 2.25 inch stroke will bump the travel on the Heckler to 5.6 inches. Of course the eye to eye has to stay the same.
DHX-Air and Coil
5th element coil
My Heckler has always had this amount since Jan 2004.
First with a 5th and later with a DHX-Coil
Dhx-Coil is way better than the 5th in my book makes it feel oh so plush.

 

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gkler said:
Any shock that has a 2.25 inch stroke will bump the travel on the Heckler to 5.6 inches. Of course the eye to eye has to stay the same.
DHX-Air and Coil
5th element coil
My Heckler has always had this amount since Jan 2004.
First with a 5th and later with a DHX-Coil
Dhx-Coil is way better than the 5th in my book makes it feel oh so plush.

Mine is a late '02/early'03 made right after the initial batch had the problem with the top tube shock mounts breaking........it's got the original 5th coil on it but I don't think it's got over 5 inches of travel. Is there an easy way to tell on my shock? The DHX air would definitely save some weight though. Just looked at my spring and it says 350 X 2......so it looks like I don't have the 2.25 stroke shock.
 

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mtb777 said:
Mine is a late '02/early'03 made right after the initial batch had the problem with the top tube shock mounts breaking........it's got the original 5th coil on it but I don't think it's got over 5 inches of travel. Is there an easy way to tell on my shock? The DHX air would definitely save some weight though. Just looked at my spring and it says 350 X 2......so it looks like I don't have the 2.25 stroke shock.
It is probably a 2 inch stroke cause the spring says so. The other way to know for sure is to measure the shaft of the shock. The actually shaft that slides in the shock should measure 50mm on the 2 and 57mm on the 2.25.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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Looking at those two pictures of the Heckler with the Nomad right under it, can't help but see the similarities. The angles are identical and it looks like you could over lay one on the other and the crank etc would match perfectly.
 
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