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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any input on riding currrent SC Hecklers for light freeriding. I just got a look at the cost of a Heckler frame and was blown away by the sub $900 cost. Is the bike that out-dated? I'm currently using a Chameleon with a Pike, etc. so I could easily switch all my parts and at that price, its tempting.
 

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Depends on how light your freeriding is. I use mine as a do-it-all and it's great. 6ft to transition is about as big as I go. It requires a single-crown fork so keep that in mind. If you feel your sc fork can withstand yer abuse then you can likely expect the frame to as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fork would be a single crown Pike

So, that is at most 5.5" travel. As for jumping, I'd get nose bleed at 6 feet so that is not a problem. How does it climb and do you experience "brake jack?" I'd be running Magura Louis FR brakes (8" front/7" rear). My idea of freeride (and I'm not sure the term really applies), is pretty technical and rocky single track with a minimum of jumps and occassionally some lift served at Diablo in NJ. Really, nothing extreme in the least.

Thanks for any input.
 

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noMAD man
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Rev, the Heckler is one of the best bang-for-the-buck setups going in that 5-or-so-inch category that is capable of some real abuse. It's really a mini-Bullit in just about all comparisons. You have to look long and hard to find any dissatisfied customers...and considering the number at which they have been sold, that's a good testimonial...because you know what a whiny lot we bikers are...LOL. Get one with one of the shock options that supplies a 7.875 X 2.25 setup, and you'll have 5.6" of very good and useful travel. Also I'll break from some patterns on this bike and recommend you get a 6" fork for it. We've done this at the shop, and it produces a really capable and comfortable bike. If you don't go crazy on really heavy components, I think you'll be surprised at how good an all-around rig it can be. I ride a Nomad, but I will always highly recommend the Heckler.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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TNC said:
Rev, the Heckler is one of the best bang-for-the-buck setups going in that 5-or-so-inch category that is capable of some real abuse. It's really a mini-Bullit in just about all comparisons. You have to look long and hard to find any dissatisfied customers...and considering the number at which they have been sold, that's a good testimonial...because you know what a whiny lot we bikers are...LOL. Get one with one of the shock options that supplies a 7.875 X 2.25 setup, and you'll have 5.6" of very good and useful travel. Also I'll break from some patterns on this bike and recommend you get a 6" fork for it. We've done this at the shop, and it produces a really capable and comfortable bike. If you don't go crazy on really heavy components, I think you'll be surprised at how good an all-around rig it can be. I ride a Nomad, but I will always highly recommend the Heckler.
mini bullet is a really good desription.....yes you will have brake jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fork would be the Pike I own.

So, that will limit me to the 5.5" range max. As for shocks, can you name a specific one out of the bunch Santa Cruz offers as options? Being pretty much a hardtail rider these days, I am afraid shocks have passed me buy although I am impressed with the results of platform technology on a couple long demo rides I've done with FS (Blur, Intense, etc.)
 

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i'd say go for it. don't worry about break jack... that only happens on hardtails hehe
 

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i'd say go for it. don't worry about break jack... that only happens on hardtails or if smt is riding the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was afraid of the brake jack "problem."

I suppose a platform shock would help eliminate that though. I've been very impressed with what these products do in the few long demo rides I've had on bikes equiped with them.
 

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Hell Ya

I have a 05 Heckler with a FOX 36 (6" of travel), a 5th Element, Shimano 6" rotors, 2.4" Schwalbe Big Betties blabla bla.... Set up for Fun ! 33LBS...

I like the bike a lot. I took My Bullitt & Heckler to Winter Park last weekend, and I could do/hit everything with my Heckler.. No use for the Bullitt at WP until they build some bigger stuff.

I don't have a lot of bikes to compare the Heckler to, but I have recently ridden a Ventanna X5, Turner 5-Spot, Ellsworth Truth, & my Bullitt. I simply like the bike a lot cause it doesn't break, and I can XC & free ride it everywhere...

As I stated earlier, I have a Bullitt as well, so I have experience with the single pivot bikes. To be honest with you, I really don't notice the break-jacking people spout off on. Does it exist? Sure, but half the gumbies out there cant explain break-jack, and the other half would fair better with better skills.. If you wash out, or wipe out while going down hill, was it the break jacking everyone speaks about? MUST be, could be the skills !! :nono:

Remember, most of the riding is you not the bike...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks. I'd love a comparison to a Chameleon

I built up a Chameleon last year and really love the ride and handling. I know its a stretch but it would be great if someone could compare a Chameleon with a long travel fork (Pike - 5.5") to a Heckler with a similiar setup. I am really reluctant to part with the Chameleon but don't want to rule out an FS if it could be as "nimble?" "Tossable" would be another word that come to mind. My only long term experience with FS was a 3-year love/hate relationship with a GT I-Drive.

Brake Jack to me is when you are heading down a steep slope, tap the brakes, and the rear end of the bike attempts to catapult you over the bars. I do not like that feeling but know you can easily compensate by hanging off the seat in a steep enough situation.

Other bikes I'm considering are the Moto-Lite (might be to cross country) and Giant Reign.
 

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noMAD man
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Brake jack.

Rev Bubba said:
I built up a Chameleon last year and really love the ride and handling. I know its a stretch but it would be great if someone could compare a Chameleon with a long travel fork (Pike - 5.5") to a Heckler with a similiar setup. I am really reluctant to part with the Chameleon but don't want to rule out an FS if it could be as "nimble?" "Tossable" would be another word that come to mind. My only long term experience with FS was a 3-year love/hate relationship with a GT I-Drive.

Brake Jack to me is when you are heading down a steep slope, tap the brakes, and the rear end of the bike attempts to catapult you over the bars. I do not like that feeling but know you can easily compensate by hanging off the seat in a steep enough situation.

Other bikes I'm considering are the Moto-Lite (might be to cross country) and Giant Reign.
Oh boy...here we go...LOL! Well, let me "try" to briefly and generally describe how it would manifest itself on a Heckler or Bullit. For one I think the more knowledgeable engineer types on the forum have described it as brake squat rather than jack. Jack does give the impression that the rear of the bike extends, when in my estimation, it actually squats or settles into its travel and doesn't cycle through its normal suspension action. I don't think it "locks up" as much as its travel diminishes a great deal. Your 6" bike feels like a 2"-3" travel rear end in rough terrain when you have the rear brake really "clamped down". The harder you apply the rear brake, the more noticeable this loss of travel becomes. The worst case scenario is that your bike feels like a hardtail...which you should be used to.:D In reality I don't think the rear ever really completely quits working, as far as suspension action goes...it just moves or cycles dramatically less. Obviously some of this varies from single pivot to single pivot and some on suspension setup. That concern you mention about the braking causing an endo is not as dramatic as it might seem. The rear is just not working smoothly, but it's not extending any more than any bike does when you brake hard and the front fork compresses and the bike's CG moves forward.

I think poor riding habits aggravate brake squat. For me, on any bike that I ride, I try to stay off the brakes as much as possible in really rough sections for obvious reasons. You can't always do this, of course, but some riders are constantly and rather hamfistedly grabbing their brakes in rough terrain, and this will make brake squat more pronounced. I think there is a valid argument that all bikes without a Brake Therapy style component have some level of brake squat, but it's definitely more noticeable on single pivots. Maybe some more informed suspension gurus can describe this more appropriately, but this is what I feel on the 2 Bullits I've owned and ridden over the years.

On your mention of the Pike, I think that's an excellent fork and works very well on the Heckler.
 

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I have an older model/style heckler that I beat the stuff out of and it is still going strong. Three of my riding buddies have the newer models and love them. I would buy a new one if I needed a new trailbike.
 

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noMAD man
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We're a Transition dealer also, and I think the Preston is a great bike. However, I think it is noticeably heavier than a Heckler, and Rev, from what you've said, and what I've noticed about your riding preferences, I think it might be on the heavy side of what you're after. Only you can answer that, of course. To be honest I haven't weighed a Preston frame, but it definitely seems more "beefed up" than a Heckler, and this fits with Transition's usual philosophy. They build usually very beefy frames at an outstanding value...oh, and they work very well too. The Preston is even titled as "Preston FR" as I recall, which shows its FR leanings. Boy, it sounds like I'm bashing the Preston, but no...I think it's a real machine...just maybe more FR than what you're looking for. This is where actually getting a ride on both the Heckler and Preston would give you a better perspective. I'd agree that it rivals the Heckler on value.
 

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I use my Heckler for everything. XC, lift riding, DJs, amazing bike.

Super reliable, easy to maintain (single pivot.)

I'd highly reccomend one if you like to ride often, ride all types of riding, and not worry about breaking parts, the Heck is the way too go!

I'm actually getting into 4x racing so I picked up a Howler Frame and may have to let my Heckler go.. What size are you? If you're interested I could potentially sell this frame. (It's a medium, '05)

The Preston is also a sick bike, but it's substantially heavier than the Heckler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the offer

I really fit the large but just in case, what color is the frame and how much would you want for it. Also, I live in NJ so this might not be practical. I really would want to see a used frame before I purchased it.
REV
 
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