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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to upgrade to a Hecker for XC riding from a Trek Fuel because it broke on me after 9 months, probably due to my 250 lb weight (much more suited up with water and pack). I now read that the Fuels frequently break for big guys and don't want to get hurt or stranded alone somewhere deep which is my type of riding.

I want to test ride a Heckler to make sure the feel and geometry are right for me before making a deposit. Finding a Heckler in a LBS or elsewhere to try out has been fruitless so far. I've been to a couple Bike Shops now looking for the Heckler. They seem to keep Blurs in stock, but no Hecklers or Bullits, which are special order with a month or two delay. As such, it's impossible to get a test ride. I'm wondering if the Blur rides similar enough to get a feeling of what the Heckler may do.

I'm finding I'm getting no help from the Santa Cruz dealers. At the latest bike shop, the mechanic owns a Heckler and often brings it in, but not today. He might bring it in for a test ride for me if he's in a good mood some day. Nevertheless, here's a near verbatum snippit of my conversation with him that leaves me wondering how bike shops stay in business. I'm protecting their name in case I'm forced to deal with them since there's so few Santa Cruz bike dealers. Believe it or not, the conversation was even more distorted than I can properly do justice in this reconstruction.

Me: I thinking about purchasing a Hecker
LBS: No you're not.
Me: Huh, I'm saying I think the Heckler may be what I want
LBS: No it's not. But I can get you another bike.
Me: But will it fit my needs.
LBS: Sure it can, I can get you a nice really super low weight race bike
Me: Look at my fat ass. Do I look like I race? I'd break a light bike like a pretzel as I did with my Fuel 90.
LBS: Breaking a frame is nothing to be proud of. tisk, tisk, tisk. Why are you telling me that?
Me: Because it's why I need a stronger bike.
LBS: Really? Nobody breaks frames.
Me: I do. Big guys do. Think of it proportional to weight, like with your skinny ass on a 15 lb bike. You'd break it in no time.
LBS: Hmmm. So I can build up a 50 lb bike you can jump off anything.
Me: No, I don't do DH either, I do XC. I think I should be able to get a strong enough bike at 35 lbs or so with one of the Heckler Freeride packages.
LBS: Hey, noone uses "Freeride" anymore, it's so lame and you're out of touch.
Me: Well, I'm referring to what Santa Cruz currently labels their beefier packages. What do you call it?
LBS: We call it "trail" bikes these days.
Me: So can you help me with the Heckler or perhaps a Ventana?
LBS: We don't sell Ventanas
Me: But you're listed as one of the only two dealers in the entire Bay Area on Ventana's web site.
LBS: Yeah right. OK, if you know exactly what you want, I'll order the frame for you but that's it.
Me: So what about the Heckler, how can I find out more about it.
LBS: You know, I'm really suspicious of people who break frames. I think you should go to another bike shop and get another bike. Talk to Lars at the bike shop up the road (and he gives me directions) . He's a big guy racer and can help you better and sell you a Specialized or some other bike.
Me: I thank him and leave shaking my head. I just want to get out of there.

So my hope to find a Santa Cruz Heckler is still on going. There's still one more shop in my area I can try.
 

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Buy the Heckler, you won't be disappointed. I bought mine without a test ride. Unless you are an anatomical freak or are between sizes, there should be a size that will fit you. Make sure your lbs lets you try different stems until you have the right fit.
 

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Don't worry Big Larry....

BigLarry said:
I'm looking to upgrade to a Hecker for XC riding from a Trek Fuel because it broke on me after 9 months, probably due to my 250 lb weight (much more suited up with water and pack). I now read that the Fuels frequently break for big guys and don't want to get hurt or stranded alone somewhere deep which is my type of riding.

I want to test ride a Heckler to make sure the feel and geometry are right for me before making a deposit. Finding a Heckler in a LBS or elsewhere to try out has been fruitless so far. I've been to a couple Bike Shops now looking for the Heckler. They seem to keep Blurs in stock, but no Hecklers or Bullits, which are special order with a month or two delay. As such, it's impossible to get a test ride. I'm wondering if the Blur rides similar enough to get a feeling of what the Heckler may do.

I'm finding I'm getting no help from the Santa Cruz dealers. At the latest bike shop, the mechanic owns a Heckler and often brings it in, but not today. He might bring it in for a test ride for me if he's in a good mood some day. Nevertheless, here's a near verbatum snippit of my conversation with him that leaves me wondering how bike shops stay in business. I'm protecting their name in case I'm forced to deal with them since there's so few Santa Cruz bike dealers. Believe it or not, the conversation was even more distorted than I can properly do justice in this reconstruction.

Me: I thinking about purchasing a Hecker
LBS: No you're not.
Me: Huh, I'm saying I think the Heckler may be what I want
LBS: No it's not. But I can get you another bike.
Me: But will it fit my needs.
LBS: Sure it can, I can get you a nice really super low weight race bike
Me: Look at my fat ass. Do I look like I race? I'd break a light bike like a pretzel as I did with my Fuel 90.
LBS: Breaking a frame is nothing to be proud of. tisk, tisk, tisk. Why are you telling me that?
Me: Because it's why I need a stronger bike.
LBS: Really? Nobody breaks frames.
Me: I do. Big guys do. Think of it proportional to weight, like with your skinny ass on a 15 lb bike. You'd break it in no time.
LBS: Hmmm. So I can build up a 50 lb bike you can jump off anything.
Me: No, I don't do DH either, I do XC. I think I should be able to get a strong enough bike at 35 lbs or so with one of the Heckler Freeride packages.
LBS: Hey, noone uses "Freeride" anymore, it's so lame and you're out of touch.
Me: Well, I'm referring to what Santa Cruz currently labels their beefier packages. What do you call it?
LBS: We call it "trail" bikes these days.
Me: So can you help me with the Heckler or perhaps a Ventana?
LBS: We don't sell Ventanas
Me: But you're listed as one of the only two dealers in the entire Bay Area on Ventana's web site.
LBS: Yeah right. OK, if you know exactly what you want, I'll order the frame for you but that's it.
Me: So what about the Heckler, how can I find out more about it.
LBS: You know, I'm really suspicious of people who break frames. I think you should go to another bike shop and get another bike. Talk to Lars at the bike shop up the road (and he gives me directions) . He's a big guy racer and can help you better and sell you a Specialized or some other bike.
Me: I thank him and leave shaking my head. I just want to get out of there.

So my hope to find a Santa Cruz Heckler is still on going. There's still one more shop in my area I can try.
There is a bike shop that I hope is better than that in San Jose that sells Santa Cruz: Reeds Cyclery. They also sell guns and other outdoor stuff...I was there awhile back at a race (Anybody remember "THE SIZZLER"?) they were real nice. If not go to Family Cycling Center in the Santa Cruz area (not to far from you). They have like 100 or 200 :D Santa Cruzes it seems on the floor at one time. Good luck!
 

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Just to let you know there is a Large Heckler Frame hangin' on the wall at the Clean Machine Bike shop in Carrboro, NC. I was in there buying some tubes and I noticed it. I was kinda bummed it wasn't a medium. Call them at 800-369-5103. Ask for Jay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heckler Quest Continues

djkellycx said:
There is a bike shop that I hope is better than that in San Jose that sells Santa Cruz: Reeds Cyclery. They also sell guns and other outdoor stuff...I was there awhile back at a race (Anybody remember "THE SIZZLER"?) they were real nice. If not go to Family Cycling Center in the Santa Cruz area (not to far from you). They have like 100 or 200 :D Santa Cruzes it seems on the floor at one time. Good luck!
Thanks for the lead to the other shops. I've tried three LBS now in San Jose with only one shop having any Santa Cruz and that was only a couple smaller Blurs. But I hadn't hit Reeds yet. (The bad shop above was in Los Gatos - the whole town is totally stuck up on themselves there anyway).

HEY! Are there REALLY 100-200 bikes at Family Cycling Center!! Why am I wasting time going anywhere else!

Even better, my wife just said she understands and approves my purchase of a $3K bike. :) Amazingly, she even suggested we pack the kids for the hour ride to Santa Cruz to check for a Heckler to test ride this weekend, and go to the boardwalk as well. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Close, but just not quite

icrider said:
if I had the cash I would buy the red heckler for sale on ebay. check it out larry, I'm sure it's just what your looking for.
I saw a frame that was XL - the other bike were medium or smaller. The XL frame may work but it seems to have an air shock. I'm a big guy (250 lb) and all my sources tell me I need a coil 5th element with extra strong spring - the air shock won't cut it for my weight.

I also really want to test ride the bike to make sure it really is something I'll like in terms of fit and feel. This means finding one assembled in a bike shop, or the ability to test ride one being sold second hand locally.

Thanks for responding with the reference. Almost worked.
 

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There is trans red 5th Elem Coil Heckler hanging on the wall of my LBS.
Medium in size and pretty sweet. They ordered it for me, but I changed my mind and it's still there for over 6 months now.

Send me an email if you want to contact the store. They are not mail order, but they do ship orders when someone calls from a far. The shop is in Los Angeles.

[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wrong Size - I need L or XL

dirtpaws said:
There is trans red 5th Elem Coil Heckler hanging on the wall of my LBS.
Medium in size and pretty sweet. They ordered it for me, but I changed my mind and it's still there for over 6 months now.

Send me an email if you want to contact the store. They are not mail order, but they do ship orders when someone calls from a far. The shop is in Los Angeles.

[email protected]
I was just checking out the dimensions of the Heckler relative to my 19" Fuel 90 that filts me well. The Fuel fits more to the XL Heckler than than the L. The M is way too small for me. Thanks anyway.
 

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Family Cycle

I second that about Family. They have an seemingly endless supply of Hecklers and Blurs. I bought my Heckler frame there and built it up myself. Told my friend about Family when he wanted a Heckler. He drove down to SC and picked up a fully built Heckler that day. They usually have a store full of SC frames to choose from.

Apparently, the guys @ Family know the guys from SC personally. They usually get the first shipment when frames are available. Here's their website:

http://www.familycycling.com/

It bewilders me to see others on this board having to wait months for their SC bikes when I just drove down and picked up the frame I wanted. Guess we are just lucky we live close to Santa Cruz.
 

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Maybe not 200....

BigLarry said:
Thanks for the lead to the other shops. I've tried three LBS now in San Jose with only one shop having any Santa Cruz and that was only a couple smaller Blurs. But I hadn't hit Reeds yet. (The bad shop above was in Los Gatos - the whole town is totally stuck up on themselves there anyway).

HEY! Are there REALLY 100-200 bikes at Family Cycling Center!! Why am I wasting time going anywhere else!

Even better, my wife just said she understands and approves my purchase of a $3K bike. :) Amazingly, she even suggested we pack the kids for the hour ride to Santa Cruz to check for a Heckler to test ride this weekend, and go to the boardwalk as well. :D
Sorry Larry I was just joking about 200 Santa Cruzes, but they seem to have a ton compared to any other Santa Cruz dealers, thier website says they carry 30 to 60 Santa Cruz frames at all times. Be careful if you buy the Heckler this weekend and then go to the boardwalk. I've been reading alot of threads with guys getting thier cars broken into and bikes being stolen..seems to be a rash of it lately. Sounds like you and the kids are gonna have a blast this weekend. And as for the $3K your wife approved for the bike.. you might owe her a nice romantic weekend or more ;) .. Good luck, Let us know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Secret SC Bike Refuge

psychojylo said:
I second that about Family. They have an seemingly endless supply of Hecklers and Blurs. I bought my Heckler frame there and built it up myself. Told my friend about Family when he wanted a Heckler. He drove down to SC and picked up a fully built Heckler that day. They usually have a store full of SC frames to choose from.

Apparently, the guys @ Family know the guys from SC personally. They usually get the first shipment when frames are available. Here's their website:

http://www.familycycling.com/

It bewilders me to see others on this board having to wait months for their SC bikes when I just drove down and picked up the frame I wanted. Guess we are just lucky we live close to Santa Cruz.
Now I know the secret ranch where all the Hecklers have been hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
djkellycx said:
Sorry Larry I was just joking about 200 Santa Cruzes, but they seem to have a ton compared to any other Santa Cruz dealers, thier website says they carry 30 to 60 Santa Cruz frames at all times. Be careful if you buy the Heckler this weekend and then go to the boardwalk. I've been reading alot of threads with guys getting thier cars broken into and bikes being stolen..seems to be a rash of it lately. Sounds like you and the kids are gonna have a blast this weekend. And as for the $3K your wife approved for the bike.. you might owe her a nice romantic weekend or more ;) .. Good luck, Let us know what happens.
I'm mostly looking for a test ride since I'll probably have to build up something custom for my weight. I just want to make sure the Heckler is right for me first. So I very seriously doubt I'll take anything home this weekend. I just hope some of those frames have wheels and pedals on them so I can test them.
My wife is hinting about a family trip to Hawaii in the next few months. She deserves it. It could be worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Heckler Found - Thumbs Up!

djkellycx said:
There is a bike shop that I hope is better than that in San Jose that sells Santa Cruz: Reeds Cyclery. They also sell guns and other outdoor stuff...I was there awhile back at a race (Anybody remember "THE SIZZLER"?) they were real nice. If not go to Family Cycling Center in the Santa Cruz area (not to far from you). They have like 100 or 200 :D Santa Cruzes it seems on the floor at one time. Good luck!
Great Bike Shop Recommendations for Hecklers, Mr. djkellycx !! I found both bike shop recommendations to be superb. The mechanics at both shops were VERY helpful (they were antonyms to the Los Gatos store) and spent an hour giving detailed expert technical advice.

Reed Cyclery had one medium Heckler built up and another half dozen Heclker frames on the wall. Although the medium was too small and weak in supsension to be uesful for a ride evaluation, the mechanics detailed discussion and suggestions were very useful. The mechanics (Mike and Jesse) at Reed Cyclery went out of their way to help me with every detail. For example, they even mentioned that Shimano was coming out very soon with it's "Hone" high strength component line between XT and Saint that may be perfect for me at my large weight (250+gear), even though they knew it may cause me to delay my purchase to wait for it.

The Family Cycling Center in Santa Cruz that I went to this weekend (combined trip with my wife and kids at the Boardwalk) was a Santa Cruz bike mecha. They had lots of Santa Cruz bikes and frames, with about 5-6 Hecklers built up for sale and another dozen or more Heckler frames on the ceiling. Best of all they had another couple demo Hecklers that could even be rented. :D :D One of them was a Large frame that I checked out in the the surrounding (flat) neighborhood. Testing on hard-beaten demo bikes was also good as I could evaluate "worn" bikes and the play or problems that may exist after some hard riding.

What follows is my review on the Heckler after my test ride at Family Cycle Center:
I quickly decided the Large Heckler frame was too small for me at just over 6' but with long arms and legs, and the XL was indeed the right size. They put some swept back angle dual crown fork on the front of the Heckler, designed for serious DH. For my weight, they pumped up the air (no coil) Fifth Element but it had a broken seal and could only get 180 before the air would leak out fast with the pump still on the bike whereas he was trying for about 250 lb (not sure if I got it right). The salesman/mechanic said about 20-30% of the Fifth Elements come back in just a few short weeks with busted seals and parts such as I saw. He said at my size I should steer away from Fifth Element reliabilty/strength issues. As such, the rear sag was over 1.5" by my estimate, whereas I was told the recommended sag is only 5/8". So it was still a bit soft for me - which I tried to take into account. Since I was at the flat area near the beach and couldn't find anything to climb, I checked for bobing by holding the brakes lightly as needed to pedal very hard in the lowest speed (1,1) gear. The only small bobbing appeared to come from the front fork, and if I sat off the back of the bike, it was damm near solid as a hard tail, even with he softer rear shock setting.

I found the Heckler was very responsive and could easly turn around at moderate speed in less than the two car open parking space in a lot (without sliding or Trial type stunts). If any lateral play existed in the frame, I wasn't good enough to feel it in sharp turns. I tried going off and up curbs (3-4"?) and over the parking lot tire stops (another inch or so). At first, I was used to my Trek Fuel's Manitou Black shocks, even with extra firm springs, that nose dive and bucking me off on these smaller size obstructions. So to start I was offloading and pre-bouncng up these small obstacles. Then I gradually used less and less front pull-up and finally just rode over them sitting down like they weren't even there! Going for skin rash, I even took them without any front off loading at 45 degree angles and again no effect!

I also found the frame was quite firm. In fact, my butt hurt from the crummy seat on the bike (and I had regular non-padded pants) after just 30 minutes of playing around. I tested for lateral flex by trying to push the frame sideways at the seat post hard with my hand while holding the handlebar stem. But the only lateral flex I saw (1/4" maybe) was from the rubber tires. Trying to understand the lateral flex Ventana bikers condem on the Hecker, I held the bike on it's side at 45 degrees and put most my weight on the XT crank arm. Again, the only flex I saw was about 1/2" of bending of the crank arm relative to the bottom bracket (which I limited because of the nervous look of the sales guy) but nothing observable in lateral flex the frame. I don't think the Ventana were exaggerating, but I could have a newer model with bigger bushing, or not doing the same test they suggest in the same way. But I thought my tight turn riding and sideways crank pressure tests were appropriate tests for real conditions and I couldn't perceive any effect whatsoever of lateral play.

So it was not a perfect test due to imperfect fit of frame and parts, as best to be expected. But from my tests, I'd say the Heckler is definiately a thumbs up for my riding style. I'm going to order an XL Heckler soon.

I still need to check out the components. I worry about the Fifth Element unreliability (also widely reported by the product forums here) and need to decide on other rear shocks. The mechanic suggested the Fox DHX5 or Vanilla RLC. But they seem to be so new I can't find them anywhere on this product site and only snippents on the web, even though he pulled them out and showed them to me in his shop. The DHX5 looks and has specs like a 5th Element clone but done right.
As for the drive train and other components, I get mixed opinions on going to the Saint Freeride Kit for greater strength with my weight. I figure if I don't break parts over the next several years, it's a bargain. Some say it's overkill (which is true) but the added cost is low ($200) and others say that's a good reason to just go ahead and get it. There's not much downside other than the extra 5 lbs of any freeride system and the added hassle of removing the wheels around the axle mounted rear derailleur and big axles. But then if as usual for me, I put extra thick thornproof tubes in the Kevlar tires, the wheels may never need to come off the bike. [However I did blow out this bullet resistant tire combination a few months ago when going steep long downhill with my large weight and clincher brakes on my commuter bike while my Fuel 90 was having it's broken frame replaced. The rims turned red and then white hot, then the tire rubber tire bubbled up and had what looked like sweat on them. Then finally the inner tube rotated and broke off at the stem. I let the wheels cool down for a while so I could touch them, then put in a spare inner tube. This happened AGAIN a week later on my second trip down the mountain. But then I got my bike back with disc brakes and only had problems with burning out the hydraulic fluid and complete fade out to the point my bike moves freely with both brakes held tight until the brakes cool down over a few minutes! I now stop on downhills periodically for brake cooling.]
 

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The 5th Element reliability problems are only with their air shocks, to the best of my knowledge. The 5th Element coil shocks are bullet-proof, I thought. You don't want an air shock anyway.

When piecing your bike together look at getting one of the forks that lets you have >180mm rotors. I have 180mm Hope rotors on my Heckler and I'm very glad I went with them. I love their stopping power and modulability (is that a word?) and they *never* overheat. I'm not a Clyde, though I do ride aggresively.

I love my Heckler. Good choice!
 

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Definately get the 5th element coil. Incredible shock that makes the bike feel like it has 2 more inches of travel over othe 5' travel bikes. The new Hecklers are shipping with 2.25" stroke shocks so be sure your frame at the LBS has one of those on it and they're not trying to unload old stock on you. It gives the Heckler an addition 1/2" (.6) of travel. I'm close to your weight and have a 500lb spring. I do not have any preload on this spring and get 40% sag. So a coil with 500 lb spring should be just right for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sliderhouserules said:
The 5th Element reliability problems are only with their air shocks, to the best of my knowledge. The 5th Element coil shocks are bullet-proof, I thought. You don't want an air shock anyway.

When piecing your bike together look at getting one of the forks that lets you have >180mm rotors. I have 180mm Hope rotors on my Heckler and I'm very glad I went with them. I love their stopping power and modulability (is that a word?) and they *never* overheat. I'm not a Clyde, though I do ride aggresively.

I love my Heckler. Good choice!
As for 5th Element reliabiltiy, I specifically asked the bike shop salesman/mechanic at Family Cycle in Santa Cruz if the returns were with the air or coil shocks. He said the high failure return rate (~20-30% within a few weeks) was with both types of shocks, air and coil, and he didn't see much of a difference from his experience. I also see returns of both types in the reviews page here.

Do you have a 5th element coil? How long have you had it, and how big are you? The new Fox DHX5 seems very much like the 5th, but with the better reputation of Fox.

I want 8" rotors alright. I'm leaning towards the Marz Z1 FR with ETA, which can handle these big discs. But I want to find one to test somewhere first. Marz is coming out with some new forks in a week or two that I'll wait to check out. See changes here: http://www.nsmb.com/gear/marz_sessions05_08_04.php
 

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BigLarry said:
I'm looking to upgrade to a Hecker for XC riding from a Trek Fuel because it broke on me after 9 months, probably due to my 250 lb weight (much more suited up with water and pack). I now read that the Fuels frequently break for big guys and don't want to get hurt or stranded alone somewhere deep which is my type of riding.

I want to test ride a Heckler to make sure the feel and geometry are right for me before making a deposit. Finding a Heckler in a LBS or elsewhere to try out has been fruitless so far. I've been to a couple Bike Shops now looking for the Heckler. They seem to keep Blurs in stock, but no Hecklers or Bullits, which are special order with a month or two delay. As such, it's impossible to get a test ride. I'm wondering if the Blur rides similar enough to get a feeling of what the Heckler may do.

I'm finding I'm getting no help from the Santa Cruz dealers. At the latest bike shop, the mechanic owns a Heckler and often brings it in, but not today. He might bring it in for a test ride for me if he's in a good mood some day. Nevertheless, here's a near verbatum snippit of my conversation with him that leaves me wondering how bike shops stay in business. I'm protecting their name in case I'm forced to deal with them since there's so few Santa Cruz bike dealers. Believe it or not, the conversation was even more distorted than I can properly do justice in this reconstruction.

Me: I thinking about purchasing a Hecker
LBS: No you're not.
Me: Huh, I'm saying I think the Heckler may be what I want
LBS: No it's not. But I can get you another bike.
Me: But will it fit my needs.
LBS: Sure it can, I can get you a nice really super low weight race bike
Me: Look at my fat ass. Do I look like I race? I'd break a light bike like a pretzel as I did with my Fuel 90.
LBS: Breaking a frame is nothing to be proud of. tisk, tisk, tisk. Why are you telling me that?
Me: Because it's why I need a stronger bike.
LBS: Really? Nobody breaks frames.
Me: I do. Big guys do. Think of it proportional to weight, like with your skinny ass on a 15 lb bike. You'd break it in no time.
LBS: Hmmm. So I can build up a 50 lb bike you can jump off anything.
Me: No, I don't do DH either, I do XC. I think I should be able to get a strong enough bike at 35 lbs or so with one of the Heckler Freeride packages.
LBS: Hey, noone uses "Freeride" anymore, it's so lame and you're out of touch.
Me: Well, I'm referring to what Santa Cruz currently labels their beefier packages. What do you call it?
LBS: We call it "trail" bikes these days.
Me: So can you help me with the Heckler or perhaps a Ventana?
LBS: We don't sell Ventanas
Me: But you're listed as one of the only two dealers in the entire Bay Area on Ventana's web site.
LBS: Yeah right. OK, if you know exactly what you want, I'll order the frame for you but that's it.
Me: So what about the Heckler, how can I find out more about it.
LBS: You know, I'm really suspicious of people who break frames. I think you should go to another bike shop and get another bike. Talk to Lars at the bike shop up the road (and he gives me directions) . He's a big guy racer and can help you better and sell you a Specialized or some other bike.
Me: I thank him and leave shaking my head. I just want to get out of there.

So my hope to find a Santa Cruz Heckler is still on going. There's still one more shop in my area I can try.
I find that hard to believe. That shop is very close to my house, I been in many, many times and found them to be great. I have ridden that mechanic's bike, it felt great even though it was too small for me. They were right about Lars, that guy knows more about bikes than anyone I have every talked to. But they don't sell SC there, just Specilized, Intense and Rocky Mtn. Do go to that shop any way, you will be glad you did.

I think there is only one shop left that sells Ventana in the BA, Wrench Science. Too bad, Ventana is awsome. I own an older one.

I'm about your size, a few inches taller. I think you will be happy with the Heckler. I was just in the same spot as you and ended up buying a 5 Spot. You also might want to check out Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz, very cool shop. They have Specilized, Turner and SC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bicycle Soup Nazi

jmelani said:
I find that hard to believe. That shop is very close to my house, I been in many, many times and found them to be great. I have ridden that mechanic's bike, it felt great even though it was too small for me. They were right about Lars, that guy knows more about bikes than anyone I have every talked to. But they don't sell SC there, just Specilized, Intense and Rocky Mtn. Do go to that shop any way, you will be glad you did.

I think there is only one shop left that sells Ventana in the BA, Wrench Science. Too bad, Ventana is awsome. I own an older one.

I'm about your size, a few inches taller. I think you will be happy with the Heckler. I was just in the same spot as you and ended up buying a 5 Spot. You also might want to check out Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz, very cool shop. They have Specilized, Turner and SC.
At the time I felt like I was talking to the bicycle soup nazi (No bike for you!) He wasn't nasty but also wasn't listening or understanding at all what I wanted, namely to check out the Heckler or another strong frame bike for XC.

Trying to understand his reaction, it could have been the mechanic, who sees himself as a real bike racer, couldn't emotionally deal with the image of a fat old fart on his wonderful Heckler bike that was only for people like himself. He was trying to steer me to other bikes even before I told him about my broken frames.
It could also he had a practical concern about replacing a frame and all the problems and costs it creates for a bike store. So it didn't matter why I broke a frame, he just didn't want to bother to deal with me because of the possible liability.
He seemed like he was genuinly trying to help by referring me to Lars, which I will do at some point.
 
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