Santa Cruz Bicycles, maker of mountain bikes so good they have a cult-like following, has entered the electric-assist fray with the Heckler. This move isn’t to be taken lightly, Santa Cruz has long been anti-e-bike, one of the last brands to jump on the e-bike bandwagon. But if Santa Cruz is going to make a mountain bike, it’s going to be serious!
In 1996 the Heckler was created as a rude interruption to mountain bike designs of the time. Its solid, full-suspension build and aggressive swagger proved that a well-proportioned trail bike could elevate rider’s on-trail experiences. Today’s Heckler carries all that attitude forward into a new era.
A full carbon frame, VPP suspension, and pedal-assist technology have merged to create something light and agile that amplifies the fun.
Like all Santa Cruz bikes, the Heckler pedals well regardless of watts involved. The lower link VPP approach is tweaked to deliver slightly lower anti-squat versus a Bronson. This adds a touch more support and traction over rough stuff when pedaling seated – a major advantage of having a Shimano motor on your side.
And like every Santa Cruz bike, the Heckler is built for the rigors of true mountain biking. Shimano electronics were chosen for their refinement and reliability, while quality pivot hardware, easily replaceable radial bearings and no-nonsense internal cabling were considered with mechanics sanity in mind!
Creating an e-MTB demanded careful consideration. For us, the Heckler’s potential to loft riders up to new heights is what gets us most excited. Trailblazers like Greg Williams and Danny MacAskill weren’t asking for a dumbed-down ride up. Or down. They wanted something to push their riding to new levels. And held maneuverability sacrosanct as the new tech was introduced.
The Heckler’s boundaries aren’t defined by distance, laps, or time. The boundaries in our head that say, “Don’t bother”, “Turn back”, “Impossible.” Smashing these boundaries is what got us hooked on riding in the first place. Heckler’s not about taking things easy, it’s about making things possible.
It features a Shimano E8000 motor and 504Wh battery integrated into the frame. There are a range of models, from the R for $7399, to the S model at $8399, the X01RSV for $10,599 to the top-of-the-line XX1 AXS RSV at a wallet-splitting $13,099. There are obviously big differences in specs.
The S version weighs in at a heavier 47.78 lbs, stepping up to Fox 36-E Float Performance fork, a Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, SRAM GX Eagle components, SRAM Code R brakes, and still keeps aluminum rims.
The X01 RSV weighs in at 46.5 lbs and uses the Fox 36-E Float Performance Elite fork, RockShox Super Deluxe Select Ultimate rear shock, SRAM X01 Eagle components, SRAM Code RSC brakes and steps up to Santa Cruz Reserve 30 V2 27.5″ carbon rims.
Flagship model XX1 AXS RSV weighs in at 46.29 lbs, uses the same Fox 36-E Float Performance Elite fork and RockShox Super Deluxe Select Ultimate rear shock, but uses SRAM XX1 Eagle components. Brakes and rims are the same.