Santa Cruz Heckler SL Makes for a Natural Evolution

The all-new Santa Cruz Heckler SL mixed wheel trail bike drops weight off the original for a more natural ride feel.
Photos provided by Santa Cruz.

The Santa Cruz Heckler SL is an all new electric mountain bike that’s designed to handle like a traditional trail bike. It’s the latest to follow the super light (SL) trend, though making a lighter weight bike is only part of the story. The Heckler SL, with 160/150mm of travel front/rear, is also said to handle more naturally than the original, and TBH it looks better too.

Santa Cruz Heckler SL specs

Right off the bat the Santa Cruz Heckler SL drops weight from the original with a smaller capacity, 430Wh battery. A smaller battery means a smaller downtube, which really improves the bike’s aesthetics with cleaner, thinner lines.

The motor is lighter on the Heckler SL too, with the Fazua Ride 60 weighing just under 2kg. Santa Cruz says the 430Wh battery paired with the Ride 60 motor has the “same range as a full-power eMTB with a 630Wh battery.” They don’t say it directly, but it’s the long-travel Santa Cruz Bullit that has a 630Wh battery, not the original Heckler with a bigger, 720Wh battery, and presumably a longer range than the Heckler SL. Then again, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the SL with its smaller battery has a shorter range than the full Heckler.

By going with the Fazua Ride 60 — which is also found on the Pivot Shuttle SL — the Heckler SL isn’t just getting a lighter weight motor. The Ride 60 is said to offer zero drag and a quiet operation for a more natural, non-electric feel. With a max torque of 60Nm, it isn’t as torquey which promises smoother, less jerky starts too.

The Heckler SL is a dedicated mullet/mixed wheel bike and buyers can get it in carbon or carbon. There’s no aluminum frame option, though Santa Cruz C-grade carbon does save a little money over the higher quality CC-grade. There’s a flip chip to adjust the geometry between high and low geo modes, and the bike is available in sizes small through XXL.

Santa Cruz doesn’t say exactly how much the Heckler SL builds weigh, though they do say the average weight for the bike is about 41lb (18.5kg).

Santa Cruz Heckler SL geometry

The Heckler SL geometry isn’t a carbon copy of the Heckler. With this release Santa Cruz is taking an opportunity to progress the bike’s geometry just a touch. The 64.3° head tube angle on the Heckler SL is half a degree slacker than the Heckler, and the seat tube angle is almost a degree steeper at roughly 77.5°, depending on the size. The Heckler SL also has a slightly longer reach and a lower stack height.

Build options

All of the Santa Cruz Heckler SL builds feature SRAM drivetrains and suspension parts, with the exception of the least expensive R build which comes with a Fox Float Performance shock. Every build also comes with a 2.5″ Maxxis Minion DHF tire up front, and a 2.4″ Minion DHR II in the rear.

Buyers get a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain on the least expensive build, with Transmission drivetrains appearing on the mid-range build and up. In total there are five builds available with the highest level build featuring a Rockshox Lyric Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, Reserve 30 HD wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs, and a SRAM XX Eagle Transmission drivetrain.

  • Prices range from $7,299 to $12,999 for complete bikes.
  • Buy from JensonUSA.

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