Santa Cruz is one of the latest brands to the eMTB party, but as of today, their chips are on the table with the all-new Heckler. At least they are taking it lightly.
The California mountain bike company didn’t indicate why they waited this long to get into the eMTB game, just that now is a good time.
“When someone like Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship founder Greg Williams told us that we should hurry up and make an e-bike we paid attention. When Greg Williams started the Yuba Expeditions and the SBTS he had a vision to breathe life back into old Californian gold rush towns through mountain biking. Today e-bike technology is expanding that concept on a completely different scale.”
With the Heckler, they say that accessing trails like the countless miles of singletrack in the Sierra Nevadas is more possible.
“Some of these trails have been under the nose of riders for years, they’re just protected by nightmare climbs that deter even the toughest riders.”
The Santa Cruz Heckler stood in the brand’s catalog for about 20 years, before taking a break in 2016. Formerly, it was a 150mm travel trail bike with a single-pivot suspension platform. Size medium frames had a 402mm reach, 439mm chainstays, and an 1139mm wheelbase. My, how the times have changed in just a few years, but even for 2016, the Heckler’s geo was pretty outdated.
The 2020 Heckler will again come with 150mm of travel, but will now be leveraged by Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) linkage. It is slightly overforked with a 160mm fork up front. The Heckler will keep 27.5-inch wheels and is available in sizes S – XXL.
The new carbon bike is powered by a 500wh integrated Shimano battery. Geometry takes a much more modern approach, and minds the fact that there’s a big motor stuffed under the downtube. Reach on a medium is 445mm, and each size is about a 20mm difference, up or down. The head tube angle measures 65.5°, the seat tube angle is 76.1°, chainstays are 445mm across all sizes, and the wheelbase is a lengthy 1211mm in a size medium.
Weights for the Heckler are all under 50lbs, and the weight savings are pretty minimal for the higher build kits. The XX1-equipped Heckler weighs 46.29lbs and the base model only weighs about a pound-and-a-quarter more at 47.66lbs.
Since Santa Cruz is only making the Heckler frames with its higher-end CC carbon, the base model starts out at a pricey $7,400. A SRAM XX1 AXS equipped Heckler tops the line-up at $12,600. Find out more information on the new Heckler at the Santa Cruz website.
About Downieville bit.. they say the main trails are just the tip of iceberg, thats great! But would be good if the other stuff was least documented in some way so folks can find and ride them. I’ve talked to the “locals” several times and heard the same – go out and find em… seems you have to be indiana jones to go and unlock the hidden treasures yourself. Also likely not great for conservation if everyone is trudging through the woods instead of just staying on trails.
Notice how they don’t talk about the motor? That’s because it’s a tiny little euro-motor. No, it won’t get you up the hill (that’ why many like this one have a “walk assist” mode to help you walk you $12,000 bike up a hill that the guy with the $2000 e-bike mtb rides past you up the hill, and then down, and then up again, and then down etc…).
Motors this small are worthless on the trail and almost worthless on the road.
Deets: this motor has a 250W motor and a 500 watt/hour battery. that’s pathetic, the very weakest motor/battery combo on the market in fat (ya, all the big names are using these cheap ass things). You average American e-bike has a motor of at least 500 watts (the minimum power to get most people up a hill) and a battery with closer to 800 watt/hours).
Please people stop buying theseover privced but underpowered e-bikes, why would they ever make them better if they can make $11,000 profit offf a $12,000 bike?