Santa Cruz Heckler

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Release Year
Charge Time
3 Hours
Maximum Range
33 Miles
250 W
85Nm Nm
Volts and Amp Hours
36 V 20Ah
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
48.79, 48.37, 48.44, 48.46 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Santa Cruz Heckler. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

11 reasons to buy

  • There are options for either 29” or mullet (29” front / 27.5” rear) wheelsets.
  • Shimano’s EP8 motor is lightweight, strong, and reliable, and experts generally like the handlebar-mounted EM800 display and controls.
  • At 48.5 lb, the Heckler is light for an eMTB.
  • Users agreed that the 720Wh battery offers excellent range (tested at approx. 33 mi).
  • As with all Santa Cruz models, the frame comes with a lifetime warranty and VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) linkage on the rear suspension.
  • Five options for frame sizing (S-M-L-XL-XXL) means a fit for riders all the way up to 6’7” (201 cm).
  • The Heckler handles everything from flow to steep tech with 160mm/150mm travel in the front/rear.
  • The medium-length wheelbase keeps the bike stable on the steeps without being too big in flatter terrain, while the balanced weight distribution contributes to the natural and agile feel.
  • Geometry and power are well-tuned for all but the most technical climbs.
  • The Heckler comes with top-end components.
  • Users and experts loved the pop on the Heckler, which “gets off the ground better than most non-eMTBs.”

4 reasons not to buy

  • Even by the standard of high-end eMTBs, this bike is prohibitively expensive.
  • The Heckler is versatile, but for riders looking to drop steep, burly descents, other eMTBs offer more downhill-oriented geometry.
  • Although not specific to the Heckler, the EP8 motor makes a slight clacking sound that can annoy riders who aren’t accustomed to it, and reportedly lacks power on steep climbs.
  • Santa Cruz issued a recall in 2022 for a faulty latch that could cause the battery to fall out of its housing during a ride. The problem has since been fixed.

Bottom line

The Santa Cruz Heckler is a spectacle of build quality, design, and high-end components. The 2022 model featured many improvements in design, including the new EP8 motor and 720Wh battery. The Santa Cruz VPP-equipped frame contributes to the incredible feel of the suspension. While no eMTB is quite like a trail bike, this lightweight model is agile for its class. There is a consensus among experts that the Heckler may well be the best eMTB in production in 2022. The issue is value; this bike costs a small fortune. The Heckler is a great toy for those who are loyal to Santa Cruz and can afford it. However, other brands offer similar components and performance at a fraction of the total cost.

Expert Reviews

84/100 based on 4 rated expert reviews

Vital MTB Test Sessions: Four Exciting Electric Mountain Bikes Reviewed Head-to-Head

Corners are an effortless hoot as well. Just lay the Heckler down and hang on.

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Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV Review

A versatile and well-rounded trail eMTB with a high-end price tag.

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2023 Santa Cruz Heckler CC X01 AXS MX Reserve E-Bike

Santa Cruz’s first go at an eMTB was an instant favorite with the Vital crew and this updated model seems to address all our complaints. The barrier for entry is undeniably high but will prove worth it to some.

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Santa Cruz Heckler Carbon CC X01 Eagle Reserve Review

The Heckler is a ripping fun bike with some of the same ride characteristics of other Santa Cruz bikes.

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Electric Mountain Bike Network

Danny MacAskill’s All-New Santa Cruz Heckler | EMBN Pro Bike Check 2022

The bike is super quiet and…has a really planted feel.

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User Ratings

94/100 based on 21 ratings
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Bike Comparison

Santa Cruz Heckler in comparison to averages