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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 lineThe 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 Reviews84/100 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.
Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV Review
A versatile and well-rounded trail eMTB with a high-end price tag.
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.
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.
Danny MacAskill’s All-New Santa Cruz Heckler | EMBN Pro Bike Check 2022
The bike is super quiet and…has a really planted feel.
New Santa Cruz Heckler MX E-Bike Review – Dissected Series
The Heckler gets off the ground with ease, changes direction easily, and is incredibly fun all around. Ultimately, the new Santa Cruz Heckler 29 or MX is definitely worth checking out!
2022 EMTB Shootout – Santa Cruz Heckler CC X01 AXS RSV Review
The relatively compact geometry doesn’t produce a great deal of natural front wheel weighting when seated, meaning the Heckler requires a more engaged rider when trying to climb up steep and technical terrain.
Santa Cruz Heckler eMTB Review – Pros and Cons of the Full Suspension E-Bike With Shimano EP8
The bike is an agile and capable performer.
TESTED: Santa Cruz Heckler eMTB – Our Favorite?
The Santa Cruz Heckler was hands down the most eager to tackle rowdy sections. It truly stood out with its general braap-ability. It doesn’t matter what’s in front of you, this bike has it handled.
2022 Santa Cruz Heckler MX Impressions/Review
Love the bike…super poppy…great all-around enduro bike.
Test Riding a Santa Cruz Heckler MX X01 RSV | Should You Buy?!
The new Shimano EP8 motor it is just fantastic feeling. The 29” on the front and 27.5” on the back makes it feels like a very agile bike.
First Ride | 2020 Santa Cruz Heckler CC, E-MTB
There is going to be a huge amount of demand for this bike.
Santa Cruz Heckler Epic Enduro E-Mountain Bike Live Ride Review
The most expensive bike I’ve ever tested for the channel.
Santa Cruz Heckler | E-Bike Ride and Review
The one thing I absolutely love about Santa Cruz is their VPP setup – it is super smooth.
2022 Santa Cruz Heckler 29 E Bike Review
Right away this thing just feels really, really comfortable.
Santa Cruz Heckler Review
The Heckler rides well in flatter cross-country style terrain.
Santa Cruz Heckler on Trail Review From a Tazer Rider Perspective
Feels just like my [Intense] Tazer.
Let’s Talk About My ‘22 Santa Cruz Heckler MX | 6 Months 1k Miles Review
The handling is good going over chunks. This is probably the most aggressive bike I’ve ever owned.
Santa Cruz Heckler CC Vs. Specialized Turbo Levo – E-Bikes – Which is Best? Reviewed.
The Santa Cruz is amazingly low maintenance; you have one port inside here for bleeding the bearings with a grease gun.
Santa Cruz Heckler
With loads of power, this bike just sprints up hills.
This Is Why E-Bikes Rule || Santa Cruz Heckler MX
Even though it’s quite a bit heavier it still has no problem getting off the ground.
New Santa Cruz Heckler: First Ride Review
Where the previous Santa Cruz Heckler was considered the electric Bronson, the new Heckler is much more like an electric Hightower.
The Santa Cruz Heckler Gets More Versatile With Mullet and 29” Wheel Options, a 720Wh Battery, and Slacker Geometry
Santa Cruz’s Heckler electric mountain bike has been redesigned to turn it into a do-it-all machine, with mixed wheel size options, a 720Wh battery and slacker geometry.
The New Santa Cruz Heckler E-bike: A Little Bigger Here, a Little More Adjustable There, Still a Whole Lot of Awesome
The Heckler is the first e-mountain bike I’ve been on that came somewhat close to the bike reviewer’s “it disappeared underneath me” trope.
Review: 2022 Santa Cruz Heckler MX – The Battery Powered Bronson
The Heckler’s geometry makes it especially well suited to trails with a little bit of everything.
Long Term Review: Santa Cruz Heckler Electric Mountain Bike
It’s an aggressive yet versatile electric bike that’s designed to expand the range of all-around trail riding and all-mountain style riding with a big battery and Shimano’s EP8 drive unit.
2020 Santa Cruz Heckler Review
Overall, the Heckler is very much a Santa Cruz: race-y, well-constructed, and fun as heck to ride.
Santa Cruz Heckler: Six-Month Review
Santa Cruz did an excellent job tuning the ride and suspension of the Heckler, and while any e-bike takes a little time to get used to, this is the most easily managed and comfortable e-bike I’ve yet been aboard.
Santa Cruz Heckler: Six-Month Review
Shimano’s motor lags behind Bosch and Brose.
Santa Cruz Heckler 9 2022 First Ride Review – Mixed Wheel Sizes = More Fun for Everyone
As soon as you drop into a trail, you’ll notice how evenly weight is distributed between the front and rear wheel of the Heckler.
New Santa Cruz Heckler 2022 – Test and Presentation [German]
The rear suspension system is good, very good.
Santa Cruz Heckler | World of MTB Biketest 2020 I EMTB Test I Trail Bike [German]
Santa Cruz frame allows for [brake] discs up to 220 mm.
E-Pisode 1069: Test Santa Cruz HECKLER CC 2022 [French]
Rides without issue in the 25 kph range (15.53 mph).
Santa Cruz Heckler 9 | Bike Check Luis Zarco [Spanish]
The full 29″ version feels smooth at speed and efficient on varied terrain.
Santa Cruz Heckler – Fun and Super Aggressive EMTB Final Review [Portuguese]
A very light bike.
Heckler Santa Cruz E-Bike – Review + Test Ride in the Valley of the Moon (Trail System) [Portuguese]
Tuned suspension feels exactly as expected.
Santa Cruz Heckler, Test and Review of the California Brand’s First E-Bike [Italian – Full English Subtitles]
This bike is really fantastic on the descent.
EMTB Santa Cruz Heckler CC R │My Review [German]
Top geometry is perfect for my riding style.
Test Video Santa Cruz Heckler MX
The VPP system is really the bomb and doesn’t need a big shock absorber to make this frame work.