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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.