June 14, 2013
Another new Santa Cruz? Yep, sorry. At least this time it’s not a carbon wonder machine that you might not be able to afford. This time, it’s a far more down to earth, completely redesigned Santa Cruz Heckler.
The Heckler has long been a staple of the Santa Cruz range. Simple, single pivot and bomber strong, it’s been in the line since 1995. It’s had a couple of re-vamps over the years, but this is likely to be the biggest shakeup: yes, it’s got that entirely new wheel size. The new Heckler will be a 27.5in-wheeled machine.
Now in its seventh generation. The Heckler doesn’t just have 27.5in wheels, but it has the same amount of travel, 150mm, as the very-hot-right-now Bronson, and the exact same geometry too. It’s just that it’s a single pivot – simpler and cheaper to make. The bike has a different feel to the Bronson, due to lacking the VPP system, but it should be pretty close in feel on the downs. The Heckler now has a bolt-thru rear axle for stiffness (and a bolt through fork)
The bike also has the same robust and sealed new axle and bearing system that we saw on the Solo and the Tallboy 2. You can replace or service bearings without even removing the cranks.
We did ask why Santa Cruz didn’t go for the APP system, like its Butcher and Nickel. It seems that the APP system, while offering a better shock rate than a single pivot, needed the same number of axles and bearings as the VPP system, so there was no real weight, or cost saving. By going for a single pivot (which is good enough for Orange bikes, right?) Santa Cruz can make this bike simpler to make and service and cheaper to buy.
Talking of buying, Santa Cruz UK doesn’t currently have prices or delivery dates for the bikes yet. They’re due ‘soon’ though and will be out before the end of the summer. Assuming summer hasn’t ended already. There are two colours available. One is a subtle black and the other is this bright blue with a hint of green (and yellow stripes). It’s a very vivid bike.