RELEASE: Santa Cruz Heckler EP8 & MX
"The Heckler is about expanding your own trail map – accessing previously unreachable trails, unlocking less-used trails and doing so independently.The full carbon frame and interchangeable 504wh battery keeps the weight down (45.3lb) compared to bikes with larger batteries but it’s fast and easy to put in a fresh battery for even bigger, longer days.
The new Shimano EP8 motor is lighter than the previous unit (310g), has more power (85Nm versus 70Nm), smaller volume (-10%) for greater ground clearance, less drag (36%), more heat resistant, and tuned to give more power in Trail mode. All this means it’s even more capable of tackling longer, tougher rides.
The 27.5-inch wheels keep the bike playful and maneuverable in order to make the most of the trail. The slack headangle (65.5-degree) and 445mm chainstay length provide a snappy and fun feel while still providing traction for when the trail gets steep and technical, both up and down.
Like all Santa Cruz bikes, the Heckler pedals well regardless of watts involved. The 160mm-travel fork is paired with 150mm-travel at the rear to provide a wide range of capabilities. We tweaked the VPP kinematics to have slightly lower anti-squat than other bikes. This adds a touch more support and traction over rough stuff when pedalling seated - a major advantage of having the pedal-assist on your side.
And like every Santa Cruz bike, the Heckler is built for the rigors of true mountain biking. Shimano electronics were chosen for their refinement and reliability, while quality pivot hardware, easily replaceable radial bearings and no-nonsense internal cabling were considered with a mechanics sanity in mind!
The Heckler’s boundaries aren’t defined by distance, laps, or time. The boundaries in our head that say, “Don’t bother”, “Turn back”, “Impossible.” Smashing these boundaries is what got us hooked on riding in the first place. Heckler’s not about taking things easy, it’s about making things possible.
Our bikes have always been about amplifying fun. So our goal for the Heckler MX was to make something light and agile that can help you on-site blind terrain. A mixed-wheel bike gives the confidence of a 29-inch wheel up front for traction and roll-over when you’re caught off guard by technical features. The 27.5 rear wheel allowed us to keep the moderate chainstay length of the Heckler (445mm), which provides a snappy and easy-to-handle bike on tight, demanding trails. We did this without compromising on the standard Heckler’s geometry, so the bike’s character is still very light and accurate.
The Heckler is about expanding your own trail map - accessing previously unreachable trails, unlocking less-used trails and doing so independently. Whether tackling rides that are guarded by monstrous climbs, cramming more into less time, it’s about rarer rides becoming the norm for you. The interchangeable 500wh battery keeps the weight down compared to bikes with larger batteries but it’s fast and easy to put in a fresh battery for even bigger, longer days.
The new Shimano EP8 motor is lighter than E8000 drive unit (380g), has more power (85Nm versus 70Nm), smaller volume (-10%) for greater ground clearance, less drag (50%), more heat resistant, and tuned to give more power in Trail mode. All this means it’s even more capable of tackling longer, tougher rides. We use the full Shimano STEPS battery and motor system again because it means assured reliability and global aftermarket service."