Mixed Wheels and a New Motor for the Santa Cruz Heckler
We've covered the electrified Santa Cruz Heckler launch and our own experiences with it before, but the launch of the new Shimano EP8 motor and the request from some riders for a mullet version has led SC to release an update to their lineup, along with a new MX mixed-wheel version. Get the full rundown of what's new after the break.
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 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.
The mixed-wheel Heckler MX 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’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.