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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Heckler 27.5 announced...

    Seems like SC is going all-in with 27.5. $1299 for frame and starts at $2600 for full build kit. Definitely more affordable than the Solo and Bronson. Can anyone explain to me what makes the Heckler 27.5 different from the other two? I am assuming that it mainly has to do with single pivot vs. VPP suspension?

  2. #2
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    Study up on your mountain bike history The Heckler has been around in (basically) the same form since the beginnings of full suspension. Single pivot, reasonably lightweight, and affordable. Durable, simple, and well-evolved.

    I honestly think if they made a carbon version it would likely cannibalize sales of the VPP bikes, as it would likely be lighter and (obviously) lower maintenance, along with lower priced.

    Now, if they will just update the Superlight in a similar fashion (and make it, well, slightly lighter) then I am all over it. My converted Superlight 650b is awesome already!

  3. #3
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    Yeah, it's mainly single pivot vs. VPP. The geometry is essentially the same as the Bronson, so think of it as a poor man's Bronson.

  4. #4
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    Pretty funny, no one saw that one coming. Boy, SC sure has done a 180 from their previous statements about 650B jumping in hook line and sinker. Only a few models left to change.

    This is a nice bike with some good improvements at a great price point. Glad to see them do this.

  5. #5
    usually cranky
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    might just get me to buy into this 650b thing. what would be better is if it was an app bike.

  6. #6
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    Thing is though, it's still a relatively old-school suspension design, and one that I think when compared to the FSR-Based Norco ART design or RM Altitudes "Flip Chip" may not climb nearly as well.

    You can get the following for under $3000

    RM Altitude 730
    Norco Range Killer-B3
    Norco Sight Killer-B3
    Santa Cruz Heckler 650b
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  7. #7
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    Whyyyyy? They've really needed a 650B Chameleon or Highball LT in the lineup forever but seem so opposed to any modern geometry AM hardtail.

  8. #8
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    Thing is though, it's still a relatively old-school suspension design, and one that I think when compared to the FSR-Based Norco ART design or RM Altitudes "Flip Chip" may not climb nearly as well.
    im not a mtb historian but isn't fsr nearly as old as sp? but i do agree, a good horst design will out preform a sp. still a nice option for someone who wants a dead simple, dead reliable bike though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    Thing is though, it's still a relatively old-school suspension design, and one that I think when compared to the FSR-Based Norco ART design or RM Altitudes "Flip Chip" may not climb nearly as well.

    You can get the following for under $3000

    RM Altitude 730
    Norco Range Killer-B3
    Norco Sight Killer-B3
    Santa Cruz Heckler 650b
    Sometimes simple is good and all some people really need. Just look at the waiting list for the Orange 5 (now a 275 available) which is also a simple single pivot like the Heckler but the frame is more than twice the price.

    Also the frame only price kills the Norco's and the Rocky if that's all you need.

  10. #10
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    What's the best shock currently for the Orange 5 or Heckler?
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    I've had two single pivot bikes - a Bastardo and a Nickel 650b. The Nickel just flat doesn't fit me. But it's okay, I just can't offer much of an opinion on it because I can't get comfortable on the bike. The Bastardo was fine, great bike, on downhills, as good as anything. But to climb you needed to have pro pedal switched on, and if you got caught trying to do a quick climb up a short incline, it would slow you down and sap the energy. The other good qualities about that bike, the unbeatable stiffness and tracking and durability, just about make up for that.

    But the VPP Tallboy LT I had really spoiled me as even my 220-ish clyde-self could climb on that thing with the shock open, and it really made a difference being able to take advantage of the extra traction and comfort on climbs...I see that is the big advantage of VPP or DW Link bikes over single pivot designs.
    Your Bastardo (low single pivot) and Nickel (high single pivot) are as dissimilar to each other in climbing behavior as they are to a FSR or VPP.

    The high pivot Nickel (and Heckler as well) will actually tend to firm up under granny gear climbing (or any climbing in a chainring whose highest point falls below the main pivot).

    The Bastardo will squat under hard pedaling in any gear without ProPedal engaged (as will any FSR).

    The VPP uses chain tension to firm up the pedaling at the sag point.

    Honestly, a good high single pivot climbs as well as anything on smooth terrain. The firming of the suspension under hard pedaling does mean it isn't as good at crawling up techy climbs, but still way better than a hardtail.

  12. #12
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    It may require more body english or input to get up techy climbs without losing traction (kind of like a hardtail), but how well a bike climbs (unless it bobs a lot, which a high single pivot does not) is much more a function of 1) weight and 2) the rider's power-to-weight ratio.

    Given the rider's fitness as a constant, the biggest contributor to how well a bike climbs is, in my experience, bike weight.

    People climb well, not bikes, anyway. And I have yet to see any climb that can be conquered on a full-suspension bike that couldn't be conquered (and usually more easily) on a hardtail.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    You're giving my Lumberg a real workout today.

    To compare anything you have to get rid of the other variables, such as weight of the rider or bike.

    I'm not sure why you're so emotionally invested in this, but the idea that someone is going to be able to climb as efficiently on a bike which has a suspension that bobs under pedalling seems analytically questionable. You can have the last word though.
    Thanks, I'll take that word.

    A high single pivot DOES NOT BOB under granny-gear climbing when set up correctly. The tradeoff is that the chain tension (or propedal, or low-speed compression damping, or a combination of these) also makes it less reactive to the terrain, more like a hardtail.

    Some people like a bike to climb like a hardtail. Others like it to conform to the terrain while climbing (which almost always entails some "bobbing", including on a VPP, even when set up correctly).

    Neither makes a bike any "better" at climbing to anywhere near the degree that rider fitness and/or bike weight do.

    Tell your Lumberg I've got a meeting with "the Bobs". Yeah, they called me at home.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    If you discussed bobbing with the Bobs, I am sure they will want you to come in on Saturday.
    No doubt

    Seriously though, I've owned a Blur XC, Blur LT, Nomad (2 of them), 2 Hecklers, and 3 Superlights. I see a lot of virtue in the simplicity and light weight (comparing aluminum SP to aluminum VPP, of course) as well as the price of the SP bikes.

    In my mind, the tradeoffs of price vs. performance (especially under a skilled rider) make the SP bikes a great choice.

    If SC would ever see fit to make a carbon Superlight, I'd buy it in a minute.

  15. #15
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    no news about a superlight 27.5 with 125 travel? a monopivot in the trailride catalog?

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    Quote Originally Posted by z3ro View Post
    no news about a superlight 27.5 with 125 travel? a monopivot in the trailride catalog?
    Pretty sure the SL will forever be a XC bike.

  17. #17
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    I think the existence of the Superlight 29 means no 27.5 SL.

  18. #18
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    ^i agree, I'm think sc keeps xc 29, trail and am 650b with a 26'' and obviously dh 26'' but maybe well see a v10b.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by z3ro View Post
    no news about a superlight 27.5 with 125 travel? a monopivot in the trailride catalog?
    Yeah, they probably wouldn't call it a Superlight, but that's the bike that I'm waiting for! I almost jumped on the Solo, but I prefer the weight and simplicity of a single pivot bike, as well as the price.

  20. #20
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    Why Heckler, and not a 650B revised Butcher with itīs APP-Suspension? Still simple efficient Single-Pivot, but less Pedal-Kickback and Brake-Jack because of linkage-driven Shock ...

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    Man, all this technical mumbo jumbo is making my head spin. Gotta admit, the price point really has me intrigued but not totally sold on SP. Currently own a 29er hardtail and an SC Tallboy, love them both and ride them equally as much depending on the type of terrain. Interested in a 27.5 for a few reasons:

    -Another bike to add to my stable

    -Thinking 27.5's would provide me with the best of 26" and 29"?

    -Another bike to add to my stable

    Specifically, I have trouble maneuvering tight switchbacks with both my 29ers. They're great for everything else. Been looking at the Pivot Firebird, SC Bronson, and Norco Range. With the exception of the Norco, price has been the biggest detractor. Just not sure about Single pivot though. Looked at the Superlight prior to choosing the Tallboy and noticed quite a bit of pedal bob. I'm not the most experienced rider, so it could be that the Superlight wasn't setup correctly.

    Guess, I'll have to take advantage of some local demo days. I really like the Pivot so far but I love the price point of the Heckler and my Tallboy/SC has been great.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoStyle View Post
    Why Heckler, and not a 650B revised Butcher with itīs APP-Suspension? Still simple efficient Single-Pivot, but less Pedal-Kickback and Brake-Jack because of linkage-driven Shock ...
    That's not really accurate. APP took all of the simplicity out of a true single-pivot and did nothing other than modifying the shock rate curve to better fit current air shocks. It doesn't change pedal feedback or braking performance.

  23. #23
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    Another that bugs me is the weight. The alloy Range and Sight can both get pretty light, and its looking like both Hecklers will be over 30lbs in even in the higher-end build.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  24. #24
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    The Heckler is a pretty light frame for an alloy, 6" travel frame. I haven't looked at the others all that closely, but it's pretty difficult to get any proper alloy all-mountain bike below 30 pounds without going carbon wheels and paper thin tires.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    That's not really accurate. APP took all of the simplicity out of a true single-pivot and did nothing other than modifying the shock rate curve to better fit current air shocks. It doesn't change pedal feedback or braking performance.
    APP's extra link added stiffness to the rear triangle. I really like the Nickel and my friend does crazy stuff on his Butcher, too bad the APP is gone.

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