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  1. #1
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    Heckler vs. Butcher

    Can anyone tell me, besides the small amount of travel, what the difference is between these two frames? I was set on a Heckler, but the Butcher is also very nice.

  2. #2
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    app. butcher is 2.5* slacker. butcher for an am bike, heckler for trail. think the butcher is just a little heavier too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    app. butcher is 2.5* slacker. butcher for an am bike, heckler for trail. think the butcher is just a little heavier too.
    Thanks. Just for my own info, can you explain what "slacker" means? This is something I haven't heard about and I never took it into consideration when buying a bike.

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    by slacker im refering to the headtube angle. the ha on the butcher is 67.5* while the heckler is 69*. the slacker the bike the more comfortable it will be decending, in a nutshell. hope this helps!

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    Yeah, the Heckler is 69 degree head tube, which is not so slack these days, so will climb maybe a little better. Doesn't mean it can't be a blast to descend on it, maybe not as capable at descending as the Butcher though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lew242
    Yeah, the Heckler is 69 degree head tube, which is not so slack these days, so will climb maybe a little better. Doesn't mean it can't be a blast to descend on it, maybe not as capable at descending as the Butcher though.
    Thanks. I'm looking for something that can climb, so perhaps the Heckler would suit me better.

  7. #7
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    either will do anything you want fine. if you are all about the climbs the heckler will probably be a bit better but the butcher is no sloutch. but to me it seems like you want more of a trail bike, why not consider the nickle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    either will do anything you want fine. if you are all about the climbs the heckler will probably be a bit better but the butcher is no sloutch. but to me it seems like you want more of a trail bike, why not consider the nickle?
    I looked at the Nickel, but I think I want want a little more travel. Plus there seems to be a decent price difference. I'm considering doing a build myself and I will have a budget of about 3k. I can build a pretty sweet Heckler for that, no?

  9. #9
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    for sure. a nickle or butcher is only like $300 more though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    for sure. a nickle or butcher is only like $300 more though...
    I'll have to consider it more carefully then. The Heckler has been around a while and has a good reputation so that was playing a part.

  11. #11
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    If the HA is *2.5 slacker I would get the butcher. Descents make you feel like a champ. I'd rather feel safe on the downhills and have better climbing technique than vice versa.

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    The Heckler is a bit lighter than the Nickel and the Butcher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lew242
    Yeah, the Heckler is 69 degree head tube, which is not so slack these days, so will climb maybe a little better. Doesn't mean it can't be a blast to descend on it, maybe not as capable at descending as the Butcher though.

    The Heckler is basically just as slack as the butcher. It's marketing that makes us think the heckler is more xc. Heckler geo is based on a 515 axle to crown fork, butcher 529 axle to crown. Put that longer fork on a heckler (160mm) and it slackens out to 68.1ish. Butcher is 67.5 with 160 fork. Lower headset cup could make a heckler 67.5 or under. Both have 150 rear travel. Really the butcher is an app heckler. The heckler can run a fat 2.5 rear tire like the butcher, and both are rated for 160 forks. The Heckler is marketed as a trail bike now whereas in the past it was their burly AM bike, mini bullit if you will. I knew guys that ran dual crowns on the old ones and the new ones are stronger. Marketing works, but don't be fooled. It's still an AM machine with the right build. After backing up the heckler, I would buy a butcher because I see it as an updated heckler with a new name.

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    FYI: a head tube has extremeley little to do with a bike's climbing abilities. What really matters is your bodies position over the pedals + bike. Things that effect your body position are the seat tube angle, top tube length, and stem length.

    FWIW, I think the few extra bills to go with the Butcher is more than worth it. Depending on how you equip it, you'd be getting a bike that should keep up with the Nomad.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss
    FYI: a head tube has extremeley little to do with a bike's climbing abilities..


    A slacker HA will definitely make a difference in climbing ability. I agree body postion is very important, but you ever try to pedal a bike with a flippy-floppy front end up a hill?
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

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    ...but in the past, a floppy front end was usually paired with a slack seat-tube and a short cock-pit.

    The new school IMO seems to be slack HT, Steep ST and a decently roomy reach.

    michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnavy05


    A slacker HA will definitely make a difference in climbing ability. I agree body postion is very important, but you ever try to pedal a bike with a flippy-floppy front end up a hill?
    Both of my bikes are pretty slacked out. Just got back from a quick ride on my Banshee Scythe that is running 66.5*. My Butcher is probably closer to 66* since it has a 170mm fork on it. I've never had any issues with wheel flop going up hill. When started riding a more aggressive bike it definitely took some getting used to the slacked out geometry on flowy singletrack, but never going up. And I would hardly categorize the butcher as having a flipping floppy front end.

  18. #18
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    Would it be possible to build a trail bike that is 30lbs or less using either of these frames?

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    I'd imagine it wouldn't be that hard at all. Especially if you got a lighter fork. I believe the heckler is designed around 140mm fork, usually higher travel then that and they start getting pretty beefy/heavy. Lighter wheels.

    It really depends on how much you are willing to spend to sacrifice weight savings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mummer43
    Would it be possible to build a trail bike that is 30lbs or less using either of these frames?
    Butcher frame is heavier than a nomad. Heckler frame is around .5lbs lighter than a nomad and about 3/4lbs lighter than the butcher. Use that as your guide. Santa Cruz built up a 35lbs V10 with dual crown, coil over, and DH tires and the carbon v10 frame is 10lbs. You can build up any 6" bike under 30 if you have the cash.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99
    Butcher frame is heavier than a nomad. Heckler frame is around .5lbs lighter than a nomad and about 3/4lbs lighter than the butcher. Use that as your guide. Santa Cruz built up a 35lbs V10 with dual crown, coil over, and DH tires and the carbon v10 frame is 10lbs. You can build up any 6" bike under 30 if you have the cash.
    Any suggestions on where to start as far as components go? Would a full XT setup get me there with Avid Elixer R brakes? Probably gonna go with XT hubs and mavic 321 rims. I was thinking of something out of the Fox lineup for forks and I thought a 150mm model would fit whichever frame I decide on nicely.

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    I would build according to your budget and riding style/needs. XT stuff is great. 150 fork will bias the heckler more towards climbing, and steepen up the HA on a butcher to 68.2ish. If that's what suites your style perfect. The butcher is designed around a 160, and even though the heckler comes with a 150 I feel a 160 makes it ride MUCH better. I owned an 08 heckler and ran a 36, and a marz 66sl 170. 69 Head angle for a 150 rear travel bike is too steep IMO. However, if someone is looking for a 6" bike with geo biased towards climbing and fast steering, you can't beet the heckler with a 150.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    app. butcher is 2.5* slacker. butcher for an am bike, heckler for trail. think the butcher is just a little heavier too.
    69 - 67.5 = 1.5
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfox90
    If the HA is *2.5 slacker.....
    69 - 67.5 = 1.5
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    The 321s are kinda heavy- I'd take a look at Stan's ZTR flow rims, you'll save around 1/2 lb and they're still supposed to be plenty strong. If you're set on the 321s for durability, I'd just suck it up and go with the 721s, which are only like 20g heavier per wheel but can take some reaaaal abuse. If you're running an air fork + air shock, it shouldn't be too hard to get the butcher or heckler down to a 30lb build.

    Are you building this thing up from scratch or will you be going with one of Santa Cruz's build kits? The Butcher has quite a few options for builds through Santa Cruz. I'd go with a fox float 36 or Lyrik SA RC2DH- I think you can open the Lyrik up to 170mm too- not bad for a 4.8lb fork.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    69 - 67.5 = 1.5
    how i made it to college still remains a mystery...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummer43
    Any suggestions on where to start as far as components go? Would a full XT setup get me there with Avid Elixer R brakes? Probably gonna go with XT hubs and mavic 321 rims. I was thinking of something out of the Fox lineup for forks and I thought a 150mm model would fit whichever frame I decide on nicely.
    why 321s? do you need that width and strength? imo for a trail bike a 19mm internal rim is the ticket.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummer43
    Can anyone tell me, besides the small amount of travel, what the difference is between these two frames? I was set on a Heckler, but the Butcher is also very nice.
    I think the main difference is the shock rate. The Nickel/Butcher is design to mimic the shock curve of the VPP. So the Nickel would feel more like a blur not Superlight. The geometry is almost identical when you adjust the number for fork travel.

  29. #29
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    Yeah, I mean to be fair a lot of things are based on what you are used to. If you go from a 72 degree XC bike 69 degree will seem slack, same thing going from 69 to 66-67, it's surely nothing you can't ride around, uphill or down.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    69 - 67.5 = 1.5
    Thanks, I wasn't looking at the chart just going off of the number bkul was throwing out. Hence why I said IF.

    Anyways I think the difference between a 69 and 67.5 is a noticeable difference and should pretty much lean you towards the type of riding you like to do. Man that Ragley with like a 65HA feels slick coming down Again I'll say this. Anyone can learn better technique for climbing if you try, but you can't replace confidence on descents especially if you aren't riding the brakes and feeling like your going OTB every time you point your bike down.

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    I picked the Butcher over the Heckler and given the choice again, I would still choose the Butcher. It climbs awesomely, descends with confidence, and is one of the best bikes I've ever ridden.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummer43
    Can anyone tell me, besides the small amount of travel, what the difference is between these two frames? I was set on a Heckler, but the Butcher is also very nice.
    Having ridden the previous generation Heckler (which I think is a great bike) I found it to have two suspension related drawbacks. First was the issues faced by any high-forward single pivot: There was a bit less compliance climbing over bumps (pedal kickback), and with the falling rate shock it was a little tricky getting it to have good small bump and big hit compliance without some serious shock tinkering, and even then it was not stellar.

    The Butcher is still a high forward single pivot bike, so it is going to have very similar pedaling characteristics (pedal kickback). However, the shock rate is going to be more friendly to setting it up to feel good over big and small stuff.

    In theory, the shock linkage on the Butcher allows for a stiffer rear end, not sure how it plays out in reality, as I have never ridden one.

    The Heckler is absolutely a capable AM frame. It is considered by many to be the very bike that defined the category when the second generation came out in 2002-2003. It has gotten more travel and stiffer since then. This bike can be hucked, jumped, etc.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    app. butcher is 2.5* slacker. butcher for an am bike, heckler for trail. think the butcher is just a little heavier too.
    Yeah, the bike really cares whether you call it "trail" or "AM." And that distinction depends totally on HA. Totally.

    Damn those friends of mine riding their "XC" angled bikes on DH terrain. Damn them! They are fouling be-uncool's lingo!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    Yeah, the bike really cares whether you call it "trail" or "AM." And that distinction depends totally on HA. Totally.

    Damn those friends of mine riding their "XC" angled bikes on DH terrain. Damn them! They are fouling be-uncool's lingo!
    can you honestly not see how some bikes are better suited towards a certain type of terrain than others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    can you honestly not see how some bikes are better suited towards a certain type of terrain than others?
    Academic, in-the-abstract questions are irrelevant here, and apply to marketing lingo more than they apply to real world riding situations.

    Why are you so intent on defending The Boundaries Of The Niche Known As All-Mountain?

    Are you an industry lobbyist trying to protect revenue accruing from Clever Marketing Phrasing?

    More seriously... are you completely unaware that the only thing preventing a rider from using a "cross country race bike" on "all mountain terrain" is the rider's willingness and skill?

    +++++++++++++

    It doesn't matter whether a rider wants to ride "cross-country" or "trail" or "all mountain" in deciding between a Butcher and a Heckler.

    What matters is whether the rider wants one geometry or the other, or wants pure singlepivot versus linkage-driven singlepivot.

    IMO all Santa Cruz bikes suffer from too-short top tubes and for that reason are all oriented toward "cross country" riders because they require extra-long stems in order to have breathing space while pedaling. So from my perspective they're all "cross country" no matter what they weigh or how much travel they have, or what their angles are.

    And in any case, Steve Peat could ride a Heckler OR a Butcher on most World Cup DH tracks and beat anyone in MTBR's forums riding a V-10 on the same track.

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    so do you actually want to answer my question or just try to be clever and beat around the bush?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    Yeah, the bike really cares whether you call it "trail" or "AM." And that distinction depends totally on HA. Totally.

    Damn those friends of mine riding their "XC" angled bikes on DH terrain. Damn them! They are fouling be-uncool's lingo!

    A good rider can do whatever on whatever bike. The point is bikes are categorized from xc though dh with plenty of gray area in between. Geo and travel are the best ways to categorize bikes. Geo plays the biggest role in handling characteristics, and head angle is the most important number there. Of course that will be a major factor as to which category best suits a bike, but it's not everything. Just look at the Spitfire, it's HA would place it solidly in the FR to DH arena, but it's marketed as a trail bike. Plenty of overlap between trail and AM in todays market with odd ducks like the spitfire.

  38. #38
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    Wholly crap....... Ash is Gary Busey!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    can you honestly not see how some bikes are better suited towards a certain type of terrain than others?
    Agree, sort of. .

    Some designs do favor certain types of riding in the compromises they make. The distinction to be made here is that different people will prefer different setups for the same terrain. The "marketing" terms are completely valid, though. "AM" and "trail" and "XC" work when you apply the terms to a bike design and build. They pretty much fail when people think they apply to the actual terrain. Hold a race that involves equal climbing and descending on rugged, technical terrain that epitomizes what AM bikes are supposed to excel on, and I will bet you most of the top finishers will be on "xc" bikes.

    I think the reaction people have against the marketing terms is a bit irrational. They are useful descriptors of different types of bikes built. Otherwise, why even have the terms "road bike" and "mountain bike". You can ride a mountain bike on the road, and while I would not want to do so myself, you could ride a roadbike (carfully) on the trail, Actually, some people ride ride CX bikes on very legit "mountain bike" trails.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    And in any case, Steve Peat could ride a Heckler OR a Butcher on most World Cup DH tracks and beat anyone in MTBR's forums riding a V-10 on the same track.
    True, but what does he actually choose to ride when competing in a world cup DH race?

    Do you think he would choose the same bike for Super-D event that had some climbing?

    Do you think he would choose the same bike for a 4X or DS event?

    Do the answers to the above questions have nothing to do with the terrain/course?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    Academic, in-the-abstract questions are irrelevant here, and apply to marketing lingo more than they apply to real world riding situations.

    Why are you so intent on defending The Boundaries Of The Niche Known As All-Mountain?

    Are you an industry lobbyist trying to protect revenue accruing from Clever Marketing Phrasing?

    More seriously... are you completely unaware that the only thing preventing a rider from using a "cross country race bike" on "all mountain terrain" is the rider's willingness and skill?

    +++++++++++++

    It doesn't matter whether a rider wants to ride "cross-country" or "trail" or "all mountain" in deciding between a Butcher and a Heckler.

    What matters is whether the rider wants one geometry or the other, or wants pure singlepivot versus linkage-driven singlepivot.

    IMO all Santa Cruz bikes suffer from too-short top tubes and for that reason are all oriented toward "cross country" riders because they require extra-long stems in order to have breathing space while pedaling. So from my perspective they're all "cross country" no matter what they weigh or how much travel they have, or what their angles are.

    And in any case, Steve Peat could ride a Heckler OR a Butcher on most World Cup DH tracks and beat anyone in MTBR's forums riding a V-10 on the same track.
    Your right about the short top tubes on SC bikes,after that you lost me.....

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yippee_Ki_YayMF
    Wholly crap....... Ash is Gary Busey!
    I was gonna say, Bobby Brown, but, Busey will do!
    Ragley Blue Pig

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99
    A good rider can do whatever on whatever bike. The point is bikes are categorized from xc though dh with plenty of gray area in between.
    And the REAL point is that such categorization is MARKETING.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    so do you actually want to answer my question or just try to be clever and beat around the bush?
    You haven't asked me a question, so I am guessing you're talking to someone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yippee_Ki_YayMF
    Wholly crap....... Ash is Gary Busey!
    b-kul,

    Why do you use several handles?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    True, but what does he actually choose to ride when competing in a world cup DH race?

    Do you think he would choose the same bike for Super-D event that had some climbing?

    Do you think he would choose the same bike for a 4X or DS event?

    Do the answers to the above questions have nothing to do with the terrain/course?
    So what does an "All Mountain" TRAIL look like? How many riding areas have "All Mountain" trails?

    Are they "All Mountain" trails ONLY if they are designated as such?

    Who gets to do the designation?

    And why didn't Richard Cunningham's "Black Diamond" handle take off and replace FR/DH?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    You haven't asked me a question, so I am guessing you're talking to someone else.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...06#post7976706
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    b-kul,

    Why do you use several handles?
    you totally caught me. brilliant detective work. also, you say several, as in more than two. can you inform me of my other names as i seem to have forgotten.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash T. Abula
    b-kul,

    Why do you use several handles?
    you totally caught me. brilliant detective work.

  50. #50
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    brilliant detective work. i have been caught!

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