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  1. #1
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    To butch or Hekler

    I am having a hard time deciding between the two as I can get most options with either frame.
    Does anyone have any experienced with the two and how the riding characteristics compare. Thanks
    Never settle! There is always a BETTER somewhere. Go find it and shred it!

  2. #2
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    If you can swing it, prolly the Butcher.
    I had 2 Heckers, and really liked both. I haven't ridden a Butcher, but have ridden a blur LT and Driver 8. From reading the info out there, to me it looks like the Butcher builds some modern improvements onto what was good with the Heckler. If its a bike you keep around, the tapered head tube will save you a lot of headache (the straight 1 1/8 of the Heckler will hold you back come upgrade time). The new shock curve is also an improvement over the Heckler, especially if you are a heavier rider (over say 175).

    If you cant swing the Butcher, the Heckler has always been a great bike.

  3. #3
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    Had a Heckler since 07 and loved it, they work much better with a coil. Just bought a Butcher and its very impressive, APP makes alot of difference.

    Either way you're going to be happy tho, I'd happily ride a Heckler again just the Butcher is a bit better.

  4. #4
    Creepy tooth fairy
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    Decisions...

    ...both are great bikes. I owned the first and second versions of the Heckler a 2000 and a 2004, respectively. They flat out ruled. I have pedaled the current one around as well and it too feels great. However, I think it comes down to specifically what the kind of riding you want to do. The current Heckler, while plenty tough is not as burly a design as it's previous incarnation. SC, placed it squarely under the trail designation. You could certainly build it up as more heavy duty rig, but I think you would be pushing it beyond what it was designed for. Many have done this and there have been a number of failures with the current Heckler. I am positive you would enjoy the Heckler's ride, but you must decide if it is robust enough for what you want to do.

    The Butcher is also a terrific bike and what I currently ride. The ride is more refined than the Heckler, but only for the most discerning riders (or snobs like me). However the Butcher is a more burly rig all around. It is in the AM category and can hang just fine on the nastiest stuff most riders, myself included can throw at it.

    So...if you are more of mellow trail rider that wants a fun cushy bike, get the Heckler. If you get a bit more freaky and nasty, but still wanna hang on the long rides with trail guys while not pedaling a pig get the Butcher.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  5. #5
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    When I ordered a Butcher frame in July 2010, I believe Heckler frames were on sale for about $950.00 I had an 2007 Heckler for about a year, I wish I would of kept it. I think the APP is worth the extra money, I would be happy with either bike, although I would be just as happy with the Nickel.

  6. #6
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    I agree with hellbelly. I have a butcher and my buddy just got a heckler. both awesome bikes, but i think of the butcher as an upgraded heckler. The butcher pedals better, suspension is more small bump compliant, and has a better mid range. It handles the rough stuff better with the slacker head angle and tapered head tube. Has cable routing for a dropper seat post and iscg mounts if you want a chain guide.
    Both have bottle openers so if you ride to drink beer you'll be ok there.

    It comes down to what kind of trails you'll be spending most your time on and how much money you have. In a straight up choice... Butcher takes my vote all day long.
    My Girl friend said, " it's not about how LONG your travel is... its's how well you use it!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HELLBELLY View Post
    [B].... The current Heckler, while plenty tough is not as burly a design as it's previous incarnation. SC, placed it squarely under the trail designation. You could certainly build it up as more heavy duty rig, but I think you would be pushing it beyond what it was designed for.
    Interesting POV. I thought the exact opposite. The current Heckler has a lot less welds on the rear triangle- any time you heat metal it weakens. The front triangle also looses a bunch of welds by the head tube. It doesn't look as strong, but I can't believe that SC would make it weaker than previous generation.

    I did a bunch of research on the Heckler before buying it. I didn't want to buy a bike that was going to break 3 times like my previous one. In all the reviews I read, the only frame failure was a clyde who fell a little short on a big gap jump and hit hard enough to bend the frame.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
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  8. #8
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    My two cents:

    I' ve never thought of the Heckler to be weaker than the Butcher. The Heckler, Butcher, and both Nomads are all in the AM class as per SCB's designation on their website, which to me suggests SC has deemed them to be similar in strength.

    I have a '08 Heckler(with four years of abuse under it's belt, goin' strong) and a '11 Butcher(that rips!), and am building a Nomad this winter as a DH bike. Currently the Heckler is set up full coil and the Butcher is full air. I would ride either bike on any given day, trail notwithstanding, with no concern of either bike performing sub-par.

  9. #9
    boxcar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn.skratch View Post
    My two cents:

    I' ve never thought of the Heckler to be weaker than the Butcher. The Heckler, Butcher, and both Nomads are all in the AM class as per SCB's designation on their website, which to me suggests SC has deemed them to be similar in strength.

    I have a '08 Heckler(with four years of abuse under it's belt, goin' strong) and a '11 Butcher(that rips!), and am building a Nomad this winter as a DH bike. Currently the Heckler is set up full coil and the Butcher is full air. I would ride either bike on any given day, trail notwithstanding, with no concern of either bike performing sub-par.
    That being said, and after re-reading the OP, I would keep the Butcher over the Heckler (if I had to choose) but not because of strength concerns. I do really appreciate the performance and handling of the Butcher, great small bump and bottoming control, climbs like a billy goat and awesome for descending, stable and consistent.

  10. #10
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    Go with the Butcher

    I rode a Heckler for two years, then got a Butcher. The Heckler was a great bike, worked well, simple design and is good looking. The Butcher just seems to do everything a little better than the Heckler. It pedals well on climbs (has RP23) and just seems smoother on the down hills. The Heckler was a good first full suspension bike for me, the Butcher seems to help maintain my progression as I have adapted from years with a hard-tail.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Interesting POV. I thought the exact opposite. The current Heckler has a lot less welds on the rear triangle- any time you heat metal it weakens. The front triangle also looses a bunch of welds by the head tube. It doesn't look as strong, but I can't believe that SC would make it weaker than previous generation.

    I did a bunch of research on the Heckler before buying it. I didn't want to buy a bike that was going to break 3 times like my previous one. In all the reviews I read, the only frame failure was a clyde who fell a little short on a big gap jump and hit hard enough to bend the frame.

    Pardon my error. However the Butcher on the Bike Builder has burlier (bigger travel forks/ only AM kits) options than the Heckler. There have been a number of people that have posted pictures here of cracked swingarms on the current Heckler. The previous Heckler really was built as a mini-Bullit with a pretty drastic tip of the hat away from it's XC/Trail roots that it shared with Superlight. The current Heckler leans back in the other direction. I am sure that it is stronger than the second version, but that is splitting hairs. They are different bikes. The old second version Heckler was a seriously tough bike. I personally beat the hell outta mine and it made appearances in a number of freeride videos.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  12. #12
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    I Bought the 2011 Heckler

    ..and I couldn't be happier. Pricing wasn't an issue & the increased price for the Butcher was negligable. Two advantages of the Butcher are beefier fork options for heavier riders (I'm 190lbs & ride a mix of everything) & the tapered headtube. I rode both the butcher & heckler & honestly didn't notice much difference.

    The big advantage of the heckler imho is the bombproof single pivot design. I service my gear & the instructions for bike overhaul of the Heckler vs; the Butcher tell the whole story @ what's involved with servicing/complexity/longevity. I also like the heckler asthetic; simple design, nice lines & tried & true bomber design.

    I rode a full xtr '99 Heckler for years & it was also bombproof, literally. Never a squeak, rattle or issue...Ever. And that's why I bought another Heckler, 2011, SPX-All Mountain kit (full XT, RP23, Roxshox revelation, Avid elixir CR, DT 500 wheels, 2.36 Maxxis) & am so stoked on this build.

    I've been riding it 4-5 days a week for 5+ months on mixed CA coastal mountain terrain, big drops, fast downhills, etc & it's performed flawlessly. You just can't hammer this thing hard enough. The reality is both bikes are superb, everyone has their opinion @ what they like, so just choose what looks best suited to you & you'll be stoked either way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Interesting POV. I thought the exact opposite. The current Heckler has a lot less welds on the rear triangle- any time you heat metal it weakens. The front triangle also looses a bunch of welds by the head tube. It doesn't look as strong, but I can't believe that SC would make it weaker than previous generation.
    Engineers and Welders everywhere are turning in their graves from this post.

    While this is partially true, welding aluminum reduces the strength up to 80% by removing the temper, proper fabrication technique will re-heat-treat the material and bring the temper back to the part, regaining it's strength.

    also, it's "loses", not "looses".

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanceamatic View Post
    Engineers and Welders everywhere are turning in their graves from this post.

    While this is partially true, welding aluminum reduces the strength up to 80% by removing the temper, proper fabrication technique will re-heat-treat the material and bring the temper back to the part, regaining it's strength.

    also, it's "loses", not "looses".
    Some companies (as well as engineers and welders) do not know how to properly heat treat aluminum. Brodie, for example, can't seem to give me a half way decent swing arm for my Knack. It breaks right by the weld every time. When I was a kid I had an aluminum framed Mongoose BMX bike that broke right at the same weld twice.

    Sorry for the typo. I hope you didn't "loose" sleep over it .
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
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  15. #15
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    Welds are usually weaker than other areas, but not because of the heat-treating. Welds are often imperfect, and these imperfections, along with creating possible thin spots or misalignments, lead to failure. I'm not an expert welder, but I did a few crappy welds in high school.

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