Deciding on Superlight or Heckler- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Deciding on Superlight or Heckler

    Hey guys,
    I am about to pull the trigger on a bike upgrade. I am trying to decide between a Santa Cruz Superlight R AM and a Heckler R AM. I live in Florida so it is pretty flat, but there are some places I would be jumping, dropping (small stuff). I am wondering if the Superlight would take too much of a beating and I would need a Heckler. The SL comes in at 27.6 lbs, the Heckler comes in at 30.25 lbs. Anyone have a Heckler and does it seem heavy? I had a Gary Fisher Wahoo that was about 30 and change and it was a little heavy to me. Any input is appreciated, this is a huge purchase for me and I want to make the right choice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
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    If you are doing XC then Superlight would be the bike for you but if you do more trail riding then I'd go with Heckler. The extra travel would pretty much translate to more fun without giving up the climbing ability.

    I've been very impressed with the performance of the Heckler at 6" travel 30# is not bad at all. Try them both on the trail to(if possible) see how you like them.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I am 99% pretty sure I am going to go with the heckler. I rode bmx forever, and every little chance I get to find little hits to jump I take.

  4. #4
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    I ride Florida trails and due to lack of elevation we build features to make it interesting. You probably have something similar in your area. If you're coming from BMX and get off on hitting jumps, berms and tables the Heckler should do the job.

    As time goes on you can upgrade for weight loss but unless you're racing a pound or two will not diminish the fun factor of hitting jumps and getting air. From your description the sturdy Heckler will take all the abuse you throw at.

    Disclaimer: I have a Heckler in my quiver and will probably never sell it even though my 29er is getting more ride time now.

  5. #5
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    Thank guys, I appreciate the info. I am sold, heckler it is.

  6. #6
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    Don't Decide Blind

    The Heckler is a great bike and may serve you well, but do not discount the Superlight. It is by no means a weak frame - it's just a shorter travel bike. If you ride both you will certainly notice the weight difference, but you won't if you don't. But weight isn't the only factor. The bottom line is that you should not make a final decision until you have ridden both, and I don't mean in the parking lot at the LBS. Demo each. Buy the one YOU prefer. In the end, it's your butt in the saddle so get the one you like the most.

    Fred

  7. #7
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    I am 5'9" 200lbs and have raced a 2009 superlight for three years in 28 races and logged over 2500 training miles. I am a former BMX and MX racer and still ride both often. I have beat the living piss out of this bike, I went through three back wheels last year alone to give you some perspective, my goal is 50 races on it then its being retired either way. If you are just doing XC with regular jumps and stuff it will be more than fine, if you plan to hit the BMX track or big drops, than get a heckler.

    I will give one hint if you get the superlight, get a 650b front wheel, best improvment ever for it.

  8. #8
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    While I agree with RagerXS about riding both bikes, I'm still favor Heckler over Superlight. It's always a good idea to try both and see how it fit.

    Parking lot test ride would definitely favor the more responsive XC bike on the trail it's a different story so keep that in mind.

    I've ridden both and like both if you are a racer or plan to race a Superlight is not a bad idea but for trail riding Heckler is an better choice between the 2. Another thing you may want to check out is the geometry. Santa Cruz run the cockpit a bit more compact than other brands, it's something that I like but I know others prefer longer and more stretch out feel.

    Between the 2 bike I "feel" that I'm pushing the Superlight to it's limit more, while on the Heckler it simply keep goading me to go harder. Much I feel had to do with the quality of travel. At 4" it's harder to keep the firm pedaling feel, plush, and feel bottomless, but at 6" it's much easier to have it all for the price of a few extra pounds

    Give both a try and let us know what you think. Who knows with your BMX background you may find that the extra travel is too much to compensate for when executing tricks.

  9. #9
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    Superlight

  10. #10
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    Heckler can be built lighter and will still be more durable. The Superlight is not recommended for anyone over 200lbs. but a fast 180lb guy can still be too much for it. I have owned a Superlight, but ridden the Heckler. Wish I had gone with the Heckler.....more fun!
    I wANt To bE DiffeREnT JusT LiKe EveRyOne eLsE!

  11. #11
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    I've got my Heckler down to ~28 lbs with a few basic upgrades... new wheelset (Mavic CrossTrails), RP2 rear shock, new stem, and grips. It's not hard to get a pretty light Heckler that kicks a$$ on the trail.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by con-r-man View Post
    Heckler can be built lighter and will still be more durable. The Superlight is not recommended for anyone over 200lbs. but a fast 180lb guy can still be too much for it. I have owned a Superlight, but ridden the Heckler. Wish I had gone with the Heckler.....more fun!
    No, they don't say anything about rider weight for the Superlight. They did about 10 years ago, but not now.

  13. #13
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    I ended up ordering the Heckler R am, should be here in about a week or so hopefully. Thanks for all your input.

  14. #14
    kite surfer
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    Good choice, very dependable bike!

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