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HEckler CC Review - initial review by brock twitchell

What goes up must come back down. Or back up again for another lap.

That''s exactly what the Santa Cruz Heckler was made for. Further, higher and faster. When you are looking for more ride time and no excuses to get out on the trails E-MTB bikes have been made into a perfect solution. The 2024 Santa Cruz Heckler is no exception offering 160 mm of front suspension travel & 150 mm rear suspension travel to ride almost any trail in Southern Utah. 

Trails in Southern Utah offer a complete variety of terrain from fast & flowy, smooth singletrack to technical chunk that will make your teeth chatter. But with the proper suspension setup it makes any trail fun & challenging on the Santa Cruz Heckler. 

The Rockshox 160mm Zeb Ultimate with the all new Charger 3 damper & Buttercup technology handles as if though it was specifically built for Southern Utah. To compliment it the Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Rear shock features the RC2T damper. Something both of these both feature is the ease of tuning, with marked adjustment for individual tuning of High Speed Compression (HSC) & Low Speed Compression (LSC) without the mental gymnastics. Santa Cruz Bicycles also has an amazing breakdown of baseline suspension setup for the Heckler. 

Let''s talk power. 

The 2024 Santa Cruz Hecklers are powered by the new updated Shimano EP8 motor. The EP801. A more intelligent drive unit that offers a quieter, more powerful & smoother drive unit featuring a Walk, Eco, Trail and boost mode & extensive customization options. Paired with a Darfon 720 Wh battery. 

Power is only as good as it''s transmission. 

Pair the EP801 with the new Sram Eagle Transmission and you have the dream delivered. With the nod to shift under maximum power, transmission is the perfect answer to flawless E-Bike shifting.

So how does it ride?

100 miles so far and all smiles. 

After getting the bike built and setting it up exactly to Santa Cruz Bicycles recommended suspension setup I immediately set out for one of my all time favorite trails. The C-Trail in Cedar City, Utah. 

Straight away I realized I was on one of my new favorite bikes. Being able to maneuver an E-Bike around at 155 lbs and 6' 1, it doesn't come as easy as you would think. But somehow I was able to ride this trail as if I were on a analog bike.

Feeling at ease with the suspension setup it was game on. 

Cornering. After the first few turns I realized how well the bike responded to being thrown into a corner & holding the line. Instead of wanting to push through & take me for a ride. The EP801 has a very smooth and predictable power curve through all modes, which gives me confidence pedaling out of a corner or monster trucking up a technical climbing section. Truly the bike just wants to rip and will go as fast or slow as I want it to with little to no limitations aside from my own.

Descending. One of my personal favorite things about mountain biking. And the Heckler does it perfectly. No effort to get to the top and all the effort to get me down to the bottom smoothly, sprinkled in with all the fun lines. The Reserve DH Carbon wheels have handled absolutely everything I have thrown at them so far and shown no remorse. The only area that requires some attention is braking under load, for example you''re in some deep chunk trying to slow down there is a learning curve to braking in modulation to allow the V.P.P to work freely. 


I personally chose to ride this bike and would do it 100x over again. It offers the perfect balance of suspension for all types of riding. For myself my natural riding style is typically centered toward the rear wheel, and one area where the V.P.P Suspension platform really shines. If you are looking for a do it all E-bike that doesn't sacrifice the fun factor while still having a full power motor and long lasting battery, the Heckler is the perfect bike to consider. 


Photos and words by Brock Twitchell, follow along at @brocktwitch on Instagram.

Build Specs:


$11,499 USD  

47.38 lbs / 21.49 kg

Carbon CC

CC denotes Santa Cruz's highest grade carbon fiber frames. Use of the very best materials in the composite results in the lightest, best handling bikes. CC level bikes are also specced with the best wheels, drivetrains and suspension on these models.


Wheel Size

Rear Shock
RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 210x55

RockShox Zeb Ultimate, 160mm

Rear Derailleur
SRAM X0 Eagle AXS T-Type, 12spd

Right Shifter
SRAM AXS Pod Bridge

SRAM X0 Eagle T-Type, 10-52t

SRAM X0 Eagle T-Type, Flattop, 12spd

E13 E-Spec+ AL

Cane Creek 40 IS Integrated Headset

Rear Tire
Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5"x2.4", 3C MaxxTerra, Double Down

Front Tire
Maxxis Assegai 29"x2.5", 3C, MaxxGrip, EXO+

Front Hub
DT Swiss 350, 15x110, Torque Cap, 6-Bolt, 28h

Front Rim
Reserve 30|HD 29"

The Reserve 30|HD is specially designed for aggressive trail riding. They feature a 30mm width for use with 2.5 tires and a redesigned inner rim bed that takes the hassle out of seating new tires. The Reserve 30|HD is the ultimate mountain bike rim.

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Rear Hub
DT Swiss 350, 12x148, XD, 6-Bolt, 24t, 32h

Rear Rim
Reserve 31|DH 27.5"

The same rim that Santa Cruz Syndicate race to victory on the World Cup DH circuit is specced on our ebikes. It is the burliest Reserve carbon rim carbon rim in order to deliver confidence and reliability wherever and however you ride.

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Front Rotor
SRAM HS2 200mm

Rear Rotor
SRAM HS2 200mm

SRAM Code Silver Stealth

Shimano EM900 HollowTech Crank Arms 165mm

Santa Cruz e35 Carbon Bar, 800mm

Burgtec Enduro MK3, 42mm

WTB Silverado Medium, Ti

OneUp V2 Dropper Post, 31.6 -or- RockShox Reverb Stealth -or- Fox Transfer


Darfon 720 Wh Integrated Battery

Drive Unit
Shimano Drive Unit DU-EP801

Battery Charger
SRAM eTap Powerpack 1 Battery