Heckler revived as Santa Cruz's first e-MTB

Santa Cruz Heckler 150mm eMTB
Heckler could be the first of many eMTBs for Santa Cruz (Image credit: Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz has revived its Heckler mountain bike as the company’s first e-MTB.

The Californian mountain bike brand has resisted the e-MTB trend, but market forces have finally forced it to deliver a battery-assisted bike of its own.

For loyal followers of Santa Cruz, the Heckler name will be familiar. This new version differs from the original Hecker both in its configuration, which features battery assistance, suspension linkage, and frame material (carbon instead of alloy). 

Santa Cruz’s first e-MTB is powered by Shimano batteries and electrics. Energy density rates at 504wH for the lithium-ion battery pack and pedal assistance is powered by Shimano’s 250W E8000 STEPS motor.

Claimed endurance is broadly influenced by riding conditions and terrain but Santa Cruz says that your Heckler e-MTB should cover between 30- to 60-miles of pedal assistance.

These new e-MTBs are built around Santa Cruz’s CC-specification carbon-fibre frames and weigh 21.6kg. Wheels sizing is 27.in with boost axles front and rear. The Heckler’s rolling dynamics are optimised around a 2.6’ tyre on a 27.5in wheel, although frame clearance will accept 2.8’ tyres, too.

Santa Cruz’s latest suspension kinematics apply to the Heckler e-MTB with a lower link VPP system providing 150mm of rear travel, balanced by a 160mm fork up front.

Whereas the previous Heckler had a single-pivot suspension system the VPP configuration separates forces between the front and rear triangles, enabling superior terrain taming suspension performance.

The Heckler e-MTB has been designed for committed trail and enduro mountain bikers, who thrive on technical descents. Santa Cruz was particular about creating a seat tube profile that would allow for generous dropper post lengths. As such the medium-sized Heckler can run a 150mm dropper, a large 175mm and XXL 200mm.

For traditional fans of Santa Cruz the presence of a new Heckler, as an e-MTB, might raise some ire. But in terms of specification and suspension design, the first Santa Cruz e-MTB has remained true to most of the brand’s core gravity bike-inspired values.

Santa Cruz is pricing its Heckler e-MTB at $7399 for the R model (Yari fork, NX build) and $8,399 for an S (Fox 36, GX build).

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for MBR.com, Off-Road.cc and Cycling News.