If you’ve ever been heckled for riding an e-bike get ready to chortle with smug satisfaction – you can be the Heckler now!

The all-new 2020 Santa Cruz Heckler brings back the popular nameplate, this time with a motor. They’ve taken a formerly budget bruiser with 27.5” wheels, alloy frame and 150mm travel and added a Shimano drive system. And a lot more since the Heckler was last updated in 2013 last updated in 2013. The new electric-assist version is designed to attack aggressive trails and reliably handle the rigors of mountain biking -it shares the character of the old Hecklers- but will take you a lot further.

Why did Santa Cruz launch an e-Bike?

2020 Santa Cruz heckler e-mountain bike is their first eMTB

Santa Cruz long denied they’d ever enter this market. Apparently hearts and minds changed, because they’re certainly not pussyfooting into the e-MTB market. The new Hecklers are only offered with full CC carbon frames, they feature Shimano’s top tier STEPS motors, and offer high-end builds with Santa Cruz’s Reserve 30 V2 carbon wheels and SRAM AXS wireless shifting.

Amidst a lot of speculation a few true words and photos have been leaked online, but today we have all the official info on the new Hecklers. Keep reading to see complete geometry, build specs and pricing for all four 2020 models.

2020 Santa Cruz heckler e-mountain bike is their first eMTB

So what convinced a company that previously showed little interest in e-bikes to make the move? Apparently, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Yuba Expeditions founder Greg Williams (who has been supported by Santa Cruz for many years) had been heckling the brand about getting an e-MTB on the market. The new Heckler e-MTB will be an ideal bike for Williams’s current goal, which is guiding people through the lengthy but rewarding trail networks that wind around California’s old mining towns.

2020 Santa Cruz Heckler frame details

2020 Santa Cruz heckler e-mountain bike is their first eMTB

The 2020 Hecklers feature full CC carbon front and rear triangles (including the battery covers) which helps bring their weight down into impressive territory for full suspension e-MTBs. Santa Cruz’s recently updated Lower Link VPP suspension provides 150mm’s of rear travel, and the bikes all come with 160mm forks. That’s a far cry from the prior model’s single-pivot design and alloy frame.

The Santa Cruz heckler eMTB uses their lower link VPP suspension design

The Hecklers roll on 27.5” wheels, which Santa Cruz chose to keep the bike feeling nimble and playful (it likely doesn’t hurt that they can be tougher than 29” hoops for the same weight). While the bikes were designed around 27.5” x 2.6” tires, they can accommodate 2.5”- 2.8” widths. All models run Boost-spaced 110/148mm axles.

The Heckler frames feature internal cable routing through the front and rear triangles. Inside the down tube are zip-tie guides for the brake hose, shifter cable and motor wiring that prevent them from rattling around. These internal guides are easily accessible for maintenance when the battery is removed from the frame.

Small frames can fit up to 125mm dropper posts, Mediums up to 150mm, Larges and XLs go to 175mm, and XXLs can accept 200mm posts. The rear caliper post-mount directly fits a 200mm brake rotor, because who would want anything smaller on an e-MTB?

The Hecklers also come with Santa Cruz’s noise-cancelling chain guard and mud flap to keep your rear shock clean. 2020 Heckler frames will be covered by Santa Cruz’s lifetime warranty, and the electronics are covered by Shimano’s 2-year warranty.


2020 Santa Cruz heckler e-mountain bike geometry chart

The chart shows the complete geometry for all frame sizes, but here are some key figures:The Heckler’s head tube angle is 66.5°, while seat tube angles range from 76.2° to 75.4° depending on frame size. Their reach isn’t particularly long at 445mm for a Medium or 465mm for a Large. Across all sizes the chainstays measure 445mm, which Santa Cruz says is short enough to keep the bike’s handling snappy yet long enough to provide solid traction on steeper climbs and descents.


The new Santa Cruz heckler e-mountain bike uses the Shimano STEPS motor and drive system

Santa Cruz went with Shimano’s DU-E8000 motors and depending on the model, E7000 or E8000 display units for the new Hecklers. Shimano’s 250W E8000 STEPS motor is on the lighter side at 6.2 lbs, and it runs on a 504wh battery. Add it all up and the complete Hecklers are competitive weight-wise, ranging from 46.29 to 47.66 lbs.

Shimano’s E8000 or E7000 display units show key info like what gear you’re in, what power mode you’re using, and your estimated battery life (among other options). The system’s power button sits below the Heckler’s rear shock, and the charge port is located on the down tube’s non drive side.

The STEPS system offers eco and walk modes, plus three assist modes (two pre-programmed and a custom option you set up using the E-TUBE app).  The battery provides a range of roughly 30-60 miles depending on usage, terrain, etc. It charges from zero to 100% in five hours, but takes in an 80% charge in 2.5 hours.

2020 Heckler model lineup:

There will be four different models of the new Heckler e-MTB; Check out the charts below for full build specs on each.  Please note, all models and frame sizes come with 800mm wide handlebars, 50mm stems and 165mm cranks. Color options for all models are Black or Yellow.

The base model Heckler CC R sells for $7399, and weighs 47.66 lbs.

The Heckler CC S retails at $8399, and hits the scale at 47.78 lbs.

The Heckler CC XO1 RSV gets you on carbon wheels for $10,899. This model weighs 46.5 lbs.

All images c. Santa Cruz Bicycles

The fully electrified Heckler CC XX1 AXS RSV sells for $12,599, and weighs 46.29 lbs.



  1. Why not just get a lighter bike that will pedal really nice? I don’t understand it I guess. I mean, it has to have a motor on it because it weighs 50 pounds. A 30 pound bike without a motor would be just as easy to pedal.

  2. Wow – for what that top-end eMTB costs, I bought a Pivot Switchblade AND a Honda CRF250L last year. One I can pedal just about anywhere and get exercise, the other I can go 75mph, has 11″ of travel and has a 200-mile range. Takes a couple of minutes to fill the tank. Yeah, one I have to pay for registration and insurance, but sheeeeit – I think I’d want to insure a nearly $13k bike…

  3. HOLY $MOKE$!! If I were shopping for an e-bike, no way I would even consider this one. I love my Bronson, and like Santa Cruz bikes in general, but not for THAT price premium.

    • I can’t wait to see your eBike when it hits the market. I expect it to be a Class 1 that costs only $2500 and has a range of 500 miles and weighs only 30 lbs.

      • You seem angry that I think around 10 grand is too expensive for an ebike. Anger like stress is bad for your health, if you have the money for one of these then by all means purchase away and enjoy the ride! I’m sure it will be an awesome one! Try to have a relaxing day.

  4. I’d like to just suggest that you consider who SC is competing with here – likely the Pivot Shuttle and maybe the Turbo Levo Expert-to -S-Works or Trek Rail 9.8-9.9 level. You can’t reasonably expect a boutique brand like Santa Cruz to try and compete with the 800lb gorillas in the bargain basement pricepoint of a category that is brand new for them. The specs and options seem plenty competitive to me, and it’s not unusual to pay a tad more for a Santa Cruz than a comparable-ishly equipped Trek or Specialized in any category. The Heckler will impress people, even at the $7400 level. Don’t try one unless you want to buy one!

  5. That’s pretty funny, I have a 46lb. Turbo Levo first gen aluminium model (that is weighed WITH 2 spare tubes, SWAT multi tool, chain tool and extra links, pump and 3 CO2’s, as I would ride it way out in the woods) that has 150mm of travel, SRAM EX1 components, 2.8 tires and rides great! The kicker here is that it was about the third the price! Maybe Santa Cruz should go back to the drawing board on this one…

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