Santa Cruz has updated its Heckler eMTB for MY22, waving goodbye to the full 27.5″ setup to instead offer a full 29er while maintaining the MX option. That’s not all that’s grown in size; the 504 Wh battery of old is replaced with a 720 Wh battery, thus up to 30% more charge for longer mileage missions, or just faster laps. Both the Heckler 29er and MX platforms now run 150mm rear wheel travel delivered by the VPP suspension platform. The overhaul brings with it geometry updates and the possibility for geometry adjustments with LO and HI positions to choose from. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Santa Cruz Heckler.
2022 Santa Cruz Heckler
Santa Cruz finally has a complete 29er eMTB in the form of the MY22 Heckler, available in M-XXL with no fewer than five build kits to choose from including (for the first time) both C and CC frame options. The 27.5″ option is not entirely eliminated from the lineup; it lives on as Size S, though still takes full advantage of the frame and geometry updates, as well as the upgrade to a 720 Wh battery. While Santa Cruz add the 29er Heckler for “ultimate traction and rolling speed”, the MX platform remains in the lineup for “quicker cornering and composure in the steepest-and-deepest trails”.
The new Santa Cruz Heckler’s 150mm of rear wheel travel is paired with a 160mm fork sat at the now slacker head tube angle of 64.8°. A 475mm reach, 461mm rear-centre, 26mm bottom bracket drop and a 76.7° seat tube angle round out the more important geometry figures for the Size L, specifically in the HI mode.
The addition of a lower-link flip-chip gives riders the opportunity to run the bike as an ever so slightly lower, slacker version of itself boasting a 472mm reach, a 64.5° HA, and 76.4° SA, with a 30mm BB drop bringing it down to a height of 346mm.
Geometry of the Heckler MX is not too dissimilar from that of the 29er, contrasting most notably in its rear-centre length which shortens to 445mm. The BB height is maintained at 346mm in LO and 342mm in HI, with the HA at 64.8°/64.5° and the SA at 76.4°/76.7°, respectively. Reach measurement on the Size Large is 475mm in LO, matching that of the 29er Heckler.
Santa Cruz tell us the new, more aggressive geometry of the Heckler is complemented with a more progressive execution of the VPP linkage. That is slightly more pronounced in the LO geometry mode than the HI; both get a starting leverage ratio of just over 3.2, dropping to 2.4 at bottom-out in the HI mode, and 2.3 in the LO Mode.
Both the Heckler 29er and MX bikes now have sufficient clearance for a coil shock, though all complete builds come with air shocks. Sticking with Boost rear-end spacing, tire clearance is generous too, coming up at a claimed 29 x 2.6″ and 27.5″ x 2.6″ on the respective builds.
The downtube is home to a 720Wh battery, removable with the use of a 4mm Allen key. As on the previous Heckler models, that powers a Shimano EP8 motor pushing out a maximum torque value of 85Nm.
The rear brake caliper is mounted directly, positioned for use with a 200mm diameter rotor.
Cable routing is largely internal, though you will notice the brake hose and gear cable are visible around the shock region as they exit the downtube and enter the seat stays of the rear swingarm.
Pricing & Availability
The MY22 Santa Cruz Heckler is available now in Maritime Grey and Gloss Avocado colorways, with five build options to choose from.
For the first time, this eMTB is available in C as well as CC frame options. That doesn’t make it any more affordable, however; pricing starts at $8,199 USD on the entry-level R model, increasing to a maximum of $13,299 USD on the top-end XO1 AXS RSV model. The latter is the only model to get the CC frame, with all four less expensive builds rocking the heavier C frame. We hypothesize that Santa Cruz has done this in order to stop retail prices sky-rocketing in the midst of an industry parts shortage, without detrimentally affecting the quality of parts spec’d. That, or they simply don’t have as many CC frames available.