Amid the launch hype of three swanky new carbon superbikes (Bronson, Solo and Tallboy 2) it would be easy to conclude that Santa Cruz has forgotten its single-pivot roots. So, not only is the all-new Santa Cruz Heckler proof that the Californian brand still has a sense of history, but that it also sees the importance of producing more affordable models.
The Heckler’s certainly a marketing masterstroke. Not only does it have the same travel (150mm) and wheel size (650b) as the headline-grabbing Bronson, but it’s got the same geometry too. In other words it’s longer, lower, slacker and more capable than any previous generation single-pivot Santa Cruz.
The aluminium frame and single-pivot suspension design aim to create a bike that’s durable and low maintenance as well as relatively affordable. Simple it may be, but the bike still comes with ISCG 05 chain-guide mounts, modern 142x12mm bolt-through dropouts and routing for a dropper post.
Santa Cruz UK offers four component kits and the chance to customise parts such as bottom brackets and wheels. The model we rode, with Shimano Deore parts and Avid Elixir brakes, is £2,599.
This is a classic bike with a contemporary twist, so for fans of previous single-pivot Santa Cruz models there’ll be a lot to like. However, judged against its high-tech, multi-pivot suspension rivals, it’s impossible to gloss over the conspicuous chain growth and a slight lack of torsional rigidity. Danny Milner
We Love: Contemporary geometry and wheelsize makeover for a classic design. Hedonistic ‘Club Tropicana’ paintjob. angular contact pivot bearings are durable and easy to service.
We Hate: Single pivot quirks; chain growth and pedal feedback. Not the stiffest frame around.