As Managing Director of Tweed Valley Bikes, Dirt School, Tweed Valley Guides and TVB-Tech, Janey’s work schedule is jam packed. To make the most of her bike time, Janey’s go to bike at the moment is her Santa Cruz Heckler. Versatile enough to tackle the wide variety of trails that she’ll take it down, Janey’s Heckler blends downhill confidence with rolling speed and efficiency on mellower terrain to give a well balanced ride whatever is under the tyres.
This Heckler began life as a stock S build bike, but quickly evolved into the custom build we see here. With top end components from Reserve, Maxxis, Burgtec, OneUp and SRAM, Janey has left no stone unturned in creating an incredibly versatile e-bike that’s as ready to take on Tweed Valley classics as it is to head to the hills and munros around Scotland on big mountain road trips in the campervan.
TVB: So Janey, how tall are you and what size frame do you ride?
Janey: I’m 158 cm tall, that puts me in size small on the Santa Cruz size chart, but a bit closer to the lower end, hence the 35mm stem. Having ridden Santa Cruz bikes for the last 8 years now, I know the size small is a perfect fit.
TVB: What drew you to the Heckler specifically?
Janey: As I mentioned, I’ve ridden Santa Cruz bikes for the last 8 years now and one of my favourite bikes I ever owned was the dual 27.5” Roubion V3, just as Juliana switched over to the lower link driven suspension platform that is used today. The Heckler in a size small is also dual 27.5, and is designed around the Bronson/Roubion platform, making it a no brainer as I just loved that Roubion so much. With the support and back up from Santa Cruz, their no missed rides ethos and knowing that all e-bikes will have an issue at some point during a life in the wet weather of the UK, it all stacked up towards the heckler.
TVB: You’ve made a pretty comprehensive set of changes to the bike with every major component being changed from stock. Let’s start with suspension, why did you choose the Zeb and how have you got it set up?
Janey: I went with the Zeb partially out of curiosity, I’d never ridden a 38mm stanchioned fork before and thought the extra stiffness would work well on the e-bike. It’s currently sitting at 170mm, 10mm up on stock, and just takes that little bit of extra sting out of the trails. I’ve got the Zeb inflated to 48psi with 1 token. High and Low speed compression are both open and the rebound is pretty fast to try and keep the wheel in contact with the ground as much as possible, 3 clicks from open.
I’ve kept the Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ that came fitted to the bike. With all the weight of the bike so central and low thanks to the motor and battery, the rear suspension feels perfect as it is. It’s pumped up to 135psi with the rebound fully open.
TVB: So the bike reacts to trail features exactly how you like and keeps the tyres on the trail with a faster, lightly damped suspension setup. What tyres do you use?
Janey: I run an Assegai on the front and a DHRII on the rear, 18psi up front and 21psi in the back with no inserts. Balancing rolling speed with puncture protection and support is important to me, and I’m not the heaviest rider, so I’ve gone for EXO+ casings front and rear and don’t seem to puncture.
I tend to keep my tyres the same pretty much year round, although I’m curious to try a Shorty up front this winter. Typically, if it’s really sloppy I’ll decrease the pressures by 1-2psi and go up by the same amount if I’m heading for faster, more bike park style trails, but for the most part here in the Tweed Valley the trails are so hard packed that you can use ‘dry’ tyres all year round.
TVB: Continuing the custom built theme of your bike, your wheelset is pretty special. Reserve 30|HD rims on Hope Pro 5 hubs. Talk us through how they ride.
Janey: I’ve been riding Reserve’s carbon wheels for a few years now and have always found them faultless no matter how many miles I put on them, making them an obvious choice for the Heckler build. This year, I opted for a custom build on Hope’s new Pro5 hubs and I think they look incredible!
I’ve got the wheels built up with silver spokes to tie the whole silver theme together nicely, 108 points of engagement on the Pro 5 means the hubs pick up really quickly and a new freehub seal means they coast for noticeably longer than other hubs. As a smaller rider on an e-bike, using a lighter wheelset makes a huge difference to how the bike handles and the Reserve rims will stand up to anything I can put them through. Lifetime warranty is just a bonus!
TVB: Moving on to your cockpit, how have you got that setup? Any changes for the Heckler over previous bikes?
Janey: I have a Burgtec Ride Wide Carbon handlebar which I’ve cut to 740mm. Slightly narrower bars mean I never feel overstretched and creates plenty of room to move, which is essential for riding technical trails. They’re a 35mm clamp with a 20mm rise.
I’m using a 35mm length stem, the shortest I’ve used. On previous bikes I’d always opted for a 42.5mm stem, but chose the 35mm option for the Heckler to bring the front end length in a touch. On the e-bike I’m finding I much prefer the shorter stem as it livens up the steering and makes it feel easier to move the bike around.
TVB: You’ve fitted a OneUp dropper to this bike. What size have you gone for?
Janey: I changed out from the stock post to this 150mm OneUp post almost immediately. The overall length of these posts is shorter than any other dropper post, so you can get them further into the frame which gives me way more standover clearance over the bike, great on the steeper and more technical trails I find myself on.
I also fitted their V3 Dropper Post Remote. It’s got a really light lever throw which I love and the rubber thumb pad makes it really comfortable to use.
TVB: SRAM Code RSC brakes are a Staff favourite here. What pads are you using and rotor sizes?
Janey: Yep, I’ve been using Code RSCs for a few years now, I like a brake with lots of modulation that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance and this seems to fit the bill. Plenty of stopping power, especially with the 200mm rotors front and rear - that’s a step up for me moving from last year’s pedal bike where I ran 180mm front and back comfortably. This year I opted for slightly bigger rotors to compensate for the extra weight of the ebike. Pads are sintered, they last longer, especially on the Heckler.
TVB: On to the drivetrain, what made you choose SRAM AXS?
Janey: It’s a SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain on the Heckler. One less cable at the cockpit declutters things a bit. I have the same parts on my Wilder XC bike and liked it on that so it was an easy decision here. It shifts nicely, lasts plenty of rides between charges and is just generally tough. I’m using a 34t Burgtec steel e-bike chainring, which with the 10-52t cassette gives me more than enough gear range for my riding.
A build balanced between downhill stability and rolling efficiency makes Janey’s Heckler her go to bike for the majority of her riding and makes the perfect stablemate to her more distance and speed focussed Juliana Wilder XC bike.
Janey’s Heckler Full Specification:
Frame: Santa Cruz Heckler, size: Small
Motor: Shimano EP8
Battery: Darfon 720Wh
Fork: Rockshox Zeb Ultimate, Charger 2.1 Damper, 48psi, 1 tokens, LSC: 0, HSC: 0, Rebound: 3 from open
Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+, 135psi, Rebound:0
Wheelset: Reserve 30|HD rims, Hope Pro 5 hubs, silver DT Swiss spokes
Tyres: Front: Maxxis Assegai, 18psi, EXO+, MaxxGrip, no insert Rear: Maxxis DHRII, 21psi, EXO+, MaxxTerra, no insert
Handlebar: Burgtec Ride Wide Carbon, 740mm wide, 20mm rise, 35mm clamp
Stem: Burgtec Enduro mk3 stem, 35mm reach, 35mm clamp
Grips: Santa Cruz House grips
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, SRAM Centreline rotors, 200mm front and rear, sintered pads
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 AXS, 10-52t cassette, 34t Burgtec steel e-bike chainring
Seatpost: OneUp dropper post v2, 150mm drop, OneUp dropper lever v3
Saddle: WTB Volt
For more information on our Heckler stock, or to try out one of our demo bikes, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
01896 831 429