Santa Cruz Bicycles Heckler D AM Complete Bike - $2,098.95

The Heckler has been a staple in Santa Cruz's line up for nearly eight years now. But, the Heckler's platform is far from archaic; it's continually evolved, like a good biological organism, to keep hassling bikes that cost three times as much. And, with 150mm of wheel travel, a SRAM X5/X7 drivetrain, and Race Face components, the Heckler D AM Complete Bike is destined to keep ruffling carbon feathers. The burly, hydroformed aluminum front and rear triangle is shaped and butted to place more material at the bottom bracket junction (which sports ISCG05 mounts if you'd like to run a chain guide) and at the tapered headtube. This ensures strength and stiffness for charging aggressive lines. But that strength isn't going to hamper your stomp to the top. Because of the hydroforming, Santa Cruz can eliminate excess weight to keep the Heckler quick-witted. That liveliness is complemented by the rear triangle's flex-resistant asymmetric shape and proven pivot location. Placed slightly above and forward of the middle chainring, it offers responsive pedaling when seated. One drawback of single pivot designs has always been out-of-the-saddle sprinting, because the suspension will compress under rider loads -- a loss of energy to moving parts. Luckily, shock technology has mitigated that problem. The Fox Float CTD equipped on this Heckler has three distinct damping settings, and one of them is designed to counter those stand-up pedaling forces. The CTD, or Climb, Trail, Descend setting on the Heckler's rear shock offers damping for any trail situation. If youre going to sprint up a fire road, the Climb setting will essentially lockout the rear shock -- but remain compliant over water bars or sharp edge bumps. The trail setting provides a more active motion to assist with traction when climbing punchy hills, and flowy sections of trail. And the descend setting offers unrestrictive motion for technical downhill sections of trail. - $2,098.95