The 7th generation 2014 Santa Cruz Heckler has progressed in a number of ways from the original, and has significant upgrades from the previous incarnation.
Lighter and stiffer than the previous generations, it's ready for steep uphill climbs and rowdy descents. It maintains 6 inches of travel (150mm) and a single pivot frame design, but now has 27.5-inch (650B) wheels. That means it's suspension is a simpler design.
See Our Post About the 27.5 Santa Cruz Solo HERE
See Our Post About the 2014 Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Carbon HERE
The Santa Cruz collet axle pivot keeps things locked into place without any pinch bolts, and using angular contact bearings keep things stiff. You can replace or service these bearings without even removing the cranks.
Compared to the 26-inch version it replaces, the 650b Heckler has a head tube angle that is .5-degrees
slacker and a seat tube angle that is .5-degrees steeper. The head tube angle change should make it a better descender, and the seat tube angle will aid in positioning the rider correctly in extended climbs. Additionally, the bottom bracket drops by 4mm, while the chainstays grow by 5mm to accommodate the slightly larger wheels.
Total frame weight is 6.76 pounds for a medium with Fox Float CTD evolution shock. Not bad for a frame starting at $1,299!