My 1998 Santa Cruz Heckler is my only FS bike. I've ridden lots of modern stuff, and yes, they're mostly "better" in various ways, but not better enough to justify the cost. Also it's had exactly one set of replacement swingarm bearings in 15 years -- FS bikes don't get much lower maintainence than that
Man, I'd love to have a Heckler in my stable. I raced the 24 hours of Adrenaline one year and one of the fellows on my team had a Heckler about the same vintage of yours. I was riding a Sasquatch back then and that Heckler was a real revelation. The frame just seems to be able to do just about anything.
Whoops! I didn't see this thread here when I posted mine last night.viewtopic.php?f=1&t=272474
From what I've read here at RB, the early full sussers designed by Richard Cunningham (specifically the Mantis Pro Floaters and Nishiki FS bikes) were very good designs, but I haven't seen anything regarding restoration or maintenance costs. From some of the reviews I've read, those old RC bikes will put a smile on your face, and will handle moderate trail riding with ease, but I doubt you'd want to hammer them as the suspension travel on those old rides is not nearly as long as that of the new ones.
One thing's for sure, like most retrobikes that are maintained or restored, those old suspension designs look damn cool, and folks that see you ride them will recognize you to be the bike connoiseur that you are, instead of just someone that bought whatever your LBS wanted to unload on you to make room for next year's models. Of course, if your modern ride happens to be the latest top-of-the-line full-on race version, then you don't care what anyone else thinks because you know that you have the best that technology has to offer, at least for now. That's how I felt about my 1989 Alien until about...er...1990.
Of course, now that my Alien is 'retro', it's cool once again.
Ha, I saw an old AMP suspension frame in my size advertised recently. I thought that would be a pretty cool bike to have and if I remember correctly AMP used the Horst Link which was probably one fo the first decent suspesnsion designs out there. I was scared off by that rear shock.
Cheap, light and strong. Pick two.
1992 GT Edge; 1996 GT Zaskar; 2000 Rocky Mountain Hammer Race;
2012 Norco CCX monster cross custom build