Those mountain bikers who are dedicated followers of all things XCO will have seen some interesting looking orange Santa Cruz 29ers on the circuit this year. The Californian company has been quite open in the development of its new lightweight XC race bike, which is the fourth incarnation of Santa Cruz’s Blur.
Available in both a standard and TR derivative, the Blur becomes Santa Cruz’s lightest full-suspension mountain bike. Santa Cruz's sister brand Juliana also gets in on the action with the Wilder, which has the same geometry as the Blur TR.
The new Blur’s frame weight claim, with a RockShox SIDLuxe shock fitted, is a mere 1933g. That makes this new Blur 289g less than its predecessor.
How did Santa Cruz save the weight? It’s about the suspension linkage. The brand’s renowned VPP rear-suspension system has been replaced with a simpler Superlight configuration, which bolts the chainstay directly to this new Blur’s front triangle.
Those who are familiar with the Santa Cruz VPP system will know it uses dual short links to connect the front and rear triangles. By doing away with these, Santa Cruz’s engineers have saved a lot of weight.
A touch slacker at the front
Flex stays compensate for the lack of additional pivots in the rear triangle and Santa Cruz’s deep experience in carbon-fiber R&D should make it adequately robust to last a lifetime. It is worth remembering that these are the people who build Danny MacAskill’s bikes.
The new Blur sits at a 68.3-degree head angle, with 470mm of reach on a size large. The chainstays and seat angles are also size specific to maintain the correct weight balance whether you ride a small or extra-large frame size.
XC riders will find the Blur rolling low-resistance Maxxis Aspen tires, with its 100mm of front and rear suspension travel, provided by a selection of RockShox SID forks and SIDLuxe shocks.
If you like the idea of your new Blur as more of a downcountry bike, there is the TR version. Santa Cruz is adamant that despite upping rear suspension travel to 115mm, balanced by a 120mm front fork, the TR is still an XC bike, it's just better suited to rougher XC courses. The Blur TR also rolls gripper Maxxis Rekon tires, has a full-height adjust dropper post and larger brake rotors to make the most of the slacker 67.1-degree head angle.
Riders can choose between C and CC grades of carbon-fiber, for their new Blur frame, and there are two colors: Dark Matter or Salmon. Riders in hotter climates will be thrilled to know that all new Blurs accommodate two water bottles in its front triangle.
The new Blur is offered at five price points starting at $5,199.00. The entry-level bike runs a SRAM GX drivetrain and uses RockShox Select+ suspension. A comprehensively equipped Blur CC XX1 AXS RSV retails for $11,299.00, featuring SRAM’s premium wireless drivetrain and rolling Reserve 28 XC wheels.
The Blur TR range features six builds with prices from $4,599.00 which is specced with SRAM NX to the snappily named XX1 AXS TR RSV which retails for $11,599.00.
The Juliana Wilder comes in five build options that match the Blur TR builds and price points excluding the most expensive XX1 AXS TR RSV model.
If you want to go full custom, Santa Cruz will sell the CC level Blur 4 and Blur 4 TR framesets for $3,399.00, the Juliana Wilder CC retails for the same price too.