Gone is the VPP system, as Santa Cruz reduces complexity and weight, with its new Blur.
After months of teasing, Santa Cruz has confirmed details and specifications, for its new Blur.
One of the most celebrated model names in Santa Cruz history, the new Blur majors on lightness and features a reconfigured rear-suspension linkage.
Santa Cruz is targeting two groups of riders, with this new dual-suspension 29er: gram-obsessed XC racers and downcountry mountain bikers.
Light, simpler and more efficient
The frame is terrifically light, at only 1933g, and that includes the RockShox SIDLuxe shock. Compared to the third-generation Blur, this new version is a notable 289g less.
Credit most of this weight saving to the reduced number of linkage bearings. Santa Cruz has foregone its VPP suspension system, for a flex stay rear triangle, with the chainstay mounting directly to the front triangle.
Gone are the VPP short links and their additional set of bearings. This reduces weight and makes the new Blur very similar to its rivals, in terms of suspension linkage. Lower weight and maintenance are clear wins for XC riders, but some might miss the kinematic complexity and tuning potential for Santa Cruz’s VPP system.
With its V10 downhill bike and Reserve wheels, Santa Cruz has been a meaningful investor in the pursuit of understanding carbon-fibre, within the mountain biking environment. The new Blur’s flex stays are the result of Santa Cruz’s own composite laboratory and testing, instead of merely relying on an external carbon-fibre supplier and recommended parameters.
Blur is now a bit slacker – obviously
Geometry changes are very slight from the third- to fourth-generation Blur. The head tube is 0.7° slacker at 68.3° and reach, on a size large, stretches to 470mm.
Santa Cruz’s Blur TR has evolved into something very much more downcountry, with a 67.1° head angle and 458mm of reach, on a size large. Remember the legendary Blur TRC? This new TR is nearly a degree slacker than that, showing just how far XC bikes have evolved over the last few years.
An indication of the new Blur’s more progressive geometry is Santa Cruz’s decision to equip all versions with a 60mm stem. And if you worry about hydration, or love rolling your Blur for a five-hour ride, there is adequate room and bolt tread provision inside the front triangle, for two hydration bottle cages.
Responsive suspension choice and fast-rolling rubber
The Blur rolls Maxxis Aspen tyres, with a combination of RockShox SID SL forks and SIDLuxe suspension, both providing 100mm of suspension travel.
If you like the idea of an ultra-lightweight Santa Cruz downcountry bike, but don’t slavishly scroll Strava until antisocial early morning hours, there’s the Blur TR. Rear-suspension sits a bit deeper, at 115mm, balanced by a selection of RockShox SID or Fox 34 fork choices, all configured to 120mm.
True to its more trail orientated billing, the Blur TR rolls Maxxis Rekons and has bigger brakes.
Pricing for the new Blur range starts at £4499, which gets you RockShox Select+ suspension and a SRAM GX drivetrain.
If you like your XC riding on a premium build, there is the Blur CC XX1 AXS RSV. All those acronyms add up to £9799, thanks to a SRAM wireless drivetrain and Reserve 28 specification wheels.