Santa Cruz Bicycles Blur TR Carbon R TR Complete Mountain Bike $3,999.00
Free flying, turn slicing, grin machine.
Although the wheel-size arms race has largely overshadowed 26-inch bikes this season, we'll come right out and say it-- we still love the Blur TR. The snappy handling of this slalom-inspired trail destroyer makes it hard to ignore, and the Santa Cruz Blur TR Carbon R complete mountain bike is a prime example of why. The FOX suspension, Shimano drivetrain, and hand built wheelset will faithfully take you wherever you want to go. For skilled riders who dream of responsive, inspired handling, the only downside is having to put it away when the ride is done.
Santa Cruz's industry-leading carbon fiber construction is on display here. Both the front and rear triangles are constructed as a whole, rather than bonding them together from sub-assemblies. It does save weight, but the real benefit is maximizing the strength of the TR. That's because the fibers are uninterrupted by seams, which happens with other construction methods. If you were to cut it in half, you'd find that the inside of the tubes have the same perfectly smooth finish as the outside. That's thanks to construction techniques that maximize the compaction of the layers. Because any excess epoxy is squeezed from the frame prior to curing, and this ideal degree of compaction makes the frame as strong as possible. When combined with the oversized tapered headtube and 142x12mm through axle rear triangle, the TR Carbon is plenty stiff for the most aggressive riding, despite weighing in under 5 pounds with shock.
At the heart of the TR handling is a highly refined VPP suspension. It's a suspension platform that's widely beloved for its blend of pedaling efficiency and trail-erasing smoothness. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to achieve this balance. If you're wondering how it works, the upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path enables the rear wheel to travel out of the way of impacts, so the ride is smooth, not jarring. And you'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that has become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. That means that your pivots stay tight and are simple to service, even for home mechanics.
The final part of the TR puzzle is the geometry. The 68 degree head angle blends high speed stability with a playful feel. The seat angle is 72.5 degrees, for an aggressive climbing position that enables efficient power transfer. The 16.9-inch chainstays are fairly short, for razor sharp turning, without sacrificing stability. Rounded out with a roomy cockpit and low 13.1-inch bottom bracket height, the 26-inch wheeled TR slices up turns and is an inspired jumper. Think of it as a world-class slalom bike that begs for all-day trail rides.
While the R AM build is the value-oriented package in the lineup, Santa Cruz made sure to spec it with components that are up to the task in every regard. FOX handles the suspension duties, with a FLOAT CTD Evolution series rear shock, and a 32 FIT CTD Evolution series fork. Both feature FOX's CTD adjustment scheme, which makes dialing in your suspension settings a breeze. The fork employs FOX's FIT sealed damper, for consistent damper performance, even on the longest descents. And while both units forgo the gold-colored Kashima coating, in our experience, the difference in suspension feel is somewhere between negligible and non-existent. The drivetrain is a Shimano affair, blending Deore level cranks and front derailleur with SLX shifters and Shadow Plus rear derailleur. The resulting drivetrain has a proven track record for durability, and the Shadow Plus clutch technology replaces the chain slap of yesteryear with blissful silence, even on rocky terrain. The brakes are Shimano's excellent Deore model, which are renowned for their reliability and fantastic stopping power. The cockpit is comprised of Raceface Ride components, and the seating is taken care of by a WTB Volt. Rounding out the package is a set of tubeless-compatible WTB i23 rims laced with DT spokes to SRAM hubs. And they're wrapped in Maxxis High Roller II tubeless compatible tires, which roll fast and provide tons of grip even on the hairiest terrain you'll encounter.
The Santa Cruz Blur TR Carbon R TR Complete Mountain Bike is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large, and in the colors Gloss White/black, and Matte Black/silver.
Santa Cruz Bicycles
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