Blur Carbon CC XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike
For some people, the thrill of mountain biking comes from pointing your slacked out enduro rig down the mountain and getting to the bottom as fast as possible. Others prefer to take a more meticulous approach, seeking long, tough climbs that reward you with beautiful ribbons of singletrack winding through aspen groves and old-growth forest, tackling challenging terrain with finesse and careful line choice. This type of riding is best done with a shorter travel steed that's capable of charging to the podium at your local cross country races, something like the Santa Cruz Blur Carbon CC XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike. Equipped with aggressive race-ready geometry, 100mm of efficient VPP travel, and a first-rate build kit comprised of the best components money can buy, the Blur is hungry to take on singletrack with a powerful force, and float up climbs like the featherweight bike that it is.
We may have a tendency to hesitate when we hear the words "rugged" and "cross-country race rocket" used in the same sentence, but with a one-piece carbon VPP rear triangle we can't help but spot the similarities between the Blur and Santa Cruz's burly DH rigs. Its twin upright architecture gives cues to inspiration from the Nomad and V10, promising a ride that's uncompromising and stiff, but without the bulk to follow. Keeping a good thing going, Santa Cruz carefully constructs a one-piece carbon front triangle to pack in lateral stiffness that provides tracking confidence through blown out, washboard switchbacks and root-latticed climbs. The VPP suspension in the new Blur is much like the VPP you'll find in other modern Santa Cruz bikes, which undoubtedly an upgrade from the previous generation, with smoother ramping mid-stroke to prevent a bottomed out feel as you soak into the suspension, and with the buttery-smooth Kashima coated FOX Float Factory shock you'll find that the short 100-millimeters of travel feels so much deeper.
Santa Cruz may have taken a bit of a divergence from the XC scene in the past few years, with the Tallboy being the closest thing to a cross-country offering in recent time, and geometry stretching to slacker angles year over year, so we're more than excited to not only see the Blur rejoin the lineup, but with geometry that takes a U-turn from the trends, and reverts to true race-ready steep angles. Even steeper than the previous generation, the new Blur features a 69-degree head tube angle, and 74-degree seat tube, perching you on top and in control of your steed for nimble handling and maximum pedaling efficiency while you barrel through miles of singletrack. The wheelbase is stretched over an inch, giving the bike more confidence through rough terrain, enabling you to pick the gnarlier line, shaving seconds off of your time as you push towards the podium. The rear end is updated with Boost spacing, stretching things out and stiffening things up, and while we usually see Boost pairing with tucked-in wheels and extra-stubby chainstays, the chainstays on the Blur move out just under a quarter of an inch to 17-inches, so you can still comfortably get behind the saddle when you need to, without feeling like you're going to go over backwards.
The Blur is built using Santa Cruz's top tier CC carbon fiber construction. By using some of the finest, and strongest, raw materials available, Santa Cruz is able to make its CC level frames extremely lightweight, while maintaining outstanding impact resistance, exceptional stiffness, and just the right amount of finely tuned flex to cancel out trail chatter. Of course, balancing these factors requires true mastery of carbon fiber, and the design team at Santa Cruz has proven time and time again that their command of carbon fiber construction is unsurpassed in the bike industry. The result is a frame that will hold up to years of hard riding, will provide a comfortable ride, and will do so at a very competitive weight.
It seems only appropriate that a steed crafted from top-tier carbon would roll on top of two equally meticulously constructed hoops, so it's no surprise that this build is equipped with Santa Cruz's Reserve Carbon Rims, laced neatly to DT Swiss 240 hubs. The rims have a knack for showcasing Santa Cruz's carbon expertise, with a highly refined profile and reinforced nipple beads that nearly eliminate any chance of failure. And should you defy those odds, the Reserve rims are backed by a no-nonsense lifetime warranty—just like Santa Cruz's carbon fiber frames.
This Blur Carbon CC XX1 Eagle Reserve Complete Mountain Bike is equipped with a first-rate parts kit that starts with SRAM's new XX1 AXS wireless electronic drivetrain. If you're wondering why you should fork out the cash for wireless shifting, it starts with the simplicity. You'll never have to mess with cable tension again, and you'll enjoy crisp, reliable shifting that almost never needs adjusting. All you have to do is make sure your battery is charged and that the derailleur and shifter are paired when you start your ride. On top of that, you can customize the shifting options and monitor the system with the AXS smartphone app. Equally as impressive is the fact that the rear derailleur has 10mm more ground clearance than the mechanical versions, and is better able to withstand impacts thanks to a clutch that disengages the internal motor and allows the derailleur to move inward to brush off impacts and avoid damage.
Other noteworthy parts include a top-of-the-line suspension package from Fox: a Float Factory DPS air shock and Step-Cast 32 Factory fork, each linked to a handlebar remote for quick adjustments on the fly without any obnoxious levers and bolts to twist. This setup offers a supple and buttery-smooth stroke, and easy tuning of their 100-millimeters of travel that gives just the right amount of cushion to the trail's harsh blows. Level Ultimate brakes offer smooth modulation, plenty of stopping power, and carbon levers that feel oh-so-good, all coming in at an XC-friendly weight. Santa Cruz rounds out the build with a premium carbon cockpit consisting of their in-house carbon flat bar, a lightweight Syntace stem, and a Syntace P6 Carbon Hi-Flex seatpost that gives you a bit of extra compliance when the trail is littered with rocks and chattery brake bumps.
- Santa Cruz's featherweight XC bike that's made for pure speed
- Updated geometry zips the Blur into the modern era
- Steep angles keep you perched for nimble handling and control
- 4-inches of efficient and lively VPP suspension
- Carbon CC frame sheds grams without sacrificing strength
- Top-tier XX1 AXS drivetrain requires very little maintenance
- FOX suspension equips you with remotes for on-the-fly adjustments
- Reserve carbon wheels accelerate quickly and are backed by a lifetime warranty