Blur Carbon S Reserve Complete Mountain Bike
Buzzwords like "Enduro" have taken over the mountain bike industry. Hang out at any trailhead with decent descents, and you'll surely hear it thrown around a few times. That's all good and fun, but we think that these buzzwords occasionally come to the detriment of riders, leaving them thinking that ribbons of fast sigletrack just aren't the hip thing to ride anymore. Santa Cruz is here to reiterate something we'll say around the office at Competitive: Cross Country riding is still cool, and the point is driven home with the Blur Carbon S Reserve Complete Mountain Bike. If we said we were glad to see Santa Cruz brought back the Blur, that would be an understatement, we are well beyond stoked to see if not only back on the race scene, but with faster, more capable geometry than ever, combining the all-out need for speed we're hunting for from a cross-country steed, but also with just enough suspension to soak up chatter, rocks, and roots along the way.
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 smooth FOX Float DPS shock you'll find that the short 100-millimeters of travel feel 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.
This particular Blur is built using Santa Cruz's Carbon C construction, which provides all the benefits in lateral stiffness and unbelievable strength of its higher-end Carbon CC sibling, but with a slight weight penalty. We don't have specifics on the weight gain for this particular frame (we'll have to wait until Santa Cruz publishes their figures), but a typical Santa Cruz Carbon C weighs approximately eight to nine ounces heavier than its Carbon CC counterparts. The upside to the Carbon C construction is you save a good chunk of cash, which is always nice when you're a self-sponsored racer that's footing the bills for your own builds and racing fees. This leaves enough room to add upgraded carbon Reserve wheels to the mix, shedding weight underneath, while elevating stiffness for quick power and nimble control when you're soaring down the trail. However, the bike is still incredibly lightweight in the arena of 24 pounds for this particular Carbon S build, meaning it's no slouch when it comes time to don a race plate and toe the starting line.
- Soar up climbs with Santa Cruz's speedy XC whip
- Updated geometry zips the Blur into the modern era
- Steep head tube angle provides razor-sharp handling
- 4 inches of efficient, lively handling VPP travel
- Carbon C frame for torsional stiffness and strength
- Twin upright rear triangle inspired by downhill bikes
- Santa Cruz Reserve carbon hoops shed grams, boost stiffness
- SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain with massive gear range
- FOX suspension and fork with remote lock-out for racing