a All Mountain RiderDate Reviewed:
July 2, 2012Strengths: Great climbing, excellent traction under rough braking, good angles for downhill trail rides like Downieville.Weaknesses: None yet...maybe price for SPX kit.Bottom Line:
I just recently purchased the new 2012 Blur LT and have only taken it on a few rides, but my initial impressions are very good. Coming from a horst link bike I'm really amazed by the dual personality of the bike, or it's ability to climb like a hardtail and descent like a mini downhill bike. Depending on how you build it up you could end up with a 25# long travel race bike or a full coil freeride/light DH bike. The VPP really does what they say...firm for pedaling, plush for descending, and eliminates brake jack/stiffening.
I never really noticed brake jack much on my old horst link bike (cannondale rize), but now that I've ridden the BLT on the same trails I understand the difference that VPP makes. The best example is when coming up to a high speed corner where you have lots of brake bumps or ruts prior to the entry. On my old bike the rear end would stiffen up under braking and cause the back end to skip around off the bumps. The VPP suspension on the Blur does not exhibit this behavior at all. Instead, even under hard braking the rear wheel sticks to the ground which enables you to set your line better and also brake more effectively. The result is the ability to brake later and have a more accurate line into the corner...which just means you're faster both entering and exiting the turn.
The other place where the VPP is great is on the climbs. With the ProPedal off it still climbs very well with no perceptible bob, but it will accept bumps and compress if you're standing and mashing hard. But lock out your fork and switch the ProPedal on and the Blur turns into a hardtail.
Bottom line, this is just a great all around trail bike that you can build up in a variety of ways and use for a variety of different trails. If you're like me and only have one full suspension bike, this has to be at the top of your list to demo. Frame welds are clean, tubing is very stout and nicely shaped. The gloss "harbor gray" paint job looks really nice and sheds the dirt nicely. The additions to the new Blur are also another reason to take a look: tapered 1.5" head tube, dropper post cable stops, ISCG tabs, recessed grease ports on the pivot links. Geometry has also been updated to be a tad more slack to bridge that gap between the Blur XC and the Nomad.
I will definitely post another review in a few months when I've had a full season to beat it up.
Favorite Trail: Guardian
Duration Product Used: a few days
Purchased At: North Rim Adventure
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Rize4 140mm, Cannondale RZ120
Bike Setup: R AM Kit with some mods:
2012 XT Brakes (180F/160R)
Mavic Crosstrail UST wheelset
Purgatory 2.4 tires