Build the Santa Cruz Blur TR carbon frame into a no-limits trail bike, and redefine your idea of all-mountain riding. Crafted from carbon fiber, and featuring a proprietary lay-up process, the frame weighs a scant 5 pounds (shock included.) Patented VPP suspension offers 5 inches of travel, and when combined with the carbon fiber chassis, torsional rigidity is second to none.
This is the prototype for the modern trail bike. It features 5 inches of plush travel with a Fox Kashima shock. It is ultralight at 4.77 lbs frame weight but stiff, strong and efficient. It has the latest evolution of the trail bike geometry with a slack head angle for control, a steep seat angle for pedaling efficiency, low bb for handling and short stays for climbing. What you’re left with is an incredibly versatile bike that can be a 22 lb. race bike or a 27 lb. do anything ride. Continue reading →
Strengths: Light, stable descender and climber, eats up the big stuff and rails corners without weighing you down on the uphill. Front end is very torsionally stiff and the mostly XT spec. is a good value
Weaknesses: Stock tires a little weak for the front wheel, NOT INEXPENSIVE, low bb takes a little getting used to with pedal strikes and such, but not an issue any more now that I know what to look out for - the added stability makes up for it.
I originally was looking for more of a trail bike since I already have a Superlight, but after weeks of research, came to the Blur TRc. My first rides were down rocky singletrack and fire road descents, but as I climbed more and more, the versatility of this bike emerged. It's definitely the most all-round useful bike I have, able to take a day at Northstar (all but the ugliest stuff), a day in Downieville or an 8-hour epic. I raced the TRc at Bogg's 8-hour and really appreciated the plush ride in the 6th and 7th hours! When I tested the bike I rode up a steep paved climb to get a feel for front-end wander, but it tracks as well as a XC full-squishy, better than my Bullit for sure.
Despite Fox's claims, the propedal doesn't seem to make that big of a difference, so I tend to leave it on the "1" setting. Out of saddle sprinting is definitely mushy, but that's typically the case for most dualies. I get no pedal feedback in any gear combo and the suspension stays active under braking.
The fork is my first 15mm through axle and it's spectacular. I had no idea what I was missing. Never going back to 9mm QRs ever again. Settings are easy and the weight is decent, but you get a much stiffer fork than say, a SID.
The low bottom bracket height that gives the TRc such good descending manners does also result in more pedal strikes on rocks and roots, but so did my Superlight, and I've adjusted my riding. It really only happens on climbs.
The XT components were unsurprisingly reliable, but I have to mention the nice 2-way trigger levers on the shifter that allow you to shift up with a pull or a push. The new Ice-Tech brakes are outstanding and easy to adjust the lever feel with a simple knob on the brake lever.
I love this bike and the fit so much that I just ordered a Highball. The guys and gals at SC are really pumping out great bikes!
Strengths: Fun! Fast & Stable. Light & Nimble. Great acceleration. Very good cornering. Very good in air. Very good descending. Good climbing. Great suspension/pedaling platform. Limited bob and brake jack. Handles small bumps to big hits at all speeds w/out bttmng-out. Carbon comfort w little flex. Light but very strong carbon frame AND rear tri. Versatile. Killer looking in Matte Carbon/Green. SC No-Fault Replacement. Ride is worth the price of admission. Just a cool bike...
Weaknesses: Price of admission. Less bb clearance - pedal, chainring and lower link strikes; pedal positioning important in some tech areas; some manageable front end wander and lift on steep slow speed climbs (w/short stem); finish scratches easily; cable rub. Learning curve (or rider-me); 2012 1.0 color choices b/c of graphics; care w carbon; no tire to match versatility (modified the x-mark); Fox shock blew out after 2 mths. Note: individually dialed-in suspension and setup is important.
(Ridden on Mid-Atlantic intermediate difficulty XC singletrack trails. Dry to wet hardpack with occasional rocks, roots and mud. Aggressive XC). Rides well at most speeds in most conditions. Rides low and stable but is quick. Carves up turns and singletrack and can be thrown around. Never plush but handles almost everything from small trail chatter to large hits, does not bottom out and is very fast. VPP2 - can use all the travel; softer initial travel into more heavy impact resistance. Susp never wallows. No creaking or pivot issues yet. Need to run a little more sag/little softer than recommended - no detriment to pedaling performance (not much bob). Slack head angle for descending and steep seat angle for climbing. Top tube is a little more stretched out (c my setup) - comfortable riding position for xc-trail. Is a little learning curve but once you've got it down/dialed it's sweet. I leave the propedal open (don't use any lock out). Love this bike! Happy with it from day one but the more I ride it the more I like it. But due to the unique geometry, might not be for everyone (albeit a small % of "trail" riders).
Came from a SC Superlight so thought my riding style was well suited for a lower bb. But I did hit the pedals, cranks (arm scarred to prove it) and ring more often at first (including on tech climbs). The lower link sits really low but moves up some w sag. Drive side is generally protected by the chainring. Link is hard aluminum and grease ports have been tucked in - no worries here but do hit the carbon rear triangle on the non-drive side below the lower pivot. Chipped off the 1st layer of finish/paint (fxd w epxy rsn & nail polsh). The low bb/susp is offset by the handling and flickability and after two months riding it became much less of an issue (naturally adjusted to the bike). Might like the bb 0.1"-0.2" higher or as a 650B specific bike..? Could be more "mainstream" if it were closer to a medium travel version of the BLT...
Frame is really aggressive/good looking in black/green but could do w/out the wrap-around graphics. Tubes are larger and more sculpted than they appear in pictures. Finish on the matte black scratches easily. Other than that, the frame is very light but very strong (can feel that all the bike wght comes from the travel-parts). Not much flex but the carbon still soaks up some chatter naturally.
Stock Maxxis Cross+Mark Tires: don't match bikes versatility - limited traction for anything other than dry hardpack racing. Removed center filler tread and small round side knobs which made for better all around riding. Don't run over 35psi. Shimano XT 3x10 Drive: prefer 3x9 tolerances. Moisture/dirt in the gauges & r bulkier. Fox Float RP23 Shock: blew out after 2 mths. Started w oil on piston/body then more oil leaking and wouldn't hold air. Apparently the issue started w a scratch on the air sleeve and kashima coat (couldn't tell if they were implying this was somehow rider error) and Fox had to replace "a lot of internal parts." To give them credit, Fox had the shock back in two weeks, under warranty and working perfectly (also thanks to Fresh Bikes in Arlington VA).
Bike Setup: 2012. Medium Blur TR Carbon 1.0 w mod SPX kit. Shimano XT 3x10 drive, 110mmx5deg Thomson Elite stem, 25" Easton Carbon SL handlebar, Thomson Mstrpc post, SDG Formula FXR seat, Chub front hub on DT Swiss wheels. Avid Elixir 7 brakes. Maxxis X-Mark 26x2.1 tires w center filler tread and each small side knob removed. Under25lbs. Matte Black/Green. XC setup w a longer stem and shorter bar. 5'7" 165lbs. Susp: 2nd gen VPP. Fox Float 130 Kashima FIT RLC Taper fork (air 87 psi, rbnd 16 out fast, comp 8 out soft); Fox Float RP23 127mm travel shock (air 132 psi, rbnd 11 out fast, propdl 0 full open).
a Cross Country Rider
from Arlington, VA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2012
Strengths: - Light yet Stiff
- Great suspension
- Snappy and quick
Weaknesses: - unique geometry (not so much a down side as something you have to acknowledge)
Love this bike! I have had it a couple weeks; yesterday I did a 4-hour race (Tuscararo MTB Enduro in PA -- big shout out to Fast Forward productions!!). Bike performed excellently in very narley conditions -- wet, roots, rocks, lots and lots of mud. Bike loves downhills. Holds a line thru rock gardens whether zoomin' down or doing a jeep crawl. On local trails, the bike was quick and carved like a beauty; it loves to grab air over whoopty-do's. I did not have issues yesterday with pedal strikes (due to low bottom bracket as reported by some) like I was expecting. I had one over 4 continuous hours. It does have unique geometry. More aggressive than my Blur LT2. Some reviews have noted tendency of front wheel to wander on climbs due to slack head tube. I saw that on the long (1/3-2/3 mi) steep MUDDY fire road climbs. It never got out of control, and I am sure partly it was me (tired and red zoning!). I found you have to position your body more aggressively (than my upright LT2) and then trust the bike. It did not let me down!! I love you LT2, but my cheatin' heart was right....
Favorite Trail: How can I choose, I've ridden everywhere from VA to NC to HI
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: LBS
Similar Products Used: Blur LT2
Bike Setup: XT build (SPX)
a Cross Country Rider
from Madison, WI
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2012
Strengths: rails corners
unbelievably fast on downhills
pedals reasonably effeciently
Weaknesses: low bottom bracket, but can be a strength when cornering hard b/c of low center of gravity
This bike completely transformed mountain biking for me. I have only been riding off road for 3 years and came from a hardtail 29er that I used for XC racing. Handling skill is usually my weakness, but this bike just begs to be ridden fast and pushed in the corners. It is amazing how much you can lean this bike over in the corners and how much traction it has. Every time I ride it I get a huge grin that is permanently plastered on my face, it's that fun!
The slack angles and low bottom bracket mean that the bike is most at home going downhill and railing corners at full speed. Extra care has to be taken to weight the front wheel on steep climbs and to keep the wheel pointed straight, but with a lighter build and the suspension set up properly it still climbs very well. Then the fun begins when you are at the top of the climb and you get to take this bike down. It immediately accelerates to unbelievable speeds, especially on technical rocky downhills. The suspension does a very good job of eating up rough terrain. Occasionally I have to be careful of where my pedals are while pedaling over larger obstacles, and sometimes on rocky descents the lower link hits larger rocks, but I'm getting used to this quirk and I wouldn't trade it for any less cornering performance. The low bottom bracket lowers the center of gravity in the turns and it gives that "corners on rails" feeling more than any other bike I have ridden!
Bike Setup: Fox Factory F130 FIT RLC fork w/ Kashima coat, Shimano Deore XT M780 groupset, XTR race wheelset, Easton EC90SL riser handlebar, EA90 stem, Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2011
Strengths: Very light
Incredibly stable through quick turns
Excellent suspension design
Weaknesses: Can ground a pedal quite easily
Is pretty costly, but not bad value when you look at the package
This bike is deeply impressive off-road. I made the mistake of demoing one and bought it two weeks later, as it was that good! There are several things which you can read in reviews which describe why this bike is so good offroad:
It uses the virtual pivot suspension system like all the Blurs
It weighs next to nothing
It has a low (13") bottom bracket to keep it stable in corners.
The thing is, all these are true but for me, when I'm riding it, it makes me better. And not a bit better, a LOT better. I'm not a freerider, I'm a 34 year old ex-XC rider, but I'm leaning this bike over so far through corners I feel like a downhiller, and going really really fast. It's just so much fun it's totally addictive.
After messing with the suspension a bit I found the best results were gained running it quite soft. The Fox Float RLC fork allows me to run pretty low pressures (70psi for me, 84kg) and tune out any brake dive and pedal feedback with one or two clicks of low speed compression damping. I then set the rear shock up with a similar feeling of softness (still within the recommended sag, 165psi ) to get the best results. I'm using full travel at these settings but it's well controlled and doesn't wallow at all. What it does to is allow me to turn really hard on bumpy ground and maintain just unbelievable levels of traction.
The rear suspension system probably doesn't need much talking about, as it's not new to this bike. It does move when you pedal (if you have pro-pedal off) but not enough to cause any issue. I only engage pro-pedal on long fireroad or road climbs when I want every bit of efficiency I can get. Otherwise I leave it open, and laugh like a maniac as I try to find anything that can upset this bike.
Truly impressive, it just doesn't disappoint.
Bike Setup: XT based build kit. Only changes were tyres as it comes with Maxxis Crossmark which were a little lightweight for what I wanted. So these were changed for Maxxis Highroller on the front and Ikon on the back.
from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2011
Strengths: - Very flickable through the corners
- The wide bars I specced only add to the controlled feel
- Great shock w/ the frame
- Great looking bike
- Extremely stiff
- Extremely light
- Extremely tough
- Extremely everything
Weaknesses: - Price (the only one I can think of)
A truly awesome bike. Best for trail riding, and aggressive cross country. I do race it but only because I have a really great spec on it. If you plan on racing the bike make sure you spec it up well, because even with a very expensive and quality build it's still 26 lbs which is a lot for a "Race" bike.
It has a great feeling ride, and the quality shock makes the bike extremely versatile. The acceleration is amazing it quite literally shoots of start lines, and overtakes other riders as if they where standing still.
Spec the bike out well and it will reward you with unearthly performance.