The Blur made a lot of trail riding friends in its first couple years of life. Many of those people loved the bikes, but wanted a little more travel. Not wanting to disappoint them, we have introduced the Blur LT. Rear travel has increased to 135mm. The head tube junction is reinforced to handle the stresses generated by longer forks - up to 160mm of travel. We also raised the bottom bracket a hair, and slackened off the head tube a touch. The result is a bike that devours high speed, steep, rocky trails, yet remains light and nimble enough to climb all day long, and always keep a smile plastered across a dusty rider's face.
Strengths: I bought my black anodized Blur LT new in '07. Best thing I ever made in my life. At the time I was also interested in the Ellsworth Enlightenment but couldn't find one to test ride. A year later I had the chance in Moab and was stunned to find that compared my Blur it felt in every way...wrong. Felt like a brick. I am so in love with this bike. I've had none of the maintenance issues some other speak of - no creaks or squeaks. Only problem I have is that the bike is so quiet I scare people to death coming up behind them. Even their dogs don't hear me. Seven years later and it looks almost as good as the day I bought it.
Someone mentioned the ano color fade. A year in I swapped it out the frame for a size smaller and the first one did have a bit of fading, but by then I'd discovered Pedro's Bike Lust. Looks like milk -- no real odor to speak of. Contains sunscreen. I've been wiping down the frame with that every few months since I got the new frame and and it hasn't faded a bit. You can get it on line or at REI.
I had the handlebars cut back just a bit a few years in but I do like that they chose to go wide.
a Weekend Warrior
from Winchester UK
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2010
Strengths: Excellent suspension design, light weight but strong, overall quality
Weaknesses: Potentially - bearing service requirements
I got looking on Ebay when I dented the swingarm on my Superlight badly enough not to trust it for proper mountain descents. Finding some Blur Classic frames on there for not much more than a new swingarm, and the reviews here from ex Superlight owners, tempted me. I wanted a Classic not an XC to be slightly stronger and have a slightly more relaxed geometry. Mine was a medium anodised 05 5th Element-shocked Classic with new bearings fitted for the sale, and I put the 06 Fox Float R from the Superlight on it, added new shock bushes, and filed down/greased the pivots as per SC's instructions to eliminate some lateral movement in the rear. Thus serviced, it has been silent and uber-stiff since (I kept the Superlight and have a hadtail for plugging away in the mud so the Blur has less weather to cope with).
Straight away I noted that the bike felt stiffer (and I'm light!) than my Superlight, and it manages to feel plusher over bumps yet better under power as well. Compared to the Superlight it is notably better when climbing in the granny ring, braking hard over bumps, and also does no over-react to mid-large bumps taken seated. It just feels generally sturdier and better downhill as well despite building up to the same weight (26lbs dead) with almost identical kit. The Blur felt like it had more travel and needed more than the 100mm Pace RC39 from the Superlight up-front, so I swapped it out for a more all-mountain style DT Swiss XMC130 which has made it into a perfect bike for what I wanted. Highly, highly recommended, for me this is how all full suspension should feel but none of the designs I've tried gets close. I'd love a Blur Carbon...
Similar Products Used: Superlight Classic and Heckler Classic
Bike Setup: 2005 Blur Classic with DT Swiss XMC130 forks and 8-speed XTR / Mavic 717 on Hope with Hope Mono Mini brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Nashville, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2009
Strengths: Strong, Light, efficient for a FS, Fast, love the Orange Anodized Finish, quick handling.
Weaknesses: Pivot Bearings need frequent servicing (1200 miles for me)
I love this bike. I replaced all the bolts with Ti or alum, and have weight down to 25.5 lbs. The bike excels in climbing and hooks up magically. At 59 yrs old, I appreciate the FS, but don't want to give up too much efficiency. This frame lets me stand up at the top of a steep climb and gut it out without excessive bob. With the recent addition of the 650b front wheel and tire, the bike is even faster, but lost a little in steer-ability in steep climbs. The change improved ultra steep descent comfort margin. Overall, I would recommend this change for the blur classic.
I have taken short and demo rides on many other FS bikes and never felt one that felt anywhere near as good as this one. One example was an Ellsworth Epiphany. It was set up for a guy with my same weight, and it was plush but bobbed way more than I was used to. Riding buddies have ridden my bike and want one just like it. Most other bikes were too plush and robbed too much energy, or the suspension just did not move enough. My routine trail is pretty smooth but parts are rocky and rooty, with sections that are steep up and down.
I ride 2-3 times per week, maybe 12-15 miles each time. Wet conditions and routine hose-off afterward about half the time. Have had to rebuild the lower bearings about every 1200 miles or so. With SC tools, about 2-3 hour job for me. So wish this was not the case, but am willing to maintain the pivots because I love the bike. I am sold on this VPP technology. The newer pivots have grease fittings and should solve this issue.
I am 5'-9 1/2", weigh 157 lbs. wear 30" jeans. This is a Blur Classic Medium frame. IMHO, I am the tallest person that should ride the medium frame(in the Classic). I chose it over the large because I wanted it to be quick handling. Had to go to 120mm stem and seat all the way back, but fits perfectly now, and I like the weight over the front tire that I get with this set-up.
Similar Products Used: onwed none. but tried out many FS bikes for short rides.
Bike Setup: 2005 Blur Classic, Fox 100 RLC Pushed, Fox RP3, XT cranks running 2x9, 650b front wheel and tire, Wheels by Daves Speeddream wheels: CK hubs and Stans Olympic rims with stans sealant, Kenda Nevegals 2.1, 120mm Syntace Stem, Extralite Seatpost, WTB LaserV saddle, Carbon Bars, Magura Marta brakes 180/160, SRAM X9 rear der., XTR frt, gripshift
a Cross Country Rider
from CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2009
Strengths: Light, strong, plush down hill, fast uphill.
Weaknesses: Requires a lot of upkeep, but what full suspension bike doesn't.
This is an awesome trail bike. I was over an hour faster on my normal 25 mile ride. with about 5000 ft of climbing. Super plush up and down with very little bob. Since I got this bike I have not been pass on a ride and its been over a year. I ride mostly fire roads and single tracks. Now that I have the bike setup it is the best bike that I have ever ridden for smooth to medium rough trails. Super light, super fast. Thanks Santa Cruz for the amazing bike. Highly recommend.
Weaknesses: pivots needing to be replaced after about a year of riding
Solid bike that has never let me down, I have done 5 ultra endurance rides and believe I must stick w/ a FS ride for these races. only down side was the pivots, it appears the new bikes have this taken care of. I plan to ride this one for 5 years b4 I can get another and the new carbon blur looks like it in 2011.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Josua XO, Wicked Fat Chance
Bike Setup: xt
a Cross Country Rider
from Bountiful, Utah
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2008
Strengths: The Blur is a great bike. Set up right, it is fantastic.
Weaknesses: Can't be sure. I bought mine used and have added the things I like best.
I love the bike. It rides great and handles the bumps well. Loved my RM Slayer, but don't do drops like I used to. This bike is lighter. As for the creaking squeaking complained about, I haven't had it.
And here's a potential fix. The rear tire throws gunk into the VPP pivot point. Very discreetly, I put black electrician's tape across the gaps where the gunk would hit the bearings. It's a black Blur, so it doesn't show. I think the barrier of the tape keeps dirt out of the bearings and keeps the bike from squeaking.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hard Rock, Specialized Rock Hopper FS A1 Comp., Rocky Mountain Slayer.
Bike Setup: XT shifters and deraileurs. Hayes 9 discs. Fox RP23 rear shock and Fox Float Trail Tune Fork. Easton EA70 Bar, Thompson Elite Stem and Seatpost. WTB seat. FSA DH Pig Headset and FSA XC-300 Wheelset. WTB Mutano and Moto Raptor tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from Anaheim, CA
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2008
Strengths: Overall good bike. Climbs well, dependable for me.
Weaknesses: Wish it was more active under braking.
I have ridden this 2004 Blur for 4 years now, and I can say that it is a very good bike. It climbs exceptionally well. It is not the most plush ride, but it is efficient.
For me, it has been a very dependable ride. Yes, it creaks sometimes and makes noise, and it bothered me when I first got the bike, but I guess I've gotten used to it. And I truely believe, that the noise itself has gotten substantially less after the first year. I just don't think it is a big deal. Right now, it's in a quiet phase. I have not had to change or repair any linkage at all, and it is still working as well as ever. In the first year, I used to take aprart the linkages and clean them, but since then all I do is make sure that none of the bolts are loose every few months or so. To give you perspective, I probably ride 3 weekends per month, about 15 to 20 miles, cross country with enjoying some technical descents at times, about 11 months out of year since I live in Socal. I have crashed it number of times, and most I have done is 3 feet drops. I think the frame is very well built.
It descends pretty darn well for a crosscountry focused bike. I just wish it be more active rear suspension under braking. Fox fork is great, and 5th element shock has held up nicely. Tubeless conversion was well worth the effort.
This bike is not perfect. But I have yet to ride "the perfect" bike. I can say that after riding it for 4 years, I love this bike. And because it does what it is meant to do very well, in a dependable manner, I give it 5 stars.
Similar Products Used: Turner 5 spot, k2 Attack, Giant Trence and Yukon, Ironhorse warrior(?), Mongoose Fairlane, Kona, Specialized Stumpjumper
Bike Setup: usual
a Cross Country Rider
from Simi Valley Ca.
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2008
Strengths: Handles well
Weaknesses: Creaks, squeeks, a maintenance nightmare! Have completly replaced bearings bushings 3 times so far. It is alot of money to pay for a bike you cannot ride without being annoyed by the noise or all the riders you are riding with asking what up with that noisy thing you are riding! Yes Santa Cruz sends you all the parts you at no charge because they know they have a piece of junk with their name on it!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2008
Strengths: This is a follow up to my previous review. I have finally overhauled my bike after 3 1/2+ years of riding, and I still have no issues with the pivots. No noise, no slop.
Weaknesses: The only weakness I can find probably has more to do with me. This bike requires proper set-up to work properly. Since my weight fluctuates, the set-up changes based on the time of year I am riding. Oh, during muddy rides, the linkage acts as a mud-shelf like the old 990 u-brakes. I guess since I clean my bike after dirty rides, that has helped the longevity of my pivots.
This bike does everything very well. I can maitain traction on cliimbs whether sitting or standing, and fly downhill with amazing traction and control. I did have my fork and rear shock rebuilt (no pivots) and this feels like a brand new bike!
Bike Setup: Just switched to the new XTR 970 shifters and rear derailer. This new XTR is awsome!! I have had Sram XO on my bike for the last few years both twist shifters and the Sram triggers. Shimano just put Sram back in their place.
Bike Dude Dude
a Cross Country Rider
from Birmingham Alabama
Weaknesses: The 5th Element failed after 5 months and parts are not available now . Tires sucked.. replaced with Kenda John Tomac tires
I really liked this bicycle but in Alabama there are no active Santa Cruz dealers..I purchased this blue used at a local bike store .. replacement parts are hard to obtain .. rear suspension requires constant work and tighting.. This is a great bike but Santa Cruz's tech support is not good..I just sold my blur and have purchased a new 2008 Trek EX9..more later
Bike Setup: replaced rear shock with Fox RP23 rear Fox F-100 front shocks XT Sram X-7.avid Mtn brakes Selle Italia saddle
from Chino, CA
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2007
Strengths: The best full suspension on the market. The virtual pivot point really makes a difference. Short wheel base. Great customer service.
Weaknesses: High maintenance pivot points, other than that, nothing... A bit on the pricey side. Lack of color options for a bike that expensive.
If you own a Blur classic, I would recommend upgrading the bearings to the pro pack and getting the Ti link for the top pivot. Also, Santa Cruz has upgraded the bottom link. It no longer has holes on in the middle of the axles. This eliminates some "creaking" issues the Blur has because it doesn't let dirt into the axle. Make sure you disassemble your pivots ounce a month and clean them. This will eliminate any "creaking" issue that everybody complains about.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2007
Strengths: Excellent handling characteristics. Required some tweaking to get it just right. Switched out shimano dual control rapid rise for sram x-9 shifters and xo derailler. Also swicthed to a shorter stem, which gave a more centered position between the wheels. Handling improved dramatically.
Weaknesses: Original shimano drivetrain caused ghost shifting, which totally disappeared with sram components. Ghost shifts could be eliminated with shimano but you have to adjust your derailer while on the bike with suspension weighted. The use of sram eliminated this need entirely.
Great bike has served me well over the last 2 + years. With some tweaking the bike is absolutely perfect, handles like a dream. Downhills and rails corners awesomely. Climbs almost anything. I ride 2-3 times per week and put the bike through its paces. I've never had any problems with the pivots (keep 'em tightened), or the 5th element shock. Once you dial in the suspension and rebound correctly - no worries!
Bike Setup: 2005 large Orange anodized frame, 5th element shock, fox talas fork. Sram x-9 shifters, xo rear derailler, shimano xt front derailler. Shimano xt disc brakes, shimano hollowtech crankset with race face rings, sram 11-34 cassette. Race face deus 90mm stem.
from Denver, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: September 26, 2007
Strengths: Great handling, light weight,envious head-turners, sixth sense feedback
Weaknesses: develoveped some creaking after two plus years of use, 2-3 rides per week, but a little cleaning and lube cured it.
This is the best bike I have ever owned. I have had no mechanical trouble whatsoever. This thing climbs better than any hardtail I ever rode and descends like a rocket. Traction feedback feels telegraphed. I have sold all of my other bikes Habanero Ti Cyclocross, Gemini, DBR Vertex TR hardtail. All of these other bikes were set up with top end components, but I just never wanted to ride anything but this Blur. The Best bike ever.
Similar Products Used: Cannindale Gemini (freeride set-up), several hardtails, tried all the rest as a bike shop guy.
Bike Setup: Bright red powder coat '05 frame(large). Full Sram XO with carbon rear derailiur and twist style shifters, King headset, Hope Mono-Mini with red floating rotors to match the PG990 cassette, Mavic Crossmax Enduro Wheelset with Stans and Maxxis Larson TT tires(I weigh 205 lbs and have literally stepped on these wheels during get-offs and they have only needed truing once in 2+ years), Race Face ISIS Next LP cranks, FSA Ti BB, Shimano 959 Pedals, Thompson stem and post, Easton Monkeylite Carbon Bar, WTB seat ti-rails
a Cross Country Rider
from Vancouver, B.C. CANADA
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2007
Strengths: Clean tide construction, good dealer network in my area, strong front triangle, relatively light with my 5th Element air shock, Anodized finish is very durable.
Weaknesses: Bearings require seasonal replacement despite relatively low mileage. Seat tube collar could be reduced in height (2006 models addressed this point). Anodized finish fades with regular exposure to sun. Suspension is not very active while braking or pedalling.
Good cross country rig. Takes the "ump" out of bumps but still not as efficient as a hardtail (but then again, what FS is?). I have mine down to about 25 lbs so it's reasonably light (although mucho $ on parts to get it so). My rear hub seems to be developing play, could the twisty rear triangle on the 2005 and earlier Blur be contributing to this?
This rig could be built up to 24 lbs with off the shelf parts.
My 4" travel fork seems well matched to the 4.5" rear. I can't see a 3" fork working very well.
I've been trolling craigslist ever since my own SC Superlight was stolen 3 weeks ago - and it's pretty obvious when the person writing about the bike they're trying to sell doesn't own it.
Craigslist posting ... Read More »
Just finished my Blur LTc build this morning, got the first ride this afternoon!
2013 SC Blur Lt Carbon/Fox CTD Kashima
2014 RS Pike Solo air 150
Mavic XM 819 on King ISO hubs
XT/X9 Crankset/rear derRead More »
Hey guys, I originally built my blur LTC 1x9 since I had a good x.9 drivetrain to swap over.
When that wears out I'm thinking about going 1x10. I'd like to go XTR shifter and RD but it looks like the shadow plus only comes in direct mount which doesn't work with the blur right?
Any suggestions? ... Read More »
I'm trying to rebuild a Blur Classic on the cheap, to use as a third bike for travel and lending out. Santa Cruz wants 44 dollars including shipping for a replacement lower link - it wouldn't break my bank but just for the heck of it, does anyone have one in excellent shape that they'd like to get r ... Read More »