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Anyone run the Blur 4X as a trail bike ?
I'm toying with the thought of a VPP bike that will retain the handling qualities of the Heckler - that tight BMX feel, you know... The Nomad felt too big a bike for that, and the Blur LT too XCish.
So, the 4X came in mind.
Two questions though. Is the BB too low for rock infested trail riding ? (seems so, at least on paper) , and, is the Head Angle too slack for climbing with a 130 mm fork (fox vanilla) ?
Any input from those who have tried would be very helpful ...
Thanks,
PM
 

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nerfherder
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4X Here

Hi Pizza,
I'm running a 4X as my only bike. I ride mostly xc/trail. The trails I ride in SoCal have lots of climbing and lots of rocky descents. I'm not pedaling much when it's rocky so I don't strike too much. But your concerns are valid. The low BB does result in a pedal bop here and there. If it's something you don't mind too much you may learn to adapt to it and develop 'pedal awareness'. I made that up. It may not actually exist. I just don't hit my pedals as much as I did when i first got the bike.

I have a 140mm TALAS 32. Generally speaking, I have no problem climbing in the 140 mode. It does wander on the steepest stuff so you have to concentrate on weighting the front. But since I have the TALAS I can cheat and drop the front and all the problems are gone. No problems climbing in the 100 mode at all. If you used the 130 Van you'll probably have to concentrate a tad when climbing steep stuff but it's not any worse than my old Turner 6 Pack with a 36.

But the benefit is, as you said, having a tight bmx feel.
 

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Yep, I do. It makes a great trailbike, although I wouldn't describe the handling as being anything near tight or BMXish, more like stable and surefooted. It has somewhat of a longer and lower feel in comparison to my Heckler. The bottom bracket is lower and while this contributes to the bikes cornering and great handling characteristics, it does result in increased pedal strikes out on the trail. The geometry is somewhat slack (which is my personal preference anyway),but not drastically so . The climbing ability is still quite reasonable with my 130mm Vanilla up front. It feels snappier under power and climbs better than my Heckler, so I prefer it for overall trailriding. Both are great trailbikes, just different.
 

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noMAD man
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Well, you said "rock infested" trail. With that caveat, that's an awfully low BB on the 4X. I think the Nomad already has a really low BB for rocky terrain, and I'll bet the 4X will be worse under actual use. If you were going to ride it mainly on swoopy, fast trail that doesn't have a bunch of ruts or rock channels to go through, I'd bet the 4X would be a hoot.
 

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My 4X trial rider.

Rock Shox Revelation 110-130, is more diffiult to climp than my Superlight with Talas 125, but not bad. I've only had two pedal strikes in a couple hundred miles, but we don't have many rocks here.

Overall, I highly reccomend it as trail bike, I highly don't reccomend you use it for XC racing, its just not meant for that.
 

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Got A Lust for Life...
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Hmm...just got a 4x to build up in a rock and root infested, twisty and tight area. There are plenty of C'dale Rush riders around here with the same BB height. A good riding buddy of mine rides a Rush HARD(semi pro DHer) and reported no problems. I bought it for two reasons. 1) Cornering ability. 2)sprinting to the next corner. Anything in between can be handled by any bike on the planet so long as the bike fits, pedals well(a given w/vpp), and long rides. Give me a week and I will let you know what I know from thrashing the the thing in one of the most technical riding areas in the world...well...according to Adam Craig(a local)but what does he know? :)
 

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Scant abuse
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I have one! The BB is not that low (they advertise it as low) same as Rush,5 Spot,etc
Higher then a SuperLight and about the same as a Blur Classic (Measured). The 4x makes a fantastic 12/24hr racer and all mountain trail bike (depending on build). Don't let the name fool you!
Go for it!
 

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PizzaMan,

It has been mentioned that the bottom bracket is lower by myself and others. I would like to address this further and more effectively. It by no means is problematic or an issue for me while riding. I only brought it up in comparison to my Heckler, which has a higher BB.
I have had plenty of pedal strikes while riding my Heckler and my other bikes on the same trails as well. I don't think it should be an area of focus that is seems to becoming in this thread. The BB is higher than my hardtails and many of the XC full suspension bikes out there. Just had to put that out there.
 

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Reply to Benzology72

Thanks,

I've been using a 1 x 9 setup for the last couple of years, occasionally I'll throw a 22T on the front if I'm planning on heading to the mountains, and I can just change the chain over myself if I need it. I run a Dura Ace 11-27 on the back, I have never needed anything more in the mostly flat part of Central Virginia that I ride in. Currently using a 32T on front. I also lose about 1 pound by not having a front shifting system. The rear derailleur in the photo is a Shimano 105 short cage, I have since upgraded to an SRAM XO short cage and love it.

1 x 9 is plenty popular on this forum.

PS: I agree with Duh-luth, BB height is rarely an issue. Only under hard compression will the bottom bracket height get lower than most hardtails.
 

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where...?

indyfab25 said:
one of the most technical riding areas in the world...well...according to Adam Craig(a local)but what does he know? :)
I'd like to check it out...

Interesting how many people are using the 4X for trail riding. I've seen it rail at Downieville where there are plenty of rocks for pedals to smack (and no problems reported with that). Interestingly the aforementioned rider raced (Dville) much slower (try 2 minutes slower) this year on the Nomad. Guys have bad days, but like somebody said above, the Nomad rides pretty high, and he said the Nomad just felt more difficult to handle than his 4X. There's something to be said for a low CG when you are flying through the woods.
 

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Long travel fork.

When I first purchased my 4X, it came equipped with 130-150mm Marz All mountains, I personally thought they felt way too long. The front wheel was way out in front of me and the steering seemed very slow. I have not had forks that long before so maybe I was just not used to anything like that, but I thought it was awkward combined with the already slack head angle on that frame.
 

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I have a 04 Z1 w/eta on the front of mine. Initially, it felt long and I really worried about handling. The 4x rips with it on the front end. I would like to try a 115mm fork just to see if it would actually be better. Climbing was a blast on this thing compared to my Heckler. Sprinting on it is ridiculous. Corners are amazing. The thing is so stable that after a few corners and downhills you are full of confidence. The thing that surprised me is just how comfortable I was in the air with this bike. I was jumping off everything in sight trying to go as high as I could. It always feels centered in the air. Reviews have mentioned this characteristic, but I could not believe how comfortable it is. Pedal smack really wasn't an issue. Today was it's maiden voyage and it lasted 4 hours. The 4x is more than capable of being a trailbike. It sprints well, is fairly light, very efficient, tough, and super, super fun. I was worried about buying on and replacing my heckler. Nope. This bike is so much better than the heckler in so many ways. Fun, fun, fun. By the way, my wheelbase is 45". I thought this would be a problem...it wasn't.
 

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indyfab25 said:
I have a 04 Z1 w/eta on the front of mine. Initially, it felt long and I really worried about handling. The 4x rips with it on the front end. I would like to try a 115mm fork just to see if it would actually be better. Climbing was a blast on this thing compared to my Heckler. Sprinting on it is ridiculous. Corners are amazing. The thing is so stable that after a few corners and downhills you are full of confidence. The thing that surprised me is just how comfortable I was in the air with this bike. I was jumping off everything in sight trying to go as high as I could. It always feels centered in the air. Reviews have mentioned this characteristic, but I could not believe how comfortable it is. Pedal smack really wasn't an issue. Today was it's maiden voyage and it lasted 4 hours. The 4x is more than capable of being a trailbike. It sprints well, is fairly light, very efficient, tough, and super, super fun. I was worried about buying on and replacing my heckler. Nope. This bike is so much better than the heckler in so many ways. Fun, fun, fun. By the way, my wheelbase is 45". I thought this would be a problem...it wasn't.
That's what we were telling you all along.;) Glad to see you finally on one indyfab25.
 

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Steep climbs...

Turtle 1 said:
Nice bike. I'm actually thinking of getting one for local trails too; will it climb better than the Nomad-are the chainstays too short for going up steep trails?
Steeps:
I was surprised that it climbed up the steeps so well. I had no problems. I am no superman, but I was riding with an SS 29er guy who has a rep for being one. We climbed together the whole time. There were a few spots where he was ahead a bit and vice versa but for the most part, we were neck and neck. I was also using the ETA on my Z1 quite a bit. This lowers the fork at a height higher than most 4" travel forks that are recommended by SC. Surprisingly, even with the ETA off it still climbed well. There was only one time where the front end came off the ground. As a reminder, I have been on a newer style Heckler for three years, so climbing with a higher front end is old hat to me.
On the tamer(less rock and root infested) climbs the bike ripped upwards just as well as my Kona Unit. I am not exaggerating. I was blown away. Interestingly, there was not as much traction as my Heckler out of the saddle. Perhaps this is because the 4X feels a bit more like a hardtail out of the saddle. I am not sure. Gone is the wallowing through the suspension during sprints and out of the saddle climbs. Gone is the lateral flex. I like that.

Nomad:
A friend of mine was on a Nomad and while he was not cursing it on the climbs, it was slower. He commented on this repeatedly. Personally, I cannot see the need for a Nomad if you can pick lines. From what I have read from other riders, the trails get easier because they can point and shoot with the Nomad. I thought about getting one. If I were out west, I probably would have. The trails here in Maine are strewn with undulations, roots and rocks. The style of technicality is completely different. IMO I don't think an efficient 6.5" travel bike has a place here unless the trail was one long boulder field. My arguement is geographically based I suppose. The right tool for the job....?

Looking at travel numbers is in the end decieving. 4.5" doesn't look or sound like a lot of travel. However, when it is 4.5 quality inches it is a different story. I though many times to myself "only 4.5 inches of travel?" Ripping tech downhills are a breeze on this thing with 4.5 inches of travel. I never bottomed it and I was jumping off everything in sight and going at a pretty good clip. Even with the extremely flexy wheels(soon to be replaced).

I have sacrificed nothing over my Heckler. I am happy to see the Heckler go. After spending three to four hours on the thing, I am now wondering why this isn't one of the hottest bikes out there. For those of you thinking about getting one and worry about the numbers on paper, forget the numbers. SCs numbers have been unique for awhile now...it just feels right.
 

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RIDE TO LIVE
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Sure is a nice ride, looked good on the trails yesterday. Hope to catch you on the trails again some time. If your ever in the Mass area and have some riding time, let me know and I'll show you some kick ass single track......Mass style. You will not be disappointed.

You should try a 29 front end on that some time if the geometry works out.....could be in for a surprise!
 

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I'll try anything once...

LIV2RYD said:
Sure is a nice ride, looked good on the trails yesterday. Hope to catch you on the trails again some time. If your ever in the Mass area and have some riding time, let me know and I'll show you some kick ass single track......Mass style. You will not be disappointed.

You should try a 29 front end on that some time if the geometry works out.....could be in for a surprise!
From the way you guys were riding your 96rs, I bet it would ride well. Great ride indeed! You kicked my tail on the way back to the car! Thanks!
 
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