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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m wondering if I should go for a Santa Cruz Blur or Specialized Epic. They would both be the base model carbon ones. The Blur would be a little bit cheaper, and I hear it’s really light. I like the idea behind the Brain suspension on the Epic, but I don’t know if I’d like to feel it opening and closing constantly. I’m currently riding a Specialized Epic HT as my XC bike. Unfortunately, I can’t demo either of these bikes. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Both are similar weight (or can be built to a similar weight) Biggest differences are

1) Brain vs remote lock outs
2) 2 bottle mounts in the triangle vs 1 inside and out side

I have an Epic and bought it days before the Blur came out. So never a chance for direct comparison, but I consider them very close to being the same. What I can say is that I like how the Brain works. On smooth terrain it locks the rear out for very efficient HT like pedaling. When it sense rear wheel movement it opens the shock and feels plush. There is a clunk the moves through the rear during the open and closing, but you only notice on smooth surfaces like dirt roads. On trails it just sort of goes away. I run a my Brian fully firm in the rear, but run a fox 32 SC in front. I did not want it in the fork. My prior bikes where HT and like a firm back end to the bike. Now some people hate the brain with passion. I was able to demo it before I bought it and it took just a short ride to dispel any concerns about the ride. I typlicaly run mine with the fork fully open and let the brain work in the rear and never adjust during a ride. One less thing to worry about compared to locking in vs out all the time on the remote. My SS has 3 position fork lock out I use a lot and it does take some mental effort decide when to lock vs not on that. For SS the front lock is great for standing climbing, but you don't do as much of that on a geared bike.

Maintenance on the Epic is little more complex since the brain /shock is a specialized only unit. It is the only non-standard part on the bike , but will need to be sent out by your shop for maintenance.

Again I bought days before the Blur was release so I have never ridden one, but I do know of people with them and the like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Both are similar weight (or can be built to a similar weight) Biggest differences are

1) Brain vs remote lock outs
2) 2 bottle mounts in the triangle vs 1 inside and out side

I have an Epic and bought it days before the Blur came out. So never a chance for direct comparison, but I consider them very close to being the same. What I can say is that I like how the Brain works. On smooth terrain it locks the rear out for very efficient HT like pedaling. When it sense rear wheel movement it opens the shock and feels plush. There is a clunk the moves through the rear during the open and closing, but you only notice on smooth surfaces like dirt roads. On trails it just sort of goes away. I run a my Brian fully firm in the rear, but run a fox 32 SC in front. I did not want it in the fork. My prior bikes where HT and like a firm back end to the bike. Now some people hate the brain with passion. I was able to demo it before I bought it and it took just a short ride to dispel any concerns about the ride. I typlicaly run mine with the fork fully open and let the brain work in the rear and never adjust during a ride. One less thing to worry about compared to locking in vs out all the time on the remote. My SS has 3 position fork lock out I use a lot and it does take some mental effort decide when to lock vs not on that. For SS the front lock is great for standing climbing, but you don't do as much of that on a geared bike.

Maintenance on the Epic is little more complex since the brain /shock is a specialized only unit. It is the only non-standard part on the bike , but will need to be sent out by your shop for maintenance.

Again I bought days before the Blur was release so I have never ridden one, but I do know of people with them and the like them.
I'm currently riding the Hardtail Epic, but I would like some give on the technical terrain. The epic full suspension being that stiff sounds great.
 

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I'm currently riding the Hardtail Epic, but I would like some give on the technical terrain. The epic full suspension being that stiff sounds great.
My Epic replaced a Santa Cruz highball. I loved that bike, but needed a little cushion for long XC rides and backcountry races. I was getting fast enough downhill that rear end was just beating on me too hard limiting my speed. The FS epic cured that as it felt so plush, but also pretty close to HT efficient. I am reminded of when I jump on my SS. That is light steel frame bike that rides better than my highball (1.5lbs weight penalty) but is no where near as plush as my Epic. However hammering they feel very similar even standing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My Epic replaced a Santa Cruz highball. I loved that bike, but needed a little cushion for long XC rides and backcountry races. I was getting fast enough downhill that rear end was just beating on me too hard limiting my speed. The FS epic cured that as it felt so plush, but also pretty close to HT efficient. I am reminded of when I jump on my SS. That is light steel frame bike that rides better than my highball (1.5lbs weight penalty) but is no where near as plush as my Epic. However hammering they feel very similar even standing.
Yes I know what you mean about the rear end getting hammered. I ride pretty technical east coast trails and I like to ride fast and hard downhill and catch some air.
 

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The Blur R, which is the "entry" level one, actually doesn't have remote lockouts. It is the only one in the lineup without them, although many people, myself included, had terrible experiences with the TwistLoc.

I was looking at both as well and for me it came down to the Brain. It didn't really bother me while riding but I didn't want to have to deal with any proprietary parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Blur R, which is the "entry" level one, actually
doesn't have remote lockouts. It is the only one in the lineup without them, although many people, myself included, had terrible experiences with the TwistLoc.

I was looking at both as well and for me it came down to the Brain. It didn't really bother me while riding but I didn't want to have to deal with any proprietary parts.
Oh I didn't know that one didn't come with remote lockout. Bummer!

Just curious, why are you selling your Blur?
 

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Oh I didn't know that one didn't come with remote lockout. Bummer!

Just curious, why are you selling your Blur?
Yeah but you could always add one. Not sure why it isn't standard since all the others have some sort of remote lockout.

I had thought that I might enjoy longer XC/Marathon type events but I don't have as much time to train for them. So now when I go ride it is just to have fun and play bikes, which the 5010 does excellently.

I have heard that Santa Cruz has given a 10% discount on any 19's, which would put the S about the same price as the Epic and the R even cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmmm. My LBS is a Specialized dealer so that is kinda drawing me to the Epic. I’ll have to look at the 10% off though. How much better do you think the full suspension epic will be on the rough stuff especially the descents?
 

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Hmmmm. My LBS is a Specialized dealer so that is kinda drawing me to the Epic. I'll have to look at the 10% off though. How much better do you think the full suspension epic will be on the rough stuff especially the descents?
Blur vs Epic is on rough stuff is probably a wash and down to preference. In fact racing both back to back I'd be you see no real difference in times and only minor difference in feel.

Epic FS vs Epic HT on rough descents I would say little bit on speed, but a lot more fatigue and control end of things. Fast Rough descents on HT are possible, but they are exhausting. Lots of active body positioning and effort in controlling the bike. On FS (even these XC race types) you may not go that much faster, but it is so much easier and less on the ragged edge. Over time this adds up and the longer you go more the benefit vs the clock. The energy you don't use hanging for dear life can be used on the next climb.
 

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I'm wondering if I should go for a Santa Cruz Blur or Specialized Epic. They would both be the base model carbon ones. The Blur would be a little bit cheaper, and I hear it's really light. I like the idea behind the Brain suspension on the Epic, but I don't know if I'd like to feel it opening and closing constantly. I'm currently riding a Specialized Epic HT as my XC bike. Unfortunately, I can't demo either of these bikes. Thanks for the suggestions!
I've ridden both bikes and they're both great. Epic seems to climb a little better, and easier to ride in a race setting. It has a little more maintenance concerns with having to have the brain serviced by Specialized. Fit on the bikes may be your deciding factor. Stack on the Blur is about 10mm shorter. If that doesn't matter to you, you can't go wrong either way. I needed higher stack, which eliminated the Blur, but it is a good bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've ridden both bikes and they're both great. Epic seems to climb a little better, and easier to ride in a race setting. It has a little more maintenance concerns with having to have the brain serviced by Specialized. Fit on the bikes may be your deciding factor. Stack on the Blur is about 10mm shorter. If that doesn't matter to you, you can't go wrong either way. I needed higher stack, which eliminated the Blur, but it is a good bike.
Okay, awesome. I'm leaning towards the Epic. Now I'm just wondering if I'd benefit from going from my HT to the full suspension.
 

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I think a big consideration is durability / dependability. I've owned both both (multiple generations of both). A Blur has never let me down. I had a rear shock blow mid-race on a 2015 s-works epic and I sold that bike swearing I'd never put up with that again. But I got smitten by the new one, dropped in on a 2018 s-works epic and, sure enough, half way through an absolutely brutal Grinduro this year...pop! Rear shock blows. I rode the last ~30 miles / ~5k ft of climbing / 16 miles of single track descending on an undamped, wallowy, pogo stick. Needless to say, that bike's gone and I'm back to a blur. Other than the shock issue, the epic was quite good. Lots of people ride these bikes without issue...but I won't take a third chance. And I'm a big fan of the concept of the brain...I'd been riding terralogic forks for years and listening to people tell me I was nuts. The idea is solid but the implementation is lacking.
 
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