Construction and Features
Let's talk about the previous Blur platforms before we get to the new one, just for a bit of perspective. The first time Santa Cruz used the Blur name was on a 115mm-travel, aluminum model that debuted in 2002 and lived until 2005. Back then, this was a sort of cross-country / trail bike machine that still had V-brake mounts, a max fork travel of 100mm, and a 70.5 to 71.5-degree head angle. Reach? Who knows - that wasn't a thing back then, but I bet it was short.
We'd probably think it was scary if we rode it now but, as I said above, we all had lower expectations for this genre back in the early 2000s. The LT1, with 135mm, was next and it was around from 2005 to 2007, and we can't forget the spunky Blur 4X that was one of their earliest off-the-shelf short-travel hoonigan rigs. That thing is legendary.
The OG Blur (left) was born in 2002, but it's the Blur 4X (right) that is probably the most loved iteration.
The next version saw some updates, but it wasn't until 2008 that Santa Cruz completely re-worked the Blur from a cross-country bike to a 140mm-travel, burlier trail machine. The Blur LT2 was still aluminum, but a carbon version, the LT2C, was debuted in 2009 that stuck around until 2013. There was also the racy Blur XC2, with 105mm, which lived from 2009 to 2013.
The 29'' wheeled and 27.5+ compatible Tallboy of today, with 110mm of travel, also plays a part in the story, but that machine is more of a quick trail bike than a cross-country weapon.
Looks like a... Santa Cruz? The new Blur follows the same design language as most of the US brand's other offerings.
Santa Cruz needed a bike for those FTP-knowing, suffer-seeking cross-country types, and that brings us to the all-new Blur.
The carbon CC-level frame, which is said to weigh 2,060 grams with all its ancillary bits, looks every bit the Santa Cruz that it is, with a rear triangle attached to the front via its two short VPP links, and the shock mounted to the underside of the top tube. But while the old Blurs (and the current Tallboy) forgo a vertical carbon element on the drive-side of their rear triangles, the lighter weight Blur sees that treatment on both sides, presumably to increase rigidity.
There's a vertical strut on both sides of the Blur's swingarm.
It's also not compatible with front derailleurs which, at the risk of pissing off those clinging to the past, makes a ton of sense for a bike of the Blur's intentions. If you need two chainrings, this ain't the type of bike for you. There are two bottle cage mounts, with enough room inside the front triangle for the largest of large bottles, and the second being on the underside of the downtube.
Cables and hoses go inside the frame, including the one for a dropper post if you're not a crazy person and choose to install one, and in typical Santa Cruz-ness, the bottom bracket shell has threads in it. What else... Boost spacing out back, and there's a bolt-on downtube guard to keep rocks from making speed holes in your expensive frame.
The Fox shock's remote cable (left) disappears inside the toptube, but I'd like it to disappear altogether.
A bolt-on rock protector (left) adds a few grams but keeps the dents and holes to a minimum.
You can get the new Blur in small, medium, large (tested), and extra-large sizes, and Santa Cruz says that the fancypants XX1 Reserve version comes in at a more than reasonable 21.9lb. My test bike, which came with the slightly wider Reserve 27 wheels and X01 Eagle running gear, weighed 22.4lb on my scale, which is also damn reasonable. That's with the stock and very light Syntace straight post and Santa Cruz handlebar, and sans pedals, but still, I'm impressed.
The other number that you'll want to know is the price: This Blur 3 CC X01 Reserve test bike goes for a not paltry $7,599 USD. That's with the high-end carbon frame, Santa Cruz's own carbon wheels, and all the things, don't forget. There are six complete bikes to choose from, with the $8,999 USD XX1 Reserve version sitting at the top of the list, but you can also get on a base-level Blur for $3,699 USD. That sum gets you the slightly heavier C frame and the R build kit, or you can pick up a Blur 3 CC frame (with a Fox Float Factory shock) for $2,999 USD.