A recent Instagram post from Santa Cruz Bicycles
includes a pan shot of a bike being raced at the US Pro Cup with lines that don't exactly look like the current Blur, the most XC-appropriate bike in their lineup. The fact that all of the other photos used angles that hid the bike from full view piqued our curiosity, and a little additional internet digging revealed a shot on Pivot Cycles' racer Cole Paton
's page that shows the bike in better detail.
What differentiates this new bike from the Blur? Well, the most noticeable difference is the lack of any struts extending from the seatstays to the chainstays. The suspension layout also looks like it may be a single pivot with flex stays, a fairly common design on XC race bikes such as the Specialized Epic or Scott Spark.
The lack of pivots would likely allow for a much lighter weight frame compared to what would be possible with the dual link, VPP layout that Santa Cruz typically employs. It also creates more room for water bottles, and it looks like this bike could fit two in the front triangle, and one on the underside of the downtube, making it possible to embark on some extra-long cross-country excursions without getting thirsty.
We'll update this article if any concrete details emerge. For now, let the speculation begin.