Keegan Swenson has been on an absolute tear recently, with an impressive run of gravel and endurance event wins racked up over this season. While definitely not a drop bar race, the Downieville Classic seemed right up his alley, so the Utah native made his way to the Sierra to try his hand at the All-Mountain World Championships. For those uninitiated, Downieville's unique format forces riders to race both the XC and the DH on the exact same bike setup for a combined all-mountain title, which makes for some equally unique builds.
Turns out his momentum was plenty strong coming into the weekend; Keegan took 1st in the Cross Country and 3rd in the Downhill for a 1st place overall All-Mountain finish. With a seriously competitive field this year, that's a very impressive performance for someone who hasn't recently been focused on mountain bike racing.
The self-proclaimed Gravel Goblin's background in drop-bar and endurance racing comes through in his Santa Cruz Blur build - this bike is anything but a stock setup.
The cockpit on this bike immediately stands out, as it looks like it's suited more to a 90s XC rig than a modern-day race machine. Keegan is running a 110mm stem with -17° rise, with a 690mm flat carbon handlebar. He said this setup is meant to get the bike fit to feel as similar to his gravel setup as possible, hence the long, low, and narrow front end. While I'm pretty sure I'd die on the first corner with this cockpit, it seemed to suit him quite well.
Tire choice was similarly racy, with the Maxxis Rekon/Rekon Race combo keeping rolling resistance to a minimum. Some folks went as extreme as to run Aspens front and rear, but to me the Rekon combo is about as slick as one would want while still retaining some grip.
Keegan is running the EXO-casing tires with Tannus inserts front and rear, which allows him to run some seriously low pressures. 18psi front and 19psi rear, to be precise.
On the rare occasion he decides to slow down, the SRAM Level Ultimates are there to scrub some speed. A 160mm rear rotor and 180mm front are just enough for Downieville's sustained descents.
Swenson is SRAM/RockShox athlete, so fittingly he's on some under-wraps XC suspension that we don't yet know too much about. Safe to say it's SID setup of some sort, and clearly has a twist-grip lockout for the front and rear. He was able to divulge his settings, but don't go blindly copying them and thinking they'll work for your setup.
In the 120mm fork he's running 78psi with 2 volume tokens, and the shock is pumped up to 160psi, giving him about 35-40% sag when the lockout is open.
The SRAM Transmission drivetrain is a standard XX SL affair, save for one detail. Keegan and his mechanic opted to swap out the carbon derailleur cage for the XX variant's aluminum one, hoping to increase durability should one of Downieville's many rocks smack the mech in the right spot.
In addition to dual AXS Pods, Keegan is running SRAM's little Blip shifters, which add additional shift positions that accompany his aero-tuck hand placement.
Keegan's Blur TR proved to be quite the unique beast, from the wild cockpit setup to the finer details like the ready-to-rip tire plugs. It doesn't just look fast, as he managed to put down some seriously insane times out on the very hot course this weekend. Keep an eye out for this speedy little bike at some events later this summer.