First Ride: Santa Cruz's New 2022 Blur is XC Race Ready

May 31, 2021 at 9:41
by Sarah Moore  

Santa Cruz likely isn't the first company that comes to mind when you think of high-level cross-country racing, but the Californian brand is aiming to change that with the new Blur and an injection of star-power to their World Cup XC roster. We caught a glimpse of the new cross-country bike at the first World Cup of the season in Albstadt under Maxime Marotte, Luca Braidot and Martina Berta, but now we finally have all the details.

The new Blur CC frame is 289 grams lighter than the previous version, making it the lightest full-suspension frame that Santa Cruz has ever made. A size large frame with a RockShox SidLuxe shock and all hardware including seat clamp weighs in at 1,933g. It uses a new Superlight single pivot suspension design with flex stays instead of their usual VPP suspension design.
Santa Cruz Blur Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 100mm (XC) / 115mm (TR)
• C or CC Carbon frame
• Dual water bottle mount inside frame
• Superlight suspension design
• 68.3° (XC) / 67.1° (TR) head tube angle
• Variable seat tube angle
• Size specific chainstays
• MSRP: $4,599 - $11,599 USD
• Blur: santacruzbicycles.com
• Wilder (TR only): julianabicycles.com

The carbon 29er has size-specific chainstays and variable seat tube angles, and comes in two configurations, an XC build with 100mm of travel front and rear and a "TR" build with a longer stroke shock that delivers 115mm of travel and a bigger 120mm fork. Juliana also joins in on the cross-country fun with the Wilder, which uses the same frame as the Blur, but only comes in the TR version.

The XC version is, as you may have guessed, designed for Olympic cross-country racing, while the TR version is designed for everything from cross-country marathons to multi-day stage events. In addition to having more travel, the TR builds have slightly beefier Maxxis Rekon tires instead of the Aspens that come on the XC build, a full height adjust dropper post, no lockout remote, and larger brake rotors. Don't be mistaken, however, this isn't a downcountry bike; Santa Cruz says "It's still a true XC bike for courses and riders with more trail in them." It's just a bit more relatable to riders than a full-fledged World Cup XC race bike.


There's ample hydration on the Santa Cruz Blur and Juliana Wilder with dual water-bottle mounts and another water bottle mount on the bottom of the downtube.


The TR builds have slightly beefier Maxxis Rekon tires instead of the Aspens that come on the XC build, a full height adjust dropper post, no lockout remote, and larger brake rotors.
Both the XC and TR builds have a threaded bottom bracket, molded chainstay and downtube protection, a chain guide, and SRAM's Universal Derailleur Hanger.


Whether you've got the 100mm XC version with a 68.3° head tube angle and a seat tube angle that varies between 75.7° and 76.5°, or the 115mm TR version with a 67.1° head tube angle and seat tube angles that vary from 74.8° to 75.1°, you'll have ample hydration with dual water-bottle mounts and another water bottle mount on the bottom of the downtube. Other details include a threaded bottom bracket, molded chainstay and downtube protection, a chain guide, and SRAM's Universal Derailleur Hanger. The frame, bearings and optional Reserve 28 XC wheels (that I reviewed last month) include a lifetime warranty.

Each Blur configuration comes in two colour options, Dark Matter or Salmon, with a separate mauve colourway for the Juliana Wilder, and prices range from $4,599 USD to $9,449 for the Blur TR and Wilder TR and $5,199 USD to $11,299 USD for the Blur XC.



The new Santa Cruz Blur uses a Superlight single pivot suspension design with flex stays instead of their usual VPP suspension design.


Santa Cruz's Superlight Single Pivot Suspension Design

Santa Cruz says it was easier for them to achieve desirable XC suspension curves with their Superlight single pivot suspension design with flex stays than with their VPP suspension design, and that it got its name "because it’s the superlightest suspension we’ve ever made." Indeed, having less parts involved in the suspension design was a big contributor to shaving off 289 grams from the previous generation Blur. In addition, the design makes the lockout easier to reach on the rear shock when riding.

A flex stay design requires tuning the right amount of spring force into the carbon to achieve the balance of flex, damping and durability, and Santa Cruz says that having their own composites lab in California and composites specialists allowed them to experiment with layups. They say they used their carbon knowledge to tune the rear end precisely where it's needed for a consistent and desirable leverage curve.

bigquotesRather than using high anti-squat to resist bobbing from a progressive, high leverage shock, we looked to the leverage curve to provide support and control.

This results in a lower and more consistent leverage curve which enabled us to reduce anti-squat, and therefore chain influence on the suspension. Which allows more traction and sensitivity in both climbing and descending scenarios, and produces a much more efficient forward drive because less pedaling input, from anti-squat, is utilized to overcome the rider's body weight influence on the suspension.
Santa Cruz Bicycles

Both the Blur XC and TR are available in Dark Matter or Salmon.
The Wilder is available in the TR model in mauve.


Geometry

The Blur XC and Blur TR use the same frame, but the longer fork on the TR makes its geometry is a touch less steep than the Blur XC. The Blur TR has a 67.1° head tube angle compared to the Blur XC's 68.3°. Compared to the last generation of Blur, that 68.3° head tube angle on the new Blur is 0.7° slacker, and the 67.1° head tube angle on the Blur TR is 1.4° slacker than on the previous Blur TR. There are also longer reach numbers across the board and shorter 60mm stems.

Another change is that the chainstay length now varies with frame size. On the size Small Blur XC, you'll get 430mm chainstays and that goes up to 438mm on the size XL.

There are also variable seat tube angles for better fit across all sizes. On the Blur XC, the seat tube angle varies between 76.5° on a size Small and 75.7° on a size XL. On the 115mm TR version, the seat tube angles vary from 75.1° on the size Small to 74.8° on the size XL.

On a size medium TR, you'll get a 438mm reach, a 67.1 degree head tube angle, a 75° seat tube angle, a 1157mm wheelbase and 433mm chainstays. On that same medium size frame in the XC race build, you'll have a longer 450mm reach, a steeper 68.3° head tube angle and 76.3° seat tube angle, a shorter 1147mm wheelbase, but the same 433mm chainstays.




Ride Impressions

I've had a couple rides on the size medium Blur TR that I have in for testing with a 115mm Fox Float Factory DPS shock and a 120mm Fox 34 Step Cast Factory fork and I've had no trouble getting up to speed on it.

On its first ride, I took it to the XC loop that we used for the XC Field Test last June, and I cleaned the entire rooty, twisty, steep technical climb on the first try. I felt right at home with the position on the bike and the steering is extremely precise, making it easy to wind through the tight sections that I've been struggling a bit more with on my trail bike since we sent home all the XC Field Test bikes. Compared to the Juliana Joplin (Santa Cruz Tallboy) that I've also ridden on this test lap, it felt like the suspension was more efficient and supported you better as you pedalled, but there was no lack of traction for the tricky sections. In fact, its spritely suspension and lightweight frame make you want to search out the next Impossible Climb and uphill challenges.

On the downhills, it's an extremely capable XC bike. Don't be mistaken, however, this isn't a downcountry or a trail bike and the Tallboy/Joplin is a very different bike. On the Tallboy/Joplin, I was hooting and hollering down every descent, and I kept wanting to take the 120mm bike into more technical terrain just to see what was possible with such short travel. The Blur TR, despite having longer travel than the Blur XC, still feels more like a traditional XC bike and like it's made for the race course. While it takes the edge off and greatly reduces the chances of you flying over the handlebars when you're not thinking straight from exhaustion in a long race, it's not exactly a playful, let's-see-how-hard-we-can-push-it-downhill short travel bike. It might be dressed in business casual, but its goal is to get the work done.





219 Comments

  • 135 0
 geo chart is kind of a blur
  • 14 6
 I thought I wasn't seeing right, so I put on my glasses, but this bike is still a blur on my screen.
  • 22 0
 and where is the weight of the complete bike as tested?
  • 8 3
 not to be a heckler but it was quite the blur
  • 5 8
 What a sacrilege to call it Blur this pure bred xc machine thing without VPP and that doesn't Blur the límits of the riding... the original idea behind the first mytichal Blur that set a new benchmark fot the brand/industry...
  • 7 6
 Reach and STA look more appealing w. 100mm fork, i.e. seem like this is what it's designed around. That's a shame given how good and light 120s are and how many pros are using them at world cups.

Also the "size specific chain stays" are a total joke. 8mm total difference between S and XL will not have any noticeable effect on the ride.
  • 7 0
 Doesn't look like a Session, but honestly remind me the trek superfly fs (2015/2016) Just have a look.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O:

I agree that the chain stay length variation is not sufficient, but disagree that it would not be a noticeable Difference.

I think the variation between sizes should be much larger, with chain stay length increasing almost as much as reach
  • 3 0
 @PauRexs: Yeah, I was expecting this to be called the Superlight and only available in a XC build. I thought the Blur would stick around only in a TR build.
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: why is it not called a Superlight???
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: They named the suspension that the new Blur uses "superlight".
  • 120 6
 Oh so it's not VPP that makes SC bikes expensive
  • 89 5
 Maybe because they are handmade in the USA ... Oh no, wait ... Big Grin
  • 37 4
 My Diamondback has vpp so I knew that wasn’t it, I think it’s the label on the side of the bike
  • 81 1
 It's because of the lifetime free bearings. Bearings cost around $900-$1000 per set.

*hold on I'm getting something from our expert panel. mmhmm, mmhmm, mmhmm. ok*

Folks I've been told bearings are $30ish per set. I retract my earlier statement.
  • 32 0
 It's the carefully curated backcountry pastels you're paying for. Unless you get black. Then you're paying for the reduced paint weight.
  • 18 4
 It's because they've decided to keep their facility in SC, which is being overrun by Silicon Valley and SF types, driving the COL through the roof. They have to pay their general labor a much higher rate in order to keep them close by, which drives the end price up.
  • 8 2
 @reesty: Source on their cost of labour or just speculation?
  • 6 1
 @slimjimihendrix: a little speculation but as someone who has had a salary decrease because I now work remote and in an area that's cheaper compared to the area surrounding my employer - I'm sure they fluctuate as well. Go to any real estate/rental site and check the cost per square foot in SC, studios and one bedroom apartments are upwards of $2k USD a month. Also, they assemble their builds in SC, which also adds "value".
  • 8 1
 @reesty: This can’t be upvoted enough. Not only are you paying for their staff and their hq (and their race teams and riders) but also their top-notch customer service. Other brands like Ibis (nearby) and Transition are also employing lots of staff in their build warehouses on the west coast. Although honestly, I’m usually buying second-hand but whenever I’ve needed something Santa Cruz, ibis and transition staff have come through really well.
  • 5 0
 Not speculation, reality. Being someone from that area I guess we just take it for granted that the rest of the world is aware of how insanely expensive everything is around silicon valley.
  • 2 3
 @jfog52: talent and work ethic cost a lot of money. If you can’t compete, better luck next time.
  • 76 5
 Long shock it, mullet it, put some 38s, 220mm rotors and downhill tyres. Perfect!
  • 15 1
 Every time I got an XC bike, I found myself having to enduro-ize it. I like climbing, but don't want to sacrifice on the downhills.
  • 11 0
 You forgot the -2 degree angle set!
  • 4 11
flag FarmerJohn (Jun 1, 2021 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 or gravel tires and a drop bar- either would be more F.U.n than an XC bike
  • 4 0
 That’s the Blur 4x
  • 3 11
flag WateratPat (Jun 1, 2021 at 17:07) (Below Threshold)
 @tacklingdummy: Buy an Ebike already enduroized and you can tackle ridiculous climbs you never thought possible.
  • 6 0
 @islandforlife: I feel attacked.
  • 60 3
 Looks pretty upcountry.
  • 23 2
 *upduro
  • 35 2
 Who wants a Blur when you can have a Spur?
  • 36 4
 Epic EVO for the win =)
  • 2 1
 Or a Rangur
  • 3 0
 Or a 2017 Revolver
  • 31 1
 Hmm.. larger size = slacker seattube.. hmm.. arent tall people complaining the most about slack seattubes?
  • 2 1
 Steeper seattube to fit both the saddle and the 29er back wheel on the smaller sized bikes
  • 6 0
 Yeah, the effective seat tube angle naturally decreases on the larger frames (because taller stack height) so it's not an easy intentional feature. They're just pretending it is.
  • 6 1
 I think it's because of the size specific chainstay length. They don't want 4 different rear triangle molds, so they use the same rear tri and linkage and shift all the pivots rearward 3mm for every size up. That would force them into a slacker seat angle for the larger sizes to clear the linkage and pivots. Just my guess.
  • 1 1
 @djpaulyd: Actually longer chainstays allow steeper actual seat angles with less of a kink in the seat tube.

If you look at road bikes, if they use a variable seat angle, the seat angle gets slacker on bigger sizes, so it seems to be biomechanically correct.
  • 1 0
 no. we have Femurs
  • 6 0
 Tall people complain least about this stuff. We are used to tons of compromise with fitting. Im more annoyed by people under 6 foot complaining about xl bikes being too big.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I completely agree, I compromise on sizing completely because I've given up on correct sizing. I'm so used to riding mediums (I'm 6'5) that anything else feels like a bus and I want to get off it ASAP.
  • 22 0
 Let us have all the colors in all the sizes. That purple is sooo nice!
  • 5 17
flag Rigidjunkie (Jun 1, 2021 at 7:20) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry Santa, Cruz that is, hates us for being naughty and delivers only shit color patterns. Kind of surprised there is a simple black version, they usually just give us weird shit.
  • 31 0
 I didn’t want salmon. I said it 4 times! This wedding is bulls**t!



....seriously though, I want that Salmon one
  • 3 2
 @SATN-XC: The most underrated comment of the day. Bravo!
  • 15 1
 Another single pivot flex stay xc bike. Looks like the industry has settled on the lightest simplest approach to fast race full suspension bikes. Not many left out there with other designs.
  • 7 4
 In the last couple of years everybody has been coming out with their own version of the Scott Spark. Although the BMC Fourstroke may be the new benchmark for XC.
  • 6 0
 @Baciatutti: Yea, though I'd say that the Cannondale Scalpel was right there with the Spark as a single pivot and flex stay design. The Fourstroke is one of the few virtual pivot xc designs left out there. The Giant Anthemn and Pivot Mach 4 are others.
  • 11 0
 Convergent Evolution, if you will. A similar thing has happened with aero road bikes.
  • 3 0
 @miles-e: Yea, exactly! Will now be a battle of weight, geo and pricing.
  • 9 1
 @AndrewFleming: Lets not forget the mid-00's Yetis and their single pivot flex-stay designs.
  • 9 1
 Not as much benefit from the more complicated suspension when there's only 100-120mm of travel. They've gotten better at dialing in pivot locations, and it's a bit easier to tune the suspension with only one chainring up front.
  • 2 0
 @TucsonDon: Yea, exactly, you're right. I think that point gets overlooked. With 1x chainring sizes in a limited range (30T to 34T for us mortals), suspension design can be built around this. This really has helped make single pivots more relevant. And, of course, rear shocks have improved and given us a more stable pedaling platform too.
  • 4 1
 There are lots of non single pivot xc bikes. Bmc, pivot, monraker, giant, Norco, ECT ect
  • 3 0
 @AndrewFleming: scalpel is a Horst link
  • 5 3
 @TucsonDon: after riding a pivot and now a BMC I can say that is 100% false. Single pivots are more profitable to make, and are lighter on paper so they are easier to market. Even with 100mm of travel a 4 link bike pedals and descends so much better.
  • 2 0
 @Themissinglink83:

Yea, for the Scalpel, the flex chain stay acts like a horst link pivot but there's so little movement/flex, it's kinda splitting hairs.

And I'll disagree with 4-link/VP bikes riding better than single pivots, but it is personal preference. I prefer how my new Stumpjumper rides compared to my Tallboy. And there are some newer bigger travel single-pivots like NukeProof that are getting good reviews.
  • 1 1
 @bicyclelifestyle: Yea, that Yeti was ahead of the times. Would be good to see it come back as their pure XC racer.
  • 1 4
 @AndrewFleming: the stumpjumper is also a Horst link, not a single pivot.
  • 7 0
 @Themissinglink83: No, the SJ Evo is a horst link, but the regular SJ is a single pivot for 2021. It was a big deal for Specialized to move away from the horst link.
  • 3 1
 @AndrewFleming: www.specialized.com/us/en/stumpjumper-alloy/p/175253
I see a pivot on the chainstay and not the seatstay, unless I am on drugs.
  • 6 1
 @Themissinglink83: That's the aluminum frame that has a pivot, yes. The carbon frames are single pivot since they flex more, take a look. That goes to show how little movement the horst link was actually providing.
  • 7 0
 @Themissinglink83: The alloy SJ’s are Horst link but the carbon models have flex stays.
  • 2 10
flag Themissinglink83 (Jun 1, 2021 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 @AndrewFleming: it's impossible to tell if the carbon stumpjumper is a single pivot or a Horst without cutting the frame apart. Since specialized has made FSR/Horst bikes for decades, it's safe to assume it's not a single pivot, because it makes no sense to.make the rest of the line horsts and then make carbon bikes that have less traction and stiffen up under braking.
  • 6 0
 @Themissinglink83: Ok, Specialized themselves called it a single pivot. The SJ design has flex on the seat stay (not the chain stay). Read the reviews here on Pinkbike if you'd like to. They were surprised on the ride quality and lack of braking issues. But, you're welcome to buy the frame and cut it apart if you'd like to.
  • 2 1
 @AndrewFleming: yeah both making a cheap copy of a Yeti Asr-SL, Yeti made this design to work properly in the early 2000's
  • 1 0
 @entrecerros: Makes you wonder why they discontinued that design.
  • 2 1
 @AndrewFleming: the asr should be reincarnated, I cannot believe the amazing craftmanship of my 2007 asl sl-c
  • 4 0
 @AndrewFleming: lol the review for the SJ on vitalmtb said the SJ rode harsh for it's travel. Don't believe everything you read on bike reviewsSmile
  • 2 0
 @Themissinglink83: new carbon SJs are definitely flex single pivot. That said, I'll take the horst link alloy all day. I don't mind some extra weight for better performance and carbon would just make me paranoid about micro cracks.
  • 2 0
 @Themissinglink83: Wait, am I supposed to not believe Pink Bike or VitalMTB review? Neither? Regardless, after riding 8 different demo/rental/friends bikes in 2020 I specifically wanted a single pivot bike so I got the SJ and I like it. As I said, it’s personal preference. If 4 bar/VPP were preferred by everyone, single pivots wouldn’t sell.
  • 2 0
 @entrecerros: Yeah, amazing craftsmanship.

I broke 2 rear triangles on my 2008 ASR-C Carbon without impact and the bike was plagued by a really flexy rear end. I will admit, it was fun and beautiful
  • 2 0
 Norco's Revolver FS is still on the four link layout and it seems to work pretty well for Carter Woods. Also Ghost's Lector FS is now a VPP design - pretty close to what I expected Santa Cruz to make.
  • 2 0
 @Baciatutti: Why do you consider the BMC as a benchmark?
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Yea, Norco is holding strong to the Horst link design and they make great bikes. Rocky Mountain too.
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I just got a BMC agonist and it's the best XC(ish) FS I have ridden. It pedals well, is active under braking, and descends well. My first rides on it Ive been setting a ton of Strava PRs on it. I can only imagine what the fourstroke is like.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: I still have a 2007, last one made in USA alu front triangle with 27.2 seatpost, after that production moved to Asia and issues started to be frequent. Did your ASR had the 30.9 seatpost?
  • 2 0
 @entrecerros: Nope, it was the full carbon with the integrated seat mast. I must say, it WAS a fun bike!
  • 11 0
 So now, my Tallboy v3 from 2019, (110mm back, 120mm front, 68deg head angle) is less of trail bike then the new Blur TR? Frown
  • 9 1
 put a "slackerizer" angle set headset and 130mm fork on it and you can drop it near to 66. Im looking for an old tallboy frame to do exactly this.
  • 2 0
 @thelittle: I was thinking about this - but my model has integrated headset (no cups, bearings are put directly in the frame) - so there is no much options.

Hardtail party did review the headset that might work -
9point8 SLACK-R: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRYIzYa7mxg

HP did need to sand the frame a little bit ... so I would need to gather some courage to try it, especially since I am the original owner with lifetime guarantee.
  • 3 0
 @drib: yeah thats the one Im talking about. Maybe your frame doesnt need to be sanded but is a trial and error process. Id try if was mine,
  • 2 0
 My former Tallboy V3 is still my favorite bike ive ever owned! (currently on the V4 Tallboy)

I put Offset bushings in it and it really made the bike a trail weapon. I also had the plus version with the 130mm fork on it though. But I would definitely look into the Offset bushings. Its a super cheap and easy to remedy experiment.
  • 3 0
 Offset Shock bushings FTW
  • 3 0
 @Questlove967: It works aswell but affect the seat angle. Anglesets tends to make the fork lower so it also compensate the longer travel a little bi without messing with seat angle.
  • 10 2
 I guess another way to state the problems with this bike is that the TR is a build rather than a separate frame design with geometry optimized for the intended suspension travel. It’s pretty lame to change your bb height and sta just because to want more travel.
  • 5 0
 @Drew-O: you can definitely tell the TR was an afterthought vs the main idea.
  • 1 0
 BB height only changes by 9mm and STA 1.4 deg hahaha
  • 10 0
 Wonder how flexy that rear triangle is? My 19' Spiper XC had just one side braced on the Seat/Chain stay and it was too noodly for my taste.
  • 6 0
 Wish they would drop the seat-tube length a bit on the XL. I would struggle on reach with a large frame even with a long stem.
  • 4 0
 I agree, I ride an XL Blur with a 35mm stem because the reach on the L is too small.
  • 9 1
 SPUR or BLUR that is the question!
  • 5 0
 what's the stated tyre clearance for the rear, and any issues with the chain on the chainstay. it looks awfully close the way the chainstay rises up where it's flattened.
  • 4 1
 Spec on Santa Cruz website states 2.4.
  • 8 2
 Not gonna lie, this is the best looking XC bike I've ever seen
  • 3 0
 My XC race bike from 2014 was a Tallboy with a 120 Sid on it and it weighed less than the $13k AXS version of this bike AND used a multi pivot frame. How are bikes getting heavier?
  • 2 0
 "The TR builds have slightly beefier Maxxis Rekon tires"

I just realized this is taken from their website, but I find it funny since all the pictures, and all the spec sheets say Rekon RACE tires. Which are on my blur right now, and can assure you are not beefy.
  • 2 0
 Hello??
If this is advertised as an “Olympic XC race bike”, why arent we seeing bike weights??
It’s funny how companies like Yeti and SC that make heavier bikes never advertise these and brands like Scott freely post them. Weight DOES matter when you’re a 125 lb XC racer...geo does also, but I’m not going to buy a bike that’s 5# heavier with that same geos!
  • 5 1
 Every new bike that has variable chainstay length and STA is very positive. Looking forward to when this is the norm.
  • 1 0
 Doesn't it seen kind of odd though? Chainstay varies by 8mm between small and xl. That seems just dumb, like most people would want more I assume. And variable STA is definitely cool, but isn't it backwards? The smaller bikes have a steeper STA here. I thought the opposite was desirable.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: didn't look close b\c not in the market for an xc bike. Don't know enough about xc geo to have a firm opinion, but I'd definitely want to see something like 445 on a 490-500 reach trail bike. Maybe the wheel is limiting on the smaller sizes in this case?

STA is strange, but not enough info. Need virtual, actual, and maybe "offset" to really know anything. Gotta remember that head tube length plays a factor in the industry standard way to measure virtual.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: also could be “cheating” and changing rear center with linkage, thus not that much range
  • 5 0
 The launch video is kinda epic.
  • 2 0
 What's the point of saying, don't get us wrong, this isn't a down country bike? Why the hell not? at 115/120 or a 130 or 140 fork and the right tires. This category naming is stupid. It is what you do with it.
  • 5 0
 Yeah the Tallboy 4 is not at all downcountry, it's just trail. This is the only bike SC has that could be downcountrified.
  • 1 0
 "Which allows more traction and sensitivity... and... produces a much more efficient forward drive because less pedaling input, from anti-squat, is utilized to overcome the rider's body weight influence on the suspension.—Santa Cruz"

In other words, they're saying that high anti-squat bikes that "stand up and go" under power are less tractive and less "efficient" , which is the correct thing to say!
  • 4 1
 That was a whole section of bullshit lol
  • 3 0
 Yeah, that was weird, like when the suspension doesn't bob the energy just...disappears. Wtf. By looking at the pivot location, this bike looks to have a reasonably high anti-squat.

I will agree that the bikes I had with published anti-squat over 120% felt really snappy, but they were horribly inefficient for me on extended climbs of over 1000' vert. It was moving the suspension, just as squat does...but in the other direction.

On short climbs where I was standing and hammering, those super high anti-squat bikes were quick, as the anti-squat seemed to counter me bouncing my weight onto the pedals.
  • 3 0
 @UtahBrent: Were quick, or _seemed_ quick? Stiff bikes can _feel_ quick because there is more feedback of small trail imperfections/features, but that doesn't always mean it's actually quicker. It's the same thing that everyone realized with lower tire pressures: high pressures tires give lots of (excessive) feedback and might _feel_ fast, but actually steal energy on anything but the very smoothest surfaces.

What SC is saying here is that the suspension bob "disappearing the energy" doesn't matter as much as the gains from more traction and not spending pedal energy on tensioning the chain just to reversing the squat.

So, yes, the damper eats a little bit of the kinetic energy of the bob caused by the pedal strokes, but perhaps not enough to offset the benefits of a reasonably active suspension: more traction and less energy spent on anti-squatting.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: "as the anti-squat seemed to counter me bouncing my weight onto the pedals"

Why do you need to spend/waste energy on countering that? The suspension will rebound, since as you said it's "bouncing weight".
  • 3 0
 @justinfoil: I think energy is lost in two ways because of bob.

1- Damping converting the motion into heat instead of forward energy.
2- Biomechanical efficiency of the chain growth/suspension movement changing where in the pedal stroke you see the resistance.

So >100% AS counters that quick down ward force on the pedal, or my "jump". By minimizing the movement it addresses each of the above losses.
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil: Good question/point.

They seemed quick, but not sure they were, it's almost impossible to measure "quick" with how I normally evaluate efficiency (Power Meter over longer durations).

I agree that what they meant to say may be that the benefit of an active suspension outweighs the losses due to squat. But that isn't really what was said. There was that weird comment "...and produces a much more efficient forward drive because less pedaling input, from anti-squat, is utilized to overcome the rider's body weight influence on the suspension."

That makes little sense, and probably wasn't their intent. If it's pedal force 100% balanced with squat, the forces are balanced, the bike would pedal like a hardtail would while still available to react to bumps. (the trouble is it's not a static system, CG is always moving).

To be clear, I like their design approach as I've always disliked my bikes with really high (>120%) anti-squat for reasons they've listed (accept for that weird statement). I see little to no benefit to really high anti-squat aside from the quick "feel", and maybe some sprinting benefit I don't know how to quatify.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: How does it address #2? I think it makes it worse, because when the wheel hits a bump, the part of anti-squat that is from chain tension will add resistance to the pedal stroke whenever the wheel encounters a bump. This will be all over the place.

I found when riding a bike with over 100% AS that I had way more instances of getting stalled out at the top of a pedal stroke because the rear wheel happened to run into something and pulled on the chain, vs my current bike with like 65% AS is way less likely to interrupt a pedal stroke with increased chain tension from a bump. So I can just keep pedaling smoothly no matter what the trails throws at me. It's actually kind of similar to an oval chainring where it's consistently easier to get "over the top" of the pedal stroke.

(Note, I actually don't like ovals. I find they trick my brain into spinning lower cadences because of the lower effective tooth count of the small side of the oval, which then wears out my legs faster because the higher effective tooth count in the power side of the oval is too much for that low cadence. And If I just pick a higher cadence to fit the power side, then it feels like I'm over-speeding through the small side and throws off the smoothness.)
  • 3 0
 @justinfoil: We're on exactly the same page, that really high anti-squat makes #2 worse. (As does really low anti-squat). I'm just not describing it well. I feel that really high variation from 100% anti-squat forces more of the work to be done "over the top" of the pedal stroke.

100% agree with your take on the impact of bumps/chain grown.

This is anecdotal based on my experience with high anti-squat bikes.

Caveat here that many co-rotating link bikes (i.e. DW link) transition quickly to low anti-squat as they move through the travel, minimizing the effect of chain grown for medium to bigger impacts.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: :thumbsup:

IIRC, in an interview with DW from like 8 years ago, he mentioned that dw-link also gets a decent chunk of it's anti-squat not from the chain but from the rear wheel and triangle being accelerated towards the front triangle. It's part of the DW magic, IMO, that you get good anti-squat without the most of the associated chain forces of other designs' anti-squat.
  • 1 0
 After a few rides my conclusion is that the bike is really god at pedalling on flats trails, but bobs a lot on climbs. Obviously on gravel and tarmac the lockout has to be used, but I also use it on climbs when the trails aren't that ruff. I miss the twinloc medium position I had on my Spark, but I don’t miss having to spend more time in the garage than oiut on the trails Smile (From the perspective of me as an XCO, XCM, XCC racer.)
  • 1 0
 I had a 2012 Lynskey FS 120 that was a flex stay and the main pivot was actually a BB 86. 9 years ago this design has been around (what is that in mountain bike / dog years?).
Crap, even the carbon Marin Mountain Vision was at least five years ago....
  • 1 0
 "While it takes the edge off and greatly reduces the chances of you flying over the handlebars when you're not thinking straight from exhaustion in a long race"

Levy says the opposite is true, that he wants the laser precise bike when he's "breathing through my eyelids" (or something), I guess because it takes less effort to aim it when you're exhausted?
  • 2 1
 Maybe already mentioned re the "Lightest SC fully ever" claims that they didn't hesitate to market for 2018 and now, but
2012 Blur XC was 4.1 lbs / 1860g With shock.
(Also I should sell mine if anyone wants the light is full suspension bike they actually ever produced Wink
  • 3 0
 Seems like everyone was chasing the Epic/Spur and SC is like: I don’t really like that.
  • 3 0
 is the salmon colourway actually the same colour the race teams have been running, which looks more orange than pink
  • 4 0
 My eyes became Blur(ry) once I saw no XXL frame.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure there are a ton Of 6'9 xc riders
  • 3 0
 Why not the superlight name?
  • 5 1
 My guess would be, because it is replacement for current VPP Blur - so they don't need to revive and market old Superlight name. Superlight name would make more sense if they decided to keep both this singlepivot bike and VPP Blur.
  • 16 0
 @drib: old names are for ebikes. Superlight will be the Levo SL competitor...
  • 1 0
 Because like car models, bike models get longer and heavier as time goes on.
  • 9 6
 Why is there no remote lockout on the TR-models?
  • 21 3
 Exactly! All these "TR" bikes based on an XC race frame are still XC race bikes, just with a bit more travel and (usually) a dropper post. Remote lockout was invented to be used on this kind of bikes! Please don't take it away. Most hobby racers like I am benefit from the remote lockout, but we want to ride the bikes with a bit more travel, because they are more versatile and provide a bit more room for error with an insignificant penalty of a little bit of weight, but when they don't have a remote lockout, it's a total deal breaker for us.
  • 10 15
flag granjak (Jun 1, 2021 at 3:42) (Below Threshold)
 Do you really need a remote lockout? I mean it's not as if the shock wasn't easy to reach...
  • 5 1
 @granjak: I had a remote before and don't have one now, yes I would prefer having a remote for the shock.
  • 10 1
 @granjak: Do you really "need" underpants?
  • 7 0
 @granjak: When you are not racing, it doesn't matter that much, but it is still much easier to just push a paddle with your thumb instead of reaching down. Nevermind that you would have to reach to lock the fork AND the shock separately. When racing, be it XCO, XCM or whatever, reaching for the lock would be often dangerous and would certainly often make you loose time.
  • 6 0
 @granjak: Another scenario is going into a rocky decent and you have forgot to open your suspension. With remote fixed by just pressing the lever on your bar. Without the remote lockout you have to more or less stop completely or ride it locket out and probably get a flat tire.
  • 3 0
 Because "TR" absolutely, definitley doesn't stand for "trail" (according to Santa Cruz).
  • 3 0
 Same reason there is minimal anti-squat on both models. Having traction and a supple suspension is actually more "efficient" than getting bounced around by even the tiniest trail surface features on a super stiff/locked-out suspension. Basically the same reason why everyone runs way lower tire pressures that even just a few years ago, just extrapolated to the entire system. Lockouts seem faster because they cause a lot more trail surface feedback to come through, but unless the trail surface is very very smooth, they're not actually going to be faster for the vast vast majority of riders.
  • 1 1
 @magnusc: If you have to stop completely just to unlock a shock mounted on the top tube, you have way bigger problems than any perceived gains from lockout could ever fix. Do you have to stop completely to drink from a bottle?
  • 5 0
 @justinfoil: So you can reach down to lock your fork and shock during an all-out sprint for example? Good for you. Most of us cannot break the laws of physics.
  • 1 0
 @TheJD: That's not the situation that was described: "Another scenario is going into a rocky decent and you have forgot to open your suspension.". In that case you just slow a bit, flick a lever, and ride on.
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil: I think we have a different idea of what a rocky decent means. This is a rocky decent: mbaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/InsideNino-07.jpg

If you think its a good idea to take your hands of the handlebars to reach down to lock out your shock and fork ~40 times during a race, I have a feeling you really haven't raced much XCO, XCC, XCM …
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: Hahaha, just 40 times. Good joke.
  • 3 0
 No dust caps in that price?
Guess weight saving Wink
  • 4 5
 The flex stay design is confirmation that Santa Cruz is never going to come out with a lighter Tallboy.

The lower link design performs great but they are unwilling or unable to get the weight to a more competitive place. (Real world the Tallboy is easily a pound and a half heavier than a Ripley for example).
  • 6 2
 The Tallboy is a much better descender though. If you want something more efficient than the Tallboy, get a Ripley.
  • 3 1
 I was talking to someone about this last week. We decided Santa Cruz has decided to trade some weight for durability. My wife has a 5919 and I swear it is heavier than my Hightower.
  • 10 1
 I've seen Zero tallboy frame warranty claims, can't say the same for the Ripley
  • 5 2
 @jeremy3220: Or just get a Spur so you get a light bike that is very capable downhill.
  • 5 1
 A different class of bike, but the Ripmo (2860g) and Genius (2286g) are both very lightweight frames that offer more travel. Pair either with a Fox 34 or Pike, maybe a thicker lower headset cup, maybe a shorter stroke shock, lightweight wheels and tires and you can certainly have a 26lbs 140mm trail bike.
  • 3 0
 2 water bottles?!?!?!? Let the water bottle wars commence.
  • 5 1
 3, don’t forget the bottom of down tube mount.
  • 5 1
 Looks (like a) Epic.
  • 3 0
 So anti-squat is a bad thing now???
  • 5 0
 Depends if it's an odd or even year..
  • 3 0
 If your not pronouncing Salmon with the letter "L" your doing it wrong
  • 3 0
 Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and Cambridge all disagree. But what the heck? Say the otherwise useless letter!
  • 1 0
 As Tom Lehrer said, “I once knew a fellow named Henry. Only to give you an idea of what an individualist he was, he spelled it, ‘Hen3ry’. The ‘3’ was silent, you see.”
  • 2 0
 *you’re
  • 2 0
 Barely different from my 2017 ASR that takes boost 148 just fine with at little spready of the rear dropouts.
  • 2 0
 "The carbon 29er has size-specific chainstays" is this vindication @TEAM-ROBOT
  • 3 0
 We're sort of barely starting to head in the right direction. But yes, this is better than 435 on all sizes.
  • 2 0
 What's the max. tire size for the frame?
  • 3 1
 Looks like every single 2021´s XC bike on earth
  • 3 1
 That rear looks soo flexy torsionally.
  • 3 0
 Epic evo
  • 2 0
 Looks like an Epic... or Oiz... or Element...really who cares?
  • 2 0
 so much want....must have!
  • 1 0
 This superlight blur is blurring the distinction between a blur and a superlight
  • 2 0
 I want a 79' STA!! ;p JK.
  • 2 0
 So does blocking XC content not block XC bikes?
  • 1 0
 Should have revived the legendary "Superlight" model name. It's single pivot...like the Superlight.
  • 2 0
 who the f*ck can afford a $12000 bike?
  • 1 0
 The 2016 Kon Hei Hei Dl already had the same design .At only 100mm of travel ,it performs brilliantly
  • 1 1
 when this finally gets in between the tape in late 2023, should be interesting!
  • 3 2
 Mauve and Salmon. said no one ever.
  • 1 4
 Seems like a missed opportunity to re release the Superlight. They should drop the shock to the lower mount they use on their other frames and make the Blur TR the lower travel option for the Blur series and have something that can go head to head with bikes like the Trek Top Fuel. This only widens the gap now between the Blur and the Tallboy. I'm glad I decided to just completely refresh my Blur this year as opposed to wait for this one. Maybe they are setting the stage for a whole new bike next year to plug that hole.
  • 1 0
 They are releasing another new model also.
  • 1 0
 Geo matches the tallboy 3 pretty closely
  • 1 0
 Maybe they should've named it the Hei Hei ?
  • 1 0
 Why are the SID stickers on backwards?
  • 1 0
 Tallboy v3 SL. SL - stands for shhhts light as fk but the same old bike..
  • 3 3
 What no classic freeride name?
  • 1 0
 What, no AXS?
  • 1 0
 Not lower link!?!??!??!!
  • 1 0
 Looks pretty epic.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Session…
  • 3 4
 stunning bike. I'll have one....in every colour.
  • 7 8
 Looks like an epic
  • 5 0
 While they look similar but under closer examination the rear triangle and linkages look rather different.
  • 5 6
 Bad copy of an Oiz...
  • 2 5
 This should probably be marketed as a 2023 model...good luck getting one, unless you're a pro or a shop employee.
  • 1 3
 Why 2 bottle mounts?

XCO racing has feed stations.
  • 7 9
 Sick gravel bike!
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