Given the incredibly efficient designs of today’s trail and enduro bikes, it’s easy to overlook the world of XC bikes. Unless you’re racing, you wouldn’t want something with short travel and skinny tires. Right? One look at the new Santa Cruz Blur TR suggests that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of reasons to opt for a more efficient, shorter travel rig, and with the slight modifications of the TR build, the new Blur seems like it’s ready to party.
Between the Blur and the Blur TR builds, the frame utilizes Santa Cruz’s VPP suspension design to squeeze 100mm of travel out of the lightest full suspension frame they’ve built at that travel. Offered in C and CC carbon builds, this is their higher end CC construction which offers their lightest and stiffest carbon frame. Like other bikes in their lineup, the new Blur has received the updated VPP design with a revised lower linkage, and a twin upright rear triangle design for improved lateral stiffness.
Up front, the TR builds take it to 11 with a Fox Step Cast 34 fork with 110mm of travel instead of the 32 Step Cast forks with 100mm of travel on the XC builds. Designed for 29″ wheels and tires, the frame uses Boost 148mm spacing and has clearance for 29 x 2.4″ tires.
But even with the extra bit of travel, both the shock and the fork are still controlled via the RockShox TwistLoc remote (an interesting choice given the Fox suspension). The TwistLoc functions like a GripShift – you twist the handle to open the suspension, and thumb the small button to lock both the front and rear suspension out. It’s a good thing this bike is 1x, because there’s already a lot going on with the suspension lockout remote and the Reverb 1x remote.
With the exception of the brake hoses, cable routing is internal with the rear shift housing popping out of the downtube before reentering the rear triangle to the rear derailleur.
As mentioned, the TR build includes a RockShox Reverb dropper seat post which is another difference for the TR vs standard build. XC racers would probably choose to lose the post in favor of shedding grams, but I’ll take the dropper over a good bit of weight every single time.
This particular build is the XO1 TR, so it’s equipped with a SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 drivetrain including an X1 Eagle Carbon DUB crank with a 34t ring and threaded bottom bracket.
It might still be an XC bike, but a molded down tube protector and chainstays/seat stay protector ensure that your investment stays safe from rock strikes and chain slap. There’s also a second bottle cage mount on the bottom of the downtube which could come in handy – more on that in the final review.
Stopping duties are performed by SRAM Level TLM hydraulic disc brakes and 180/160mm SRAM CLX Centerlock rotors. Again, the XC builds opt for 160mm rotors front and rear to cut weight.
To finish off the cockpit, Santa Cruz adds their own 740mm SCB XC carbon flat bar held in place with an 80mm Syntace LiteForce stem.
It’s always fun to see how WTB integrates the bike brand’s design into their co-branded saddles, and this one opts for a simple line scheme that continues the theme found on the top tube.
While the stock X01 TR build includes Race Face ARC aluminum rims, our tester was shipped with Santa Cruz Reserve 25 Carbon rims which are a $1200 upgrade option on this build. These feature a 25mm internal width, 30.6mm external width, and 3mm asymmetrical offset. Meant for tires up to 2.4″ wide, they’re a perfect match for the Blur TR which ships with Maxxis Rekon 29 x 2.25″ 3C EXO TR tires. With the DT350 hubs, the wheels have a claimed weight of 1607g.
And the whole bike weighs in at 24 lbs 04 oz, or 11kg with sealant but no pedals. That’s less than claimed at 11.28kg / 24.86lbs, and for reference, about two pounds more than the XC X01 build. As shown, the Blur CC X01 TR with Reserve Carbon wheels runs $7,899.
The Blur already has a fairly progressive geometry for XC bikes with a 69° head tube angle and 74° seat tube angle, but with the 10mm of extra travel the TR build slacks both out by 1/2° and runs a bit less BB drop. Otherwise, the geos are pretty similar with 17.01″ chainstays, and 435/440mm reach numbers for the medium shown here in XC/Trail guise.
The next time you see this bike it will have some new tires, so stay tuned!