Seen racing the World Cup XC race circuit, the new Santa Cruz Blur blends a lighter single-pivot design with top shelf components to drop grams and go faster. Gone is the VPP suspension, and gone is a lot of weight…it’s 289g lighter than the prior model.
This new Blur has 100mm of rear wheel travel, paired with 100mm forks, with suspension tuned by a single upper linkage. Tagging along for the ride is a new Blur TR, with a 115mm rear end that’s designed for more aggressive XC courses. Here’s all the details, starting with how we got here…
Is this a Santa Cruz Superlight or a Blur?
Um, yes? It takes the best of both bikes, really, and adds fully modern carbon fiber production and a minimalist design to create a really, really light bike. So it’s worth a quick recap of the two models that informed this bike’s design.
Over the years, Santa Cruz has offered a range of bikes with an evolving VPP suspension design. Only one model stood out, the Superlight. Built for XC racers, it was simple and light. In 2012, it finally got 29er wheels but stuck with a direct-driven shock while many other bikes in the category were upgrading to linkage driven designs to better tune the suspension curve.
The Superlight was discontinued in 2018, just as the Blur was rebooted as a 29er. The Santa Cruz Blur iterated numerous times through the years, relying on their multi-linkage VPP design. But, surprisingly, after a four-year vacation from the line, it really did take until 2018 to get rebooted as a 29er and becoming their top XC model.
Now, the 2022 Blur mixes the best from both…and gets a new life on the World Cup XCO circuit.
2022 Santa Cruz Blur tech details
The bike comes only in carbon (for now), with a standard Blur C layup and a lighter Blur CC option. There’s two colors, with the “Dark Matter” black saving 48g over the Salmon pink color.
Claimed frame weight, with all hardware (including seatpost clamp, but excluding rear axle) and a SID Luxe rear shock is 1,933g for a size large. Considering the shock has a claimed weight of 235g, that’s a really light frame.
The big difference in the design is the use of flex seatstays tied to an ultralight alloy upper linkage. Combined with a tuned carbon fiber layup in the stays, and the added tuning a linkage provides, they were able to keep the shock’s tune fairly simple and light so it could soak up the little stuff and remain active.
Note how low the shock’s mount is on the linkage…it’s very close to the top of the rear triangle. Where the original Superlight had the shock’s lower mount directly attached to the top of the triangle, this one adds a lever to the equation, but only uses it minimally.
This means a low leverage ratio, which they say makes for a smoother suspension curve. The lower main pivot is positioned at the top of the chainring, which should mean very little pedal influence on the suspension, too…which makes sense considering they say there’s very little anti-squat built into the kinematics.
The result? A suspension that’s able to easily work over the terrain without having to combat a lot of anti-squat just to break into its motion…even while pedaling.
Some models will come with a lockout remote, but even for those that don’t, the lockout lever is easy to reach directly under the seat tube.
The bikes fit two bottles inside the front triangle, with three bolts on the downtube. You can actually run that bottle in the lower position and still clear a second bottle on the seat tube…or move it up and make room for a small tool kit attached behind the cage. Need more fluids? Use the extra bottle cage mounts under the downtube for a third bottle…or tool storage, etc.
2022 Blur TR details
Need something more aggressive, but still racy? That’s the new Blur TR, for “Trail”, though Santa Cruz is still leaning on the 120mm Tallboy to fill their “trail bike” spot. The Blur TR is aimed at racers that just want more travel. It gets 115mm rear travel with a 120mm fork.
That extra travel comes from a longer stroke rear shock…the frame, rear triangle, and linkage are all the same for both bikes.
Technically, the shorter travel Blur is just “Blur”, without the “XC”…but we’ve added it throughout this post for clarification. Here’s the quick comparison cheat sheet:
- 100mm front and rear
- Light tires (Aspen)
- Light dropper
- Remote lockout
- RockShox SidLuxe and Sid SL
- 120mm front and 115mm rear
- Beefier tires (Rekon)
- Full height adjust dropper post
- No remote lockout
- Bigger rotors
- Fox 34 Stepcast
Because they share the frames, it means you can run bigger tires on the XC model, too, or just swap fork and shock when you want something a little bigger.
2022 Blur XC/TR geometry
All models get size specific seat angles and chainstay lengths. They say this gives every size bike and rider the same weight balance and handling characteristics.
Reach is longer, paired with short 60mm stems and a 0.7º slacker head angle. The Blur TR is 1.4º slacker up front than the prior TR model. Scroll down for build specs, pricing and models.
2022 Santa Cruz Blur models & pricing
All of the bikes come with Santa Cruz’s lifetime warranty and lifetime bearing replacements. And they all use standard parts -nothing really proprietary- so it should be easy to work on.
The CC models come from the same mold, just have a higher-end carbon and layup. Santa Cruz says they’re typically 150g to 200g lighter than the C models. Down the line, Cane Creek headsets handle steering. Wheels are typically Industry Nine 1/1 hubs on Race Face AR/ARC rims, until you get to the RSV models. These get the really, really light Reserve 28 carbon wheels, which drop a lot of rotational weight.
Dropper posts are either the new Fox Transfer SL 100mm travel on the XC models, or longer travel Reverb (Stealth or AXS) on most of the TR bikes, with the two lower end builds getting SDG Tellis posts instead.
Fox Float Performance DPS rear shock, Rockshox SID RL 120mm fork, SRAM NX Eagle group.
Fox Float Performance DPS rear shock and 34 Stepcast 120mm fork, SRAM GX Eagle group.
Rockshox SID Luxe+ rear shock and SID SL Select+ 100mm fork, SRAM GX Eagle group.
Fox Float Performance Elite DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast Performance Elite 120mm fork, Shimano XT M8100 group.
Rockshox SID Luxe Select+ rear shock and SID SL Select+ 100mm fork, Shimano XT M8100 group.
Fox Float Performance Elite DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast Performance Elite 120mm fork, Shimano XT M8100 group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels.
Rockshox SID Luxe Select+ rear shock and SID SL Select+ 100mm fork, Shimano XT M8100 group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels.
Fox Float Factory DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast Factory 120mm fork, SRAM X01 group.
Rockshox SID Luxe Ultimate rear shock and SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, SRAM X01 Eagle group.
Fox Float Factory DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast Factory 120mm fork, SRAM X01 Eagle AXS group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels on Industry Nine 1/1 hubs.
Rockshox SID Luxe Ultimate rear shock and SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, SRAM X01 Eagle AXS group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels on Industry Nine 1/1 hubs.
Fox Float Factory DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast Factory 120mm fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels on DT Swiss 180 hubs.
Rockshox SID Luxe Ultimate rear shock and SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS group, and Reserve 28 carbon wheels on DT Swiss 180 hubs.
Full spec lists for cockpit parts and more available on their website.