Long Termers: Matt’s Santa Cruz Blur LT (This Weeks Tweak)

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Forks and rear shocks.

Now I know a lot of you readers must look at these updates and just think “lucky ba*tards”. Well, on the whole, you’re right. But last week I wasn’t so sure… We spent Tuesday being fitted up with 2011 Fox forks by Tim and Chris from Mojo in South Wales.

What is it is bad about that, you may ask? Well, I was getting fitted the new generation of Terralogic forks on the front of my Santa Cruz Blur LT long termer.

For those of you that don’t remember, the first generation Terralogic forks came fitted on Specialized bikes (which also had the “brain” rear shock fitted to the rear). The Idea being is that you got a hardtail-like platform to pedal off until you hit something, at which point the pressure from the hit bypassed a brass Do-Da™ at the bottom of the fork and you suddenly had a fully active fork. And once the terrain smoothed out, the fork became rigid again.

(More info here.)

The bikes that I rode then were horrible. They didn’t seem to do anything at all until way after you’d hit something, whereupon it would turn in to  an incredibly mushy bike for a bit, only to stiffen back up as you hit stuff further along the trail.

Anyway, 7 years is a long time in the world of suspension and here we are in 2010…

"That, Captain, is illogical"

My version are the 140mm 15QR  32 TALAS. They also come with the super slippery Kashima coating where the inital movement of travel is less stictiony. And everyone loves a bit of gold bling innit? Plus it’s apparently a bit more durable than previous coatings.

If you remember in my last post about the Blur LT, I couldn’t get the rear to feel right. Well, while I was at Mojo I had the Fox RP23 Boost Valve rear shock swapped over to the Medium compression (previous setting was “Minimum”). All in all the Blur LT is now a very different set up than before.

Anyway, up to Cwmcarn for a blast around the top section of the XC loop… After setting the air pressure and doing the traditional bouncing in the car park to learn nothing, off we went…

The forks WORK! I was going to say they were a Revelation but we don’t want to confuse stuff do we> 😉 Apparently they now have a spring added to the brass mass at the bottom of the fork that  keeps the fork in the “open” positon for longer. They’re not perfect; they don’t seem to have quite the same “controlled” feel as some of the more adjustable forks (in terms of compression damping) but they are a very well behaved fork that you can really put the power down with. Very racer boy (for me!) That, and the combination of the much firmer-feeling rear, has made the bike feel like a lot more taut.

You can still catch the “brain” out over small consecutive bumps spaced a little way apart. On this stuff I could feel more feed back though the bars. Also through bermy corners, as your weight transfers, you get a little less grip but it’s all horses for courses.

The interesting thing about all of this is how it reminded me once again of how different a bike feels dependent on suspension and set up. I’d like to reiterate again the entirely subjective nature of suspension set up. Your “expert” mate isn’t necessarily right! The way I like my bikes to feel is probably very different from yours, and yours does from your friend.

It’s well worth having a play with that expensive machinery at either end of your bike to see what it does.

One final note in rush to get the bike built up you can see I have a new wheel n the front for a few days. I will be going back to my Specialized Rovals this week. Specialized have sent me a set of  15mm adaptors the next day for my wheel. Fantastic service – thanks very much!

Also thanks to Tim and Chris at Mojo for there help and the excellent uplift service at Cwmcarm

In more exciting news I’ve swapped the stem for 65mm (!) The Renthal has been excellent but what with the short (ish) top tube  a 50mm stem was just a little ..too little.

So I now have one of these.

A lovely V- One All Mtn Stem (GRRRR)

I’m hoping this should make the perfect balance between techiness and me knocking minutes off climbs (that last bit isn’t true but I do think the whole thing will sit a little more ‘right’)

Don’t worry the Renthal is here next to me awaiting I hope a project much more suitable for it .

I’ve had a few emails about the adjustment to my rear shock so i’ve grabbed some numbers from Mojo for those who are interested.

Service :- £89.00 (thye have to pull the bugger apart to do the job)

Shim stack shimmy :- (My words not theirs) £30.00  and for that they really can make your shock do what you want .

postage – £5.00

Which I reckon if your riding a high end full suspension bike is pretty good value to get it to behave as you want it to.


Review Info

Tested:by for

Comments (0)

    Do you – or anyone – happen to know when the Fox 2011 stuff actually becomes available to Joe Public?

    uplift? you lazy b*stard. whatever happened to “I want a bike that can go uphill as well as down”? :O)

    Hi. I am thinking about buying that bike as a replacement to my 2007 Nomad. I’m sure it will be a way better XCer, but how much do you think would I loose the downhill performance while still having 115-160 Lyrik U turn? I’m sure you guys rode both, or at least something similar to old Nomad.

    I reckon it would be ace with an adjustable big fork – Just so it could slacken off the head angle for steep stuff ;] It’s probably the next incarnation that i’m going to try …

    Yes yes, then I hope Fox will send you 2011 Fox 36 Talas 160 for the test 😀 must be a total killer bike with it.

    For some reasons both Fox and RS took their latest 150mm forks to some really low axle-crown measures causing a dislike among anyone who wants a light-do-it-all bike with a heart of a gravity monster…

    not the most fun thing to hit those lifts once a year with your favourite bike, with 68 head angle, if you ask me…

    TBH – It is very capable though with “just” 140mm of fork ;p

    Surely it gives a rigid forked platform to pedal off, rather than a hardtail like platform..

    Or am I confused..

    maaah, I am a too poor rider, with too little time to practice, to comfortably hit faster and steeper tracks without slack front end. Still an ability to go down to 130 feels great for those intense afterworks 🙂

    Funny I also feel my RP23 pro-pedal isn’t ‘right’. Can’t put my finger on it but I wonder if I need the compression adjusting.

    I’m really into buying this bike, Can anyone give me advice: is it much better in technical XC/trail than Nomad or other 6,7″ bike? I need a one good afterwork bike… for fast spins in the woods on aggro XC trails full of roots, rocks and stones. Nomad feels to heavy for me, it feels like it requires bigger mountains and mine are only max 400ft.

    waki – I have a LTc my missus has a LT2 and my mate has just bought a LT2 after riding my GF’s. We all use them for everything – the GF runs 140’s up front and we run 150’s – all work really well. Best bike’s we have all owned & between us we have owned 10’s of bikes.

    Ok, thx! I’ll get it as soon as my budget parcel for it fills up. Asked plenty of people now, and nearly everyone is: “buy it! best bike I ever had!”. Just this one thing goes around my head, is it really worth to change from Nomad… like changing from Lamborghini to Lotus Exige – sounds trivial, as long as you don’t own a Ferrari…

    Ok BLT2 let it be then!

    Is this still a long term test bed then? or too busy riding to report – understandable I suppose.

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