Now before you all shout ‘but XC has always been cool!’, the whole shizzle with this bike launch seems to be about being a bit of an XC renegade here to shake off any mis/pre-conceptions about what XC racing is like.
Santa Cruz never went to cross country school. If we had, the report card would have read like a masterclass in delinquency: “Uses 120mm travel for 24 hour events.” “Races hardtails with 140mm forks.” “Charges uphill on 160mm gravity bikes.”
We’ve been sat at the back of the class all our lives. But it doesn’t mean we haven’t been paying attention, and today’s the day we’re sticking our hands up with an answer.
The Blur combines everything we’ve learnt while skipping class. It’s the lightest full-suspension frame we’ve ever made (289g saving over the last generation, and builds up into a 23lb bike). And the lightest XC bike out there that doesn’t tremble like a cold canteen lunch. The 100mm Superlight™ suspension is designed for the likes of Maxime Marotte and Keegan Swenson to taste champagne.Santa Cruz
As you might expect, there’s a Juliana version for women being launched too – this is called the Wilder, and shares the same frame (in different colours) but the builds come with a women’s specific shock tune and a few component changes. The marketing narrative takes a slightly different approach:
Born from Juliana’s cross-country racing heritage, Wilder takes us to a whole new level of lightweight speed and endurance. The 115mm of new Superlight™ suspension travel is matched to a super efficient carbon layup to create the lightest full-suspension bike in our line-up.
Saving weight means little without retaining an appropriate level of stiffness and responsiveness too. So we’ve taken all the acceleration and out-of-the-saddle sprint qualities of a carbon XC race rocket and fused them with a rear-end that still rails corners like a hardcore trail bike.Juliana
The same bike, different approaches. Do women want to be fast and win, while men want to be cool? Who knows what happens in marketing departments. Weird stuff, if this video is anything to go by.
Those of you who were paying attention a couple of weeks ago might have noticed there were some new fast wheels that appeared – a clue perhaps to the fact a bike was coming to go with them. The new Reserve 28 XC wheels weigh just 385g rim only or 1367g complete and have a shallower and wider rim bed, meant for the newer generation of higher volume XC tires which are popular with elite racers. But you don’t have to be an elite racer to ride them – there’s no rider weight limit on these light weight wheels.
Not getting away from the XC cliches however, there’s a big fuss made of weight, and it’s not just in the wheels. This latest Blur is claimed to be 289g lighter than the previous model, thanks to fewer parts in the suspension. This is down to the ‘Superlight’ technology, like flexstays, but more modern.
Flex stays are not new at all, so that’s old news (at least 15 years old). What is new, and what makes ours unique, is our carbon knowledge to tune the rear end precisely where it’s needed for a consistent and desirable linear progressive leverage curve.Santa Cruz
Juliana Wilder Model Options
The Juliana Wilder comes in one colour ‘Purple Sweetness’ – no idea why it’s not just Parma Violet, but there we go – and five models.
|Wilder C R TR||Wilder C S TR||Wilder C XT TR||Wilder CC X01 TR||Wilder X01 TR RSV|
|Frame||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”|
|Shock||FOX Float Performance DPS||FOX Float Performance DPS||FOX Float Performance Elite DPS||FOX Float Factory DPS||FOX Float Factory DPS|
|Fork||RockShox Sid RL, 120mm 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance, 120mm 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance Elite, 120mm 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Factory, 120mm 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Factory, 120mm 29”|
|Drivetrain||SRAM NX Eagle, 12 spd||SRAM GX Eagle, 12 spd||Shimano XT M8100, 12spd||SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, 12spd|
The Santa Cruz Blur is in two colours – Black and Sockeye Sal (which is a kind of red salmon, and has nothing to do with socking punches to Sally, or black eyes) – and a boggling 13 models plus a frame only option.
Santa Cruz Blur Model Options
|Blur C R TR||Blur C S TR||Blur C S||Blur C XT TR||Blur C XT|
BLUR C XT TR RSV
BLUR C XT RSV
|Frame||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”||Carbon C 29”|
|Shock||FOX Float Performance DPS||FOX Float Performance DPS||RockShox SidLuxe Select+||FOX Float Performance Elite DPS||RockShox SidLuxe Select+||FOX Float Performance Elite DPS||RockShox SidLuxe Select+|
|Fork||RockShox Sid RL, 120mm 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance, 120mm 29”||RockShox Sid SL Select+, 100mm w/Remote 29”||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance Elite, 120mm 29”||RockShox Sid SL Select+, 100mm w/Remote||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance Elite, 120mm||RockShox Sid SL Select+, 100mm w/Remote 29”|
|Drivetrain||SRAM NX Eagle, 12 spd||SRAM GX Eagle, 12 spd||SRAM GX Eagle, 12 spd||Shimano XT M8100, 12spd||Shimano XT M8100, 12spd||Shimano XT M8100, 12spd||Shimano XT M8100, 12spd|
BLUR CC X01 TR
BLUR CC X01
BLUR CC X01 AXS TR RSV
BLUR CC X01 AXS RSV
BLUR CC XX1 AXS TR RSV
BLUR CC XX1 AXS RSV
BLUR CC Frame only
|Frame||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”||Carbon CC 29”|
|Shock||FOX Float Factory DPS||RockShox SidLuxe Ultimate||FOX Float Factory DPS||RockShox SidLuxe Ultimate||FOX Float Factory DPS||RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate||FOX Float Factory DPS (110mm) or|
RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate (100mm)
|Fork||FOX 34 Step Cast Factory, 120mm 29”||RockShox Sid SL Ultimate, 100mm, 29″ w/Remote||FOX 34 Step Cast Performance Elite, 120mm 29”||RockShox Sid SL Ultimate, 100mm, 29″ w/Remote||FOX 34 Step Cast Factory, 120mm 29||RockShox SID SL Ultimate, 100mm, 29″ w/Remote|
|Drivetrain||SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd||SRAM X01 Eagle, 12spd||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, 12spd||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, 12spd||SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, 12spd||SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, 12spd|
Blur and Wilder Geometry
The key changes to the frame geometry compared to the previous Blur are a 0.7° slacker head tube than previous Blur or 1.4° slacker head tube than the previous Blur TR. Marginal gains? The chainstay length varies with frame size for optimal balance, and the seat tube angles vary across sizes too for a better fit. There’s a longer reach, and the bikes come with shorter (60mm) stems.
XC vs TR Builds
The XC builds are billed as being for the ‘full on XC racer’ and come with 100mm travel front and rear, light tyres (Maxxis Aspen), a light dropper and remote lockout, plus RockShox suspension. The TR builds are ‘not a trail bike, it’s a XC bike for certain courses’ and come with 120mm front and 115mm rear travel, beefier Maxxis Rekon tyres, a full height adjust dropper post, no remote lockout, bigger rotors and Fox suspension.
This is a bike that’s built to settle disputes in the endurance playground too. Two water bottle mounts within the front triangle should keep chuggers happy. Meanwhile, the high-quality fit, finish and carbon construction delivers multi-day racers and mechanics a sweat-free life without extra homework. There are no fiddly proprietary parts that could leave you stranded in a Cape Epic or Breck Epic campsite.
XC isn’t one thing to all racers anymore. XCO, FKTs, marathon, multi-day, it’s a pick-your-poison kinda sport. That’s why we also offer a TR version of the Blur. The TR builds feature more travel (115mm rear, 120mm front), slightly beefier tires (Maxxis Rekons instead of Aspens), a full-height adjust dropper post, no lockout remote, and larger brake rotors. It’s not a trail bike, it’s still a true XC bike for courses and riders with more trail in them.
Despite immeasurable extra-curricular training activities, the Blur still carries a lifetime guarantee and free replacement bearing policy.
So there you have it. Cross country the Santa Cruz way is a Blur. Much like life itself.Santa Cruz
Stock is available now, with media samples to follow! So, if you’re quick you could be riding one before we are.