Talk to me about… Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon

Home Forum Bike Forum Talk to me about… Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon

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  • Talk to me about… Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon
  • DanW
    Member

    Hi all,

    It may just be wishful thinking but I am struggling to get over the idea of treating myself to a new XC frame πŸ˜€

    Currently I ride a 9.4kg Santa Cruz Superlight which has served me well but I am getting that itch for a new frame. Obviously an 8.8kg full sus speed machine is quite tempting πŸ˜€

    A few people have gone from the SL to the Blur and comment it is much of the same but with “less drama”. Slacker head tube angle, longer wheelbase and more refined suspension would account for that I suppose.

    Online reviews comment about stiffness, fun, speed and generally mark it down as a great singletrack/ proper hard fast XC bike rather than a flimsy XC race bike. Sounds great!

    Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with the Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon? My concerns are probably more practical than anything…

    – What is it like to live with?
    – How does the finish hold up?
    – Do I need to be paranoid about rock strike to the down tube or will it hold up the same as an Alu frame? Can I abuse it like an alu frame?
    – Will I curse the day I bought VPS with all the pivots to go wrong/ wear quickly?

    I can test ride a frame but the day to day living with such an expensive carbon frame is my main worry. I would hate for it to become trashed in one winter and the only reason I worry about this is that I don’t know anyone who rides an expensive carbon frame year round… I would of course not pay full price but it would still be a ridiculous “investment” πŸ˜•

    Any thoughts?

    Ta!

    haggis1978
    Member

    Only had my LTc a short period of time but it does chip from what I’ve seen so far and from what I’ve seen online. The carbon is tough as nails though. Seen a video with Santa Cruz testing a carbon frame, albeit a nomad against its alloy counterpart and it took some abuse. I reckon they build their carbon bikes very well as a whole to withstand more than what they were designed for

    DanW
    Member

    I have seen the video too and Santa Cruz seem to have a good practical philosophy when designing their bikes (i.e. to actually be ridden!). That is one of the big draws towards SC over other brands for me.

    In what way does the LTc “chip” is it just the paint finish?

    haggis1978
    Member

    Yeah just chips through the paint and lacquer. Not seen any bare carbon on mine yet though, just a few chips where I can still see paint

    DanW
    Member

    Does anyone else have any experience with the day to day practicalities of living with a carbon Santa Cruz?

    The 5 year warranty and rather generous crash replacement policy somewhat calm the nerves of destroying such an expensive frame

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I got one of the very first XCc’s. I can’t say I ride it very day (I have a tourer, a roadbike and a fatbike for a start) but I don’t have any issues with it. The downtube has some clear tape on it and nothing has “got through” to the carbon/lacquer.

    I did have to replace the lower linkage last year as it had cracked. Jungle supplied a replacement (foc) and I did all the bearings while I was at it.

    Very capable bike. I had 120 Rebas on it which were great going downhill but made it a bit wandery on steep climbs. I tried it with some 100mm SIDs and that was better on the climbs. I’ve since stuck on some DT Swiss 120s with the travel reduce feature so it’s now almost perfect.

    I have thought about selling it as it gets used so little but I’d never be able to afford as good a replacement if I changed my mind in future so it remains a bit of a luxury item for me.

    DanW
    Member

    Do SC replace all bearings FOC too? The website would suggest they do…

    Very jealous of the luxury item you have lying around there. Any pics to entice me in to a purchase even more? πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I managed to source the bearings so didn’t ask. I do believe they have a lifetime warranty though. It may be that you have to send the old ones to them first, in which case you risk being off the bike for a week or so.

    wrecker
    Member

    LTc here. I just heli taped it and its been fine. It’s a very easy bike to love.
    Having ridden and owned a lot of top end bikes, for me nothing comes close.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    LTc in the family and mate up the road has the XC, still looks goof despite being an early one.

    The red finish on the missus LTc has a few chips and rubs from where I missed some taping. If it’s 142 then do inside the chainstay rotor side as thats taken a bit off. Apart from that looks amazing, the carbon is super stiff.

    5 year warranty and I guess if you send your old bearings in after a change you will always have a spare set (just buy the first ones) they sell the extraction/fitting tool too.

    Mate is very happy with his and it seems very solid down along with up.

    As with all carbon you have to be careful not to over tighten clamps especially bike rack ones, just be sensible. We are going for a rear tow rack that they stand in rather than clamped.

    The green looks awesome too!

    Not sure how jungle do the kits but everything was an option in Aus and it came very unassembled so there was room for swaps from the go. Check the build kit list and see if there is anything you would swap out (headset/cranks/bb etc.)

    dekadanse
    Member

    I’ve got a Blur XC – bought the frame from someone on here about 20 months ago, and it was new and unused at that point – a warranty replacement because of a paint bubble on his first one. But in the meanwhile he’d bought a SC Tallboy and got the 29er bug.

    And the fact that SC were so willing to replace the frame for a paint blemish shows how good their warranty is.

    So how’s the bike been for me? I built it up with 120mm Fox Floats, which seem to go very well with the RP23 shock. Like you, I came from having had a Superlight, which I’d loved, but the Blur XC is something else again. It is perhaps the stiffest bike I’ve ridden, even on a par with a Mojo, and the harder you hit things the more stable it seems. At first the stiffness is almost unnerving, and in a funny way you almost ‘hear’ it, but then the bike proceeds to go through stuff you’d never consider on an XC bike. As someone else has already said, the carbon is as tough as nails, and my paintwork (black with blue detailing) is mat and hasn’t chipped – just occasional bits of rub. I don’t find the front end wandery on climbs (but then I’m north of 200lb, so leaning forward puts more than enough weight over the front wheel) and generally it is pretty damn fast. There is a bit of a highly bred race horse feel to it though – it’s VERY sensitive to changes in direction, and to this extent not like the very safe planted feel I get on my old alloy Blur LT. So maybe not daily transport, but a hell of a lot of fun on special occasions (and it doesn’t mind the mud either).

    So what are you waiting for………..?

    pete68
    Member

    Glad you’re still enjoying it dekadanse! My Tallboy carbon is basically a 29er version of the blur xcc, and is holding up well. Few chips and scrapes but nothing serious, needs a new lower link though as one of the grease nipples has come off.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I really didn’t like the way the XC pedalled. Put me right of any VPP SC. make sure you test one first!

    As others have said though – day to day they’ll be fine! More importantly – what’s a 8.8kg build? Must be a lot of bling!

    – Will I curse the day I bought VPS with all the pivots to go wrong/ wear quickly?

    No. I have one of the earliest BLT2’s and ride it usually twice a week in Scotland so wet and muddy conditions a lot of the time. Replaced the upper link bearings at 3 years and the lowers after 4 years. Even then I only had to pay for the labour as the bearings were replaced free under warranty by SC

    DanW
    Member

    Good to know the VPS holds up well. I thought I would only ever buy single pivot as the thought of all those bearings scares me πŸ˜€ I’m sure I would soon get over it πŸ˜‰

    Njee, what about the way it pedaled bothered you? I have heard VPS described as wooden while others seem to struggle with “pedal feedback” on the Blur. As I am currently on a single pivot Superlight the chain tensioning under pedaling does not bother me in the slightest although theres no was you would call the SL wooden- far too sprightly to be dull. Maybe the Blur might feel a bit more boring by comparison although I doubt it πŸ˜• I would definitely try before letting that amount of pennies go.

    8.8kg build is night light stuff but nothing too crazy: XTR 1×10, Magura Durin, Podium rims on American Classic, Onza or Schwalbe tyres, Syntace F109, FSA K-Force Nanolight bars, SLR, Ti Eggbeaters, MT Zoom and KCNC for the finshing bits, ti and alu bolts throughout. Only extravagance so far is a Smud bottle cage. Ultimate aim is 8.5kg with I-Links mini, 4Ti Eggbeaters, a bit more tuning and a Berk combo 😯

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Very nice!

    It was the pedal feedback that bothered me, just didn’t seem to suit my riding style.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    On the pedal thing etc, you sort of have to learn to ride again. It sits into the travel a bit more (though not as much of an issue on the XC as the Nomad) Popping off stuff requires a different approach to a single pivot (i run a heckler but have demo’d a Nomads, LT’s etc)
    This
    http://www.santacruzbikes.co.uk/news/santa-cruz-demo-days-13/151
    and this
    http://www.santacruzbikes.co.uk/dealers

    will tell you when & where to try one

    DanW
    Member

    Can you describe the different approach to single pivot Mike?

    I would imagine that VPS and the like require slightly more thoughtful body position to get the bike going how you want whereas on single pivot you are bouncing around, popping and sliding the whole time πŸ˜€

    Oh and njee, what riding style do you feel isn’t so suited to the Blur? Constant out of the saddle hammering, seated slow tech climbs where it might hang up, constant sit and spin….?

    Thanks everyone!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    err sort of, the best I can go with is the bike sits into travel so “falls into” the small holes (rubbish description) by uncompressing (ish)
    as you go off a jump there is a bit more pre jumping to be done. I used to have an 04 Enduro which behaved in a similar way do it was not too unfamiliar. Not bad just different – I preferred it in the end, just saving for the Blur TR

    pete68
    Member

    without wishing to be too pedantic, its VPP not VPS . Does require the sag to be more accurate than other systems to get the best out of it.

    DanW
    Member

    Don’t know why I kept referring to it as VPS??? I think that was Norco’s old approach but I may be mistaken. I guess the thought a virtual pivot suspension system completely overwhelmed my single pivot brain πŸ˜€

    Any more pictures to share?

    Any advice on how to get the best deal?

    I would imagine waiting for the end of season discounts on Stif is the best bet as they had Blurs for Β£1750 for quite a while in a range of sizes… now just silly sizes

    batman11
    Member

    I’ve got an xl for sale if that’s of interest?
    Bats.

    DanW
    Member

    I would be looking for a Medium I’m afraid

    DanW
    Member

    Another question would be: What else would you consider in the 100mm, light XC frame to be raced and ridden hard day to day?

    Scalpel is too much of a race frame for me.
    Anthem is nice but not so light and I feel expensive for what it is.
    Epic is again nice but not so light or special for the money.
    Yeti As-R C doesn’t have geometry I feel would suit me.
    Rocky Mountain Element RSL looks fantastic but gets mixed reviews (I know it didn’t slow Matt Page down though!)

    The only other frame on my list at the moment is the Orbea Oiz Carbon which I don’t think would match up to the SC in normal riding (as opposed to racing)…

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    On the bearings thing – when I replaced mine it was only a precautionary measure given I was changing the bottom link anyway. All the ones I took out were fine.

    DanW
    Member

    Reassuring to know!

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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