Sea Otter 2011: Santa Cruz Blur XC updated

Lighter, stiffer and stronger

As if three all-new bikes weren't already enough, Santa Cruz Bicycles debuted "a nice little update" to their Blur XC 105mm-travel cross-country bike at this year's Sea Otter Classic. A new front triangle sheds almost 100g from the already-light 2011 model while providing a boost in strength and stiffness, too.

The key change is a newly tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in head tube, which allows for a bigger and flatter down tube. The seat tube is now flared below the front derailleur clamp, too, but Santa Cruz continue on with a proven threaded bottom bracket shell to give riders the greatest number of options for compatible cranksets. 

Carrying over intact from the previous generation Blur XC is the entire carbon rear end, the carbon fiber upper and aluminum lower VPP suspension linkages, and all hardware and pivot bearings. Frame geometry is also unchanged from the 2011 edition.

Despite the bigger dimensions, refined carbon fiber layup schedules reportedly shed about 150g (0.33lb) from the current model. Claimed maximum weight for a medium frame and shock is just 1,860g (4.1lb). Even better is that retail prices will remain constant at US$2,299 for a frame with RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock or $3,499-$5,699 for complete bikes. Santa Cruz say updated Blur XC frames will begin shipping in mid-May.

The blur xc front triangle now gets a tapered head tube: the blur xc front triangle now gets a tapered head tube
The blur xc front triangle now gets a tapered head tube: the blur xc front triangle now gets a tapered head tube

The Blur XC front triangle gets a new tapered head tube for 2012

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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