Tech: Santa Cruz Blur XC under 19 pounds!

Speedgoat Bicycles builds a rideable doozy

Speedgoat Bicycles has built a sub 19-pound Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon full-suspension bike, and  if you have US$11,000 to spend, they can do the same for you.

Pennsylvania-based Speedgoat is known for working closely with each customer to build a bike around his or her specific needs -- a little more durable here, a little lighter there -- so the shop rarely concentrates all efforts into a single goal.

"But this was our version of a "concept" bike, something designed to push the possibilities envelope," Speedgoat president/CEO Chris Currie told BikeRadar. "That said, we consciously sidestepped the unobtainable and just plain stupid with this build."

According to Currie, the shop deliberated the build for about a month prior to beginning the process.

"Once we had everything in place, the bike came together seamlessly," he said. "Some of our parts decisions were straightforward -- there's a lot of carbon fibre on this bike -- but to break the 20-pound barrier, we knew we had to think outside the box.

"While we don't, in general, advocate 10-speed systems for mountain bikes (some of us still miss our 8-speeds), we knew some of SRAM's top-drawer Red road group was going to make its way onto this bike," Currie explained. "The missing link required to let Red play nice with a mountain group was provided by Paul Price of Paul Components, who sent us one of the new Thumbies he's designed to work with SRAM time-trial levers. The finished shifter was work of neo-retro art: a carbon fibre thumb shifter that weighed 30g less than even a SRAM X.0 twist shifter."

Currie said gearing is tall, of course, but this is a serious bike for serious business.

"There are actually some bizarre aspects of riding a sub 19-pound full-suspension bike," he added. "All the regular motions required for even simple processes -- like tugging the bars to hop over a log -- have to be re calibrated to avoid hurling the thing up in the air ridiculously.

"We were most surprised at how well it tracked; it's an extremely stiff frame, and it actually held its own pretty well in rock gardens. Obviously, the tyres have limitations, but it's reassuring to know that you can make a major change on this bike -- we still specialize in building to suit -- and keep the total bike under 20lbs."

According to Currie, Speedgoat considers the bike a work in progress, too. It can be made even lighter, he added.

"Word is we might have some additional parts on the way, and there were plenty of corners left completely uncut," he said. "This bike still has tubes; it even has bar end plugs. The goal wasn't only to do this, but to do it well. This isn't just another scale ornament: it's meant to be ridden."

If someone wants one, Currie is happy to build it.

"And it rides great," he said. "It's actually a real bike that's been ridden on very unpleasant trails."

  • Frame: Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon, Large
  • Fork: DT Swiss XRC 100 (1430g)
  • Crankset: FSA K-Force Light MTB 175mm 29-44 w/ ceramic bottom-bracket (703g complete)
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red Rear derailleur (145g)
  • Front Derailleur: XTR M971 with ti bolt (146g)
  • Cassette: SRAM Red OG-1090 10spd 11-28t (178g)
  • Chain: KMC DX10SL 10-speed (242g)
  • Brakes: Formula R1 (526g complete, pair)
  • Shifters: SRAM TT900 carbon 10-speed shifter on Paul Components SRAM Thumbie, and SRAM X.0 front twist shifter (167g complete)
  • Wheelset: DT XRC 1250 (1190g)
  • Headset: Acros AH01 ceramic with ti bolt (89g)
  • Seatpost: Alpha Q PROLITE Carbon (193g)
  • Bar: Alpha Q XROC ZR 31.8 flat bar, 5d, 560mm wide (124g)
  • Grips: Titec Pork Rinds (17g)
  • Stem: Alpha Q Prolite 90mm, 31.8, 82/98-degree (112g)
  • Cable System: Nokon Carbon Fibre Road Shift System (110g)
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Teknologika Flow (121g)
  • Pedals: Crank Bros. Egg Beater 4Ti (168g)
  • Tyres: Maxxis MaxxLite 310 (602g pair)
  • Tubes: Maxxis Welterweight (190 pair)
  • Rim Tape: No Tubes Yellow Rim Tape (10g pair)
  • Skewers: M2 (28g -- this is the one thing we're gonna switch)
  • Retail: US$11,000

For more information, visit www.speedgoat.com.

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