Sea Otter 2011: Santa Cruz Blur XC

Lighter, stiffer, and stronger Blur XC update

As if three all-new bikes weren't already enough, Santa Cruz Bicycles also debuted "a nice little update" to its popular Blur XC 105mm-travel cross-country bike at this year's Sea Otter Classic. The rear end and VPP upper and lower linkages carry over from the previous generation but a new front triangle sheds almost 100g from the already-light 2011 model while also providing a boost in strength and stiffness, too.

The key change is a newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube, which also now allows for a bigger and flatter down tube. The seat tube is now flared below the front derailleur clamp, too, but Santa Cruz continues on with a proven threaded bottom bracket shell to give consumers 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 linkages, and all hardware and pivot bearings. Frame geometry is also unchanged from the 2011 edition.

Despite the bigger dimensions, refined carbon fiber lay-up schedules still reportedly shed about 150g (0.33lb) from the already-light 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 US$3,499 to US$5,699 for pre-configured complete bikes.

Santa Cruz says updated Blur XC frames will begin shipping in mid-May.

The new Blur XC front triangle now gets a tapered head tube.

The new Blur XC front triangle now gets a tapered head tube Photo: James Huang

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.

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