Friday, October 03, 2008

Blur XC vs. LT

I recently received a question from a reader of this blog regarding the XC vs. LT version of the Blur:
Hey man, I'm 220 pounds and want to buy a trailbike. I might race it but rite now im just going to be riding it around upper NY state. Which bike should I get? Price doesnt matter. Thx!

Based off of your weight alone, I'd go with the Blur LT. It's beefier than the XC and is definitely intended as a trailbike. It's not too too heavy to race, either, if that's something you want to try eventually.

One other thing to consider. Taken straight from Santa Cruz's description of the Blur XC: "Comfort is secondary to speed."

Hope this helps...feel free to reply back with more questions!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've opened up a new blog, entitled VWCX. It's a rambling of cyclocross (my new passion) and my racing 'exploits'. Feel free to check it out.

Like I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, I will maintain this blog for posterity. I'm still getting lots of traffic and email regarding the Santa Cruz Blur classic. I'm still answering all your questions--they are much appreciated!

Thanks again everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's been quite a while since I last updated this blog. I guess I just intend to keep it as a memoir/reference to the Santa Cruz Blur classic. People have been sending me lots of questions about mountain biking gear though, so keep em coming! Feel free to email/post a comment with any questions or opinions you may seek.

In other news, my Crank Brothers Candy C pedals broke for a 3rd time. Crank Brothers has warrantied them each time and sent me new pedals, but they keep breaking. The little wings keep shearing off. By no means am I a fat, or even heavy rider. Wouldn't recommend them again, but I'm stuck with them due to the THREE sets I now own.

Also bought a used pair of Sidi Dominator shoes. They rock! Look for a separate review of them soon :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rode at Hartwood Acres today. First time out this week and the Blur was performing great. Dirt was tacky with a covering of leaves, which allowed me to skid corners with utmost ease. Also hit a couple logpiles and stunts that I normally wouldn't try.

Didn't get to take any pictures, but I promise to next time.

Last weekend I raced the final race of the Month of Mud series held at Seven Springs. Temperature was in the 20's with snow and ice on the ground. Also wasn't feeling well from a bout with poison ivy. However, came in 4th place. More on this race and the whole series later when the official results are posted.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sorry for the lack of updates at the moment. I've been racing every Sunday and have been pretty busy in other parts of my life. At the end of the series, I'll post pictures and results. The Blur's running fine, despite the earlier Crank Brothers problems.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

More updates:

I received my Candy C's back from Crank Brothers fairly quickly. It was about a 1.5 week process, which is quicker than most places are. Jason @ Crank Brothers was very helpful throughout the whole process.

In other news, I'm excited about the new Panaracer Rampage 2.35 tire. It's supposed to be out sometime in the fall, and according to Shiggy (MTBR's resident tire expert and owner of it's pretty awesome.

I also had an accident a couple weeks ago. I fell off an A-frame built over a logpile. Thankfully, my landing zone was near my Camelbak, in that soft pile of leaves. Unfortuantly, I landed hard on my left arm/shoulder. X-rays show no breaks, but a good amount of soft tissue damage. 2.5 weeks later, and it's still sore.

The Allegheny County Mountain Bike Fest is going strong as well. Over 75 riders showed up for the first ride at Deer Lakes. It was really cool to be riding with so many other riders!

That's it on the news. Enjoy the rest of the season!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Candy C pedals have both completely broken. I purchased them new less than 3 months ago. The left pedal's spindle is sliding all over the axle; I had to ziptie it in place. One of the wings on the right pedal has cracked, thus immobilizing the pedal and spindle.

It's rediculous!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I just got back mountain biking in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for 10 days. I'll be posting lots of pictures soon. The Blur handled everything, including 31 miles of downhill runs in a single day.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

2 quick shots from the maiden ride. I've still got to work on fine-tuning the fork (Fox Float 130RLC) and rear shock (Fox RP3). I've currently got them feeling pretty good to me, but apparently I'm not supposed to do it this way, so I'm going to try the official "Fox suspension tuning method" soon.

Thanks again everyone for reading--I'll be posting straight-on, normal pictures of the actual bike build soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I've finished the Blur, and am taking it out on it's maiden trail voyage very soon. Pictures will follow!

Thanks again for reading!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just got my new wheelset and Shimano XT crankset from Chainreactioncycles in the mail. With that purchase, I've now got all the parts I need. I'll be taking the bike to the shop tomorrow to have them build it up. Yay!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I got my Easton Monkeylite bar today from Bob's Bicycles. The carbon bar is lighter than the box it came in!

On a related note, I purchased an XT crankset and BB and a Mavic 717/XT wheelset from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK. Even with our horrible USD to Euro conversion rate, I still ended up saving around $30 from retail (USA) prices.

These last two purchases signify the completion of my bike. I'll be taking it to the shop in the very near future to have them buld it up I can't wait!

Thanks everyone for your support. Pictures soon!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wow, it's been awhile since my last update! Good news is that I am almost done with the bike!

I recently purchased from Pricepoint an X9 trigger shifter and rear derailleur combo. A great deal, and the parts look great!

I've got an XT front derailleur coming in the mail as I write this. It was supposed to be here two days ago, but I fear FEDEX lost the package. My phone number has been passed along to their "Trace Department", which sounds bad. I bought the front derailleur from Jenson USA.
Edit: FEDEX finally found my package, so now I have a front derailleur!

The only parts left to order:
*SRAM 990 cassette
*rim tape

That should be it. I intend to have the Blur built up by June 10. Look for more pictures soon!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ordered my Avid Juicy 7's from Chad at Red Barn Bicycles. A great guy to work with, highly recommended! I ordered a 185mm rotor for the front and 160mm for the back. Think that will work great.

My next choice is between an XT crankset or Truvativ Stylo crankset. Both are around $200, and seem to be good. Any ideas?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Time to decide on a wheelset. I'm trying to keep things under $300 for a pair. I've been looking at the Mavic 717's laced to XT hubs, but am not so sure on the Shimano crap. I ride western PA singletrack and race, so weight and strength are also considerations.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'll be reading the comments.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I just bought the pedals (Crank Brothers Candy C), in yellow.

Juicys to come very soon...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Float 130 RLC has arrived. Sorry for both the lack of updates and lack of better photos. Up to now, I have the frame and fork. I'll be purchasing Avid Juicy 7's within the next 2 weeks, and I hope to have this built up by early March.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Here's a cool picture from of a guy (NOT me) riding the new Blur LT. I look at this picture at least once a day because it looks so cool, and it helps me to imagine how cool my new Blur will be.

*end gushy love story*

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Pictures are finally here!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I finally received my package from Mojo Wheels last night. It contained a Fox shock pump (up to 300PSI), a Fox Shox Manual, an official Santa Cruz "set-up" guide, and a nice big Mojo Wheels hoodie.

Thanks Bob for the hoodie!

Pictures are still coming soon.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Frame pictures are coming as soon as I can find a digital camera to use. Mojo Wheels is shipping out my Fox shock booklet and shock pump as soon as possible. These items are supposed to be standard with a Blur frame purchase.

Monday, September 19, 2005

So anyway, I decided that I wanted/needed the Santa Cruz Blur "classic". Next, I had two decisions; I could either buy the frame and build it up, or buy the complete bike. I opted for buying the frame and building it because money was an issue. I was also relying on the fact that winter was fast approaching and soon I wouldn't be able to ride until the Spring (plenty of time to build up the bike). With that, the mad hunt for the frame I wanted began.

Officially, I was looking for a 2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic Anodized Black Large frame. I soon discovered that not only was this the most popular color/frame/size, but they were going to be really hard to find considering that SC stopped making them over the summer. I started my search on the internet, where I found results at the following shops. All three carried the exact match that I wanted:

Colorado Cyclist - This was my initial choice, due to the fact they threw in a free overstocked fork. The best deal out there for $1599. I'd heard good things about them and were really banking on them. Unfortuantly, their website was not as updated as it should have been, and thus, I was chasing a ghost frame. Each time I called them, the employee that answered was friendly, considerate, and really knew bikes. I was very impressed, and still look for the chance to purchase anything I need from them.

Speedgoat Bicycles - Speedgoat is only about an hour's drive from here, so I thought I might as well give them a try. They listed the frame I wanted for $1652, still a very good price. Their website has a nice "Build Builder" that will price a complete bike for you, letting you choose every component. The Speedgoat website doesn't list stock in real time, though, and when I called, I was informed that they didn't have the exact match I was looking for, but that I should try talking to "Steve", their Santa Cruz specialist. I shot him a quick email and within a day he had called Santa Cruz and let me know they couldn't find one for me. I also enjoyed my interactions with Speedgoat and look forward to any in the future.

Cambria Bikes -Cambria Bikes also listed the Blur frame I wanted as in stock, but when I called, it was no longer available. However, they did have almost what I was looking for, but with a 5th Element instead of a Fox Rp3 rear shock. None the less, I talked to "Penelope" on the phone, which was a rather enjoyable experience. She put the frame on hold for roughly a week, and called to check up on me halfway through the week. She was "super friendly" and honestly the nicest sales person I've ever talked to! Props to you, Penelope.

So, by this point I had ZERO matches and was starting to sweat a bit. My next step was to call every Santa Cruz dealer with a 100 mile radius. When that turned up only "partial matches", I began asking for suggestions on forums like and Eventually (aka after about 35 long distance phone calls and 4 days pass), someone recommended I call Mojo Wheels out in Denver, Colorado. I talked with both "Matt" and then "Bob", the sales manager. Turns out that Mojo Wheels did have what I was looking for, so I bought it for a grand total of $1624, including UPS Ground service. I ordered it on a Saturday, and Bob told me he would ship it out first thing Monday morning, and call with a tracking number. Sweet!

Monday came and went, I didn't have a tracking number. That night, I called and found out he "forgot to ship it". Ok, an honest mistake, so I let it go. He apologized and said he would throw in a couple t-shirts and what not, and call back the next morning with a tracking number. Tuesday past, and that night, I called him again. He said he had shipped it, and gave me a tracking number.

Fast forward to next Monday: I receive the Blur frame, in excellent condition. I'm over the moon. However, didn't see the said "free t-shirts" or anything similar.

Overall, my experience with Mojo Wheels was very good.
Welcome to my blog. I created this blog to help outline the process I followed in finding, purchasing, and building up a 2005 Santa Cruz Blur "classic" mountain bicycle.

Why the Blur?
I first discovered the Blur around January 2005, while really starting to drool over some full suspension mountain bikes. My cheap-o hardtail just wasn't cutting it, especially after I really started to get serious about mtbing. Everywhere I looked, the Santa Cruz Blur was in my face; heck, it was even the top reviewed bike of 2004 on This impressed me, and got me interested, but I dismissed it due to it's high price tag (a complete Blur goes from around $2899-$5000!). Other choices I looked at were the Kona Dawg, Giant NRS, or the Specialized FSR XC. I couldn't get the Blur out of my mind, and 6 months later, I'm on the way to building one up from scratch.

What do you mean by Blur "classic"?
When I mention the Blur "classic", I'm refering to the regular 2005 Blur model. During the spring/summer of 2005, Santa Cruz Bicycles stopped making the Blur in favor of a BLT (long travel Blur) or Blur XC (lighter race oriented bike). I wanted the Blur "classic", as it came to be referred to, because I'm interested in racing the bike one day and hitting the trails the next. I consider myself to be an "agressive xc" rider, and the VPP is just what I need.

Why am I blogging this?
I'm blogging my process because I simply want to help others out. I spent way too much time online researching my purchase/build, and ultimately want to pass on all the information that I found.

What is this author's ideal Blur build?
*coming soon*