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Santa Cruz Blur TR 2022 Review: 4 Things I Love & 1 I Don't - Hint - It's Not Weight

The Santa Cruz Blur full-suspension XC mountain bike has been revamped for 2022. With a lighter frame and progressive geometry, it's ready to race for cross-country glory. It's a "must buy" MTB for me, but it's not perfect. What are the pros and cons? What do I love and hate?

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:MTB

There’s never been a Santa Cruz at the front of a cross-country World Cup, until now. The California brand is attacking the lycra-clad side of the sport with the updated Blur full-suspension XC bike.

The new 2022 Blur 4 has taken a top spot on my “must buy” list of bikes, but it’s not perfect. Here are four things I love about the new Blur, and one thing I don't.

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Four things I love about the new Santa Cruz Blur

A lighter frame

2022 Santa Cruz Blur CC XC mountain bike

Santa Cruz shaved 289 grams off the previous Blur frame to create its lightest full-suspension frame ever. That half a pound can mean the difference between winning and losing. A Blur CC frame with a RockShox SIDLuxe shock and all the hardware weighs only 1,933 grams (size large).

Superlight suspension

2022 Santa Cruz Blur XC mountain bike VPP Superlight suspension

The rear suspension switches from VPP to the new Superlight suspension system. Instead of counter-rotating links, Superlight uses a single pivot with flex stays which mean less complexity and less weight. The new design also lets engineers tune the kinematics to suit the demands of cross-country racing. A lower and more consistent leverage curve provides traction and sensitivity while keeping the suspension naturally efficient and free of pedal-bob.

Updated geometry

2022 Santa Cruz blur and blur TR geometry

The Blur’s geometry evolved to tackle gnarlier trails. The head tube is slacker (68.3 degrees) and the reach is longer. With a 60mm stem, this improves stability and confidence when descending. The seat tube is steeper to put riders in a better position over the pedals for climbing. Seat tube angles and chain stay length are also matched to each size, so every rider gets the same balanced geometry and fit.


More water bottle mounts

2022 Santa Cruz Blur XC full suspension mountain bike 2 to 3 water bottle mounts

Many full-suspension bikes only fit a single bottle, but the new Blur has room for two bottles inside the front triangle. Those going for serious mileage can also add a third bottle cage under the down tube. It’s a small detail, but one that marathon XC racers and backpack-haters will appreciate.

One thing I don’t love about the new Blur

The Blur TR makes some compromises

2022 Santa Cruz Blur TR XC trail mountain bike

The Blur TR build uses a bigger 120mm Fox 34 Step-Cast fork, slacking the head tube out to 67.1 degrees. Rear travel is increased to 115mm with a longer stroke shock. To finish off the build, it comes with a full-length dropper post, burlier tires, and 180mm brake rotors. It’s ideal for marathon XC racing and the gnarliest XC courses.

That all sounds great, but it’s not perfect. With a longer fork, the reach shrinks from 450mm to 438mm in size medium. This goes against the grain of mountain biking’s long reach trend. 438 isn’t exactly short for an XC bike, but for general trail use, 450mm has been my preferred length.

The Blur TR also discards the remote lockout. Some trail riders will applaud this decision, but what about those of us who want to race aboard the TR version? In a high-pressure race situation, having an easy-to-access remote lockout is a huge advantage. You also end up using it more often when it’s right there on the bars.

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What do you think about the new Santa Cruz Blur? What do you like and what do you dislike? Let us know in the comments!