Truth versus Blur ... anyone ridden both?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Topmounter, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Topmounter

    Topmounter New Member

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    Does anyone have any experience riding both of these bikes?

    I have been riding hard tails forever and have never ridden a FS XC bike that made me want to switch.

    Many reasons kept me off a FS bike including: climbing efficiency, weight, maintenance and cost.

    Since my current carbon fiber wunder hard tail is starting to show its age (e.g. hairline cracks), I thought it was time to test a few "current gen" FS MTBs.

    So far I have ridden the new Giant, Klein and Truth.

    I didn't like the Giant much, the Klein was sort of nice, but neither compared to the Truth.

    After being impressed with my preliminary test ride of the Truth, I coughed up some dough and demo'd the Truth for a couple days on a local favorite trail with a WIDE variety of terrain, from technical climbs and descents, to fast and open rocky descents. I was pretty impressed with how good the Truth felt going up, down and on the flats, whether fast or slow.

    So to be fair to my pocket book and make sure my hard earned dollars are well spent, based upon the reviews, I feel that I have to check out the Santa Cruz Blur as well.

    Not only is the Blur less expensive (Truth = Blur + Fox Fork), but it seems that every review deems the Blur the ultimate XC FS trail bike. Unfortunately none of these reviews spends any time comparing the Blur and the Truth, mainly because it seems the Truth is an "older" non-VPP design.

    However I have been unable to find a single review of the Truth that had much of anything bad to say about it. Of course these are typically older reviews written prior to the release of the Blur.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to demo a Blur on the same trails, but I should get a chance for a less intense test ride (urban test ride probably) on a Blur in the next few days.

    I am about 6'0" and 165-170 Pounds. I love to train on my road bike during the week so I can mountain bike on the weekends and try to hammer up technical climbs and then pick a sweet, fast line on the downhills.

    Point being, I am not a big-air, free-ride, big drop, basket-balls, look what I broke today sort of XC rider.

    Can anyone with trail experience on both of these bikes offer any opinions on one versus the other since I won't have a chance to take a Blur to my favorite local trail without buying one?

    tia :)

    Topmounter
     
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  2. MtnBikerChk

    MtnBikerChk New Member

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    I've only ridden the Blur.

    and OMG. WOW.

    Awesome ride.
     
  3. Cessna

    Cessna New Member

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    Just to make your choice more difficult, try the Turner 02 or Burner against the Truth. I have no experience on the Ellsworth but my Turner is fantastic. I added Romic shock vs AD-12 and got absolutely no bob pedalling, plus infinitly variable plush factor. This frame feels like it's pushing me up the hill.
     
  4. Topmounter

    Topmounter New Member

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    So I ended up with the Blur with the Fox rear shock and a Float 100 RLC on the front.

    I am pretty happy so far. I have been playing around with some different suspension settings and stem lengths. But I have taken to this thing really well so far.

    I really, really like the way the Blur climbs, it feels so incredibly alive on rough climbs. Alive in a good way that is, not like it is sapping energy, but like it is soaking up bumps, getting tons of traction and surging forward. It is really a rather odd feeling, almost casually spinning up some of the rough and loose climbs that would have had me out of the saddle struggling to stay in a straight line on my hard tail.

    I really like the lockout option on the Fox Float 100 RLC. It doesn't completely lock out the fork, giving you some suspension travel on the climbs, while still feeling very stable out of the saddle; and if you set the blow-off valve correctly, the fork will still soak up the big hits if you forget to unlock the fork after the climb is done.

    The rear end of this bike is magic on the climbs and I now sort of regret not dropping the extra dough for the Fox fork with the Intertia Valve (or whatever it is called in the m-lit), to make the fork behave as well as the rear end during out of the saddle efforts, without having to bother with the lock-out knob.

    Descending is sort of nuts on this thing, I find myself doing stuff that I would never have done on my hard tail. I am just starting to get where I am not over shooting sharp turns and switchbacks due to deceptive amounts of speed. I find that all my hard learned, choice lines on my favorite trails are now pretty much obsolete. I find myself launching off things that I used to avoid and riding through the rough stuff to set myself up for a bettter line through the next turn.

    I am still struggling a little bit to figure out the best way to make the Blur go fast on flatter sections. I haven't quite got my out of the saddle accelerations nailed yet, my initial inclination is to lock out the front fork, but that is a little awkward and not too comfy once I am up to speed. I think this is more of a technique thing that I have lost since my last suspension fork on my hard tail blew up and I had been running a rigid fork for a while now (fun until you miss or can't find your line).

    It is amazing how much less abuse I take riding on the fast, rocky terrain here in Colorado with this bike, really only leaving my muscles sore after 3 or 4 hours in the saddle.

    This bike rarely if ever gives me any reason to reminisce about my hard tail. The only situation where I have thought my hard tail would be an advantage was on a super techincal, big rock climb that required some trials-esque hopping and cranking to navigate. If I would have thought about it at the time, I might have tried the moves with both the front and rear shocks locked out, but it was a really tough section that I probably couldn't clean on my hard tail anyway.

    My only complaints about the Blur frame would be the following:

    * little pieces of metal coming off inside the frame. These are little pieces of excess welding material that was not cleaned out of the inside of the frame. This was happening on both the bikes test bikes I rode as well. I have to take out the seat post, BB and fork to see if I can shake them out. I hope they fall out no problem, because this is REALLY annoying, I keep thinking something "important" is coming loose and rattling (e.g. brakes, derailers, etc.).

    * No chain guard comes with the frame. No big deal of course. After one ride I wrapped a road tube around the drive side chainstay and the really loud clanking noise was suitably dulled.

    Overall, this is a pretty awesome dualy for a long-time full suspension skeptic such as myself.

    More and Better miles ;)
     
  5. terminalvelo

    terminalvelo New Member

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    Just curious - did you try an Intense Spider or Specialized Epic? If so, how did they compare?
    Pete
     
  6. franky

    franky New Member

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  7. Topmounter

    Topmounter New Member

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    I wasn't able to try an Epic, but from what I read, it didn't sound too interesting and I didn't go out of my way to find one to ride.

    I did try and find a Trek Fuel 100 to test ride, but there were none to be found at any of the local bike shops. Not to mention, all the shops said there were frame shortages on the Fuel 100, especially in the 17.5 size.

    Also, I was looking for a frame and fork and typically the deals on frame and forks from the big manufacturers aren't great (pro deals aside) and don't offer any options on the fork. Not to mention, local bike shops almost never stock frames from the big manufacturers and special orders always seem a little awkward from the big guys.

    I did take a look at the Intense VPP Spider and I am sure it is an awesome bike, every review seems to rate it right alongside the Blur, with the Blur being more of a "trail bike" and the spider being more of a "race bike".

    However, two reasons killed the Spider for me:

    1) No one had a demo available and considering the equality of reviews between the Blur and the Spider, the spider had better be a whole lot better to justify the money, besides I don't race mountain bikes much, if at all, anymore.

    2) The graphics and paint on the Intense bikes are the epitomy of cheese in my mind, I really, really don't like the look of them. The black ano Ellsworth is the king of good looks, with the ano Blur coming in a close second and the powder coat frames in a solid 3rd, but then the Intense graphics and paint put the Spider in a distant fourth.

    I know it is stupid that I would care, but the reality is, over the past years I have had a few "take what you get" warranty replacement frames and since this frame isn't free and I will be spending a bunch of time on this bike in the coming years, I don't want a nagging regret that gets waved in my face everytime I pull it out of the stable for a ride :)
     
  8. MtnBikerChk

    MtnBikerChk New Member

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    last year's spider was more of a racing bike. they are coming out with a new model this year to rival the blur!
     
  9. clw

    clw New Member

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    Topmounter:

    Old post, I know, 2 questions please:

    1. You rode both, what pushed you toward the Blur?

    2. Regrets? Do it again?

    Ok that was 3! I'm looking at the same 2 bikes and caught this in a search. Thanks
     
  10. KDK2003

    KDK2003 New Member

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    Did you try the Klein Palomino? I am also between one of those bikes (Elsworth, Palomino, Blur)
     
  11. clw

    clw New Member

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    Actually hadn't even heard of that one. I'm stopping by a Trek dealer Saturday to look at a liquid, but they also carry the sister brands fisher and klein, so I'll check out the palomino and a cake. Heard anything about the GF Cakes?
     
  12. sm266

    sm266 New Member

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    I demo'ed a Cake at my local trailhead. Coming from an Epic, it rocked on downhills, but felt sluggish on climbs.
     
  13. Hecubus

    Hecubus New Member

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    You are talking about the 5.5 EVP. Its not a replacement for the Spider, its a replacement for the old Intense Tracer/Uzzi SL as a long travel trail bike. It actually falls between the SC Blur and VP Free since its quite more heavy duty that the Blur but not quite a Freeride rig as the VP Free. The Spider remains unchanged as a race bike.

    I went through a similar choice as you when I was looking for a new race bike. After a lot of consideration I ended up on the Spider. As a matter of fact right now some of the guys I ride with regularly, one has blur, the other a truth :) I've had a good amount of riding time on the Spider and Blur and here is the difference as I see it. In terms of the finish and build the Intense is by far a a few steps ahead. They use a lot more machined parts, cleaner welds, sculpted and shape optimized tubing that is formed to maximize the contact are in the joints where the welds go. Its easy to see why its so much more expensive. While they might be targeted at different types of riding, the Intense really is the tougher bike and its starting to show now that they have been out for a while. Performance wise both bikes are nearly identical. Don't believe all the marketing BS that one performs better than the other in certain aspects. The are based on the same design and share identical geometry for the most part. Only significant differences are the Blur has 17" chainstays instead of more traditional XC racing 16.75" the Spider has making the Spider have a slightly quicker handling while the Blur is slightly more stable due to the slightly longer wheelbase. Santa Cruz also uses a longer stroke shock and gets the blur an extra 1/2" travel. The shorter stroke of the spider gives it a slightly more firm, efficient feel when pedaling, while the Blur tends to have a slightly smoother feel. That extra 1/2 really doesn't make a difference and isn't noticeable when you ride. Basically you can get either bike to perform the same roles and perform virtually identical. The differences between them are tiny at best and its really difficuly to even feel the difference.
    What finally sealed the deal for me with the Intense is that Santa Cruz uses very short top tubes in their frames and even with a large or X-large frame I'd end up with too long a stem. I like to keep my stems as short as possible for a more Genesis like geometry. I have also loved the "cheesy" look of the Intense decals with the Big yellow and carbon logo and I prefer powder coating to anodized. Anodized colors just look dull and tend to have weird tones (I do own an Anodized Titus). I like my bikes loud and shiny (and black is boring) :D
    Anyway, you made a great choice with the Blur and you will love it. You would have been happy with the Truth as well but IMO I doubt I would ever even consider one. They seem to be too damn light causing the metal to be brittle as hell. They ding so easy its absurd. Also, the questionable warranty practices I keep hearing from them over and over also steered me away.
     
  14. rockgirl

    rockgirl New Member

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    thanks for the research .. I have been online all morning trying to find some opinions on both bikes. I have been riding a slightly heavier (32 lbs) and I am sick of getting smoked up hill - that is my excuse. I have been playing with idea of the Trek carbon aswell as the Truth and Blur XC. What changed your mind on the Truth. Anything in particular?






    "it never gets easier you just go faster"
    -Greg Lemond
     
  15. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    just out of intrest... what Giant did you try ?
     
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