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  1. #1
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    Blur/BLT experience

    This is a general inquiry to the Blur/BLT owners out there, and the Santa Cruz faithful if they would like to chime in and help me out.

    I pretty much decided my next all around bike was going to be a BLT. I rode a Blur and loved it. I am an advanced XC/all-mountain rider, that rides about 4 days a week, so i need a simple, versitile, durable bike. My decision was largely going to be about picking a color and a fork and off to the races...

    I went into my LBS (SC dealer) to inquire about the prospect of buying one, and the shop guy , my friend, was pretty strongly suggesting that I not buy this bike. He told me horror stories of SC customer service being rude and condescending, and also of flaws in the product. Having been loving my superlight since 2000, i pushed back, but he insisted the problems with SC are a recent development. These guys have sold me two santa cruz bikes in the past, and the guy said he would order me a heckler if I was set on SC, but also suggested i move my loyalties to Turner or Titus. He said he would rather see me get a Trek over a SC, which i have no problem with if it rides well.

    Another customer in the shop chimed in, and ran out and grabbed his 2004 Blur frame. This guy is an expert racer and an honest guy. he showed me the slop in the rear end, told me of the maintenance issues, bearing nightmares and showed me a crack developing in the rear drop out that Santa Cruz insisted could not possibly have happened.

    This ain't no troll. I have two questions for the Forum:

    Is SC really that hard to deal with for small LBS? and

    Is the Blur platform really as unreliable and half baked as many suggest?

    You thoughts are greatly appreciated, since this bike will cost more than my truck...

  2. #2
    Surly OG
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckhippy

    I went into my LBS (SC dealer) to inquire about the prospect of buying one, and the shop guy , my friend, was pretty strongly suggesting that I not buy this bike. He told me horror stories of SC customer service being rude and condescending, and also of flaws in the product. Having been loving my superlight since 2000, i pushed back, but he insisted the problems with SC are a recent development. These guys have sold me two santa cruz bikes in the past, and the guy said he would order me a heckler if I was set on SC, but also suggested i move my loyalties to Turner or Titus. He said he would rather see me get a Trek over a SC, which i have no problem with if it rides well.


    Another customer in the shop chimed in, and ran out and grabbed his 2004 Blur frame. This guy is an expert racer and an honest guy. he showed me the slop in the rear end, told me of the maintenance issues, bearing nightmares and showed me a crack developing in the rear drop out that Santa Cruz insisted could not possibly have happened.

    This ain't no troll. I have two questions for the Forum:

    Is SC really that hard to deal with for small LBS? and

    Is the Blur platform really as unreliable and half baked as many suggest?

    You thoughts are greatly appreciated, since this bike will cost more than my truck...

    Ok YMMV but heres my NSHO,

    So here's the deal, ride what works for you... simple as that. If SC bikes have all of a sudden turned dumpy, why doesn't this forum reek of the crappy quality? This forum is GLOBAL and I've yet to see or hear of the horror stories that ellsworth or others have elicited.

    Maybe your LBS grom is jealous because doesn't have a SC bike?

    Have you ever contacted SC yourself? I've worked with Willie For Bearing kits, as part of my semi annual maintenance. Several times over the phone and once in person, its nice to live in Santa Cruz, Cali. (Officially Surf City). I've even walked up to the shipping door and got service!!!! You get what you give, and perhaps your LBS guy is using poor communication style?

    The other chap with the loose swingarm, there's a thread hear talking about how to eliminate the slop caused by compounded deviation in MFG tolerances. Sounds like this HONEST Expert class racer is a non qual when it comes to maintaining his High Perf machine. ANY machine will eventually develop problems if neglected.

    The BLT is a wonderful machine and with the right maintenance, Extremely durable.

    If the HYPE was just that, HYPE: we wouldn't see the popularity of the VPP designs and would hear all the Horror stories ala ellsworth.

    I'm not gonna flame on Turners cause they are nice bikes, I'm just not a 4-bar advocate.


    good luck in your decision.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks

    Thanks, good points all around. I hate hype, thats why I went and asked the dealer. It seems opinions vary greatly. I appreciate your insight...

    What does YMMV mean?

  4. #4
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    Santa cruz

    hey, just curious what shop are you talking about? I live in PA and would like to steer clear.

  5. #5
    Too Much Fun
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    "Your Milage May Vary"

    Quote Originally Posted by redneckhippy
    What does YMMV mean?
    Cheers!
    - -benja- -

  6. #6
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    Its tough enough ...

    For an LBS...I just can't bad mouth them.

    Besides they are GREAT guys and mechanics. Suffice to say they had some bad experiences with Santa Cruz, and I cant blame them for their opinion.

    I had no idea how bad these small shops struggle to pay the bills. I always try to go to them first, If i don't like their opinion or prices, i seek a second opinion...

  7. #7
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    3 of my friends and I ride 2003 Blurs. We do very little to no pivot maintaince, and find they last about 5000 miles. Other than that, all of our bikes have been pretty solid as far as the frame is concerned.

  8. #8
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    Right or wrong people don't hold back on the forums, if problems exist you will hear about them at a ratio of 11:1 bad to good. I would be wary of ANY Lbs that recommended a Trek MTB. The problem that SC seems to have with some Lbs is that they lure you in to their shop with a SC and then try and get you onto their Dealer Brand... Trek,Giant.etc where they have better margins and or floor stock.
    Last edited by Richard; 03-09-2006 at 02:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    I Ride Both A Trek Top Fuel And SC Blur And Love Both Bikes And Companies

    I'm a Trek and SC homer. I raced my Trek Fuel last weekend and it is a great bike and have had great luck with Trek Warranty over the years being very good. I love my Blur also, the only complaint is the top tubes are too short for me. (So if you like short tts…) From a sampling of forums and friends with blurs (just my opinion btw) the bearings location and design attract allot of dirt that people wash with a hose which is what really kills the bearings not the dirt.
    As far as the four bar designs my riding style lends it self more to a VPP design. But I am looking at an Ellsworth Epiphany (4 bar though), as I really like a 5" + travel design that weighs under 6 lbs! (I would probably do a pushed platform rear shock shock or maybe MC3R with remote. So many toys, so little time !) Also made in America is important to me and Ellsworths new environmental friendly factory in California means allot. I usually try to rule out bikes that aren't American made (If I like 2 bikes the same and one is made here, that sort of thing.) (I live in a grass shack with my own hand made grass !)
    Btw, worked with Willy at SC before and he has always been very helpful. Also, every time I have sent email for a general question to SC, Scott or someone has responded.
    I have never received one response back to my questions to Titus. Although I liked the way the Rx rode. (But choose to race the Fuel on ride only comparison) But I ride my Blur allot on all day rides, it is a great bike. I'm not a big fan of treks all mountain designs Fuel Ex (Except Maybe 9.5)
    Just my opinions….what was the question again ?
    Btw, Something else to consider Warranty Matters:
    Ellsworth 2 years for $ bike
    SC 2 years
    Titus 2 years
    Trek Fuel Lifetime
    Last edited by gehulme; 03-12-2006 at 03:44 AM.

  10. #10
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    SC has been straight with me. Scott and Willie are solid, albeit not terribly quick to respond at times. They were responsive to warrantee issues for my original Blur classic, and the new BLT is rock solid. As for the ride itself, my classic never developed excess slop, nor did it need the full bearing kit, although it was scheduled for one when I discovered the crack. I took care of the bike by cleaning it, removing the shafts from time to time and ensuring torque was to spec. Surprisingly, it seemed to help the pivots wear
    IMHO, there are no inherent flaws to the design or manufacture - just take care of your $3+k investment and it'll last.

  11. #11
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    From a bike stand point the V V P and BLT are tops in my book and I would be riding one if not for the way my LBS has been treated. Stright lied to. Try to talk to someone higher up , good luck. Leave a message on a frame/bike order and wait a week only to be told its in stock and still you dont receive it for 5 months? From a bike shop stand point (at least in my opion) they are one of the worst. They just makes the shop look bad and loose sales I know of a very large store that has since dropped the line and it was their biggest seller because of poor service. Bottom line is they make great bikes but there is more to it in my book. Its sad but SC has set a standard in poor service. I really wish they would just be stright up. if its 6 days or 6 months out, cool, just tell the truth! Perfict example of teh product sellin its self because the rest leaves something to be desired.Support you LBS, they are lookin for you.

  12. #12
    Johnny_Automatic
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    Always had great service with SC

    I purchased my first Blur in 2003. Crashed in 2004. Damaged the rear triangle. Spoke to SC direct and delivered the frame set in person. Even had an espresso while they changed/upgraded (wider gap for bigger tires) the rear triangle. Crashed again and seriously dented the top tube in 2006. Again, no problem. Delivered the frame in person and was given the option to upgrade to the XC or the LT. SC has delivered.
    Won't say you SHOULD buy any product. Take the bikes under consideration out for spin and buy the bike feels the best. Don't let SC service tales of woe prevent you from purchasing their products.
    J-

  13. #13
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    My BLT experience has been beyond miserable

    I have had nothing but problems with my BLT, which I ordered via my LBS. I received the frame in November and have logged 2 issue free rides since. I went through 2 "stuck-down" Fox RP3's. The second time I sent the RP3 back, they told me they never received it, so I had to call back to have the guy at Fox "Look for it in the pile" (his words) while I waited.

    When I went to remount the shock, I noticed one of the frame mounts, that SC calls the "New Style Ti link", was never tightened and was about to fall out. There is no room to put a standard allen wrench in to tighten it. I called SC and they told me to just cut down a 5 mm allen wrench, which is easier said then done. I have tried to cut a number of allen wrenches, but the steel is too hard. When I called SC back and asked them if they could send me or sell me a pre-cut tool for this, they said no. They just make them in their shop for their use, and basically told me they can't help. Sorry dude.

    I will post this problem in a separate post asking for suggestions, but when I read the original post here, I had to reply.

    My experience with SC on this frame has been absolutely awful. For what the frame costs, you would think they would be at least a little helpful.

    I can't wait to see what they do once the bushings on all of these frames start to wear out and they hundreds of people in the same situation I am in now.

    Fish

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilpescatore
    I have had nothing but problems with my BLT, which I ordered via my LBS. I received the frame in November and have logged 2 issue free rides since. I went through 2 "stuck-down" Fox RP3's. The second time I sent the RP3 back, they told me they never received it, so I had to call back to have the guy at Fox "Look for it in the pile" (his words) while I waited.

    When I went to remount the shock, I noticed one of the frame mounts, that SC calls the "New Style Ti link", was never tightened and was about to fall out. There is no room to put a standard allen wrench in to tighten it. I called SC and they told me to just cut down a 5 mm allen wrench, which is easier said then done. I have tried to cut a number of allen wrenches, but the steel is too hard. When I called SC back and asked them if they could send me or sell me a pre-cut tool for this, they said no. They just make them in their shop for their use, and basically told me they can't help. Sorry dude.

    I will post this problem in a separate post asking for suggestions, but when I read the original post here, I had to reply.

    My experience with SC on this frame has been absolutely awful. For what the frame costs, you would think they would be at least a little helpful.

    I can't wait to see what they do once the bushings on all of these frames start to wear out and they hundreds of people in the same situation I am in now.

    Fish
    I had 4 "stuck down" on my BLT before local Fox servise definitely repair it by using new bunch of seals from Fox, which is frost resistent. I would never link this problem either with my beloved BLT or SC. It is just Fox problem and to their honour they solved it quickly. And loosen Ti link ? yes it sometimes happens even in the best families. Ask local servise of anything (cars, wash machines, bikes, ...) to cut the allen wrench, I am sure they will do it free for you.

  15. #15
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    Good job! SC OK 2 Me 2X

    I had a Classic Blur that had a manufacturing defect. SC warranteed the frame no prob & QUICK! SC has always been easy to reach & sent out pivot overhaul kits right away. Alas, the pivots can be a hassle, esp in wet climes. I got a BLT & swapped the gear from the classic. Life is good. Rode NorCal all winter, nary a squeek. I am disappointed that there was no recall announced when the defects were discovered in the Blur Classic. Many frames cracked. (Lg only '03) My LBS always pushes Turner, Trek etc. & they whine about the Blur pivots (they don't sell SC) But more than half the riders I know are on Classics & they love 'em. Yuba expeditions (Downieville) only uses SC bikes in their rental fleet -and they know what works. I bought both my frames from them. You will RULE the Mountain on the BLT!

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