Results 1 to 32 of 32
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    126

    Bike build - Blur, Truth, or Epic?

    OK, I've finally given in and am moving from my hardtail to full suspension. Now that I'm 33 years old I am looking for something easier on my back during long rides. That said, I do not want to sacrifice a lot of weight for more comfort. However, I am willing to sacrifice some weight if I can climb and descend faster. I've narrowed it down to three top contenders - Blur, Truth, and Epic. I am a big guy, 6'3" 195 lbs, and do cross country training and racing. I am NOT into big drops or jumps, but I do like to climb fast and want to descend faster than I can on my hardtail. Additionally, I like logging in long mileage rides. Suggestions? I have always been satisfied with Specialized (how can you go wrong?), but have heard good things about the Ellsworth Truth, and the Santa Cruz Blur has gotten good pub lately too (and it's $500 cheaper). What are yor impressions of any or all of the frames/bikes I am interested in? Thanks.

  2. #2
    bonkin' clyde
    Reputation: bluronthetrails's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    831

    Blur!!!

    Man start from the Blur. My namesake...it is a kick@ss bike, hands down...The Truth is really good too, but I'd hate to do too much to it man its expensive...the Epic is actually a very close second but very expensive as well, besides, I've heard (and read) mixed feelings about the Brain shock stuff. But for good XC, plus light DH, the blur is perfect...its very upgradable, and if you put a 5th element in back and Fox up front, man you've got the best backpain releiver that FS can offer. If you're heavy, I've heard PUSHing your suspension will really make a difference.
    My bed comforts my body. Sleep comforts my mind. The trail comforts my soul. And without a soul, what is a body anyway?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    792

    none of the above?!

    Let it be known that I currently ride a blur. That said I would reccomend a turner burner or the new flux when it comes out, or a titus racer x-100. I was duped in by the blur hype. Many people coming from the world of hardtails are afraid of active suspension, don't be. Once you learn how to ride it you will be much faster up and down. A lot of people don't understand the huge advantage of suspension while climbing moderately rough ground. A suspension bike allows the rider to remain seated spinning away in the saddle, pulling away from his hardtail mounted cohorts while they are bouncing in and out of the saddle trying to keep on line and hooked up. The problem with the blur is two-fold: first, the higher the chain tension the less active the suspension becomes-this is great for sprinting, but not good at all for steep singletrack climbing, essentially the suspension locks out right when you put the power down to get through a rough patch and you feel this through the pedals. Second, the blurs suspension wants to extend under braking this is scary and annoying.
    A properly designed four-bar horst link bike's suspension is neutral to drivetrain forces and braking forces, therefore the suspension works full-time smoothing out the trail. The epic is an active bike design except that the brain locks out the shock itself most of the time, especially on steep climbs when the brain cylinder is angled back. If you are solely a hardcore racer then the epic maybe ok for you.
    The truth is a horst bike sort-of, but since they were sued by specialised they have changed the design and now it brake jacks and is not as smooth as titus and turner. Truths are also notorious for problems, like breaking. Modern shock technology will take care of unwanted suspension movement on these bikes so do not worry too much about that. Read all you can on the manufacturers forums to get more info and then test ride everything. Make sure you hit bumps under power uphill and go down a steep hill and grab a handful of rear brake to see what the suspension does.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bullit_cn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,879
    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    Let it be known that I currently ride a blur. That said I would reccomend a turner burner or the new flux when it comes out, or a titus racer x-100. I was duped in by the blur hype. Many people coming from the world of hardtails are afraid of active suspension, don't be. Once you learn how to ride it you will be much faster up and down. A lot of people don't understand the huge advantage of suspension while climbing moderately rough ground. A suspension bike allows the rider to remain seated spinning away in the saddle, pulling away from his hardtail mounted cohorts while they are bouncing in and out of the saddle trying to keep on line and hooked up. The problem with the blur is two-fold: first, the higher the chain tension the less active the suspension becomes-this is great for sprinting, but not good at all for steep singletrack climbing, essentially the suspension locks out right when you put the power down to get through a rough patch and you feel this through the pedals. Second, the blurs suspension wants to extend under braking this is scary and annoying.
    A properly designed four-bar horst link bike's suspension is neutral to drivetrain forces and braking forces, therefore the suspension works full-time smoothing out the trail. The epic is an active bike design except that the brain locks out the shock itself most of the time, especially on steep climbs when the brain cylinder is angled back. If you are solely a hardcore racer then the epic maybe ok for you.
    The truth is a horst bike sort-of, but since they were sued by specialised they have changed the design and now it brake jacks and is not as smooth as titus and turner. Truths are also notorious for problems, like breaking. Modern shock technology will take care of unwanted suspension movement on these bikes so do not worry too much about that. Read all you can on the manufacturers forums to get more info and then test ride everything. Make sure you hit bumps under power uphill and go down a steep hill and grab a handful of rear brake to see what the suspension does.
    Hmmm...sounds like your review was taken from some other mags that doesn't really tell the true performance of the above mentioned bikes...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    96

    Truth!

    I am 6'2" an weigh 209.
    I have a 2003 Truth and love it.
    I have had some issues but none having to do with the frame.
    It is working fantastic now. I do not regret the purchase at all.

  6. #6
    Driven by watts inside
    Reputation: - Jeremy -'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    484
    I had the same set of choices at the beginning of this year; Spider XVP, Truth or Epic. I chose the Epic. 2004 S-Works Epic (frame only), in fact. I put a Fox F80X on the front and I'll tell you flat out that after riding and racing it for 5 months, I do not believe that there is a better cross country setup available.

    Most people misunderstand the way the Epic suspension behaves. They assume that the ride would be very harsh and uncomfortable. Once the shocks pass their break-in periods, there is NO transition from hardtail to FS felt by the rider. If you have the sensitivity set properly, no bump is too small and there is no feeling of "impact-then-open" suspension. The ride on smooth ground feels so fast, efficient and powerful. Once you hit anything rough, the ride magically turns into something very plush and stays fully open until you're back on smooth ground. You glide over roots and rocks without noticing.

    - Jeremy -

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rev Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,730

    Step back from the edge while you still can....

    I experimented with full suspension in my late forties. Stepped over the edge and purchased my very own full suspension in my early fifties.

    All I can say after four years of ownership is that $2000 was a heck of a lot of money to learn that hardtails are soooooo much more responsive and lighter than full suspension bikes.

    But that's me and I don't seem to have the "back" problems every thinks I should have because I'm an old f@rt. All the suspension I need is in my 80 mm fork, steel frame, tires, saddle and legs (especially the legs).

    You have been warned!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,242
    I'm partial & I'll say Blur - Especially the latest version with the new RP3 Fox rear shock & an improved rear swingarm. - The $2850.00 package bike is tough to beat when you look at what you're getting.
    I'd buy an Aniversary Stumpy before I'd buy a bike that "Thinks" for me.
    I'd never buy an Ellsworth due to company practices.

    I work p/t in a shop and predominantly sell Santa Cruz's, we're bringing back SBI soon we stopped selling Ellsworth.

    Look at the new 05' line too from Trek - Value & the best warranty going...... Man it's a great time to be getting into duallies - SO much good stuff out there......

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    428
    You also might want to consider a Stumpjumper FSR Expert. Great bike for the money. The Triad rear shock set on pro-pedal makes pedal bob pretty much a non-issue and you can lock it out if you want. For less than the additional cost of a Blur or Truth you could build up a killer set of light King/Mavic wheels and replace a few other stock Specialized parts (bar, stem, seatpost) with lighter ones and come out with very light plush bike with all the advantages of 4-bar linkage suspension.

    If you want to look at Turner Burners, Supergo has the frames for $950, a smokin deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    Let it be known that I currently ride a blur. That said I would reccomend a turner burner or the new flux when it comes out, or a titus racer x-100. I was duped in by the blur hype. Many people coming from the world of hardtails are afraid of active suspension, don't be. Once you learn how to ride it you will be much faster up and down. A lot of people don't understand the huge advantage of suspension while climbing moderately rough ground. A suspension bike allows the rider to remain seated spinning away in the saddle, pulling away from his hardtail mounted cohorts while they are bouncing in and out of the saddle trying to keep on line and hooked up. The problem with the blur is two-fold: first, the higher the chain tension the less active the suspension becomes-this is great for sprinting, but not good at all for steep singletrack climbing, essentially the suspension locks out right when you put the power down to get through a rough patch and you feel this through the pedals. Second, the blurs suspension wants to extend under braking this is scary and annoying.
    A properly designed four-bar horst link bike's suspension is neutral to drivetrain forces and braking forces, therefore the suspension works full-time smoothing out the trail. The epic is an active bike design except that the brain locks out the shock itself most of the time, especially on steep climbs when the brain cylinder is angled back. If you are solely a hardcore racer then the epic maybe ok for you.
    The truth is a horst bike sort-of, but since they were sued by specialised they have changed the design and now it brake jacks and is not as smooth as titus and turner. Truths are also notorious for problems, like breaking. Modern shock technology will take care of unwanted suspension movement on these bikes so do not worry too much about that. Read all you can on the manufacturers forums to get more info and then test ride everything. Make sure you hit bumps under power uphill and go down a steep hill and grab a handful of rear brake to see what the suspension does.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tommasini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    40

    Consider the intended use - other alternatives exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Pilot
    OK, I've finally given in and am moving from my hardtail to full suspension. Now that I'm 33 years old I am looking for something easier on my back during long rides. That said, I do not want to sacrifice a lot of weight for more comfort. However, I am willing to sacrifice some weight if I can climb and descend faster. I've narrowed it down to three top contenders - Blur, Truth, and Epic. I am a big guy, 6'3" 195 lbs, and do cross country training and racing. I am NOT into big drops or jumps, but I do like to climb fast and want to descend faster than I can on my hardtail. Additionally, I like logging in long mileage rides. Suggestions? I have always been satisfied with Specialized (how can you go wrong?), but have heard good things about the Ellsworth Truth, and the Santa Cruz Blur has gotten good pub lately too (and it's $500 cheaper). What are yor impressions of any or all of the frames/bikes I am interested in? Thanks.
    Remember your intended use of the bike and what types of terrain you will be riding/racing. I'm in my early 40's and genrally lean toward high intensity rides versus much of any cruising or jumping. I almost got sucked into the full suspension thing because of my low back seeing all the hybe in MBA and other magazines.....finding myself wanting to have the next best thing. After trying out a 2004 Specialzed Epic and SC Blur I reflected on my advice in my first sentence above........so I took a $50 gamble (and only 200 gram weight penalty) and bought a Rockshox suspension seat post for my 19 lb hardtail......in my situation I now truely believe I made the right decision. But again - let your riding style, terrain, and other desires dictate (maintenance is another) - just be careful of what you see in those glossy magazines - often times that's not where and how I ride......

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rev Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,730

    In a different way, that is what I was saying.

    I did let myself get sucked in and was never happy with the results. I felt the trade-offs I made for a full suspension bike were not worth the penalties. One area that I find/found especially distracting was the constant movement of the rear-end of the bike.

    I am just not comfortable with this and, besides owning an I-Drive, I have ridden on dirt Blurs, Giant NRS, VT & AC, Specialized FSR, Santa Cruz Heckler and Superlights, the Instense VPP offerings and the Specialized Epic not to mention some older designs long gone. I've tied air shocks and coil shocks and platform shocks but no full suspension bike I have ever ridden eliminates the nagging feeling I get that the rear of the bike is doing its own thing and is not totally in my control.

    I still have my FS but it gets ridden less and less these days. I'd kind of like to break the frame so I have an excuse to get another hardtail to put the parts on. Weird, I admit, or maybe just honest. I'm not at the point of taking the bike apart since it can be used as a loaner.

    As a cross country rider (an old one as I've already admitted) who loves to climb and is not afraid of technical trails, I still find the light weight and "tossability" of an XC hardtail the best way to go (for me - you make your own choice).

    It is important that with all the hype for FS you hear the other side of the story too than make a decision on what you like the best. What you like the best may not work the best but I sure as hell ride because I like it.

    Peace
    REV

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    126

    Thanks guys!

    All,

    Thanks for your replies and insight. Truly an open debate on a great topic. Obviously much research to be done still. I will be sure to look at the alternatives - Stumpy FSR, Turner Burner, and Titus racex-100. I'm not ready to make a purchase yet, and have the luxury of time because I can still ride my lightweight hardtail. More than likely I will just by a frame and build it from there. Over the years I've accumulated enough parts for two bikes anyway. Thanks again!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    792

    to each his own

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    I did let myself get sucked in and was never happy with the results. I felt the trade-offs I made for a full suspension bike were not worth the penalties. One area that I find/found especially distracting was the constant movement of the rear-end of the bike.

    I am just not comfortable with this and, besides owning an I-Drive, I have ridden on dirt Blurs, Giant NRS, VT & AC, Specialized FSR, Santa Cruz Heckler and Superlights, the Instense VPP offerings and the Specialized Epic not to mention some older designs long gone. I've tied air shocks and coil shocks and platform shocks but no full suspension bike I have ever ridden eliminates the nagging feeling I get that the rear of the bike is doing its own thing and is not totally in my control.

    I still have my FS but it gets ridden less and less these days. I'd kind of like to break the frame so I have an excuse to get another hardtail to put the parts on. Weird, I admit, or maybe just honest. I'm not at the point of taking the bike apart since it can be used as a loaner.

    As a cross country rider (an old one as I've already admitted) who loves to climb and is not afraid of technical trails, I still find the light weight and "tossability" of an XC hardtail the best way to go (for me - you make your own choice).

    It is important that with all the hype for FS you hear the other side of the story too than make a decision on what you like the best. What you like the best may not work the best but I sure as hell ride because I like it.

    Peace
    REV
    Hey Rev,

    I will respect your position as best I can. but... It sound as though you may not have spent enough time on a F/S bike to learn how to ride one. For me it took about half a season of riding it as my only bike before I was able to take full advantage of the additional speed available both up and down with full suspension. Now I am a full convert and will never go back. Every once in a while I take out my steel Kona HOT custom H/T and I cannot believe that anyone rides them anymore. The F/S bikes do require different riding techniques to get the most out of them. I once heard of the giant team doing tests of H/T vs F/S by comparing lap times and average heart rates for the same rider on the same course. The results were that the F/S times were lower AND at a lower average HR, eventhough the rider "felt" like the H/T laps were faster! This feeling may be what you are experiencing. IMO this feeling is the same as what happens when you drive a very nice car fast. Something like a BMW at 90 MPH "feels" slower than a Hyundai at 60.

    to each his own though...it is always better to ride a bike than not, be it H/T, F/S, SS, or road

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    792

    test ride

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullit_cn
    Hmmm...sounds like your review was taken from some other mags that doesn't really tell the true performance of the above mentioned bikes...
    Actually I own a blur, and I have test ridden all of the mentioned bikes: epic, truth, burner except the racer-x. On that one I admit to believing what others have said.

  15. #15
    On your left.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,186

    Blur

    I appreciate that you ride a Blur (me too), but the rear suspension does not extend when braking - it clearly has a bit of squat if anything. This may compromise braking traction over a slippery and rough trail compared to a Burner, but otherwise actually is a good trait because it enhances stability. I've tested the braking the braking of my Blur vs. my FSR and the Blur is better.

    Anyway, my advice to anybody in the market for a bike is to test ride all your options and decide for yourself. And the Racer-X should certainly be added to the list of Burner, Truth and Blur.


    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    Let it be known that I currently ride a blur. That said I would reccomend a turner burner or the new flux when it comes out, or a titus racer x-100. I was duped in by the blur hype. Many people coming from the world of hardtails are afraid of active suspension, don't be. Once you learn how to ride it you will be much faster up and down. A lot of people don't understand the huge advantage of suspension while climbing moderately rough ground. A suspension bike allows the rider to remain seated spinning away in the saddle, pulling away from his hardtail mounted cohorts while they are bouncing in and out of the saddle trying to keep on line and hooked up. The problem with the blur is two-fold: first, the higher the chain tension the less active the suspension becomes-this is great for sprinting, but not good at all for steep singletrack climbing, essentially the suspension locks out right when you put the power down to get through a rough patch and you feel this through the pedals. Second, the blurs suspension wants to extend under braking this is scary and annoying.
    A properly designed four-bar horst link bike's suspension is neutral to drivetrain forces and braking forces, therefore the suspension works full-time smoothing out the trail. The epic is an active bike design except that the brain locks out the shock itself most of the time, especially on steep climbs when the brain cylinder is angled back. If you are solely a hardcore racer then the epic maybe ok for you.
    The truth is a horst bike sort-of, but since they were sued by specialised they have changed the design and now it brake jacks and is not as smooth as titus and turner. Truths are also notorious for problems, like breaking. Modern shock technology will take care of unwanted suspension movement on these bikes so do not worry too much about that. Read all you can on the manufacturers forums to get more info and then test ride everything. Make sure you hit bumps under power uphill and go down a steep hill and grab a handful of rear brake to see what the suspension does.
    M

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,242
    I'm with Motivated here.........The Blur does not Brake-Jack AND anyone with a decent spin will tell you there is NO feedback or stall felt through the pedals when climbing on a properly dialed setup.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,744
    I don't ride a blur, but have test rode a couple. Frankly, I thought they felt great in and out of the saddle. The big problem I had with them was fit, the toptubes are to short for me.

    As others have suggested, I would look at the Turner Burner and Titus Racer X 100/Hammerhead instead of the Ellsworth. Both are cheaper, arguably better bikes, and do not have the very high bottom bracket of the Truth. Also, as others have suggested, the Specialized stumpjumper may fit your needs better than the epic. I have also ridden an epic (extended off road ride on a demo model) and it is a nice bike, the lockout in the rear was tranparent, but lacked the climbing advantages that a fully active non-locked out FSR provide.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ultra Magnus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,163
    I'd like to throw in one more vote for the Blur.. I'm 6'2" about 195 and ride a large with a 120mm stem. I find it very comfortable and I LOVE the ride.

    I started out on FS about 1 1/2 yrs ago so I didn't have the "coming from HT and getting used to FS" condition some of you had. I tried a HT with a sus-post with an 80mm (being generous) fork and I didn't like it. When I stand up I don't want the seat to come up with me. Defeats the purpose of standing up (you don't get the same ass to seat clearance you would with a normal post). When you hit bumps, your seat height and leg extension constantly changes and I found that awkward. Also, the seat height rising made getting behind the saddle more difficult when decending. No thanks..

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    37
    I have owned 2 Epic Sworks. I can't imagine a better XC race bike. NO interaction btw pedaling and the rear shock. Not, only a little, or can be compensated for, but NONE. You must, however test ride one on the trail. You will feel the responsiveness and lateral rigidity of a hardtail but you will float magically above the bumps, yet will still feel connected to the trail. The faster you go, the better it feels. I assure you, it is active when climbing and you have no brake jack or clattering going down. I once had a Sugar and it often felt like a flexy hardtail braking for dh corners.

    You should also consider reliability. My first Epic is still going strong after almost 2 years of racing. Bearings are still good, shock has never needed to be rebuilt. My 04 has the adjustble stock which makes trailriding much easier by turning the rear into a plush FSR that still locks out when needed. Too many forget that the Epic is not just good because it has an automatic lockout, its because whatever forces come from the rider are isolated from the suspension. I can't determine a transition from locked to unlocked. Now, on the Fox 80x, it is a pronounced feeling--not on my Epic.

    That said, I would think the Intense Spider would be the better XC race bike than the Blur. It might be a better trailbike than the Epic. I doubt it is a better race bike. IMHO, the Blur is heavy. BTW, my Epic weighs a little less than 23 lbs (lg) with no stupid light componets. Frame = 5.6 lbs. (the same as my old Sugar)

    You really should try all of these bikes in your size, set up for your weight and riding style on real trails. That might be difficult. Hope I helped.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rev Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,730

    Four years is quite a long time to me.

    I don't think I claimed to be faster on a hardtail (although I have had some satisfactory race results). I did say I had more fun on a hardtail or something like that.

    I would much rather have a light and responsive bike that lets me know what is going on than one that "masks" the feeling of the trail. Rebound and bobbing, even in small amounts, take away from the quality of "MY" ride. It is, after all, my ride that matters to me. I'm not trying to convert anyone.

    At 55 I definitely qualify as "not young" but I don't buy into the back hurts because you are over (pick a number) idea. I did a six hour ride at Jim Thorpe last week over classic eastern rocks and roots and felt no pain for my efforts. I ride up to 5 days a week on some pretty technical trails and if the rain holds off, I'll put in 3 hours on dirt tonight. From what I read, I'm a classic candidate for a full suspension bike but do just fine without it. No, make that I do better because my rides on full suspension are not filled with the pure joy I get from my hardtail.

    I never rode BMX but I get the feeling that what I experience on my hardtail is similiar to the fun of riding a BMX.

    Like you said, to each his own but don't accuse me of not giving it the time. Every one of FS bikes I listed had been ridden for multiple hour tryouts on dirt, not in a parking lot. I know what I'm talking about but more than anything, I have identifed what I like and am not afraid to go against the grain.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    26
    I would def. say go with the blur ( or an intense if you have the cash). I owned an epic at the beginning of the season and hate the design. I had a f100x fork and it was easy to see the problems with this design. The idea is good in theory, however get onto the trail and it works like crap. The bike only pedals like a hardtail when you are not going over bumps and when it isnt locked out it bobs! I would routinely find my self in a technical section and the back of the bike was sagged way into its travel and it accelerated like a school bus. I also found it easy to fool the "brain" on both the rear and front shock. I could get them to bob like crazy when i was sprinting out of the saddle.. The season before this I raced a scalpel. The scalpel was nothing special either and after these 2 bikes i had sworn off fullys forever and bought myself a carbon hardtail, this was untill last week when i had the oppertunity to ride intense's amazing vpp bike. It pedals perfectly all the time, while still soaking up bumps! i couldnt believe how much traction this gives you compared to the locked out epic. Not to mention the vpp's are lighter than the epic. There is no brake jack or locked out rear in a well adjusted vpp. I have heard that if you have brake jack in a vpp your shock isnt set up right (take some time to tune it!). That said i would stay far far away from the epic and test ride a vpp.

  22. #22
    Chrome Toaster
    Reputation: Hecubus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,850
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Pilot
    OK, I've finally given in and am moving from my hardtail to full suspension. Now that I'm 33 years old I am looking for something easier on my back during long rides. That said, I do not want to sacrifice a lot of weight for more comfort. However, I am willing to sacrifice some weight if I can climb and descend faster. I've narrowed it down to three top contenders - Blur, Truth, and Epic. I am a big guy, 6'3" 195 lbs, and do cross country training and racing. I am NOT into big drops or jumps, but I do like to climb fast and want to descend faster than I can on my hardtail. Additionally, I like logging in long mileage rides. Suggestions? I have always been satisfied with Specialized (how can you go wrong?), but have heard good things about the Ellsworth Truth, and the Santa Cruz Blur has gotten good pub lately too (and it's $500 cheaper). What are yor impressions of any or all of the frames/bikes I am interested in? Thanks.
    The Spider is a bit lighter than the blur and a bit more raceworthy as its specifically designed as a racer. It more expensive but if you can afford a truth you can afford a Spider. They are also on sale at many dealers now so its a good time to buy one. I'd throw the Racer X into that mix as well.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Davide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,537

    I agree

    There is no brake jack nor pedal induced feedback in the Blur.

    I used a Blur for a month and I own a Turner 5-spot.

    For me (at 145 pounds) the Blur/air is plusher than a 5-spot/Romic on small and square edged bumps, and works better on rolling bumps (where the 5-spot has a slight tendency to "rise-up" on the bump). (The 5-spot excells at technical climbing, and is of course better than the Blur downhill simply because of more travel/geometry) The only 4" travel horst I tried is a Switchblade and the Blur is head-and-shoulders above its performance. I very much doubt that a short-travel horst-link or similar (ellsworth) with an air shock can perform as well as the Blur ...

    People make a lot of the lack of brake jack on a horst but in my experience horsts have a different problem: pro-dive, they amplify any dive in front. Only a very careful set up of the 5-spot (took me months) eliminated this tendency for me. On the blur I never had a problem with pro-dive.

    By the way, with careful choices you can easily make a 24pounds Blur, or any sub-six opunds frame, I am a bit below 26 with my 5-spot 25 pounds 5 Spot
    Last edited by Davide; 08-19-2004 at 10:54 AM.

  24. #24
    www.HSmtb.org
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    760
    As you may have noticed so far, you can't go wrong with any of the choices you have before you. There is no better or worse frame. For the options you are looking at, they just have different pros and cons. These are all top notch suspension designs, which have been improved with stable platform technology. I have used a specialized FSR (no brain shock) for 4 years and absolutely loved it. For this year, I switched to an Ellsworth Truth. Personally, I like it a little better. The thing you should focus on is fit. You may want to pay close attention to the angles as well. For example. the spyder has quicker handling than the blur.

    The one thing that I can say about the ellsworth is that it is a stiff frame. Not much flex. I am a lightweight myself, but I have two friends that are around 200 lbs. The first thing they noticed was how less flexy it was. One of them rides a specialized FSR. Given your size, this may be a consideration for you.

    Good luck with the search.

    Chris

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,878

    Nitrous

    I thought this was a weight weinie forum. A 4 lb Nitrous sounds like the ultimate lite XC rig. If brake jacking and quality of the ride concerns you more than weight you need to be looking at a 5.5 - 6" travel trail bike.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    241

    Is it about going faster...or having more fun?

    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    The results were that the F/S times were lower AND at a lower average HR, eventhough the rider "felt" like the H/T laps were faster! This feeling may be what you are experiencing. IMO this feeling is the same as what happens when you drive a very nice car fast. Something like a BMW at 90 MPH "feels" slower than a Hyundai at 60.

    to each his own though...it is always better to ride a bike than not, be it H/T, F/S, SS, or road
    For someone who races, I can see the advantages of FS in the going faster department. I did a 100 mile race this summer, and the FS surely allowed me to bomb the singletrack downhills, but I think that it was significantly slower on the fireroad climbs than the hardtail that I raced the same course on last season. But on the singletrack, yes, the FS was faster.

    However, on a technical trail ride, are going faster and having more fun synomous? I think that if you are getting beat to the degree that the hardtail will not hold a line, then the FS is faster *and* more fun. But if you like the challenge of clearing techy sections on a hardtail, then the hardtail is more fun. FWIW, my RX 100 is an awesome handler, but not even close to the responsiveness of my Yo Eddy. For me, responsiveness=satisfaction=fun.

    Anyway, some food for thought. Have a nice afternoon!

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    792

    Pedal Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Davide
    There is no brake jack nor pedal induced feedback in the Blur.

    I used a Blur for a month and I own a Turner 5-spot.

    For me (at 145 pounds) the Blur/air is plusher than a 5-spot/Romic on small and square edged bumps, and works better on rolling bumps (where the 5-spot has a slight tendency to "rise-up" on the bump). (The 5-spot excells at technical climbing, and is of course better than the Blur downhill simply because of more travel/geometry) The only 4" travel horst I tried is a Switchblade and the Blur is head-and-shoulders above its performance. I very much doubt that a short-travel horst-link or similar (ellsworth) with an air shock can perform as well as the Blur ...

    People make a lot of the lack of brake jack on a horst but in my experience horsts have a different problem: pro-dive, they amplify any dive in front. Only a very careful set up of the 5-spot (took me months) eliminated this tendency for me. On the blur I never had a problem with pro-dive.

    By the way, with careful choices you can easily make a 24pounds Blur, or any sub-six opunds frame, I am a bit below 26 with my 5-spot 25 pounds 5 Spot
    For those wondering about pedal feedback and suspension stiffening under power on the blur: While one spins in the saddle lightly over smooth ground there will be no feedback because at the sag point a blur's suspension is neutral. The feedback I feel occurs when I hit sharp bumps while climbing steeply in the granny. As the suspension moves into its travel beyond the sag point the rear axle moves up and back, lengthening the chainstays and pulling on the chain, and consequently the pedals. This travel path is great for absorbing sharp edged bumps while coasting and is probably the reason the blur feels very plush on downhills.

    If you would like to test this there are two good ways to do it: 1. Put a blur in the stand with the chain on the granny and one of the larger cogs. Un-bolt the front shock mount. Then move the suspension through its full range of travel manually. You will note that this pulls on the chain and spins the cranks backwards.2. While riding up a steep climb in the granny hit some bumps while really laying down the power, then hit the same bumps while coasting. You will feel the resistance of the suspension to absorb the bumps under power vs. the ease of absorbtion while coasting.

    No design is perfect. The vpps excel at sprinting and out of the saddle efforts where the suspension stiffens up and resits bobbing. The vpps are weakest when climbing steep technical terrain for the same reason.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,242
    Question for you Barrows - How do you coast up a steep hill????? - Your test will show you how all of your momentum is completely stopped because you are no longer pedaling.

    If a person has a decent spin and leg strength they will not feel any feedback with their compresion & rebound dialed in properly.

  29. #29
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,595

    After riding a blur for 5 months and selling it

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullit_cn
    Hmmm...sounds like your review was taken from some other mags that doesn't really tell the true performance of the above mentioned bikes...
    for the above stated reasons i completely concur with their assesment of the Blur.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    34
    I am currently riding a Blur after riding a couple of FSRs.
    I cannot feel any pedal feedback - EVER, nor is there any noticeable brake jack.
    I must be riding a different Blur to Barrows, because riding up steep bumpy tracks on my Blur is awesome - the fsrs weren't enen in the same league. Maybe I fing climbing the Blur easier than him because I peddle up the hills instead of coasting !!

  31. #31
    Neg reppers r my biatches
    Reputation: FoShizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    17,247

    My exact experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC
    I don't ride a blur, but have test rode a couple. Frankly, I thought they felt great in and out of the saddle. The big problem I had with them was fit, the toptubes are to short for me.

    As others have suggested, I would look at the Turner Burner and Titus Racer X 100/Hammerhead instead of the Ellsworth. Both are cheaper, arguably better bikes, and do not have the very high bottom bracket of the Truth. Also, as others have suggested, the Specialized stumpjumper may fit your needs better than the epic. I have also ridden an epic (extended off road ride on a demo model) and it is a nice bike, the lockout in the rear was tranparent, but lacked the climbing advantages that a fully active non-locked out FSR provide.
    I hated the "feel" of the Blur geometry which instantly knocked it off my list of "all-around trailbikes". I went with the Tracer over all bikes I tried and still feel that bike is tops in this category.....however, I ended up replacing it with something with a bit more travel once I realized that I should have done that in the first place.

    Anyway, if the search is limited to 4"ish trailbikes I agree....I would recommend the Burner, Hammerhead 100x, and would include Ventana El Saltamontes personally (each with their plusses and minuses) and Tracer for sure. I would personally hate the Epic for other than a XC race bike and I just could not get myself to buy a Truth, though 2 of my friends really like them.

    Once the door opens to 5"+ bikes my list changes of course as I am sure yours does but given the proposed candidates from the poster it does not sound like this is the desire.

    Cheers

  32. #32
    Riding free's the mind
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,006

    Truth

    Also having come from hardtailing for years, my Ells Truth with a Romic coil shock- it is really an increadible bike. Though there seems to be a love/hate thing going on with Ellsworth, for it's intended use (XC) it's efficient geometry and reasonably light.

    It's actually amazing that on long climbs, my Truth feels snappier and more efficient than my aluminum hardtail. There's this sensation that I'm really getting my leg power to the rear wheel and being accelerated foward more than any other bike I've tried- including the Epic. To this add the active suspension helping roll over stuff as you climb. I feel way fresher at the end of the rides (depending on how hard I push).

    If you're using the Truth for the intended XC riding and you're not too heavy of a person, it's a great bike (tho a bit pricy). If I were in the market today, I would consider the Blur and Spider as well. I didn't have a very good impression of the Epic when I tried it. Didn't like the harsh delay upon the first bump hit to unlock the rear suspension plus the weight.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

Similar Threads

  1. Mountain bike jargon/ lingo
    By bstguitarist in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-26-2005, 12:02 PM
  2. Santa Cruz Blur or Specialized Epic? Others?
    By BikeKilla in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 01-01-2005, 11:52 AM
  3. If you need to know this.
    By KevinVokeyJ24 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-24-2004, 08:40 AM
  4. Ways to build a bike rack
    By awai04 in forum Tooltime
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-04-2004, 07:27 PM
  5. Epic vs Blur
    By scott.com in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-21-2004, 08:35 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •