Santa Cruz Bicycles Blur TR Carbon SPX XC Complete Bike - $5,398.95

It might be hard to believe, but before the Santa Cruz Blur TR Carbon showed up, there was a void in Santa Cruz's product line. The Blur XC's at home on jittery short-track starting lines, and the Blur LT is destined for backcountry adventures. Endurance racers and riders that prefer XC weight with trail-negotiating travel were left to compromise in either direction. The TR Carbon splits the travel difference of the XC and LT at 120mm, while favoring low weight with its optimized, high-modulus carbon chassis, and offering enhanced trail manners due to a slightly slacker head angle, lower standover height, and more travel than the Blur XC. Dressed here in the SPX XC Complete Bike kit, the TR Carbon sports Shimano XT, Easton EA70, and DT Swiss goodies to make it ready for the long hual. The secret to the Blur TR Carbon's class leading weight-to-strength ratio is Santa Cruz's proprietary carbon processes. The front triangle of the Blur TR Carbon is constructed as once piece, rather than having components produced separately, and then bonded or wrapped. Additionally, the carbon fibers are continuous around tube junctions -- to distribute load and absorb impact energy better. The frame looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside -- there's nothing there except smooth carbon. And just like the Blur XC Carbon, there are no riveted or bonded-on cable and hose guides, as they're incorporated into the original layup. The stiff carbon chassis is paired with the latest generation Virtual Pivot Point rear suspension. The upper and lower links flatten out the shock rate and provide a more active feel to the early end of the axle path. The suspension allows the rear wheel to move up and back as you ride over a bump, and it balances the downward force of pedaling with the pulling force of the chain through its link configuration and axle path. - $5,398.95