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New Mountain Bike day

Old 01-21-24, 05:20 PM
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ignominious poltroon
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New Mountain Bike day


This has a GX Transmission drive train. It lists for $6.5K and it was on sale for $4.25 K, so I decided to go for it. As far as I can tell, it is essentially identical to the Santa Cruz Blur (which doesn't seem to be on sale, unlike most other Santa Cruz bikes). Pon probably uses the same mold.

This is a new thing for me:
1. First XC bike (technically "down country")
2. First mountain electronic drive train.
3. First SRAM-specced bike, which I thought would never happen (I am still worrying about the brakes).
4. First full-susp since 2008.
5. First Cervelo (which I thought would never happen, but its a Blur with a label that decreased its price-tag substantially).
6. First (non-road-bike) 29-er.
7. First time my wife agreed to such a purchase (although she did try to get me to promise to get rid of 1 or 2 bikes -- I made no such promise).
8. First carbon bike.
9. First 27 lb mountain bike.
10. First dropper post.

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Old 01-21-24, 05:22 PM
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Old 01-22-24, 09:57 AM
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Nice looking & nicely spec'd bike. What general area are you in, since I've never seen a Cervelo in socal or the surrounding areas where I ride (norcal, NV, AZ, UT)?
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Old 01-22-24, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old
Nice looking & nicely spec'd bike. What general area are you in, since I've never seen a Cervelo in socal or the surrounding areas where I ride (norcal, NV, AZ, UT)?
Santa Cruz, CA.

(Irony sure can be ironic.)

[In case I am being too obscure, Santa Cruz bikes and Cervelo are now owned by the same holding company, Pon. In this case, it appears the bike is nearly identical to the Santa Cruz Blur, and I saved ~2K because it says "Cervelo" on it, right here in Santa Cruz.]

This picture shows the similarities, but the components are slightly different (no Transmission, so perhaps slightly older)


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Old 01-22-24, 10:09 AM
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Cervelo itself is based in Canada, and is a name usually associated with road bikes, but at least since a few years ago they were assembling bikes in the local Santa Cruz assembly plant when I went on a tour there. I think they are just testing the waters in mountain bikes (and apparently using the same frame molds as for the Blur and Juliana Wilder).
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Old 01-22-24, 10:26 AM
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Thanks; I have friends in SC (including one of the principals who started the bike company) and have been to bike shops there and rode there, but not for several years. Coincidentally (or not), my 2005 Superlite has 25K or so off road miles on it.
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Old 01-22-24, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark

This has a GX Transmission drive train. It lists for $6.5K and it was on sale for $4.25 K, so I decided to go for it. As far as I can tell, it is essentially identical to the Santa Cruz Blur (which doesn't seem to be on sale, unlike most other Santa Cruz bikes). Pon probably uses the same mold.

This is a new thing for me:
1. First XC bike (technically "down country")
2. First mountain electronic drive train.
3. First SRAM-specced bike, which I thought would never happen (I am still worrying about the brakes).
4. First full-susp since 2008.
5. First Cervelo (which I thought would never happen, but its a Blur with a label that decreased its price-tag substantially).
6. First (non-road-bike) 29-er.
7. First time my wife agreed to such a purchase (although she did try to get me to promise to get rid of 1 or 2 bikes -- I made no such promise).
8. First carbon bike.
9. First 27 lb mountain bike.
10. First dropper post.
Congrats on the new bike, I have the 120mm version of the Blur and have totally been happy with the purchase. It replaced a 100mm FS Specialized...I was originally worried that I'd be over-biked in racing scenarios, but I think the "downcountry" bikes are just right.

There are some minor differences between the ZFS5 and the Blur. The Cervelo has a slacker head tube angle and the internal routing is considerably different, but otherwise, they are very similar. The Blur frame is UHD compatible, but I think you have to get one of the premium models to get the transmission. I planned on doing some component swapping when I was buying mine, so I went with mechanical and then upgraded to the non-transmission wireless.

I wouldn't worry about Sram components. All of my mountain bikes have been Sram and zero issues. In the case of my previous XC bike, I rode it for 5 flawless years with the Level TL brakes that are likely similar/same as the brakes on your bike.
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Old 01-22-24, 12:12 PM
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That's good to know. I think I picked the wrong photo of the Blur; they have a transmission variant for about $500 more. You are right about the internal brake hose/dropper cable routing. On mine, it goes though the headset (which I think is a negative). Also, the seat post diameter is slightly smaller, which makes me wonder if the frames are slightly different. The other is they spec different suspension. My rear doesn't have a lockout.

I'm really looking forward to it. This was my most recent (2008 Fuel EX7) FS bike:


Once I got rid of the Avid Juicy brakes (after about 8 years), it was much improved.

According to my kid, who knows everything, the new stealth SRAM brakes are much better behaved (and easier to bleed).
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Old 01-22-24, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
That's good to know. I think I picked the wrong photo of the Blur; they have a transmission variant for about $500 more. You are right about the internal brake hose/dropper cable routing. On mine, it goes though the headset (which I think is a negative). Also, the seat post diameter is slightly smaller, which makes me wonder if the frames are slightly different. The other is they spec different suspension. My rear doesn't have a lockout.

I'm really looking forward to it. This was my most recent (2008 Fuel EX7) FS bike:


Once I got rid of the Avid Juicy brakes (after about 8 years), it was much improved.

According to my kid, who knows everything, the new stealth SRAM brakes are much better behaved (and easier to bleed).
The cable routing did push me towards the Santa Cruz, but I'd pick either bike if the price is right. I think I read some press blurb about the Cervelo forgoing the use of some internal routing "sleeves" that are found on the Santa Cruz and that it cut weight down compared to the Blur. The Cervelo also has about 1/2 degree slacker head than the Blur.

The Santa Cruz came in a build that worked for me...I already had lightweight wheels that I was going to throw on it, and I needed to buy a shock for my outgoing XC bike anyway, so going with a lower-spec Santa Cruz made sense for me. I took the stock Fox float off, put it on my old bike, and upgraded to a Fox factory shock(highly recommend this shock.) The fork is still a Rockshox SID, so a bit of a mismatch there. I did the wireless shifting upgrade and now I'm at 26lbs, which I think is fairly good for a 120mm travel bike with a dropper...the Cervelo starts out with a lighter frame, so I'm probably giving up 1/2lb or so of frame weight to your bike.

My Fox Factory is the more of the trail shock vs pure race shock, so although it has a lockout, it's not remote. What is cool, is the Fox has adjustable compression when in the open mode. The SID fork has adjustable compression rather than a lockout. I don't really think the lockout is a big deal...these newer suspension geometries pedal so well, that a lockout is completely unnecessary IMO. It's not like my old 120mm trail bike from a decade ago, that bike was a bouncy mess on fire road climbs.

On anything remotely technical, that Cervelo is going to be a massive improvement over your old Trek. I'm riding trails on my Blur that I previously only rode on my 160mm enduro bike, it's so much more capable than even my fairly modern '18 Specialized epic with 100mm F/R was.
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Old 01-22-24, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
The cable routing did push me towards the Santa Cruz, but I'd pick either bike if the price is right. I think I read some press blurb about the Cervelo forgoing the use of some internal routing "sleeves" that are found on the Santa Cruz and that it cut weight down compared to the Blur.
Routing "sleeves" would be worth every penny/gram.

The Cervelo also has about 1/2 degree slacker head than the Blur.
Might be because of the fork, rather than the frame?

The Santa Cruz came in a build that worked for me...I already had lightweight wheels that I was going to throw on it, and I needed to buy a shock for my outgoing XC bike anyway, so going with a lower-spec Santa Cruz made sense for me. I took the stock Fox float off, put it on my old bike, and upgraded to a Fox factory shock(highly recommend this shock.) The fork is still a Rockshox SID, so a bit of a mismatch there. I did the wireless shifting upgrade and now I'm at 26lbs, which I think is fairly good for a 120mm travel bike with a dropper...the Cervelo starts out with a lighter frame, so I'm probably giving up 1/2lb or so of frame weight to your bike.
​​​​​​​

It is all a radical improvement from what I am used to. Mine weights 27 lb without pedals, fwiw. Tires, sealant, aluminum handlebar (SC specs theirs with a carbon bar) might be the main differences.

​​​​​​​My Fox Factory is the more of the trail shock vs pure race shock, so although it has a lockout, it's not remote. What is cool, is the Fox has adjustable compression when in the open mode. The SID fork has adjustable compression rather than a lockout. I don't really think the lockout is a big deal...these newer suspension geometries pedal so well, that a lockout is completely unnecessary IMO. It's not like my old 120mm trail bike from a decade ago, that bike was a bouncy mess on fire road climbs.
​​​​​​​

I still have a lot to learn. (I was amazed by how well the SID fork [I thought] locked out.)

​​​​​​​On anything remotely technical, that Cervelo is going to be a massive improvement over your old Trek. I'm riding trails on my Blur that I previously only rode on my 160mm enduro bike, it's so much more capable than even my fairly modern '18 Specialized epic with 100mm F/R was.
Yeah, I actually have a better ride on my (rigid) steel all-road/gravel bike than with that Trek. I took that Trek to Moab about 8 months after I broke my ankle 11 years ago, and it really undermined my confidence.
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Old 01-22-24, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Routing "sleeves" would be worth every penny/gram.



Might be because of the fork, rather than the frame?



It is all a radical improvement from what I am used to. Mine weights 27 lb without pedals, fwiw. Tires, sealant, aluminum handlebar (SC specs theirs with a carbon bar) might be the main differences.

​​​​​​​

I still have a lot to learn. (I was amazed by how well the SID fork [I thought] locked out.)



Yeah, I actually have a better ride on my (rigid) steel all-road/gravel bike than with that Trek. I took that Trek to Moab about 8 months after I broke my ankle 11 years ago, and it really undermined my confidence.
Further research, the "routing sleeves" is really just a poor marketing term. They're talking about the reinforced areas on the Santa Cruz, where the cables enter the frame.

The forks are all either 100 or 120mm options, and the seat tube angle I think is the same between the 2, so I think the frames are different molds. I've heard some speculation that the Cervelo might be a preview of what the next gen Blur is going to be, as I think the Blur has been out for a couple of years already.

I've got alloy bars as well, my weight savings are from the wheels and tires that I'm running on my "race" set up. Stock wheels/tires brings it up above 28lbs IIRC.

I used bad terminology in reference to the SID fork. It's actually a 3 position lockout, I was thinking more of the Lyrik fork on my enduro that doesn't really have what I'd call a lockout. This is compared to the old Rockshox forks that were only open or locked out. I leave mine in the middle mode 95% of the time. Mine doesn't have a remote for the fork, but I could change that. The SID performs well, I have no complaints there...the only gripe is that they're known for internal bushing wear. I'll cross that bridge when I get there, or go Fox Factory if I stumble upon a good deal on one.

The geometry on the modern bikes is so much better for anything other than fire roads or groomed singletrack. I got my first full suspension back in 2012 (Felt 26'er w/120mm travel) and I thought it was going to open up a world of riding opportunities compared to my old hardtails and rigids. I was wrong and realized that it didn't offer much more capabilities, but just made the existing trails much more comfortable. I used to ride some ultra technical terrain on a borrowed downhill bike, but was turned off by the weight and gearing to seriously put miles on a downhill bike. Fast forward to 2018, I got that Specialized epic and got into cross country racing...fast and lightweight, it smoked by old trail bike. Shortly afterwards, I also got my 160mm enduro bike and that opened up a whole bunch of riding opportunities. I could ride all the same places I did on the downhill bike, but also cover about 5x the distance.

Anyway, enough rambling on my part...that Cervelo is a sweet ride.​​​​​​​
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Old 01-22-24, 03:53 PM
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Congratulations on the new bike. Just chiming in Because of the wife wants you to sell a couple bikes comment . I bought (stole) my first Surly because of that situation. Surly Steamroller like new with a few upgrades for $300 in 2012 . And he pointed me to a N.O.S. long haul trucker frame in my size and a discontinued color that I wanted that I also got at a good price.
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Old 01-22-24, 03:56 PM
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Nice looking bike!!!

I would not worry about the SRAM brakes. 3 bikes in my household have SRAM brakes and there have been zero issues. The oldest ones are from 2018.
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Old 01-23-24, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by plumberroy
Congratulations on the new bike. Just chiming in Because of the wife wants you to sell a couple bikes comment . I bought (stole) my first Surly because of that situation. Surly Steamroller like new with a few upgrades for $300 in 2012 . And he pointed me to a N.O.S. long haul trucker frame in my size and a discontinued color that I wanted that I also got at a good price.
This may sound really stupid for inanimate objects, but I would prefer to see an old (but good) bike go to a good new home where it would be appreciated, rather than make a few bucks.

Sounds like that happened with that dude's bikes. Congratulations.
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Old 01-23-24, 08:55 PM
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Today the remaining (large) bike was back up to $6500. I wonder what happened?
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Old 02-15-24, 09:46 PM
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PSA: Now on sale for 35% off (i.e, what I paid) everywhere. This is a screaming deal when compared to the list price for the corresponding Blur.
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Old 02-15-24, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
PSA: Now on sale for 35% off (i.e, what I paid) everywhere. This is a screaming deal when compared to the list price for the corresponding Blur.
I got the e-mail today from Mike's Bikes. You can pick up the 120mm Cervelo ZSF5 with the non-transmission GX mechanical for $3400. That's a screaming deal IMO for a non-consumer direct bike. They had some crazy deals on the hard tail Cervelos too...I'm firmly in the full-suspension camp, but I have been thinking about building a drop bar MTB out of a hard-tail. I need another bike like I need a hole in my head, but it is fun to think about.
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Old 02-16-24, 05:52 PM
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I built up a steel drop-bar hard-tail (it also has a rigid fork in addition to the Manitou Machette I got from chain reaction for $185. Unfortunately, it is so hard to pedal up hill, I used it for an e-bike conversion.

My useable drop-bar mountain bike is my (rigid) gravel/all-road bike.
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