2005 Santa Cruz Blur LT lockdown 2 build


Old School Hero
After lockdown #1 and my 1992 Kona Explosif Pro restomod build https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/1992-explosif-pro-project.415424/ I decided I enjoyed it so much I wanted to build something a bit more modern. Having never had a full-susser before, that was the route I wanted to take. So research began on what frame to base it on. Originally I was going to stick with Kona with a Coiler or Stinky but after reading loads of reviews, opinions etc, I decided on a Santa Cruz Blur LT. Specifically the LT (Long Travel) as, if I was going to do this, it was going to be properly done!

So the search started for a frame. Ebay, Gumtree, Facebook market, on here, Pinkbike and everywhere I could think of to find something suitable. After losing out on Ebay bidding wars at the last second several times (so frustrating) I won a light blue/silver "Blur LT". Now, in my excitement of finally winning and the sellers images that were, to be frank, not that revealing, I had not noticed the straight top tube. The Blur LT has a kinked top tube. So a query was raised as to exactly what I had won. Turns out it was a Blur XC frame (much shorter travel). The seller was fine with refunding me as he had advertised it for his son and been told it was a Blur LT. It has since been re-listed and sold as an XC.

And so my epic tale continues! 2 more snipes on auctions (does anyone else detest this practice? It always seems underhanded to me, possibly because its happened several times) and I finally won what seemed to be a decent condition frame. Ebay seemed to be the place for Blur frames - although I have not seen one on there since.

The frame was duly posted and received. It was, umm, ok. Paintwork was dull, bearings were grinding and the graphics were shabby. New bearings were ordered and the search began in earnest for parts. I had a specific list of what I wanted.

Between ordering the frame and arrival, I became another year older and my partner bought me a really nice workshop stand to build it up properly, unlike the old Black and Decker workbench I did the Kona on!

The bearings arrived and I took a little trip to my local Santa Cruz dealer to have the old ones removed. I had tried to but the damn things were really in there!

**Shout out to www.thebikestable.co.uk in Grimsby here - there were brilliant, helpful, enthusiastic and did what was asked for a reasonable price, even looking through his parts box for a small bit I was missing and giving my lad some stickers. Everything you could want from your LBS.**

They reckon the bearings were the original 2005 ones! 15 years old. No wonder they were grinding! 45 mins later (and some concerning hammer noises at the time!) the new ones were in and, much to my relief, no damage to the frame. Upon arriving home again, I clamped it in my new stand and closely inspected the paint and graphics. A visit into my garage and coming out with 2 buckets full of various tools, cloths and polishes, work began. 4 hours later, the frame has its shine back, the graphics were repaired or removed if they were beyond saving.

So. Parts to fit started arriving and the build started. I didn't document this build as thoroughly as my previous as I started it without having everything there. Plus, I just wanted to get on with it!

Thanks for reading this far and I'll continue with more details and the all-important pics in a sec. I need coffee...


Old School Hero
The frame is a 2005 Blur LT. Arrived as a bare frame (no shock, BB or anything else attached - full parts list at the bottom once all pics uploaded!)

The colour is an odd one. In all my research I've not seen another in this. Its a very dark green, almost black in some light but when sunlight hits, there is a violet pearl that pops out. Its definitely the original paint but I can find no reference to it on any forum or Santa Cruz's website. It would be nice to know what its called, if its a factory option paint or was specified as a one-off custom job. I know Kona definitely used to offer that service and as Santa Cruz are a more boutique lower volume manufacturer, I would be surprised if this was not the case.

First pic: Frame with new bearings, shock with new bushings and BB fitted.


  • IMG_05042021_115004_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    799.4 KB · Views: 15
Last edited:


Old School Hero
Headset going in (same press I made to do my Kona), Forks and stem on, bars on and brakes starting to be fitted.


  • IMG_05042021_115030_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    527.5 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_05042021_115059_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    716 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_05042021_115121_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    736.8 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG_05042021_115139_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    690.5 KB · Views: 17
Last edited:


Old School Hero
Cranks and gears going on, wheels on and almost done!


  • IMG_05042021_115204_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    847.1 KB · Views: 11
  • IMG_05042021_115225_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    840.7 KB · Views: 11
  • IMG_05042021_115244_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    839.1 KB · Views: 11


Old School Hero
Finished! At this point the bars have been changed and the Answer carbon flat ones are back in the parts bin as they made the riding position slightly too low.


  • IMG_05042021_115313_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 23
  • IMG_05042021_115330_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 23
  • IMG_05042021_115352_(2000_x_1500_pixel).jpg
    903.7 KB · Views: 22


Old School Hero
Ok. The parts list! There were very few compromises from my original list. Forks I could change at some point and the grips were some spares I had. I'd have liked Hope skewers too but if I change the fork, it may be a thru-axle one.

Frame: 2005 Santa Cruz Blur LT
Fork: Rockshox Tora 130mm (not 100% on these. May change if I find others I like)
Rear shock: Rockshox Monarch RT3 high volume
Hubs: Hope Hoops
Rims: DTSwiss EX5.10
Tyres: Schwalbe Albert (F) and Hans Dampf (R)
Skewers: ETC
Seatpost: ETC (dropper at some point)
Seatpost clamp: Hope gunsmoke
Saddle: DMR OiOi camo
Stem: eXotic (may change to a shorter Hope one)
Bars: Nukeproof 800mm riser
Grips: Cannondale Coda (will be DMR deathgrips at some point)
Brake levers: Hope Tech Evo
Brake calipers: Hope M4
Brake rotors: 203mm Avid front and rear
Brake hoses: Hope
Headset: FSA Orbit MX
BB: Shimano Hollowtech 2
Shifters: Shimano XT
Cranks: Shimano XT
Front derailleur: Shimano XT
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT
Cassette: Shimano XT
Pedals: Kona Jackshit
Chain: SRAM
Lights by Cateye as I ride on the road a little to get anywhere!
A handful of zipties to tidy cables and stop them flapping
A touch of insulating tape to protect the brake hose when mounted
A few patches of helicopter tape to help protect against frame rub and stone chips
Crudguard (old skool :D )
Spare bottle cage that may actually get a bottle at some point!
Splashguards/mudguards to be done differently soon.

Thats it for now! It rides beautifully and stops like it hit a wall (LOVE those Hope brakes!) It will be taken out on proper trails when a chance arises.
Last edited:


Dirt Disciple
Wow very timely article for me. I have 2005 Blur coming in the post today for my 2nd lock down build. Nice looking build.


Old School Hero
Thank you! I finished it about 3 weeks ago but been back at work since. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on one!

This was pretty much my perfect spec. Although I have a Hope addiction, I couldnt justify the cost of their cranks too! Any bearings or friction material was new. Most of the rest was excellent condition used. Cranks were one of my star bargains though - used once, as new condition for £50. And the rear shock, similar story- seller preferred a coil shock on his Nukeproof Mega so took this off and it was mine for just £40!

I have a spare Hope Tech 2 brake lever linked to an M4 caliper set up for rear braking although if the hose was trimmed, the caliper fits my fork bracket and is spot on for the 203mm rotors. If you're interested. I got carried away on bidding and ended up with 3 brake levers and m4 calipers!


Kona Fan
Nicely done. Been thinking about doing a Blur 4x build, as I put a deposit down on one many years back, but had to cancel :(


GT Fan
Very nice :cool: The Blur is one frame I always fancied but never got around to owning (maybe one day if a tiny one appears on the 'Bay I may swap my Bullit). I remember test riding a new Blur back to back with my Heckler at the Malverns many years ago - it absolutely shone, uphill and down.