By Symon Lewis
Specialized has overhauled three major platforms this week: Allez brings performance and a full carbon fork to the entry level market, Diverge dedicates itself to gravel/adventure road scene, which means the new Specialized Crux can go back to what it was made for and that is racing cyclocross.
Instead of a big overhaul like the other two ranges, the Crux has subtle tweaks to improve handling for fast paced cycling on typical off road terrain that you get in cyclocross.
The idea behind the bike is to make it fast, agile and easy to manoeuvre in the confines of a race course. Almost the complete opposite to the Diverge for example.
Specialized Crux gets 'Rider First Engineered'
Ride First Engineering is used for the first time in the Specialized Crux family, meaning the technology from the likes of the Tarmac, for example, follows here. This is Specialized's technology that ensures each frame size rides as it should. Riders of a 49cm frame produce different forces and weight compared to a ride on a 61cm frame, for example.
Meanwhile, different tube thicknesses and layups tune each sized bike for the best ride feel.
Crux on a diet
The Specialized Crux has been on a diet too, and is said to have lost 400g from the previous version, which will make it a bit easier to shoulder, haul it up climbs and accelerate out of slow tight bends.
As for geometry it is as you were, with the angles being much the same from the previous version. That said, it is slightly more aggressive and the reach is little longer on all sizes. Other than that you get a chunky, bridgeless rear stay - that'll help its fast handling and mud clearance - and a very similar seatpost design to the Specialized Tarmac, which really sets the bike up nicely.
Specialized also says that single ring gearing use is on the rise, so the company allows for both 1x and 2x compatibility - this can be done by fitting a clamp on front mech. Direct mount disc brakes are your only purchase option, no cantilever brakes here and the American brand goes back to 12x142 rear end standard. This will allow the use of all major bolt-thru wheel options, not only Roval.
Specialized also says it has used high tech hydrophobic paint on the S-Works models too, which is said to keep the mud from sticking and collecting on the frame. Good thing for those that don't use two bikes at a muddy cyclocross race!
Range and pricing
The Crux range is available to purchase now in four complete builds and one frameset only option which is the high end Specialized Crux S-Works.
CRUX EXPERT X1 - SRP £3,900
The Crux Expert X1 features FACT 11r carbon, SRAM Force groupset and Roval SLX 24 disc wheels.
CRUX ELITE X1 - SRP £3,000
Carbon continues for the Crux Elite x1, though you'll get SRAM Rival hydraulic groupset and Roval SLX 24 disc wheels.
CRUX SPORT E5 - £1,800
For just under £2000 you'll get Specialized's E5 premium aluminium, a carbon fork, Shimano 105 and hydraulic discs.
CRUX E5 - SRP £1,300
The entry point of the range does away with hydraulic braking for mechanical discs and a Shimano Tiagra groupset. It will also be supplied x2 on the E5 premium aluminium frame.
S-WORKS CRUX FRAMESET - SRP £2,500
The flagship model will be available in the UK as a frameset only and will set you back £2,500. For that price, though, there are CeramicSpeed bearings in the bottom bracket, Rider First Engineered technology and it will be supplied with a seatpost, too.
All bikes and frame are available to buy now well ahead of the start of the cross season.
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