This article originally published on BikeRadar
Many seasoned cyclo-cross racers looking to make the switch to disc brakes are faced with a dilemma: they want the better braking performance but what about race wheels? Specialized takes some of the guesswork out of that equation with its new CruX Pro Race Red Disc, which includes a set of aluminum clinchers for training and a pair of carbon fiber tubulars for race day.
We've reviewed various rim brake versions of the carbon fiber CruX in the past and have generally been very impressed. Specialized says the CruX was designed to be a "Tarmac for the dirt" and the company has largely succeeded with road-bike-like responsiveness, light chassis weights, and agile, low-slung geometries that are well suited to fast and twisty courses typical of North American racing.
As the name suggests, the CruX Pro Race Red Disc is built for racing straight out of the box with a wise component choice that strikes a good balance between performance and replacement cost – because as most 'cross racers know, crashing (and breaking things) is typically part of the deal. A mostly complete SRAM Red 22 group keeps things light while Force front and rear derailleurs reduce replacement costs without sacrificing shifting performance.
Specialized swaps out the stock Red crank for its own FACT carbon fiber setup fitted with CX-specific 46/36T chainrings backed with a SRAM chain keeper to prevent throwing the chain to the inside. As usual, the Specialized label is also applied to the finishing kit, including the semi-anatomic aluminum bar and angle-adjustable forged aluminum stem, the Zertz-enhanced carbon fiber seatpost, and the firmly supportive Phenom saddle.
For your local Wednesday Worlds mid-week workout, Specialized includes a set of DT Axis 2.0 aluminum clincher wheels shod with versatile Tracer Sport tires for all-around training use on both dirt and pavement. They're not particularly light – and unfortunately, the rims aren't particularly wide, either – but they'll certainly get the job done when the stopwatch isn't running.
Actual weight with the alloy wheels (but without pedals) is 8.60kg (18.96lb).
Also included in the US$6,300 asking price, however, are a set of Roval Rapide CL 40 carbon fiber wheels wrapped with a more aggressive set of Terra tubulars for race day – all set up with a lighter-weight set of rotors and an additional cassette to minimize prep time the night before the gun goes off. Subbing in the carbon wheelset brings the weight down to a more competitive 7.79kg (17.17lb).
'Cross season is already well underway here in Colorado so we should hopefully have a complete review for you in a few weeks. Off to the races!
With no need to accommodate rim brakes, tire clearance on the disc-specific Specialized CruX Pro Race Red Disc is excellent at both ends.