This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Intended as a pure cyclocross machine, the new CruX has no pretensions of being a gravel bike — it can leave that to the very capable Diverge.
Specialized has employed its Rider First Engineering philosophy to the CruX for the first time, meaning that every frame size is designed to best suit the size and weight of riders who are going to be using it, resulting in fine, consistent handling.
Compared to the previous CruX, the new model's frame is over 300g lighter (which size that referred to wasn't stated), although a 56cm S-Works frame can now weigh as little as 930g. Gone are the curved top tube and organic-looking fork. Gone too is the down tube indentation to assist when picking up the bike to shoulder it.
The new CruX has simple, straight lines, and some new no-nonsense features intended to improve clearance and speed.
No lack of tyre clearance with 33mm CX rubber fitted
There are four carbon and two aluminium models: the S-Works, Expert X1, Elite X1 and Sport, all in FACT 11r carbon, with the lowest two models using E5 Premium Aluminium.
The S-Works bike comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and double rings, whereas the next two models have SRAM's single ring Force and Rival setups. The remaining models having double rings too.
SRAM's Force 1 drivetrain with a 40 tooth X-Sync ring is a reliable 'cross setup
A front mech hanger can be bolted in place if required, or removed to prevent additional muck collection. All but the entry-level machine have hydraulic discs, and there's no cantilever brake option. SRAM equipped models will come with 160mm rotors front and rear, while Shimano bikes will have a 160mm front and a 140mm rear rotor.
Specialized has reverted to a 142mm rear thru-axle for simple compatibility
The carbon frames have thru-axles, with 142mm rear spacing, allowing you to use any wheels. The seatstays are bridgeless and widely spaced, and there's heaps of chainstay and fork clearance. It's optimised for 33mm rubber, maintaining the previous model's 6mm rear frame clearance.
The bridgeless seatstays also have plenty of mud clearance
The down tube has an oversized, truncated triangular profile, presumably for rigidity, but the narrower front edge is likely to collect less mud, and is easier to grab.
Lowering the clamp by 20mm allows more seatpost flex, but manufacturing tolerance does leave a small gap between post and frame
The top tube is a flattened oval from end to end for stable shouldering, and the seat clamp bolt is accessed from the left side of the top tube in front of the seat post, leaving a little more unsupported seat post for shock absorption.
The down tube has a slightly triangular profile that should collect less mud, and feels easy to grip when picking the bike up
Specialized had previously introduced shared male and female geometries for the CruX, and this continues through the seven frame sizes: 46cm to 61cm in either carbon or aluminium.
Specialized are working on a hydrophobic coating for the S-Works frame, which should prevent mud and muck from sticking to your bike but unfortunately it won't be ready for the upcoming season.
The rear disc caliper is kept safely inboard to avoid heel strikes
We've so far only managed a little hammer time with the new CruX, and again will carry out a full test just as soon as we can swing our studded racing slippers over one.
Roval's SLX 24 wheelset with previous Terra Pro mud tyres
Specialized CruX pricing
- S-Works bike: £TBC / $7500 / AU$not available
- S-Works frameset: £TBC / $2,800 / AU$4,000
- Expert X1: £TBC / $4,200 / AU$not available
- Elite X1: £TBC / $3,200 / AU$4,400
- Sport: £TBC / $2,800 / AU$not available
- Sport E5: £TBC / $2,200 / AU$not available
- E5: £TBC / $1,500 / AU$not available
Alongside the new CruX, Specialized has updated the Tracer and Terra cyclocross tyres.
The Tracer suits dry and intermediate conditions, will be available as tubular or clincher, and weighs 400g.
The Terra is a mud tyre, available in tubular or clincher, and weighs 450g.