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Pro bike: Elle Anderson's Specialized CruX Pro Race

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Elle Anderson (California Giant) has been on a tear this season riding Specialized's CruX Pro Race

Elle Anderson (California Giant) has been on a tear this season riding Specialized's CruX Pro Race (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear derailleur housing's exit point atop the dropout doesn't just yield a clean aesthetic. It also keeps the housing out of the way for faster wheel changes

The rear derailleur housing's exit point atop the dropout doesn't just yield a clean aesthetic. It also keeps the housing out of the way for faster wheel changes (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson's (California Giant) Specialized Oura Pro saddle is slammed way back on the rails, even with the setback Zipp Service Course SL seatpost

Elle Anderson's (California Giant) Specialized Oura Pro saddle is slammed way back on the rails, even with the setback Zipp Service Course SL seatpost (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson (California Giant) runs without SRAM's integrated chain catcher

Elle Anderson (California Giant) runs without SRAM's integrated chain catcher (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While many companies prefer to tuck the rear disc caliper inside the rear triangle, Specialized goes with a more conventional spot behind the seat stay

While many companies prefer to tuck the rear disc caliper inside the rear triangle, Specialized goes with a more conventional spot behind the seat stay (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson (California Giant) is running 140mm-diameter rotors front and rear

Elle Anderson (California Giant) is running 140mm-diameter rotors front and rear (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bulbous bottom bracket shell houses a 30mm-diameter spindle

The bulbous bottom bracket shell houses a 30mm-diameter spindle (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing are practically standard issue in the top tiers of cyclo-cross

Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing are practically standard issue in the top tiers of cyclo-cross (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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No, you're not seeing things. Elle Anderson (California Giant) really does race on old Time ATAC Carbon pedals

No, you're not seeing things. Elle Anderson (California Giant) really does race on old Time ATAC Carbon pedals (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The flared seat tube's transition from round up top to rectangular down below contributes to the frame's road bike-like responsiveness

The flared seat tube's transition from round up top to rectangular down below contributes to the frame's road bike-like responsiveness (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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As is the case with most SRAM-sponsored 'crossers, Elle Anderson (California Giant) pairs a Red 22 rear derailleur with a SRAM PG-1170 cassette for its greater mud clearing abilities

As is the case with most SRAM-sponsored 'crossers, Elle Anderson (California Giant) pairs a Red 22 rear derailleur with a SRAM PG-1170 cassette for its greater mud clearing abilities (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Standard 46/36-tooth chainrings for Elle Anderson (California Giant)

Standard 46/36-tooth chainrings for Elle Anderson (California Giant) (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson (California Giant) is using SRAM's new Red 22 HRD hydraulic disc brakes this season

Elle Anderson (California Giant) is using SRAM's new Red 22 HRD hydraulic disc brakes this season (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson (California Giant) was originally slated to ride a Specialized S-Works CruX but a late frame size change pushed the schedule back a bit. Expect to see her on the company's more typical red, white, and black livery in a few weeks

Elle Anderson (California Giant) was originally slated to ride a Specialized S-Works CruX but a late frame size change pushed the schedule back a bit. Expect to see her on the company's more typical red, white, and black livery in a few weeks (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson (California Giant) has been on a tear this season, sweeping both the Gran Prix of Gloucester and the Trek Cyclocross Collective Cup

Elle Anderson (California Giant) has been on a tear this season, sweeping both the Gran Prix of Gloucester and the Trek Cyclocross Collective Cup (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Barely a week had passed since the tragic death of cyclo-cross racer Amy Dombroski when the Boulder Cup came to town so she was in the hearts and minds of most of the field

Barely a week had passed since the tragic death of cyclo-cross racer Amy Dombroski when the Boulder Cup came to town so she was in the hearts and minds of most of the field (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The widely set and broad legged tapered carbon fork leaves plenty of room for mud to pass through

The widely set and broad legged tapered carbon fork leaves plenty of room for mud to pass through (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The hourglass-shaped head tube is reminiscent of Specialized's road-going Tarmac range

The hourglass-shaped head tube is reminiscent of Specialized's road-going Tarmac range (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A small indentation on the underside of the down tube makes it slightly easier to grab

A small indentation on the underside of the down tube makes it slightly easier to grab (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There's heaps of tire clearance through the seat stays

There's heaps of tire clearance through the seat stays (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elle Anderson's (California Giant) bike was set up with fast-rolling Dugast Small Bird tubulars the morning before the Boulder Cup

Elle Anderson's (California Giant) bike was set up with fast-rolling Dugast Small Bird tubulars the morning before the Boulder Cup (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Zipp SL-70 Ergo bars feature a subtle ergonomic bend

Zipp SL-70 Ergo bars feature a subtle ergonomic bend (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cyclo-cross racers frequently travel with their bikes. Small markings like this are a smart way to ensure that everything is consistent from one weekend to the next

Cyclo-cross racers frequently travel with their bikes. Small markings like this are a smart way to ensure that everything is consistent from one weekend to the next (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Elle Anderson (California Giant) is only in her third consistent year racing cyclo-cross at the elite level. She's clearly a fast learner, though, with stellar early season results that include clean weekend sweeps in both Gloucester and Madison. Anderson is riding Specialized's CruX Pro Race and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Anderson says that much of her fitness comes from racing on the road during the summer but credits her alpine ski racing background (she attended the same Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont as late CX racer Amy Dombroski) for her handling prowess on the 'cross circuit.

"I think that my balance on the bike really comes from my ski racing days, when I'm turning and bouncing over all different types of terrain," she told BikeRadar Sunday morning before the Boulder Cup. "That's definitely a core part of the skill set of a ski racer – knowing what line to take, knowing how to shift your weight fore and aft as you're cornering. A lot of times I find myself enjoying the really twisty, turny 'cross courses because it just reminds me of a ski race."

Anderson says a recent bike fit at Specialized HQ in Morgan Hill, California has helped, too.

"Bike fit is really important because it really just allows you to be so comfortable on the bike, with cornering, or preventing lower back strain, or knee problems, or whatever. Having a really dialed fit helps with the confidence but also the longevity of the season so you can just rely on that solid position and count on it every time."

Astute readers will note that Anderson is currently on Specialized's second-tier CruX Pro frame and not the flagship S-Works version – a slight hiccup that was actually created as a result of that fit session.

"I had previously said that I was on a 52cm frame but we decided that I was better suited for a 49cm because it allowed me to get a little more drop in the front," she said. "[We went with] more reach and more drop because I have pretty good flexibility and can ride that position. That was interesting for me because I had never considered those geometries before."

Anderson runs an unusually generous amount of drop for a shorter rider

"We changed the frame size after the initial order was put through so the paint job for my bikes right now doesn't match the team paint job," she explained. "I should be getting some matching team frames later this season."

Anderson's build kit is very straightforward with few surprises, including a SRAM Red 22 HRD group, aluminum Zipp Service Course SL cockpit components, and matching Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Disc wheels wrapped with supple Dugast tires. Naturally, the Oura Pro saddle and grippy Roubaix bar tape come from Specialized's own in-house parts bin.

Anderson says she's really happy with the overall responsiveness of the bike but it's the disc brakes that have really won her over.

"I had never been on disc brakes before I got on this bike just a couple of months ago. That was a really cool moment. The responsiveness I felt the first time I got on the bike and the control, the modulation, was nothing like I've ever had before. That's been really fun."

Total weight as pictured is 7.75kg (17.09lb).

Not surprisingly, such a cut-and-dried setup makes the mechanics happy, too.

"She's super nice and super easy to work with," said team mechanic Hunter Veloz. "We've had no problems with her."

Anderson does apparently receive near-universal chiding for one equipment choice, though – her old Time ATAC Carbon pedals, which date all the way back to 2008.

"I get kind of a hard time with those pedals," she confessed. "I just don't know – pedals are one of those things where I just recycle them year to year. Maybe it's time for an upgrade but sometimes you just get used to what you've always had. I don't mind them."

As the saying goes, there's no sense in fixing something that isn't broken. Few would argue that so far, it all seems to be working pretty darn well, too.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Specialized CruX Pro Race, 49cm
Fork: Specialized CruX Pro Race
Headset: 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in integrated
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL, 110mm x -6°
Handlebars: Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo, 38cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix
Front brake: SRAM Red 22 hydraulic disc, 140mm rotor
Rear brake: SRAM Red 22 hydraulic disc, 140mm rotor
Brake levers: SRAM Red 22 Hydro Shifter
Front derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Shift levers: SRAM Red 22 Hydro Shifter
Cassette: SRAM PG-1170, 11-28T
Chain: SRAM Red 22
Crankset: SRAM Red 22 BB30, 170mm, 46/36T
Bottom bracket: Truvativ PF30
Pedals: Time ATAC Carbon
Wheelset: Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Disc
Front tire: Dugast Small Bird tubular, 33mm
Rear tire: Dugast Small Bird tubular, 33mm
Saddle: Specialized Oura Pro, 155mm
Seat post: Zipp Service Course SL, 20mm setback
Bottle cages: n/a
Computer: n/a
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.68m (5ft 6in)
Rider's weight: 61kg (135lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 698mm
Saddle setback: 62mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 490mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 465mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 513mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 58mm
Head tube length: 115mm
Top tube length: 513mm (effective)
Total bicycle weight: 7.75kg (17.09lb)

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