Here’s yet more evidence that disc-brake equipped road bikes are on the way in the shape of the aero Culprit Croz Blade.
Culprit is a brand spanking new brand from Taiwan although the head honch is Joshua Colp from the US. He’s been working for Trigon for the past few years and his former employer will be actually making the bikes. Culprit will be selling direct to customers worldwide.
The Croz Blade is an aero road bike with a front triangle taken straight from Trigon. It’s a full carbon monocoque that uses a blend of unidirectional and 3K Toray 800 carbon. It comes with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in up top, 1 1/2in at the bottom) and, like the majority of high-end performance bikes these days, it has an oversized bottom bracket: a BB30. Out back, super-skinny seatstays are designed to increase comfort.
In terms of equipment, you can go for Shimano Di2 or Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting or go for a mechanical set up. Either way, the routing is internal. The big news, though, is that you get two brake build options – TRP TTV linear pull (V-style) or hydraulic disc brakes. A TRP Parabox underneath the stem converts the cable-pull levers to hydraulic power.
Go for disc brakes and you’ll need a 160mm rotor at the front and either a 140mm or 160mm option at the back. The idea is that the disc brake mount points are unobtrusive enough that the bike will look okay if you go with V-brakes, while a cable stop underneath the bottom bracket is designed to improve the braking performance.
Another big feature is that you get to choose from five different colour options, five decal options, and you can go for either a matt or a gloss finish. You’ll be able to make your selection on the Culprit website when you put in your order. You can also get matching culprit components including the stem, bars, wheels (they’re full-carbon clinchers) and chainset for a uniform look. The aero seatpost comes with three different clamp position options so you get a huge amount of scope to alter the effective seat angle.
Culprit are aiming to get each bike painted within three weeks of receiving an order and then delivered anywhere in the world 1-2 weeks after that. Oh, and one other interesting point: with every bike order you get a set of Culprit bike clothing, a torque wrench so you don’t damage that carbon, and a carbon fibre bottle cage.
Culprit quote a 56cm frame weight of 1,150g (raw finish), 470g for the fork (again, raw finish). The frameset – frame, fork, headset, seatpost, front and rear brakes – will be priced at $2,595 (about £1,640 at today’s exchange rate).
The Croz Blade will be available in various different builds, The complete bike with TTV brakes and a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, for example, will be priced at $5,695 (about £3,600 at today’s exchange rates). That price includes shipping but it doesn’t include any taxes or duties.
Culprit have two other adult bikes in the range: a road bike and a triathlon/TT bike…
The road bike is the Arrow One which is UCI approved. Culprit thought it was important to go for the sticker as a statement of intent: they want customers to be able to race their bike at the highest level.
This bike is full carbon (unidirectional/3K Toray 800) with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in to 1 1/2in) , a BB30 bottom bracket and internal cable routing designed for either electronic or mechanical shifting.
Culprit give the frame weight as 940g (54cm). They felt that if they’d gone any lighter they’d sacrifice stiffness and they didn’t want to do that. The fork is 385g. Again, you can select the colour and finish for yourself. The frameset is $2,195 (£1,386) and complete bikes start at $4,495 (£2,839); that’s for a Shimano Ultegra build.
The Bullet triathlon/TT bike is made from the same materials with the rear brake hidden away underneath the bottom bracket. The frame is said to be 1,400g with the fork 440g. The frameset is $2,049 (£1,294).
Finally, check out the Junior One. As the name– and the size – suggests, it’s a kids’ bike. That frame is triple butted 7005 Series Alloy and the fork is 7005 too. You get some high-quality components on here – the mechs and cassette are Shimano 105, for example. The complete bike weighs in at 7.9kg.
Naturally, it costs a lot more than a standard kids’ bike too. You’re looking at $1,550 (£980), but maybe your little treasure is worth it.
The Culprit website is www.culpritbicycles.com and it should be live any time now for shipping starting from October, depending on the model.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.