Specialized S-Works Crux 2022
The Specialized S-Works Crux is an exceptional gravel bike for fast riding and excels on the cyclocross course. The lightweight package is combined with brilliant low-speed stability that makes this insanely good at climbing, and it's a blast to ride on the lanes too. This machine will best suit racers and roadies who want a fast bike for mixed surfaces. Oh, and it’s outstandingly expensive although there are less pricey models available in the lineup too.
Climbing is the Crux's party trick and it isn't just good for winching your way up the steep stuff, it’s impressive when things get technical, the low weight making it super easy to pop the front wheel up. The bike displays impressive slow-speed stability too.
Where the Crux really shines is when you’re piecing together gravel sections with stretches of road. The bike is so nippy that twisty back lanes are some of the best places to ride this bike.
Specialized has used the same frame layup tech that it developed for the Aethos. In essence, the tube shapes do away with the need to reinforce certain areas with extra material. Less resin gets used and thus you have a lighter frame.
The geometry is tweaked from the old Crux, and while it isn't a full-on adventure bike geometry, it is more gravel bike than cyclocross racer. The idea is to give you a bit more stability on the faster gravel paths while still being nimble enough to throw around the tight turns of a cyclocross course.
Stupidly expensive it might be, but the Crux is a brilliant bike. It climbs incredibly well and is a barrel of laughs in the corners. It's not going to be your first pick for adventure riding, but for the fast, hilly riding that it is designed for, it is exceptional.