Specialized’s CruX has been a very popular bike with the cyclocross racing fraternity, and for those gearing up for the race season which starts in a few months time (yes I know it's still summer), the US company has just launched its 2019 range of models.
But first, let’s talk about the paint jobs. Colour fades are used predominantly throughout the range which we think looks fabulous. Specialized has really livened up its palette in recent years with some brilliant paint jobs, refreshing after the years of fairly mundane colours. But what do you think? Hit us up with your feedback in the comments section below.
Underneath the paint, there aren’t any fundamental changes to the CruX platform. If it ain't broke etc... It’s still available in a choice of FACT carbon or E5 aluminium, with disc brakes only - there is no rim brake option - using the now common 12mm thru-axle standard, with a 142mm rear axle, and flat mount interface.
It’s a small range, featuring just four models. There’s one aluminium bike, the E5 Sport which is the most affordable pick of the bunch, and then you have three carbon bikes, the Elite, Expert and S-Works. Here are the prices:
Each of the carbon models uses the exact same FACT 11r carbon fibre frame and fork, tapered head tube, full internal cable routing and OSBB bottom bracket. Frame weight is a claimed 900g and 400g for the fork.
Last year Rider-First Engineering was introduced to the CruX for the first time. It is the company’s attempt to tune the frame for each frame size, so the layup and tube shapes are refined across the size range to account for the different requirements of different height and weight cyclists.
Due to the development of the Diverge and it full-filling the versatile do-everything role that the CruX, and most cyclocross bikes, did for many years, the CruX is much more race-focused than before. So there are no mudguard or rack mounts, and the geometry is all about agility and speed. There are two bottle cage mounts still, just in case.
All bikes are specced with 1x groupsets, there's not a sniff of a double. It does look like the aluminium frame has a front mech mount though, and a clamp-on front mech would probably fit the carbon frame.
It's clear Specialized has committed to 1x and it must feel the cyclocross market is moving in this direction. Based on my cyclocross racing experience it's clear 1x is hugely popular. It’s simple and there’s one less thing to go wrong, and there’s all the range you need for a typical cyclocross course, which by and large are flat.
While some of the models use SRAM's Force and Rival 1 groupset, a dedicated 1x11 setup, Specialized hasn't been afraid to mix-and-match Shimano components to create its own 1x drivetrain. The S-Works model combines an XTR M9050 Di2 rear mech with S-Works Power Cranks and a single Praxis chainring, with Dura-Ace hoods.
More at www.specialized.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.