What makes the new Crux different?
When we released the all-new Crux model for 2022, the news was met with a great deal of hype and hysteria. Ever the game changers, our new model takes a slight step away from its pure cyclocross racing family and makes the move into the gravel scene, making it a bike that can truly do it all. The new Crux is aimed at riders looking for “gravel enlightenment” but there is much more to it than just that, including an eye-wateringly lightweight build.
If you caught our re-introduction to every cyclist’s favourite winter pursuit in 'Cyclocross is back', you would have seen a brief overview of the new Crux, but this week we’re going to take a detailed look at what makes this bike so special.
The all-important specs
The 2022 Crux was designed to tackle a high-octane cyclocross race on the Sunday, and then be ready for a multi-terrain commute the next. It achieves this remarkable balance thanks to a few key changes, some of which we will investigate in more detail later.
Looking at the top of the range S-Works Crux, you can see that the bike is spec’d with SRAM’s elite level RED eTap AXS hydraulic disc groupset, lightweight and durable Roval Terra CLX Disc wheels with 2Bliss Ready 700x38mm Pathfinder Pro tyres. As you progress through the range, you will find that these components change to fit the price point but lose minimal performance edge. These all work in unison to provide you with a comfortable multi-purpose bike, with a race mentality at its core.
The 2022 Crux range marks a leap forward in the multi-discipline, multi-purpose bike sector. This bike isn’t just for leisurely rides on wide gravel highways, but rather to be ridden at its most frantic and fast pace, both on and off road. This isn’t a couch bike by any means, there is no suspension system like on the Diverge, and no in-built frame storage or eyelets for racks because this is not a bikepacker. Instead, it’s a racer for every day of the week. This mixing of disciplines is what has provoked the largest reaction, but hey, if it’s good enough for Remco Evenepoel…
Arguably the most striking thing about the new Crux is its weight. At just 725 grams (for a 56cm frame), the S-Works model is the world’s lightest gravel bike. In comparison, the previous S-Works model came in at 950 grams. It got down to this mark by taking inspiration and features from the Aethos climbing bike. A lighter threaded bottom bracket also replaces the BB30 version, and the external seat post collar returns. Besides the frame, the Crux also takes features from the Aethos’s internal cable and derailleur mounting, utilising the same interchangeable plate system for better cable management.
Of course, the S-Works is the lightest, but the entire range benefits from the same FACT 12r fork and they’re all SRAM-equipped, with the base model featuring a mechanical Rival 1 drivetrain.
The future, past, present is 1x
Dropping the front derailleur in favour of a 1x setup has been all the rage in cyclocross over the last couple of seasons, and for good reason. Once you race on a 1x there really is no going back. Delivering a super quiet and dependable ride, 1x systems let you focus on your ride rather than worrying about shifting through a wide range of gears mid-race. There is nothing quite as frustrating in a race than shipping your chain because you forgot to put it in the big ring for the bumpy descent, and on rugged terrain, you’ve got one less moving part, one less derailleur, rattling around and getting gunked up with dust or mud. Sure, it may take a while to adjust, but the positives far out-weigh the negatives, and it’s great for gravel races and commutes too.
The 2022 Crux has also had a few tweaks to its geometry, including a 10mm increase to the reach, a lower bottom bracket with a 3mm drop and a 9mm longer wheelbase across the size range. All in all, these changes make it a more stable geometry, keeping weight distribution further to the rear of the bike, which in turn improves handling on steep terrain and at higher speeds.
Go super wide
Lastly, because the Crux is not just about cyclocross racing but also gravel pursuits, the clearances have been increased. The tyre clearance has gone from 33mm to 47mm, bringing it in line with the Diverge.
To find out more about the new Crux, come down to one of our stores, get yourself fitted and start carving some off-road routes. Speak to one of our friendly staff members, get a feel for which is the most comfortable, and learn all about the innovations we’re making at Specialized.
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