Turn up to any cyclocross race wherever you are in the world, and there’s a very strong chance you’ll see a bunch of Specialized Crux models darting around between the race tape. As one of the most popular cyclocross race bikes on the market, the Crux owes much of its success to a combination of sorted components, a powerful and responsive frame, and capable off-road geometry that gives the rider plenty of confidence when dropping the front wheel down steep grassy slopes. Compared to the Specialized Roubaix and Sequoia, the Crux still features drop bars and disc brakes, but it comes with tighter race-oriented geometry and additional mud clearance for its grippy knobbly tyres. Whether you’re after a cyclocross specific race bike, or simply a versatile dirt-digger that’s up for long backcountry training rides beyond the bitumen, the Specialized Crux can really do it all.
Available in both carbon and alloy frame options, the Crux frame features some of the same technologies drawn from Specialized’s top-end road racing frames, including a BB30-compatible crankset and a tapered head tube. Ideal for wet weather protection, the Crux frame also features hidden sealed bearings for the headset and bottom bracket, and all the cables run internally through the frame with rubber ports sealing the cables from the elements. As a bike that’s designed for riding through the worst conditions imaginable, the Crux comes stock with powerful disc brakes that offer improved stopping force over rim brakes when things get wet and muddy. Sure, cantilever brakes may be the traditionalists choice for cyclocross racing, but any rider unconcerned with out-dated traditions will value the clear advantages of a disc brake system. If you’re not so fussed on racing however, the Crux still makes for a versatile all-terrain bicycle. And with mounts for two bottle cages in the main triangle, it’s ready to take you on adventures deep into the wilderness and away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle.
The Crux Expert X1 is the top-end model in the range, and comes complete with SRAM hydraulic disc brakes and a neat 1x drivetrain that skips the front derailleur in favour of a wide-range cassette out back.
Riding typeCX Racing
Drive trainSRAM Rival
Gear ratios1x11 CX
Frame buildCarbon Mid
Light weight and high tech on a budget