- Model: CruX S-Works
- From: Specialized
- Price: £8000
Ok, lets get this out of the way first. £8000 is an astonishing amount of money for a bike, let alone one that doesn’t have suspension. I’m sure for 99% of our readership it is “too much”, it certainly is for me. Does that mean that they shouldn’t be made though? Should companies not push the boundaries of what is possible, collect the very best frame they can produce, fit the best parts possible and allow those that can afford the result to enjoy what that delivers? And that frame or those components that start off being unobtainable expensive for the masses may just filter down to the merely expensive bikes in a year or two. It may still be obscene to many, but a super bike is still significantly more affordable than a Ferrari.
Regardless of your thinking, Specialized has sold the S-Works version of its CruX cyclocross race bike for a few years. Generally we haven’t tested it for the reason listed above. It is way beyond what many of us would spend on any bike, let alone one that is expected to be ridden through awful conditions for a few months each year.
2019 see the CruX hit the £8000 mark for what is an impressive package (as you’d bloody well expect). Our man Rich Norgate drew the longest straw and will be putting the CruX to test during this year’s Yorkshire Points Series ‘cross races. We managed to convince him to take a few snaps before getting the bike dirty at the first round this weekend and give us something to drool over on an autumnal Monday. Enjoy.
Beginning with the frame, this is the second year of Specialized Rider-First Engineered™ technology on the CruX. That essentially means using size-specific tubes and layups, with the aim of every size in the range exhibiting the same ride characteristics. It also means that there are no longer women’s specific frames in the Specialized range, just bikes that are designed to fit across all shapes and sizes.
The frame is essentially the same as last year’s bike, which is no bad thing (we rated the significantly cheaper CruX Elite). It dropped a tonne of weight over previous CruX frames, coming in at around 900g for 56cm. A light and stiff frame, alone, isn’t useful in a ‘cross race if it isn’t compliant, however. To help with that, Specialized lowered the seat collar by two centimetres for more exposed seatpost and cushion for big hits.
The top tube has been designed for easy shouldering mid race, with a large front triangle and a flat bottom to the tube.
One nice touch on the S-Works frame is that it features hydrophobic, mud-shedding paint that reduces the ability for mud to cling to the frame. We’ve all suffered from our super-light bike turning into a lead weight midway around the first lap. Anything to help that is a bonus.
Pimp my ride
Given that the S-Works frame is essentially the same as the £4000 CruX expert, there needs to be more than fancy paint to justify its price tag. The build is no-holds-barred dream bike stuff, from a “Win Tunnel Engineered” Roval CLX 50 Disc carbon wheelset which as well as offering the aero and mud-slicing benefits of a deep section only weigh 1415g to a Shimano DI2 Dura Ace/XTR mash up married to a Specialized S-Works Power Cranks power-meter crankset.
Finishing kit is all Specialized’s own, plumping for the expensive black plastic wherever possible.
The end product is no-doubt a stunning looking bicycle, but it will be held to the highest possible scrutiny and expectations as we take it through its paces. Anything other than pure perfection will be a bit of a disappointment when it comes to the S-Works.
We’ll report back asap…
- Frame // S-Works FACT 11r carbon, Rider-First EngineeredTM, OSBB, 1-3/8″ lower bearing, 12x142mm thru-axle, flat-mount disc
- Fork // S-Works FACT 11r carbon, 12x100mm thru-axle
- Front wheel // Roval CLX 50 Disc, carbon, tubeless-ready, Win Tunnel Engineered, 50mm depth, CeramicSpeed bearings, 21h
- Rear wheel // Roval CLX 50 Disc, carbon, tubeless-ready, Win Tunnel Engineered, 50mm depth, DT Swiss 240 internals, CeramicSpeed bearings, 24h
- Tyres // Specialized Tracer Pro, 2Bliss Ready, 700x33mm
- Chainset // S-Works Power Cranks, single-sided power, BB30, 11-speed
- Bottom Bracket //OSBB,CeramicSpeedbearings
- Rear Mech // ShimanoXTRM9050Di2,ShadowPlus,GScage,11-speed
- Shifters // Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 ST-R9170 shift levers
- Cassette // Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed, 11-32t
- Brakes // Shimano Dura-Ace, hydraulic disc
- Stem // S-Works SL, alloy, titanium bolts, 6-degree rise
- Bars // S-Works Shallow Bend Carbon, 125mm drop x 75 mm reach
- Bar tape // Specialized CX Pro Gel
- Seatpost // S-Works FACT carbon 27.2mm, 20mm offset
- Saddle // Body Geometry S-Works Phenom, carbon rails, 143mm
- Size Tested // 58
- Sizes available // 46, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61
- Price // £8,000