The 2022 Specialized Crux gravel bike is no longer all about CX. Specialized bikes welcomes an all-new flagship 7.25kg blended CX/gravel bike that’s all about going fast. A 725g frame weight, adapted geometry, and 47mm tire clearance Specialized blurs the line between cross and gravel.
However, more than just about weight loss and a re-categorization of the already-gravel-capable cyclo-cross bike, the brand has totally reworked the frame, adjusted its geometry, added in tire clearance for 47mm rubber, and added a few extra gravel-friendly features to open up the Crux to a newfound audience.
Specialized says that, for the new Crux, it has taken the technology developed during the creation of the Aethos, which sees reimagined tube proportions and shapes to reduce the quantity of carbon fiber needed, and applied it to the Crux in a move that Specialized’s Road and Gravel Product Manager, Stewart Thompson, claims will “change gravel riding forever.”
The technology in question was pioneered by Denk Engineering, a team of carbon bike designers led by Peter Denk, who has previously designed bikes for Cannondale and Scott, but has been exclusively contracted by Specialized since 2014.
“How we taper the top tube, how we taper the down tube, the curvature of how we run into the head tube and the bottom bracket is extremely important,” Denk explains. “If we follow those shapes, we get rid of all stiffness layers. Just with this shape, we can save 150 grams of composite weight.”
The result, in this case, is a 56cm S-Works frame (Fact 12R) that weighs just 725g and a standard frame (Fact 10R) of 825g. Both are lighter than the outgoing Crux, which weighs 950 grams.
Out With The Old, In With The New
Specialized chose to adapt the bike away from the ‘pure cyclo-cross’ focus that accompanied the outgoing Crux – in response to the ever-growing interest in gravel riding.
To this end, Specialized has lengthened the bike’s wheelbase and increased the bike’s reach – which it has then offset with shorter stems. It has also increased the bottom bracket drop (resulting in a lower bottom bracket, and as such, a lower center of gravity), and dropped the stack slightly on all but the largest size. It has also widened the Crux’s tire clearance to 700c x 47mm (650b x 2.1in) to match the brand’s existing Diverge.
The move will clearly open the bike up to a wider audience and, alongside the Diverge, officially grow Specialized’s gravel range to two models.
To top it off, there is also a smattering of added-value features for gravel riders. The most obvious of which is the third bottle cage mount on the underside of the down tube, and a more subtle addition is the ability to accept an internally wired dropper post.
Full Line of Specialized Crux Gravel Bikes
The Crux will be available in four builds: S-Works, Expert, Pro, and Comp, as well as a standalone S-Works (Fact 12R) Frameset and the Fact 10R frameset.
All four complete bikes will be specced with SRAM groupsets, with the S-Works, Expert, and Pro being given eTap AXS XPLR groupsets in the Red, Force, and Rival models respectively. The Comp will get a mechanical 1×11 Rival groupset.
Specialized S-Works Crux
- Price: £10,750 / $12,000 / €12,200 / AU$18,000
- Groupset: SRAM Red eTap AXS XPLR
- Wheelset: Roval Terra CLX
Specialized Crux Pro
- Price: $8,000
- Groupset: SRAM Force eTap AXS XPLR
- Wheelset: Roval Terra CLX
Specialized Crux Expert
- Price: $6,000
- Groupset: SRAM Rival eTap AXS XPLR
- Wheelset: Roval Terra C
Specialized Crux Comp
- Price: $4,200
- Groupset: SRAM Rival Mechanical 1×11
- Wheelset: DT Swiss G540 Disc