For 2012, Specialized has ditched the carbon fiber in its Crux cyclocross bike line, but they’ve brought disc brakes to the mainstream and introduced three new tubular ‘cross tires.
We spotted a prototype earlier this year that looked pretty close to production ready, and here it is. The Crux Comp gets Avid mechanical discs paired with a SRAM Apex component group, FSA cranks and Specialized’s CXD wheels for $2,100. The main frame carries over from 2011 with their OSBB (oversized bottom bracket), E5 alloy and same basic tubesets, however it does switch to full length housing in the internal shift cable runs. What’s new is the 135mm rear hub spacing (yes!) and S-Works level full carbon fork.
The mountain bike rear hub spacing will let anyone with a standard QR set of 29er wheels run their existing wheels on the bike, making a frameset ($880) option a very, very appealing option for fans of Specialized. Keep reading…
So, while there’s no longer a carbon fiber option in the Crux family, there are three additional cantilever brake options as complete bikes ranging from $1,450 to $2,750 and a canti-ready frame module for $770. The canti models get a new forged, one-piece brake hanger to mitigate brake chatter.
On the disc brake model, the new FACT carbon fork is tapered with a 1-1/2″ lower bearing, which Specialized says makes it stiff enough to resist any brake stuttering. The fork is built for a 140mm front rotor, but the complete bike will come with a 160mm and spacers. The dropouts face forward slightly to help keep the wheel in just in case it’s not clamped in well.
The rear brakes use IS mounts rather than direct mounts, which adds a bit of weight but makes it a bit more durable in the long run. We’re betting 2013 will see a carbon model with post mounts.
The bike’s geometry is pure race, using the same specs as Todd Well’s race-winning E5 model from last season.
From left to right, Specialized is offering the new Terra, Tracer and Trigger tubular cyclocross tires for mud, all-around and smooth/dry conditions respectively. They’re priced at $100 each, pretty reasonable considering the treads are hand glued to a 260TPI 33mm polycotton casing. This puts them right at the edge of the UCI’s max width allowance.