When we first saw Culprit’s Croz Blade disc-or-rim brake road bike, designer Joshua Colp was still fine tuning the design and finalizing spec. Now, the bike’s in production and the build kit is mostly finalized…enough so that pre-orders are being taken for delivery in January.
On the frame, he reworked the dropouts a bit and changed the layup in spots to get the ride quality the way he wanted it. We’ve been riding the Culprit Arrow One, which provides a really good ride, so we’re expecting good things from the Croz Blade. As a refresher, the frame has inconspicuous mounts for both aero rim brakes and disc brakes, letting the rider choose which way they want to stop. Simple inserts at the dropouts reduce hub spacing from 135mm (disc) to 130mm for traditional road wheels when using rim brakes.
On the spec side, the bike will ship with the rider’s choice of brakes. If you choose rim brakes, it’ll have TRP’s TTV semi-integrated aero brakes incorporated into the frame. Choose discs ($250 upcharge) and you’ll get the TRP’s Parabox mechanical-to-hydraulic converter pre-installed plus the TTV brakes in the box in case you want to go back. Not keen on putting an adapter between your levers and calipers? It’s likely they’ll give you the choice of running mechanical calipers instead of hydraulics…which we think is the smarter choice given the dedicated systems from SRAM (and likely others) very, very soon…
The frame is a blend of UD and 3K woven Toray 800 carbon fiber with a tapered headtube and BB30 bottom bracket. Chainstays are oversized to keep everything stiff where it counts, but Colp said he gave it a bit of compliance through the thinner seatstays. The seatpost has three mounting positions for the saddle so you can get it where you want it.
By using the aero brakes behind the fork and under the bottom bracket, visual cues that something’s missing aren’t too much of an issue should you decide to run disc brakes, and vice versa. Cable routing is compatible with either electronic or mechanical drivetrains and hydraulic or mechanical discs. Frames are available in a wide variety of paint colors in either matte or glossy finish, and you can pick your decal color, too. Kill a few minutes playing with the online configu-ma-jig here.
Frame and framesets are available, and complete bikes start at $4,795 built with recommended parts, which includes a carbon fiber handlebar, stem and their seatpost, and Token’s C55 wheels. You can drop the price by choosing alloy stems or different wheels, but the pre-spec’d package is pretty good (we’re riding the same stem and bar on the Arrow One).
The wheels are a custom built version of Token’s C55, which use that brand’s carbon/alloy aero rims, Sapim spokes and Token alloy hub. Upgrade to disc brakes with your build and you’ll get full carbon clincher rims and disc brake hubs, both also from Token. Plenty of other Token wheels are available as options, from standard alloy clinchers to deep aero tubulars and everything in between.
Build kits include SRAM Red at the top end, or Shimano’s Ultegra in either Di2 or mechanical trim.
Complete bikes also include one of their carbon fiber water bottle cages, a Culprit bibs/jersey kit, torque wrench set and Prologo saddle. The price of the bike also includes a professional bike fit session from a local shop or fitter, as well as delivery anywhere in the world. While Culprit is essentially a consumer direct brand for now, they are setting up a service center in Iowa to assist with US sales and warranty, and shops can partner with them to help get consumers fit and get part of the sale.
Full specs and such at Culpritbicycles.com.