2013 Specialized S-Works Crux shows SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes

When we covered the 2013 Specialized bikes launch, the Crux topped out with the Elite and Comp models, leaving an S-Works model conspicuously missing. Here’s why: they’re waiting for SRAM’s hydraulic disc brakes to make their way to the warehouse so they can have a complete top level spec to go along with the S-Works label.

UPDATE: Specialized has told us they do not currently plan on releasing an S-Works level Crux for 2013.

Looks like this placeholder image for that bike shows a concept S-Works paint scheme and presumably what the SRAM Red hydraulic disc brake system will look like. We were hoping they’d show something official next week at Eurobike, but looks like it’s going to be a bit off.

The knob at the front of the shifter/brake lever is noticeably taller than the mechanical group, presumably to house the master cylinder. Calipers look to have a pretty small form factor, and rotors are two piece designs, much like the current XX level discs. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve done to handle the heat when this system finds its way onto a road bike.

Thanks to SlyGuy for the tip!


  1. Funny to me the bigS won’t spend money developing a a 650b/27.5 bike,
    but they develop a $10,000 s bike, with hydro brakes, no one can afford.

    They don’t understand the customer and what the average bike sold in most cities costs.
    Maybe the Stig could test this on Top Gear.

    RE: Sram – I know 10 people in the last 6 months that have switched off sram because of broken levers on their road/cx bikes. Brings up the question – what does it cost to replace these so called levers? repair parts? or does Todd Wells (a pro) not care what it costs to repair bikes he damages. Oh yeah that’s right he gets his bikes for free.

    rant over

  2. Dogpatch, I’ve personally broken two SRAM Force drivetrains and when I was working in a shop I replaced two more for customers on top of that. This seems like a lot but there’s two things that make it seem not so bad:
    a) SRAM replaced them for free in a matter of days, no questions asked
    b) I saw at least twice as many busted Shimano shifters.
    I don’t think it’s a question of who builds stronger shifters so much as it’s a question of how each rider takes care of your bike. I ride in any weather and I’m a track sprinter so I break parts like it’s my job. And if the majority of low to mid level bikes come equipped with Shimano, it’s no surprise that shops would end up replacing more of them.

    Wigs/Jake, I’m definitely with you on the MTB brakes. While I’m intrigued by XX1 I really think SRAM has fallen behind Shimano and Magura in terms of brake development.

  3. @Dogpatch – 650b/27.5 has been around for quite awhile, it’s just the ‘cool’ thing right now. What’s next 26.75? There’s a reason specialized is waiting to see what the market is doing.

    I’m all for nice cross bikes and hydro disc brakes. Will I buy an s-works? No. The technology will trickle down in the future.

  4. Its amazing the amount of people who have nothing better to do than rant about things they are jealous of, or who cannot afford a certain bike. And really taking a shot at top pro riders like Todd, well there are many more of them who ride the best equipment for free, so what about those riders….why even write that?

    And as far as SRAM vs Shimano? Don’t forget competition among manufactures pushed new technology we all enjoy no matter what we ride? I hope shimano responds with a brake, or pushes up their release date, I would love to have them my self.

    Maybe they don’t feel like it’s a good time to make a 27.5 mtb bike yet, I know we are all smarter than the large bike companies in general, but maybe instead of wasting huge amounts of money they are waiting to see if it is a market that works. Its called a good business plan….

    Free speech is a great thing if you use it correctly, waiting to see it from someone.

  5. I’m gonna wait for Super Record hydros….probably will be the prettiest calipers ever, whether they work or is another question

  6. Disc brakes! Wow. I’m excited, even though the technology is a bit rough around the edges for road – with concerns about heat buildup. My understanding is that Shimano is less excited about discs on the road, with the small addition of weight and aero drag, and concerns of the heat. They keep making their rim brakes better, so my educated guess is that they will be a bit slow getting on board the road disc thing. I’m hoping Magura will come up with a system that has a nice place on the lever to glue on some Dura Ace remote shifters! 🙂

  7. I really hope to see some disc cx bikes at my local races here in a few months. I am looking forward to seeing just how badly the brakes will drag in a muddy race. I’m new to cx, but have a lot of experience with xc mountain biking. Disc brakes stay clean and work great when conditions are good to moderately wet/muddy. However, when things great really muddy (as is common in cx) and the brakes get dirty, they drag like crazy. Looking forward to seeing if extra braking power is worth them dragging the whole time.

  8. @Jake – can’t agree. I’ve had a lot of returns and warranty claims on new Shimano brakes in my shop while new SRAM/Avid brakes seem to be almost perfectly reliable.

  9. off-roadie, keep in mind your problem may be regional (doesn’t change your experience) but not all mud is created equal. Here in the PNW we have plenty of mud (not lately! – although maybe this weekend) and I’ve never had mud-related drag issues in 12+ years of disc use. And I never see mud collecting around the axel or anywhere but the tire and fork crown, be it cx or mtb, so I don’t see it being a problem. Should be the improvement its expected to be, when it comes to those types of conditions.

  10. “Funny to me the bigS won’t spend money developing a a 650b/27.5 bike,
    but they develop a $10,000 s bike, with hydro brakes, no one can afford.

    They don’t understand the customer and what the average bike sold in most cities costs.”

    Ever been to a Specialized dealer? They have bikes for EVERY price range and pretty much every need, so your “not knowing the customer” argument is invalid. Being that they are among the biggest companies in the world for cycling, I feel that they know customers pretty well.

    I get the feeling you fall into the “niche” category, where your wants/needs are incredibly specific to a small scale builder/company. To each their own, but to bash something you are clearly not knowledgeable on is foolish.

    650B has been around a while, but it is gaining a lot of momentum this year, and I imagine they are just waiting to see what happens or maybe they have something in the design phase right now for a 2014 release. Specialized doesn’t just dump a new setup out without doing a lot of R&D towards it, just like pretty much all other respectable companies.

  11. Bigger issue is this bike won’t be released until Cx season is well under way or possibly over. Hope they don’t make too many…..

  12. slow and blingy is a likeable brief high. can’t really complain about 10k price tag cuz if my legs were that good I’d be riding it for a living for free.

  13. Road/CX discs? Meh. Hydro? Meh x2.

    This BB7 user says, you don’t have to bleed cables, mine can still stop me on a dime & leave 7c change.

  14. Why hasn’t anyone pointed out the obvious? Those taller longer hood “horns” probably won’t be uci legal… Anybody remember Mavic electronic road shifters?

  15. Yes- they were called Mektronic… Sexy levers but uci banned them because they allowed a more forward aero position…
    These may or may not- they seem taller, but not as forward facing as mektronic levers were…

  16. UPDATE: Specialized has told us they do not currently plan on releasing an S-Works level Crux for 2013.

    Well that’s interesting, Being that I have place half ($1,500.00) the total cost of a frame-set $2,999.99 as
    a down payment on one! From a large bike retail store in the Chicago area.

    On my receipt=
    ITEM / GSG QTY / 1 TOTAL / 2999.99
    71F4-0154″S-WORKS FRM 56 C/W/R 2999.99 LATE AGUEST EARLY SEPT.

  17. I have it from the Sram rep that the hydro road levers have been shelved while they revamp Avid’s (fairly poor) brake offering. The project was pulling too many of their engineers away from the other products. Hopefully this means they will come out with a more consistently reliable line.

  18. HI Tyler

    My order is for a ( 2013 carbon S-Works frame (disc) Crux cyclo-cross line ) 56cm.
    I did the ground work over the net, with the store’s chain internet sale manager.
    (E-mail’s if interested)
    Had to go to one of the B&M Business / Deposit, where the paper work was already filled out
    and the associate was more then willing to except my credit card.

  19. wigs – 08/23/12 – 11:03am SRAM hydraulic brakes = wait for Shimano to do it right.

    CXers just need to wait for the appropriate R&D time to pass, and as always the Italian company that REALLY gets it right will release a far superior product (think electronic shift)
    Campy is not being pressured, by big-box brands like Specialized, to release technologically/mechanically suspect re-hashed products (shiny paint/graphics masking the same old mustang)

  20. Shimano is currently working on hydraulic DI2 shift levers. This is widely known (or at least rumored), but has been personally confirmed to me by two people at the company (it’s being developed in California, by Shimano North America). They learned a harsh lesson from the admittedly mediocre performance of their most recent generation of road components; Shimano is a VERY conservative company and this product will not see the light of day until it is perfect.

    I love Campy, and all my road and cross bikes are Campy, but Campagnolo’s entry into the hydraulic road caliper market will inevitably be an embarrassment. Shimano and SRAM have literally decades more experience with this stuff than they do, and will apply it to great effect. I’m not sure Campagnolo will even have a product like this in the next ~10 years. Also, again, from one Campy lover to another, DI2 is far superior to EPS.

  21. Also, to John Caletti’s point about Shimano and disc brakes: With IceTech, they currently have a system for heat dissipation that vastly outperforms everything else on the market. I don’t think they heat from road components is a worry for them. As for issues of weight and aero drag, that’s all speculation, but certainly the drag created by a disc rotor and caliper should be basically similar to that of a cantilever or traditional caliper brake.

  22. @truelight

    71F4-0154 is not a current Specialized part number and the last 2 digits indicate a size in most of their bike part numbers, which in your part number instance would be a size 54cm.

    I believe the part number that was meant to be on your receipt would be 71E4-0154 which is a 54cm SWorks Crux Carbon OSBB frameset in the Carbon/White/Red Cantilever frame. Hope this helps.

  23. Hi Dog patch. It’s interesting you made a comparison with the Stig from top gear and S works bikes. Well guess what there are folks who can afford those level of bikes and the cars too. Hey I watch top gear and I drive an X Trail….. I also would love an S works. If the big S only looked at what people “ride in most cities” we’d all be hipsters on fixies!
    It’s called imagination and beating able to push the limits of what’s out there now.

    Bring it on I say!

  24. First off thanks (Matt-08/24/12-11:47pm) Your Info help out a lot! The associate at the large bike shop
    did order me a 54cm cantilever (IDIOT) received a refund last Friday.

    Also (Olivier – 08/30/12 – 11:48pm) your right both the ROUBAIX & CRUX disc bike are up on the site!
    Twit, Specialized today there response was no disc available until the release SRAM RED hydraulic disc.

  25. @Truelight
    I was really hoping you had found a way to get the S-Works CruX disc frame! I’m pretty keen to build a bike based on this frame, but it looks like I might have to wait a while till Specialized (or SRAM RED) get their act together.

  26. Some heavier folks and people with big-mountain descents are going to have problems with fried disk brakes. The industry, obsessed with weight, will spec components that are too light to handle extended use. Then, they’ll replace them with heavier rotors that make weenies frown. Later on ,they’ll achieve light and reliable.

    I’ll wait.

What do you think?