Product Feature: 2017 Specialized Crux Elite

Many of our customers this summer have come in wondering what the right type of bike for them was, and for a very valid reason… the choices are almost mind boggling and that’s just from 2 major brands. “Road or mountain? Maybe some sort of hybrid? Disc brakes? Suspension? Drop bars or straight handlebars? What groupset should I pick?” And so on it goes…

The truth is that many times there isn’t really one bike to do it all, but some can come close. Enter the world of cyclo-cross bikes (or gravel bikes, which are very similar but yet very different). There are few cyclo-cross bikes out there that are quite as fast and light as the completely redesigned Specialized Crux. 

We’ve had a Crux around the shop for about 2 months now and it is the bike I reach for when I really want to ride but I’m not sure where I’ll end up. You can definitely hit the roads or trails on a ‘cross bike, but where they really shine is mild off-road terrain. These machines are designed for races on the grass and hills of a cyclo-cross course, which is too tame for a mountain bike bit really not fun on a road bike. They work fantastically for rough roads, long gravel epics, or simply cruising on a fall day with nothing on the training block agenda.

Riding the Crux at Freer Field in preparation for the Freer Cross Festival, Ashland, OH, 2017.

This year’s Crux was redesigned and looks just like the Tarmac SL5 that we had around the shop and on group rides this summer.  

The 2017 Tarmac Expert at AU during the MS Bike event this summer.

It is stiff in all the right places and has loads of clearance for wide tires and mud.  Did I mention it is ridiculously lightweight? The Elite, which is what we brought in, is only about 18 pounds in its stock form. It features a quick shifting Sram Rival 22 1X drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes. The saddle, a Specialized Phenom, is the most comfortable saddle I’ve yet to try.

I’d like to say it’s my favorite bike I ride, but the truth is that my favorite bike is really just the one I’m on… with that being said, most often these days it’s the Crux.

The Crux is a fantastic commuter bike, mostly because it’s just a fantastic bike, but also because ‘cross bikes in general make wonderful companions for that ride to work.

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