Gravel News

New Specialized S-Works Crux 2022 presented – from a cyclocross weapon to an ultra-light gravel racer?

Minimum weight and maximum tyre clearance – the new Specialized Crux is supposed to achieve this balancing act and thus become the ultimate gravel weapon. To accomplish this, the Specialized engineers combined the cyclocross genes from the old Crux with the lightweight technology from the S-Works Aethos. Here you can find all the information about the symbiosis.

Specialized S-Works Crux | € 12,200 | 7.25 kg (size 56) | manufacturer website

Specialized present the new Crux 2022 and there are signs that point to a change: the Crux, originally developed as a cyclocross bike, has evolved into a lightweight gravel racer with a cyclocross option in its latest generation. To achieve this, the tyre clearance has been increased and the weight reduced – with the technology from the Specialized S-Works Aethos (review here). The new Crux can’t and doesn’t want to hide its Aethos genes, even visually.

The development of the Crux into a gravel bike was the logical next step for Specialized after the Californians noticed that the previous model, which was geared towards cyclocross, was already successfully used in gravel races and found favour with gravel fans beyond the race crowd. This means that the Specialized Diverge is not the only gravel bike in the Specialized portfolio anymore.

Specs and variants of the new Specialized Crux

The Specialized Crux is available in four spec variants. In addition to the top model, the S-Works Crux, the Crux Pro, Crux Expert and Crux Comp models are available. The most important spec details can be found below.

Model S-Works Crux Crux Pro Crux Expert Crux Comp
Groupset SRAM RED eTap AXS with RED XPLR AXS-Schaltwerk SRAM Force eTap AXS with Force XPLR AXS-Schaltwerk SRAM Rival eTap AXS with Rival XPLR AXS-Schaltwerk SRAM Rival
Wheels Roval Terra CLX Roval Terra CL Roval Terra C DT Swiss G540
Tyres Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2BR 700 x 38C Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2BR 700 x 38C Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2BR 700 x 38C Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2BR 700 x 38C
Gear ratio 40 t/10–44 t 40 t/10–44 t 40 t/10–44 t 40 t/11–42 t
Saddle Body Geometry S-Works Power Body Geometry Power Pro Body Geometry Power Expert Body Geometry Power Sport
Ste, S-Works SL Specialized Pro SL Specialized Pro SL Specialized Alloy
Handlebar Roval Terra Roval Terra Specialized Adventure Gear Specialized Adventure Gear
Weight in size 56 (according to Specialized) 7.25 kg 7.6 kg 8.1 kg 8.5 kg
Price € 12,200 € 8,000 € 6,000 € 4,000
Specialized Crux Pro | € 8,000 | 7.6 kg (size 56)
Specialized Crux Expert | € 6.000 | 8.1 kg (size 56)
Specialized Crux Comp | € 4.000 | 8.5 kg (size 56)

The Specialized S-Works Crux is built on a frame that uses FACT 12r carbon – the lightest and stiffest carbon Specialized have to offer. The frame is said to weigh just 725 g in size 56 and with the lightest paint. All other Crux versions have to make do with a frame made of FACT 10r carbon. This version weighs 825 g in size 56 and with the lightest paint. The fork is made of FACT 12r carbon, is claimed to weigh just under 400 g and is shared by all Crux versions, including the S-Works.

Since the Specialized Crux has a conventional 27.2 mm seatpost, it is compatible with all dropper posts of this size. The necessary cables can be routed internally. The gravel racer is equipped with 1x drivetrains as standard, but can also accommodate various electronic 2x drivetrains. For this purpose, it has an integrated mount for the front derailleur on the seat tube. The Crux frameset has a weight limit of 125 kg, but the weight limit of various Roval components decreases it to 109 kg. The maximum “payload” is therefore around 100 kg, which is rather acceptable when you consider that the bike rarely has to shoulder additional luggage. Despite its lightweight construction, the Specialized Crux has passed the same stress tests as the Specialized Diverge. It would seem that it’s well-equipped for heavy duty off the beaten track, too.

Specialized Crux vs Specialized Diverge

The Specialized Crux is intended to be both a cyclocross bike and a gravel racer, trimmed to ensure lightweight construction and designed to provide absolute riding pleasure with responsiveness and agility. In contrast, the Specialized Diverge (review here) is a more versatile bike that is also suitable for touring with various mounts for racks, bags and equipment.

With the exception of bosses for three drinks bottles, the Crux has to do without all other mounting options. The Crux and Diverge do not differ in terms of tyre clearance: both models offer ample space for 700 x 47C tyres. Despite the increased tyre clearance compared to the previous model, the new Crux remains UCI-approved and can, therefore, still be used for cyclocross races. Which can’t be said of the Specialized Diverge.

The geometry of the new gravel racer

The new Specialized Crux relies on a geometry that is based on the previous model, which already dominated the cyclocross field. This means that the bike is designed with a long reach and a low stack for a sporty riding position. The result should be high agility with absolute control. All geometry data for the new Specialized Crux can be found in the table.

Size 49 52 54 56 58 61
Seat tube 466 mm 496 mm 521 mm 546 mm 576 mm 606 mm
Top tube 512 mm 539 mm 549 mm 568 mm 582 mm 599 mm
Head tube 100 mm 115 mm 130 mm 147 mm 167 mm 190 mm
Head tube angle 70,5° 71,5° 71,5° 72° 72,25° 72,5°
Seat tube angle 75,5° 74° 74° 74° 73,5° 73,5°
Chain stays 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm
BB drop 74 mm 74 mm 72 mm 72 mm 72 mm 72 mm
wheelbase 1.008 mm 1.014 mm 1.023 mm 1.033 mm 1.045 mm 1.059 mm
Reach 375 mm 382 mm 388 mm 397 mm 405 mm 415 mm
Stack 530 mm 547 mm 560 mm 578 mm 598 mm 621 mm

Have Specialized managed to turn a cyclocross weapon into a gravel bike trimmed for lightweight construction with the new Crux? The tyre clearance of up to 700 x 47C and the weight of 7.25 kg of the S-Works Crux are simply remarkable. As with the Aethos road bike, integration has to take a back seat: in contrast to the previous model, the seatpost clamp is no longer integrated and the cables at the front continue to run outside. The competition shows more refinement in this department. Our test will show whether the concept works. More on this asap.

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Words: Photos: Specialized