Carbon fibre is becoming an increasingly popular choice of frame material for cyclo-cross bikes – and two such machines will be featured next month on RCUK.
One of our test machines will be Specialized’s Comp version of the S-Works CruX displayed above by Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Zdeněk Štybar, a two-time world cyclo-cross champion.
The overhauled frame has been developed in conjunction with Štybar, who asked Specialized’s engineers to develop a ‘cross version of the top-end Tarmac road frame.
“With cyclo-cross, it’s all about details,” said Štybar. “The brakes, the cables — every little detail means so much. So it was really great, with what we said along with our mechanic, that you can see every detail we asked for on the frame.”
The CruX is based around a FACT 11r carbon frame, an aggressive race-tuned geometry, tapered headtube, internal cable routing and PF30 bottom bracket.
Two versions will be available, one for cantilever brakes and one for disc brakes, with the carbon lay-up on the seat and chainstays altered to cope with the different braking forces.
The range-topping S-Works CruX frame is one of 42 cyclo-cross frames in Specialized’s 2013 range, an extensive line covering carbon and aluminium, and cantilever and disc brake options.
Stybar won the cyclo-cross worlds in 2010 and 2011, and the Czech has also ridden on the road for Omega Pharma-QuickStep for the past two seasons.
And, having just completed his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana, the 26-year-old will now use the forthcoming cyclo-cross season as preparation for the Spring Classics.
“La Vuelta was a great experience,” he said. “I learned a lot during the race and I’m sure it will be important for the rest of my career. I will use cyclo-cross as good preparation for the Spring Classics and to get started on the road again.”