A fresh arrival in the test stable this week is the Specialized CruX Elite Disc, the second of our cyclo-cross fleet alongside the Trek Cronus CX Pro and the soon-to-arrive Cannondale CAADX Disc Ultegra.
Like Trek, Specialized have two cyclo-cross ranges: the Tricross, whose rack and mudguard mounts suggest a multi-purpose design brief, and the more serious, race orientated CruX, at the pinnacle of which sits the CruX Comp Carbon.
The aluminium-framed CruX Elite we’re testing has a very similar tubing silhouette to its carbon stablemate, but weighs a little more: our 56cm model tipped the scales at 8.6kg. Not bad for a £1,500, race-ready machine, but perhaps not super spritely. We’ll find out. A carbon, disc brake specific fork with tapered steerer and fat bladed legs looks sufficiently robust.
The gearing is SRAM Apex. The levers operate cable-actuated Avid BB5 disk brakes, configured here with a 160mm rotor on the front and 140mm at the rear. The Shimano Tiagra 12/28 cassette is driven by an FSA Gossamer BB30 chainset with ‘cross specific rings (46 outer, 37 inner).
Wheels are DT Axis CXD. They’re new to us, but we are looking forward to finding out how they perform. The rims are wrapped with a fairly low spec, 60tpi, wire beaded Specialized Tracer Sport tyre, again as yet untried so we’ll reserve judgement. Recent downpours have created a magnificent muddy soup in which to test their performance.
Finishing kit is all in-house Specialized components as might be expected. A Phenom saddle sits atop an Elite seatpost, the compact bar is billed as CX, and the stem is a 3D forged alloy unit. The choice of white bar tape for what is certain to become a mud-blasted machine is more surprising.
The neatly integrated cabling on the E5 alloy frame looks very tidy and the finish – black paint and brushed aluminium, with red and white Specialized graphics – makes a bold statement: it looks every inch a racer. We’re looking forward to finding out how it performs.
Check back soon for a full review.