Awol CompleteJumping into the world of Adventure bikes, Specialized is testing the waters with the new AWOL. Built as a drop bar adventure bike, AWOL has clearance for 29×2.2, though it ships with 42c. The frame itself is a rugged steel number with the Comp model featuring a higher end Reynolds 725/520 Cr-Mo tubing with slider dropouts and split stays for single speed or belt drive use.  Like other bikes in the genre, there are many faces to the AWOL from road, to dirt, and everything in between.

Get away with AWOL and take a quick look at some of the CX bikes after the break…

Awol Complete 2

The lower end AWOL features a standard Cr-Mo frame that lacks the slider droputs and split stays, but has the same geometry and tire clearance. Each bike features a chainstay mounted brake for easy rack and fender installation, which is an important part of an adventure bike. The AWOL features what Specialized calls Distance Rider Geometry meaning a long wheelbase and very upright ride for comfort on extended rides through the country side.

Gearing is also endurance oriented, with the AWOL comp including a compact double crank with an X9 Type 2 derailleur controlling an 11-36 cassette, and the AWOL featuring a triple crank with an 11-32 cassette that is shifted through a Sora rear derailleur. Both models are disc brake only, and use Avid BB7 mechanicals for stopping power.

Awol Comp FrameIn addition to the two complete bikes, a frameset will be available as well, with Specialized selling the AWOL Comp’s Reynolds steel frame with the rocker dropouts. The frame includes the butted Cr-mo fork with front rack mounting capability.

Retail for the bikes will be $1,350 for the AWOL, $1,950 for the AWOL comp, and only $700 for the AWOL comp frame.

Specialized Bikes 2014 GPL (19)

On the Cyclocross side of things, Specialized has gone disc – mostly. While the high end models will all be rocking Sram HRD brakes, the Crux Sport 105 and Crux E5 Sora will still be “kicking it old school” with Cantis. Want a higher end bike with cantis? The Crux Pro frameset will be sold in Canti specific form as well as the Crux E5 as well. Sure, discs seem to be taking over the majority of spec, but at least there are still options if you would prefer to stick with rim brakes.

In addition to the Crux Pro Race Red Disc which isn’t pictured, the Crux Expert Red Disc will save you $2,100 over the $6,300 Pro Race at $4,200. Built with a FACT 10r carbon frame that is disc only, the frame has a tapered head tube and BB30 bottom bracket. A SRAM Red Hydro HRD set up provides gears and brakes, with Axis 2.0 disc wheels.

SBC GPL Copper Mtn 2013

The Crux Elite Rival Disc saves you a bit of money at $3,200 and features the same frame but with a 10 speed Rival drivetrain instead of the 11 speed Red. Because it is 10 speed, the hydraulic disc brakes and shifters are the SRAM S-series – essentially just a 10 speed version of the HRD Red.


SBC GPL Copper Mtn 2013

Disc brakes aren’t just for the carbon frames, with the aluminum Crux E5 Sport Apex Disc also stepping up to the SRAM S-Series hydraulic brakes. The E5 premium aluminum frame uses a tapered headtube and BB30 bottom bracket and is fitted with a SRAM Apex drivetrain. The Crux E5 Sport will set you back $2,450.

Check out all of the 2014 CX bikes at



  1. Ships with 42’s eh? Just bring back the old dirt drop Specialized and you’d have a monstercross!

    There is a great page on such at:

  2. Anybody know what the BB shell is going to be on that AWOL frame? Would love to hear that it’s threaded on a bike like this.

  3. @ABW : agree.

    This is why I hate the idea of disk brakes on road bikes : it make the bike looks like a fugly cyclocross [deleted].

  4. Matt – Looks like a threaded BB based on the photo of the frame. I can’t imagine any sane reason for spec’ing a press fit BB.

    ABW – The AWOL is taking more cues from the Fargo than the Warbird, IMO.

  5. AWOL – Looks Salsa Fargo-ish to me. Are the rear rockers Rohloff-compatible? I’m counting 2 water bottle bosses – are there more?

  6. Note to all bike manufacturers:

    If you want a guaranteed three days solid of nothing else but your product on Bike Rumor invite Zach.

    Specialized marketing guys got some killer return on that plane ticket.

    that being said…..some cool looking bikes coming up from the big red S.

    • Actually Gringo, I wasn’t there. And yes, Specialized released a lot of new bikes as did Trek with their SC, and Rocky with the Rally Edition, this week. Just trying to cover what’s new.

  7. What about the new Tricross? What about the colors on these AWOLS? Hard to tell from the photo if it’s raw steel?


  8. Look at this…11 comments already for a bike that fills up a niche most of the average riders don’t give a damn about. Where are the haters already ? Let’s make it a 40 comments folks !! Specialized Rulez !!

  9. probably overload due to the only dealer camp runnin right now. other than that, some race in france is goin on right now. guess no budget for BR to send spies for photos and rumors there.

  10. @Topmounter

    They had their dealer event last week. Instead of trickling information throughout the year that gets lost in the noise, they have one big event, get exposure, and they’re done.

    Hmmm, down the street from Specialized HQ is another company that has similar marketing tactics, they do one or two big announcements a year instead of 500, does pretty well too, I saw the name of the company in “Forrest Gump,’ fruit name of some sort…

  11. I’m overwhelmed with the glee of folks that applaud Specialized for adding… well… nothing to the adventure category except to lazily follow 4 seasons tardy with their “innovation”entry. #FAIL

    It’s not innovation to come this late with basically a dropout tweak & a sack of borrowed ideas.

  12. Considering the $$$ EXPENSE $$$ of the pro and expert crux that i have bought from Specialized. I have been very disappointed with the wheels they have speced on these bikes. Heavy wheels, plus the hubs do not spin very well, free-hubs are crunchy with extra drag and the rims are of low quality. I can handle heavier wheels if the quality of the hubs (smooth running bearings and free-hub) and if the rims are strong and have a nice finish. This has been my experience with both their upper end Crux and MTB bikes (Not S-WKS). I also would expect a little nicer post and handlebar. Other then those few things my Special bikes are great. Just over priced considering some parts spec.

  13. Is there a link to the geometry for the AWOL somewhere? That will really tell if these are something new and worthwhile.

    HTA, STA, and BB drop dimensions would tell a person all they need to know.

  14. DJR, you want good wheels you have to build your own bike, or swap out wheels if your getting a killer deal. I still see brands spec’ing garbage wheels on otherwise nice bikes. I’m partial to Stans – $600 gets you good light hoops for the money.

  15. Not surprised that Spec is behind the times on this. Gravel bike innovation isn’t happening in California, except for small builders in nocal and whatnot.

  16. mudrock, You are correct and that is what you have to do to make these bikes right. Something that I think should already be right at time of purchase. These bikes spec with STANS would make them Great.

  17. AWOL fork doesn’t look suspension corrected, this will make it a non-starter for many folks .. who may not ever put suspension on it, but don’t want a new adventure bike without the option of doing so.

  18. Lol yeah those are some serious high head tubes. I don’t see the point of a drop bar with such an upright position.

  19. I’ve been seeing all these comfort/adventure road bikes with super tall head tubes, I think some bike manufacturers think that the level of comfort a bike provides is directly proportional to the headtube length. Well it’s not! I’m most comfortable with my bars below seat level, and I’d never buy a bike that wouldn’t allow me to set them there.

    Shame though, ’cause I like it otherwise…

  20. LOL @ Samuel J. Greear

    I’m the opposite, I get quite annoyed when bikes in this category have sus-corrected forks. They look ugly, make mounting fenders more difficult, and contribute even more to the tall headtube.

    And really, it’s better this way, because if they wanted to Spec. could build this with a reasonably steep HTA, low BB and steep STA. So it would handle like a nice loaded tour bike. Then when you smang a squishy fork on it you also slacken the angles nicely and raise the BB a bit.

  21. @Rico and @Johny

    That is the point of the high head tube, so u can use the drop bars…

    These are niche bikes built for off-road, gravel, (rutted or not) forest roads (and similar) long distance adventures. The laid back geometry allows for easier and stable steering. The bikes u both want with “aggressive” low bars and high seats are handling like shit in those conditions. And I’m speaking from experience;)

    Plus, they probably attract lots of tourers and commuters, too;)

  22. @richNYC: My current CX/touring/long-distance rig has about 9 cm of drop, compared the the 11 cm on my road bike. Here’s one that’s going to blow your mind, though: neither bike handles like shit. My CX bike sees plenty of off-road riding, tons of gravel, single-track, urban commuting, etc.

  23. @Zach Overholt and Bike Rumor staff:
    Will you be covering prices/specs on the 2014 tarmac lineup? Or is the coverage limited to the Specialized 2014 road post you made a few days ago?
    Thanks and great work

  24. specialized is like that guy that comes to the party late, and wants to hang out and then opens his mouth to say something, and then everyone is silent, and someone says yeaaaaaahhhh, so……

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.