2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

For 2016, the Specialized Crux cyclocross bikes get thru axles and disc brakes across the line for all carbon models, alongside other minor frame and fork updates. The Roubaix endurance road bikes get thru axles on carbon bikes from the top down to the SL4 Expert level.

That’s a big update from 2015 models, where all bikes still used standard quick release dropouts on the rear (forks were already thru axle). Generally, thru axles are a good thing, offering a stiffer frame and wheel, and a safer mounting system when used with disc brakes. What’s got some riders in a tiff is the way Specialized went about adding them, creating a proprietary system that locks you into their Roval or Axis wheels…

UPDATE: Read the development story behind the SCS 135mm disc brake thru axles in our interview with Spec’s Road Brand Manager Mark Cote!

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The controversy of the design comes from the axle spacing, which remains at a standard 130mm in order to maintain proper chainline and short chainstays. The gap inside the dropouts is 135mm, which accommodates the additional 2.5mm per side required for the slots that the wider thru-axle hub endcaps slot into. The difference is that the 135mm spacing is not the same as 135mm mountain bike spacing (stay with us… the diagram below provides visual comparison and will help make sense of it all).

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The design does indeed allow for perfect chainline, for which there are recommended guidelines. Those guidelines prescribe ideal placement for the chainrings in relation to the cassette, with different variances based on how long the chainstays are. For shorter chainstays, there’s less wiggle room in order to maintain proper shifting and prevent the chain from accidentally rubbing the other chainring in a 2x setup.

Specialized runs their narrow 68mm OSBB, and they want short chainstays, so they had to get creative to maintain a good chainline.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The result is SCS (Short Chain Stay) hubs and spacing. For the new thru axle version of SCS, that means a 135mm spacing at the ends of the hubs, which keeps the traditional hub spacing at 130mm. In other words, as far as the cassette’s position on the hub is concerned, this is a 130mm road hub.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

For practical purposes, this simply means you’re getting a 130mm disc brake road bike hub on a modern bike…the downside being that most (ie. all) modern disc brake road bikes have switched to 135mm QR rear spacing, which becomes 12×142 with a thru axle. So, with the new Specialized Crux and Roubaix, you’re locked into using their SCS Roval or Axis wheels because no one else makes 135mm thru axle hubs.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

If you like their wheels, then no problem. The only downside is the lower bracing angle, which, all else being equal, means wheels that are less laterally stiff. Here’s how they stack up:


Click to enlarge. Note that the cassette is in the same place as on a 130mm road hub, but to get the disc brake rotor in there, the non-drive side flange has to move inboard a bit, reducing the overall bracing angle.

There are some folks attempting work arounds for aftermarket hubs, and we’ll get to those, but first let’s wrap up the bike.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

Specialized’s OSBB uses a traditional 68mm road BB spacing, then presses oversized metal fittings into the shell. Bearings are then placed inside those and retained with C-clips, much like a traditional BB30 system. They have a 30mm inside diameter, so a typical BB30 crankset can be used, albeit with spacers between as necessary.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

Even with the narrow frame, there’s ample clearance for up to 35mm tires and their accumulated mud.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The thru axle design is sleek, one of the cleanest integrations out there.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The other big change for the bikes is a new carbon fork that runs the front brake hose internally, entering at the top of the crown, then exiting just above the caliper. Post mounts are built in, no flat mount design yet. The axle is the newer 12mm standard, though.

We spoke to several Specialized shop owners and employees, one of which has ridden Specialized ‘cross bikes for years, and one other customer that purchased the bike you see here. Both complimented the bikes on their performance, the shop guy saying that other frame changes were minimal from 2015 to 2016, but that their excellent race handling carries over. But, all expressed disappointment in the thru axle design for various reasons, including:

  • It limits your ability to use existing high end wheels, either as primary or pit wheels.
  • It locks you into Specialized’s wheel system, unless you’re willing to buy a wheelset and then rebuild them with your own rims.
  • The desired chainline could have been accomplished by either using a wider bottom bracket and 12×142 rear thru axles, or using an offset chainring spider or direct mount ring with 12×142, similar to how mountain bikes are moving the chainline out to accommodate Boost 148 rear ends.
  • With 1x drivetrains, maintaining ideal chainline for the best front shifting is less important, although we’d add that having incorrect chainline can cause premature drivetrain wear and extra noise.

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

So, say you want to use your own hubs. Say you’ve got a very nice set of 29er wheels that you’ve been using for ‘cross already and want to fit them to this bike. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

Some folks have reportedly tried grinding down the 142mm hub endcaps to squeeze into the Crux’s 135mm spacing. This will not work because the SCS dropouts put the rear derailleur in the wrong spot, and word on the street is they don’t offer a non-SCS dropout.

The one trick that seems to work is machining off the lip on the inside of the cassette to bring it closer to the spokes. This is a) necessary so the cassette ends up far enough inboard that your chain doesn’t rub on the dropouts, and b) definitely not something you have the equipment to do at home. Fortunately, it’s a solution coming from Next Devo, who’s wheels were spotted on Erin Faccone’s bike at some early season races. For $300, Next Devo will custom machine an Ultegra 11-speed cassette and end caps for two sets of wheels (front and rear, four total wheels) that’ll work on their hubs or any modern DT Swiss 350/240/180 hubset. The kit will also fit older Specialized Roval wheels, should you already have a nice set of those and just be looking to purchase a new Crux frameset. Check out the Next Devo adapter kit here.

UPDATE: Hope Tech is also working on a special hubset and wheels due to customer demand. It’ll be based on their XC6 24h hubs with carbon tubular and clincher options. They’re also finishing up their 12mm front axle caps, too. Look for a full story on those as soon as they’re ready.

It’s worth noting that we’ve reached out to Specialized by phone and email on several occasions and have not received a response. If they chime in, we’ll update. It’s also worth noting that this SCS system is used on all thru-axle disc brake versions of the 2016 Roubaix, Diverge, Ruby and Crux bikes.


The Crux line is all disc brakes for 2016, but the alloy bikes come with traditional QR skewers and dropouts. The top of the line is the S-Works, shown above, at $8,500. It’s built with their FACT 11r carbon, Shimano Dura-Ace 2×11 with S-Works carbon cranks, Shimano BR-785 hydraulic disc brakes, Roval Control SL wheels and Terra Pro tubeless-ready 700×33 tires. Two carbon models get SRAM 1×11 drivetrains, the rest are 2×11 Shimano equipped bikes. The top five bikes come with their CR-R suspension seatpost, too.


The 2016 Roubaix lineup includes four carbon models with the SCS thru axle system, others, including several carbon disc brake bikes, get standard QR dropouts and skewers. The top of the line is the $8,500 S-Works SL4 with Dura-Ace Di2 in all black. Immediately below it is this SL4 Pro Disc Race with Ultegra Di2 for $5,800. It gets the BR-785 hydro brakes, Roval Rapide CL 40 carbon wheels with S-Works Turbo 700×26 tires and a Specialized cockpit.

Full specs and pricing on all 2016 models is posted on their website.



  1. Colin M on

    Every hub standard that Specialized tries to put out there fails. 142+

    They should consider firing the person that made this choice. Vastly underestimated the geekery that roadies and cx folks put into their wheel selection.

  2. William on

    @SB. Agree… FAIL

    Specialized F’d up not bringing Thru-Axles to CRUX back in 2014/2015… And when they did the used the messed up version and not standard 12×142.

    Precisely the reason I didn’t buy specialized but wound up buying a Norco Threshold which has been awesome!

  3. Eric Hansen on

    This… isn’t new. Specialized road bikes with disc brakes have all had SCS wheels for at least a year, if not longer. All that’s new is a through axle vice a quick release. This is necessary unless and until road moves to a 73mm BB shell.

  4. Paul on

    While I am not entirely pleased with Specialized’s choice to go with a proprietary thru axle, I have to admit that the bikes ride great. I had a Crux Elite Evo last year that I used as a gravel bike and enjoyed greatly. I was able to use a standard hanger and 135mm qr wheelset and had no problems with shifting. I now have a Diverge Expert X1 that rides great. The stock wheels were OK, but the Roval Control Sl SCS carbon set is in my near future.
    I also have a Tarmac with the same dropout/TA standard, and the Roval CL40’s have been great. No need for another wheelset there.
    Granted I don’t race CX, and thus don’t have a need for pit wheels, but the bikes work well regardless of the “standards” used. Personally, I can’t really complain.
    In the interest of transparency, I do work for a Specialized dealer, in case you hadn’t figured that out. 😉

  5. Nick Hutton on

    It’s actually not that bigger deal to put a different hub in. I had a set of enve 28er xcs laced to a DT Swiss 240’s made this year by Wheelworks in NZ. They simply machines the DT Swiss end caps and they fitted my Diverge with SCS spacing peefectly. I have ridden over 4000km on them and haven’t missed a shift. By simply switching the end caps, I’ve been able to also use the wheels on my 12×142 mtb.

  6. Eric Hansen on

    I can understand wanting to get something on the rising edge of the technology wave, but it’s just not going to help. Look at it this way; what were you lusting after five years ago? Specialized hadn’t debuted the Crux yet, but here’s something that was hot: http://bikerumor.com/2010/07/12/2011-giant-tcx-cyclocross-bikes-carbon-alloy-and-womens-models/

    I challenge you to find any one component on that bike that you’d put on a new high end CX bike from today. Five years from now, everything on a MY16 bike will look similarly ancient.

    You’re in the mindset that you’re buying a Durable Good, but you’re really not if you’re buying a race bike.

  7. John on

    This is the same **** (crap) they put on the Diverge, and IMO they’ve ruined an otherwise great bike, again. Nobody else makes these hubs, and nobody else makes wheels based on these hubs. So, once again, you’re locked into the the Big S for your second (or third) set of wheels.


  8. MattyB on

    First, I got rid of my ’14 Crux because the quick release hub was weak and caused disc brake rub on hard cornering. I got a new Crux a few weeks ago and could not be happier with the upgrades. The thru axles are noticeably better with an overall better riding bike. I also love the addition of the Swat bottle mount and 2nd bottle mount on every crux, for conversion to gravel use, which is key for me.

    Second, we have been told by the rep that if we have customers wanting to use non-scs wheels that they can get the standard derailleur hanger, non-scs, and it will fit a 130 hub. It works because some of the extra spacing is found inside the hanger, if you look at the diagram. We have a Zipp faithful customer who is trying this out now and we have not heard back yet. Only downside is “non-ideal chainline”. Rep did mention that SCS technology is open-source and they are hoping other wheel companies adopt tech and it becomes mainline.

  9. Mac on

    Specialized likes to sell their own branded cranks, so what was the lack of wisdom that lead them away from the standard 135QR or 12×142 with an offset chain-ring spider???

    Fire the marketing idiot. This is losing you sales.

  10. a on

    ive a 2014 crux expert which i do not intend to change (or if i ever do this year, prolly not to another crux).

    its pretty great, love the frame, the handling, the stiffness and its not all that harsh either – but accelerate better than most – even 2016 models. I also love the sram stuff on it (just as much as my shimano stuff that is, everything works great since 2 years on!)

    now.. mine uses skewers and while they work ok they’re a little finicky with the front disc brake at times, and also a little less stiff. specially for the fork as well. But – I just wouldn’t get that “fixed” in exchange of not being able to carry over wheels with regular hubs or having a broad choice of wheels, sorry specialized, but no thanks, no way, no deal.

  11. Swift on

    wow… being a mech at a specialized shop this makes me hugely disappointed. Seriously, how hard could it have been to just gone with a standard setup?! you straight up redesigned the rear dropouts just to accommodate your wheels only?!
    Don’t get me wrong, I think Roval wheels are pretty damn good albeit a bit on the squiggly side on hard sprints but c’mon! no room for upgrade man!
    YOU HAVE FAILED ME ZED! I was planning on getting a ’16 Cruz but now I’m not too sure.
    Focus! show me what you got!

  12. goridebikes on

    @Eric Hansen – while SCS isn’t new, THIS is new. There is no longer a non-SCS derailleur hanger available, as was/is possible with the QR wheels.

    Having experimented extensively with this, the “custom” cassette is the only solution and it’s hardly viable – those that ride hard will need a new cassette each year (or perhaps every other) – and then where do you procure another such custom cassette… It’s a spiral of proprietary shit just like the SCS system itself, so it’s a pointless “workaround” really.

    Also, good luck with lacing those hubs to other rims: 2:1 lacing and 24 holes = pretty tough on any quality rim that has offset spoke holes.

    SCS works quite well, but if you do not love Roval wheels, these bikes are not for you.

    It’s unfortunate for all involved that Specialized chose a proprietary hub standard as their fix to the chainline problem – it decreases their sales, especially at the higher end, and creates headaches for the company and dealers in matters of tech support.

    And don’t even get me started on WHY we are considering front shifting on cross bikes… WTF!?

  13. Bluefire on

    Oh, hell. This is beyond smelling blood; I can taste it. I’m WADING in it. Boost got enough flak for being a new industry standard, yet this is fully proprietary.

  14. flow on

    Boo, hiss, boo to Specialized. I have two disc Cruxes and an Epic that I have been racing for the last three years. I bought all three as frame sets. I have been very happy with them, even if they are on the pricey side. I use multiple wheel sets on all three bikes over the course of the xc and cx seasons. It has been working out great. I was planning to sell one of my Cruxes to buy a S-Works Crux frameset but there is no way I am going to do that now–no way I am going to invest in a Roval wheelset that is only offered in a centerloc disc version when I have two wheelsets that are as least as good. Maybe it’s time to sell all three Specialized framesets and go with a brand that sticks to mainstream industry standards.

  15. John on

    @Paul: Yeah, if I got employee pricing on the bikes and wheels, maybe I might go all-in on the Big S too.

    But how do you square this with your paying customers? Do you try to “educate” them about this (intentional) incompatibility? Do you not say anything and risk having a customer feel duped when they find out later that they can only buy wheels from you?

    No surprise that the silence from Morgan Hill is deafening. I can say from personal experience at my LBS that I had to research this hub issue with the Diverge on my own (shoutout to RBR), the shop only came clean when I had enough information to ask the poignant questions to be able to get to the bottom of this. I haven’t been back to that shop except to buy some the Salsa bits and baubles they keep in stock.

  16. sd on

    @john given paul starts with “all wheels work on my crux” then went on with “im getting a 2016 crux”… i bet thats the dialog to customers, makes you believe the 2016 is also standard lol. @paul dude.

  17. JBikes on

    That OSBB has to be about the ugliest, pieced together looking BB/crank spindle interface ever made.

    And what your telling me is to wait for the SCS-Boost model…

  18. greg on

    One error. There is no need for Specialized to change anything about their bb shell width to accommodate 142thru. All they had to do is make a new spider for their crank. OR, they could have used an off-the-shelf SRAM or FSA crank, both of which offer road and CX cranks in a +2.5mm chainline (and have for a year).
    I do wonder if the disc to axle end is the same as on a 135thru. If so, then what’s needed to at least use wheels with 135thru end caps would (possibly) be a custom hanger that is thin and flat on its left face, but still thicker at the derailleur to position it properly. Sure would be a cleaner solution than that one shop’s modified cassette.

  19. John on

    @goridebikes: Lots of people ride 2×11 “cross” bikes as their daily driver. With disc brakes, fenders and clearance for the right tires, a cross bike can make a great winter bike. Even for people who wouldn’t know a handup from a runup.

  20. Kernel Flickitov on

    After the agony of watching Sinyard speak at the Mission Workshop ‘Ask a Founder’ series, it’s no wonder the epic fail of this bike. 135 thru???? Pffft! Total joke. Waste of R&D, time and money. This will last less time then 130 disc, just watch.

  21. professor on

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more of this. Products are obsolete before they even hit the market. The number of choices on any bike or component is staggering. As a company, if you can cut through all the confusion and confidently sell consumers on a proprietary solution, why would you?

  22. goridebikes on

    @John and all of those people would be easily served by a 1x drivetrain.. In fact, the commuter MORESO – I replace front derailleurs on a near yearly basis for many of my hardcore commuters because they use it so infrequently and it sees so much water, dirt, etc. that they often seize and the complaint is simply that “once in the last month I tried to use it and it didn’t work well” – what they really need is to just remove it entirely.

    I am able to climb at 4mph up techincal rocky climbs, and ride the road at 20mph with one single chainring. A 30 tooth at that. Even with an 11-36 as opposed to 10-42 one should be more than capable of commuting with that. The front derailleur is dead except for those that need precise cadence options as well as range (performance road) or extremely quick and dramatic shifts (really no one)..

    I firmly believe that once the 1x market becomes just a bit more common and we see a dramatic price drop, it will be standard on hybrid, cross and mountain bikes. But I digress..

    As for hub spacing, 135mm is perfectly acceptable – in fact it was a mountain bike standard for a brief period before 142 came out. Trick being, 142 allowed sales of whole new bikes and wheels with this new feature… 142 spacing is totally unnecessary for a road bike. Totally. The issue is NOT 12×135, which is easy to accomodate, but SCS…

  23. Sean on

    So, hang on. They have a CS length of 425mm ( across their whole size range which is even worse on their road bikes but that’s another discussion ) which is well above the minimum Shimano and any of the other group manufacturers minimum length and they are worried about a chain line on a cassette that has a width of some 40mm? I’ve not raced CX but I would imagine the top 2/3 of the cassette the most used, having the chainline 2.5mm inboard on the cassette would be advantageous.
    While I’m not against a company building proprietory products as sometimes it solves an issue all I can see here is Spec. rail roading it’s customers into it’s own products which the consumer is savvy enough these days to probably reject it.

  24. John on

    @goridebikes: I know some of you guys thing these things are the stuff, but the huge ratio gaps on a 1x make them unusable to me on a road bike, definitely for any real distance. I think it’s just clever marketing spin (no pun intended) from a company that can’t seem to build a functional front derailleur to save their lives, so they don’t even try.

  25. Hogdog on

    I’ve never complained about the new hub standards because there is logic to them but Specialized’s logic for not using 142 x 12 is comical. They’re saying that it was easier to create a whole new hub standard rather than adjust the chain line via the chainring.

  26. John on

    I have a Tarmac with the old proprietary headset. It doesn’t have a proper replacement headset in the stores. You have to custom order it from specialized. Sounds like a pain. And then I held off buying a new bike because of the press fit bottom brackets. Now that threaded bbs are coming back, these morons and messing with wheel width? I just can’t trust specialized to make a bike That I can get parts for in five to ten years. That’s just dumb. I won’t buy there bikes again. Too expensive and too risky.
    Think I’ll just get a ritchey.

  27. haromania on

    Bikes lose enough of their resale value when you wish to sell and upgrade a few years later anyway, imagine how much you’ll lose with this thing.

  28. Eric Hansen on

    To the person earlier accusing me of ‘reverse trolling’ and being a paid shill for Specialized, apparently your comment was deleted. I call stuff out on Bike Rumor for being dumb product so much, it is a wonder i’ve not been banned from the site. This is just such a non-issue. As has been mentioned, the hub design is NOT proprietary, but is an open standard. Furthermore, you can run non-SCS wheels, but it’ll have a chainline mismatch. Running a crank with an offset is just as much as a bodge fix as this.

    We’re in a transitional period where CX bikes effectively ARE XC MTBs from the ’90’s with drop bars, but are still hampered with a road race drivetrain. That’s OK if you don’t treat your RACE bike like a long term investment. If you want a long term investment, buy a less bleeding edge bike. If you want the state-of-the-art, buy this bike.

    I don’t even know why folks are saying “but you’ve got to have Roval wheels!” like it is some awful thing. The hub internals are DT Swiss, and the wheels are well made. Personally, I don’t even like DT Swiss hub designs, because they place 90% of the load on the drive side hub shell bearing. But, they’re well regarded, and often used in “bombproof” wheel builds, so whatever. Better to have effectively hand-built DTS wheels than to have a drivetrain that won’t work on any other bike.

  29. Eric Hansen on

    Furthermore, I use my real name on here, I don’t hide behind pseudo-anonymity. You can easily find my history of hating on dumb stuff.

    Where I have a problem with this wheel design is on the Diverge, and the Roubaix to a lesser extent. The Roubaix is still a race bike, even though most people don’t ride it like one. The Diverge is emphatically NOT a race bike, and shouldn’t even be hampered with the design criteria of ‘short chainstays at all costs!’. It’s a credit-card all-road touring bike, and one that you should reasonably expect to ride for a decade or more if you want to. In that application, this hub standard is a bad fit.

  30. Eric Hansen on

    @john people do ride cross bikes as an all weather commuter, but not Cruxes. When Specialized brought out the Crux beside the Tricross, they put a clean division between commuter bike and CX race bike. Later, Specialized further split the Tricross roles out to the AWOL and the Diverge, the AWOL taking over the duties of loaded tourer, and the Diverge taking up the CC tour and commute duties.

    The number of people commuting on Cruxes is vanishingly small. They’re a race bike, through and through. They make zero concessions toward commuting like racks or fenders, or even relaxed handling.

  31. Adam on

    Eric, Roval wheels are 24 spoke. I race cross..and am 6ft1 and 225. The thought of 24H wheel is not very reassuring. Plus the Roval Tubulars are $1800 or more a pair.
    I can build 3 sets of decent tubulars for that cost, but their is not suitable hub-set available aftermarket.

    I have found a workaround for my bike, however I don’t think machining my own front end caps, and putting spacers inside my rear hub, along with shimming my RD out, and grinding half the rear hanger off is a very good solution.

  32. Eric Hansen on


    These bikes (and wheels) are good up to 240 pounds, plus Roval wheels have a 3 year warranty. I’m 6’5″. I’d ride the hell out of them.

    The price of the wheel sets is significant, but then the bike itself is $5200. It is not a cheap machine. You do get tubeless compatible rims, which gets all the benefits afforded by tubulars, except the part where you can say “I am running tubular tires”.

  33. Robo on

    This is such a non-issue in the real world. AND the Rovals are awesome, second only Enveys so if that’s what you’re running, then be upset. Otherwise, ride one of the best CX bikes out there and update your wheels. So it’s proprietary, boo-hoo and get with the times. You don’t drop your Honda off at the Chevy dealer, do you? EVERYONE will do things like this soon. Ahhh bike rumor comments sections….

  34. Paul on

    @John… Of course I let my customers who are looking at these know. It is generally a non-issue, since we don’t really sell Crux’s (more a neighbirhood shop), and most Diverge buyers are not too concerned about race wheels. Same can be said of Roubaix’s, I suppose. Most Tarmac buyers have already researched the help out of it.

  35. Dominic on

    @Eric Hansen, at first i was annoyed at you, but then i realized you’d just sort of assumed 10×130 disc hubs are just as available as 12×135. I can forgive you for that.

    What i can’t forgive is pro-Roval sentiment. In my years of experience as a mechanic, they all suck. Some models may have DT ratchet rings, but an engagement mechanism, does not a hub make. Lookin at you @Robo

  36. broseph on

    I work at a shop that carries both giant and specialized. I cannot tell you how many TCX’s I have sold over the last few months when I let people know that they can only run roval wheels. If any one from specialized is reading this, this is not a joke. You are losing massive sales because of this SCS mess. Literally I’ve sold 5 TCX’s for every 1 crux, most of the crux’s I am selling are from last year (pre-thru axle).

    Also, the derailleur hanger you could order from specialized that allowed non SCS hubs you can no longer order.

    Hate to jump on the “fail” bandwagon, but this truly is one decision that is hurting their sales.

  37. bb_nl on

    Same as @ Nick Hutton here: My wheel-builder simply drilled out some DT Swiss end caps (135mm * 10mm TA -> 135mm * 12mm TA) on a set of DT Swiss 240 (straight pull) hubs. Then they offset the rim 1,5 mm to the left hand side, which actually makes for a stiffer wheel. Works fine on my KTM Canic CXC, without any modifications to the cassette. Chain and cassette obviously do not touch the dropout / axle inserts / derailleur hanger. As far as I can see, my wheels should fit the 2016 Crux (possible a different offset will be needed). Not that I would even consider trading in my KTM Canic for the Crux, BTW: I’ve saved about $2000, it’s 1 kg lighter and looks a whole lot better to me!

    Derailleur offset is only 2,5mm, so that should be doable by simply adjusting the derailleur using the adjustment screws to set the derailleur 2,5mm to the outside (and of course re-setting the shift cable). Unless Specialized designed-in no tolerance for outward adjustment at all, which would be a big design flaw.

    Only issue left is chain line: This set up will actually improve chain line on lighter gears but does make it less perfect on harder gears. An offset chainring could fix this, if needed.

    So the way I see it, sitting on my sofa at home making up theories: Switching to your own wheels will not be the most convenient exercise ever, but it’s also not impossible. Or am I missing something here?

  38. Doug on

    A friend of mine recently purchased a Diverge and we went all through this w/regard to the SCS system. The sad part is that it’s not generally known so you don’t find out until after the purchase. Currently there are no aftermarket hubs or wheels using this standard. And the manufacturers we contacted have no interest in making them. The potential problem of using a 135mm mtn bike hub is that the small cog (chain) is very close to the dropout. This is why some have machined the cassette. This machining can work with a large cog rear hub but not with smaller ones as there will be spoke interference in the large cog. That said, I have read where some have had success with this arrangement. The Diverge comes with two dropous – the regular SCS dropout and the one for 135mm wheels with the RD mount being 2.5mm further outboard.

    As bad as all this is, it got worse for him. He bent his (OEM Praxis) crankset so replaced it with an Ultegra using the 30mm to 24mm converters. It appears that it moved the chainrings out just enough so that now the actuator arm on the FD (Shimano 5800) hits the tire when shifting to the outer ring. So now he can’t move the cage out far enough and so gets chain rub in the higher gears. If he moves it out further he gets tire rub. His shop even redished the wheel so it’s offset to the left to minimize this – yeah, I know, not the optimal solution. He’s contacted Spec for a solution and no reply. So he’s not sure what to do – buy another (proprietary) crank or come up with some hack. Stay tuned.

  39. Doug on

    PS – a couple more things. My speculation is that Specialized developed this system for the Tarmac and Roubaix disc bikes. It may actually make sense for these pure road models. But then, when they were designing the Diverge, and subsequently the new Crux, they carried over these road bike specs rather than going with the mountain bike standards. Perhaps they are trying to amortize development costs over more production models. Still a bad idea in my opinion.

    Also, the wheelbase on the Diverge is actually shorter than the Crux. I was actually sort of surprised by this. Regardless, it put the tire tight to the seat tube and right where the FD arm goes when in the large chainring.

  40. Tom puzak on

    Superb post by Mr. Benedict. Tons of research there that was helpful. This should have been solved with an offset chainring. Seems to me that they are trying to lock you into their stuff, more than improve their bikes.

  41. broseph on

    “A friend of mine recently purchased a Diverge and we went all through this w/regard to the SCS system. The sad part is that it’s not generally known so you don’t find out until after the purchase.” <— This!!! We have experienced this from our other sales people that don't inform people about this when selling the bike. Trying to explain this to the customer when they get home and try to swap out wheelsets turns into one pissed off customer after the sell.

    And, yes to the rest of the comments about machining a cassette, end caps, or axles, or anything involving machining. Do you really want to tell your customer "ok to use your zipps you were using before, or your mtb wheels, you are going to have to find a good machine shop. Then make sure you are using DT hubs, go there and have them machine this". Not a great solution. Yes there's always a work around but in the real world this doesn't fly.

  42. Mountain Dew Drinking Flatbiller on

    Heck, given the vitriol I’m surprised the bike industry made it past quill stems, threaded steer tubes, and pennyfarthings.

  43. FuelForThought on

    If anyone is trying to get a cassette machined, I highly recommend Billet Metal Crafts (http://www.billetmetalcraft.com). They machined a couple of Ultra 11-32 cassettes to fit onto a 10-spd freewheel carrier and only charged $25 per cassette. The $300 charged by NEXT seems very high.

  44. Andy on

    I would not buy any of these bikes with the SCS system and I hope Specialized realizes that there are likely many other potential customers who feel the same way. Hopefully this will guide their future planning.

    When it comes time to upgrade my road or cross frames I hope they have a more standard solution to offer, otherwise I’ll go for one of the many other appealing options made by other manufacturers.

  45. Brian P on

    My Zipp 202 Discs came with 12×135 end caps. From all the comments above about companies working on different end caps I don’t think it will be long until you see more hubs and wheels being offered with this option. As for the hanger with out the 2.5 offset built in I bet Specialized will offer one or Wheels manufacturing will.

  46. Mark Cote on

    Hey everyone – we’re here with you and hear all the comments and feedback. BR’s going to post a bit more info on SCS and specifically around the CruX.

    For those that are having challenges with their bikes like @ Doug on his buddy’s Diverge, if you can’t get the info you need through your retailer, please call our Rider Care Team at (877) 808-8154 (in the USA) and they’ll get you sorted.

  47. Dr. D on

    Saw one of these (same colors as in the pics) at the shop a few weeks ago. Sweet looking bike! I wanted to buy it on the spot – glad I didn’t though as I didn’t realize the new SCS wheels were on these. I have a shop full of QR 135 wheels … finally got all the rotors shimmed to align!

  48. Blake on

    Oh dear something new, what a catastrophe! Why does everyone think its automatically a failure because of that? Everyone thought the same thing about boost and now several huge companies are in on it. If there is demand for different wheels in this spec, any company with brains will see profit potential and begin making them. If it catches on like boost did you wont have any problem finding wheels you’re happy with. Specialized is always pushing for new ways to improve their bikes. If the big S thought it wasn’t an improvement they wouldn’t have used it. If you like this bike, don’t let this stop you from buying it.

  49. Sami Haapanen on

    Does anyone have a part number for this non-SCS derailleur hanger from Specialized. I have a 2015 Crux Elite and I just bought a new wheelset with DT Swiss hubs. I have an issue with chain clearance on smallest gog against derailleur hanger, so if this alternative part really exists I would appreciate help a lot.

    Best regards,

  50. Disapointed on

    Wow! Thank goodness that I found this post and forum. I was getting ready to purchase a Crux this week and now I’m going to be looking for another brand. I tend to keep bikes for a while and I need flexability in parts. This axle and wheel is a bad standard that is obsolete already. Sure bikes have many standards, but wheels is one area you should not diverge from. Lost sale…

  51. Seiously!?!?! on

    Love the concept and test road a few recently. I was impressed and was about to purchase a 2015 model until I discovered the issue with NOT being able to use non-Specialized wheels – AT ALL! Seriously????????


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