2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The decision to build a bike a certain way is typically made more than a year in advance. Sometimes two or more years. Sometimes there are competing standards or solutions that haven’t been developed yet that need buy in. And sometimes folks are willing to gamble on something they believe in.

In this instance, we’re talking about 12×135 thru axles versus the much more common 12×142.

Think back to HD DVD and Blu-Ray. Both had major brands behind them, and both ended up on the market to let consumers decide. It’s an apt analogy, except in the case of digital movie formats, there was a clear technological winner. Here, after talking to The Big Red S, it’s possible both axle standards could end up playing in garages around the world.

We spoke with Specialized’s Road Brand Manager, Mark Cote, to get the story behind the SCS (Short Chain Stay) disc brake thru axle design. Here’s what he had to say…

“The only two options that existed for thru axles going into this two seasons ago, 135mm and 142mm, and it was looking like 142mm was going to be too wide and cause heel clearance issues. The major reason we went with 135mm is that it worked with all SCS parts in development. It allows us to keep the chainline where it needs to be with chainstays under 420mm. We also didn’t want to change Q-factor on the cranks.”

Specialized first encountered this challenge with the MY2013 Roubaix Disc, which was their first road-going bike with hydraulic disc brakes. It has chainstays that were too short to meet guidelines from SRAM, so they spec’d a wider crankset to get the chainline where it needed to be. And then Cote says they got flak from fitters who complained the Q-factor was too wide. And, it limited the use of other aftermarket cranks already on the market.

The Crux Disc debuted in MY2012 in alloy, and for MY2013 in carbon, both of which used standard 135mm QR dropouts, which was the normal mountain bike standard. These bikes had chainstays longer than 425mm, which technically put them in the allowable spec range, but the chainline wasn’t optimal.

How will 135mm rear hub widths affect road bike chainline and shifting performance

And chainline is a major concern. When road bikes first started getting disc brakes just a few short years ago, we had a long technical discussion with frame and wheel makers about the impact of going from 130mm to 135mm hub spacing. SRAM and Shimano look at a frame’s chainstay length and mandate which cranksets and chainring offsets can be sold to the brand as OEM equipment…they won’t sell them something that doesn’t meet their chainline specifications.

“We had to make the commitment to a thru axle standard about 18 months ago,” says Cote. “Frames were starting to get made in January in order to ship by April, which meant the decision was made around July 2014. At that time, we believed 135mm SCS would be the prevailing standard. We sent drawings of this standard to many frame, wheel and component manufacturers for them to use, royalty free.

“The whole industry is figuring out how to best serve road cyclists. For us, we feel this is the best solution for short chainstay bikes. It wasn’t a solution made just to lock anyone into our wheels.”

In fact, Cote says Fulcrum also makes wheels for SCS, and there’s an open patent out there, which they did so that anyone could use it but no one else could patent it and make it proprietary. Cote says Specialized also has some handshake agreements with other wheel manufacturers that they were hoping would be on the market in time for cyclocross season, but that’s out of their hands.


But, there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Cotes says a non-SCS thru axle derailleur hanger is coming in November that’ll allow you to run normal 12x135mm thru axle hubs as opposed to 135mm SCS. The part will be free to all riders who purchased a 2016 Crux bike or frameset. And, it’ll allow other wheel manufacturers to easily adapt their wheels to this system by simply creating unique end caps utilizing their existing 135mm hub shells.

Zipp disc brake 202 303 clincher tubular (17)

Zipp’s ready. Their latest Firecrest carbon 202 and 303 and alloy 30 Course disc brake wheels offer end caps that’ll let their 135mm QR hubs switch to 135mm thru axles. And who doesn’t like Zipp wheels?

For fans of Specialized’s SCS wheels, Cote adds: “We offer five wheelsets ranging from a $250 Axis 4.0 alloy wheelset up to the $2,200 Roval CLX 40 carbon tubulars. And starting in November, we’ll also be offering an Axis hubset with Centerlock and an 11-speed freehub body so you can build your own wheels from it.”

Other options include upcoming wheels from Hope Tech, using a variant of their hubs laced to carbon tubular and clincher rims. Or Next Devo’s adapter kit for DT Swiss hubs.

“At the end of the day, we created a standard that we thought was the right thing for road bikes and decided to use it for our ‘cross bikes, too,” says Cote. “As the entire industry is working towards a standard, we knew we’d learn a lot eventually leading to a committed standard for disc brakes in the industry. All riders committing to new thru axle cross bikes are experiencing compatibility challenges with their older wheels going into this season. This isn’t unique to the 2016 CruX – But you know what? (The Crux) rides amazing, there’s no brake or heel rub issues and the people racing it are really enjoying it.

“Where’s it going in the future? That’s not anything I can speak to right now, but obviously we’re taking all of this feedback into consideration.”


  1. Francois on

    So basically the main reason for 135 spacing is because they started the process a long time ago and couldn’t adapt? Is this supposed to be a valid reason?

    Also it seems that all their issues stem from an obsession with short chainstays. And here, I’ll have to agree with the guys from Rivendell: make them longer! (http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=112)

  2. CBontheEVO on

    From Google Translate:

    “As the entire industry is working toward a standard, we knew we’d learn a lot by going to a proprietary design and having customers foot the bill. Once a true standard is decided upon, we’ll adopt that and force consumers to upgrade again. We didn’t believe we could pull it off, but the fact that consumers are just this stupid really surprised us. Haha Suckers”

  3. Hogdog on

    “We’re taking taking all of this feedback into consideration”… I really hope so because this is an almighty cock-up.

  4. cheffdog on

    To Francois: I see the argument for longer stays to create stability, but the writer even states that the sacrifice is turning radius and nimble handling. Since we are talking about a CX bike, quick turns and nimble handling are at the top of the “yes please” list. So I have to agree with the short chainstay choice by Specialized here. Woah, that is the first time I ever did that. I hope they won’t sue me.

  5. goridebikes on

    Tyler, this is an excellent apology on your part for writing a less-than-positive review of the system in your previous article. I especially enjoy the part where Specialized was allowed to proofread this article before publishing – seems much better. I feel that this article strikes a much better balance between offering re-worded press releases versus editorial commentary on a questionable move from an industry-leading brand (who remains the only brand embracing the SCS system).

    Also related to the discussion – I find it INSANELY frustrating that specialized would spec an extremely thin ROUND spoke for use with a straight pull hub at high tension. Holy windup batman… What ever happened to Aerolites?!

  6. JBikes on

    I don’t see the issue here. Somebody needs to hash out a TA standard for road/cross bikes. 12×142 seems too wide for Q-factor desires. Not sure why 10×135 wasn’t tried out to minimize dropout bulk (rigid rear triangles probably don’t benefit from the bigger axles), but not sure that part really matters.
    12×142 seems to be a way of using existing wheels or using MTB stuff, that’s it. Its a new bike though and Specialized is using this on road frame too. Maybe I’m missing something that others are overlooking.

  7. DISC MY BREAKS !!! on

    Anyone have a clue about the Q-factor on a MTN bike and heal clearance on a MTN Bike that has been using 12×142?

    My thought is this shit has already been worked out…

    come on Specialized, don’t release half baked rebuttals… it doesn’t help the brand!

    I would have bought the Diverge or CRUX if it wasn’t for the SCS wheels!

  8. Evan on

    The article says specifically it’s not a proprietary axle design “there’s an open patent out there, which they did so that anyone could use it”

  9. Jon on

    3.5 mm outward movement at the end of each chainstay? At the heal it somewhere around 2mm. It seems like a forming the chain stays would do a lot more to facilitation heal clearance than bucking the trend of 142 TA.

  10. JBikes on

    @DISC – I can’t say for sure, but MTB cranks have q-factors typically around 10mm larger than road cranks, which may or may not be an issue. As such they can adopt the “135mm” hub (includes 12×142) more readily.
    This seems more a new standard for road bike TA , applied to CX bikes (right or wrong). I actually think it is a good idea for road vs the current 130 when discs are involved. The market can speak with regards to CX. You can buy a number of 12×142 CX frames that I don’t think have heel clearance or chainline issues (TCX being one)

  11. Pablo on

    Didn’t Peter Denk confirm in the F-Si article that there was zero gain going from 9×135 QR to 12×142 TA, on any hardtail bike? And on this website nonetheless.

    Sounds like BS from the kings of marketing BS to squeeze even more dollars out of consumers.

  12. Fred on

    Um, since 12 x 142 has the same spacing as 10 x 135 qr, chain line should not be affected. The 142 measurement is not equivalent to the Over Lock Nut dimension of a 135 hub. The 142 measurment includes the bits of the hub which protrude into the frame. 12 x 142 has the same bracing angle, chain line, brake location, frame spacing, etc as 10 x 135 qr. This is why Boost 148 was created, to provide a better bracing angle. Bikerumor covered this a few months back but here’s an@other source:


    I guess my point is Specialized made an error and are trying to put a spin on it.
    I personally have had 0 issues with QR disk bikes, and feel that the whole thru axle thing is silly. But if the best new bikes have thru axles that’s what I’ll buy when my current rides wear out. I am definetelty not buying a bike with 12 x 142, since boost is on the horizon…
    And I would really rather not buy a specialized as I don’t like the way they do business, but if they have the right bike at the right price, well…

  13. Lennart on

    If chainline was such a concern why not use a different chrankset with a 3 mm offset simular to boost . I mean specialized makes and specs their own cranks and id much rather have a propriatary cranck than hub. Also the heel clearance issue, just adjust the shape of the seatstays inward a bit. So it cant be a straight line but we are talking only a couple mm here, I dont see how that cannot be accomodated for

  14. Fred on

    Oops, got it, Specilized managed to keep 130 spacing with a thru axle.. So shorter chain-stays but with a worse bracing angle.. Hmmm … Still silly … I am holding out for boost ..

  15. R4ND4L on

    Biking is the new golf. Company’s are changing stuff so fast hoping everyone will buy new. Just wait 6 months and buy on sale. Oh yeah the golf industry imploded maybe its not such a good idea to screw your customers over specialized and trek. Just take their word for it, it’s guaranteed for 6 months or until they run out of parts because last years design is obsolete.

  16. Keagan on

    Mechanical Engineer here. They had to make the commitment 18 months ago because it takes time to design everything, get molds made, get vendors lined up to machine components. There’s no “oops we picked the wrong thing, lets change it 3 months before release”. That just doesn’t happen. I agree with their design decision. I don’t want a wider Q factor on my cross bike. I also don’t want to hit my chain stays with my heel. I have a 2014 Crux with 135 mm QR Disc and the chain line is sub-optimal – shifting is not as good as it should be. I also hate having to re-align calipers every time I swap wheels (and yes I do have a procedure for installing wheels s the QR bottoms out and is in the “same” position every time). I want thru axles for their repeatability, safety, and stiffness (I would have liked to see the Focus RAT system, but that’s not as big of a deal). It sounds like the biggest error wasn’t in design decisions, but in presentation of what happened, why they chose the design they did, clearly indicating that they were giving away the design, and that other wheel manufacturers are going to offer SCS hubs but that timing prevented them being offered at launch of the bikes. To me this is a lot like the rim brake to disc brake transition, I sold all my rim brake wheels with the rim brake bike and used that money to buy disc brake wheels and bikes. You either commit, stop complaining, or go buy someone else’s bike. Standards take time to develop and all start somewhere as “proprietary this or that”.

  17. PK on

    Specialized takes their motto ‘Innovate or Die’ quite literally. because Specialized is admitting to have run out of solutions.

  18. anonymous on

    I wouldn’t have minded if they came out with this last year instead of the half assed QR with special hubs they came out with last year, but now everyone has gone 142. It’s not a question anymore.


    On behalf of everyone whose life was ruined by The Big S trying to make chains last longer and whatnot, I am angry and am going to write my emotions on BikeRumor.com.

    Seriously though. Hubs keep moving outwards and you expect the Q factors to remain the same? Something’s gotta give.

  20. CRUNN on

    I hope Specialized is reading these comments, because I’ve been waiting for them to make a thru axle cyclocross bike I can swap my MTB thru axle carbon wheels with for two years now. It would be so nice to just be able to swap thru axle wheels between bikes, especially when the carbon ones cost so much. I thought 2016 would be the year Specialized would come around and think about the consumer. Nope, not this year. Maybe Specialized should get out of their offices and talk to the consumer who can’t afford to buy a new bike with new standards every year. Their philosophy is very short sighted…On their way to finding a standard, all their doing is pissing everyone off.

    P.S.The Q factor doesn’t bother me at all on my 2014 S works Stumpjumper hardtail with 12X142+, and my heel doesn’t hit the chainstay either, so I think the “official” explanation from Specialized is B.S.

  21. sd on

    I for one am glad that BR doesnt have to have the manufacturer proof read all the stuff they post. I don’t wanna read a marketing website and the specialized article was a breath of fresh air for once (heck, look at bike radar scripted interview videos for example!).
    That’s generally instant-no-longer-go-there-unless-linked-by-ppl for me.

    Then again having specialized official reply is great as well. I suspect BR should have made the disclaimer that specialized did proof read though 😉

    Now then again, i think zipp, roval wheels are great but they’re also expensive and i’d rather have my hand built carbon wheels at 600-1k USD (for both wheels) even thus they might be just a tad worse. For that reason I’m still aiming to a 12×142 bike. Not exactly hoping to get such a wheel with custom hanger + custom caps at the same price or/and any time soon.

    I’m sure specialized reasons are pretty close to how it happened, but its still not the choice i’d have liked they would have done.

  22. Walt on

    Chainline and Q-factor/etc are the same for 135×10/QR or 142×12. The cassette and hub flanges are in exactly the same places, the dropout just captures a wider hub shoulder on the 142 setups. Many high end hubs can be converted back and forth by simply swapping endcaps.

    They are literally identical in terms of rider ergonomics and chainline, so I’m baffled by this article. If we were talking about 148×12 or another wider standard that would be another story but AFAIK that’s not the case here.


  23. Keagan on

    Chain line is not the same because they use a 68 mm BB not an 83 mm BB. Even though a 135 mm hub has the same chain line position as a 142×12 mm hub (since all that is really different is the length of the thru axle and the end caps), the frame is based on road bike cranks, not mountain bike cranks. To add the slots for a 142 mm TA they have to make the chain stays wider, hence the heel rub issues.

    If indeed they are offering a non-SCS derailleur hanger soon (and giving it to customers for free) then this really is a complete non-issue.

  24. greg on

    As Walt said, standard (non-SCS) 135×12 and 142×12 have the same dimensions practically everywhere. Dropouts are thicker and have 3.5mm channels to guide the axle in. That’s it. We’re talking a thicker dropout. Chainstays can be where they are.
    As I said in the previous article’s comments, all that’s needed is a non-SCS hanger, and dude says they’re coming in Novemeber. Now the only issue is for people wanting double cranks (yes, they’re out there). Can’t run a wider-chainline crank because the front derailleur braze on is too far inboard (possibly).

  25. Mathme on

    @Walt– that’s exactly what I was thinking. There are tons of frames out there that can be easily converted to accept 142 and 135qr. This is a strange rationalization for a 4th standard that the industry wasn’t demanding.

  26. John on

    In case anyone in Morgan Hill is reading these comments…

    It wasn’t so much the incompatibility of the new Diverge hubs/wheels (though that does bother me), it’s that it felt like it was done so underhandedly. I couldn’t get a straight answer from my Specialized LBS, I couldn’t get a straight answer when I called the Big S directly (and no, despite what I was told, my existing wheels would not work with the alternate derailleur hangar). Thankfully, someone on RBR was already researching this at that time helped me to ask the right questions. The whole experience has soured me on both Specialized and that LBS; I felt like I was a rube, getting duped, the only one in the transaction not “in on it”.

    Then you only “come clean” (let’s be honest, there is still a ton of spin in the above article) after the BR article that explicitly calls you out on it.

    Trust is so hard to earn and so easy to lose.

  27. Adam on

    This is progress..but cross season started September 14and will dang near be over by the time this new hanger hits my lbs. Axis wheels are not in stock and it was just yesterday their $1800 roval control sl became available.

  28. logandj on

    I have three 12×142 bikes, two CX (Focus and Giant) and one Giant MTB. I have size 13us feet. I have no chainline or shifting issues and zero heel rub. Oddly enough I do get heel rub on my road bike with standard road hubs.

    If my feet don’t have issues it’s hard to imagine someone who does.

  29. Kernel Flickitov on

    In a few years we’ll have lightweight internally geared wireless drivetrains, with perfect chain line and zero dish rear wheels. What you’re seeing now is all the mistakes we need to go through to get to that point.

  30. Doug on

    It looks like bicycle manufacturers can’t decide on hub standards right now. I decided to buy a KTM motorcycle instead of a bicycle. Maybe some day when bicycle standards gell I will buy another bicycle. In the meantime, I will buy a vehicle that offers much more value, and won’t be obsolete in a few weeks. And I will ride one of my fleet of obsolete bicycles when I get the urge to go motorless.

  31. MnMDan on


    So what am I missing here?
    MTB…started with 135mm QR before moving to 142mm TA. Same chain-line. Cranks did not change. My feet sit on the pedals.

    Road/cross…started with 130mm QR and have moved to the 135mm QR/142mm TA. My feet sit on the pedals.

    On neither bike do my heels clip anything. I either don’t notice/don’t care that the Road/Cross has a slightly different Q-factor than the MTB, or its a non-issue.

    5k/year on road/cross, 2k/year on MTB. No biomechanical issues.

    Oh, and if it is/was such an issue, why is 142+ still being used on MTB’s? Surely that would negatively affect chainline (it moves the cogset 2mm outboard) similar to what Specialized says it is trying to correct via this new hub dimension by moving the corset inward . Are they making it worse in one area, making it worse in both areas, or just assume the consumer will buy their proprietary $#&!.

    So, which one is it?

  32. Gillis on

    It’s about maintaining Q-factor which is less than on a road bike than on a standard mountain bike.
    (130mm QA ~ 135mm scs) : (135mm QA ~ 142mm TA

  33. R4ND4L on

    As far as the engineering goes for bikes, in the infamous words of Grandpa Dean bike mechanic for around 30 years, if you want to know how to build a bike just ask a bike mechanic. You can engineer poo in a box and it will still be poo in a box.

  34. sideburnz on

    Anybody else find it funny that that chainline photo actually makes it look like the cassette needs to move outward to be better?

    • Tyler Benedict on

      Sideburnz – depends on which pic you’re talking about…the one with the pink hub was an older photo I used in a prior post, just put it in here to mix things up a bit and may or may not have ideal chainline. It’s my Moots, which I’ve run as both 2×10 and 1×11 and had no shifting or chain problems, though. The other bike pic is of the 2016 Crux.

  35. timbo on

    I have been waiting over a year to get spare through axles from Specialized for my Diverge. Nothing off the shelf fits, and they have no spares. I ordered them when I bought my bike.

    Unique things are fine, but they need to keep spares.

  36. raphael on

    Guys. If you dont like what they are doing. Dont buy it. There happen to be many other bikes available.

    …if specialized wants to make bikes with SCS let them.

  37. The Man on

    Ok. i too am a mechanical engineer who am also a registered reddit user and has about 946 post counts.
    That non-scs derailleur they’re proposing is missing a lip inwhich to slot the thru axle. This is not a good solution since alignment won’t be a quick and easy task which is one of the benefits of thru axles.

  38. jason on

    18 months ago Boost was launched as a proprietary axle fitment from Trek. Now the entire industry is switching to Boost and it will very likely kill 12×142. Somebody has to go first and apparently they’re going to be a villain for a little while. Until we look back and realize they were the innovator.

  39. matb on

    Assume for one minute that they are are not trying to force people to buy their wheels. What other factors would force them into such a near sighted decision.
    Development cost. If they had gone to a wider rear end and set the chainstay in further it would probably require a different mold. Instead they did a funky derailleur hanger that allows them to use narrower hubs shell but still have through axle via means of the modifying existing molds to now have a through axle. If we recall the 130 disc vs 135 disc mess its probably safe to assume that somewhere there are a lot of leftover “unusable” 130 disc shells. look at the SCS diagram…sure looks like a shell that is narrower than their own 135 disc huh?Are they reusing that old junk?
    And all so they can have a shiny new 2016 with though axles because that is good for sales
    Giant is heading in a good direction by not having a new model every year just to have a new model. It makes them less beholden to an annual time line and more to when standards are ready and decided upon. UCI is still on the fence about discs so why rush?
    I love specialized products and have sold them confidently for many years based on their real world testing but this just puts a bad taste in my mouth.
    Seems like marketing interfered with engineering on this occasion.
    end rant

  40. JBikes on

    135 and 12×142 are “the same”, as many have posted.
    From what I can see, S seems to have developed this for their road bikes (130mm) and is using it on their CX bikes. For road bikes and road double cranksets, SCS makes sense for disc (although one could argue TA isn’t needed in the rear on rigid triangles but the market wants it).

    In November they are bringing 135 hangers, not sure why everyone is so concerned unless they can’t wait until November.

    I think S could have avoided this by supplying the bikes with the hangers, explaining why. But the actual SCS system is not a bad one, sans lower bracing angles for the wheels.

  41. Adam on

    @Jbike, The problem for many of us is that Cross season started in early September. I started riding a for Specialized dealer this year and I bought a frame only and stripped old bike. I was not aware of the impending wheel debacle. So no, November is no good for someone like me. The only wheelset available from Specialized up until a day or two ago was an $2K Roval option. Now they have the $1800 dollar option. Not sure if you race cross, but tubulars are the way to go and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 sets to cover your conditions. My team discount does not come close to making Rovals an option for me at this point.

  42. Franklin on

    This is the second bike sale JUST THIS YEAR that Specialized has lost from me due to engineering issues.
    Which is bizarre since the company’s engineering is why I have bought their stuff almost exclusively for years.
    But this is just insane. So:
    1) Instead of a Crux, I have a Santa Cruz Stigmata on order. 142x with no issues.
    2) Instead of that overweight, under-braked, over-priced pig of a Venge VIAS, I’m on a Cervelo.
    Spesh, you need to get your head on straight. Not all us lemmings are going to march over that financial cliff your marketing guys are steering us at.

  43. JBikes on

    @Adam – I feel your pain, that sucks
    I still don’t understand why S doesn’t state SCS rear ends in their spec sheet (or more so why they didn’t include a non-SCS hanger with all the bikes when produced). Seems rushed to market.

  44. Doug on

    A fair amount of misinformation here IMO.

    1) The alternative 135 dropouts, at least for the Diverge, ARE slotted. The have to be as the spacing at the dropout is 130mm. The difference is that where the RD is mounted is 2.5mm further out as the freehub/cassette is 2.5mm further from the center line, see below. I have read where this solution has worked for some Diverge riders.

    2) There are TWO 135mm specs. The mountain bike spec is a 135mm OLD (dropout spacing) which has been around since the beginning. The 142 axle adds 3.5mm (142mm – 135mm / 2) to each end to fit into the slots in the dropouts to make installing the thru axle quick release easier. Specialized’s 135mm is the road bike spec of 130mm OLD which has been around since the early 80s when road bikes went from 126mm to 130mm when they went from 6-sp to 7-sp freewheels. Specialized’s 135 axle adds 2.5mm (135mm – 130mm / 2) to each end to fit into the slots. Accordingly the use of 135mm is ambiguous depending on whether you are referring to road spacing or mtn bike spacing.

    3) The problem with using mtn bike 135 wheels on the Crux/Diverge is the use of 11-sp road cassettes. As most know Shimano lengthened the freehub when they came out with 11-sp road cassettes to accommodate the wider width. So if you put an 11-sp road freehub on a mtn bike wheel it moves the cassette to the right potentially causing clearance issues between the chain and dropout when in the smallest cog. With the new 11-sp mtn bike cassettes they didn’t have to change the freehub. This is because the largest cog on a mtn bike cassette is large enough to not cause spoke/chain interference when in this cog. It is an issue however when using road cassettes as the large cog isn’t large enough to avoid this issue – which is why they moved it to the right.

    4) Basically, the issue comes down to how to fit an 11-sp cassette between the spoke flange and the dropout. It’s, of course, much easier using the mtn bike OLD rather than road OLD with it’s extra 2.5mm. That is, which chain line to use – road or mountain. Mountain bikes widened (from road) the bottom bracket from 68 mm to 73mm = 5mm with 1/2 that extra width = 2.5mm. Same thing in back – from 130mm to 135mm = 5mm with 1/2 = 2.5mm. So Specialized decided to use the road bike chain line on the Crux and Diverge rather than the mountain bike chainline. Most other manufacturers decided to use the mountain bike standards. Accordingly, it’s much easier to use a mountain bike wheel – just convert the freehub to 11-sp road w/appropriate end caps. You could also use the new 11-sp mountain cassettes except the big cog is very large – 40 or 42 teeth.

    Hope this helps.

  45. The Man on


    “A fair amount of misinformation here IMO.

    1) The alternative 135 dropouts, at least for the Diverge, ARE slotted. ”

    Take another look at that Non-SCS derailleur hanger up above. You tell me where the slot is on that. Tell me…(deleted) Oh and you’re talking about the QR compatible non-SCS derailleur hanger which never materialised. That one above is for thru-axles. Have another look…look closely..(deleted)

  46. goridebikes on




    Just to make it more understandable so that I don’t have to read any more comments about 142 spacing… SCS Hubs are essentially a 135 MTB hub on the DISC side and a 130mm ROAD hub on the DRIVE side.. This allows them to maintain the chainline and spacing of a 130mm road hub, while accomodating the need for 135 disc spacing.

    Make no mistake, SCS is a proprietary HUB design. While it may be an open patent, it requires a special HUB!!! In order for the wheel to slide in to the notches in the dropouts, the cassette must be offset inboard. This is because it’s a 130mm inner spacing with +2.5mm notch in the dropouts/hanger. Non-SCS, 135mm hubs will never be compatible unless they redesign the hub shell. I have tried all combinations of adapters and hangers (except the yet-to-be-released one), including a NON-SCS hanger made to work with thru-axle (note that they provide QR-compatible, non-scs hangers for the thru axle bikes…) – the cassette consistently rubs the frame even if the wheel objectively fits perfectly in the frame (without cassette mounted) – The cassette has to be moved inboard. This cannot be accomplished with a simple adapter change.. If you move the cassette inboard, you must also move the rotor outboard; the distance between the lockring and the rotor is fixed, and does not change with adapters…

    I am eager to see this new hanger, as I don’t have a machine shop I couldn’t make my own.. Given that the zipp hubs are 130mm and being adapted to 135, perhaps it is possible with the right adapters.. However, this standard is being misunderstood as analgous to MTB 135. It is not. It is a road 130mm spacing.

  47. Brian P on

    @The Man
    The non SCS QR hanger that you say never materialized does exist. It the same 2 bolt hanger that has been on the Tarmac, Roubaix, and non disc Cruxes for years.

  48. lonefrontranger on

    for everyone else asking “why change it up” and getting 130/135/142 confused, the “SC” in SCS stands for SHORT CHAINSTAYS. As in road bikes. As in what many (most?) experienced cyclocross racers want for handling as well.

    This is the part I think everyone’s missing. In order for a bike with the following parameters:
    — shorter than 42cm chainstays
    — a 68mm BB shell
    — 2×11 speed drivetrain
    — disc brakes
    — tall and/or otherwise beefy chainstays (for stiffness)

    to shift *cleanly* the entire way across the range of the system, without excessive chain rub, wear, and jamming in crossed-up gearing combinations, and without riders who have certain biomechanical limitations (duck feet / long heels / preference for forward cleat positions, etc.) experiencing excessive heel rub, you have to make some concessions. Either go 1x (which some people are reluctant to do) or change the geometry / frame (which can change the handling and/or biomechanics in ways their racing community may not accept, and costs an extravagance in molds and design rework when consumers are ALREADY complaining about how much these bikes cost to begin with…)

    I have a 2014 Crux Disc. The 2×11 SRAM it specced with wasn’t 100% foolproof across all gears, and I suspect SRAM (and Shimano) had something to say about that. It is, still, the best handling and riding bike I’ve ever owned. I grant that I don’t have the wheel issues but I do wish it had thruaxles for the occasional times I get disc rub.

    The marketing and communication on this release / new “standard” was balls, I concur. In two years I imagine it will all have worked itself out and been forgotten in the wake of some other industry perpetrated outrage. It totally sucks for the sponsored riders currently dealing with it though, but it sounds like there are some third party hub “hacks” forthcoming.

    now back to your regularly scheduled rants

  49. Doug on

    @The Man – I don’t disagree that the photo above appears to not have a slot for the axle. As stated, I’m basing my points on the Diverge, which is thru axle only, as I don’t have experience w/the new Crux or the old one for that matter. I would assume the new Crux is the same as a Diverge but can’t say w/certainty. The alternative dropout for the Diverge is definitely slotted. And, of course, the left side dropout, which is all carbon, is also slotted. So the question is – if a SCS axle, which is 135mm long fits into dropouts that are slotted, then how does a non-SCS axle, which is also 135mm long, fit into dropouts that are not slotted? As per the Specialized Service Bulletin for SCS hubs the primary difference between the two dropouts is the offset for the mounting of the RD. The illustrations are using QR hubs/axles but I would expect it to be the same for thru axle hubs. That is, the alternative dropouts are merely to move the RD further outboard 2.5mm which is the same amount by which non-SCS freehubs are further outboard from the centerline as compared to SCS (road) freehubs.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. I don’t have a Diverge or any other Specialized bike and likely will never have one. My last was an ’82 Stumpjumper. I do have 2 friends that own them and have been helping one of them as they explored trying to fit non-Specialized wheels. Accordingly, I’ve done a lot of research as well as giving this a lot of thought. Of course, I am willing to learn and will admit if I’m wrong. I would, however, appreciate it if the tone was more civil.

  50. Doug on

    @ goridebikes – I pretty much agree with your assessment. On the Diverge, the left side dropout is also slotted so it’s not quite full mtn 135 on the left side. I’ll assume that Specialized designed the rotor and caliper mounting points on the hubs and frame so that there would be compatibility/interchangeability with the mountain hubs.

  51. donkeykong on

    Specialized is trying to make it so you can use current disc road/CX wheels and just slap 135X12 end caps on. of course wheel manufactures will have to make the end caps.. But they already went through that with the MTB stuff going to 142….

  52. Hotep on

    Fundamentally I see why Spesh did what they did. I also see why it was 18 months ago. Product development cycles are long. Get it. I don’t get how with a carbon bike they couldn’t reform just the chainstay moulding and BB junction to get the clearance they needed? Maybe that is a major endeavor, and this bike was the crux (ha ha) to the entire 2016 revenue stream? Unlikely. I predict this “new standard” will succeed only in the zip code of 95037.

    All this aside, I stopped giving a rat’s-a** about Q factor the day after I bought a fatbike with upteen million mm of Q Factor. I realized Q factor wasn’t a significant in my bicycle buying decision, and millions of internet wonks would lead us to believe otherwise.

  53. John on

    @Tyler “10/21/15 – 3:04pm”

    Those wheels from Vermont don’t solve anything, how exactly does help me with my existing 12×142 wheelsets?

  54. Darryl on

    This concern about short wheelbases is just stupid.
    My custom old aluminium bike with 112cm wheelbase did hairpins better than my new carbon.
    My 29er does way better tight turns than my old 26in with short stays.

    The biggest problem with tight radius turns is the front wheel tucking under and getting overloaded. Give us a longer front centre and longer chainstays to match.
    Longer chainstays definitely run gears much nicer.
    The industry needs to loose this obsession with short wheelbases.

  55. Adam on

    @Donkeykong…did you read the article or look at the diagrams? They moved the cassette 2.5 mm inward. They are not making anything easy or retrofittable at all. If it was that easy would there be 100 freaking comments. Way to drive by comment.

  56. Ol' Shel' on

    To reiterate:

    Just as 135QR=142×12 thru-axle on an MTB. Same hubshell, chainline. Only difference is 2.5mm of extra axle on each end.

    130QR=135×12 thru-axle with Specialized’s new road/cross standard. Same hubshell, chainline. Only difference is 2.5mm of extra axle on each end.

    Why they cares so much about chainline on road and not on mtbs is still a mystery.

  57. haromania on

    I’m not buying one so it really doesn’t matter to me, but I think Spesh should have just said something to the tune of “We goofed, blah blah blah” (keep it short and sweet) and then give anyone who buys this a big fat coupon of some sort for a smoking hot deal on their next Spesh. As soon as they pull a mea culpa most of the comments would stop, and dealers stocking this might be able to sell it a little easier and possibly sell a second Spesh a short time later. Sounds dumb I know, but not as dumb as what they did here.

  58. Ajax on

    142 X 12 thru-axle rear is THE standard now, for mtn bikes and now thru-axle road disc bikes.

    Big time screw-up by Specialized. They are losing a lot of money on all those unsold frames. I bet that next year they will jump on the 142 X 12 then-axle.

  59. Camberto on

    It also seems they are embarrassed by it. They don’t tell you anything about rear wheel spacing or axle diameter at all on their website. The only place SCS is really even mentioned is in the wheel spec. Tech and features, seems like a great place to let your customers know they have to buy wheels that nobody wants.

    I really hope King comes out with “Endcaps” so I can use my wheels with this…

  60. frogg on

    When Big S deserves its name … “Specialized” . Eventually, i understand the rationale for the Crux, which is a race bike for cross , but less for the Diverge and even less for the Roubaix.

  61. Collin on

    I was not aware we had this many experts in the industry…. since nearly everyone in these comments are experts….

    What’s more concerning is duck dynasty has become way to scripted.

    But seriously. If you are all so good, and understand this so well, why don’t you have a bike brand of your own.

  62. harry on

    I love this..

    “For fans of Specialized’s SCS wheels, Cote adds: “We offer….”

    No buddy we’re not fans. We want to fit better wheels but have no choice other than to fit your wheels.

    Marketing eh.

  63. Bobley on

    I just thought I’d pitch this in after buying a heavily discounted 2016 Crux Pro frame (the LBS keeps giving folks with SCS frames their money back). I managed to fit my old wheels into my Crux by swapping the Novatech 772SB quick releases out for modified 142×12 axles (£12). I’ve parted 3.5mm off each end to give me 135mm axles and all the oil seals aren’t affected. I then got 2.5mm bored out of the back of the Ultegra 6800 cassette to a diameter of 41mm and then took 2.5mm off the freehub leading edge and there’s just enough space to avoid the lock ring hitting the seal. On my older wheels with Novatech 712 hubs I’m having to fit a new 772 hub shell (£40) as the spoke flanges are too near the cassette (it was a 10 speed hub design and wouldn’t accept the 11 speed 772 freehub anyway no matter what axle it has). The old Novatech front hub axle tube can be reamed to 12mm (it’s 11.6mm as std!) and then drill out the old QR end caps too but the later Novatechs have QR end caps which push inside the cartridge bearings so I’m having a small 12mm ID tube made to fit inside the front hubs. Its not a big job and the local machine shop are happy to make them. I’m really happy with how the Crux rides though. I did my first race on it yesterday and I’ve got a lot to learn now.

  64. Tigeo on

    For the love of God, please make the Axis 4.0s or the hub-only option with 6-bolt and not just center-lock!!! So my $hity Axis 2.0s on my 2015 aluminum Crux w/SCS (QR) are the only wheels that are compatible with both 1) SCS (I want this) and 2) the TRP brakes that came with the bike? If I get the 4.0s which are a good deal at $250 for a 1650g wheelset that is TLR, I also have to buy new rotors and at that point, if I’m going centerlock, I’m going Shimano and upgrading my 105s to the hydros. Or, I get the non-SCS hanger, run what I want, and then don’t have the advantages of SCS. What a $hit show. I feel bad for those with thru-axles.

  65. Fabio on

    Hello everyone, the solution is in the picture of dropouts, I used a steel washer with 12 mm inner diameter, 19 mm outer diameter and a thickness of 3 mm.It is a temporary solution waiting the replacement of the scs deralleur hanger.

  66. Fabio on

    I also noticed also that the rear brake disc passes very close to the frame, most likely would serve a washer of a millimeter also from the opposite side. the crux? really a great project …..

  67. chris on

    Unless i missed something, the article refers to ZIPP hubs and end caps which is nice and all and plenty of hub companies have qr disc conversion options however at 135. But the reader here is left to assume that ZIPP is making a 130 disc thru??? Please elaborate.

  68. OriginalMV on

    If any readers have come back to this article and wondered if time has been kind to Specialized’s design decisions, the answer is NO, THIS DESIGN WAS AN ABOMINATION. I say this as I’m stuck trying replace the rear wheel on an older Diverge. Just another typical example of the big manufacturers peddling shiny toys lousy with expedient engineering solutions to unsuspecting consumers. I bet those (deleted) congratulated themselves on their cleverness in meeting deadlines.


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