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2017 Specialized CruX cyclocross bikes move to 142mm thru axles, adds mounts

2017 Specialized Crux Expert carbon cyclocross bikes
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2017 Specialized Crux S-Works carbon cyclocross bikes

Last year, we heard from early customers that Specialized had some something a little different with their Crux cyclocross bikes. The 2016 model year bikes were the first to get thru axles, but they used the SCS “Short Chainstay System to help maintain proper chainline while keeping the chainstay appropriately short for a race bike and cramming disc brakes all into a road-standard 130mm axle space. You can see how they did it here and dive into why with our exclusive interview with their brand manager here. The short of it this: They wanted to keep things narrow and short, so they created an open standard and invited anyone else to use it, too. It was an experiment, but it didn’t gain traction, so this year they’ve reworked the molds to give all of the carbon Crux bikes a now-standard 142mm thru axle…

Up top is the S-Works CruX, which continues with the Fact 11-R carbon frame using a 1-3/8″ lower bearing tapered headtube and their OSBB bottom bracket shell. Other than updated spec, the only real change beyond colors is the increase in rear axle spacing. Specialized’s Sean Estes says the decision was made to to maximize “compatibility with aftermarket wheels and to allow racers access to neutral support wheels. 135 SCS provides a better chainline and slightly better performance in that respect but it also means riders had to use our wheels. Our goal is to support riders as best we can by providing the absolute highest performance bikes and equipment, but we also need to be cognizant of all the variables and in this case we felt access to neutral support wheels and industry standard compatibility edged out the incremental performance benefits of SCS ands 135.”

From a manufacturing perspective, only the dropouts had to change, so no new molds were required and the rest of the frame remains mostly the same. This is also how the 2015 bike switched from QR to TA for 2016, so the only other new feature you’ll find on the bike is a third water bottle bolt on the downtube, plus a third complete water bottle bolt set under the downtube. This combo lets you go gravel adventuring with extra water, or just add the MTB XC Kit SWAT box to conveniently carry your tools, tube and bits without weighing down a jersey pocket.

Spec highlights for the $7,500 S-Works CruX include Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical derailleurs paired with RS685 hydraulic shifter levers and brakes, Praxis chainrings on Specialized carbon cranks, CeramicSpeed BB bearings, a CG-R carbon seatpost and Specialized alloy bar, stem and carbon CLX 32 tubeless ready disc brake wheels. Those wheels are brand new and have a gaping 21mm internal width and come in at just 1,340g for the pair and will feature heavily on Specialized’s 2017 road lineup (read into that what you will). They have interchangeable endcaps, so you could run them as QR or Thru Axle, and they’ll be available aftermarket also.

All of the bikes in the 2017 CruX lineup are disc brake only, no more cantis, and most all of them come with 1x drivetrains, the highest and lowest levels being the exceptions.

2017 Specialized Crux Expert carbon cyclocross bikes

Next down the line is the CruX Expert X1, which has the same frame shape but uses Fact 10-R carbon and a SRAM Force 1 group with DT Swiss alloy wheels to get the price down to $3,900.

2017 Specialized Crux Elite carbon cyclocross bikes

The Elite X1 line uses the same Fact 10-R carbon frame and comes in two color options. It knocks another grand off the price ($2,900) by using SRAM Rival 1 and a standard 27.2 alloy seatpost.

2017 Specialized Crux Pro carbon cyclocross bike frameset

The CruX Pro frameset includes an Enduro bottom bracket, CG-R micro-suspension seatpost and thru axles for $2,500.

2017 Specialized Crux Sport alloy cyclocross bikes

Two alloy models will also be offered and carry over exactly the same save for spec and colors, so they’re still 135mm QR disc brake in the rear. The fork is carbon, same as it was, too, with QR dropouts. Above is the CruX Sport E5, with an E5 alloy hydroformed tubeset built with a Praxis 2x crankset, Shimano 105 derailleurs and cassette and RS505 hydraulic shifters and brakes. Retail is $2,000.

2017 Specialized Crux E5 alloy cyclocross bikes

The standard CruX E5 also uses double chainrings, but drops down to a Shimano Tiagra 2×10 group with Praxis Alba 2D crankset. They gave this one all-purpose Tracer tires and Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes. Both alloy bikes get FACT carbon forks, though. Retail is $1,400.

Specialized.com

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41 Comments
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DRC
DRC
6 years ago

Wow, total buzzkill that they didn’t put TA on the E5 frame. Last year’s E5 X1 was a bit overpriced for not having TA. Guess they got their wish and forced me into the more expensive Elite X1 carbon.

CJ
CJ
6 years ago
Reply to  DRC

Aaaaaand now I’m stuck with a 2015 Diverge SCS that no one will ever want when it’s time to sell….

Eric Schiller
Eric Schiller
6 years ago
Reply to  CJ

Isn’t there an aftermarket non-scs hanger available now?

Greg
Greg
6 years ago
Reply to  DRC

All you need is the 2017 dropout for the 2016 frame and you can use 142 wheels. I’m sure the 135 hubs are going to be on sale soon so I’m gonna snatch some of them Hope SCS hubs in orange to match my 2016 Expert X1…

Rich Powers
Rich Powers
6 years ago
Reply to  Greg

I really doubt that, I’ve measured mine and it does not appear possible on a carbon frame. You can use a non-scs hanger and fit a 135 disc hub-but not a 142.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

What, no SCS?? That was the best.

Well, no Specialized ™ for me. ;-p

Nick
Nick
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

After they update the Enduro

Gil
Gil
6 years ago

When will Spesh be updating the roubaix…..

Nick
Nick
6 years ago
Reply to  Gil

After they update the Enduro

Jeb
Jeb
6 years ago

That 135 SCS rear end was a PR disaster and specialized didn’t sell many bikes because of it (personally steered 3 people away from that bike). The change had everything to do with that, not supporting the consumer. Not a big S hater but that was a really bad call.

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

Would hate to be one of the 2016 people stuck with an orphan SCS bike.

MattyB
MattyB
6 years ago

All carbon Crux models had the 3rd bottle mount under the downtube and the 3rd swat bottle mount last year. This isn’t new for this year

bryangdaniels
6 years ago

can someone explain why they won’t put a thru axle on both the front and the rear of the non carbon models?? That goes for the Diverge too. It drives me nuts that they only have it on the front.

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago
Reply to  bryangdaniels

Might have something to do with product managers needing to make tough decisions regarding price points and the deals they make with OE parts suppliers, among a thousand other things.

Maybe they used the previous year’s molds/tooling, stretched the chassis out one more year to amortize the initial capital investment. Maybe they got a deal from SRAM on various cassettes and disc brakes, which aren’t compatible with a rear TA, so they kept the frame on the low-end to use up those discounted parts.

And on and on…

I think you’re hoping that the answer is as simple and menacing as, “They want people to upgrade so they can make more money.”

Eric Schiller
Eric Schiller
6 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

What cassettes and disc brakes aren’t compatible with with rear TA? Never heard of this.

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago
Reply to  Eric Schiller

You’re looking at the trees instead of the forest.

Eric Schiller
Eric Schiller
6 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

I get your overall point, but your example is false. Just saying.

the biz
the biz
6 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

part specs change like, daily. you would be remiss to spec a bike based on a deal you got on two weeks worth of parts. but nice use of the word “amortize” when you could have just said “a lot of things” instead of waxing together a bunch of hypotheticals to appear smart

bryangdaniels
6 years ago

Thanks, I just noticed a lot of other brands with similar bikes (Raleigh) for example offer thru axle front and rear And they are at the same or lesser price points. I realize there are a lot of different reasons it could be, but I also think I will lose them sales.

DRC
DRC
6 years ago
Reply to  bryangdaniels

Yup, a friend of mine is a Specialized and Raleigh dealer. I can get a $2300 Al crux with hydro but no TA, or a $1800 Al Raleigh for the opposite. I can upgrade the brakes to hydro and match the Crux price, but can’t upgrade the Spesh frame to TA.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  bryangdaniels

I’ve never really found Specialized to be competitive on price points. You’re paying a premium for the name. Not saying the bikes aren’t generally good, just that there are much better bang for your buck bikes out there.

Ano
Ano
6 years ago

Pretty embarassing

TomM
TomM
6 years ago
Reply to  Ano

Bontrager’s latest Aeolus carbon tubeless/clincher wheels are already 21mm wide internally.

Eric Hancock (@eric_d_hancock)

Road carbon clinchers with an internal 21mm width – is this a first? These are more interesting than the bikes for me.

Paul Ainsworth
Paul Ainsworth
6 years ago

Nope… Stan’s Avions…. Great wheels!
http://www.notubes.com/ZTR-Avion

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

Are the brake mounts Flat or Post?

Eric Schiller
Eric Schiller
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Looks like it’s still post.

xxx
xxx
6 years ago

This makes last year crux sexy. will cost a lot less because non-standard and you can get the pieces now.. if you’re willing to deal with non-standard rear hub/wheel building that is, then it’s pretty cool 😉

DRC
DRC
6 years ago
Reply to  xxx

@xxx I agree, I’m not really good enough to change the wheels out on my cross bike and the axis 4.0’s are tubeless ready. If they throw out some discounts on last years model, I’ll be all over it.

mech9
6 years ago

I love it. I hope Mark Cote of Specialized takes up golf and specialized learns a lesson about trying to force their way on people. I cannot tell you how many crux/diverge sales that were turned into giant tcx, niner at our store. The consumer simply could not use their existing wheels or mtb wheels with the crux. It killed the sale.

The sad thing is they still haven’t fully learned their lesson. The consumers are wanting disc brake road bikes, and once again specialized is still doing their SCS. In the meantime giant’s tcr, defy, focus and others are all running 142 on their new road bikes.

Specialized. What happened to all those “handshake agreements” that enve, hope, dt, etc were going to start making SCS? That didn’t pan out so well did it?

Learn your lesson. Stop SCS on road too.

Pedro Del Mar
Pedro Del Mar
6 years ago
Reply to  mech9

ALL 2017 Tarmacs are non SCS. Simply, Shimano changed their chainlink requirements so SCS was no longer a necessity to have short chain stays and fit in with their requirements. All current Tarmac Disc frames can be changed to be the same as the 2017 models with a hanger change. SCS wasn’t a there to make everyones life a ball ache, it was there because of a chain line requirement that Shimano enforced.

Tamás Varga
6 years ago

you can see on the frameset picture that even though the brake mounts on the chainstay, it is indeed PM. FM mounting holes are much closer to each other and the bolts go in from the under side. This one clearly threads into the frame. The E5 frame mounts are on the seatstay so it looks like they haven`t done much to the alloy frames at all apart from a new paint job.

OneOfTheFollowing
OneOfTheFollowing
6 years ago

this now makes all my mtb wheels compatible with this new frame design.
Will they give refunds or take those old dumb width frames/bikes in trade to a new one? I sure hope all the employees of the S shops are looking for jobs now – this company makes terrible decisions and is very out of touch with an actual customer or cyclist.

mrcultureshock (@mrcultureshock)

I’m so glad I didn’t buy a Spesh SCS bike earlier this year. It’s nice to see Spesh dumping the SCS standard but they need to do something for the customers who are now stuck with their SCS Roubaix, Crux, and Diverge and whose bikes are compatible with very few wheels other than the Rovals.

Diverge X-1 Owner
Diverge X-1 Owner
6 years ago

I guess I’m keeping my Diverge X-1 as I found a great deal on a set of CLX 40 (SCS) carbon wheels. I can’t help but feel a bit foolish now though. I spent a great deal of money on a “one hit wonder”. Live and learn…

ceebass
ceebass
6 years ago

I’m really surprised they didn’t release a DSW alu frame. That was a big miss in my book.

jcd
jcd
6 years ago

Anyone know or heard if the hanger for the 2017 Crux is functionally the same as the non-SCS hanger that was available with the 2016 Crux?

vinuneuro
vinuneuro
6 years ago
Reply to  jcd

Doubt it since they changed the spacing for 2017.

Rich Powers
Rich Powers
6 years ago

it appears early 2017 bikes- Diverge- are still 135 scs…….

Mr.E
Mr.E
6 years ago

What is the tire clearance on this frame and fork?

Greg
Greg
6 years ago

Getting stuck with a 2016 wouldn’t be so bad if specialized made a tougher wheel.
They’re nice and light and wonderful if you race for the team and get free wheels.

Otherwise they have no freaking use on this planet.

First rule of marketing, know who your customer is!

Unless your a weight wienie and most cyclocross guys aren’t.
We need a durable wheel that doesn’t cost $2200 as well.
The rim is wonderful the hubs great but you could floss your teeth with the spokes less flex guys more stability and durability.
Everyone seems to know this about your bikes but you specialized. Come on you’re better than this, get a grip.

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