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  1. #1
    Daniel the Dog
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    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?

    ruX Elite Rival Disc

    Utilizing SRAM's 10-speed Hydro disc levers (S-700) and the 10-speed SRAM Rival group, the CruX Elite Rival Disc (US$3,200) still gets a carbon frame with a tapered head tube and oversized bottom bracket.Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-cruz.jpg

  2. #2
    little mad riding hood
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    Here is a review from James Huang regarding the ride of the frame and the geometry.

    Specialized CruX Pro Carbon Review | Cyclingnews.com.

    Here's a BikeRadar review of the Crux Expert Carbon Disc from last winter/spring as well:

    Specialized Crux Expert Carbon Disc - First Ride Review - BikeRadar

    everyone who's reviewed these frames so far has been really pleased with how they ride. In particular I'd trust James Huang, who I happen to know personally. He's the original "Angry Asian" of ye olde MTB shock review website "angryasian.com". If I've learned anything from this industry, it's to trust that James is no industry shill and will speak his mind when he doesn't like something. For him to give that bike a 4.5 star review speaks highly of how it rides and handles.

    Unfortunately his review is from January 2013 and doesn't cover the Big Question, which is: how do the SRAM hydros work/feel. Which is apparently some sort of huge industry secret as I've barely been able to find any info online, just some Specialized early release blurbs, which, well, yea.

    Anyhow, if it helps at all, my husband and I are taking the risks on this one as early adopters - we just ordered the 2014 early release Crux Pro Disc model. I don't know how long it'll take for them to arrive but as soon as we've gotten a few miles on them I can post my opinions here.

    Here's hoping the SRAM Hydro road discs work better than their 10-speed twist shifters anyhow...

  3. #3
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    My opinion based on zero experience with the frame or components -

    The frame and fork are good but heavier than the competition.
    The shifting will be good but nothing spectacular.
    The brakes will be problematic at best, will be replaced free of charge and still won't work.

  4. #4
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    I will add to this discussion my support for going Hydro. The industry is up to speed on disc's, Road and Cyclo are catching up. Sram equipement is made by Avid, reputable brakes on MTB bikes.

    I use a hybrid gravel bike of sorts that I made that uses Shimano XTR levers and XT calipers, 160mm disc's for the past 2yrs and I can report that they are so 'feelsome', powerful and clean running as to leave anything else looking short of performance.

    I welcome this development with open arms, assuming the shifters works well.

    Eric
    Last edited by Eric Malcolm; 07-30-2013 at 01:21 AM.
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  5. #5
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    I also think hydraulic brakes make sense, if they're made by Shimano.

    Avid's hydraulic brake reputation is that they suck. Everyone I ride with/talk to that uses Avid brakes has problems with them. Even guys that work in/own bike stores!

    I use XTR with XT rotors on my mtn.bike and they're awesome. I bet the new Ultegra Di2 disc works great but I have no faith in SRAM getting things right on their first attempt.

  6. #6
    little mad riding hood
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    meh, the 10R "new" Crux frame and fork (2nd gen carbon) have been extensively ridden and tested and are well liked. If you want lighter, you can spend $2.5K extra and spring for the S-Works version 11R frame/fork which is all of 100g lighter.

    now if you're thinking of the prior "Tricross" carbon design (the one with the Zertz stays) then you would be correct, but that design was abandoned 2 seasons ago.

    I mean, once your bike is covered with mud, they all weigh thirty pounds anyhow, right?

    I've seen postings on other boards where the frames at the smaller end of the scale (52, 49, etc...) are easily building out below UCI limits (~16#) with BB7 discs and mostly stock components, meaning you don't have to do much to get them very, very light. BB7 are reportedly heavier than the SRAM hydro system (steel cables weigh more than hoses w/fluid).

    I ran Avids for years (Juicy Ultimates, X9, XX, in the older configuration and the newer taperbore) and never had issues with them. If you know how to bleed them correctly, then they actually work better than Shimanos, which I've found can pump up / overheat on very long tough descents and will often quit working altogether in very cold (under 0C) conditions.

    but don't listen to me, I have only been riding and racing for a couple decades...

    I mean you're exactly right in one respect - the SRAM hydros are untested. And their 10 and 11 speed twist shifters have a known warranty issue (internal plastic bits going to hell; that's just poor design). But I don't get the Avid hate on these forums. Ours were never noisy and the couple times we ever had brake drag it was easily solved by either checking for rotor truing or a quick bleed.

    We opted for Formulas on our Niners for pure weight weenie reasons, and they've been fine too. They've required the same exact amount of maintenance (bleeds, caliper fine tuning) as the Avids we are used to, except that parts are much harder to find when (for example) my husband somehow managed to crack one of his bar clamps during a routine adjustment and tweaked a rotor in a crash.

  7. #7
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    Chalk me up as an early-adpoter as well - I have a 61cm Crux Expert Red Disc on order. I've loved my 2012 alloy Crux (cantilever) for the last year, and I'm stoked to get on the new one. I also run SRAM brakes on the mountain bike, Avid Elixer 9's, and I've had absolutely no trouble with them. Yes, they can be tricky to bleed properly, but once you've done it a few times it's really not that complicated. And mine have been strong with fantastic feel for 2 years now, no complaints.

    I know SRAM has dug itself in a bit of a hole with warranty issues over the last few years, but I'm still hanging in there. I prefer the ergonomics of the SRAM brifters over Shimano and even my Campy Record 11 setup.

    I can't wait to get my new bike!!!! Woohoo!!!

  8. #8
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    I picked mine up this week.
    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-img_0449s.jpg

    I posted some thoughts and pictures on my blog here:
    New Bike Day! 2014 Specialized CruX Expert Red Disc | Cycles In Life

  9. #9
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    Nice bike. I'm waiting for mine to arrive. May I ask what type of wheels your running

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy85 View Post
    Nice bike. I'm waiting for mine to arrive. May I ask what type of wheels your running
    Thank you! The wheels are the stock Axis wheels with removed decals.

  11. #11
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    for that price it's almost a scam, sorry to say so, but this is what I think. I wouldn't waste my money with branded bikes anyway.

  12. #12
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    Awesome bike. I picked up in on Saturday. First cross bike and I'm really enjoying so far. My local shop has sold all5 they got in immediately.
    If you ever see a turtle on a telephone pole, remember he had help getting there. Is there anything beer can't do?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cujarrett View Post
    Thank you! The wheels are the stock Axis wheels with removed decals.
    Oh ok, I think they look better without the stickers. I've been informed that the Australian shipment is running a week behind, so more waiting for me. Do you know the weight of your bike? I would imagine that the stock wheels are quite heavy

  14. #14
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    I just put mine together today, first ride tomorrow! How do the brakes work for everyone? Mine seem to bottom out a little close to the bars. I think I may bleed them prior to heading out.

  15. #15
    PTJ
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    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?

    I got the rival version with 10speedhydro. Swapped the stock wheels for some iron cross comp 32spoke build and dropped 1lb 14ozs. Just hit some double track, gravel and chip seal on a short loop from home before dark. I'm initially impressed but it'll take a while to make a fair review.

    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1377915172.356356.jpg

  16. #16
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    I picked mine up last Monday its a Expert Red Disk. All I can say is awesome. I had a 2011 comp prior to this one and the difference is huge on the brake side and I love the 11 speed shifter. I am accustomed to avid brakes and all I can say is that if bled they work flawlessly, they will make a howling in the wet but for the increase in braking power that already has saved my skin from a collision crossing a intersection I do not mind the howling. The weight is 8.9kg a 2-300g heavier than expected but I am happy with the overall feel. I plan on getting new wheels as soon as I have recovered from this investment.
    Br Thor

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=PTJ;10644794]I got the rival version with 10speedhydro. Swapped the stock wheels for some iron cross comp 32spoke build and dropped 1lb 14ozs. Just hit some double track, gravel and chip seal on a short loop from home before dark. I'm initially impressed but it'll take a while to make a fair review.

    What hubs did you end up using? Did you just reuse the stock ones that came on the old wheels

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    they actually work better than Shimanos, which I've found can pump up / overheat on very long tough descents and will often quit working altogether in very cold (under 0C) conditions.

    but don't listen to me, I have only been riding and racing for a couple decades...
    I use shimano xt brakes on my snow bike. I havent had any problems with the brakes not working, all the way down to -5F. The lever pull does get a bit harder in cold weather, but, they've been flawless.

  19. #19
    Bring back the Tour de GA
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    I got the Rival EVO version which I have upgraded. I wanted lower gearing for the hilly gravel roads I ride, so I went to a 12-32 PG1070 cassette. This required a WiFLi RD and I kind of went nuts going with Red front and rear derailleurs and crankset. I also added Stan's Iron Cross wheels with Clement MSO 40mm tires running tubeless. This all dropped about 2.5 lbs from the stock setup.

    The bike handles great. Very stable on fast gravel downhills, but very responsive to steering around or hopping over obstacles. The CG-R seatpost really works to dull the impact of bumps. Shifting is flawless, though I did get some chain rub with the original Apex front derailleur which is not really compatible with the front shifter which, being designed for a Yaw-capable unit like the Red, has no trim position.

    The brakes have plenty of power, but the modulation is what I really like about them. I can get just a bit or lots of stopping power by varying the amount of lever pull. The levers have such long travel that I was sometimes having the shift paddles lock onto the bar tape until I pointed the hoods inward a few degrees, giving the shift paddles more clearance. I want to try bleeding the brakes to see if I can get actuation earlier.


    profile by BluesDawg, on Flickr
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  20. #20
    PTJ
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    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?

    [QUOTE=bikerboy85;10646427]
    Quote Originally Posted by PTJ View Post
    I got the rival version with 10speedhydro. Swapped the stock wheels for some iron cross comp 32spoke build and dropped 1lb 14ozs. Just hit some double track, gravel and chip seal on a short loop from home before dark. I'm initially impressed but it'll take a while to make a fair review.

    What hubs did you end up using? Did you just reuse the stock ones that came on the old wheels
    Stock stans hubs. Planting buy a alpha road set on the same 3.30 hub. Hoping if I use the same rotors(xx) I won't have to adjust the calipers when swapping for road training/racing.

  21. #21
    little mad riding hood
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    Just an update - our first 'cross race will be this weekend, but I wanted to give my impressions after riding the Crux Pro for about a month.

    This bike is insanely fast. It rides like a road bike, and I mean that in a good way. Even with the heavy stock alloy wheelset, the acceleration out of the corners is amazing. It's like a crit bike that you can race in the dirt.

    We first rode them around 40 miles and several thousand feet of climbing in the local mountains (Fourmile - Switzerland Trail - Gold Hill - Boulder), and the next weekend we did nearly 60 miles in a big open space plains loop (Boulder - Superior - Erie - Longmont - Boulder) that included pavement, singletrack, farm roads and lots of rolling crusher fine trails.

    The fit, geometry, handling and comfort on these bikes is out of this world. The brakes are an absolute game changer, especially on the nasty loose washboard dirt descent coming down Sunshine Canyon from Gold Hill. I find myself carrying a lot more momentum on things like loose-over-hardpack switchbacks and descending because there is so much fine modulation in the brakes. They do squeak a tiny bit under hard braking, but no more than my Formulas do on my Niner. The Specialized FACT crankset on the Pro is freaking stout, and has so far been trouble-free.

    The gearing may or may not be a little steep for me although it was fine on the Switzerland Trail. I am 45 and female but it may not matter enough for cross racing to change it, so I'll see this weekend.

    The only thing I've found to quibble with so far is the FACT seatpost design, which has tended to slip, but I got the torque wrench out and nailed it down to spec, so we'll see if that sorts it. I may swap it out for a 3T anyhow, as I'm not a huge fan of single bolt designs.

    I'm running Time ATACS and a Fizik Aliante saddle. Changed out the stock tires for Clements as soon as I got it - the stock tires are wire bead and the Axis 2.0 wheels are pretty hefty, but we just got the Roval carbons glued up this week and they'll drop over a pound off the bike.

    Can't wait to race it, and both my husband and I agree they're worth every penny. I haven't ridden my road bike since I got the Crux. I may just sell it, and rebuild my Powertap into a set of Iron Cross disc wheels :P

  22. #22
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    ^^Oh man is that awesome. I want one of these so freaking bad. Can't decide whether I should by the pro frameset and put my custom Crests into it, or maybe just buy the expert. I'd be close to the price of the expert if I did it that way considering that the Red 22 shifter/brake combo is approximately $1000 for the front and rear alone.
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  23. #23
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    The levers have such long travel that I was sometimes having the shift paddles lock onto the bar tape until I pointed the hoods inward a few degrees, giving the shift paddles more clearance. I want to try bleeding the brakes to see if I can get actuation earlier.
    ya the shop actually warned us about that when we got them - they said they'd already canted the hoods/levers to avoid this issue, and they took some time setting them up for me since I'm little (5'4" with small hands) - I'm not sure because I haven't read all the spec on the SRAM Hydro-R brakes, but there maybe some adjustability in the reach / pad contact? idk, I'm not the world's greatest mechanic but I'll snoop around.

    I will also say this: those hoods are enormous, and even with my small hands, this is actually a good thing. It provides a huge amount of stability for dismounts, remounts, and sketchy offcamber things where I'd normally switch to the drops and/or may not have enough time/warning to swap hand positions on something scary. They are incredibly secure and your hands will never slip off the hoods on these.

    They also seem to provide more leverage for popping the front wheel up over roots, logs, steps, etc... I'm no barrier-hopper (not even close) but I've been able to go up things like tall curbs easily on this guy, where I usually hesitate to try it on the roadie, etc... It is just such a nimble, flickable bike, even more so than the 2011 Crux Expert (old Tricross design) that was its predecessor, and which I liked very much already.

  24. #24
    PTJ
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    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?

    My 14 year old son races on a 54cm Tarmac. Here's a picture of it sitting next to my 56cm crux to compare frame angles and explain why the crux feels so much like a road bike. Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1378488709.977217.jpg
    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1378488755.926205.jpg

  25. #25
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTJ View Post
    My 14 year old son races on a 54cm Tarmac. Here's a picture of it sitting next to my 56cm crux to compare frame angles and explain why the crux feels so much like a road bike.
    Yea Spesh was actually pretty forthcoming with their plan for the Crux to be "a Tarmac for the dirt". I've seen that exact language in their press releases and reviews. It certainly works.

    Even with the "racier" geometry on the new one, my Crux Pro handles better than my 2011 Crux Expert, which was a fine bike. The Pro is somehow both more nimble AND more predictable running the exact same tires, like LITERALLY - I swapped the Clements off my Expert as soon as I got the new one in the garage. It handles a lot like a custom built Easton 7005 crit bike I raced a lot about ten years ago, but without the twitchy descending characteristics or the bone-jarring harshness on rough ground (and yes, I rode the crit bike on dirt a time or 2 because I'm crazy like that).

    Pretty sure the handling improvement on the newer Crux geometry owes itself to better tracking and stiffness, shorter wheelbase / front-center / chainstays / lower BB / whatever.

    Enough babbling. Time for bike porn. These are our 2014 Crux Pros. The first pic is my husband riding his at the top of Switzerland Trail before we headed east to Gold Hill. Second pic is mine outside our bike lockers at work (yea I lopped that spacer stack off the top of my stem as soon as I had the right tool to do it with).

    Your thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-crux-top-switzerland.jpgYour thoughts about the Specialized Crux for 2014 with hydro brakes?-crux-pro-1.jpg

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