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2022 Specialized S-Works Crux Bike Review: Is It Worth the Hype?


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Whether you are into gravel racing or cyclocross, choosing the right bike can be tough. Specialized Crux is one of the big names in the market and is a model that is loved by owners and sought after by enthusiasts.

You will find many bikes in the market that look shiny and attractive, but when it comes to performance, they fail to deliver. The 2022 S-Works Crux, coming from a reputed brand like Specialized, is bound to deliver. But is this bike worth the hype?

Let’s take a dive into this unique bike to figure out whether it is worth its hefty price tag or if it’s just another overhyped bike.


Creation of Crux

Specialized is big on tearing apart its past creations and creating something better, and Crux is one of those creations.

Built by redesigning their Aethos bike’s technology and mixing it with old Crux’s Cyclocross DNA, they created their lightest gravel bike which is just over 16 pounds in Specialized L size!

Crux bikes are light and meant for flying over dirt and gravel roads. Smaller than other gravel bikes produced by the brand, it is light enough to carry. But we are only scratching the surface of this bike.

Gravel riding is all about those stretched-out rough dirt roads, super steep climbs, and rolling descents. This lightweight bike is a capable climber and has smooth and snappy handling that will benefit you when making tight corners in gravel races.


Specialized Crux Technical Specs

Starting with the frame material, all Crux models are made of carbon fiber.

The most affordable model of the range, Crux Comp sports a Specialized Fact 10r Carbon frame, while the high-end model, S-works Crux, has a Fact 12r Carbon frame. Both these frames are super light, with the high-end model about 0.8 lbs lighter than the Comp.

All crux bikes have a 1x drivetrain with a 40T chainring. However, having a front derailleur mount means that you can transform Crux to a 2x drivetrain, making it modifiable. But Crux’s adaptability doesn’t end there.

Crux gives you 53mm tire clearance with 650b wheels and 47mm with 700c wheels. This means you can put on narrow tires with smooth treads or thick tires with knobbly treads. With such a range of tire width, it can cover more types of surfaces than you can think of.

This bike can also accommodate a dropper seat, which is often necessary when participating in cyclocross races.


What Can You Use Specialized S-Works Crux for?

Specialized Crux is super lightweight because it was built for racing. So, whether you are into gravel racing or cyclocross, the Crux is certainly a bike to consider (if you have the budget). The bike can ride multiple terrains, and you can use it for long-distance riding; however, its aggressive geometry was designed for sprinting.

You can use it for cross-country cycling, but the terrain has to be smooth. You will get maximum performance for going fast on rougher terrain, which is the main attraction of Crux.

Unlike other gravel bikes from Specialized, the Crux was not meant for touring as it doesn’t accommodate fenders, racks, or frame bags. It does accommodate bottle cages, but that’s about it.

So, unless you are going for vehicle support touring or camping and have an SUV to carry your tent, luggage, and other necessities, you can’t use the Crux for touring. You can try carrying a backpack while cycling, but that can be quite tiring for long rides.


What Is The 2022 S-Works Cruz Not For?

This is a stiff bike. It’s also a high speed, not high comfort bike. That means, for those looking for rough terrain, or non competitive bikes, or a little extra comfort, this is not the bike for you.


Ride Quality

The Specialized Crux is fast, especially on rough terrain. It responds like a dream and cuts tight corners without hesitation (to the experience rider).

Unlike the past, more cyclocross-specific Crux model, the current Crux’s lower bottom bracket height makes you more grounded. This means you can have more confidence over rowdy gravel roads and rough forest paths.

This super capable bike makes climbs feel effortless.

The bike is stiff enough to make climbs easy, while its narrow fork is capable of soaking up the roughness and making off-road descents much easier.

This agile and eager bike will take you to places you may have never dreamt of and reduce your hesitation, as its handling will show you how eager and responsive it is to your slightest provocations.


Is the Specialized Crux Worth Buying?

If you are enthusiastic about gravel or cyclocross bikes and wish to own one that will give you top performance on gravel roads, you want to consider the 2022 S-Works Crux. The Crux is for any bike lover who can truly appreciate the level of performance it can give you, paired with the right skills.

The top-end S-works model is a whopping $12,250 on the Specialized website. So, if you really want to treat yourself to the best of the best, this bike will be a highly satisfying purchase.

If you are looking for a quality bike from a lower price point, the Crux Comp is a potential alternative. With a more solid and slightly heavier carbon frame, it will give you a surprisingly more comfortable ride over the rough stuff.

The Comp model is around $4,200, and it doesn’t compromise on quality all that much, so from a price perspective, this alleviates a lot.

The only drawback of this bike could be its high price. But if you have the budget and want to treat yourself, the Crux could be the perfect choice. It is a highly capable and fun bike that will make your rides faster.

So, if you are looking for a great gravel or cross-country bike, the Specialized Crux should definitely be on your list.

The Specialized Crux is one of the best gravel bikes on the market for highly skilled riders.


How does the Crux compare to other gravel racing bikes on the market today?

The Crux is a top-of-the-line gravel racing bike that offers riders a number of unique benefits. First, the Crux features a lightweight carbon frame that makes it extremely agile and responsive. Additionally, the frame is designed to provide clearance for wider tires, making it ideal for tackling rough terrain.

Finally, the Crux comes equipped with a number of high-end components, including Shimano Ultegra components and hydraulic disc brakes. This makes it one of the most well-equipped gravel racing bikes on the market today. When compared to other bikes in its class, the Crux provides riders with an impressive blend of speed, comfort, and versatility. This makes it an solid choice for anyone looking to take their gravel racing to the next level.


Final Thoughts

Not all bikes are built the same, and the 2022 S-Works Crux is an extremely well engineered piece of equipment. If you are looking for a racing machine that can charge over rough terrain with speed, and budget isn’t a concern, the Crux is the right bike for you.

If there is any type of budget limitations, or you aren’t a competitive racer, this bike might be a bit over engineered for you.

At the end of the day, it is an expensive bike, so only buy it if you will truly appreciate its performance and capacity.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about