When I told Andy at Fyxomatosis that I’d be coming to Melbourne for a few weeks, he started to plan an “epic” ride with Dan from Shifter Bikes. The idea was that we’d be gone for three days as we rode out to Woods Point, a remote, rural area of Victoria. I was down but I knew it’d be impossible on the Bruiser so Andy put out feelers for a cross bike. The owner of Fitzroy Revolution kindly offered to loan me a new Specialized CruX Elite cross bike for the trip and when our initial plans were stomped out by a blanket of snow up north, we improvised a smaller, more social ride.
It had been a while since I rode an aluminum production bike and honestly, I wasn’t planning on spending nearly the amount of time on it as I have. Over the past week, I’ve been trekking all over Melbourne on this bike and after our cross ride on Monday, I’ve taken a liking to it!
Check out more below!
Specialized’s cross frames in the past were critiqued at being too multi-purpose. They had longer wheelbases, mud guard mounts and rather slack angles. The CruX Elite is a step in the opposite direction. This is a race bike with race angles, a higher bottom bracket, sloping top tube for shouldering and no provisions for mud guards or racks.
The FACT carbon fork softens the ride.
As you can see, there’s ample tire clearance, although I wouldn’t go bigger than the stock 32c tires.
One of the big improvements is the brake cable hanger that eliminates braking shudder.
The Elite comes with 32h Mavic rims in a sleek, black finish that no matter how many times I flew at rocks and roots have yet to come out of true. As with many production bikes, the wheels would be the first thing you’d wanna upgrade but these are plenty fit for racing. The Deore LX rear derailleur and Tiagra STi and front derailleur make for a reliable and budget drivetrain.
Especially when paired with the FSA Omega cranks.
The CruX Elite is the least expensive model in the CruX cross line, with four other models varying in pricing.
It’s a sleek, fast, responsive bike that’s performance exceeds my expectations and while I would have loved to have a steel bike for the trip, it proved to be an ideal companion.
The retail comes in at $1450 and I added the lights , saddle bag, cages and pedals. I’m tough on bikes and the CruX Elite just kept bouncing back. It withstood gnarly singletrack, muddy climbs, cornering on asphalt and a few spills without complaining. With cross season approaching, this is a great option for an entry-level cross bike. If I were in the market, I’d consider buying one!