Specialized says it’s built the lightest gravel bike in the world. The frame weighs just 725 g, which is less than a full Nalgene.
How do you make a bike frame that weighs less than the water bottle in its cage? For its new Crux gravel bike, Specialized took a two-pronged approach: spartan engineering and (of course) carbon fiber.
The Crux posits itself as the lightest gravel bike in the world, with a 725g frame (just under 1.6 pounds). The weight-optimized S-Works entry gets the featherweight frame, and the full build weighs just under 16 pounds.
Specialized created the effect by using straight tubes with as few curves at the joints as possible and minimized carbon fiber overlap.
The brand used the same methodology for its 585g Aethos S-Works road frame.
“How we taper the top tube, how we taper the downtube, the curvature of how we run into the head tube and the bottom bracket is extremely important. Just with this shape, we can save 150 g of composite weight,” said Peter Denk, Specialized Aethos engineering lead.
Specialized Crux Frame: Aethos Goes Gravel
Specialized applied the Aethos design to gravel to deliver a smoother ride over rough terrain and better climbing. Beefier construction at critical joints keeps it together, and 47cm tire clearance helps it ride over rocks.
“With 47c tire clearance, this bike has so much capability, and we made sure that the frame was strong and durable enough to handle anything you could throw at it,” Crux product manager Stewart Thompson told Bikerumor.com.
“The layup is reinforced across the board but particularly in the seat tube and head tube regions. Additionally, the frame has more surface area and is larger overall to accommodate things like the tire clearance, which adds some weight.”
Specialized Crux full builds come in a few variants. The S-Works is the lightweight option, and the Pro, Comp, and Expert all weigh 100 g more. The S-Works comes with an Alpinist seatpost, Terra handlebar, CLX carbon wheels, and a SRAM Red eTap AXS drivetrain.
MSRP for the S-Works full build is $12,000 ($5,000 for the frameset, available in three colors). The other variants step down in price as well as spec. Check out the full range now.