Crux x 2 wheelsets vs dedicated road bike

I took my Crux on a road group ride this weekend and had a blast. I’ve never been a huge road guy, it’s always been an “as needed” ride, (early in the morning before work when the trails/gravel roads are still too dark) or just to get from one dirt trail to the next.

This weekend I did a 50 mile group ride at a 19-20mph pace and was able to “hold on” so to speak. I was on my Crux with a 44 x 10x52. There were times my cadence was annoying because of the jumps in the gears on the 10x52, and I wasn’t able to help on the front much because my big 42s killed the speed as soon as I got to the front and didn’t have any draft protection.

I had a good time and I’d like to participate more often but I’m trying to decided whether something like a Tarmac or Roubaix would be better fit, or just add a 2nd wheelset for my crux with 28s or 32s.

Thanks all.

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A Tarmac will be better yes but simply some fast road tires will get you 95% of the way there. If you have aero wheels (not needed but are fun) with 30mm GP5000s the crux is a more than capable road bike for group rides. My co-worker did the local drop ride last week on his Crux with a 40t chain ring and hung on until the end (25mph average, 45mi and about 1400ft of vert so no big climbs but also no descents over about 35mph).

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The Crux can do it with two wheelsets. But, depending on how much riding you do, having a second bike has merit in itself. Simply being able to change bikes and keep going/training when one has an issue is a substantial plus. Having a second bike with a 2x drivetrain would also be nice. Of course, this presumes the money for a 2nd bike vs. wheelset isn’t a big issue.

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It’s easy to tell people to spend loads of money and chase perfection but don’t think that is needed here.

If feeling flush, buy wide aero wheels (40-55mm deep) suited to running 28-32c tyres like GP5000.
These can go onto any future bike, if the Crux experiment doesn’t work.

Or buy or borrow any wheelset with faster 28-32c tyres and give it a try.

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I’ve thought a lot about doing the Crux thing, but I really struggle with giving up the top gears. A 40x10 is a gear ratio of 4.0 whereas:
52x11 is 4.73
52x12 is 4.33

I’m pretty uncomfortable with the idea of losing 2 full gears. And yes, I do use them. In fact, I’ve considered looking for a bigger chainring, and I’m not even a particularly strong guy.

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Vs an Aethos? It’d hardly be noticeable aside from the rear ride quality. The downside of the Crux is that you’re limited to 46t (?) chainring and the seattube is about 40mm taller (hence the lower ride quality). The ride quality, if its an issue would likely manifest in a sorer back on longer rides because the seat post cant flex rearward as much.

I put road tires on my gravel Checkpoint. Back to back with my road Emonda, the difference isn’t really noticeable. They are setup the same, which is a big reason for the parity. The Checkpoint has an adjustable chainstay length, this change is noticeable at low (parking lot) speeds because the turning pivot (rear wheel) is moved backwards.

The benefit to the dedicated road bike, if you’re doing multiple schedule rides/week with your crew, if that if the one bike needs something, you can grab the other bike. Usually the issue is the tire anyway, so 2x wheelsets solves this issue.

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I’m running 52/35t on my Crux currently. I’m with you, I didn’t want to lose my top end gearing.

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What’s the limit on tire width with the 2x setup?

I just purchased a new Epic Evo so to keep in good balance with my wife I’m trying not to run out and purchase another new bike right away.

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I always think of my trainer bike as the backup road bike

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The biggest tires I own are Pathfinder Pro 37s and they’re fine. I haven’t tried anything bigger. The newer 12sp Shimano FD are smaller so that’s a plus.

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Hmmmm…now I’m thinking again!


11-34t on the road. 11-36t for the gravel wheelset. My only complaint is that the 105 11-36t cassette doesn’t shift as nice as the Dura-Ace one, but that’s expected and it’s still better than my old 11sp group.

I’m running 28/30 on the road, will be switching to 32s when these tires wear out. Only other upgrade I have planned is a new gravel wheelset. These Hunt have been bomb proof but a little dated with a 21mm internal.

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The other issue you’d have with the Crux… future bike mix. There wouldn’t be enough ‘space’ between your road bike and the Crux. The beauty of a gravel bike is that you can have a super plush all-day long riding bike. Something to take out on the backroads on a t-shirt ride. The Crux isn’t relaxed enough to do road Roubaix endurance bike, with a dedicated road bike on the scene. In a perfect world, Id suggest that you sell the Crux here, get a Tarmac & Diverge

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Doesn’t a bigger chainring solve that and you still usually end up with good climbing gears if running 10-52 in the back? For me, the main downside for 1x is the bigger jumps between gears, not the range. Even if you go 46 on the ring, you still have a 46/52 combo as your bail out climbing gear.

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My gravel bike has 46T with 10-52 cassette, and S-Works Pathfinders on Roval Terra that measure out to 48mm. I have zero problems “holding on” to a 20mph group ride. I’ve posted some data on the forum regarding mph vs gearing, vs my Tarmac 46x33 with 10-36, the gravel 1x has same top-end gear and a lower bail out gear.

@TexanDad my one issue with the gravel bike is getting an aero position, so above say 20mph there is a penalty. Trek Checkpoint is a little short on reach so I picked up some deep discount carbon Bontrager handlebars. Then I’ll try swapping on my Tarmac’s mid-aero wheels with 33mm measured tires and see how that goes at speed (solo). I think the Crux or Crockett are a little more aggressive geometry versus Checkpoint.

Speed at 90rpm cadence, for each gear, assuming same tire size (32c).

46x33 with 10-36
vs
46T with 10-52

Low end speed:
6.7mph at 90rpm on the Tarmac in 33-36
6.4mph at 90rpm on the Checkpoint in 46-52

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Right, the 10x52 is a cover-all and a great option, especially on dirt, but it leaves a little to be desired with large cadence jumps on the speedy end of the cassette… at least in my opinion.

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work on your cadence range, it will only help you.

Recent fast group ride on 2x:

image

Recent fast group ride on 1x:

image

my natural cadence is around 82-84rpm.

Doing a lot of erg indoor riding killed my cadence range and killed my performance on the bike. Because it was so easy in erg to just focus on power and do mono-cadence. So I stopped using erg and switched to sim mode. Cadence versatility is not often discussed on this forum, but is huge in my experience (and a view shared by top racers around here).

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Just because it works, doesn’t make it ideal.

A fast road racing bike is like jumping into a Porsche 911 turbo. A gravel/allroad bike with an extra set of wheels is like driving a Porsche SUV on the road. Sure, it’s fine 98% of the time but never ideal.

I have an older 11 speed Crux that I will be converting back to 2x. 1x is fine on flatish gravel but I don’t have enough gears on the top or bottom end of the range. On the road, I always run out of gears going down hill.

My options are going to 12 $peed AX$ to get the 10 toothed cog or simply converting back to 2x (one shifter and a couple of chainrings).

The OP should get that second set of wheels and if he really enjoys fast road riding, then get that upgrade road bike in the future.

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Wise man. :+1:

Never too late to start prepping for the future and start dropping hints though. :laughing:

I have a Crux and put some road wheels on it. I am not a “roadie” but do enjoy a long endurance ride. It is more than capable for that. Ultimately it is for training and it does the job.

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