Trek showed the Cronus CX, their first ever carbon fiber cyclo-cross bike at Interbike in 2010, but the model purposefully flew under the radar. It was there for dealers to pre-order as much as it was there for an unveiling – reason being that Trek always meant the Cronus CX as a 2011 model, which will see the bulk of its sales this coming August.
Nonetheless, the Gary Fisher Signature series bike garnered interest here at BikeRadar, both for the frameset’s technologies and its ‘as if we picked the parts’ spec. All this bike appears to need to hit the cyclo-cross circuit in September is a pair of CrankBrothers Eggbeaters – the new Eggbeater 3 model with blue retention springs match nicely – and a set of tubulars.
The new frameset melds the Madone road bike’s E2 tapered head tube, fork, internally routed cables and BB90 Net Molded bottom bracket designs with Gary Fisher’s FCC (Fisher Control Colum) front end, hidden full-coverage fender mounts and slightly more relaxed, Fisher inspired geometry.
The Fisher Control Column starts with the oversized flanges and end caps of the FCC hub and carry through larger fork dropouts
FCC builds upon the stability offered by the E2 tapered head tube and fork by adding special dropouts that accommodate the FCC front hub’s 25mm end caps and a front wheel built with large flanges that allow for maximal spoke bracing angles. While the FCC wheelset will not fit on a non-FCC fork, the system is backward compatible to accommodate the tubular ’cross wheel quiver you may have already.
Cables are internal, while the E2 tapered head tube offers greater frontend stability
The Cronus CX frameset is made outside the US from monocoque-molded carbon fiber, which differs from Trek’s Waterloo, Wisconsin manufactured OCLV process; one-piece versus multi-piece molding. It's available in six sizes. A Bontrager Race X Lite E2 ’Cross fork completes the set. It features carbon legs, an alloy steerer tube and crown with a bolt-on housing stop.
The parts pick is all anyone needs to win on the ’cross course: a SRAM Force transmission supplemented with an S900 crank (38/46) and Avid’s benchmark Shorty Ultimate brakes. The cockpit is made up of Bontrager’s workhorse alloy Race X Lite bar, stem and carbon wrapped ACC seatpost.
BikeRadar received a 54cm Cronus CX for a long-term test, and we’ll post a full review of the bike this summer. The test bike weighs 17.3lb as sold (without pedals) on our scale. With a set of carbon tubulars and Eggbeater 3s it weighs just 16.6lb – yes, it seems the Bontrager Race X Lite FCC wheels are quite heavy.
The Cronus CX costs US$3,669.99, which is just over $1,000 more than the SRAM Rival equipped Alpha Black aluminum XO 2 ’cross bike ($2,619.99). Given that the Cronus offers both a monocoque carbon frame and upgraded component spec, it seems pretty good value.