Pro bike: Todd Wells' Specialized CruX E5 OSBB

Custom aluminum racer for the US national champion

Todd Wells told BikeRadar earlier this year that he wasn't at all upset about not getting a custom stars-and-stripes bike to celebrate his status as US national cross-country champion. He arrived at this past weekend's UCI cyclo-cross races in Boulder, Colorado with his Specialized CruX bikes sporting stock livery – only they were far from stock beneath the paint.

For starters, Wells' alloy CruX has custom geometry to suit his lanky 1.88m (6ft 2in) build. The rear end is essentially borrowed from a standard 58cm production model but the front end is both longer and lower than a stock 61cm for an extra-aggressive position.

Specialized don't provide Todd Wells with a custom red, white and blue bike to celebrate his national championship win but the colored housing gets the point across

The frame may be all-alloy but there's plenty of carbon fiber to be found elsewhere in the Zipp 303 Cyclocross tubular wheels, the SRAM Red DoubleTap levers, the ultralight and remarkably rigid Specialized FACT integrated cranks, and the Specialized S-Works two-bolt seatpost. Wells is clearly confident in the material's strength and durability, as his bike is also fitted with a carbon-railed Specialized Phenom Pro saddle and a Specialized S-Works semi-anatomic bar.

The Specialized brand name is also found on the angle-adjustable forged aluminum stem, the limited-edition 'Republic of California' bar tape and the 33mm-wide Terra tubulars – one of three models in the company's new comprehensive 'cross tubular range. The rest of the build is rather straightforward, with SRAM Red Black derailleurs (including a steel front cage), a SRAM PG-1070 cassette and PC-1091 chain

Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes are retrofitted with road cartridge holders to better accommodate the ultra-wide Zipp rims, and Wells uses CrankBrothers Eggbeater 11 pedals and Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housings. Total weight as pictured is 7.90kg (17.42lb) but if our hunch is correct, we expect that figure to drop substantially once Specialized replace this alloy version with a full-blown carbon flagship.

Specialized Roval carbon-specific pads (made by SwissStop) are fitted to Avid Shorty Ultimate cantilevers. Note the road pad holders instead of the stock units to better fit with the extra-wide Zipp rims

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: Specialized CruX E5 OSBB, 58cm
  • Fork: Specialized FACT w/ carbon legs, alloy steerer
  • Headset: Integrated tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in
  • Stem: Specialized S-Works Pro-Set, 120mm x -13°
  • Handlebar: Specialized S-Works Carbon, 44cm (c-c)
  • Tape: Specialized 'Republic of California'
  • Front brake: Avid Shorty Ultimate w/ Roval carbon-specific pads
  • Rear brake: Avid Shorty Ultimate w/ Roval carbon-specific pads
  • Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red Black w/ steel cage
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Red Black
  • Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-25T
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1091
  • Crankset: Specialized S-Works FACT, 175mm, w/ 39/46T SRAM chainrings
  • Bottom bracket: Specialized OSBB
  • Pedals: CrankBrothers Eggbeater 11
  • Wheelset: Zipp 303 Cyclocross tubular
  • Front tire: Specialized Terra tubular, 33mm, 30psi
  • Rear tire: Specialized Terra tubular, 33mm, 30psi
  • Saddle: Specialized Phenom Pro
  • Seatpost: Specialized S-Works Carbon
  • Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 1.88m (6ft 2in)
  • Rider's weight: 79.4kg (175lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 800mm
  • Saddle setback: 95mm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 580mm
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 520mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 596mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 95mm
  • Head tube length: 170mm
  • Top tube length: 595mm
  • Total bicycle weight: 7.90kg (17.42lb)

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