Peter Sagan is riding the Unbound gravel race on this Specialized S-Works Crux

Three-time road world champion switches to gravel ahead of the Tour de France

Peter Sagan's Specialized Crux gravel bike for Unbound 2022

Everyone’s into gravel these days, it seems, and that includes Peter Sagan, with the three-time road world champion riding Unbound this weekend.

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The line-up for the 2022 edition of Unbound, due to take place on Saturday 4 June, is a who’s who of gravel racing but, while the majority of gravel specialists will do battle over the 200-mile course, Sagan is riding the 100-mile event.

And this is the 32-year-old’s Specialized S-Works Crux for Unbound, the world’s premier gravel race.

From the Tarmac to Crux

Peter Sagan’s Specialized Crux gravel bike for Unbound 2022.

The Crux was formerly Specialized’s cyclocross bike but was reimagined as the “world’s lightest gravel bike” in October 2021.

It’s based around a 725g frame (claimed weight, size 56cm), which sports similar lines to the Specialized S-Works Aethos.

The 725g frame takes centre stage.

Like the Aethos, simplicity is a key theme, with a traditional seatpost collar, round tubes and exposed cables in front of the two-piece handlebar and stem.

There’s a focus on everyday practicality and that extends to the threaded bottom bracket and clearance for 47mm (700c wheels) or 2.1in (650b wheels) tyres.

The Crux keeps things simple, with round tubes, an external seatpost collar and two-piece cockpit with exposed cables.

While Specialized has provided custom Specialized Diverge bikes to its gravel specialists competing in the 200-mile race – Ian Boswell, Laurens ten Dam and Alison Tetrick – Sagan and his Team TotalEnergies team-mate, Daniel Oss, who’s also riding the 100-mile event, get the Crux.

Ian Boswell gets this custom Specialized S-Works Diverge for Unbound 2022.

1x for Unbound 2022

Sagan is running GRX Di2 in a 1x setup.

Sagan’s build is fairly standard, as things go for a five-figure gravel superbike.

There’s a Shimano GRX Di2 drivetrain in a 1x configuration, pairing a 42t chainring with what looks to be an 11-34t cassette.

The hydraulic disc brake calipers also come from GRX, biting onto Dura-Ace R9000 140mm rotors, while the XTR mountain bike pedals are from Shimano, too.

Rolling with Roval

Roval provides the gravel-friendly Terra CLX wheels.

Specialized provides the gravel-specific Roval Terra CLX wheels, which have a wide-tyre-friendly internal rim width of 25mm and, fittingly for the Crux, a low claimed weight of 1,296g.

Those wheels are wrapped in Specialized Pathfinder Pro tyres.

Interestingly, Sagan isn’t using the S-Works version of the Pathfinder Pro, launched in March 2022 with the claim that it’s 20 per cent faster than any other Specialized gravel tyre.

The S-Works version retains the same low-profile tread pattern, tubeless compatibility and tyre casing as the existing Pathfinder Pro gravel tyre but shaves a claimed 210g off the weight, while apparently reducing rolling resistance due to a new compound combination.

The Romin Evo is Sagan’s saddle of choice.

Perhaps, however, the extra weight and protection of the Pro version is preferred for the chunky, long-distance gravel of Unbound.

Specialized finishing kit completes the build, including Sagan’s faithful Specialized Romin Evo saddle.

Even a three-time world champion needs to fix his own punctures at Unbound.

And finally, there’s also a tubeless repair kit attached to the uppermost bottle cage.

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Sagan may be a three-time road world champion, but on the chunky gravel of Kansas’ Flint Hills, he’s probably going to have to fix his own punctures.