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The Specialized Crux DSW is "the lightest alloy gravel bike ever made"... and it costs £2,300

Aluminium is making a comeback to the Specialized gravel line-up, as Crux gets an aluminium frame option

Specialized has launched the new Crux DSW, an alloy version of its premium Crux gravel bike, claiming that it is "the lightest alloy gravel bike ever made". That means the newest model has a claimed frame weight of 1,399g – about double the weight of the top-of-the-range S-Worx Crux frame – and full bike weights are quoted at 9.37kg. With only a frameset and one entry-level complete build model available, the bike is targeting the more budget-conscious gravel riders with the £2,300 price tag. 

As is typical for bike brands, Specialized is not modest in its claims attached to the new Crux. The Americans claim that not only is this the lightest gravel bike ever, but that it's also the "most capable and responsive" in its category. 

52024 Specialized Crux DSW alloy gravel bike

Why is that, then? Specialized says that by using its patented D’Aluisio Smartweld technology – which lends the new Crux its model name (that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue) – the bike delivers a ride quality previously thought to be exclusive to carbon frames. The same technology is used on the Specialized Allez Alloy, which the brand released in 2023 with the very original "fastest alloy road bike in history” claim. 

> Best aluminium road bikes

In essence, it's a way of welding that precisely matches tube-to-tube joints for better, stronger welds, while maximising strength and minimising weight – and all that should result in a great ride quality far removed from alloy frames of years gone by

62024 Specialized Crux DSW alloy gravel bike

Technically, rather than being a new addition to the Crux, making the gravel bike alloy framed is taking it back to its original cyclocross roots when it was still called 'CruX', which originally launched in 2013.

When we reviewed the Specialized CruX Elite in 2018, there were still different frame options available, before Specialized then moved the bike into its gravel line-up in 2022. Enough of the backstory, let's get back to the tech on the new model...

12024 Specialized Crux DSW alloy gravel bike

The aluminium frame of the new Crux is paired with Specialized's Fact12r carbon fork, and with that, Specialized says a complete size 56 Crux DSW tips the scales at 9.37kg.

If we look at other alloy gravel bikes, the Trek Checkpoint in ALR 5 seems to come with an Apex groupset too, but in electronic guise and is said to weigh 9.75kg in size 56. If you want to compare it to the carbon Crux, the top-end carbon S-Works Crux frame weighs in at 725g, which is about half the weight of the aluminium frame. 

Besides the frame material, the Crux DSW continues to have the same geometry and tyre clearance as the carbon models, accepting tyres up to 47mm in 700c. There's also space for 2.1” tyres on 650b wheels. Notably, the new DSW is UDH (universal derailleur hanger) compatible, though, which definitely primes it for later upgrades as we can expect more gravel groupsets to start utilising this mtb-derived tech in the not-too-distant future. 

Pricing and specification 

If you wish to get yourself an alloy Crux, you won't be facing decision-making paralysis in terms of the price points and spec options. In terms of colours, there are two options for the complete build and the frame only, and sizes range from 49 to 61cm. 

32024 Specialized Crux DSW alloy gravel bike

The only complete build, the Crux Comp DSW, is specced with a budget (and not weight-weenie friendly) SRAM Apex 1x12 mechanical groupset, which pairs a 40T front chainring with an 11-44T cassette.

The bike rolls on aluminium DT Swiss G540 wheels and Specialized Pathfinder Pro tyres in 700x38c, and the finishing kit comprises of an alloy bar/stem and steel-railed Specialized Power Sport saddle. This bike is priced at £2,300, while the Crux DSW Frameset will set you back £1,500. 

Whether that is affordable for an alloy gravel bike is subjective, but it is a lot less than the cheapest carbon Crux Comp which sells for £3,500.

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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BrianP | 1 month ago

That "lightest ever" claim is VERY DODGY. A lot depends on how you define gravel bike.

I have an alloy frame Cannondale SLATE in the CX1 SRAM mechanical build, which tips the scales at 9kg on the dot. And that includes butyl tubes in the wheels and a Lefty Oliver carbon suspension fork. When the SLATE came out in 2017, gravel riding didn't have a name. Cannondale called it a "new roads" bike, and marketed it as an on and off--road machine. But, with suspension, 42mm tyres and a 1X drive train, it's definitely got a solid gravel pedigree.

SLATEs are out of production these days, but I got mine as new-old stock in Dec 2023 for 100 quid less than the MSRP on the CRUX DSW. Which is all to say, I'd take Specialized's weight claim with a few kilos of salt.


KDee | 1 month ago

I was expecting to see the same forged headtube design used on the Allez, with the welds an inch or so back along the toptube and downtube. But this looks completely standard.

Could be fun to build up a frameset with a 1x Chinese electronic groupset and some budget carbon wheels.

Avatar | 1 month ago

Frame - beautifully light; finishing kit - boat anchor pound shop etap

bob_c replied to | 1 month ago


Lozcan | 1 month ago
1 like

So my 2003 Cannondale F800sl 650b conversion is less than a kilo heavier with 80mm of front suspension ....

Secret_squirrel replied to Lozcan | 1 month ago

tbf that Gen of Cannondale MTB's were known as Crack'n'fails for a reason....

90's early noughtie alu MTB's prioritised weight over durability.

(affectionate teasing - I'd have one in a jiffy)

My Pace RC200 that I converted into a 700c graveller was also lighter than this.

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