The Specialized Crosstrail is a Rutland Cycling favourite, and for very good reason. While many riders focus their riding on either road or trail, with a bike for each, there are just as many cyclists who want one bike that’ll go everywhere. The Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc is the perfect example of a do-it-all cycle, offering a perfect balance of quality mechanical components, front suspension, multi-terrain tyres and a commanding riding position, with a keen price point. It’s a gateway to the wide world of cycling for newcomers and a useful multi-purpose tool for established riders.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
All in all, the Crosstrail range are brilliantly considered bikes, aimed at the massive market of cyclists who like to ride as often as possible and with a minimum of fuss. You can leave the cycle specific clothing and just ride out in your flip flops and still deal with tricky terrain. Our test bike felt like a faithful friend as we threw it from busy town centre streets, down nadgery little alleys, out onto trails and woodland paths and back again. And again and again. The ease of riding on both road and trail is inspiring, with the bike never noticeably slowing down from street to woodland cycle track, and being able to lock out the forks once back on the tarmac is invaluable for maintaining that speed and not losing power through the fork’s action.
There is no doubt this bike is capable off-road, and the ace brake set and 60mm of travel in those forks makes the Crosstrail an absolute hoot to throw around. Fair enough, you’ll never huck it off a cliff but for getting across country without a road it’s more than capable. On the road, it’ll behave and sit you up in a vantage point of visibility and in the most comfortable manner so you can focus on the traffic around you. If you just needed a bike to go somewhere, this would be it.
FRAME AND FORKS
The Specialized A1 Premium aluminium frame is elegantly formed, with its chunky head tube tapering down to the seat tube, and its lithe seat stays and quality forged drop outs. Yet despite its simplicity and subtleness in design, the frame is tough enough to take pot-holes, kerbs and juddery trails in its stride, yet be light enough to make off-piste shortcuts not just a possibility, but essential to arriving at you destination with a grin on your face.
And when the Crosstrail has dealt with the commute, the trail, the woods, the lanes…luggage rack braze-ons on the seat stays and (beautifully forged) dropouts mean loading up for a bit of cycle touring is on the cards too.
The Fork has been upgraded to a custom tuned Suntour NEX with SBC Multi Circuit damping for smoother travel through its 63mm of punch. The lockout is still present to see off the pedal feedback making climbs and fast sections a joy to attack whilst still reaping the benefit on the bumpier stuff. Specialized clearly know that they have a proven winner on their hands and seem committed to significant upgrades every year whilst keeping the price in the the sub £500 bracket. Buy the 2015 Crosstrail Sport Disc
WHAT DO YOU GET ON IT?
A mix of Shimano Acera and Alivio drivetrain boasts a reliable and precise 9-speed rear derailleur with a triple chainset on the front, offering a fantastic spread of 27 gears, perfectly designed to give you quick acceleration from the traffic lights, the ability to flatten climbs, and a decent top speed for when you need to punch it. What’s more, the chainset features a guard so you can even commute in your suit without getting tangled in the chain!
Specialized’s familiar Body Geometry finishing kit includes an all-day comfy Targa Sport saddle and special grips designed to take the pressure off your palms and keep you riding all day long.
For 2015 Tektro Auirga hydraulic disc brakes bite 160mm steel rotors for impressive stopping power. The rotors’ wavy design clears mud easily, ensuring the filthiest of trails wont leave your stopping power dampened. This year sees the brake levers coming with reach adjustment for a custom dialled feel and making it easy to fine tune the progressive braking.
Perhaps the unsung heroes of the Crosstrail’s do-it-all credentials are the brilliant 38c Trigger Sport tyres, the amount of bite they put into the off-road terrain is excellent and I managed to get some proper lean on the bike before they slipped. On the road the flatter central tread allows for easy cruising speeds with out any interference from the rubber.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Instead of ‘who would ride a Crosstrail?’ it’s probably an easier question to ask “who wouldn't?”. There aren’t many riding occasions when the Crosstrail isn’t up to the job. OK, it’s not going to keep up with a race bike but it will certainly do the distance and you’ll be more comfortable. You’re not going to slay it down Fort Billy either, but if you’ve ever wanted to get from point A to point B in as short or as long as distance as possible, with or without cycle clothing, with or without the laptop/picnic/textbooks then this bike is essential to have in the stable.
They say you can’t put a price on freedom but I reckon £550 gets you pretty close. It’s like a dog jumping for it’s lead as soon as it hears the word ‘walkies’. Great fun, satisfying, and liberating. Shut up Specialized and take my money. Buy the 2015 Crosstrail Sport Disc
CROSSTRAIL SPORT DISC – FRAME GEOMETRY
CROSSTRAIL SPORT DISC – FULL SPECIFICATION
- Frame – Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium, w/ mudguard/rack braze-ons, forged dropouts, kickstand mount
- Fork – SR Suntour NEXi Coil, aluminium lower, custom integrated fork crown, mechanical lockout, 60mm travel
- Headset – 1-1/8″ FSA Ahead, semi-integrated, 8mm cone spacer
- Stem – Alloy, 4-bolt, 10-degree rise, 25.4mm clamp
- Handlebars – Specialized riser bar, alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 25mm rise, 25.4mm
- Grips – Specialized Body Geometry XCT, dual compound, lock-on
- Brakes – Tektro Draco, hydraulic disc, dual piston, 160mm rotor
- Front Mech – Shimano Acera
- Rear Mech – Shimano Acera, 9-speed
- Shifters – Shimano SL-M390, Rapidfire
- Cassette – Shimano, 9-speed, 11-32
- Chain – KMC X9
- Crankset – SR Suntour XCR, 9-speed, square spindle, w/ chainguard 48/36/26
- Bottom Bracket – Cartridge bearings, square spindle, capless bolts
- Pedals – Composite plastic body, loose ball, w/ reflectors
- Rims – Alloy double-wall, 32h
- Front Hub – Disc, double-sealed, dual-lock nuts w/ 19mm contact side, steel axle w/ Semi RLCA steel QR
- Rear Hub – Disc, double-sealed, loose ball, dual-lock nuts w/ 19mm contact side, QR
- Tyres – Specialized Trigger Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, 700x38c
- Saddle – Body Geometry Targa Sport, steel rails, 155mm
- Seatpost – Alloy, 2-bolt, 12.5mm offset, 27.2mm
- Seat Collar – Alloy, 31.8mm