It was on my Specialized Crux cyclo-cross that I almost fell into the arms of Hades the Greek god of the Under World.
Fall to Earth
I haven´t ridden the Crux since May 2022 when I clipped a rut hidden in long grass on a stretch of gravel, my 28mm road tyres fitted at the time gave me no margin for error and I paid the price falling heavily down to earth.
Germany´s post-industrial heritage nicely frames my still fit for purpose cyclo cross bike despite it being a throwback to 20th/early-21st Century technology and ideas. It was only natural that despite the wonders of the present and being a child of the 20th Century, that I was drawn to riding my almost abandoned old school bike.
Thus, after months of neglect, I wiped off a layer of grime and dust and rode a variation of the Gö Feldweg Omloop 50km.
Star Crossed Lovers
To get it running, and unlike the star-crossed love of Romeo and Juliette I was able to unite across a great divide a pair of Shimano orientated wheels with a Campagnolo Record 11 Speed groupset.
I also fitted Schwalbe 35mm gravel tyres which when pumped up hard give me a good trade off on mild gravel, Betonweg and asphalt. The cantilever brakes are a weak point on long descents.
Mix and Match
When I began cycling bikes tended to be built up with a potpourri of parts from differing brands. A bike completely kitted out with one make groupset was rare. My Crux has developed over the years with canti-brakes from Shimano and SRAM, Exustar road pedals, wheels from Mavic, a Shimano 105 cassette, Campagnolo Record gears and chainset, topped off with Ritchey, Oval and San Marco.
20th Century Tech
I have had this bike since 2012 and even if my 21st Century bike (Carbon frame/discs) is so much better, my relationship with the Crux still runs deep. The bike evokes strong memories – my first rides in Göttingen and riding the Gö Strade Bianche in a snow storm in 2022. Plus many adventures in London such as along the River Thames, Box Hill, Epping Forest, The Pilgrims Way or the Three Pimples Tour.
20th Century Boy
A track by Marc Bolan who´s songs were part of my growing up and later in life I would regulary ride past the spot where he died close to London.
Song on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7nbXljpnq0
Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/10706948211
Before There Was Gravel
Not for Military Use
Down the Rabbit Hole of Gravel Tyres
World Turned Upside Down (inc. pics of some of my old bikes)
Fat Tyres in CX 1996: https://youtu.be/VHpfuidQtxU
Pretty in Pink
The Specialized Crux was an established cyclo-cross bike by 2013 ridden by many national, and local riders. The Crux in its original aluminium, but ‘pretty in pink’ guise won a World Cup cross in the hands of Zdenek Stybar at Lievin, Belgium in 2012.
Pretty in Pink – Stybar´s winning machine (2012)
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