The Specialized Crosstrail range combines rapid road speed with off-road riding ability. The Crosstrail is a versatile hybrid bike that is designed to offer a comfortable, efficient ride on every surface from smooth tarmac roads to rough gravel tracks. Fast rolling 700c road bike wheels are matched to wider tyres for greater comfort, which also give greater control when combined with the suspension fork
Both aluminium alloy and carbon fibre composite frames are found in the Specialized Crosstrail range, featuring the same upright riding position that’s reminiscent of mountain bikes. Wide range gearing gives this hybrid bike the ability to go any distance you like too. We review the Specialized Crosstrail range, seeing its versatile character and a bike that offers comfort and efficiency wherever you choose to ride.
There are three different frame materials used on the Specialized Crosstrail range. The Crosstrail Mechanical Disc and Hydraulic Disc models both feature A1 Premium alloy frames, while the Sport and Elite Alloy have lighter A1 SL Premium alloy frames. On the two top models – the Elite Carbon and Expert Carbon – FACT 9r frames are featured, which are super lightweight and comfortable, thanks to the natural vibration damping properties of carbon fibre. The decals on all models also have reflective detailing to help visibility on the streets.
SR Suntour forks are found on the front of every model, and have custom Multi Circuit Damping, giving a supple ride and greater control. The forks have either 55mm or 60mm travel, and the top 4 models have Specialized Fitness Brain technology in the forks that helps climbing and pedalling efficiency.
Upright and stable riding position with a suspension fork delivers a superb ride over a variety of terrain
Disc brakes offer consistent stopping power in all weather conditions, which gives greater control and confidence when riding
To make sure riders have all the speeds they need for any scenario, Specialized specced the Crosstrail range with wide gearing. Shimano triple chainring drivetrains are found on both the Crosstrail Mechanical Disc and Hydraulic Disc, with the Mechanical Disc getting 7 gears in the back and the latter having 8 speeds. The rest of the range gets double chainring drivetrains and more gearing in the rear. The Crosstrail Sport gets a 2x9 speed drivetrain with a combination of Shimano Alivio and microSHIFT components.
On the Crosstrail Elite Alloy and Elite Carbon, a 2x10 speed drivetrain gives an even greater range, while the range-topping Expert Carbon gets a 2x11 speed MTB drivetrain, for slick shifting performance. Hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro and their more premium brand, TRP can be found across the range, with the entry-level Crosstrail Mechanical Disc being the only exception with its cable disc brakes.
Across the range you’ll find 700c road-sized wheels, providing rapid and easy rolling, allowing you to get to speed and keep your speed for long distances. The difference from road wheels comes with the wider rims and tyres. Wider rims give the tyres greater support, which in turn provides more control over the bike and greater traction.
Axis rims are found from the Crosstrail Elite Alloy through to the Expert Carbon, with the Elite Alloy and Elite Carbon receiving Axis Sport rims. The Crosstrail Expert Carbon gets Axis Expert rims and hubs, for smooth riding enjoyment. Every model in the Specialized Crosstrail range gets Specialized Trigger Sport tyres in 38c size. These have shallow diamond shaped treads in the centre, with larger treads on the outside, helping keep rolling resistance to a minimum, while aiding in traction off-road.
The reflective strip on the tyres really helps the Crosstrail to standout in the dark, and the wider rims and tyres give greater control over rough surfaces
Balancing road bike efficiency and mountain bike versatility, the Specialized Crosstrail widens the world of cycling possibilities. It allows commuters to enjoy the benefits of a mountain bikes, where rougher surfaces aren’t an issue, while also keeping pace with traffic and other road users.
From the entry-level model Crosstrail Mechanical Disc all the way to the range-topping Expert Carbon, you’ll the same geometry, which gives a fantastic and capable riding experience no matter which one you get. Every model also has disc brakes, which help you have control in all weather conditions. For countryside adventures, taking on your daily routes through the city, or even forest trails, the Specialized Crosstrail will be that one bike that can handle it all and keep you smiling.
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