We had a day riding the endless best gravel bike trails of Grizedale Forest in the Lake District with Challenge Tires. The Challenge crew had also brought along Cameron Mason's British Nationals cyclocross winning Specialized S-Works Crux. A very special super lightweight machine that had us drooling over the thought of riding it.
Scotsman and Trinity Race Team rider, Cameron Mason, won the 2023 National Cyclocross Championships in January, not far from Grizedale Forest at Westmoreland County Showground on the eastern edge of the Lake District. He won in some style, riding well clear of his race rivals by the midway point and building a winning margin of two minutes and 34 seconds.
It also made up for the disappointment Cameron had felt at the end of the nationals the previous year and I still recall the look of anguish and exhaustion on his muddy face as I took images of him up close at the end of the race.
"Today was my career highlight, 100 percent. Nationals is a hard one, it's a big week and you can be inside your head a lot. I'm really happy with how I managed it. Trying to stay as chilled as possible has paid off. Taking the jersey to Belgium will be super important." He said after the race and Cameron would go on to claim a top ten in the Worlds just a few weeks ago to finish a stunning breakthrough season in the elite category.
As well as being a brilliantly committed rider Cameron put a lot of his success down to his Specialized Crux CX bike and told me, "The Crux is one special bike, super fast and it makes such a difference to my cyclocross racing, it's so light. My bike comes in at just 7.2kg for a 54cm, it's crazy light."
Cameron also told me about his plans for his best mountain bike season yet, "I will be looking to carry on my cyclocross form into the mountain bike world cups and I'll be doing some road racing too. My main focus is the home mountain bike world championships in Scotland in August, thats going to be huge."
The Crux used to be Specialized’s cyclocross-specific bike but was repurposed in October 2021 into “the world’s lightest gravel bike”. The S-Works edition costs from around $12,000 / £10,000. It's super light but could also be one of the most expensive gravel bikes around.
The first thing you notice is the stunning splatter effect paint job, the pink and fluorescent combo seatpost and the Challenge red tires still encrusted in West Moreland mud that just makes you want to delve in closer and ride this bike.
Cameron's bike comes equipped with the gorgeous looking Zipp 303 Firecrest carbon tubular wheels paired up with the equally cool Challenge Team Edition S3 Grifo Red cyclocross tires, in a UCI-compliant 33mm width.
The S-Works Crux is decked with SRAM Force AXS groupset including the rear derailleur, brakes and cranks, with a single 44t chainring and 10-33 cassette at the back.
Cameron clipped into Time ATAC XC pedals. Much of the rest of the build consisted of similar feather weight components, such as a Roval Teera bar, S-Works Power Arc saddle, and an S-Works stem with SupaCaz bartape. The combination makes for a jaw-dropping looker of a bike and as I lifted it up with one arm to hook it on to the zip line, an obviously incredibly light bike.
Cameron is riding at the top of his game as he heads into the mountain bike and road seasons, and we look forward to following his upward rise. For more information on the Crux check it out at Specialized.
Tech specs: Cameron Mason’s Specialized S-Works Crux
- Frame: S-Works FACT 12r Carbon
- Fork: S-Works FACT Carbon
- Drivetrain: SRAM Force AXS
- Chainset and Cassette: 44t, 10-33
- Wheels: Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular
- Tires: Challenge Team Edition S3 Grifo 33mm Red
- Pedals: Time ATAC XC
- Saddle: S-Works Power
- Bar: Roval Terra
- Weight: 7.2kg
- Color: Trinity Racing Team custom
- Size: 54