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Specialized launches carbon ’cross frame, new Ruby, S-Works shoes and electronics

At its Global Press Launch in Utah last week, Specialized unveiled a new hard and soft goods, including a redesigned S-Works road shoe and its first-ever carbon cyclocross frame, the Crux Pro.

S-Works Road Shoes

Specialized has completely re-vamped its S-Works road shoes. The new shoes have asymmetrical carbon soles that are stiffer on the lateral (big toe) side of the shoe than the medial. The upper incorporates Boa’s S2 reels that are changed out by simply removing the entire reel instead of re-lacing the Boa cable. Also, the tongue is offset to give a more wrapped feeling from the side of the shoe.

To go along with the new shoes, Specialized introduced new footbeds. Constructed of a noticeably denser material than the standard bed found in cycling shoes, the footbeds are intended to be used with new S-Works road shoes, but work fine in most shoes just as Specialized soles have for years.

For fans of more classic styling (or like me, you’re upset that you can’t have the same shoes Tom Boonen has been wearing all spring) Specialized is offering its ’74 S-Works shoes again. Constructed of kangaroo leather, the ’74 shoes use the same carbon sole as last year’s S-Works shoes and are available in white for 2013.

Crux Pro Cyclocross Bike

Until now, there has not been a true carbon cyclocross race bike from Specialized, but the 2013 Crux Pro changes that. The new Crux features more aggressive geometry compared to Specialized’s previous carbon models. All bikes in the carbon line have two bottle cage locations, but with recessed rivets so that the included decals can seamlessly cover the rivets should a mechanic wish to ditch the added weight of cage bolts. Another new feature is a small notch in the bottom of the down tube aimed at aiding those with smaller hands to shoulder the bike.

S-Works Quarq power meter and ANT+ Expert head unit

Specialized crank owners now have the option to keep their Specialized crank and still train with crank-measured power. The new S-Works Quarq Mercury spider comes in a compact or standard version designed to slide onto Specialized crank arms. At $1,500, it’s slightly less expensive than a SRAM/Quarq crankset, but would be cheaper for owners of S-Works bikes already equipped with Specialized’s cranks.

The new Expert head unit is even more enticing. While not GPS capable, the Expert never needs to be plugged in. It runs on a standard coin cell battery thanks to its ability to run on less power than any other power meter head unit. It also syncs wirelessly to the rider’s computer via an included USB thumb drive and does not need to be removed to link up. At $300, it’s relatively inexpensive for an ANT+ head unit and is smaller and sleeker than any other power meter head unit currently on the market.

S-Works Ruby

The Ruby has even cleaner lines than the Roubaix with its set-in seatpost clamp and much more subdued graphics. Still, the Ruby has a similar build to the Roubaix and uses the new Cobl Gobl-R leaf spring seatpost. The S-Works model at the launch was equipped with non-functional Shimano Di2 11-speed. Early models of the S-Works Ruby (and Roubaix) will likely be equipped with mechanical Dura-Ace 11-speed.